Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thomas Granger Day Organized By Zoosexual Rights Advocates Who Credit Carl Person For Sparking The Modern Zoosexual Rights Movement

On December 30, 2011, Zoosexual Rights Advocates organized Thomas Granger Day to be celebrated on September 8th of each year to remember Thomas Granger and to seek the reclassification of bestiality as a victimless crime. These advocates credit Carl Person, a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination, for making comments that sparked the modern Zoosexual Rights Movement.

The description on a Facebook Page for Thomas Granger Day is the following:

"Thomas Granger, a teenager living in Plymouth Colony and charged with bestiality, was executed by hanging on September 8, 1642 — in accordance with the law of the Pentateuch. On September 8th of each year, we mourn his death and recommit ourselves to the repeal of all laws criminalizing bestiality.

The account of Thomas Granger as related by William Bradford was as follows:

And after the time of the writing of these things befell a very sad accident of the like foul nature in this government, this very year, which I shall now relate. There was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger. He was servant to an honest man of Duxbury [note: Love Brewster, son of Pilgrim William Brewster], being about 16 or 17 years of age. (His father and mother lived at the same time at Scituate.) He was this year detected of buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey. Horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the history requires it. He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practice towards the mare. (I forbear particulars.) Being upon it examined and committed, in the end he not only confessed the fact with that beast at that time, but sundry times before and at several times with all the rest of the forenamed in his indictment. And this his free confession was not only in private to the magistrates (though at first he strived to deny it) but to sundry, both ministers and others; and afterwards, upon his indictment, to the whole Court and jury; and confirmed it at his execution.

And whereas some of the sheep could not so well be known by his description of them, others with them were brought before him and he declared which were they and which were not. And accordingly he was cast by the jury and condemned, and after executed about the 8th of September, 1642. A very sad spectacle it was. For first the mare and then the cow and the rest of the lesser cattle were killed before his face, according to the law, Leviticus xx.15; and then he himself was executed. The cattle were all cast into a great and large pit that was digged of purpose for them, and no use made of any part of them.

While we question whether his confession was “free” (especially with respect to having sex with a “turkey”), there is little question Thomas Granger was observed in the process of having sexual contact with a mare and was executed for it.

The modern Zoosexual Rights movement was sparked by a comment made by Carl Person, a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination, who on November 8, 2011 said the following:

The victimless crimes are prostitution, bestiality, sodomy, drugs, abortion, and the principles are that we shouldn't be regulating what people do to themselves, and the cost of the regulation should be saved and returned to taxpayers, to reduce taxes, and enable the economy to grow with commerce instead of with prisoners, private jails and private jail guards.

When questioned with respect to this position, Carl Person issued the following statement:

When I mentioned "bestiality" I was referring to animals, not humans (Note: some statutes prohibiting bestiality include children within the definition.) Bestiality as a victimless crime would center on two elements: 1. "property rights" - limiting the practice to one's own animals or with wild animals (not owned by anyone) and 2. "consent" and/or "non-injury" - if the animal is willing and is not injured in the process. If the animal is already dead, the victimless crime would become a variant of necromancy, and have to be analyzed in a similar fashion. I'm not a practitioner or advocate of bestiality and am only trying to apply Libertarian principles to a seldom discussed victimless crime.

When his position started receiving too much attention, Carl Person apologized for the “detour” his campaign had taken but did not explicitly retract his statement, but even if he did so, you can’t unring a bell or unlight a fire. Advocates for Zoosexual Rights are now speaking up and we have Carl Person to thank.

Help us to decriminalize bestiality!"

The Facebook Page for Thomas Granger Day is located at:!/pages/Thomas-Granger-Day/152233754886162

Carl Person's campaign for the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party has been endorsed by Lexxi Stray. On November 17, 2011, Lexxi Stray, a proud Zoosexual, endorsed Carl Person for President of the United States and encouraged others to do so as well.

On her blog, she wrote:

"There’s a political candidate running in the coming elections who has definitely got my favor - one Carl Person. He is in favor of focusing our national resources on REAL issues - and not squandering them chasing ‘criminals’ who aren’t hurting anyone else or interfering with other people. He plans to do this by focusing funds on creating jobs as well as by having the police force working to keep people safe, which they cannot do when they are spread thin chasing after people involved in victimless crimes...He is completely right. We spend millions of dollars trying to stop people from bending over for their dog or taking a puff of weed while men beating their wives or people drinking themselves into comas hardly get a second glance. It’s time to focus on making change that helps people, not waste more tax money trying to stop people from engaging in actions that don’t harm anyone else.

Finally, for the first time in far too long politics are openly discussing the reality of bestiality - that if the animal is ready and willing there is no harm done by allowing them to satisfy their urges. While the Libertarian Party may be much smaller than either Democrats or Republicans, you can bet those groups keep their eyes on the support levels of different candidates so they know what policies to implement in order to get more support for themselves.

One thing you can do to support bestiality and bring the positive views to light is simply support Carl Person and his fellows either online or in person and, if you plan on voting, vote for some of them come election time. Every vote they get is another sign that bestiality is slowly coming into the minds of the mainstream in a more realistic way - the illogical prejudices of the past are slowly being stripped away so that things may be looked at objectively, and this is one change I am proud to say I will be a part of.

Remember, exercise your right to vote!"

Libertarian Party Of Northampton County, Pennsylvania Becomes The First Group To Endorse Gary Johnson For The Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination In 2012

Seconds after former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announced he is seeking the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2012, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, Pennsylvania voted unanimously to endorse him, becoming the first Libertarian Party group in the nation to do so.

Gary Johnson held a news conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico on December 28, 2011 during which he formally joined the Libertarian Party and announced he "is seeking the Libertarian Nomination for President of the United States". He described himself as "a successful two-term governor, elected and re-elected as a Republican in a Democratic state, who vetoed 750 spending bills to shrink government - while refusing to play the special interest game or impose a social agenda on people who prefer to make their own judgments about values".

Some quotations from Gary Johnson's announcement follow:

I am a Libertarian - that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.

I think America's government should be smaller and less intrusive...let people make decisions for themselves.

I'm a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.

A credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.

This election needs a libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is  no guarantee he'll be the Republican nominee.

Patrick R. Killy, First Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, speaking on behalf of the group, made the following comment with respect to the endorsement:

The Libertarian Party is very lucky to have a successful two-term Governor as its potential nominee for President of the United States in 2012. We thought it important to endorse him right after his announcement to show him that many Libertarian Party members and organizations are enthusiastic about his candidacy and ability to promote libertarian principles to Americans eager for an alternative to the two existing, statist, big government political parties.

Executive Committee members were generally pleased with the following points in Gary Johnson's announced Agenda for America:

- I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%.

- I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve.

- I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.

- I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and jobs.

- I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan.

- I support a woman's right to choose.

- I support marriage equality for gay Americans as required by the Constitution.

- I support legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.

- I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.

Some opposition was voiced regarding Gary Johnson's support for a Fair Tax and the usual disagreements were present with respect to abortion and the need for national defense but, overall, there was unanimous support for the Libertarian Party of Northampton County going on record in support of Gary Johnson's candidacy for the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party of Northampton County, Pennsylvania was formally organized on September 21, 2011. On October 3, 2011, Vernon Etzel, LPPA Secretary, reported the following: "It appears that a quorum was met and, lacking any dissenting votes, the motion is passed. Northampton County will be seated at the next board meeting...the intentions of the board are clear, and the recognition of the Northampton County chapter is settled." On November 12, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania confirmed the status of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County as a recognized "County Committee".

Friday, December 30, 2011

John H. Lewis II, Michigan Libertarian Party Chair, Reviews Carl Person's Blog & Concludes He Is Not A Valid Candidate & Has Zero Understanding Of Libertarian Principles

In his formal capacity as Chair of the Michigan Libertarian Party, James H. Lewis II made an "official recommendation" on December 24, 2011 suggesting "all concerned" take Carl Person's "lack of understanding of the party ideas and principles into account before any nominations" are made for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination in 2012.

His full statement on the matter was the following:

After reading Carl's blog, I too would concur with the good Dr.s assessment. He is not a valid candidate or at least has zero understanding of the Libertarian principles. I would highly suggest the party seriously take his lack of understanding of the party ideas and principles into account before any nominations.

This is my official recommendation as Chair of the State of Michigan.

On December 26, 2011, Ken Mosher, former Secretary of the State Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut, drew a similar conclusion, when he wrote:

His "brand" of libertarianism is like Stalin's brand of compassion! Carl Person shouldn't even be let into the convention hall. Libertarians don't traffic with collectivists.

Despite the negative reactions to many of Carl Person's campaign issues, he nevertheless remains a candidate for the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Carl Person Renegs On Offer To Pay The Airfare Of All Delegates Pledged To Support Him At The Libertarian Party's National Convention In Las Vegas, Nevada

On December 19, 2011, an article was posted entitled "Carl Person To Offer Free Airfare To All Delegates Attending LP National Convention Who Have Pledged To Support His Candidacy" that contained the following information:

Carl Person, a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination, has offered to pay the airfare of any delegate attending the Libertarian Party's National Convention in 2012 who has pledged in advance to support his candidacy for the Presidential Nomination. The first two delegates to accept this offer were Alden Link and his wife. Both have been elected as New York State delegates to the Libertarian Party National Convention, which is to be held May 4-6, 2012 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada and both have pledged to support the candidacy of Carl Person for President.

