Friday, October 31, 2008

In less than a weeks time we will see what has been accomplished


LPAC OFFICER'S NOTE:
Libertarian
William Larsen will be debating his opponents incumbent Mark Souder (R), and Mike Montagano (D) today at IPFW Rhinehart Recital Hall @ 1:30p. Doors open @ 12:30p and close @ 1p. The debate will be streamed LIVE and rebroadcast Sunday on WANE-TV (Broadcast 15, Comcast and FiOS 2) at 11a after Face The Nation.

AND NOW A MESSAGE FROM MR. LARSEN

It has been a long journey and in seven days we will see just what we have accomplished. The tens of thousands of emails, handouts, talking to people and helping with signs has just been tremendous. I have received more emails in the past three weeks than all my previous three campaigns. As we go into this last week, I would ask that each of you speak with two more people and tell them about my campaign.

For those who are new to this blog and like my position on the issues, you too can help. Go to www.justsayno.50megs.com. Under the heading issues is a link to my pdf position paper. Please save it and email to your friends and families.

I hear every day people say how ridiculous it is to have campaigns spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Obama campaign has raised over $600 million and McCain has raised $375 million! My two opponents have raised over $400,000 combined and use this not to speak out on their position on issues, but to sling mud at each other.

This campaign is about issues. It is about the economy, energy, deficits, taxes, immigration and jobs. They are all interrelated. On this blog and at my website you can find out what my positions are. Feel free to email me at LarsenForCongress@gmail.com

REMINDER: EARLY VOTING OPPORTUNITIES
There are three days left to do so via the Allen Co. Election Board @ City County Building Room 136, before Tuesday. Today from 8a-5p, Saturday from 9a-4p, and Monday from 8a-Noon

PERSONAL NOTE: To read my personal endorsement of Bill Larsen and Mike Pence please right click here and scroll down. To read my other endorsements for this election cycle please right click this link and scroll down as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I'm voting for Barr

This question was posed to the politically vocal members over on a non-political forum I frequent. I felt my answer was topical to the LP so here is a reprint. Apologies if I ramble a bit. Comments welcome.

"Why Jon is voting for Barr: 

This is the first vote I have cast to stick to the party line as well as the first vote I have cast as "not the other choices". I disagree with Barr, far too socially conservative even with his recent repentances. I also distrust many of the candidates we had in our primary, because they had jumped to the LP from the other parties either out of spite or just to make one last fleeting swipe at the presidency. I don't like my party being used for ballot access. 

I would also like to add that our "primaries" are taken care of at our national convention, for dues paying members of our party, not the general public based on checking one box or the other. I think that the other parties should go back to that and see what kind of candidates we end up with and what it does to the money that goes into campaigns. The average voter only gives a **** about politics now because it gives them something to root for, if the barrier to entry were as minimal as paying party dues or attending a party meeting participation would plummet. 

The two party system has failed. The GOP and the Democrats are no longer debating over significant differences in policy. They are fighting over single digit percentages. Either party will take your money and piss it away on mostly the same things, the only difference is that a small percentage of that will go to minor projects that you may or may not support. 

What makes it even more distasteful is that while really arguing over minor points, they get the proles so riled up that people who get along just fine for 3 years, turn into rabid haters for the season. Its like pro sports, no one really gives a **** they just want to compete without ponying up and making the effort on the field. 

I would have voted for Paul and work closely with many of the remaining "Paulies". Ron Paul is a libertarian who has held office and done what should have been done and I have great respect and admiration of that even if he is not a Libertarian. 

So I guess the short version is: In the presidental race, I'm voting none-of-the-above to the world and I -still-support-the-party to my associates. "

Bob Barr to Debate Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin Tonight!

There will be a webcast of it at 4:30 pm. You can watch it here.

Coverage of Jack Evans in the 83rd

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081029/NEWS/810290330

Just a quick bump to an article covering the race in the 83rd district. Thanks to Jack for running and thanks to the News Sentinel for covering all of the candidates on the ballot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Does one vote count?

