LPM Online

January 25, 2000


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Heading Towards a Headquarters
  3. LPM Senate Candidate Will Control Outcome of Election
  4. Priorities in the Criminal Justice System
  5. LPSC Officers Reelected
  6. How much crime is bread bred?
  7. LPOC Elections!!! LPOC Elections!!!
  8. Campaigning 101, Libertarian Style!

  1. Upcoming Events

    January 26, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County General Membership Meeting. Election of Officers will be held at this meeting. Public welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30PM, business. begins at 7:30PM.
    Location: Sila's, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley. Sila's is located 2 blocks east of Greenfield on 12 Mile Rd.
    Contact: Greg Dirasian Phone: (248) 592-9731 E-mail: greg@newsnetpipeline.com

    February 1, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    Monthly Meeting of the Libertarian Party of Wayne County.
    Location: La Trattoria Restaurant - Dearborn MI
    Contact: Joann Karpinski Phone: (313) 925-6917 E-mail: MOMJOANN@aol.com

    February 6, 2000 - 1:00 PM
    Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee meeting. All members of the LPM are welcome, but if you are not an LEC member or one of its appointees, please let us know you are coming so we can accomodate extra persons, thank you.
    Location: Home of Tim and Nancy O'Brien, 17015 Cicotte, Allen Park (313-562-5778).
    Contact: Stacy Van Oast Phone: (810) 784-8783 E-mail: stacyvo@eesc.com

    February 9, 2000 - 6:00 PM
    Libertarians of Macomb County monthly meeting. Drinks and dinner at 6:00 PM, business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Location: Heinzman's Heidelberg, 43785 Gratiot, Clinton Twp, just north of Mt. Clemens.
    Contact: Keith Edwards Phone: (810) 777-7468 E-mail: keithmarni@aol.com

    February 9, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County Executive Committee Meeting Meeting. All dues paying members are welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30PM, business begins at 7:30PM.
    Location: Sila's, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley. Sila's is located 2 blocks east of Greenfield on 12 Mile Rd.
    Contact: Greg Dirasian Phone: (248) 592-9731 E-mail: greg@newsnetpipeline.com

    February 14, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    Libertarian Party of Livingston County invites you to attend our monthly meeting. Dinner at 7 p.m. and business begins at 8 p.m. Election of officers will be held at this meeting.
    Location: Mexican Jones Restaurante, 675 W. Grand River, Brighton, MI
    Contact: Teresa Pollok Phone: (810) 229-0737 E-mail: tpollok@livingonline.com

    February 16, 2000
    St. Clair County Libertarian Party monthly meeting
    Location: Armbrusters Sports Bar and Grill located at 1211 Griswold, Port Huron, MI 48060. TX: (810) 982-2255. Join us for dinner at 6:00 PM. Business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Contact: Eric Wojciechowski Phone: (810) 598-8618 E-mail: ewojo@worldnet.att.net

    February 19, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    LPSC Public Meeting. Attorney Greg Schmid of the Personal Responsibility Initiative is guest speaker. Meet at 6 if you want to eat.
    Location: Brenda's Bistro, Durand
    Contact: Ben Steele III Phone: (517) 288-5616 E-mail: bsteele1@tir.com

    February 23, 2000 - 6:30 PM
    LP of Oakland County General Membership Meeting. Public welcome. Meet for dinner at 6:30PM, business begins at 7:30PM.
    Location: Sila's, 4033 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley. Sila's is located 2 blocks east of Greenfield on 12 Mile Rd.
    Contact: Greg Dirasian Phone: (248) 592-9731 E-mail: greg@newsnetpipeline.com

    February 27, 2000
    Deadline for LPM Outstanding Affiliate of the Year Contest.
    Location: Mail entries to: 21835 Cherry Hill Road, Dearborn 48124-1149
    Contact: Ben Steele III Phone: (517) 288-5616 E-mail: bsteele1@tir.com

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Heading Towards a Headquarters by Greg Dirasian

    The Libertarian Party of Michigan's Headquarters Investigation Committee met on Monday (1/17/00). We discussed requirements for the new state party headquarters. Anybody who knows of a location that meets our requirements (listed below) is encouraged to contact Nancy O'Brien (obrienn@state.mi.us).