On December 20, 2011, one day after the above referenced article was posted, Karl Dickey, a writer for the West Palm Beach Libertarian Examiner, spoke to Carl Person personally, who confirmed the offer was on the table. Karl Dickey wrote:

Carl Person, a Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party's nomination for President of the United States has said he has been permitted by the Federal Elections Commission to pay low-cost airfare for his supporters to get to the national convention.

The Libertarian Party's national convention is in Las Vegas in May of 2012 and apparently many will be flying in on Person's dime. I spoke with Mr. Person this afternoon and confirmed the rumor. In fact two people have already taken him up on the offer.

Dr. Tom Stevens, who previously served as Campaign Manager for Carl Person, reported the following:

While serving as Campaign Manager for Carl Person's Presidential Campaign, I had first hand knowledge of Carl's offer to pay for the airfare of all delegates committed to support his candidacy. This expense was cleared with the Federal Election Commission. The money was never intended to purchase support for Carl Person's campaign but merely to enable previously committed Carl Person delegates to be able to afford to attend the Libertarian Party's National Convention. I, for example, although serving as Carl Person's Campaign Manager, did not request the financial assistance he was offering. Neither did I personally endorse him for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination.

It has now come to my attention that Carl Person is telling people he made no such offer. I suspect he is doing so because some have criticized him for making the offer just as he tried to distance himself from his position in support of reclassifying bestiality as a victimless crime after being criticized by some at the Libertarian Party's 40th Anniversary Barbecue Bash held in the Veranda Room of the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10, 2011.

Carl Person is now saying the offer was "only intended for a close circle of friends living in New York" who were "already predisposed" to support his candidacy, that "the offer to pay for their airfare on a budget airline was not tied to their support", was "non-binding" and was "only offered to make up for their geographic disadvantage in attending a convention in Nevada all the way from New York". 

An individual living in Pennsylvania, who supported Carl Person's candidacy but who could not afford the airfare to attend the upcoming Libertarian Party's National Convention, was told by Carl Person on December 29, 2011 that the offer was now off the table. 

It has been learned that Carl Person is now offering, as an alternative, to travel to Libertarian Party State Affiliates to host fundraisers to help pay for the airfare of delegates who cannot afford to pay for it themselves. So far, there are no takers.

Stonewall Libertarians Members Encouraged Gary Johnson To Come Out In Favor Of Gay Marriage

Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico, has long argued for Civil Unions for gay couples but on December 2, 2011, he came out in favor of Gay Marriage. His statement on the issue was the following:

As a believer in individual freedom and keeping government out of personal lives, I simply cannot find a legitimate justification for federal laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which ‘define’ marriage. That definition should be left to religions and individuals – not government. Government’s role when it comes to marriage is one of granting benefits and rights to couples who choose to enter into a marriage ‘contract’. As I have examined this issue, consulted with folks on all sides, and viewed it through the lens of individual freedom and equal rights, it has become clear to me that denying those rights and benefits to gay couples is discrimination, plain and simple.

Certainly, religions and people of various faiths have the right to view marriage as they wish, and sanction marriage according to those beliefs. Just as government shouldn’t interfere with individual rights, government should not interfere with how marriage is treated as a ceremony, a sacrament or a privilege within a set of religious beliefs. However, when it comes to the rights of individuals and couples under the law, government’s promise should be to insure equal access to those rights to all Americans, gay or straight.

For a very long time, society has viewed gay marriage as a moral and, yes, religious issue. Today, I believe we have arrived at a point in history where more and more Americans are viewing it as a question of liberty and freedom. That evolution is important, and the time has come for us to align our marriage laws with the notion that every individual should be treated equally.

Dallwyn Merck, who has served as President of Stonewall Libertarians New York since July 27, 2009, commented as follows:

Stonewall Libertarians had a few weeks advance notice that Gary Johnson was considering leaving the Republican Party to seek the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2012. A number of our members told him his candidacy would be a non-starter for us unless he came out full-throttle in support of gay marriage. We told him that while our ultimate goal was to get the government out of the marriage business, if the government was going to continue to grant licenses to heterosexual couples, then to deny such a certificate to gay couples was discrimination and a violation of the 14th Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection" under the law.

We are pleased Gary Johnson responded to our concerns and we wish him well in his quest to become the Presidential Nominee of the Libertarian Party in 2012.

Stonewall Libertarians is an independent organization of libertarians that promotes smaller government, lower taxes and more individual freedom. They welcome all libertarians who are perceived to deviate from the norms of society and work to promote tolerance and equality in the Libertarian Party and in society at large.

Chris Edes, Immediate Past Chair Of The New York Libertarian Party, Endorses Carl Person's Brand Of Libertarianism Which Holds That The Power Of Banks & Large Corporations Is Too Great & Must Be Restrained

Chris Edes, the Immediate Past Chair of the New York Libertarian Party, has argued that Carl Person's positions regarding Banks & Large Corporations are consistent with free market & libertarian principles. The contents of his statement are, in part, as follows:

I'll be supporting Gary Johnson and/or Ron Paul, but I have to admit, you changed my mind about Carl Person. I thought he was just an empty suit, but he really thinks about things and tries to find creative solutions.

Banks have not been part of the free market in this country since 1913. I'm not certain whether it's more accurate to say that government has taken over the banks, or vice-versa, but it has been almost a century since banks were private enterprises operating solely on the basis of free market economics. For that matter a corporate charter is an instrument of the state, not a natural feature of the free market; as opposed to a simple partnership or like form of business, which can be bound by private contract.

Carl Person would go further than I would, but when you look at the situation we're in, where many feel forced to reward failure, because the perceived alternative is failure of the entire system, a system that is supposed to be based on rewarding success and punishing failure -- you can see we're already off course, and it's because the power of the banks and large corporations is too great. Or to put it another way, the State-sponsored entities called banks and corporations have corrupted the free market, and must be restrained to save the free market.

When did Libertarians start believing groups have rights? It in no way infringes the natural rights of human beings to regulate what exists solely due to privileges granted by the State. You don't have to incorporate; if it's a devil's bargain, don't take it!

So, I don't think Carl's proposals are inherently against libertarian principles. 

Chris Edes currently serves as a voting member of the State Committee of the New York Libertarian Party. In 2011, he ran for a position as Monroe County Legislator (24th District) on the Green Party line.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gary Greenberg, Biblical Archaeology Society President, Lectures On The First Libertarian Freedom Fighters In Ancient Israel & Regarding The Existence Of A Hebrew Free State

Gary Greenberg was President of the New York Libertarian Alliance and one of the first At-Large Representatives elected to serve on the State Committee of the New York Libertarian Party. For nearly two decades, he has served as President of the Biblical Archaeology Society of New York. Gary Greenberg is a full-time criminal defense lawyer for the Legal Aid Society of New York City. He has published a number of books including "101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History", "The Moses Mystery: The African Origins of the Jewish People", and "The Judas Brief: Who Really Killed Jesus?".

At the invitation of Dr. Tom Stevens, Political Director of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, he addressed that group on Saturday, December 10, 2011 on the topic of The First Freedom Fighters: Ancient Israel vs. the Empire of David. That lecture addresses the existence of a Hebrew Free State and its libertarian tendencies. His lecture notes (a draft copy subject to future revision) has been re-printed, with his permission, here:
The First Freedom Fighters: Ancient Israel vs. the Empire of David
The Hebrew Free State

In this talk, I want to discuss what I refer to as the Hebrew Free State, a term of my own invention. This Hebrew Free State, I suggest, was history’s first long-lasting wide-spread political enterprise that endorsed the rights of the individual over the State. More specifically, it was militantly anti-state, anti-draft, anti-tax, anti-census, anti-imperialist, pro-democracy, religiously tolerant, decentralist and pro-private property. It lasted more than 200 years, from some time prior to 1220 BCE to approximately 1000BCE, when King David defeated the Hebrew Free State, seized control of the nation, and imposed a centralized political dictatorship that was widely despised by the people of Israel.

The leaders of the Hebrew Free State remained in opposition to David, and to David’s successor, the more brutal tyrant, Solomon. About 80 years after David seized power, at the end of Solomon’s reign, the Hebrew Free State broke free of the Davidic dynasty and established an independent kingdom. The Davidic Dynasty ruled over what would be approximately the southern half of the nation, and the territory was known as the Kingdom of Judah. The breakaway Hebrew Free State, allegedly representing ten or eleven of the original twelve tribes, came to be known as the Kingdom of Israel.

The revived Hebrew Free State, unfortunately lasted only about 25 years, ending with the assassination of the ruling king, and the pro-freedom nature of the Hebrew State began to deteriorate into a standard state-monarchy.

The northern kingdom of Israel lasted for about two hundred years, from the end of Solomon’s reign to 722 BCE, when the Assyrians conquered Israel and dispersed its inhabitants into the outer parts of the Assyrian empire, never to be heard from again. This had given rise to many legends about the ten lost tribes of Israel. Many of the northerners, however, escaped to the southern kingdom of Judah and continued to have some influence on the Judean population.

Let me begin with a brief historical archaeological and biblical overview of the period involved. First, however, I need to explain a little something about the evolution of the biblical histories. What needs to be understood, as acknowledged by all serious biblical historians, in contrast to religious beliefs, all of the books about the history of Israel prior to the time of David and Solomon were actually written long-after the time of David and Solomon, and they were pieced together from various source texts representing a variety of competing viewpoints from different political and religious factions in ancient Israel. The final versions of these texts were pieced together after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE and written under the guidance of the Kingdom of Judah. Many of the stories in the pre-Davidic history actually reflect the conflicts between the Davidic monarchy and the Hebrew Free State, as well as other factions. And much of that invented history is political polemic, which often distorts and misrepresents opposing views.

