Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Something for you to do in Fort Wayne!

"Libertarians at Large" is a live call-in show produced by The Libertarian Party of Allen County. The show airs on the third Thursday of every month on Comcast Channel 57 from 7 PM - 8 PM. Please tune in and please call in.

The next show will be this Thursday, June 15th, I hope to talk to you then!

Mike Sylvester


Bartleby said...

Let's see, now ... Comcast channel 57 ... what exactly is that channel, again? And why does Comcast carry it?

Robert Enders said...

It is the Public Access channel. Comcast carries it because the government requires them to. The government would still require them to even if we did not use it as a forum.

It is filmed in the main branch of the Allen County Public Library, which would still supported by tax dollars even if we didn't use it.

Craig said...



LP Mike Sylvester said...

It is Public Access.

There is no doubt that I think the Federal Government should stop funding Public Access. Unfortunately, our elected officials at that level are all Republicans and Democrats and love spending our money.

Since they are going to spend the money, I am going to use it. If it is not used then it is completely wasted...

You are getting more and more cynical Bartleby, I like it...

Mike Sylvester

John Good said...

I can think of several million worse ways to spend money than public access and PBS. Some people are afraid of citizens having a forum to voice their views. . .

Bartleby said...

It is the Public Access channel. Comcast carries it because the government requires them to. The government would still require them to even if we did not use it as a forum.

It is filmed in the main branch of the Allen County Public Library, which would still supported by tax dollars even if we didn't use it.

Shorter translation: "I disapprove of theft, but ... hey, what kind of price did you say I could get on those Rolexes?"

Ah, the glories of big-"L" Libertarianism!

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I think taxes are way too high and are not fairly distributed; yet I pay them.

I do not like many of the things we do in our public schools; yet I pay for them with my property taxes.

I think the speed limit should be higher; yet I honor the speed limit (As much as possible).

I do not think the Government should stop subsidizing Amtrack; yet I still ride it.

I hope you learn something from this my friend...

Mike Sylvester

Debbie said...

Bartleby of course brings up a valid point. It's easy to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

Sure, it's impossible to do totally, but does that mean you shouldn't do it in all areas you possibly can in order to set an example for the principles you say you stand for?

If you make the argument that the government requires it, so might as well use it, how do you differ from the other parties? They use that same argument when they vote for pork for the areas they represent. "The government has taken our money already, so we might as well grab as much of it as we can. If we don't, then it will go to another area anyway."

And if everyone continues to do this, how will anything ever change?

Josiah Bartlett said...

If your party wants to become viable around the country you should follow your principles. As a Democratic President of the United States, I feel that publically airways are an important venture and thuroughly disagree with the conservative notion that PBS is "television for rich people" - it in fact allows for true unfettered news and in depth commentary (which ALL national and cable newstations no longer do) and (gasp) attempts to educate viewership. If education is a waste of taxpayer dollars, then I will renounce my citizenship to this country immediately.

That rant, however, is my own opinion. If you truly feel that public airways are not something the government should fund, stand by your principle. You are required by law to pay taxes, but for all that you can legally stand against you should. Dont use public airways - dont use AMTRAK (the company's proper spelling). Stand for what you believe in and then maybe the Libertarian Party can attract more than just political outsiders.

Bobett Kelley said...

Yes, the PBS is a federally funded broadcast system for the public to
express ideas. Anyone, everyone
in the public can make a video and
bring it on downtown to the Library and express their
ideas. Bring your ideas with your tape and you too can broadcast live on Channel 55 & 57.

Yes, we all pay taxes to fund this freedom. But sports like High School Hockey would never see the light of day in Fort Wayne, Indiana unless it had a venue on Access Channel 55 or 57. Rarely, will you see it on the local news or supported at the schools...because its not funded.

Catch Homestead Spartan Hockey action on Access Fort Wayne, Channel 55, every Thursday at 8:00 PM. Brought to you by Joe Donnell.

Visit our Homestead Ice Hockey website at www.

Bobett Kelley said...

And Hockey is totally financed by parents and supported by volunteers.

Kelley said...


Your broadcast on the changes and vision for Fort Wayne were well spoken. Yes, your forum works.

Tape your show and keep the same time on access Indiana every-time! I believe! Just maybe, people will get it and call and see the changes
you advocate. I hope they do.

Give my best to Mike Kole in Indy.

The Kelley's

Robert Enders said...

See Bartleby, this is why the South lost the Civil War. When Lee captured the armoury at Harper's Ferry, he refused to use the weapons that he had just captured because they were paid for with federal tax dollars.

Bartleby said...

I hope you learn something from this my friend...

Mike Sylvester

Well, Mike, I can't say that I learned anything new. Mostly, I've been reminded of something: in northeast Indiana, at least, the only important difference between the GOP and the LP is that the GOP has a powerful machine that elects candidates. The shining differences in principle are, well ... hard to detect.

