Do You Believe in Liberty?

by Dr. Mary Ruwart

In just a few weeks, the Libertarian Party’s national convention delegates will choose our party’s 2008 presidential nominee, who will become our de facto leader and public face of the party for the next four years. Will we choose wisely? Will we choose someone who believes in liberty?

When I first ran as a Libertarian candidate for public office in the early 1980s, many of our positions were very unpopular. For example, our call to end the drug war was considered by many to be an endorsement of drug usage and addiction. Because we didn’t see the War on Drugs as a solution to the drug problem, people automatically assumed that we condoned the problem itself. They supported the War on Drugs because they thought that a ban on them would keep drugs out of the schools.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The black-market profits created by drug prohibition virtually guaranteed that pushers would target our children. Although alcohol and tobacco have been consistently illegal for minors, students had a much harder time getting drinks and smokes than purchasing crack cocaine or heroin. The best reason for doing away with the War on Drugs was to protect our children, even though most Americans thought just the opposite was true.

These days, even many law enforcement officials support an end to drug prohibition (www.leap.org). This shift in public perception did not occur overnight, but was largely brought about by courageous Libertarian candidates who were willing to teach the American public about the benefits of liberty, even as they were “slimed” by the media. I am proud to be counted among those candidates, proud to be saving lives and protecting our children. More recently, banning guns has become the cause du jour to “save the children.” Because libertarians don’t see gun bans as a solution to violent crime, some people automatically assumed that we were content to see children die in gun accidents and school shootings. The American people supported gun bans because of their mistaken impression that they were saving the children.

Consequently, when courageous Libertarian candidates called for an end to these bans, they were often scorned and ridiculed. Studies now show that permitting peaceful citizens to carry concealed firearms lowers the homicide rate. For every life saved by gun bans, 400 lives are lost to predators who would have otherwise been stopped by their armed victims, usually without a shot fired.

Women, people of color, and children make up a disproportionate number of these 400 lives, since, once disarmed, they are much more vulnerable to attack. The fabled Gun Free School Zones are, in reality, prime targets for rampage shooters, because the teachers have been disarmed. The best reason for doing away with bans on firearms is to save the lives of our children, even though many Americans think that just the opposite is true.

For years, myself and other libertarian candidates have pointed out that “when guns are banned, only criminals will have guns.” The shift in popular perception has come about primarily because courageous Libertarian candidates are willing to teach the American public about the benefits of liberty, even at the cost of being “slimed” by the media. I am proud to be counted among those candidates, proud to be saving lives, especially the lives of our children.

Today, other bans, such as the ones against child pornography, are touted as panaceas to “save the children.” Like drug prohibition and the ban on firearms, these bans backfire, harming the very innocents they are intended to help. Anyone who believes in liberty can see the pattern. Bans and prohibitions drive vices underground, where participants have no legal recourse when they experience exploitation.

Bans make criminals out of 17-year-olds having consensual sex with 15-year-olds, because the younger partner is presumed too immature to make an informed decision. These draconian laws destroy the lives of our young people by making them carry the label of “sex offender” for the rest of their lives. Yet as late as the last century, it was not at all unusual for American boys and girls to marry and start families in their early teens!

Bans based on arbitrary age limits aren’t needed to protect those too young to make informed decisions about sexual conduct. Pre-pubescent children, for example, don’t have the physical or emotional maturity to even understand what sex is all about. When an adult engages in sexual conduct with a young child, we don’t need a law specifying an age limit in order to convict those adults of rape. All we need to do is show a jury that the child wasn’t competent to consent.

These kinds of age-based bans put prosecutors and regulators in charge of a weapon that can be used against those whose views aren’t politically correct. One of my fellow contenders for the LP presidential nomination, Steve Kubby, has had devastating first-hand experience with this fallout.

Mr. Kubby’s efforts were instrumental in passing Proposition 215, which removed the ban against medical marijuana in California. Many of you know the story of Mr. Kubby’s subsequent life-threatening incarceration for the crime of passing a law disliked by the police, his move to Canada, and his heroic return (www.kubby2008.com). While Steve was in prison awaiting the court action that would clear him, his wife, Michelle, was told that their children would be taken away and placed into permanent foster care if Steve lived with them and used medical marijuana.

It didn’t matter that several doctors in two countries have confirmed that Steve has a “life and death medical necessity” to use medical marijuana; the courts, which are part of the same government apparatus that prosecuted Steve, routinely favor purported evidence presented by “child protection” officials over testimony from physicians and other real experts.

Michelle did the only thing she could reasonably be expected to do; she began divorce proceedings against the love of her life while he languished in prison. Although his girls still spend holidays with him, and while they talk by phone twice a week, Steve Kubby’s biggest heartbreak in life is that he doesn’t get to kiss his two children good night each evening. He isn’t there to hold them when they hurt. He isn’t there to look into their eyes and hear them whisper, “Papa, I love you.”

Meanwhile, another fellow presidential contender, Wayne Allyn Root, reaps all the rewards of parenthood. He talks about the joys his four children bring to him in virtually every speech he gives. Mr. Root supports bans on vices— at least the vices he doesn’t engage in for a living. He supports the very laws that empowered the state to take Mr. Kubby’s children from him to punish him for believing in liberty. In fact, when I told Steve I wanted to discuss his situation, he agreed—provided I not name the agency that threatened his family, under orders of his attorneys, who still are concerned about reprisals against Steve for his role in legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

Mr. Root is new to the LP; he doesn’t understand how liberty works because he hasn’t done his homework. He doesn’t understand the hidden dangers in government’s monopoly on force; he scorns the notion that justice is best served when we have competition in everything, including courts, police, and national defense. He calls such competition “anarchy;” I call it “freedom from government oppression.” Had Mr. Root walked in Steve Kubby’s shoes and had his children ripped from his arms, he might consider more carefully the unintended consequences of bans and prohibitions.

Instead, as Mr. Root freely admits, he reacts emotionally to the superstitious belief that passing a law “makes it so.” He doesn’t understand how private courts work, and so assumes—wrongly—that underage victims couldn’t easily press charges. In fact, the opposite is true. Prosecution by government requires that a victim or the victim’s advocate persuade the prosecutor to take on their case; if that person refuses, there is no recourse. In a system of private courts, no such bottlenecks exist. You may win or lose, but you will have your day in court.

Mr. Root could have asked me for clarification of my positions and I would have gladly given it to him. In spite of repeated efforts by phone and e-mail to persuade me to drop my presidential bid and run in coordination with him for VP, Mr. Root did not ask me to enlighten him on my views. I can only assume that truth doesn’t matter to him—or at least that it doesn’t matter as much as the prospect of getting rid of a competitor does.

Mr. Root concludes his latest press release with this question: “No matter how one might attempt to present the position, do you believe we will grow the Libertarian Party, or damage it, by promoting the removal of the age-of-consent laws or any other laws that the vast majority of Americans believe protect innocent children from adults who would sexually exploit them?”

For the record, I have never “promoted” the removal of the age-of-consent laws. I discussed the issue ten years ago in a book written to help libertarians deal with some of the tough questions we get. It is Wayne Allyn Root, not I, who has made these issues campaign centerpieces—after telling me in writing that he wanted the issue to go away and wasn’t responsible for earlier statements made by his campaign manager or the posting on his web site asking me to withdraw from the presidential race.

Do we want a presidential candidate who highlights issues he himself says are damaging to our party … if he thinks he can use those issues to drum an opponent out of the race? Do we want a presidential nominee who won’t take responsibility for his own campaign’s actions and statements?

We have always been able to grow the Party and get millions of votes. The choice has always been ours; all we’ve ever needed to do was sell out. All we’ve ever needed to do is denounce liberty so that we could avoid scorn and ridicule. All that has ever been required of us is that we stop being the Party of Principle and become the Party of Expediency. All we’ve ever needed to do was stop telling the truth to the American people, stop trying to help them understand the price they pay when they fall for statist propaganda. All that was ever needed was to support bans that harm our children, but give us the illusion of protecting them.

If I and other Libertarian candidates had taken this path years ago, the Libertarian Party might be bigger and more popular than it is today. In all likelihood, however, discussions about doing away with the War on Drugs or getting rid of gun bans wouldn’t be part of the agenda. If we hadn’t talked about liberty when it was unpopular to do so, Ron Paul wouldn’t have been so well received in his grassroots presidential campaign. Instead, we would be talking about protecting and enriching ourselves, and sacrificing our children on the altar of appearance to do so.

Is that the kind of future we want for the LP? If so, we have several candidates ready and willing to take us down the path of least resistance. Wayne Allyn Root isn’t the only “establishment-lite” candidate running. He’s not the only one who wants to keep the truth from the American people, to soft-sell our message, to denounce our most cherished values in order to make ourselves look “mainstream.” He’s not the only candidate ready to sacrifice our children so that we can have the illusion of heroism without the substance.

I’m not interested in that kind of future for our party. If we really care about the children, then we’ll tell the truth about liberty until the American public hears us instead of selling out for fifteen minutes on Fox News and the occasional mention in Jay Leno’s monologue.

