From the Chair: Be a delegate
From the Editor: 2009 LibertyFest a hit
From the Political Director: Be a candidate
Libertarians at End the Fed Events
Quote of the Month
Photo of the Month
Article: Perspective on Thanksgiving
Welcome to the December 2009 issue of the online newsletter of the Libertarian Party of Michigan, Michigan Libertarian. The newsletter is our main vehicle for sharing what's happening for Libertarians in Michigan. You may manage your subscription by going here or visiting our Web site www.mi.lp.org (same as www.michiganlp.org).
by Emily Salvette [main]
You've watched them on TV--seen the crowds, the balloon drops, the behind the scenes intrigue. Have you ever wanted to attend a national political party convention? Your chance is coming up on Memorial Day Weekend 2010 in St. Louis. The Libertarian Party holds its biannual convention Saturday, May 29 - Monday, 31. The LP National Secretary just announced state delegate allocations and Michigan may send 39 delegates and 50 alternates to the convention.
At the convention delegates will elect a new national chair, new national committee and make changes to the national platform and bylaws. There will be opportunities to hear nationally-renowned speakers and to learn about issues, campaigning and grass-roots organizing at educational break out sessions. One of the best parts of going to the convention is meeting great Libertarians from around the country.
The convention will be at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, 800 Washington Ave, St. Louis MO 63101. It's about a 9 hour drive from Detroit. Delegates and alternates are responsible for their own costs of travel, accommodation and convention registration. A mid-range estimate of what you might spend for the weekend is about $1,000, but there are always ways to economize.
To be a delegate or alternate, you must be a member of the national Libertarian Party or of the Libertarian Party of Michigan. The Libertarian Executive Committee will appoint the delegation because our state convention, where delegates are normally elected, is so close to the national convention. If you would like to be a delegate or alternate, please contact State Chair Emily Salvette at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-645-5809 and she will add your name to the list.
Plan now to attend. It's a fun and exciting weekend and we want Michigan to have a strong voice in St. Louis.
LibertyFest '09 a pleasant success
The Libertarian Party of Michigan held their annual LibertyFest banquet on November 14 at the Eagle Crest Marriot in Ypsilanti. For the past 17 years Libertarians have gotten together the week of two after Election Night to reflect on the previous year and to present the “Defender of Liberty Awards” to members of the community and party who have made a significant contribution to the cause of freedom.
The Spokesperson of Liberty is awarded to a member of the community whose patriotism and conviction have inspired others. This year, the award went to Rose Bogaert, the quintessential Michigan anti-tax activist. Rose has been a member of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association for 28 years and Chair for 27. Rose had also served on her local school board, been involved in passing term limits, litigation in the first Headlee Amendment case, and Rose was also instrumental in the recall the Speaker of the Michigan House, Andy Dillon. While this recall did not ultimately succeed, court victories along the way now make it easier to recall elected officials.
The Promoter of Liberty is awarded to a party member whose efforts have done the most to promote the LP and libertarian principles. The winner this year is Mark Byrne. Mark is Chair of the St. Clair County LP, and a former member of the Port Huron City Council, where local media has dubbed him a “champion of frugality”. Mark has generated a ton of positive local media, which usually describes him as a libertarian, for making the community friendlier for families and small businesses. Unfortunately, Mark barely lost his re-election campaign this November, despite the endorsement of the local paper.
The Producer of Liberty award goes to an LP member who’s dedicated behind the scenes work for the party helps keep the organization running. Larry Johnson has worked behind the scenes for the Washtenaw County LP for the past 10 years, serving at various positions including Chair, Secretary, delegate to national conventions, and several LPM convention committees. Larry first joined the LP at a booth at the Ann Arbor Fair, an event Larry has helped to organize every year since. Larry is also one of our elected partisan officials. It’s fitting that Larry gets this award in Ypsilanti Township, the same community where he serves on the Parks Committee.
Following the awards ceremony, guests were treated to a speech by David Littmann, senior economist with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and former vice president of Comerica Bank. The final speaker of the night was from Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee who discussed the LP strategy for the 2010 elections.
Four steps to become a candidate in 2010
By the way, we're working on some campaign signs. Here's a sample the ad hoc creative committee—Scotty, Emily, and Erin—put together... drawing on a song (from some obscure 70s rock group) :-):
Detroit, MI - Some of Michigan's most active Libertarians joined a grassroots network of activists who protested outside of Detroit's Federal Reserve Building Sunday, November 22. Libertarians included Congressional Candidate Michael Moon and Scotty Boman. The protest began in the early afternoon and lasted for about three hours. Protestors were not only be calling for an end to the Federal Reserve system, but also called for an audit in the immediate future. Specifically they urged their representatives in Congress to bring the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009 (H.R. 1207) to a vote and approve it. At the time of the event H.R. 1207 had 313 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.
The Senate version S. 604 had only 30 cosponsors so, but non-sponsors have received a great deal of prodding from constituents to cosponsor it as well. On September 15th petitions were delivered by the Michigan Campaign for Liberty to Senators Stabenow and Levin. Libertarian Scotty Boman participated in this event as well.
This year's gathering is the one year
The slogan, "End the Fed" is also the title of a book written by H. R. 1207 author Congressman Ron Paul who ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008. Paul founded the Campaign for Liberty.