By the way: I see where the eternal Downtown Fort Wayne Revitalization is in the news again today. Still up for advancing this holy cause by prohibiting development elsewhere?

Bartleby said...

See Bartleby, this is why the South lost the Civil War. When Lee captured the armoury at Harper's Ferry, he refused to use the weapons that he had just captured because they were paid for with federal tax dollars.

Yes, Mr. Enders, when your revolution gets underway and actually overthrows city and county government, I suppose you can call Fort Wayne Public Access -- studios, equipment, and all -- the spoils of war. Meanwhile, since the revolution hasn't been declared yet, it still looks like stolen property to me. The distinction is significant, for those who have principles.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I never expected so many comments on this. I appreciate the interest. I think there are a lot of different and interesting opinions on this topic.

I do not think your logic on this topic is sound. I pay taxes. In fact the average American family will pay an overall tax rate of 31.3% this year. Some of my taxes pay for Public Access. So of course I will use Public Access, I am paying for it.

I do not believe that The Federal government should fund Public Access. I think it should be funded by the local government or by private investment or by the public itself.

If I ever hold a Federal Office I will do everything I can to cut Federal funding to Public Television and Radio.

Public Access is not a program The Federal government should fund. I read and understand The Constitution. I know you teach at IPFW, I suggest you re-read The Constitution this summer. It is quite specific in what the role of the Federal government is.

I pay for Public Access with my taxes so I will use it. If I ever hold a Federal Office I really will try to stop us from funding it with Federal Funds.

The difference between that stance and Reps and Dems is that I really will try to cut Funding to the programs I do not beleive in.

That is a huge difference.

We are following our principles. When we hold office we will do everything we can to abolish those laws that are offensive to us.

Look at BOTH The Reps and Dems. Look at what they promise. They NEVER deliver. How are they punished by the voters?

Look at the 1994 Contract with America as an example...

There are many laws and programs I do not agree with; unfortunately, they are the law and so I follow them. I pay for them so I use them.

It is common sense.

I agree there is some good programming on Public Access. I do not think it should be paid for by Federal Funds. The Federal government is supposed to be involved in a very limited number of items per The Constitution.

PBS should be funded by The States, local governments, private investment, and the viewing public.

Kelley said:
Thanks. Mike Kole has taped several shows that will air in Fort Wayne. Thanks for watching. Please spread the word.

I would love to talk to you. Please shoot me an email at

LP Mike Sylvester said...


If you cannot see a difference between myself and the local GOP you must be legally blind!

Come on...

I think I will post a poll. I am curious if ANYONE else who reads this blogs thinks I am identical to the local GOP.

Andrew Kaduk is a Republican, what do you think Andrew?

William Larsen is a Republican, what do you think Bill?

Mike Sylvester

Robert Enders said...

So it would be ok under your principles if I took it all by gun point, but it is not ok to politely ask to borrow it for a while?

The government is big and you and I are small. For me to bring about liberty or something resembling it in this land I have to play by their rules and not yours. If Big government lets me do something that I believe gives me an advantage in the struggle, I am going to do it.

William Larsen said...

I used public access to create a program called "Snookered." I was told that the public access channel was the result of requesting the county representatives to require any cable network wishing to do business in Allen county to provide access to their cable system free. The Allen County Library would pay the cost of equipment and taping.

So what is the cost of Public Access? The Cable Company reserves three channels for public access. Is there a cost to the Cable Company for this? I have no idea if there is or not. There is a cost to Allen county taxpayers to buy equipment, maintain offices and pay people.

Is providing Internet access and computers a proper function of libraries? A library is in my opinion a place that holds learning material such as books, magazines, newspapers and allows research to be done or for leisure reading.

I would think that public access is similar to the Internet and computers provided by libraries.

Debbie said...

Mike said:
Debbie,I pay for Public Access with my taxes so I will use it. If I ever hold a Federal Office I really will try to stop us from funding it with Federal Funds.

Fine. But trying to show people what is meant by libertarian principles by using something that is government funded that would be easy to avoid doesn't instill any confidence that you would indeed do so. Heck the Republicans say the same thing all the time too. How are you different? Just because you don't currently have the power and say you won't do such things? Upon what basis do people have to believe you will behave differently? There are no guarantees in any case that you would do what you say you will if you did grab the power, but if you did try to set the example and model some libertarian consistency, that would be a nice starting point for people to think that you may indeed be different.

The difference between that stance and Reps and Dems is that I really will try to cut Funding to the programs I do not beleive in.

How in the world can anyone decide whether or not that is true? If you are willing to take advantage of government programs that are easy to avoid in order to get to a place where you have some power and control, why would people think you would suddenly behave differently once you attained the power?

That is a huge difference.

Looks to me like it's merely you just "saying" you will do things differently. You are "showing" absolutely nothing. And adding "really" to your statements tells people concerned about libertarian principles absolutely nothing.