For decades, Libertarians like Steve Kubby and I have told the truth about liberty. We’ve held our party’s beliefs high instead of hiding like cowards behind America’s children, even when it meant we might be subject to abuse or ridicule. Mr. Kubby has put his life, his fortune, and his family on the line for liberty—and because he did so, his fellow Californians and Americans in several other states now have access to a healing plant that relieves their suffering. If my fate is to take some slings and arrows from my fellow presidential hopefuls, the price I pay for speaking the truth of liberty is indeed small.

I’m not about to start lying to my fellow Americans now, not after all these years of telling the truth, not after seeing Ron Paul inspire so many people with an uncompromising message of freedom. 2008 is a year for us to strike while the iron is hot—to stand on our record of speaking truth to power.

We were right on the war on drugs – and now that fact is almost universally acknowledged. Around the country, states are legalizing medical marijuana, cities are telling their police forces to go after real criminals instead of drug users, and the masses are revolting against a “justice” system that now imprisons more people than any other nation on earth, mostly for victimless “crimes.”

We were right to stand firm against victim disarmament – and over and over the correctness of our stand has been proven on America’s streets. What was once our courageous minority stand is quickly becoming the conventional wisdom.

We’re right to stand up for a non-interventionist foreign policy and against the war on Iraq. The American people are already with us on that one.

We’re right to stand up for getting the market back into health care and the government out of it. The American people were with us when “Hilary care” was proposed in the 1990s—and will be once again.

And yes, when the issue is discussed, we are right to stand up against the arbitrary and capricious age of consent laws that make our young men and women into “criminals” while saving not a single child from rape or molestation. I don’t see that issue as a major presidential campaign theme, but if Wayne Allyn Root or anyone else expects me to sacrifice liberty, truth and our children to public relations considerations, think again. It’s not going to happen.

Do you believe in liberty enough to join me?

Our national convention in Denver will be a fight for the heart and soul of the Party. Will we remain the Party of Principle or will we sell out for a few more votes and a few more television shows? Will we stop telling the American people about liberty in the vain hope of gaining a bit of fleeting popularity for ourselves?

Do you believe in liberty? If so, now is the time to show it!

143 Responses to “Do You Believe in Liberty?”

  1. Yank Says:

    I love Mary’s ASS

  2. Justin Grover Says:

    Well, atleast she finally admitted that some children can’t consent. :/

    That being said. . .

    Wow. Enough misdirection in this one to have come from the Clinton camp.

    I’m glad to know that because I don’t support her position on competence of minors to consent, that I’m responsible for Mr. Kubby’s suffering and its very likely we’ll be undoing all the LP has ever done for freedom.

    She’ll undoubtedly add more people to her mass of unquestioning followers now. :/

    Amazing how well she has faired and how poorly Root has because of this. Makes you wonder. . .

  3. Jerry Baner Says:

    Game over for Root.

  4. Michael Seebeck Says:

    BOOM!

    That was the sound of this large grenade exploding in Root’s face.

    Now, with all of that being said, are there STILL any questions on where she stands?

  5. Brian Holtz Says:

    We all expected Ruwart to hit the talking point that the the issue here is primarily bright-line rules that turn calendar accidents into crimes. But as her intelligent supporter Alex Peak has pointed out, such bright-line mistakes are possible in rules created both by the state and by a privatized legal system. So what I wanted to hear was Ruwart’s argument that the state shouldn’t make any such rules against aggression directed at those unable to consent.

    The argument she gives is breathtaking in its audacity. She says: libertarians oppose the state’s laws against certain substances and tools (viz., drugs and guns), so you’re not a good libertarian —“do you believe in liberty?”—if you don’t also oppose the state’s laws against aggression (e.g. production of child pornography). To state the argument is to rebut it.

    I don’t mind hearing weak arguments for anarchism; been there, done that. However, I do mind when an anarchist candidate for our nomination suggests that to support minarchism over anarchism is to “sell out” or to “denounce liberty” or to “stop being the Party of Principle and become the Party of Expediency” or to “fall for statist propaganda”. If Ruwart believes that there is such a thing as principled minarchism, I see no evidence of it in her essay.

    Earlier today I wondered aloud if Ruwart really wanted her candidacy to be a referendum over anarchism. Well, now we have her answer.

  6. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Justin, there was no misdirection here, except in your own mind.

    And your conclusions are both statist and inaccurate.

    Go reread it.

  7. Robert Milnes Says:

    I have proposed Milnes/Ruwart. I do this not because I have no disagreements with Dr. Ruwart. But because the president and vice-president are best if COMPLEMENTARY. If both are pure radical anarchists then there is no hope of expanding the tent; no hope of actually winning an upper level election. The delegates can have the best of both worlds. I can try to get the left libertarian/leftist/Green/progressive vote, potentially tens of millions. Meanwhile Dr. Mary can be the stalwart pure libertarian and be involved in every single issue & decision. If I stumble, the Lp can revoke my nomination, replacing me with Ruwart thus insuring the party of principle is preserved. I ask the delegates to consider this ticket as the best one.

  8. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Justin Grover Says:
    May 8th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Wow. Enough misdirection in this one to have come from the Clinton camp.

    Name one.

  9. susan santarini Says:

    Game over for Root.

    I feel sorry for W.A.R,. sort of, because he fell into the wrong crowd and they totally screwed his otherwise good chances for success. On the other hand, he chose to hang with the evil ones and now he has paid the price.

    On second thought, I don’t feel sorry for W.A.R., because he got what he gave. Karma is a tough lesson for recovering Republicans, but it is a lesson they need to learn.

  10. Michael Seebeck Says:

    As usual, Milnes starts out correct and hen goes in the exact opposite direction with it and makes it wrong.

    He’s right on the complementary part.

    He’s wrong on the rest.

  11. paulie Says:

    Great article by Dr. Ruwart. Very well said.

    Bad move by her campaign.

    She should stop focusing on reacting to mud thrown by other campaigns, and start making the issues she wants to focus on the center of attention.

    Campaigns do not win by going into reaction mode.

    This child porn non-issue is a distrction.

    Mary Ruwart needs to put out some videos. Her talking to the camera if there is no time/money/creative ideas for anything else.

    Talk about the issues she chooses, not the ones some of her opponents choose for her.

    If possible, get endorsements from people in possible constituency groups she can reach out to (alternative medicine, fully informed juries, right to die, etc) who are not LP members, showing she can bring new people into the party.

    Someone like the lady who spoke about alternative medicine at the Connecticut convention.

    Although this was an excellent response, Root’s piece on anarchy did not deserve one.

  12. Jerry Baner Says:

    WAR is an opportunist, and that’s horrible. He’s got rock star charisma, though, so he’ll live, and me may do reasonably well at the convention, enough to come back in 2012.

  13. Steve Perkins Says:

    All the spin over the kiddie porn issue has me confused. Does Ruwart oppose age-of-consent laws only as they apply to minors having sex with other minors (as the above article subtly suggests)... or does she oppose their abolition even for sex with adults, in favor of courts applying ad-hoc tests to see whether a 12-year old can consent to sex with a 45-year old? One way or the other, how does child pornography factor into the equation? Is it okay for adults to merely FILM sex between two minors, or even between an adult and a minor who is court-deemed to have consented?

    Granted, there really aren’t answers to the above questions that I wouldn’t oppose. However, I’d like to at least be fair enough to understand what precisely it is that I’m opposing. Can someone succinctly clarify the issue, without just throwing a “statist” ad hominem at me and moving on?

  14. theButterfly Says:

    Okay, so a neocon, a right-wing religious bigot, and a principled libertarian walk into a bar, and the Libertarian Party can’t figure out which one to choose. The neocon and the principled libertarian sit down at the counter, but the right-wing religious bigot remains standing in the doorway.

    Suddenly, a left-wing socialist crashes in through the window, yells “NI4D!” then has a heart attack and dies.

    The principled libertarian turns to the bartender and says, “I’ll have the usual.”

    The bartender smiles. “One glass of ‘distrust of government’ coming up,” she says.

    “Unfortunately,” says the principled libertarian to the neocon, “when people with good intentions turn to the government to fix a problem, it often makes the problem worse.”

    The neocon calls her a paedophile. Then he asks the bartender for a glass of “The Islamofascists are coming!! The Islamofascists are coming!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE

    The right-wing religious bigot says nothing, but he’s sure the principled libertarian is practicing witchcraft.

    The delegates talk amongst themselves. They realize that many people on the right have sworn never to vote for the blood-thirsty Republican and that many on the left have sworn not to vote for a Democrat if it’s not thier chosen candidate. After drinking heavily, they decide they need a weak candidate, preferably someone with a shaky record, so that all of the people tired of the lying insincere panderers in the two major parties will vote for him. They also decide to write off the left altogether, because, really, they like Republicans better anyway.

    Seriously, can this end well?