One of the nice things about political polemics, however, is that if the opposition is large and influential, the polemic has to acknowledge its existence and offer countervailing evidence. The anti-Davidic northern Kingdom of Israel was extremely powerful and influential during the period in which many of the source texts were written, and these earlier sources were known and had to be responded to.

That said, let me begin by addressing the first major problem in discussing the history of the Hebrew Free State, the so-called Canaanite conquest in which Israel allegedly drove other nations out of their homelands. The story of this conquest appears in the biblical book of Joshua. The story is almost certainly false and contradicted by other biblical evidence, and more importantly, by archaeological evidence.

The biblical book of Judges tells of events that occurred in the period that I describe as dominated by the Hebrew Free State. It begins with a claim that the only nation that successfully conquered non-Hebrew nations was Judah. The other tribes conquered nothing. Now, this book was written several hundred years after the events described within, mostly likely after the disappearance of the northern kingdom of Israel. Its claims about the relevant roles of Judah versus the remaining tribes suggest a propaganda point to indicate that the god of Israel favored the more militant Judeans. But, as propaganda, we can’t be sure of it historical value as a factual account. Archaeology gives us a very different picture.

The earliest mention of Israel in the historical record occurs on an Egyptian monument dating to about 1220 BCE. It describes an alleged Egyptian military campaign into Canaan in which Egypt defeated several Canaanite nations, one of which was Israel. But there is one unusual feature of this Egyptian inscription that is of interest to us. While it makes reference to several allegedly defeated nations, the Egyptian grammar describes only Israel as a people without a particular territory of their own. Clearly, then, this is not a nation that has established rule over other nations, and the other nations in Canaan seem to exist without any form of Israeli domination.

There is more evidence, at about the time of this inscription or not long after, the archaeological evidence shows that a wave of immigrants moved into the central highlands that form the heart of ancient Israel, approximately what we refer to as the West Bank today. These immigrants moved into previously uninhabited sites in these hills and established numerous small villages. An unusual feature of these many villages is the absence of pig bone. While we have no direct inscription referring to these immigrants as Israel, the circumstantial evidence is quite strong that we are dealing here with early stages of the Hebrew nation.

One more remarkable piece of archaeological evidence: After the appearance of this Egyptian inscription, we have no other direct reference to Israel or any of its tribes for another four hundred years, completely by-passing the monarchies of David and Solomon. If Israel had forcibly ruled over the Canaanite nations as alleged in Joshua, how come we have not a shred of evidence for this conquest? Sherlock Holmes might have remarked, “Curious Watson, the dog didn’t bark.” How likely is it that a Kingdom as allegedly powerful as David and Solomon ruled over leaves no archaeological or inscriptional traces contemporaneous with these two monarchs or their predecessors.

There was no Israelite conquest of Canaan. They arrived in peaceful waves into uninhabited areas and established no political states or domination over foreign territories. As to David and Solomon, whatever territories they ruled over, if these two existed at all, must have been small and local in nature, far from what is described in the bible.

On the other hand, at about the same time that Israel allegedly went around attacking other nations, we have evidence of a different invasion of Canaan by outside groups, probably Greeks from Mycenaean territories, one of which was the Philistines. The invasions are noted on Egyptian monuments and the pictorial evidence shows that these were full-scale invasions designed to settle into these new territories, with families and cattle being brought along. The Egyptian records describing the invasion, possibly inaccurately, say none of the Canaanite nations could stand up to the invaders. No mention of Israel exists in these Egyptian accounts, on one side or the other.

In the second century, after the third major Jewish revolt against Rome in a sixty year span, the Romans renamed the territory of Judea as Palestine. For modern context, the area now known as the Palestinian West Bank, was the Jewish heartland, peacefully settled. The western coast of what is now known as Israel, was Palestinian territory.

Back to our story.

The Book of Judges, is a biblical account of the period that falls somewhere between the Egyptian reference to ancient Israel and the years leading up to the Davidic monarchy.

It is mostly a collection of legends about various Canaanite heroes, allegedly Israelites, who “Judged” Israel. It presents some intriguing images if you read between the lines. There are no Israelite conquests in this account. Instead, it depicts various occasions when Israel comes under attack by powerful neighbors and suffers oppression at their hands. During these various oppressions in various locales, a charismatic hero rises up, some male and some female, and they administer stinging defeats to the oppressors. The text then says these heroes judged Israel for some lengths of time and Israel had peace during these periods.

The remarkable thing about these so-called Judges, is that they don’t do any actual judging, at least in the stories. They just go on with their lives. Samson, the most famous of the judges, for all practical purposes, lived among the Philistines, hung out with the Philistines, married a Philistine, and was not particularly well-liked by the Hebrews. These Judges appeared to have no ecclesiastical role in formulating God’s law.

The Book of Judges describes this period as one in which “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Ju 17:6).” In this description we can see some evidence of a philosophical hostility to the state. In context, the biblical author of this book, from the Davidic side of the picture, doesn’t see this as a good thing.

In Judges we also have some more specific evidence of an anti-state philosophy. It is in the story of Gideon, who is also known as Jerubbaal. Because the story uses two different names for Gideon, it is thought that there were separate stories that merged together. The last part of Jerubbaal’s name, B-A-A-L, is that of a Canaanite deity other than that of the God of Israel. Several other Israelites had Baal names and it proved to be an embarrassment to later biblical writers, who sometimes changed the Baal name to Bosheth, meaning shame.

Gideon’s clan actually appears to be actively worshipping Canaanite deities and has a shrine dedicated to one of them. In any event, Gideon’s clan and many others, we are told was being menaced by a war-like nomad group known as the Midianites, who swooped in on their camels, the high-tech tanks of their time, and seized the property of the various Israeli villages.

Gideon is depicted as receiving God’s call to fight back against these enemies, but we can probably safely assume that he just wasn’t going to take it anymore. He put out a call for volunteers to join with him. The story says that he attracted 30,000 volunteers but made a speech saying this was going to be a tough ride and if you want to back out it’s okay. Allegedly 10,000 remained. He winnowed these down to 300 and launched a counter-attack. Biblical numbers can rarely be trusted and here we should probably assume that 300 men was all he could raise.

In any event, he defeated the Midianites and his military success led to appeals to him to become king. He explicitly rejected this petition, saying “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you.” This strikes me as quite a libertarian point of view, and an explicit rejection of statism and authoritarianism. Remember, it was a time in which each man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Gideon that went back to his village and fashioned a Canaanite idol that he worshipped. Think about what this means for religious tolerance. He rejected monarchy, told the people that only God could rule them, and worshipped a Canaanite deity. The final biblical author/editor was somewhat distressed by this point and wrote, “and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which became a snare unto Gideon and to his house.” Well, maybe all of Israel didn’t worship at this alter, but many appear to have. Nevertheless, God allowed Gideon to guide Israel for 40 years and bring peace to the nation.

Gideon had 71 sons and one of them, Abimelech had monarchist ambitions. He was from the major Israelite city of Shechem, modern Nablus on the West Bank, and he went to the people of Shechem and convinced them that it was better for them to be ruled by one person, namely him, rather than having the 70 sons of Gideon judge them. Upon being granted the throne, he set out to kill all of Gideon’s sons. But one of them escaped, a man named Jotham, who issued an intriguing curse on the Shechemites. It is known as the Parable of the Trees. (Ju 9:7-15.)

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, “Listen to me, you lords of Shechem, so that God may listen to you.

8 The trees once went out to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’

9 The olive tree answered them, ‘Shall I stop producing my rich oil by which gods and mortals are honored, and go to sway over the trees?’

10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’

11 But the fig tree answered them, ‘Shall I stop producing my sweetness and my delicious fruit, and go to sway over the trees?’

12 Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’

13 But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I stop producing my wine that cheers gods and mortals, and go to sway over the trees?’

14 So all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’

15 And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

Consider the point made. Productive people take pride in their achievements and wouldn’t want to rule over other people. But if you appoint a ruler not out of justice, but out of power lust, may you burn up. Seems like quite a strong Randian-Libertarian sentiment.

Abimelechy’s reign lasted about three years and then there was a struggle for power between Abimelech and other ambitious leaders in Shechem. War broke out between the opposing sides, Abimelech crushed the rebellion but died in battle when a woman on a tower dropped a rock on his head. The experiment with monarchy then ended.

When we come to the end of the Book of Judges, we have the following indications of political attitudes among the Israelites. Israel was militantly opposed to political states. They had no king and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. In times of peril, the leaders resisted military conscription, relying on a volunteer army. Religious tolerance was wide spread and many Israelite leaders even worshipped deities other than the Hebrew God.

The chronological narrative picks up again in the First Book of Samuel. We are still in the pre-monarchal period and, as we shall see, there is a strong philosophical opposition to a state and strong support for individual freedom. But there appears to have been some sort of evolutionary shift in the nature of the political structure.

We have Judges in leadership positions, and these Judges are also military leaders, but they also appear to be aligned with a particular priesthood centered in the city of Shiloh. The Shiloh priesthood appears to have become deeply influential among the ancient Israelites and there is a Shilohite thread running through much of the following history. Being priests, they position themselves much more closely in touch with God and his word then that of the earlier Judges. They make pronouncements as if they were coming directly from God. They act as if God is working through them at times. Sometimes miracles occur. Israel is embarking on a slippery slope.