There are articles written by intelligent, educated people arguing that it does not make sense to vote. The argument goes something like this: Even in a close election that is decided by a handful of votes, a single vote will only increase or decrease the margin of victory by exactly one vote. So the time, effort, and gasoline that you spend registering to vote, getting informed about the candidates, and casting a ballot are ultimately wasted because your vote did not change the outcome.

Some argue that if you do not vote, you have no right to complain. Yet there is no legislation prohibiting nonvoters from complaining. Should police officers check voter registrations of protesters? You have a constitutionally protected right to complain about anything you want, but it certainly hurts your credibility if you did not do anything to prevent or correct the situation that you are protesting.

Voting is only one part of the democratic process. It’s how we keep score. Talking with your friends, family, and Internet trolls about the candidates and issues is more important than the simple act of voting. But when you tell your circle about how its important to oppose or support a particular candidate or policy, it carries more weight when you vote. You cannot expect others to care when you do not vote.

Ultimately it boils down to symbolism, which matters more than one might think. Symbols show that you care, and influence others to care as well. If you’re willing spend $20 on a flag to show you care, take the time to fill out a form and press a few buttons for the same reason.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bailouts and subsidies

I'm tired of denouncing each new bailout. Yet they still need to be denounced. So for the time being, I'm just going to leave a blanket statement on the left side of the blog. If anyone needs to be reminded about my position on propping up companies with taxpayer, it appears under General Wayne's portrait.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Find your ballot

With all the attention on the Presidential race I have slipped and not kept pace with the lower offices. Obviously I'm supporting Libertarian candidates with my vote or with my time/money, Andy Horning, Jack Evans, Bill Larsen, Rex Bell, Eric Schansberg, and many others.

But we don't have LP candidates for all the races, so I sat down tonight to find out exactly who was on the ballot so I could research them. The process wasn't hard, but was more complicated than I thought it would be.

So heres a short primer on how to get a sample ballot, its aimed at Allen County, but should apply anywhere in Indiana:

1. Ignore anything that isn't an official State or County Board of Elections site. I found a few unofficial sites with mistakes on thier ballots. 

2. Confirm #1, if you didn't get to it through the Secretary of State or your County Board of Elections, you can't be sure its right.

3. Go to "Find your Election Information", the link is on the left hand side of the Allen County Board of Elections. Direct link is http://www.co.allen.in.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=376&Itemid=700

4. Open the link to IndianaVoters in a new window or tab. That is endorsed by both Allen County and the Secretary of State. Direct link is http://www.indianavoters.com/PublicSite/PublicMain.aspx

5. Click on "Polling Place" and enter your information. 

6. The search results should show your info. The number you need is the PRECINCT. Mine is #214.

7. Go back to the Allen County Board of Elections page and click on "Ballot Style Variations" to download a PDF. http://www.co.allen.in.us/images/stories/Election_board/2008/2008G%20Ballot%20Styles%20Web.pdf

8. Skim through that and look for your precinct, next to it is a "Ballot Style Number". Remember that number.

9. Go back to the Allen County BoE page and click on the link to your ballot style. Mine is #11, http://www.co.allen.in.us/images/stories/Election_board/2008/Ballot%20Style%2011.pdf

10. Thats it. You now have a sample ballot. You can see exactly who you can vote for.

I always have nothing but praise for the staff at the Board of Elections. They do a pretty good job at making it easy for Hoosiers to vote and for candidates to get the info we need to stay legal while we run for office, but having to go through that many hoops to get a sample ballot is a bit troubling. 

I hope this helps illustrate the problem so that the Secretary of State and County Board of Elections can use the off-year in 2009 to streamline the process. That this information is online at all puts Indiana light years ahead of other states, but I think both the voters and the staff at the BoE would have a much better time in 2010 if this got tightened up a bit.