  15. Richard Says:

    Interesting that Mary has wielded the dictatorial sword, crushing anyone who is in dissent from her and questions her position. She writes as if she owns this party. While I have understood her arguments and favor them, coming across as an authoritarian and not open-minded scares me. Is she threatening to leave the party if she doesn’t get her way? That’s problematic from an individual who is against being strong armed.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Quoth Brian Holtz:

    [W]hat I wanted to hear was Ruwart’s argument that the state shouldn’t make any such rules against aggression directed at those unable to consent.

    Translation to English: “What I wanted to hear was Ruwart treating the presidential campaign as a referendum on anarchism, because that’s the only damn thing I could indict her on … and dammit, she keeps refusing to fall into my clever trap. No fair, do-over!”

    To state the argument is to rebut it.

    Translation into English: “Shit. I can’t rebut it, so I guess I’ll just have to mischaracterize it and then, treating my mischaracterization as a statement of it, assert that to state it is to rebut it.”

    I don’t mind hearing weak arguments for anarchism; been there, done that. However, I do mind when an anarchist candidate for our nomination suggests that to support minarchism over anarchism is to “sell out” or to “denounce liberty” or to “stop being the Party of Principle and become the Party of Expediency” or to “fall for statist propaganda”.

    Translation to English: “Ruwart doesn’t suggest any such thing, but if I suggest that she suggested some such thing, maybe people will believe me instead of their lying eyes.”

  17. Yank Says:

    I’m getting ASS in Denver!

  18. Brian Holtz Says:

    To the person claiming to be Tom Knapp: a simple “nuh uh” would have sufficed.

    The stink bomb you’re working on for Root must really be a big one, because you’re now just phoning it in here on TPW. :-)

  19. paulie Says:

    I’ll try to get some too.

  20. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Brian, “minarchism” is a misleading term, because it can mean almost any level of govt. It’s a relative term. Franco is a minarchist compared to Stalin.

    I’m a minarchist. I’ve always considered myself a minarchist. In the LP’s radical wing, yet a minarchist.

    Whereas you’re a pragmatarian, yet a minarchist.

    As a minarchist, I feel politically closer to LP anarchists than to “Republican Lite” minarchists.

    I think many “Republican Lite” minarchists want way more govt than my brand of minarchy (paleo-minarchy? Constitutional minarchy?).

    So when you, Brian, say minarchy, you include minarchists like me, who much prefer Ruwart to Root. (Though I could be happy with Phillies or Gravel—and Kubby—as well).

  21. David F. Nolan Says:

    “WAR has rock star charisma”

    Hahahahahoohoohoohoobwahaha! ROTFLMAO

    C’mon, be serious.

  22. Balph Eubank Says:

    “Today, other bans, such as the ones against child pornography, are touted as panaceas to “save the children.” Like drug prohibition and the ban on firearms, these bans backfire, harming the very innocents they are intended to help. Anyone who believes in liberty can see the pattern. Bans and prohibitions drive vices underground, where participants have no legal recourse when they experience exploitation.”

    When murder is illegal, only criminals will be hit men. When shoplifting is illegal, only criminals will sneak merchandise under their clothes. We need safe, market-based, assassination and shoplifting services!

    “When an adult engages in sexual conduct with a young child, we don’t need a law specifying an age limit in order to convict those adults of rape. All we need to do is show a jury that the child wasn’t competent to consent.”

    Mary believes in ex post facto law from the jury. Yay!

  23. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Paulie,

    You write:

    “She should stop focusing on reacting to mud thrown by other campaigns, and start making the issues she wants to focus on the center of attention.”

    I don’t think she so much “focused on reacting to mud” as she used the mud to make a strong statement on where she’s coming from and what her approach to issues will be.

    She managed to get the war on drugs, health care, gun control and foreign policy in there, and to articulate the case for becoming popular by choosing to be RIGHT as opposed to naively chasing after popularity for its own sake.

    L. Neil Smith’s shorter-winded and opposite-gendered rendition is “great men don’t move to the center. great men move the center.” The mud involved required her to reply at greater length, but she still managed to take an attack on her and on our party and turned into a stirring declaration of both principle and strategy for her and for our party.

    As far as being “reactive” goes, well, yes, that’s not the way you want to campaign all the time … but sometimes you have to take out the trash. She just bagged Wayne Allyn Root and set him on the curb for pickup. She’s called him a coward who hides behind children instead of protecting them because he’s scared shitless of giving Mrs. Grundy the vapors … and she did it convincingly. If Root gets up off the floor after this, he’s either an undead creature or the original glutton for punishment.

  24. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Steve, if you read her books, you wouldn’t be confused. You would know that the viewpoint is based on three important distinctions:

    1) Lack of consent at any age means exploitation, coercion, and aggression, including rape. That’s wrong.
    2) Consent at any age requires competence to give such consent, specifically the ability, knowledge, and wisdom to make a proper choice and accept the responsibility for the consequences or aftereffects. For certain ages of the parties involved, depending on the issue, consent is impossible.
    3) Consent given is a private contract and government has no role in it except to make sure that the consent doesn’t move into #1.

    Note that specific number ages are not part of these distinctions.

    The purist position is that age should not be a factor, because different people have different competencies at different ages. If the boy Mozart was alive in 2008 USA his parents would be called exploiters for his piano concerts and we would never have heard his amazing music.

    The pragmatic viewpoint is that law imposes age restrictions in a bad “one-size-fits-all” attempt at centralized planning. That may be the reality state of things, but the truth is that one size DOESN’T fit all, and centralized planning doesn’t work, either.

    IOW, the pragmatic view of reality doesn’t reflect the truth of the situation. From what I gather, Ruwart is on the truth side, not the pragmatic side.

    On another thread someone (and I forget who, so apologies to whomever it was) suggested a graduated system of ages. On one hand it is similar to the system we have now in that various ages can and can’t do certian things, but it is slightly different in that there would be different ages for different related acts. This sounds good at first but breaks down under scrutiny as it is simply a micromanagement version of one-size-fits-all. The problem of age laws still exists, but is now more complex.

    OTOH, I suggested making everything at 18, with under 18 a child being the ward and responsibility of their parents in all cases, and at and beyond 18 a full adult with the full legal rights and responsbilities that come with it (vote, drink, drive, serve in the military, marry, etc.). It still has the same age problem, but it does simplify the issue to one age and cleans up who is responsible for what when. It’s the other extreme in its own way, and by no means do I claim it to be perfect.

    The idea of competency tests in a corut isn’t a bad idea. The problem with it is that people will claim it makes Justice subjective (as if it weren’t now?). I disagree with that claim as it applies the same standards to everybody and if they pass, they pass, and if they fail, they fail.

    But the idea of labelling as a sex offender a minor who has sex is just stupid. That label alrady exists for those that commit forced sex acts: rapists.

  25. Justin Grover Says:

    “Name one.”

    Mr. LaBianca:

    Mr. Kubby’s (admittedly disturbing and sad) story. The idea that Libertarian Candidates must be radicals on all issues. The equating child consent (which she STILL sidesteps) with gun bans and medicinal marijuana.

    The underlying premise that she and Mr. Kubby have fought the same battles, suffered the same wounds is fairly offensive and misleading.

    The not so subtle assertion that by not supporting her (or if you have to, Mr. Kubby) that you don’t support libertarianism.

    Since you and others seem to cling to the claim that anyone not supporting the idea that children can consent are “statists” (an ad hominem attack), I’ll give you a statist argument:

    “Can you prove, historically, that children who participated in sex with adults ( and the production of child pornography) prior to the “ban” on said activity were LESS damaged by it than they are now, after the ban?”

    My assertion is that sex with a person below a certain capacity (age or otherwise) is always rape. Always. Ditto for the production of recordings of said activity. The children who have this sort of heinous act thrust on them are victims who have had their rights, probably for the rest of their lives, taken away. I will not stand by someone who refers to them as “unwilling underage performers” as Ms. Ruwart did in a previous statement. Not do I back the idea, as she seems to (given the only example she uses to back her assertion that children can consent is a “17 year old and a 15 year old” or the like), that teens/young teens are incapable of forcing sexual activity on their peers.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Brian,

    I don’t think I need to work on any more stink bombs for Root. He’s so done you can’t put a fork in him—the meat would fall apart around it.

    To be honest, the only thing I have going at the moment on Root is a compilation of quotes from his book Millionaire Republican. The quotes make him look stupid, shallow, vain, greedy, opportunistic and willing to sacrifice anyone and anything to whatever his immediate desire might be, but he’s doing such a bang-up job of making himself look all that and more in real time that I’m not sure a collection of three-year-old quotes would add anything.

  27. Brian Holtz Says:

    Michael, the rules would still exist in Ruwarchistan, too, it’s just that they’d be (sometimes ex post facto) common law written by judges and juries, rather than written by legislatures. You can move the rule-writing around, but you can’t make it disappear, and the complexity of the rules is logically independent of whether a state is involved.

    But good job in hitting the no-bright-lines talking point, and pretending that Ruwart’s critics don’t favor case-by-case evaluation of the circumstances. Atta boy.

  28. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Balph Eubank Said:

    “When murder is illegal, only criminals will be hit men. When shoplifting is illegal, only criminals will sneak merchandise under their clothes. We need safe, market-based, assassination and shoplifting services!”