Israel is still decentralized and anti-state. These Judges appear to ride a circuit and get a fee for their services. Whether they were the only judges or one group among many others we don’t know. But corruption has set in to the Shiloh priesthood and it leads to significant problems.

The first of these judges that we encounter is Eli, who is now very old, and his sons are perceived as corrupt and God is angry with them. We are told about these sons of Eli that, (I Sam 2:12-17) the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD (13) or for the duties of the priests to the people. When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, (14) and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. (15) Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” (16) And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force.” (17) Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD; for they treated the offerings of the LORD with contempt.

Samuels two sons soon die in battle, allegedly as a punishment for their deeds, and the Ark of the Covenant is lost to the Philistines.

When Eli hears the news he keels over and his protege, Samuel, takes his place as chief priest in Israel and Judge. According to the text, “He went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all these places. (17) Then he would come back to Ramah, for his home was there; he administered justice there to Israel, and built there an altar to the LORD.”

But in Samuel’s old age, his sons also became corrupt. We are told that they took bribes and perverted justice. So the Israelite’s came to Samuel, and said in essence, “get rid of the kids and appoint us a king, like the other nations have.”

This greatly distressed Samuel, who took this request as a rejection of his leadership and he went out to commiserate with God. But God said to Samuel, they didn’t reject you, they rejected me. Go back and tell them what it will be like if they have a king. This leads Samuel to deliver what I believe to be the first great Libertarian political speech in history.

“These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; (12) and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. (13) He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. (14) He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. (15) He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. (16) He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. (17) He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. (18) And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” (1 s 8:11-18.)

Parenthetically, I should note that this prophecy comes true during the reign of Solomon, which we will get to shortly.

What actions follow from having a king, according to this speech?

• Military Conscription

• Forced labor for the king’s benefit

• War machines and militarism

• Taxation at the then alarming rate of 10% of all your property

• Eminent Domain for the king’s benefit

• Utter misery

Samuel’s speech gives quite a good description of the guiding principles of the Hebrew Free State. But the corruption of his sons and other priests were more than the Israelites were prepared to tolerate. And they turned to another military hero to be their king and they asked Samuel to consecrate him. This hero was named Saul, and when he heard that the Israelites wanted him to be king he went into hiding, thinking this was a terrible idea.

But the people insisted and he was elevated to the kingship, but this wasn’t quite your traditional kingship. It was more like a limited constitutional state where the king was subject to removal and had to follow guidelines. We are told that Samuel actual wrote about a book of rules for the king to follow. Israelite society changed very little under his guidance. It remained pretty much as it had been under the priesthood. There is no evidence that Saul engaged in any confiscation of wealth or great monumental building programs. He appears to have lived in the family home and lived off the family farming business. And circumstantial evidence suggests he remained popular and widely loved by the people. In fact, only three main charges were raised against him by the biblical editors of the various books in the bible.

• He didn’t consult the Ark of the Covenant for guidance,

• He didn’t follow Samuel’s instructions to murder all the men, women, children, and cattle belonging to the Amalekites,

• He had a paranoid and erroneous fear that David wanted to usurp his throne.

The first two issues reflect political and religious differences between the theocratic Samuel and the democratic Saul as to the source of authority over the people of Israel, priestly direction or democratic vote. As to the third charge, paranoia with regard to David’s ambitions, Saul was right on the money. David clearly sought to displace Saul as king, and, in fact, actually pulled Judah out of union with Israel while Saul was on the throne, made himself king of Judah, and allied himself with the Philistines against Saul and Israel.

Nowhere is there any biblical evidence that Saul was unpopular with the people, or that he was an unjust or oppressive ruler, or that he did anything to infringe upon the doctrines of the Hebrew Free State.

The corrupt Shiloh priesthood became quite concerned over the loss of their perks and prestigious status and sought an ally against Saul. No longer worried about allowing a king to rule, they were more concerned with having a king who would take direction from them. They formed an alliance with the charismatic David and sought to replace the house of Saul with the House of David.

On Saul’s death, which may have been arranged by David, but we won’t go into that here, civil war broke out between David’s allies and the Israelites, the latter led by Saul’s uncle, Abner, who placed Saul’s son, Eshbaal on the throne of Israel.

The civil war lasted two years and ended with the assassinations of Abner and Eshbaal.

Defeated, the Israelites surrendered to David and he became king over Israel. David immediately began to consolidate power, centralizing authority under his reign, hiring two mercenary armies to keep him in power, instituting forced labor, collecting taxes, waging war, and engaging in monumental building programs. He appointed a Shiloh priest to be one of two chief priests in Israel.

The biblical editors acknowledge two great sins by David. One was the murder of Bathsheba’s husband in order to cover up the fact that David got her pregnant while her husband was away fighting for Israel, surely a universal sin in all societies. The other was the conducting of a compulsory census, a sin so venal that one biblical author said the devil seized control of David, and the bible even quotes David’s homicidal henchman, Joab, as saying David takes too much pleasure in this trespass against Israel. The census appears to have triggered a brief civil war that left portions of Israel uncounted. That a compulsory census was sinful, the devil’s work, was a message unique to the ancient Israelites among the ancient Near Eastern neighbors, and reflects a truly libertarian viewpoint. After all, the purpose of a census was to arrange for taxes and the confiscation of the people’s property. The opposition to a census was based on the idea that a king had no need to know what taxable resources there were as God would provide the people with what was necessary. A census, then, was an insult to God.

David had a widespread reputation as a murderer and for lacking justice in his reign. This led to two almost successful revolutions that nearly toppled him from power. One came from the house of Saul, which believed David responsible for murdering Saul, Abner, and Eshbaal. The other was led by David’s son Absalom, who appealed to the people’s sense of justice for support and who managed to chase David from Jerusalem. Absalom raised his support among the Israelies by sitting in front of the Jerusalem gate and telling people coming to David to resolve legal disputes that if he Absalom, were king, there would be justice in the country. David backed by a Philistine army and his two mercenary armies eventually defeated Absalom and retained the throne. Although David was driven out of Jerusalem by Absalom, David considered the revolt by Saul’s house to be far more dangerous to him. Nevertheless, he contained that revolt also.

Upon David’s death, the palace guard, led by Solomon and the two mercenary armies, staged a military coup against the legitimate heir to the throne. Solomon subsequently murdered the heir and several of his allies. Unfortunately, for the Shiloh priesthood, they backed the legitimate heir and when Solomon won out he kicked the Shilohites out of office and unified the religious leadership under the other chief priest, who had backed Solomon against the legitimate heir.

Solomon was a far more brutal thug than David and far more oppressive. He escalated the degree of forced labor and taxation and lived a luxurious lifestyle. Despite his reputation for wisdom, he appears to have been pretty much of a vainglorious jerk, whose self-centered extravagance plowed the way for the collapse of the United Monarchy. The biblical editors and theologians were hard-pressed to make a case for him as the legitimate leader of Israel and relied primarily on David’s reputation to justify continuing the Davidic line in power after Solomon died.

During Solomon’s reign, the Shiloh priesthood sought new allies and formed an alliance with Jeroboam, a popular leader who had been appointed to head the labor force in the Joseph tribes. He staged an initial rebellion against Solomon but lost and fled to Egypt for protection when Solomon sought to kill him. On Solomon’s death, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, claimed the throne but Jeroboam returned to lead the Israelites in negotiations with the House of Judah over a successor to Solomon. Although, the biblical editors tried to cover up Solomon’s oppression of Israel, the true story seeped through the editorial committees. Portions of the negotiations were preserved in the biblical text.

The Israelites said to Rehoboam: “Thy father [that is, Solomon] made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.”

Rehoboam asked for some time to consider their offer. He went to the older advisors, and they said, “tell them what they want to hear and they’ll be loyal to you.” (Clintonistas)

Then he went to his young buddies, and they said “crush the bastards” or at least words to that effect. (Team Obama.) Rehoboam liked what the second group had to say and returned to the negotiations and made the following suggestion:

"My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

This wasn’t quite the deal-maker he thought it would be. And the Israelites replied:

"What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: To your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents."

And the Israelites chose Jeroboam as their leader. This cry of the Israelites, by the way, about no share in David, is the same battle cry used when the House of Saul revolted against King David.

Rehoboam responded by sending a tax collector into Israel and the Israelites replied by promptly stoning him to death. (Rehobam was heard to remark “Those tea party bastards refuse to compromise, they want to see the people’s government fail.)

When Jeroboam became king over Israel, allied with the Shilohites, he faced a number of problems. For one, the Judahite kingdom had a large professional standing army while the Israelites had a decentralized volunteer muster. Still, they continuously held off the Judahite army and never succumbed, despite Rehoboam’s continuous wars against Israel.

In addition, the centralization of religion in Jerusalem at Solomon’s temple created a major difficulty. Despite corruption in the Shilohite priesthood, the general religious principles held great sway, even if not scrupulously adhered to by all. Jeroboam feared that once the Israelites made their journey to Jerusalem for the annual religious festivals and obligations, they would fall back under the sway of the non-Shilohite Temple priesthood. So, Jeroboam built two new temples, one in the south of Israel and one in the north of Israel. And he changed the dates of the festivals via calendar reform. And, ever the free-thinker, he placed a golden calf at each of the temples and said “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Note the plural form here, as well as the subtle challenge to the monotheistic deity of the Israelites.