Federal Reserve transparency and monetary reform are likely to be hot campaign issues for Federal candidates in 2010. The candidates at the event were acting on their own and not necessarily espousing the views of the Libertarian Party, however the Libertarian Platform reads, "We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies, the repeal of legal tender laws and compulsory governmental units of account.[ Section 2.5 Money and Financial Markets]" The Libertarian National committee has also issued statements in support of a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
Courtesy Ron Sanderson of Webberville:
© 2004: San Francisco Chronicle
At Thanksgiving, Americans reflect on their blessings and hope for gatherings of togetherness and unity, with the Pilgrims serving as examples of peace, harmony and thankfulness. While their 1623 "way of thanksgiving" represents what we wish to infuse in our celebration, Plymouth Colony before 1623 was closer to a Thanksgiving host's worst fears: resentments, harsh words and people angry and unhappy with one another.
The Pilgrims' unhappiness stemmed from their system of common property --not inspired, as often asserted, by their religious convictions, but imposed against their will by the colony's sponsors. The fruits of each person's efforts went to the community, and each received a share from the common wealth. This caused severe strains among the members, as colony Gov. William Bradford recorded: "... the young men ... did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong ... had not more in division ... than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes, etc. ... thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And the men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it."
Bradford summarized the effects of their common property system: "For this community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontentment and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort ... all being to have alike, and all to do alike . .. if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them."
How did the Pilgrims move from this dysfunctional system to the situation we try to emulate in our own gatherings? In the spring of 1623, they decided to let people produce for their own benefit: "All their victuals were spent ... no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length ... the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves ... And so assigned to every family a parcel of land ..."
The results were dramatic: "This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness and inability, whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression."
That was quite a change from their previous situation, where severe whippings had been resorted to as an inducement to more labor effort, with little success other than in creating discontent.
Despite the Pilgrims' increased efforts in 1623, a summer drought threatened their crops. Following their beliefs, they offered contrition for their sins. Then the drought broke, which led to the Thanksgiving we still try to emulate. And as historian Russell Kirk, who used the example to illustrate the importance of property rights in "Economics: Work and Prosperity," observed, "never again were the Pilgrims short of food."
It is appropriate to remember the Pilgrims as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Though we have incomparably more than they did, we can learn much from their "way of thanksgiving." But we should also remember that our material blessings are the fruits of America's system of private-property rights and the liberties they ensure, including the freedom to choose our employment and spend money as we see fit. Those rights are under constant assault today, from limits on people's ability to contract as they wish, especially in labor relationships, to abuses of government's eminent domain. Nevertheless, the power for peaceful and productive cooperation that the Pilgrims began to prove by experiment almost four centuries ago endures.
Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University in Malibu (email@example.com)
The following review excerpts are courtesy LPM Webmaster Brian Wright's commentary and review site, The Coffee Coaster:
For some time now, young Harold has been a funeral crasher, meaning he attends funerals for people he doesn't' know. Why? Well, perhaps it gives him a sense of importance. Funerals, especially when accompanied by ceremonial rites in a church, often have an aura of somber majesty. They tend to elevate sadness to a category of "the meaningful," so he feels at home there. So does 79-year-old Maude (Ruth Gordon). The scene where she is introduced with dialog sparkles with humor and vivacity. While Harold goes to funerals to feel sadness, just so he can feel something, Maude goes to funerals to enjoy the music, take in the wonderful flowers and costumes, to celebrate everything the deceased has meant to the grand procession of life on Earth. For her, funerals are about life... a heady reminder to live our lives to the fullest while we're here. [full review] [main]
by Nathaniel Philbrick
Most of us know about the Pilgrims from our history and civics classes. Or at least we have the Thanksgiving imagery—oven-roasted turkeys, linen tablecloths, silverware, Indians, stern-looking white men with buckles on their hats, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. In reality, the second English permanent settlement, consisting of Puritan Separationists, was lucky to have survived the first winter of 1620. And the main benefit derived from the Indians was the Indians’ forbearance from annihilating the Pilgrims. [full review] [main]
Take a stroll down memory lane with this excerpt from one of the longest-running state Libertarian newsletters. Today, check out the May/June issue of 1996. Click on this link for the full PDF version of this newsletter.
Newsletter editor Greg Stempfle has compiled the entire body of available Michigan Libertarian newsletters up on this page of the LPM Website.
We replied to both of these queries to the satisfaction of the individuals.
We would like to hear feedback from you, real people, on any little thing, preferably with something short and punchy. Please voice your comments or opinions to the newsletter editor, Greg, via email by the 25th of the month... and we will post them.
December 1 – LP of St Clair and Sanilac Counties Monthly Meeting - group meets the 1st Tuesday of the month starting at 6 pm at Military Street Music Cafe, 1102 Military Street (downtown), Port Huron. Contact Mark Byrne, 810-987-9856, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Michigan Libertarian is published/posted on the first of each month. Send calendar events and news/articles to email@example.com by the 25th of the prior month.
The Michigan Libertarian debuted on August 1, 2009 and replaced the monthly LPMOnline. It will go out on the first of every month and will be distributed free to anyone who signs up, which can be done at the LPM web site www.mi.lp.org (or www.michiganlp.org).
LPM members who need a hard copy may request one be mailed to them by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the LPM toll-free number 888-Free-Now.
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