    Absurd. Murder and theft are clear initiation of force and agression. There is no market for those acts. You equate clearly illegal acts with acts that are illegal but should be legal (imbibing a substance, carrying a weapon).

    “Mary believes in ex post facto law from the jury. Yay!”

    Sure, most libertarians do. It’s called “jury as trier of law AND fact”, as postulated by Federalist Papers co-author and later first Chief Justice John Jay.

    Or as Lidia put it recently during jury panel questioning on a MJ possession case, “As an agronomist I really don’t see what’s illegal about owning a plant.” The judge smiled. The defense lawyer grinned. The prosecutor had to pick his jaw up off the floor. The other jurors saw light bulbs appear over their heads. The defendant was acquitted.

  29. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Sorry, Brian, were you mumbling something? I was busy engaging in coherent conversation….

  30. Justin Grover Says:

    “Absurd. Murder and theft are clear initiation of force and agression. There is no market for those acts.”

    Mr. Seebeck:

    You and I both know that statement is false- there are many gainfully employed hitmen, and many very fiscally successful thieves in the world.

  31. Todd Andrew Barnett Says:

    What an excellent article by Mary

    GREAT piece, Mary! Keep up the great work! She is absolutely right 300 percent And that’s saying a lot from her campaign supporters, including this one right here!!

    GO MARY GO! GO MARY GO! GO MARY GO! GO MARY GO! GO MARY GO!

  32. Eric Dondero Says:

    If the Anarchists succeed in taking over the Libertarian Party, do they still have a right to falsely claim that they’re “Libertarians”? Shouldn’t the name of the Party be changed to the Anarchist Party?

    And what incentive would be left for any Libertarian to stay in such a Party?

    Would the Anarchists then engage in a purge of all the Libertarians, immediately following their takeover? Sort of a night of the long knives, or a Beerhall Putsch?

  33. Joseph Buchman Says:

    I agree with Paul, this is an overreaction to mud thrown.

    While I admire and feel uplifted even by the pure Liberty in her message, I also believe that the State, to the degree it exists, or should exist, exists to protect the inalienable self-evident rights of individuals against those of a democracy or rule of a forceful individual or mob.

    Therefore it seems to me the state exists, in part, to protect minor children against the initation of force.

    Sexual acts, by an adult on a child (child =before the age of consent, adult = after) is force.

    The problem with a federal or state determination of the age of consent law is that human beings age differently.

    Is there one age before which consent is clearly not possible? Certainly less than five. Perhaps less than ten. But 12 or 13? 18?

    What about the intellectually challenged? Comatose? 90 year old in a nursing home?

    Clearly age of consent is not sufficient. Far from it.

    The determination of when a sexual act is force and when it is consensual is an issue for the courts, and Mary, perhaps with the addition of an age of consent as low as 7 years old or the like, one on which all could agree, is . . . absloutely right.

    Whether this makes her the best possible candidate to advance the cause of liberty this year has yet to be seen, and I for one am excited to see her at her best in Denver.

    Joe

  34. Eric Dondero Says:

    Think about this for a second. If the Libertarian Party becomes the Anarchist Party, than isn’t it fraud to continue using the name “Libertarian”? Isn’t opposition to fraud something that Libertarians are supposed to be against?

    I don’t know the Anarchist position on fraud. Perhaps it’s perfectly acceptable for Anarchists to use fraudulant names. After all, look how many people here and at Reason.com post under fake names, instead of their own.

  35. Brian Holtz Says:

    Thomas Sipos wrote that minarchism “can mean almost any level of govt.” Thomas, you may be confusing “minarchist” with “lessarchist”.

    The notion that non-anarchist libertarians are in principle indistinguishable from socialists or fascists is profoundly un-intellectual, and the stink of this idea is all over Ruwart’s essay. Maybe this is why Libertarians have proven so bad at shrinking government; they exhibit no understanding of the different arguments for the various possible amounts of government one might advocate. I have on the back burner an essay describing a taxonomy of about 20 different categories of escalating levels of state intervention between anarchism and outright communism, with the first 10 or so being arguably minarchist. Each level can have its own justification(s), and it’s just not serious to say with Ruwart that they’re all refuted by the one-size-fits-all bumper-sticker argument for force-initiation abstention.

    Wikipedia has good articles on the various schools of libertarianism. I give summaries at
    http://libertarianmajority.net/major-schools-of-libertarianism. For now, I’ll just repeat Brian Doherty’s definition: “”it has been mostly definitive of libertarians to believe that government — federal, state, or local — should be restricted in its functions, generally to the protection of citizens’ lives against force or fraud and the provision of a small set of so-called public goods that could not be provided by free markets.”

    Michael, you can either answer my point, or not. Either way is fine with me.

  36. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Oh my, with Brian Holtz I just do NOT know where to start!

    The first and foremost problem with Holtz, is that he is blinded by this idea that someone whom he perceives as an anarchist must RUN ON A PURELY ANARCHIST PLATFORM; this so misses the point! In his mind, unless Mary Ruwart runs on a platform to totally dismantle government at EVERY level on the first day in office, she is trying to deceive us. He simply cannot see that libertarian principles are the anchor for the ship, and the currents and winds must be harnessed to the best advantage.

    What is SO difficult to understand about holding to pure libertarianism, while promoting a program of getting the ship back into the right port? Bite off only what you can swallow. Rome wasn’t built in a day. One day at a time. How much clearer does it need to be? Principle—->guides strategy!

    Alas, this blind spot is the inherent problem with the Reform Caucus. The inherent confusion, brought about by the impatience to achieve electoral success blinds them with the idea that the program, the strategy IS the goal! You’re a radical . . . then you MUST campaign on a totally radical program! You’re a reformer . . . then the program must be reform. See, the reformers see the program and the bedrock as one and the same.

    True fundamental movements NEVER forget their bedrock, their guiding principle. Alas, the reformers say that the LP MUST become a REAL political party. Supposedly this means that the principles are no longer relevant, or that the principles must be modified to satisfy the “masses”.
    If the principles are hard to promote, change the principles! This is the essence of the Reform Caucus. Principled Libertarians, when they see that the principle is difficult to promote, they figure out a better way to promote it!

    Until teleporting is a known scientific reality and is economically feasible, we are relegated to accepting that it takes time and effort to get to where we are going. How does this negate the principle, the relevance of the port to anchor in?

    Secondly, Holtz is blinded by the notion that success for a political party is only to be measured by how many votes are received. Mary lists several successes in this article which have nothing to do with electoral success.

    Next, Holtz goes on to say “libertarians oppose the state’s laws against certain substances and tools (viz., drugs and guns), so you’re not a good libertarian —“do you believe in liberty?”—if you don’t also oppose the state’s laws against aggression (e.g. production of child pornography).”

    Again, Holtz accepts as given, that a law enforced by the state is going to solve the problem. This is so unbelievably naive of Holtz that he would consider that a law which is intended to stop aggression is actually going to achieve what it was originally intended to do. Even with something as universally accepted as protecting innocent young people from aggression, it is a leap of faith that the state can actually achieve the desired result.

    Certainly, libertarians understand this. How is it that Brian Holtz, a self avowed libertarian doesn’t? To the extent that Holtz speaks for Reformers, why don’t THEY understand this? I submit, that it is that blind spot again! The principle is the strategy, and whatever the strategy is, then it is correct. Since many voters still do not understand the lack of efficacy of laws of the state, the strategy (and thus the principle) is to support what the voters will vote for!

    Yes, Mary has written a very excellent and insightful essay here. It IS true . . . the lines ARE drawn . . . the party IS at a crossroads . . . the delegate MUST decide if expediency will carry the day, or if the LP is in fact, STILL the Party of Principle.

  37. Justin Grover Says:

    “the delegate MUST decide if expediency will carry the day, or if the LP is in fact, STILL the Party of Principle.”

    Maybe the question is better. . . “The delegate must decide what set of Principles we are advocating as the Party of Principle”

    Or maybe we should go back to TANSTAAFL, and stop sticking our noses into other persons’ principles, so long as they work with us.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Justin,

    In reply to Steve LaBianca’s “name one (misdirection),” you write:

    Mr. Kubby’s (admittedly disturbing and sad) story.

    How is it “misdirection” to set forth a real-life example of how state “protection” of children is often more damaging than protecting; that it can be and often is misused for political or personal vendettas, etc.?

    “The idea that Libertarian Candidates must be radicals on all issues.”

    Ruwart did not specifically argue any such thing. What she argued is that Libertarian candidates should tell the truth, even if that truth may seem radical to some. While you might disagree with her on what the truth is, the proposition as stated would encompass non-radical candidacies if those candidacies are truthful.

    “The equating child consent (which she STILL sidesteps) with gun bans and medicinal marijuana.”

    How is this “sidestepping” child consent?