Here, you might be reminded of the story about Aaron and the Golden calf during the Exodus and think that Jeroboam must have been pretty foolish to go up against that biblical injunction. However, when the Aaron story is read more carefully, it is evident that the Aaron story is based on Jeroboam’s actions rather than the other way around. Aaron says in that story, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Note the problem here. Aaron uses the same words as Jeroboam, using the plural form “gods”, but he has only one calf.

But Jeroboam didn’t stop there. Despite his support from the Shilohite priesthood, he opposed their religious monopoly and decreed that anyone who wanted to be a priest could be one, and he, himself, engaged in priestly duties. This, of course, once again ticked off the Shilohites. They denounced Jeroboam as wicked despite his apparent popular and lengthy reign of 22 years.

After Jeroboam successfully split the ten tribes away from Judah, Israel became the more financially successful, powerful and dominant of the two kingdoms for about two centuries. Jeroboam was succeeded by his son, Nadab, who ruled only about two years. Interestingly, some dictionaries translate the name Nadab as “liberal”, I prefer to think that refers to classical liberalism. Make what you will out of it.

Nadab’s reign came to an end when he was assassinated by his successor. The assassin also killed off all the remnant of Jeroboam’s family. I suggest, admittedly on only a small amount of very inconclusive evidence, that the Shilohite priesthood was behind the assassination.

The Shilohite priesthood remained influential and their writings appear to have played a key role as source material for the later biblical writers who condemned Jeroboam for his wickedness, and who measured the wickedness of other kings against Jeroboam, the man who most directly challenged the priestly monopoly on religious thought.

Not long after the fall of the House of Jeroboam, the kingdom of Israel became a major military and possibly expansionist power under two of its most famous kings, Omri and Ahab, both of whose names appear in extra-biblical contemporaneous records. The kings ruling after Jeroboam’s brief dynasty appear to have reverted to traditional forms of monarchy, undermining Jeroboam’s legacy, although Jerobaom appears to have remained a popular northern hero as one of the later kings took Jerobaom as his throne name. From the time of Omri, mid 800s, to the destruction of Israel in 722 BC, the kingdom of Israel was known in foreign records as the House of Omri, even after Omri’s dynasty ended.

This leaves us with very little time to discuss a very big question, how did things go wrong for the Hebrew Free State. To give only an initial simple explanation, I suggest that the corruption of the Shiloh priesthood, and the concomitant loss of power, led the Shiloh priests to an abandonment of principle. They tried to form coalitions with unprincipled allies. (A message here for modern libertarians, hint, hint.) They gave in to the idea of kingship in the hope that they would be able to control the king. When that didn’t work, they sought to find a king who would take religious guidance from them rather than a leader who would maintain the political principles of the Hebrew Free State.

Had the Shiloh priesthood remained loyal to Saul and to their opposition to the principle of formal kingship, the history of the last fifteen hundred years may have been radically different.

David would have been thought of as a monarchist thug. A decentralized but unified libertarian-oriented Hebrew kingdom may have lasted in office through the centuries, the idea of a Davidic messiah may never have arisen, Christianity may have never infected western civilization, and Judaism might have taken a radically different historical turn.

In the days of the Alexandrian and early Roman empires, Judaism served as the primary and somewhat influential intellectual opposition to the Hellenistic world. Imagine what might have been if that intellectual model had remained libertarian instead of theocratic.

Interestingly, in the time frame surrounding Jesus, the Pharisees were one of the most influential forces in ancient Israel, champions of the poor and opponents of monarchy. A militant faction of the Pharisees, known as the Fourth Way, waged guerrilla war against Rome under the slogan “No King but God.” Josephus, the Jewish historian , wrote that they were extremists on the issue of freedom (Extremism in defense of liberty, etc..) and draws a direct line between their guerrilla activities and the first great Jewish revolt against Rome in the year 66.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian Candidate For Pennsylvania Governor In 1998 & 2002, Announces Release Of "Atlas Snubbed", A Pastiche Parody Sequel To Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"

Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor in 1998 and 2002, has announced the release of his first novel, "Atlas Snubbed," a pastiche parody sequel to Ayn Rand's epic, "Atlas
Shrugged." The new novel is available in print and several e-book formats via

"The novel is a pastiche in every sense of the word," explained Krawchuk. "Not only is it meant to be a tribute to Ayn Rand and written in her style, it also sports a patchwork of 'sampled' phrases and situations excerpted from her novels and other writings. Devoted fans of Rand will recognize how I relish taking the words of one character and placing them plausibly into the mouth of another, usually one who is likely to be a philosophical opposite. No surprise, then, that this novel is also a parody; and not merely a lampooning of Ayn Rand's writings and writing style, but also her Objectivist philosophy. Nevertheless, it is a respectfully serious parody, oxymoronic though the concept may seem."

Weighing in at approximately half the size of Atlas Shrugged, Atlas Snubbed is structured as a 368,000-word trilogy. The first book focuses on the outside world, the second on the world inside Rand's philosophical enclave of Galt's Gulch, and the third, what happens when worlds collide. The work features a number of Rand's B-level characters, several new characters, plus cameos from a handful of Rand's A-level characters. Like Atlas Shrugged, the parody is set in a fictional 1950s era where Socialism is prevalent. Its genre spans commercial fiction, literary fiction and science fiction.

The parody commences with the precise state of affairs that existed at the conclusion of Atlas Shrugged. The story is a fast-paced, apocalyptic tale of the bloody collapse of Rand's United States, the handful of American cities which survive, and on the subsequent altercations between them. Each city embodies a different philosophical archetype, one of which develops a brand new political concept -- the separation of Society and State -- an approach which overcomes the shortcomings of all the other archetypes, including many of those of modern day America. And of course our hero gets the girl in the end.

"This novel is something that had to be written," continued Krawchuk. "Its genesis came on the heels of my 2002 gubernatorial campaign, spawned and spurred by two key items. Firstly, Ayn Rand is the philosophical matriarch of the Libertarian Party; and secondly, as a high-profile Libertarian candidate I repeatedly found myself in situations where I was forced to defend her philosophy to the public at large. It was a task I ultimately found in part to be impossible, because, to be frank, some of her ideas are simply indefensible. Based on that experience, Atlas Snubbed chronicles as fiction some of the shortcomings of Rand's Objectivist philosophy and presents the story of my solutions to them. And it's a rousing science fiction adventure tale as well."

Ken Krawchuk, 58, is a Philadelphia native and long-time political activist who has run for political office eight times, including two record-breaking campaigns for Governor of Pennsylvania. He is an entrepreneur, an Information Technology professional, and holds three U.S. patents related to computer database theory. He is also a professional public speaker and an award-winning Distinguished Toastmaster. He and his wife Roberta have three grown daughters and two grandchildren, and live in Abington Township, a Philadelphia suburb. More information about Mr. Krawchuk can be found on Wikipedia. The parody is published by Ken Krawchuk & Associates, Ltd., and distributed through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and via

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chris Costanzo, Past State Chair Of The Vermont Libertarian Party, Tells State Committee Members That Carl Person's Candidacy Has Nothing To Do With Libertarianism & Likens Him To An Upholstery Flea

In direct response to Carl Person's view that Town Attorney Generals should use their prosecutorial power to sue corporations to obtain "Corporate Clawbacks" to finance Free Healthcare, Free Dental Care and Free Prescription Drugs for all citizens, Doug Richmond, VTLP Underhill Town Chair, who claims to know "Socialists and Commune wishers intimately" wrote:

This has NOTHING to do with Libertarian Thought. You need the Green/Greed Party, or Socialist/Commune-ists ideology.

Chris Costanzo, Past State Chair of the Vermont Libertarian Party, then wrote the following to all VTLP State Committee Members, to warn them against supporting Carl Person for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination:

Doug is right. This man's candidacy has nothing to do with libertarianism. It illustrates my complaint over the years that all kinds of people on the left and on the right come to the LP claiming to be "libertarians," by which they mean the liberty of having the government do what they want, instead of what other people want. Some of these people (on the left) would be more at home among the socialists or social democrats, or (on the right) among the John Birchers or Christian Coalition.

They come out of the upholstery like fleas every election season, seeking LP support and wanting to avail themselves of the party podium. What's scary is that there are always some party members, alas even a large number of party members, who look at some of these guys and their anti-libertarian positions, and say "Oh, we can't demand ideological purity, after all he is very libertarian in other things." I beg the state committee not to fall for it this time.

I would add to Doug Richmond that libertarian antipathy towards this guy's liberal scheme should be matched by libertarian antipathy towards conservative desires such as establishment of religion and religious liturgies in official government procedures. Libertarianism is neither conservative nor liberal but an ideology in its own right, in an across-the-board support of liberty and government non-involvement in our lives, be it in conservative or liberal areas.