Please understand I am simply discussing the issue. You are of course free to continue along your current path. I'm just pointing out that this libertarian sees lots of inconsistencies.

Jeff Pruitt said...


What is LP argument against public broadcasting? Should the FCC just continue to promote media-monopoly? And since the FCC is a regulatory agency set up by the government should it be abolished? How then should the airways be regulated?

The problem I have w/ the LP in general is their knee-jerk reaction to anything the government does as a "waste of money". Instead of attacking certain issues, everything gets lumped in together as "bad". I think this is an intellectually-lazy argument.

I suppose my fundamental difference w/ the LP is that I believe the country and society can be improved by improving government and not just reducing its influence.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Uhh, Mike...I thought you saw this:

Andrew Kaduk's Political Test

Robert Enders said...

We think that it is intellectually lazy to just have the government fund everything. We believe that NPR and PBS should be entirely funded by private donations. The FCC creates media monopolies by restricting who gets a licence to broadcast. This lets existing media companies control what you watch and charge whatever they want for commericial airtime. Big mega-corporations can afford the airtime, while smaller companies are crowded out of the market.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Wow, this is a long thread...


We will just have to agree to disagree. I respect your views but I do not share them.

I have to admit that by reading your comments you think I am mostly a Republican. That is not true; I am a Libertarian; however, I am a "realistic" Libertarian. I believe we need to reduce the size of government. I realize this is a long and slow process. It will not happen overnight.

You are what I consider a "theoretical Libertarian." You talk about what you think the government should be; but, you do not feel that we need to attain your goal in small and incremental steps. I do.


I tend to agree with you that SOME Libertarians have a knee-jerk reaction that all government is bad. I am NOT one of those Libertarians... I do NOT think all government is bad.

Heck at least two people in this thread think I am a Republican for God's sake...

I am not against Public Access Jeff. I am against Public Access being funded by The Federal Government. Per our Constitution The Federal government has specific responsibilities... Public Access is not one of them.

I like the idea of Public Access. If we are going to have Public Access in Fort Wayne (And I think we should)it should be regulated by The State of Indiana and then funded by our local government, private investment, and the viewers. It should not be paid for out of general tax revenues...

That way if the taxpayers of this area think it is a waste of money they will vote for a new Mayor and new City Council members (As they should for MANY reasons.)

Mike Sylvester

Viewers Like You said...

Mike Sylvester said..."If you cannot see a difference between myself and the local GOP you must be legally blind!"

Hmm, LEGALLY blind. That must be blindness as determined by a governmental authority.

I would think a true Libertarian would prefer that people with vision problems just be called blind.

Robert Enders said...

Legally blind means one's eyesight is 20/200 or worse. That means that the person cannot make out the big "E" at the top of an eyechart from 20 feet away.

We actually have a member who is legally blind. That is the phrase that he uses to discribe himself. He can see object up close however. This is why he uses the modifier "legally".

mikekole said...

Bartleby, Debbie-

If a thug robs you and drops $100 as he runs away, will you go to pick it up?

Better than that, what you are arguing for is that the libertarian's role in society is to pay for things only. Forgive me, but I'm not buying.

I argue that if you are going to force my compliance on the paying end, I will make my compliance complete, by participating in the other end. Gov't makes me surrender money to an employment insurance scheme, I'll be there to collect what little I can when I qualify.

I mean really. Do you refuse your income tax refund checks? Will you refuse to collect Social Security?

Johnathan said...

Huh? I have never heard of the federal government directly funding public access cable TV. Usually it is funded as you indicated - via state or local mechanisms. Usually, there is a "franchise fee" levied on cable television subscribers. Some call this a tax. This money goes to local and/or state government, which can then decide how to spend it. Many state/local governments set aside all or some of the proceeds from the franchise fee in order to set up public access.

In other cases, as a part of the franchise agreement between a city, county, or other governmental unit and a cable company, the company is simply required to provide access channels and sometimes some equipment, studio space, and/or training.

Satellite dish services (DBS - Dish Network, DirecTV, etc.) are required by the federal government to set aside a percentage of their channel capacity for "Public Interest" channels. The satellite carrier must lease these channels on a non-discriminatory basis, with a limit of one channel per provider, to ensure a diversity of viewpoints. The channels are also leased to each provider at or below the actual cost. However, the program providers themselves don't receive federal funds, nor do the satellite providers. Occasionally, yes, some have received funds, but usually not in specific support of a Public Interest channel. (Example: PBS has received federal money to produce programs, some of which could have been repeated on a Public Interest channel that PBS used to provide (PBS YOU), but no money was directly given to PBS for the new channel.)

Furthermore, this may all change in Indiana under the new Telecom law anyway - the new law prescribes that existing public access will be grandfathered, but any new public access capacity / funding must be proposed to and approved by the state public utility commission.

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