Now that I've got my ballot, I'm off to do some homework.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Calendar Update all the way into November

EARLY VOTING OPPORTUNITIES
Allen Co. Election Board @ CITY COUNTY BUILDING One Main Street Room 136, Fort Wayne, Indiana
23rd Thursday 8A-7P; 24th Friday 8A-5P; 25th Saturday 9A-4P;
27th Monday 8A-5P; 28th Tuesday 8A-7P; 29th Wednesday 8A-5P;
30th Thursday 8A-7P; 31st Friday 8A-5P
November 1st Saturday 9A-4P; 3rd Monday 8A-12N

Protect Your Rights!
Participate in the Process!
Now is the time for a true change you can actually see not just believe in!
Vote Libertarian!

ELECTION DAY
TUESDAY, November 4th 6:00a.m.-6:00p.m
To find out more information about your precinct or
to resolve issues please contact the
Election Board

VETERANS DAY
TUESDAY, November 11th ALWAYS REMEMBER & HONOR THOSE BRAVE MEN & WOMEN
WHOM OFFERED THEIR LIVES FOR YOUR FREEDOM AND THIS COUNTRY'S LIBERTY!


NOVEMBER BUSINESS MEETING
WEDNESDAY, November 19th 7:00-9:00p.m.
Allen Co. Public Library Main Branch (Tentative)

Monday, October 20, 2008

What does the fiscal crisis say about us?

Slate.com has an article entitled "The End of Libertarianism". This article is like a autopsy performed on a live person. Since this was done prematurely, the conclusion is questionable. The author of this article greatly overestimates Libertarians' influence over US fiscal policy. The whole world is in a financial crisis and he's blaming a small but growing US political movement.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October Business Meeting

October Business Meeting

WEDNESDAY, October 22nd
6:30-8:30p.m. (Starts @ 7p.m.).

New Haven Branch
Allen Co. Public Library
648 Green Street,
@ Dawkins Road/Lincoln Hwy E./ SR14
New Haven, IN 46774

Directions:

The Branch is located near the northwest intersection of Green Street @ Dawkins Road/Lincoln Hwy E./ SR14 which is Two and one half blocks north of SR930 or Nine and one half blocks south of Rose Ave/Old US24/Exit 19 of I-469 or Six blocks east of Broadway (the main drag) which is Landin Road@ Lake Ave./N. River Rd. and is known in Ft. Wayne as Trier Rd. (Hall's Triangle Park) @ Coliseum Blvd. (East of Crescent/Stellhorn/SR37)

Friday, October 17, 2008

An appeal to my fellow Libertarians and my Democratic friends

All of the state representative seats around Fort Wayne are considered safe. In fact, most of the incumbents are unopposed. But I just got a fundraising letter from Rex Bell who is running for the State House in the 54th District. Whether you are a Democrat or a Libertarian, this is your opportunity to reduce the number of Republicans in the State House.

Dear Friends of Liberty,

For years, our friends and neighbors have cited their main reason for not voting Libertarian is that we cannot win. I am dropping you a note to let you know that we Libertarians are VERY close to changing this perception forever in Indiana. Rex Bell is running for the Indiana House of Representatives in District 54 against Republican Tom Saunders. Saunders is in a very weak position. He isn't getting the same amount of financial support that he normally would, and many of the GOP base are defecting to Rex Bell. Why? He was opposed to making the Governor's property tax caps constitutional, and is in favor of keeping our current property tax system in place. Rex Bell supports the repeal of property taxes.

There is no Democrat in this race. It is Bell vs. Saunders. As a result, many Democrats are actively working to elect Rex Bell. So it seems that if there is one thing Democrats AND Republicans agree on in District 54, it's Libertarian Rex Bell.

As Libertarians, we know the difficulty of beating the two party system, so a gift like this race comes along once rarely. To make history in Indiana, we need to band together as Libertarians, and do two things:

1. Donate Money. Rex is currently running radio ads, has up billboards, distributed yard sings and literature, and sent out a direct mail piece to Democrats. The next piece of the puzzle is a direct mail piece to Republicans in the district. The cost is a little over $3000 by NEXT Wednesday. In two days, Libertarians from across the state have raised $2,300 for Rex. That means we have $700 to go. Please go to www.electrexbell.com, and donate $30 or $40. For the price of a meal for two at Chili's, you can help change to course of LPIN and Statehouse history forever. If we raise more than $3,000, Rex can begin running television ads, and his radio ads on additional stations.

2. Donate Time. Standing outside of the polls on election day can win races. In 2006, Jon Elrod beat Ed Mahern in House District 97 by EIGHT votes. This was a direct result of Elrod having 90% of his polling places staffed by volunteers handing out cards.

3. Tell your friends. Forward this email to your Liberty-loving friends, and ask them to check out www.electrexbell.com.

Sincerely,
Rex Bell

Why the recession makes the Fair Tax even more important

The Fair Tax is a proposed federal sales tax on new consumer goods. It would not apply to basic essential items such as food and diapers, nor would it apply to used items. So this would encourage conservation when we need it most. Under the Fair Tax system, it would be theoretically possible for a middle-class person to go without paying any federal taxes at all so as long as he only buys used items and doesn't own a car.

This raises the value of used goods, which has several benefits:
1. People will take better care of the things that they already own.
2. They would receive more money in return when they pawn or resell a used item.
3. Less energy and resources are used, bringing down the price of oil.
4. We import fewer goods from overseas, reducing or even eliminating the trade deficit.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Libertarians At Large Live Tonight

Libertarians At Large airs on channels Comcast 57 and Verizon 27, from 7-8 p.m., every third Thursday of the month. Tune in tonight as this month's guest will be Libertarian, Herbert "Jack" Evans, candidate for State Representative for the 83rd District, this November 4th. Call in to ask questions or just let us know you are listening. Contribute to the conversation.

As always the Libertarian Party of Allen County would like to thank Access Fort Wayne and The Allen County Public Library for providing us these opportunities to serve the public and promote the discussion at all levels of government about what is best for the future of of our communities, state, and nation.

For a list of all Libertarian Candidates available for local voters to choose click here please.

Pot calling the kettle "red"

Chavez: "Bush is to the left of me now" (Hat tip to Reason)

Even with the big bailout/buyout mess that is going on, it isn't fair to compare Bush to Chavez. I still found this to be hilarious.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Republican Case Against the Republican Party

From the national LP blog:
The Republican Case Against the Republican Party
posted by Andrew Davis on Oct 13, 2008

To be sure, Senator Barack Obama is certainly to the left of Senator John McCain; however, it's not a stretch to say that the real John McCain has more in common with Barack Obama than he does with his own party. In fact, McCain frequently drew the ire of his party for many of his supposed "maverick" votes in the Senate.

His legislative masterpiece, the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, is generally regarded as one of the most egregious attack on free speech in modern history. Yet, McCain brags about his close relationship with Senator Feingold, as well as the likes of Senator Ted Kennedy and Joseph Lieberman.

Bipartisanship is an admirable trait in any politician willing to set aside partisan bickering, but not when it is for legislation that harms Constitutional liberties and puts taxpayers in danger, such as when both Senators McCain and Obama voted for the taxpayer-subsidized bailout.

Working together against liberty is no more virtuous than working alone for the same ends.

Senator McCain's record—one that he has vigorously tried to recreate with euphemisms like "maverick," "bipartisan" and "reformer"—has made him a darling of the left and a pariah of the right; at least until he became the GOP's nominee for president. McCain may be the new front man for the Republican Party, but it is too late to teach the old dog new tricks.

Republicans, coming to realize the true folly of their choice, try to excuse a vote for McCain by comparing the damage McCain will do to that of an Obama presidency. They will say, "McCain isn't great, but Obama is a socialist." Even when faced with a viable alternative, such as Bob Barr, who better represents the fiscal conservative/limited government philosophy that once used to define the Republican Party, Republicans choose instead to abandon principle for the sake of preserving whatever hollow illusion of capitalism that managed to escape eight years of the Bush administration.

These Republicans are right, in part. Obama is no friend to the businessman or the free market. The legislation he would push through Congress would have a detrimental impact on the American economy, and will undoubtedly be difficult to undo following his departure from office.