Relevant Links:

Carl Person Calls For Wolf-Pack Justice Against Major Corporations By Town Attorney Generals To Obtain Corporate Clawbacks To Finance Free Healthcare, Free Dental Care, Free Prescription Drugs & Reduced Real Estate Taxes:

Carl Person To Bring Corporate Downsizing & Outsourcing To A Screeching Halt:

Objectivist Party Governing Board Terminates Membership Of Carl Person For Exhibiting Socialist Tendencies:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Carl Person Calls For Wolf-Pack Justice Against Major Corporations By Town Attorney Generals To Obtain Corporate Clawbacks To Finance Free Healthcare, Free Dental Care, Free Prescription Drugs & Reduced Real Estate Taxes

Carl Person, a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination, issued a Prosperity Plan on October 24, 2011 encouraging Towns with populations between 7,500 and 12,500 to appoint Town Attorney Generals. Point 15 in that Prosperity Plan read, in part, as follows:

"The Town’s Mayor Will Be Encouraged To Have The Town’s Lawyer Function As The Town Attorney General to protect the rights of the Town, its residents and small businesses at public expense, and obtain refunds (or “clawbacks”) from entities that have breached their contracts with the Town."

For more details with respect to what these Town Attorney Generals will focus on in their efforts to obtain "refunds" or "clawbacks" from corporations, Mr. Person writes the following on his "Town Attorney General" website at

"A group of Town Attorney Generals, operating as a "wolfpack" in fashion similar to the states’ attorneys general, can decide to eliminate price discrimination in a specific industry, such as beverages or appliances or auto parts, and commence lawsuits throughout the United States against errant manufacturers until the effect of such lawsuits reaches the level of impact that the Federal Trade Commission had, before the Nixon Administration, in their rigid enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act.

In effect, a group of Town Attorneys General can exercise for their respective communities the abandoned powers of the federal government to enforce the nation’s antitrust laws. "Wolfpack" combat was used  successfully during the Second World War by the German submarine commanders who would operate as a "wolfpack" and gang up on individual convoys of ships from the United States (or elsewhere) attempting to resupply England. The United States was able to stop this by breaking the German Enigma Code.

Until the manufacturers stop their price discrimination, by switching back to a published price list from the current system of secret negotiations and secret pricing and below-cost selling, the towns and villages will make a substantial amount of money in their lawsuits to protect the interests of the town and its residents and local businesses. When the manufacturers stop violating the law, the town, and its residents and locally-owned businesses, will be able to make money the old fashioned way, through the financially-successful residents and local businesses that will result when the destructive price discrimination practices of the major retailers and their suppliers are brought to an end.

There are various other laws for profitable enforcement by the Town Attorney General, including:

a. State antitrust laws

b. State laws prohibiting deceptive or misleading advertising

c. Fraud, misrepresentation, and fraudulent omission

d. Allocation of sales tax revenues

e. Imposing employee healthcare costs on the community

f. Illegal hiring of immigrants

g. Illegal outsourcing which steals jobs from the community

h. Breach of representations and warranties made when obtaining zoning variations

i. Purchasing of jobs by one community, which unfairly deprives another community of its existing jobs, and provides huge sums of unearned money to corporations trafficking in local jobs

There are many more areas for profitable litigation, and each community needs to have a review of its relationship with major businesses operating in the area to determine what claims to bring in the lawsuits designed to take back what the multinationals are taking illegally from the town and its residents and local businesses."

Carl Person goes on to further describe his vision regarding the role Town Attorney Generals will play:

"Imagine the complexity of the U.S. tax code and the army of lawyers and CPA’s that provide legal and accounting advice to the multinational corporations enabling them to pay little if any income taxes to the United States in spite of their ever-growing revenues. Add to this the output of 180 some odd American Bar Association-approved law schools training thousands of lawyers each year to go to work for the major corporations, both as in-house counsel and with the major law firms in each U.S. city that provide outside legal representation to all of the large and most medium-size corporations operating within or engaged in transactions with companies and individuals located in the United States. The legal expertise involved to protect major corporations is so complicated that for the past 20 years or longer there has been a steady merger of law firms into ever-growing law firm giants because of the perceived need to have law firms handle all sorts of legal problems (as a "full service" firm), with the large law firm delegating portions of a problem on occasion to a smaller "boutique" law firm specializing in a narrow field of law.

What I’m driving at is that major corporations have become major corporations because they have used thousands of lawyers each year to protect the corporate interests and assets, as against smaller customers, regulatory agencies, and host communities which lack most of the legal expertise that has enabled the corporations to take assets from others under color of law, winding up as sales and profits, with little fear that anyone is going to recognize how the major corporations are violating the law or do anything about it if they do recognize violations of law.

In this context, we have had an influx of major retailers opening up retail stores throughout the United States and devastating the locally-owned businesses. The host towns and villages have been looking for tax revenue to replace the lost taxes and community income being stolen by the major retailers, and have done very little to investigate and deal with corporate wrongdoing because of the lack of the needed legal skills. The IRS, for example, has insufficient personnel or assets to make a complete review of the tax filings of the multinational corporations, and winds up instead looking (quickly and without much understanding) at perhaps less than 1/10th of 1% of the documents filed and generally letting the corporations determine for themselves that they owe no tax (based upon expensive opinions and planning done by the hordes of lawyers and accountants retained by the multinationals).

Continued growth by the nation’s largest corporations is relatively easy. They do whatever could be argued is "lawful" and recognize that nobody is going to challenge them, which enables the major corporations to take more than they should, and leave their suppliers and customers relatively impoverished, having transferred their wealth to the major corporations through a variety of business practices which, upon examination, can be proven are illegal.

Towns and villages throughout the United States are feeling the effects of the multinationals by reason of the decline in standard of living of the residents; the reduction in tax revenues received by the town/village; the increase in prices caused by the monopolies; the increased burden thrust on local communities by the federal and state governments that are also trying to cope with loss of income from the multinationals based upon their gray area operations and tax reporting with high-priced legal support.

Obviously, the cure for this loss of income and wealth is to have sophisticated legal assistance to determine the legality of the "gray area" operations that have been depriving the town or village and its residents and local businesses of jobs, higher-paying jobs, tax revenues, income (through higher prices), and decline in property and business values. This is the function of a "Town Attorney General", as I conceive this position to be."

Carl Person says his "corporate clawbacks" will result in a significant source of new income:

"Towns and villages know how to obtain revenue by setting up and working speed traps for motorists, but this is penny ante stuff. The towns and villages should be setting up "speed traps" for large corporations (being invisible or "incorporeal", or without body), to detect wrongdoing and commence appropriate litigation to recover money for the town. Community fines against individuals (for parking, speeding and smoking) will probably not amount to more than $200 per family per year (and this is just a guess), but going after errant multinational corporations can easily result in new income to the town amounting to about $5,000 to $10,000 per family per year, and probably with little or no outlay of money by the town. In fact, the town should be able to use a positive cash flow to increase these outlined civil enforcement activities."

What does Carl Person propose these Towns and Villages do with this increased income? He says candidates for Mayor or Town Supervisor will have an appealing argument when running for office, which will be the following:

"If elected, I will appoint and supervise a Town Attorney General to go after the monopolists and produce enough revenue from the lawsuits to provide FREE healthcare, FREE dental care, FREE prescription drugs, and REDUCED real estate taxes for residents of the town."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Carl Person To Bring Corporate Downsizing & Outsourcing To A Screeching Halt

Carl Person is currently seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party for President in 2012. During his campaign to obtain the nomination of the Green Party for New York State Attorney General in 2006, he pledged to use the office of New York State Attorney General to bring corporate downsizing and outsourcing to a screeching halt, as soon as possible:

"Corporate downsizing occurs when an employer (let's say in New York State) terminates the employment of a large number of employees, usually at the same time, often just before the end of the corporation's tax year. Some of the terminations can't be helped. The corporation has lost its market and has need of fewer employees, and has no intention of hiring replacement employees in a less-costly labor market (such as in Mexico, India or China). But other downsizings are accompanied by plans to hire as many, if not more, employees to do the same work in another country. Sometimes an intermediate company is hired in such country to manage the new operation, but the result is the same. The downsizing company gets rid of its New York employees including the higher hourly rate and the various benefits (such as medical coverage, pension contributions, vacation days, smoke breaks, etc.) and is able to get foreign workers to do the same work for about 1/5th to 1/3rd as much. These are formidable savings for businesses and such savings are driving the engine of outsourcing to get rid of jobs in the United States and create far lower-paying jobs in foreign countries.

I'm not going to discuss what needs to be done to stop outsourcing, other than to say that it is imperative that outsourcing be brought to a screeching halt, as soon as possible. You can't have Americans paying mortgages, rent, tuition, food costs, and saving for retirement without compensation that reflects the costs of living in the United States. Outsourcing companies are being given a free ride in the American economy with no advantage to Americans. They are given this free ride because they have the money to pay for the campaigns of your elected officials, who have let the free ride take place, as the United States is deteriorating into a third-world country. The multinational corporations don't care about this consequence. They go wherever they can make the most money and the local people be damned! The local people (meaning the voters in New York) can turn the tables on them by voting for someone who has the insight and tools to put a crimp in the plans of various companies seeking to pull up stakes and leave for greener (foreign) pastures.

The main way of attaching the outsourcing/downsizing problem is to review all dealings by the company that might have created obligations to stay, or stay in New York for a number of years. The company may have obtained governmental subsidies for opening up a plant in New York, with the full benefits of the subsidy not having been realized by New York. The company's employee handbook might have some promises actual or implied, which could be used as the basis for a lawsuit for breach of contract and/or fraud. There are various ways to skin a cat and the NYS Attorney General (as well as the Attorneys General in all other states) are the most appropriate governmental officials to do something about many improper downsizings/outsourcing."

Carl Person To Offer Free Airfare To All Delegates Attending LP National Convention Who Have Pledged To Support His Candidacy

Carl Person, a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination, has offered to pay the airfare of any delegate attending the Libertarian Party's National Convention in 2012 who has pledged in advance to support his candidacy for the Presidential Nomination.