    Bans based on arbitrary age limits aren’t needed to protect those too young to make informed decisions about sexual conduct. Pre-pubescent children, for example, don’t have the physical or emotional maturity to even understand what sex is all about. When an adult engages in sexual conduct with a young child, we don’t need a law specifying an age limit in order to convict those adults of rape. All we need to do is show a jury that the child wasn’t competent to consent.

    “The underlying premise that she and Mr. Kubby have fought the same battles, suffered the same wounds is fairly offensive and misleading.”

    There’s no such underlying premise, and as a matter of fact she specifically disclaims such, stating that if the worst she has to endure is slimy attacks from Wayne Allyn Root, she considers herself quite luck relative to what Kubby has gone through.

    “The not so subtle assertion that by not supporting her (or if you have to, Mr. Kubby) that you don’t support libertarianism.”

    Bullshit. The assertion was not that you don’t support libertarianism if you don’t support Ruwart (or Kubby). The assertion was that the job of a Libertarian candidate is to support libertarianism even when it’s hard or unpopular, not just when it’s easy and popular.

    “Since you and others seem to cling to the claim that anyone not supporting the idea that children can consent are ‘statists’”

    Ruwart pretty directly stated in the article —as quoted above in this very comment—that children can’t consent.

    Of course, part of the problem is the indiscriminate use of the words “child” and “children.” In my view, competence or incompetence to meaningfully consent to certain acts (including sexual acts) is part of the definition of childhood versus adulthood.

    To me, someone who is intellectually and emotionally capable of evaluating and accepting the consequences of having sex is by definition not a “child” for that purpose whether that person is 4 or 40. While I freely acknowledge that a 40-year-old is a thousand times as likely as a four-year-old to be possessed of such capacity, picking either of those numbers or any in between to arbitrarily legally set as a point at which such capacity is presumed is sheer stupidity. That’s what judges and juries are for, and they make such determinations all the time when entertaining juvenile motions for emancipation, prosecutorial motions to try juveniles “as adults,” etc.

    Ditto for other actions. For example, saying that someone must, by law, be 18 in order to sign a contract to buy a home. Do you think people selling homes are all idiots? If the person isn’t competent, the seller will get his head handed to him if he goes to court to try to collect payment … so the seller won’t even think about trying to get that four-year-old next door to buy the split-level ranch down the street. It’s a non-friggin’-problem without any “age of contract” law.

  39. Bill Wood Says:

    I wonder who wrote this for Mary?

  40. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Brian, if there was a point there it was lost in the mumblings. (So what else is new?)

    And I don’t repeat talking points: I MAKE THEM. Bwuuuhhahahahha! ;)

    Justin, RE: the market for hitmen and thieves: Leave the ATF, FBI, and IRS out of this.

  41. Justin Grover Says:

    Why is it that many modern day LP-Anarchists and Global Warming Nuts both remind me of the Catholic Church circa 1095?

    Oh, because they are all on a Crusade to root out heretics.

  42. Michael Seebeck Says:

    “Michael, the rules would still exist in Ruwarchistan, too, it’s just that they’d be (sometimes ex post facto) common law written by judges and juries, rather than written by legislatures. You can move the rule-writing around, but you can’t make it disappear, and the complexity of the rules is logically independent of whether a state is involved.”

    Oh, is THIS what you call a point?

    Nope, that’s assuming facts not in evidence.

    The “Ruwarchistan” junk aside, there’s nothing wrong with the common (sense) law. And I never said or implied that it would disappear, nor did I make any reference to whether the state’s involvement had anything to do with complexities.

    What I did imply was that the current reality didn’t make any practical sense.

  43. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Justin Grover Says:
    May 8th, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    “the delegate MUST decide if expediency will carry the day, or if the LP is in fact, STILL the Party of Principle.”

    Maybe the question is better. . . “The delegate must decide what set of Principles we are advocating as the Party of Principle”

    How about “Libertarian Principles”: . . you know the basic principle of the non-initiation of force?

  44. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Thomas Knapp, well said! (5-8 @6:41PM)

  45. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Grover writes, “Well, atleast she finally admitted that some children can’t consent.”

    What do you mean “finally”? She has never stated, to my awareness, that very young children are capable of consent, and made it clear weeks ago on the Steve Kubby Show that they are not.

    Mr. Holtz writes, “However, I do mind when an anarchist candidate for our nomination suggests that to support minarchism over anarchism is to “sell out” or to “denounce liberty” or to “stop being the Party of Principle and become the Party of Expediency” or to “fall for statist propaganda”.”

    I have to agree more or less with you here, Mr. Holtz. Her apparent implication that disagreement with her on this one specific issue is unprincipled is just as annoying to me as Mr. Root’s implication that market anarchists are not libertarians, but simply “fellow travelers” to libertarians.

    However, given that Dr. Ruwart calls Ron Paul, a minarchist, principled in this same peice, I have to think she inadvertantly made the implication that minarchism is not necessarily principled, rather than intentionally making such an implication.

    “If Ruwart believes that there is such a thing as principled minarchism, I see no evidence of it in her essay.”

    See her comments about Ron Paul.

    Paulie writes,

    “Great article by Dr. Ruwart. Very well said.

    “Bad move by her campaign.

    “She should stop focusing on reacting to mud thrown by other campaigns, and start making the issues she wants to focus on the center of attention.”

    I agree.

    Mr. Perkins asks, “All the spin over the kiddie porn issue has me confused. Does Ruwart oppose age-of-consent laws only as they apply to minors having sex with other minors (as the above article subtly suggests)... or does she oppose their abolition even for sex with adults, in favor of courts applying ad-hoc tests to see whether a 12-year old can consent to sex with a 45-year old?”

    It’s my distinct impression that she simply opposes arresting people who are close in age to one another. I think she would be deeply troubled with the 12-year-old girl sleeping with some creepy 45-year-old priest. I think she would be much less concerned with a 15-year-old boy having sex with his hot 22-year-old teacher. And I think she would be completely, totally, and wholly against laws preventing consensual sex between a sixteen-year-old girl and an eighteen-year-old boy. (There have been cases where eighteen-year-old males have been arrested for consensual sex with sixteen-year-old girls, and been labeled a “sex offender,” despite the same two persons eventually marrying. I don’t see how any self-described libertarian could condone the manner in which the state has treated those in that situation.)

    Richard asks, “Is she threatening to leave the party if she doesn’t get her way?”

    No.

    Cheers,
    Alex Peak

  46. ShadowOutlaw Says:

    Wow, so Mary can get angry.

    I think the biggest confusion is over Mary’s definition of child. Instead of defining “child” as someone who cannot consent, she defines it as someone under 18 (as traditionally defined). Thus it leads to confusion when she says children can consent to sex, and that they would be better protected if the industry wasn’t underground.

    She would do better to say that adulthood should be determined on a case-by-case basis in these situations, and that sex with children (those who cannot consent) will always be illegal. Thus “adults” under 18 would be better protected if a black market for pornography featuring them did not exist. Also, she does not consider the possession of a recording of crime to be a crime itself, thus her stance on child pornography.

  47. Justin Grover Says:

    “Bullshit. The assertion was not that you don’t support libertarianism if you don’t support Ruwart (or Kubby).”

    You mean by titling an article rebutting comments about her stance on issues “So you believe in Liberty?” or “A house divided” she somehow isn’t claiming to be the apex of all things Libertarian (as Steve LaBianca, et al. assert in her defense)?

    “There’s no such underlying premise, and as a matter of fact she specifically disclaims such, stating that if the worst she has to endure is slimy attacks from Wayne Allyn Root, she considers herself quite luck relative to what Kubby has gone through.”

    But she says:
    “For decades, Libertarians like Steve Kubby and I have told the truth about liberty. We’ve held our party’s beliefs high instead of hiding like cowards behind America’s children,”

    Which undercuts precisely what you just said- it is specifically written to allow you to draw those conclusions, as anyone who has studied political writing can tell you.

    If I said, of my military service, “Audy Murphy was the most decorated Army soldier ever, someone who fought and was wounded for our country, but whose courage stood the test of battle time and again. Both Audy Murphy and I served this great nation with courage and have never wavered in our stance that America was a great nation.” Would you not see the connection I was making, how I was siphoning glory and credentials from someone else who had actually accomplished something?

    As to sidestepping the consent issue, she couches her point in long, wordy sentences filled with many examples, all meant to obfuscate the idea that she feels child consent is ONLY approachable on a child by child basis, through the courts- which is as she outlined in her book, and I commend her integrity in sticking with it, but decry her claims to ‘speak the truth’ when she is now backing away from that with every lengthy press release, every “teens should not get punished for having sex together” example.

  48. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. Bill Wood Says:
      May 8th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I wonder who wrote this for Mary?

    I guarantee you, Mary Ruwart wrote this! Did she have some input from others. No doubt. It is however, vintage Mary Ruwart!

  49. Scott Lieberman Says:

    Mary Ruwart is an anarchist.

    My source: the good doctor herself…

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/ruwart1.html

    “How I Became a Libertarian by Mary Ruwart

    December 14, 2002

    “I was easily won over to anarchy.”

    ****************************************************

    There is nothing wrong with being an anarchist and running for the Libertarian Presidential nomination, as long you admit that you are an anarchist.

  50. John Lowell Says:

    Yes, Mary, I believe in liberty. I believe in liberty for those little ones whose deaths you’d just as soon rationalize with your murdering intellectualizations. You’re not only a phoney, Mary, you’re worse than that, you’re the same kind of slime that has been selling those very rationizations in the Democratic Party for upward of 40 years now. Do us a favor, crawl back under the rock from which you emerged would you please.

  51. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Brian Holtz: “The notion that non-anarchist libertarians are in principle indistinguishable from socialists or fascists is profoundly un-intellectual,”

    I declared myself a minarchist, several times, in my post. Thus I don’t see how you could have logically twisted my words into the above meaning.

    Holtz: “I have on the back burner an essay describing a taxonomy of about 20 different categories of escalating levels of state intervention between anarchism and outright communism,”

    Really? I wonder where you’d place you vs. me on your spectrum.

    You look like a Republican Lite minarchist to me, wanting far more statism than I do. I feel politically closer to anarchists than to Republican Lites, though I’m not an anarchist myself.

  52. Justin Grover Says:

    “Justin, RE: the market for hitmen and thieves: Leave the ATF, FBI, and IRS out of this.”

    Mr. Seebeck, thank you for conceding the point. The market for murder, theft and aggression exists- yet we, as a party stand against it. Why can’t you see that some of us want to see Ms. Ruwart come out and say, plainly, with less hedging, that some persons are unable (through age, disease, etc.) to consent? That people who take advantage on the young, through position, power or outright force are in fact committing aggression?

  53. Steve LaBianca Says:

    The talk about Mary being the Final arbiter on all things libertarian, like Richard saying “Interesting that Mary has wielded the dictatorial sword, crushing anyone who is in dissent from her and questions her position.”, for example.

    The title of the essay is “Do You Believe in Liberty?” she presents her case as to what she believes, now the delegates have to decide the direction of the LP.

    Ms. Ruwart had no such intention, nor implied that SHE decrees what direction the party should go in. That is for the delegates. Mary Ruwart has stated her view, now the delegates will state theirs.

  54. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    BTW, I think minarchy can benefit by promoting anarchists. Anarchists are pushing society in the right direction—away from statism.

    We still have a long, long way to go in that direction before I get off the train.

    So I’m less worried about anarchists (not at all, really) than I am worried about Republican Lite reformers who are actually applying brakes to the train, or even turning it back toward a statist direction (as some liberventionists want to do, in the quest for Empire).

  55. Justin Grover Says:

    “What do you mean “finally”? She has never stated, to my awareness, that very young children are capable of consent, and made it clear weeks ago on the Steve Kubby Show that they are not.”

    Mr. Peak:

    I mean finally in that everything she has written (and even on the Kubby show) she has implied, by hemming and hawing about who has the “Burden of Proof” that SOME very young children are capable of consent- if you need a jury to decide something, then the fact is in doubt.

  56. disinter Says:

    “The majority never has right on its side. Never, I
    say! That is one of these social lies against which an
    independent, intelligent man must wage war. Who is it that
    constitute the majority of the population in a country? Is it the
    clever folk, or the stupid? I don’t imagine you will dispute the
    fact that at present the stupid people are in an absolutely
    overwhelming majority all the world over. But, good Lord!—you
    can never pretend that it is right that the stupid folk should
    govern the clever ones I (Uproar and cries.) Oh, yes—you can
    shout me down, I know! But you cannot answer me. The majority has
    might on its side—unfortunately; but right it has not. I am in
    the right—I and a few other scattered individuals. The minority
    is always in the right. (Renewed uproar.)”

    The character Dr. Stockman, An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen

  57. Brian Holtz Says:

    Congratulations, Steve LaBianca, I think you just set a record. Your comment contained seven separate paragraphs purporting to disagree with me, and each one of them in fact only disagreed with a strawman. I don’t hold a single one of the positions you claimed I hold.

    Since only one of those paragraphs even purported to refer to my actual words, I’ll only reply to that one. You quoted me and then claim I believe that “a law enforced by the state is going to solve the problem”. No, I in fact believe that a law enforced by the state is the least bad way of addressing the problem.

    OK, try again. And this time, for every sentence you write, ask yourself if you are exhibiting Holtz’s Law.

  58. Justin Grover Says:

    “How about “Libertarian Principles”: . . you know the basic principle of the non-initiation of force?”

    Mr. LaBianca:

    I’m all for that here, as far as I can tell, but I’m tired of this “purist” (read as anarchist) idea that anything short of ONE CANDIDATE’S anarchist principles are ‘statist’ and bad and evil.

  59. wally parolee Says:

    Absurd. Murder and theft are clear initiation of force and agression. There is no market for those acts.

    Au contraire. I had a celly who was in the market for murder. There’s even a term for it you may be familiar with: hitman.

    There’s also a market for theft. A common term for such a market is “fence.”

    Also, if there is a crackhead who approaches you on the street corner selling diamonds, gold watches, fur coats, or something of that nature, and you buy some of that shit from him, you may also be part of the market for theft.

  60. Justin Grover Says:

    “Ms. Ruwart had no such intention, nor implied that SHE decrees what direction the party should go in. That is for the delegates. Mary Ruwart has stated her view, now the delegates will state theirs.”

    Mr. LaBianca:

    You only feel this way because you and she seem to hold the same view on all things. Those of us that disagree with her (on even ONE issue) seem to be seeing this as her declaration of what IS or IS NOT libertarian. In fact, many times you and others have referred to her as “plumbline libertarian’ or some equal statement, which at least one of us (me) thinks is both inaccurate and unfair to both the debate and the people participating.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Steve,

    You write:

    “What is SO difficult to understand about holding to pure libertarianism”

    A lot of things. Are we talking about pure Rothbardian libertarianism, or pure geolibertarianism, or pure Nozickian ultra-minimal state libertarianism, or pure Hayekian libertarianism, or pure Objectivist libertarianism (real Objectivism, not rote Randroidism), or what? Hell, there are probably fifty varieties of anarchist libertarianism alone!

    Nobody has a monopoly on the definition of libertarianism (all of us can agree that some things are libertarian and some aren’t, but we’re probably never going to all agree on which things are which) ... and “purity” is nothing but an assessment of how loyal one is to libertarianism per one’s preferred definition.

    The failure of Holtz’s argument isn’t that he rejects “purity” (I guarantee you that he is a 100% pure Holtzian libertarian), it’s that he’s fighting desperately to portray selection of a presidential candidate who is a particular kind of libertarian “purist” as somehow inherently prohibitive of every other kind of libertarian from meaningful participation in the party.

    While it’s true that control of various party apparatuses—the presidential campaign, the national committee, the national office, the party newspaper, etc.—might vest some types of libertarians (especially if they are organized as blocs) temporarily with more power in the party, that’s just a cost of doing business (to paraphrase Lee McGarrity in “the West Wing,” “when we got elected, that meant those other guys get to sit down for four years”).

    Holtz is attempting a very smooth pivot here. Under the guise of preaching a benevolent libertarian ecumenicalism that puts no one “at the kids’ table,” he is attempting to preclude the possibility that one particular type of libertarian (the Rothbardian anarchist) might ever put its ass on any seat at any table in the party. Nice trick if he can pull it off—one fight and it’s all over instead of a perpetual struggle between factions—but it’s a utopian fantasy. There will always be factions, and the one he’s trying to write out of the party will likely always be one of them.

  62. Thane Eichenauer Says:

    I’ll just mention that the correct LEAP organization URL Mary Ruwart mentions is
    http://www.leap.cc/ (not .ORG)

  63. perverted priest Says:

    This headline should read; “Do you believe in child porn.”

  64. Gordon is a Dick Says:

    I have on the back burner an essay describing a taxonomy of about 20 different categories of escalating levels of state intervention between anarchism and outright communism.

    Holtz also has a 10 inch dick but you can’t see that either.

  65. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Of course you don’t Mr. Holtz. Let’s see, this time I set a record. the last time I exceeded the, I believe it was the “irony” threshold, or something.

    Anything else before I call you on it? I’m a liar, a cheat, terribly dirty, outrageously mistaken, rude, I have only ad hominem arguments . . .

    If what I have said doesn’t characterize the Reform Caucus (and you are a spokesman for the Reform Caucus, yes?) then what in fact does the Reform Caucus stand for? What does the Reform Caucus want to reform? The “Zero aggression principle”? That responsibility rests with each individual? That a coercive state has no role, and ANY state legitimately only acts when asked by a victim or a duly delegated authority to do so? Is the mission of the Reform Caucus to reform the principles? If not, then why completely trash the platform and rewrite it with so many holes even swiss cheese would be envious?

    Please name the areas where you believe that I have mischaracterized your position, and we can take them on point by point.

  66. disinter Says:

    There’s also a market for theft. A common term for such a market is “fence.”

    Another is “IRS”.