However, an Obama presidency would not usher in a new era of government regulation—it would simply be the continuation of a trend started with his predecessor. Republicans who are fearful of an Obama presidency and his alleged "socialism" are either ignorant, or in denial, of the vast expansion of federal power under President George Bush.

It should be stated that this environment of big government—both economic and social—was not created and executed by Bush without lack of support by so-called "conservatives" in Congress. But by every objective measure, the Bush administration has been the single biggest catalyst of government growth since FDR.

Republicans admit they may not agree with 100 percent of what Bush does or did (a positive sign that at least Republicans do have some lasting semblance of a conscience), but the symptom of big government is not just particular to the Bush administration. Object as they may to the creeping dangers of Barack Obama, the abandonment of everything fiscal or limited in the last eight years of government growth has been with the full knowledge and consent of the Republicans in Congress, and the Republican Party members who keeping voting these same politicians back into power.

Maybe, the trepidations of Republicans are valid. Maybe, this era of capacious government is all the fault of liberals. If this were the case, then it would be the liberalism of the new GOP.

The frontrunner of the GOP is no nascent liberal. McCain has long been a blacksheep of the right, most recently evidenced by the prevalence of this attack throughout the Republican primary. This criticism of McCain came from many of those that now support him.

But to complain about this "liberal heyday" of government regulatory power that Obama would create is to complain about eight years of an ever-expansive Bush administration and the cowardice of a GOP refusing to stand up to him—including that of Senator John McCain. For all that McCain says of his "maverick" status, he has either voted with the Bush administration in expanding government's power, or worked with Democrats to do the same.

So what are Republicans to do, faced with two choices that so clearly represent the antithesis of fiscal disciple and limited government?

McCain himself has proven that the premise that one must vote for him to save the country from Obama is misinformed. McCain's commitment to a paternalistic government, for whatever justification, is no different from the same aim as Obama's. It is merely to what extent they are willing to take it. Using Bill Clinton and Bush as barometers as to what one might expect from either an Obama or McCain presidency respectively, the idea that somehow McCain is the best bet for a restrained government is even more absurd.

A vote for McCain is to acquiesce to all the ills of the GOP, and to accept its current, vacuous state (just as a vote for Obama is to approve of the Democratic Party's impotence). It is time to accept that the GOP is a zombie that stumbles awkwardly forward, refusing to die, but unable to live. Its soul has long perished, and what is left is a hollow shell of a body.

McCain will not win in 2008 because he has neither the faculties of a statesman nor the support to stand up against an energized Democratic Party. While the GOP elite will support whomever stands at the front, rank and file Republicans, who have long grown weary with the path the Party has chosen, will not swallow more of the same rancid milk that has been poured for them these past eight years.

A McCain vote is the quintessential wasted vote because it will neither elect a president nor demand reform within the Party. So long as Republican members continue to cast votes for those Republicans they find absolutely repugnant, Republicans will continue to lose elections.

This was the case in 2006, and it shall be in 2008.

If there need be any more evidence of this fact, simply look to the pitiful state of McCain's campaign. Knowing that he can't beat Obama on the issues—mainly because there is so little difference between them—McCain has resorted to stoking the fires of racism and paranoia among his supporters in hopes of winning on emotion, rather than policy.

In 2008, there is only one logical choice for fiscal conservative and champions of the free market: Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party. A vote for Bob Barr is not only one placed for a proven capitalist, fiscal warrior and enemy of big government, but it also sends a message to the Republican Party that cannot be ignored.

McCain will not win, and a vote for him is one wasted. McCain will bring no change from the last eight years, and will only continue the trend of bigger government and higher spending. His "reformer" rhetoric is as hollow as his campaign.

The Libertarian Party will not play spoiler to the Republican's presidential aspirations this year, for there is nothing to spoil. McCain will lose because Republicans chose to support someone who better represented the fiscal values of forgotten GOP heroes like Barry Goldwater. So long as the GOP continues to run people who fail to inspire the base of the Republican Party, they will lose elections, as more and more disenchanted Republicans will drift to the Libertarian Party.

----

Author's note: If you agree with the contents of this article, I ask that you please forward this on by email or whatever means. This message must be heard, and must be spread if we hope to at all reverse the course of this nation taken in the last eight years. Thank you very much.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thought for the day...

Isn't accusing someone else of being negative a form of negativity? Try to imagine a world without negativity:

PROSECUTOR: I intend to prove that Mr. Doe killed his wife.
DEFENSE: Oh, you're just being negative. Why bring up the past?
PROSECUTOR: You're right. I'm sorry. The state drops the charges.

Any new law, spending project, or candidate will have an upside and a downside. Conversely, not passing the law, project, or not electing the candidate will have an upside and downside as well. Both sides of any controversy have to talk about the positive and the negative of the issue at hand.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reason TV's solution to the healhcare crisis


Basically the video says that most, if not all, of those without health insurance either can afford it or are eligible for existing government programs.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What is short selling?

Short selling is what investors do if they expect the value of a stock to decline and want to profit from it. It works this way: The investor borrows shares of a company, then sells them at market value. After a short period of time, the investor buys them back and returns them to the entity that loaned him the shares. If the stock price goes down far enough, the investor makes a profit.

So let's say I hear about WalSoft's new gaming console. I read the reviews and I think its a dud. I think that the holiday sales will be so awful that it will hurt the stock price. So the day before Thanksgiving I borrow 100 shares of WalSoft stock from an investment firm. I agree to return them within 10 days. I sell them all at $50 a share.
So I have $5000. The following Monday, the evening news features a story about WalSoft consoles catching fire when plugged in. On Tuesday, WalSoft drops to $40 a share. I figure that the price won't get much lower, so I buy 100 shares at that price. I give the shares back to the investment firm, pay them a $500 fee, and keep the $500 that is left over.

This is something that happens a lot when the stock market is going down. But it is not the cause of the disease, merely the symptom. If there is short selling going on, we don't need to stop it but instead figure out why it's going on. Investors sell short when they think a stock is overvalued.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Poll Closed

Look at that. 25 people voted, and none of them support the bailout. I actually wanted to hear from bailout supporters. I always hope that either I've proven right and the other guy learns something, or I'm proven wrong and I learn something. To be sure, the latter has never happened on this blog, but I'll give anyone the opportunity to be the first.

Anyway, since we're all in agreement on the bailout, let's all vote against those who voted for it. Bob Barr and Bill Larsen both oppose the bailout. I'll open the thread up to anyone who wants to endorse an anti-bailout candidate, or wants to explain why people should vote for bailout supporters anyway.

What next?

If the economy gets worse:
ME: I told you this wouldn't work.
THEM: It's a good thing we did this, or else things would be a lot worse.

If the economy somehow gets better:
THEM: I told you this would work.
ME: Turns out this wasn't needed after all.

Causality can be hard to establish in economics. But our goal now is to monitor the effects of history's most expensive October surprise. The government will have to either raise taxes, go deeper into debt, inflate the dollar even more, or a combination of all three. We might very well see a short term boost in the economy, but the long term effects will outweigh it.

It's rather like taking steroids and saying "I'm getting stronger, this stuff must be good for me." But in the long run, the steroids can kill the person using them.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Second attempt at passing the bailout

Some more thoughts on the bailout.

>The bailout is so wildly unpopular that the Senate has added a bunch of tax breaks to try to get it to pass the House. Putting popular provisions on a bad bill is like putting frosting on a turd. The bad parts outweigh the good parts so much that you just shouldn't swallow it.

>The bailout is totally unnecesary and harmful to boot. There are still financial institutions that are solvent, so individuals and companies can still get credit. Instead the bailout will help failing companies to continue their irresponsible practices.

>Both bailout proponents and opponents agree that there will be a recession no matter what Congress does, but there still seems to be an impulse to do something drastic. It's like using electroshock therapy to treat a cold. The patient will get better on his own, but the doctor still wants to do something to justify his hefty bill.

>Ever stop to think what kind of precedent this could set? Unprofitable companies in every sector will have their hands out looking for a bailout. I suspect that it may even cause a few well-off corporations to cook their books to include red ink so that they can qualify for a subsidy.