The first two delegates to accept this offer were Alden Link and his wife. Both have been elected as New York State delegates to the Libertarian Party National Convention, which is to be held May 4-6, 2012 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada and both have pledged to support the candidacy of Carl Person for President.

Alden Link, who unsuccessfully sought the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2008, said:

I am grateful to Carl for his willingness to pay for or reimburse our airfare from New York State to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend the Libertarian Party National Convention in May, 2012. We have pledged our support to Carl Person's candidacy and will vote for him throughout the Presidential Nominating Process.

Those elected delegates interested in taking Carl Person up on his offer can call him directly at 212-307-4444 or e-mail him at

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Objectivist Party Governing Board Terminates Membership Of Carl Person For Exhibiting Socialist Tendencies

On December 15, 2011, the Governing Board of the Objectivist Party voted unanimously to terminate the membership of Carl Person for exhibiting socialist tendencies in his campaign to obtain the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination in 2012.

Carl Person recently issued a Press Release calling for the creation of government owned State Banks, which read as follows:

What we need in the U.S. (and perhaps the rest of the world), is competition for the commercial banking system, so that the banking activities can continue even if one or more of the largest banks is/are required to go through bankruptcy.

This can and should be done by encouraging every state, every major city, and many towns, villages and municipalities to create “North Dakota type state banks” for themselves, to be owned by the government (directly or indirectly) or in the case of city and local “state banks” by the local government or by local shareholders.

You may not remember but the federal statute (other than the 1913 Federal Reserve Act) that started this country on its banking decline was the elimination of laws which prohibited multi-state branch banking in the United States. States during the 1970’s and 1980’s passed statutes permitting the acquisition of local banks by out of-state banks or bank holding companies. Then, in the 1980’s, the Federal Bank Holding Company Act was enacted (called the “Douglas Amendment”) which permitted acquisition of local banks by out-of-state banks if state law governing the local bank permitted such acquisition. The Douglas Amendment was repealed in 1994 (effective 9/29/95) by the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, and acquisitions were permitted under federal law regardless of state law. The major banks then expanded with branches into every state and wiped out the local commercial banks.

With the nose of the camel already under the nation’s banking tent, the camel and its owners then spent enough money to encourage a money-hungry Congress in 1999 to rescind the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which thereafter allowed the camel to poke its nose into the more profitable (but risky business) of creating all sorts of esoteric investments, which has put the U.S. and world into its present financial crisis.

The North Dakota State Bank, for those of you who have not been paying attention, is owned by North Dakota and has the same banking privileges as any other commercial bank, which essentially is to create money out of thin air (at no interest cost) to lend to borrowers. North Dakota has disciplined itself to lend money at about 3% interest to local farmers, manufacturers, green-type companies and others under appropriate banking conditions, which has enabled North Dakota to be the only state of the 50 which doesn’t have an economic crisis.

North Dakota requires that all money paid to North Dakota be deposited in its state bank, which creates an amount that can be lent by the bank of almost 10 times the amount of average deposits in the bank.

Businesses can borrow money without having to pay usurious rates of interest, and small business is better able to expand and create jobs.

There is no reason that a “state bank” can’t be created at the city, county, town, village or municipality level, provided there is compliance with laws that may prohibit the activities if done directly, such as in New York State where the state and local governments are not allowed to lend money to anyone. In cases such as this, the bank should be set up to avoid any such laws, probably through a non-profit organization under state or local control.

These state banks should not be allowed to merge with out-of-state banks or to set up out-of-state branches (to stop at the outset any effort to have the state banks get involved in multi-state bank branching followed by bank mergers and “too big to fail” status).

The current complaint that businesses are not able to obtain bank loans would be addressed through the development of a state banking system. Usury would be eliminated. Small business would be enhanced and millions of new jobs would be created as a result. Also, there would be competition for the banks that are too big to fail.
Dallwyn Merck, speaking on behalf of the Governing Board of the Objectivist Party, said:
"After Carl Person came out in favor of the creation of government owned State Banks and criticized the repeal of laws governing banks and financial institutions, it became clear to us he lied about his alleged ideological conversion to Objectivism and was, in fact, still firmly rooted is his socialist oriented Green Party past. When the Governing Board of the Objectivist Party recognized this fact, it had no choice but to terminate his membership.

When Carl Person's membership was initially approved, he stated his strong commitment to the free market and to an end to government regulation yet his recent support for the creation of government owned State Banks shows he is not philosophically either an Objectivist or a Libertarian but is, in fact, ideologically Socialist Green.

After Carl Person obtained the nomination of the Libertarian Party for New York State Attorney General in 2010, he attended the Green Party State Convention and sought their nomination as well. In 2006, Mr. Person also sought the nomination of the Green Party for New York State Attorney General. In that race, he took the following stands on issues for which news releases were sent out:

Identify and deal with monopolies existing in NYS or any political subdivisions

Investigate legality of and possibilities for enjoining corporate downsizing in NYS

Require financial and other corporations to deal honestly with their customers

Enforce NY’s antitrust statute to stop illegal monopolies from overcharging New Yorkers

Consider reinstating limits on the life of corporations and require liquidation when reaching certain size

Assist towns and villages to set up $1/hour equivalency colleges (i.e., $500/year tuition)

Regulate vocational programs the same way as India’s world-class Technical Institutes

Help towns and villages set up neighborhood, low-profit casinos for seniors and others

Assist cooperating towns and villages in providing healthcare coverage to all their residents

Investigate and establish new-store policy for Wal-Mart and other big box retailers

Recover lost benefits and taxes from employers that move jobs outside of NYS

Require major corporations to pay their fair share of taxes to NYS

It must be very difficult for Carl Person to be seeking the support of Libertarian Party delegates when his gut-level ideological inclinations and tendencies are so solidly socialist-oriented. It is clear to me that if the light shines in just the right way on Carl Person, you can see a Green hue emanating from him, no matter what ideological suit he happens to be wearing at the time."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Applause! Applause! Review of Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Cultural Arts Playhouse by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of the musical Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat performed at the Cultural Arts Playhouse was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and and published in Volume X, Issue 1 (2011) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Cultural Arts Playhouse (625 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY)
Reviewed 12/16/11

Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Old Testament's Book of Genesis. Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the music and Tim Rice the lyrics. It was the first Webber/Rice musical to be performed publicly. It was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at the Colet Court School in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. Stage productions began in 1970. The musical was presented in the West End of London in 1973 and opened on Broadway in 1982.

This production of Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the Mainstage of the Cultural Arts Playhouse is a hit. During the run, different actors play the Narrator and Joseph. On the night I caught the show, Ariann Miller Forella played the Narrator and Nick Regueiro was Joseph. I was very pleased with both their performances.

Ms. Forella was flawless as the Narrator of the story and successfully facilitated the telling of the tale without being too dominant a presence on stage. She also has a powerful voice I found very pleasing to listen to.

Nick Regueiro was very convincing as the cocky, spoiled Joseph who believed he was destined for greatness. A boy with a dream, so to speak, although in the end, perhaps "Any Dream Will Do". Mr. Regueiro was well-cast in the role because it is certainly believable that Potiphar's wife would want to tear his clothes off and have sex with him. He is quite attractive and a talented actor. I would certainly like to see more of him in future productions.

The other cast member worthy of note was Tony Frangipane, the Director of the show who also played one of Joseph's brothers. Mr. Frangipane's shining moment came when he led Joseph's brothers in an excellent rendition of  the song "Those Canaan Days" (reflecting on the famine), which contains the very funny line, "No one comes to dinner now; We'd only eat them anyhow".

Notable in the composition of the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber is the variety of styles he uses. "Those Canaan Days" is a parody of French ballads, "Song Of The King" is Elvis-inspired Rock & Roll, "One More Angel In Heaven" is performed as a Country Western Song, "Potiphar" is a 1920s Charleston, "Benjamin Calypso" is Reggae, and "Go, Go, Go Joseph" is Disco. I recommend you purchase the soundtrack to this musical. If it were an LP, I'd say you'd wear out the grooves but since you will probably purchase a CD, you will be able to listen to it for decades to come.

It is said this musical is family friendly. Perhaps that is because of the upbeat music, the colorful costumes, the joking around, and ultimately, the reunification of Jacob's family for a happily-ever-after ending. However, if you pay careful attention, you will see references in the story to polygamy, slavery, premarital sex, attempted murder, cannibalism, adultery, mysticism and bestiality. Still, those issues are all presented in a beautifully wrapped package so pretty you won't even notice what is inside.

I have so far enjoyed the shows I have seen at the Cultural Arts Playhouse and I understand many of the actors performing in the shows are taking or have taken classes there. As a result, many of the audience members are friends and family of the performers, which is fine. However, for those who are not "friends and new family" as Tony Frangipane, the Director, made reference to, I think a greater effort should be made to identify who is actually performing on stage in the major roles in each production. If that cannot be done in the program, then I think a head shot board should be hung in the lobby so everyone can identify the performers appearing on stage on any one particular evening.