  67. Michael Seebeck Says:

    “Why can’t you see that some of us want to see Ms. Ruwart come out and say, plainly, with less hedging, that some persons are unable (through age, disease, etc.) to consent? That people who take advantage on the young, through position, power or outright force are in fact committing aggression?”

    To quote Sammy Hagar: “What is understood, doesn’t need to be discussed.”

    The things that you want Mary to come out and say are already understood to everyone not looking to pick nits. Therefore they aren’t discussed.

  68. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    May 8th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Steve,

    You write:

    “What is SO difficult to understand about holding to pure libertarianism”

    A lot of things. Are we talking about pure Rothbardian libertarianism, or pure geolibertarianism, or pure Nozickian ultra-minimal state libertarianism, or pure Hayekian libertarianism, or pure Objectivist libertarianism (real Objectivism, not rote Randroidism), or what? Hell, there are probably fifty varieties of anarchist libertarianism alone!

    Thomas, Hayek was no laissez faire advocate. Geolibertarians support the bizarre (in my view) concept that land is fundamentally different than all other property, and Nozick (in his earlier years) was an ultra minarchist, but even Nozick, I believe held to the non-aggression principle. Rand certainly did, as did Rothbard. Heck, even Leonard Read wrote a book, “Anything that’s Peaceful” which supports the non-aggression principle.

    The common thread that runs through libertarianism is the non-aggression
    principle. Holtz wants to redefine it as “opposing and minimizing aggression”. How minimal is minimal? When, how and who decides when aggression is justified, since minimal isn’t NONE? This in my view is not a “principle” as it has no standard to adhere to . . . only whim or one or several people’s judgment.

    Combine this with the LP “oath” and I think this makes it pretty clear as to what the “pure” principle” is. If someone wants to argue that in practice that zero aggression is impossible, well, I’m listening. But so far, I have not heard a practical argument yet.

    Now Thomas, your statement:

    “The failure of Holtz’s argument isn’t that he rejects “purity” (I guarantee you that he is a 100% pure Holtzian libertarian), it’s that he’s fighting desperately to portray selection of a presidential candidate who is a particular kind of libertarian “purist” as somehow inherently prohibitive of every other kind of libertarian from meaningful participation in the party.”,

    IS in fact a practical argument against such proponents (such as Holtz) of the “impracticality” of principle and purity.

    I also think Holtz is so crass as to nearly suggest that he is in a Rand, Rothbard, Read, and Nozick’s league with his arguments. I believe that he think he has developed NEW libertarian thought. He may be very smart, but I don’t believe that he’s that smart.

  69. Justin Grover Says:

    “The things that you want Mary to come out and say are already understood to everyone not looking to pick nits. Therefore they aren’t discussed.”

    Mr. Seebeck:

    Or she doesn’t believe it. The debate as about what she believes. I will not take a presidential candidate on faith of what is between the lines, especially when it seems they are working very hard NOT to say what needs to be said. That goes, in my mind, for all candidates- not just the wiggly one in question.

  70. Kris Overstreet Says:

    Good Lord, Ruwart’s learned nothing from this experience, has she?

    And this:

    Bans based on arbitrary age limits aren’t needed to protect those too young to make informed decisions about sexual conduct.

    . . .

    For the record, I have never “promoted” the removal of the age-of-consent laws.

    BULLSHIT. It takes a lot of chutzpah to make the argument for repealing age-of-consent laws, and then claim to never have argued for the removal of age-of-consent laws, IN THE SAME ARTICLE.

    And this is the LP frontrunner?

    Those of you who aren’t anarchists… flee. Flee NOW. Salvage whatever is left of political respectability now while you still can. I learned too late, but there’s still hope for others…

  71. Gordon is a Dick Says:

    perverted priest, go suck on Gordon’s dick or crawl up Holtz’s ass.

    Gordon, your shit bag candidate going to run or wait until Root starts on Barr’s fucking girlfriend.

    Here ya go! Hi, I’m Barrarchy and I cheat on wife number 3.

  72. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Grover,

    You don’t appear to have read the same thing I’ve read. Most of the implications you accuse Dr. Ruwart of making are, no offense, imaginary.

    Mr. Dondero asks, “If the Anarchists succeed in taking over the Libertarian Party, do they still have a right to falsely claim that they’re ‘Libertarians’?”

    A) The anarchists do not want to kick the minarchists out, Mr. Dondero. There is no goal to “take over the party.”

    B) All market anarchists are libertarians (small L), and all market anarchists registered Libertarian are Libertarians (big L). Likewise, all market minarchists are libertarians (small L), and all market minarchists registered Libertarian are Libertarians (big L).

    C) There are no Anarchists (big A) that I know of.

    Mr. Dondero asks, “Shouldn’t the name of the Party be changed to the Anarchist Party?”

    Considering that I don’t know of any anarchist Libertarians who want the party to exclude minarchists, and considering a name-change would alienate the minarchist Libertarians with whom the anarchist Libertarians wish to work, it would not be a wise choice to change the name of the party.

    Mr. Dondero asks, “And what incentive would be left for any Libertarian to stay in such a Party?”

    There would be no such thing as a “Libertarian,” at least not in America, if that were to happen. You mean to ask, what incentive would be left for any minarchists to remain in such a party. The answer is none, which is precisely why anarchist Libertarians prefer for the party to be called the Libertarian Party. Anarchist (small A) Libertarians want to keep the party a big-tent, from all appearances.

    Mr. Dondero asks, “Would the Anarchists then engage in a purge of all the Libertarians, immediately following their takeover?”

    Again, there would be no Libertarians if the party changed its name. If you’re asking whether the Anarchists would purge all libertarians (small L) from the anarchist party, the answer would be “certainly not,” for such a purge would mean that they’d be kicking themselves out of the party as well.

    Mr. Dondero asks, “If the Libertarian Party becomes the Anarchist Party, than isn’t it fraud to continue using the name “Libertarian”?”

    Well, yes, but only because no Libertarians (big L) would exist anymore, at least not in America. Libertarians (small L), however, would certainly continue to exist, and there would be absolutely nothing fraudulent about market anarchists and market minarchists working within your proposed Anarchist Party from calling themselves libertarians (small L), just as there is nothing fraudulent about market anarchists and market minarchists calling themselves libertarians (small L) now.

    Mr. Dondero also asks, “Isn’t opposition to fraud something that Libertarians are supposed to be against?”

    A) No, opposition to fraud is something that libertarians are usually for. It’s support for fraud that libertarians are usually against. (The only libertarian I know of who had ever claimed that fraud should not be illegal was Harry Browne, and it’s the biggest issue of his with which I disagree.)

    B) As demonstated above, it is not fraudulent for anarchists to call themselves libertarians so long as said anarchists believe in property rights, nor is it fraudulent for anarchists to call themselves Libertarians if they are registered Libertarian. (To use a certain classical liberal as our example, Mike Gravel is a Libertarian but not a libertarian.)

    Mr. Dondero states, “I don’t know the Anarchist position on fraud.”

    There is no Anarchist Party to my knowledge, so there is no Anarchist (big A) position.

    As for anarchists (small A), or more specifically market anarchists, they almost universally oppose fraud. In fact I know of no market anarchist who supports it, and in fact the only person I know to have ever believed fraud should be legal was a market minarchist who ran for president in 1996 and 2000.

    Mr. Holtz writes, “The notion that non-anarchist libertarians are in principle indistinguishable from socialists or fascists is profoundly un-intellectual, and the stink of this idea is all over Ruwart’s essay.”

    No, I don’t detect that at all.

    Mr. Holtz writes, “Wikipedia has good articles on the various schools of libertarianism. I give summaries at
    http://libertarianmajority.net/major-schools-of-libertarianism.”

    I have issues with your definition of left-libertarianism. My main issue with it is that I believe it’s a bit too simplified. Moreover, I consider the term redundant. Libertarianism is and has always been an inherently leftist movement. Even the Old Right, properly understood, were on the radical left.

    Mr. LaBianca writes, “What is SO difficult to understand about holding to pure libertarianism, while promoting a program of getting the ship back into the right port?”

    I have to agree with Mr. LaBianca. It’s perfectly acceptable to believe that no state is ever just, that they are by their very nature violent and undesirable, and yet to recognise pragmatically A) that anarchism is unlikely to be achieved in his/her lifetime and B) that incrimentalism—or Fabian libertarianism—is a valid approach.

    Quite honestly, if I ever run for any office, anarchism is the last thing I’m going to be bringing up in my interviews or press releases. I don’t think anarchism will be achieved in my life-time, so the entire question is moot. All I care about is shrinking the government, so practically my approach would be exactly the same as the standard minarchist approach.

    I would still consider myself principled, however, because like Ron Paul, I would never vote for a tax increase, or a new regulation.

    When I do discuss anarchism, it’s only because I find it intellectually stimulating to debate, not because I think it has a shot in my lifetime. And I suspect most anarchists feel generally the same way as I do. If we succeed in limiting our currently-limitless government, that would be an amazing accomplishment, and should make every libertarian happy, regardless of which faction it is from which he or she comes.

    Mr. Grover writes,

    “Why is it that many modern day LP-Anarchists and Global Warming Nuts both remind me of the Catholic Church circa 1095?

    “Oh, because they are all on a Crusade to root out heretics.”

    The anarchist Libertarians are not trying to root minarchists out. They are simply defending themselves (in most cases, but admittedly not all) against attacks made by minarchists. To this end, the anarchists explain their viewpoints to the minarchists and try to explain why it is that they disagree. I believe you are incorrectly perceiving this attempt at explanation as a crusade to purge. I, for one, believe that both the minarchists and the anarchists are very important to our movement, and that it’s vitally important that we all work together to achieve our shared goals.

    Respectfully yours,
    Alex Peak

  73. Gordon is a Dick Says:

    Hey, it’s Kris Overstreet. He knows all about kiddie porn. He draws it.
    Libertarian Reform Caucus member draws kiddie porn.

    Gordon, who is Barr fucking this week? Maybe he can teach Yank something you drunken shit sack.

  74. Gordon is a Dick Says:

    A bit simple? Peak grow a pair and say it. Holtz is a moron.

    Gordon, whose abortion is Barr paying for this week? At least he gets ass.

  75. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Justin wrote:

    “Or she doesn’t believe it. The debate as about what she believes. I will not take a presidential candidate on faith of what is between the lines, especially when it seems they are working very hard NOT to say what needs to be said. That goes, in my mind, for all candidates- not just the wiggly one in question.”

    You haven’t been paying attention much, have you?

    Ability to consent by its very nature includes the fact that come people lack the mental or physical capabilities to do so, whether it be by a physical issue such as a disability, or by mental incompetence. To try to paint someone as not a good candidadte because she doesn’t dot every i and cross every t in this manner is ludicrous and utterly pathetic!

    This is why it’s not mentioned, because to every thinking, rational person, it is OBVIOUS!

    By your standard Ruwart and every other candidate would have to explain life the universe and everything in explicit detail, including playing the “what-if” game ad infinitum. Sorry, but no rational person does that in anything, and we settle for the best fit instead.

    But if you want to go there and look stupid, go ahead. In fact, here’s your first question: In order to show that you understand basic mathematics in order to balance the federal budget, what would we get if we took the expense total, converted it to binary, inverted the bits, divided by the square root of my weight, converted it to base 8, then subtracted that from the original expense totals in base 10—would that balance the budget?

    You see how absurd that is? But that’s the standard you’re trying to set, and it’s impossible to reach.

    In other words, you’re reading in stuff that isn’t there, and that’s where your reasoning falls apart.

    Now, show me a candidate that says the opposite, that every person is able to consent to all activities. That doesn’t exist, either explicitly or implicitly, which also proves how bad your position is.

  76. Justin Grover Says:

    Mr. Peak:

    Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The title, tone and conclusion of the piece are all indicative of someone who is grasping for the “moral high ground.” It is written in the grandest style of political credit stealing- Associate your side with a winning or tragic struggle, empathize, claim to be the same, then accuse the other side of attacking the other person if they attack you as well.

    Since becoming active in the party again around October, I have seen nothing but preparation for a putsch on the part of certain anarchists, on the local and national level. Sadly, it is pushing myself, and I believe other people like me, toward the reformers, of all people.

    I may suggest, Sir, that your apparent myopia is engendered by the fact that you generally agree philosophically with the aforementioned anarchists, and so misperceive the efforts and effects that the pre-purge is having on people.

    We claim to be the party of principle, so when one group consistently argues not on the issue itself, but that their side IS THE PRINCIPLED side, than the other side of the discussion has very few choices left- continue the one sided debate anyway, return the assertion of principle belonging only to one side, or walking away.

    Neither of the first two are very beneficial, so the third becomes more and more acceptable.

    This is where both Mary Ruwart and the anarchists strike a poor chord with me.

  77. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Kris Overstreet Says:

    “Bans based on arbitrary age limits aren’t needed to protect those too young to make informed decisions about sexual conduct.

    . . .

    For the record, I have never “promoted” the removal of the age-of-consent laws.

    BULLSHIT. It takes a lot of chutzpah to make the argument for repealing age-of-consent laws, and then claim to never have argued for the removal of age-of-consent laws, IN THE SAME ARTICLE.”

    Funny, I don’t see any mention of repealing them or advocating any legislation whatsoever. All she says is that they aren’t needed. That’s a difference you apparently missed.

    “And this is the LP frontrunner?”

    Could be. Maybe not. Denver will decide.

    “Those of you who aren’t anarchists… flee. Flee NOW. Salvage whatever is left of political respectability now while you still can. I learned too late, but there’s still hope for others…”

    A little dramatic here, perhaps?

  78. Gordon is a Dick Says:

    Kris Overstreet draws pictures of young girls naked.

    http://www.themagnificentmilkmaid.com/home.html

  79. Michael Seebeck Says:

    This is kind of hilarious, actually.

    On one hand we have Justin on a the Smith thread claiming he’s seeing an anarchist coup in the making, backed up by Dondero’s speculatiion here. On here we have Kris Overstreet calling on the anarchists to flee.

    So, to put it all together, anarchist must prepare to flee their own planned coup! LOL!

  80. Justin Grover Says:

    Mr. Seebeck:

    I’m sorry that I mistook you as someone with whom I could hold a rational discussion, in that you can refrain from ad hominem attacks and understand the issues at hand.

    The “child sex/porn” issue revolves around ONE STATEMENT that Ms. Ruwart made (which was prefaced by her saying that not all libertarians believe this, which was prefaced with a statement to the effect that you can take her “Answers” one paragraph at a time to understand Libertarianism):

    “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make for choice is just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life.”

    Since this controversy started, she has not directly refuted the BLANKET statement “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts . . .”

    She has talked about how juries can be used to determine, case by case, whether who the burden of proof lays upon to prove consent or lack of.

    She has discussed her dislike for age of consent laws (and then, claims to never have promoted the removal of those laws, as someone else pointed out).

    She has pointed out (rightly) that the current mishmash of laws gets many people hurt for things that arguably shouldn’t be criminal.

    She does NOT BACK DOWN on her statement that “”Children [can] willingly participate in sexual acts . . .”, nor does she modify it in any absolute terms as to age or ability to consent.

    By suggesting that a jury be involved, she is saying that at some level ANY child can consent. Juries decide questions of fact.

    Be more civil, for all our sakes.

  81. Gordon is a Dick Says:

    Holtz, who protects your wall eyed dick droppings from Overstreet. You or your pinhead wife?

  82. Justin Grover Says:
    1. Michael Seebeck Says:
      May 8th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    This is kind of hilarious, actually.

    On one hand we have Justin on a the Smith thread claiming he’s seeing an anarchist coup in the making, backed up by Dondero’s speculatiion here. On here we have Kris Overstreet calling on the anarchists to flee.

    So, to put it all together, anarchist must prepare to flee their own planned coup! LOL!
    ——I’d suggest re-reading the quote you quoted:

    ““Those of you who aren’t anarchists… flee. Flee NOW. Salvage whatever is left of political respectability now while you still can. I learned too late, but there’s still hope for others…”

    People who aren’t anarchists… aren’t anarchists.

  83. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Lieberman writes, “There is nothing wrong with being an anarchist and running for the Libertarian Presidential nomination, as long you admit that you are an anarchist.”

    Why must any person label him- or herself an anarchist, even if he or she is one? The label can be just as confusing, and indeed misleading, as the terms “liberal” or “conservative.” (In fact, I wrote about this fact just recently on my personal website.)

    Mr. Lowell writes, “Yes, Mary, I believe in liberty. I believe in liberty for those little ones whose deaths you’d just as soon rationalize with your murdering intellectualizations.”

    Libel.

    Mr. Grover writes, “Mr. Seebeck, thank you for conceding the point. The market for murder, theft and aggression exists- yet we, as a party stand against it.”

    Correct, we oppose the red market.

    Mr. Grover writes, “...some of us want to see Ms. Ruwart come out and say, plainly,...that some persons are unable…to consent?”

    She has. :

    Mr. Grover writes, “That people who take advantage on the young, through position, power or outright force are in fact committing aggression?”

    If I have a son, and I get him to take out the trash every Thursday, I’m certainly “taking advantage” of him; but I would not say that that constitutes aggression. My suggestion would be not to use vague terms like “take advantage,” and such terms do more to stop meaningful discussion and exchange of ideas than promote it.

    Mr. Grover writes, “I mean finally in that everything she has written (and even on the Kubby show) she has implied, by hemming and hawing about who has the ‘Burden of Proof’ that SOME very young children are capable of consent- if you need a jury to decide something, then the fact is in doubt.”

    But, Mr. Grover, you do need a court to decide, according to the traditions we Americans hold dear. Without a trial, we can’t even determine that the claim that sexual touching took place is actually true. Since our system holds, correctly, that you are innocent until proven guilty, the trial must take place. if the court determines that touching indeed did take place, then the next thing the court needs to determine is whether it was a sexual touching or not. The presumption of the court will be that the touching was not consensual if the child being touched is young. However, as I’m sure you will agree, simply placin