    We have identified the following requirements:

    1.  1500 sq feet, minimum (prefer office-industrial or light
        industrial type building rather than retail/storefront)
    2.  Parking for 30 cars (street/municipal/private/pay lot)
    3.  Convenient, easy-to-find, accessible location (prefer 15
        minutes from 696 and 75 interchange, prefer Oakland
    4.  24 hour/7 day a week access
    5.  Affordable (less than $1,000/month rent) (we can do
        repair/renovation work)
    6.  Work area/conference setting for 30 people
    Desirable but not required:
    7.  Attractive reception area
    8.  At least 2 private offices
    9.  Computer room/closet
    10. Possible phone bank area (not high priority)
    11. Near an inexpensive restaurant or convenience store
    12. A kitchen area

    Ideally, we would like to be able to move in around May 1, 2000, but we have flexibility on the date. If you can get us a good deal on a desireable location, please contact Nancy.

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  3. LPM Senate Candidate Will Control Outcome of Election

    CONTACT: Tim O'Brien
    (313) 562-5778

    DEARBORN. Michael Corliss, likely Libertarian Party of Michigan candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Spencer Abraham, says he expects that, even if he doesn't win the election next November, his candidacy will, at the very least, determine who does.

    "The latest poll," observes Corliss, "put the Republican incumbent, Spence Abraham, in a virtual dead heat with Democrat party candidate, Debbie Stabenow."

    The poll, conducted by Mitchell Research, showed 39% favoring or leaning towards Abraham and 40% favoring or leaning towards Stabenow with 21% giving no answer. The poll did not include the Libertarian candidate. However, in this same race six years ago LP candidate, Jon Coon, took almost 5% of the vote.

    "Naturally," said Corliss, "I hope to win the election. But I am not so unrealistic as to believe that likely. On the other hand, " he asked, "what are the chances that I will not get more votes than the margin for either of the old party candidates?"

    Corliss believes he can use that leverage to advance the Libertarian agenda.

    "I am making no secret of my campaign platform and either of them should feel free to steal my issues -- and my votes.

    "To Mr. Abraham I say this. I will absolutely oppose any attempt to tax the Internet. This new medium has fantastic potential and I pledge to the people of Michigan that I am determined to keep cyberspace a 'Free Trade Zone.' I invite my putative 'anti-tax' Republican opponent to make a similar commitment. And maybe, in so doing," Corliss adds with a sly grin, "he can take away some of my support and win the election."

    "To Ms. Stabenow I say this. I will staunchly defend the right of Michigan and every other state to make their own laws concerning medicines such as marijuana. Furthermore, I will demand an immediate cease fire in the horribly destructive and anti-constitutional 'War on Drugs,' and an immediate end to so-called "Asset Forfeiture.' I invite my ostensible 'civil liberties' Democrat opponent to make a similar promise. And maybe, in so doing," Corliss adds with another smile at the prospect, "she can take away some of my support and win the election."

    "To both of my opponents. I implore you to join me in advocating the surest way to end terrorism -- disentangling our country from all of our foreign commitments and promising an end to all of our foreign interventions.

    "And to anyone who says that I won't have enough support to make the difference in this election," Corliss concludes, "I say: now who is being unrealistic?"

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  4. Priorities in the Criminal Justice System by Tim O'Brien

    The following article is the latest in a series of Op-ed articles written by LPM Executive Director Tim O'Brien and submitted to news outlets across the state for publication. This current article was published on January 19, 2000 in the Detroit News and can be viewed on their web site at: http://www.detnews.com/EDITPAGE/0001/19/1oped/1oped.htm

    The sentencing of Nate Abraham, the 13-year-old who shot and killed 18-year-old Ronnie Greene (apparently for nothing more than the sport of it) when Abraham was only 11, has prompted both genuine concern and disingenuous posturing from across the traditional political spectrum.

    Thoughtful liberals point out that an 11-year-old should not be (and, until recently, never has been) held to the same standard of legal accountability as an adult for the simple reason that someone so young cannot comprehend the consequences of his actions. An adult sentence amounts to giving up hope of even the possibility of rehabilitation of a mere child.

    Conservatives, suspicious of what they perceive to be the delusion of rehabilitation, focus on deterrence. "Adult time for adult crime," has become their mantra. Ronnie Greene, they observe, would probably not have had much interest in the age or future prospects of the person who shot him. Furthermore, even if his killer does get over his anti-social tendencies during the eight years it will take him to reach adulthood, Greene will probably not have gotten over being dead.

    The libertarian view of the proper priorities in the criminal justice system puts not just one but two considerations ahead of both rehabilitation and deterrence.

    The first is restitution. Justice consists most fundamentally in requiring that the perpetrator make the victim whole to the extent this is possible.

    It is important to note that there is no place in the libertarian justice system for "society" to serve as a surrogate for either of these parties. If there is no human being to come into court and point an accusing finger at another human being and tell a judge and/or jury "there is the person who harmed me and here is how I was hurt," then there is no crime.

    Obviously, in some instances -- most notably murder -- there simply is no way to restore the victim. In such cases libertarians' secondary consideration becomes paramount: protecting the rest of us from the possibility of becoming this person's next victim. The best way to guarantee that outcome is, of course, to simply never allow demonstrably dangerous individuals another opportunity.

    Now, most people would say that this is excessive. Some criminals may be persuaded by a combination of the conservatives' deterrence and the liberals' rehabilitation to never repeat their anti-social behavior and, thus, should be permitted to reenter society.

    The problem is that it is notoriously difficult to accurately predict recidivism. This is compounded by the fact that parole boards and other officials responsible for making the determination have no actual stake in the reliability of their decisions. If the once-dangerous people they release turn out to be still dangerous, they simply shrug and move on to the next case.

    A Libertarian friend of mine once suggested an intriguing proposal for making us potential victims of repeat offenders just a bit more secure. When a convicted criminal becomes eligible for parole (or in the case of juveniles or the mentally incompetent, found to be no longer a threat) include along with all of the customary requirements an appropriate bond before he or she can be released back into society.

    Anyone would be free to post such a bond on behalf of any convict. What would constitute a sufficient amount would vary according to the potential damage should this person repeat the offense. Perhaps as little as $30,000 might be enough to indemnify against a once and future car thief. While society might require a million dollars or more as security for someone who commits the kind of crime for which no amount of money can ever adequately compensate.

    This bond, if not forfeited because of a subsequent crime, would last for the lifetime of the perpetrator, but would be refunded to the guarantor once the individual in question is no longer a danger.

    As a peaceful member of society I have no special interest in either punishing or rehabilitating criminals. My interest is in being protected from them -- and where that protection fails, compensated by them.

    Considering that our society still devotes more than half of its criminal justice resources to "crimes" that don't even have actual victims, I am not holding out much hope that we will see any refocus from deterrence and rehabilitation to restitution and protection in the near future.

    Instead we are treated to the spectacle of court jester, Geoffrey Fieger, exploiting the latest high profile criminal case before the Court TV cameras -- perchance to follow Jerry Spence and Marcia Clark into the Lawyer's Hall of National Syndication Fame.

    Meanwhile, the talk radio airwaves crackle with demands for swift and sure punishment of a child. And professional race-baiter, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and his traveling sideshow howl about the prejudice of the system in a case where both perpetrator and victim are young blacks.

    And in the end we have a judge who launches into extended social criticism of everything from the social services department to video games. Who incomprehensibly castigates the Legislature for giving him too much discretion in such cases. Who then sentences Nate Abraham under the juvenile law with the none-too-subtle insinuation that, if the rest of us know what's good for us, we better get cracking and provide effective reformation services before this killer is turned loose on us again.

    It's enough to make a Libertarian wonder if the ghost of Allen Funt isn't lurking somewhere with a cosmic camera.

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  5. LPSC Officers Reelected

    At the annual reorganizational meeting of the Libertarian Party of Shiawassee County, held January 15 at Brenda’s Bistro in Durand, all officers were reelected to one-year terms in their respective positions. Reelected were: Ben Steele III, Chair; David Keyes, Vice-Chair; Ben Steele Jr., Secretary; and Trafton Jean, Treasurer.

    Members of the LPSC and their guests also welcomed guest speaker Dick Jozwiak, Libertarian Candidate for Trustee in Bay City.

    The LPSC meets on the third Saturday of each month, at 7 p.m., at Brenda’s Bistro in Durand. The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 19. Attorney Greg Schmid, author of the Personal Responsibility Initiative, will be the guest speaker.

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  6. How much crime is bread bred?

    Sure, we attack tobacco companies, but when is the government going to go after Big Bread?

    1.More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread eaters.

    2.Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

    3.In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever and influenza ravaged whole nations.

    4.More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

    5.Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

    6.Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low occurrence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis.

    7.Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after only two days.

    8.Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter and even cold cuts.

    9.Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

    10.Newborn babies can choke on bread.

    11.Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

    12.Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

    In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:

    1.No sale of bread to minors.

    2.No advertising of bread within 1000 feet of a school.

    3.A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.

    4.No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.

    5.A $4.2 billion fine on the three biggest bread manufacturers.

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  7. LPOC Elections!!! LPOC Elections!!! by Greg Dirasian

    Wednesday, January 26, 2000, will be the annual election of officers for the Libertarian Party of Oakland County. All members are encouraged to attend and cast their vote.

    There will also be some by-laws changes proposed and the award of the "Oakie" for service above and beyond the call of duty.

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  8. Campaigning 101, Libertarian Style! by Stacy Van Oast

    The Libertarian Party of Michigan is pleased to announce that the first Campaigning 101 Workshop will be held on Saturday, February 12 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Barb Goushaw’s home office/conference center. There is NO CHARGE and pizza and pop/coffee will be provided.

    As you are all aware, campaigning is the best way for the Libertarian Party to spread our message, attract more votes, and turn the world into a better place:-) And of course, you know that our Libertarian candidates are all of our heros.

    Whether you’ve run for office as a Libertarian candidate before or not; whether you’re running an all-out campaign to win an election, or a more “educational” type of campaign to attract members and votes or define an issue: this FREE seminar is the place to start.

    At the seminar, Barb Goushaw, who most of you will recall ran the first ever *real*, high-profile Libertarian campaign here in Michigan when Jon Coon ran for U.S. Senate in 1994, will present everything you need to know about BASIC campaigning in her own FUN, informal, no-nonsense style. It is our goal and our desire to help all Libertarian candidates run a more professional campaign and to present the Libertarian message in a positive manner:

    *A photographer will be available to take the standard “head-shot” photograph that all newspapers request and that can be used on any candidate literature

    *We will identify and write positions on three key issues (again, this is a standard media request)

    *We will help you write your biography -- something else the voters surveys always like to include in election coverage

    *Barb, who has traveled around the country presenting campaigning seminars and talking to/learning from Libertarian candidates, will answer any campaigning questions you have (or she’ll help you find the answer)

    *And more!

    The Libertarian Party of Michigan and libertarians everywhere appreciate those people that are willing to run for office as a Libertarian candidate. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be the best candidate you can. We understand that we all have time and budget restraints. Let us all work together to present the best image of the Libertarian Party that we can.

    If you plan to attend this seminar on Sat, February 12th, please let me know: Stacy Van Oast - by email: stacyvo@eesc.com or (810)784-8783.

    Please note: This seminar will be repeated and run a total of 3 times: Saturday, February 12; Sunday, May 21 (at LPM Convention); and again in early fall.

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