I recommend you catch Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat during its run at the Cultural Arts Playhouse. You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stevens Responds To Person's Attempt To Revive His Presidential Campaign By Throwing Him To The Wolves

On December 13, 2011, Carl Person, a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination sent out the following press release announcing his termination of Dr. Tom Stevens as his Campaign Manager:

I have terminated Dr. Tom Stevens as my Campaign Manager because of the direction my campaign was going, which was different from the direction I have intended. The material on bestiality published and emphasized by Dr. Stevens has nothing to do with my campaign, and I strongly dissociate myself from issues being promoted about bestiality. As I have repeatedly stated in my speeches and on my campaign website, my focus is job-creation through specific deregulation of small businesses and of vocational and higher education. I apologize for the unwarranted detour that has occurred, and will make sure that no other detours occur in my campaign.

I want to point out that this 2012 election campaign from the voters’ standpoint is going to be about jobs, jobs, jobs, and that there is not a single candidate from any party who has offered any specific, workable ideas for job creation other than me. I would hope that the Libertarian Party is going to capitalize on its great strength in this election, which is that through Libertarian ideals (of deregulating small business in certain specific areas) we can cure the nation’s job problem.

Dr. Tom Stevens responded as follows:

"It is true Carl Person never placed his stand in support of the decriminalization of bestiality on his website nor did he focus on this issue during his campaign appearances. Nevertheless, it was Carl who brought up the issue, provided a clarification of his position and stood by it when challenged. To recap the history for those who were not paying attention, Carl Person first wrote the following in response to a question asking him what "victimless crimes" he thought should be legalized:

The victimless crimes are prostitution, bestiality, sodomy, drugs, abortion, and the principles are that we shouldn't be regulating what people do to themselves, and the cost of the regulation should be saved and returned to taxpayers, to reduce taxes, and enable the economy to grow with commerce instead of with prisoners, private jails and private jail guards.

In a follow-up with Carl Person to get a clarification with respect his position in support of legalizing bestiality. Carl Person then provided the following statement regarding the issue:

When I mentioned "bestiality" I was referring to animals, not humans (Note: some statutes prohibiting bestiality include children within the definition.) Bestiality as a victimless crime would center on two elements: 1. "property rights" - limiting the practice to one's own animals or with wild animals (not owned by anyone) and 2. "consent" and/or "non-injury" - if the animal is willing and is not injured in the process. If the animal is already dead, the victimless crime would become a variant of necromancy, and have to be analyzed in a similar fashion. I'm not a practitioner or advocate of bestiality and am only trying to apply Libertarian principles to a seldom discussed victimless crime.

These statements were quickly picked up by leaders in the Zoosexual community and many came forward to support Carl Person's campaign for President. They even adopted the following slogan:

What can you do
If you're a Zoo?
Support Carl Person
He'll fight for you!

These developments became news because it involved a candidate seeking the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination. Carl Person decided to take what he perceived to be a "principled stand" on this controversial issue. While Carl has always been Captain of his Campaign Ship. I advised him not to place this issue on his Campaign Website and not to focus on it, which is advice he took.

Nevertheless, now that he has received some negative feedback from Libertarian Party members with respect to his stand on this issue, he is doing what any sleazy politician would do and that is to blame someone else for his situation.

In his Press Release, Carl Person now says:

I strongly dissociate myself from issues being promoted about bestiality.

What exactly does that mean? Does Carl Person no longer believe bestiality is a "victimless crime" or does he simply object to the published reports regarding his stand on the issue and those who have been endorsing him due to that stand? I also know of no "issues being promoted about bestiality" except for Carl's stand on the issue. Does Carl now "dissociate" himself from his own previously stated position? That is unclear.

I will reiterate what I have always said with respect to my position as Campaign Manager for Carl Person. I provided advice but Carl made the final decisions. Whatever Carl's intentions may have been, he made all of the decisions with respect to his campaign. When he was coming out in favor of the establishment of State Banks, I advised against it, yet he came out for them anyway. When he was coming out in favor of his Prosperity Plan for local communities, which called for more powers to be given to local Attorney Generals, I advised against it, yet he came out for it anyway. Carl has been the King of his Campaign and now, in order to try to salvage whatever is left of his Presidential Campaign, he believes that by sacrificing his Campaign Manager, Libertarian Party delegates will now flock to his corner. I believe Carl is mistaken in this belief and by throwing his friend to the wolves in an attempt to revive his campaign, he has now sacrificed his soul at the alter of his ego. I feel sorry for him."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elks' Membership Numbers Continue To Decline As Alternative Social Networking Opportunities Continue To Expand

According to membership numbers published for Lodge Year 2010-2011, membership in the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks continues to decline. The Annual Report of the Grand Secretary 2010-2011 indicated that Elks' membership for the year ending March 31, 2011 was 869,019 with a net loss for the year of 23,868 members.

The top five states in terms of Elks' membership all lost members. California recorded 83,147 members (a loss of 1,911); Florida recorded 61,351 members (a loss of 2,161); New York recorded 54,749 members (a loss of 1,112); Pennsylvania recorded 48,298 members (a loss of 1,408); and Massachusetts recorded 43,062 members (a loss of 586).

The only states to gain members were Rhode Island (6,199 members; a gain of 156), Hawaii including Guam & Republic of Philippines (4,143 members; a gain of 57), Kentucky (6,445 members; a gain of 30), Alaska (6,364 members; a gain of 15), and New Jersey (42,065 members; a gain of 10).

Dr. Tom Stevens, a member of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks since March 19, 1980, commented about the declining membership numbers as follows:

"There was a time when the most influential professionals and politicians in a community belonged to the local Elks Lodge and when attendance at Lodge meetings and events presented excellent networking opportunities. This has not been the case for a long time and as social networking opportunities expand exponentially, brothers no longer need to go to Elks meetings to connect with influential movers and shakers living in their geographic area.

The main focus now is on community service, raising money for charity and other altruistic endeavors. All are worthy projects for those interested in such activities but unless the focus is returned to creating value for current members, I believe Elks Lodges will continue to close, consolidate and lose membership.

I addressed this issue on September 2, 2002 in a letter to Grand Exalted Ruler Roger R. True, in which I wrote:

I am currently a member of Elks Lodge #878 in Elmhurst, New York. Just last month, my Lodge sold their historically protected building to a church because even with a swimming pool, bowling alley, and a large building with an impressive past, the leadership there could not attract new members or keep many of their old members. I was previously a member of the Great Neck Lodge which was also sold and the Lodge nearest to where I work in Williston Park was just sold to the Knights of Columbus.

Over the years, I have done my part to try to introduce new prospective brothers to the Elks but I have always failed in my attempts. The reasons are numerous but I shall not delineate them here.

The reason for this letter is that I was inspired by your speech, especially when you said, "each individual in our Order has a part in controlling our destiny for membership growth". In addition to your new public relations campaign to inform the public about the good works that the Elks do, I believe more will be necessary to keep the new members we may attract through these efforts. Specifically, I believe every Elks Lodge needs to promote recognition, networking, courtesy and professionalism.

As for recognition, I believe each Lodge should offer a pin or small gift in recognition of a brother being a member for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years and so forth to let them know that their continued service and loyalty is appreciated. This small gesture can go a long way to helping lodges keep their members.

Networking is also important. One of the reasons lodges like my own were successful in the past was that brothers had the opportunity to meet and network with brothers who were professionals and politicians. While it might be difficult to attract them back in this modern era, I do recommend that each lodge send out a questionnaire asking each brother to indicate their interests, hobbies, degrees, etc. and to give each lodge permission to publish this information together with their name, address, phone number and E-Mail address so that brothers can contact one another. This will lead them to want to meet and what better way to do so than to say, "Let's meet at the Lodge". This will increase attendance at meetings and social events.

Courtesy and professionalism really go together. My own Lodge Secretary frequently refers to members as "bud" and at the last meeting when a brother claimed that he was a member and had the paperwork to prove it, he was threatened with security if he didn't leave at once. When I addressed the lodge, prior to a vote on selling the building, I was abruptly cut off less than a minute into my comments because the Exalted Ruler was afraid I might convince some brothers to vote against the sale...No professional will put up with this more than once. When a membership issue came up with another lodge, in response to my letter, I received an obscene phone call from a brother who just happened to open the letter. In fairness, the Exalted Ruler at that lodge later apologized for that brother's behavior. The truth is that professional people are not going to waste their time when many lodges punish those who step forward to make suggestions and where the "elite inner corps" seek to discourage member involvement so they can keep control. Courtesy and professionalism should be the standard of conduct at all Lodges. No young person or young professional will want to spend an evening at the Elks Lodge unless this becomes the case.

Much work needs to be done if you are to stop the bleeding that threatens to destroy much of Elkdom. While your public relations campaign seeks to tell the world how wonderful the Elks are, you also need to focus inward so that the new brothers we recruit will stay with us. Recognizing their loyalty, providing networking opportunities, treating them with respect and courtesy and acting professionally toward them will go a long way in this regard.

Grand Exalted Ruler Roger R. True did not respond to or acknowledge my letter."

The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks began in 1868 as a social club called the Jolly Corks established as a private club to elude New York City laws governing the opening hours of public taverns. Early members were mostly from theatrical performing troupes. After the death of a member left his wife and children without income, the club took up additional service roles and, eventually, a new name. Desiring to adopt "a readily identifiable creature of stature, indigenous to America", fifteen members voted 8-7 in favor of the elk over the buffalo. Former and current Elks members include Presidents Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, John F. Kennedy and Gerald R. Ford; Entertainers Lawerence Welk, Will Rogers, Jack Benny, Clint Eastwood and Gene Autry; and Sports Figures Vince Lombardi, Casey Stengel, Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle.