LPM Online

June 20, 2000


  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Corliss For Senate Meeting
  3. Steinport Comes Close
  4. Open Up the Presidential Debates!
  5. Peter McWilliams - Rest In Peace
  6. Double Tragedy: Fire Destroys McWilliams' Legacy
  7. Exhibit Hall Etiquette
  8. Lessons in Government

  1. Upcoming Events

    June 20, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    Monthly Meeting of the Libertarians of Allegan County. Business at 7:00 at the Blue Heron. - - - At 7:30 we will be going to the Grill House for a special celebration honoring the winner of our Letters to the Editor contest. Public Welcome! The Grill house is on M-40, one mile south of Allegan.
    Location: The Blue Heron Coffeeshop -- Downtown Allegan on the riverfront. Directions: Driveway to riverfront is at corner of Hubbard & Chestnut, drive behind Docherty’s.
    Contact: Rick Dutkiewicz Phone: (616) 673-5503 E-mail: rdoogie@datawise.net

    June 21, 2000
    Monthly meeting of the St. Clair County affiliate.
    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: Richard Friend Phone: (810) 982-7178 E-mail: rfriend2000@advnet.net

    June 21, 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

    June 22, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    Meeting of the Committee to Elect Mike Corliss for US Senate.
    Location: LPM HQ, 619 East Nine Mile in Hazel Park, one block east of I-75
    Contact: Karen Corliss Phone: (734) 326-5406 E-mail: krcorliss@aol.com

    June 27, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    The Monthly Meeting of the Ottawa County Libertarian Party. This meeting will include a speakers covered in an LP press release and ACLU of West Michigan chair Peter Armonstrong
    Location: The Yellow Jacket Inn. 12011 Lake Michigan Drive at 120th.
    Contact: Jason C. Miller Phone: (616) 669-2851 E-mail: jcmiller@triton.net

    June 30, 2000
    Libertarian Party Presidential Nominating Convention held June 30 to July 3, 2000. See http://www.lp.org/conv/2000/ for details.
    Location: Anaheim, California
    Contact: National LP Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext 227

    July 4, 2000
    Wayne County LP - Monthly Meeting. Dinner 6:30pm Program 7:45pm. Most likely few people will be at this meeting because many activists will be at the National Convention.
    Location: La Trattoria Restaurant Michigan Avenue near Schaffer Dearborn MI
    Contact: Joann Karpinski Phone: (313) 925-6917 E-mail: MOMJOANN@aol.com

    July 10, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    Clare-Gladwin LP Monthly meeting, Refreshments provided, Speaker, Literature, Outreach drive update: will 30 members be reached?, Candidate recruitment: 6 local candidates now likely, possible county level full-slate? Great fun and discussions. Update on parade floats success from the 4th of July parades.
    Contact: Ghazey Aleck Phone: (517) 386-2699 E-mail: aleckfamily@voyager.net

    July 11, 2000 - 7:00 PM
    Kalamazoo Libertarian Party general meeting
    Location: TGI Friday's Restaurant, 5650 West Main St. Kalamazoo MI 49009
    Contact: Tim Miley Phone: (616) 668-3951 E-mail: thmiley@yahoo.com

    July 12, 2000 - 6:00 PM
    Libertarians of Macomb County monthly meeting. Drinks and dinner at 6:00 PM, business begins at 7:00 PM.
    Location: Miles World Resturant, 17689 Masonic, Fraser, MI 48026, 810-415-4500.
    Contact: Diane Barnes Phone: (810) 774-1625 E-mail: DBarnes98@aol.com

    For more events, see the online calendar at:

  2. Corliss For Senate Meeting

    Important meeting! Thursday, June 22, at 7 pm, there will be a volunteer/mailing meeting at the new headquarters for the Corliss for Senate campaign. We will be stuffing envelopes for a major fundraising letter, and also organizing volunteers for an all-out effort this summer to get the Corliss campaign in front of Michigan voters. Anyone interested in helping on the campaign is invited, for any amount of time that you can contribute. We especially need computer and web-savvy individuals, since we will be taking the campaign high-tech. The HQ is located at 619 East Nine Mile in Hazel Park, one block east of I-75. Call 734-326-5406 for more information, and get in on the campaign of the summer!

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  3. Steinport Comes Close by Jason C. Miller

    Secretary of the Libertarian Party of West Michigan and dedicated activist Jeff Steinport made a powerful bid for Grand Rapids School Board. In a district of 180,000 people, Steinport was robbed of a seat by only 400 votes. Steinport was endorsed by the Grand Rapids Press, America's 4th largest afternoon newspaper, even though they knew of his Libertarian connection. Though Steinport did not win a seat, he did make a difference.

    Vote Returns
    Brian Craig..........3885
    Amy McGlynn..........3360
    Jerome Dixon.........2871
    La Deidra Brown-Gais.2508
    Jeff Steinport.......2471
    Mitchell Neeley......2081
    Derrick Martin.......1489

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  4. Open Up the Presidential Debates! by Brian Costin

    On January 6, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced its criteria for inclusion in the 2000 presidential debates -- and it's bad news for third parties. The commission, composed entirely of Democrats and Republicans, decreed that third-party candidates must show up at 15% in public opinion polls in order to be included. This unreasonably high threshold will most likely lock every third-party candidate out of the televised debates, which are a crucial source of information for tens of millions of American voters. For example, Reform Party governor Jesse Ventura was polling at 10% in Minnesota in September 1998, before being invited to the debates. Ventura went on to win in November with 37% of the vote. As the election of Ventura demonstrated, debates can change the outcome of an election. That's why the Debates Commission should offer voters a broad spectrum of legitimate candidates. Instead of acting as a filter, to "mainstream" our choices to an "electable" choice of candidates. Inviting every candidate on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning would probably result in just six candidates on stage -- hardly enough to "confuse" voters. I ask all members of the Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Reform, and Republican Parties, and independent voters- to support the opening of the presidential debates, to allow all parties that are mathematically eligible to win the Electoral College in to the Debates. To have an open forum to the American people, to help all voters form a complete idea of the political spectrum of choices in The United States of America, and make a more informed choice in the all important Presidential Debates of 2000 and the elections of our nation's future. You can sign our online petition at http://www.i-charity.net/bin/ptn/39/tfref/27674 Thank You, Brian Costin, President, Open Debates of America

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  5. Peter McWilliams - Rest In Peace by Ann McCormick

    It is with sadness and tears that I tell you, Peter McWilliams died yesterday at his home in Los Angeles. The preliminary cause of death is listed as asphyxiation. It appears that he was alone, vomited and was unable, in his weakened state to clear his airway.

    Rest In Peace, dear friend. We will miss you so very much.

    Peter's website is at http://www.petertrial.com/

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  6. Double Tragedy: Fire Destroys McWilliams' Legacy by Don Wirtshafter

    Here are the details I have been able to gather. It turns out to be a double tragedy. Last Sunday, Peter had a major fire in his house. It burnt up the entire downstairs including his computer and backups. Peter was just weeks away from finishing his book on the ordeal he has gone through. He was quite excited about it and motivated to finish it. I heard the firemen had to rescue Peter through his upstairs bedroom window.

    The loss of this work threw Peter into shock. He was not able to talk to anyone these past few days. The loss of his book was overwhelming to him.

    Peter was found in his bathroom choked on his own vomit. Readers may recall his posting a few weeks back where he described in detail the routine he had worked out to quiet his stomach so it would not reject the cocktail of pills he was prescribed for his AIDS. Medical marijuana worked perfectly for this purpose, at the time of his arrest his viral count was down to zero. Federal Judge George King ordered him not to use medical marijuana while he was on federal bond. Because his mother and brother had put up their houses for this bond, Peter felt obliged to follow this order. But it meant he could not keep down his medicine and his viral count.

    Over a period of time Peter developed a routine of bedrest and other precautions so that he could keep down his medicine. See: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n344/a04.html?159127 His health began to return but he asserted that there was no way that he could follow this routine in jail. He hoped the judge would understand this and sentence him to a period of house arrest.

    Peter choked to death due to the lack of a proper anti-emetic. Forgive me for my anger, but it feels to me that he died as a direct result of the bullshit he was fighting so hard. California voters passed an initiative so that seriously ill patients like Peter could use medical marijuana. Because the federal government is unwilling to face the reality that marijuana is a medicine, Goliath had to crush innocent patients like Peter. For lack of an proper anti-emetic, Peter died. I hold the feds responsible.

    I pray that somehow a copy of Peter's unfinished work surfaces so that the world can hear his final message to us. As a movement we need to find some way of honoring Peter and his work. And we need to redouble our efforts to keep our own government from killing more innocent victims.

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  7. Exhibit Hall Etiquette by Cynthia Lett

    Though the following article is intended for professionals at trade shows, the suggestions are equally valuable for those of us who operate booths at fairs or gun shows.

    Attending and exhibiting at trade shows is all about building relationships, learning about new products and services and maybe negotiating a deal.

    But everything starts with the relationship.

    It is a fact that we like to do business with people we like. We are less willing to make a deal and write a check to a company represented by disrespectful, ignorant people.

    You may say, "Well, of course! That is obvious." But if it were so obvious, why do so many people treat potential buyers and vendors so poorly?

    The first impression we have of a company or product is the person who represents it. As a buyer, when you explore a booth on a trade show floor, you should notice how you are greeted. Is it with a smile? Did someone shake your hand? Were you even acknowledged?

    How many times have you walked into a booth on a trade room floor and were ignored completely?

    It's happened to me. When that happens, it is my cue to walk out quickly. If the booth attendant cannot be bothered to greet me appropriately, this is a company I cannot trust to meet my needs.

    This is where knowing the proper etiquette and using it makes a huge difference between you and your competition.

    A first impression is made within five seconds of meeting someone. We make a judgment about them and how we will interact based on their clothes, facial expressions, energy, confidence, personal power, perceived authority, posture, personal grooming, and most of all, by the way they treat us.

    For five seconds, that's a lot of information being formulated. So you have to ask yourself, do you make that first impression a positive one? Or, do you leave the impression that the person is an imposition, a waste of your time and not worth making the effort.

    To make first impressions powerful and positive, keep these tips in mind:

    * Acknowledge the other person.

    * Smile.

    * Look the person in the eye.

    * Extend your hand first to shake hands.

    * Shake hands--web to web and no more than three pumps.

    * Pump from the wrist, not the shoulder or the elbow.

    * Make the handshake firm, not bone crushing. Don't give a "limp fish shake."

    * Lean forward from the shoulder to put energy into your greeting.

    * Introduce yourself by stating your first and last name and position.

    * Whether you are the buyer or seller, always extend or accept a greeting--don't wander into a booth, grab a brochure or sample and run out without making a connection.

    * Make the encounter worthwhile--even for the few moments you are there. Ask questions. Attempt to learn something about the product, service or buyer's needs.

    * If the product is not of use to you or your company, thank the booth attendants and say goodbye without wasting their time. This shows respect for their business and their time. It will also leave a positive impression about you, because you never know when you may encounter them again.

    * If you are the seller, qualify the lead by asking specific questions. Too many generalities waste time for both of you. Examples of good specific questions are, "Do you believe that our product would be helpful to you?" or "What prompted you to stop by our booth?" Remember, wasting someone else's time is a huge etiquette faux pas.

    * Ask how you can follow up with them if you intend to do that. Don't ask, "May I have your card?" That is a demand for a gift, not a request for information. The reason we want someone's business card is to have information for follow-up. If you make the demand for a card, you may embarrass them if they don't have any to give. What you really are requesting is a way to follow up. Ask instead, "What is the best way to follow up with you?" or "Where may I send additional information?" This leaves a classier impression and respect for the other person.

    * Understand the corporate culture. Is it informal? Does everyone use first names immediately? Or does it tend to be more formal? If so, don't forget to use an honorific (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.).

    * If someone else is occupying your attention when new guests come into your booth, at a break in the conversation, make an introduction and tell them that you will be with them momentarily. This gesture demonstrates several positives. You are acknowledging their presence, and you are making it easy for them to meet someone new.

    * People who employ good etiquette act as a resource for others. Know who else is exhibiting and where they are located in case your new prospect would like to know.

    * You are either a host or a guest in all situations. If you are the exhibitor, the host role is yours. Everyone who comes to your booth is coming to your office-away-from-the-office. Treat them with the respect you would use if they had made an appointment to meet you in the office. If you are a buyer, you are the guest. As a guest, you have certain duties as well. They include, being present in the conversation; being polite with your questions; making requests, not demands; not wasting anyone's time; and introducing yourself.

    * Don't be a complainer. Do you like to hear about someone's aching feet or their hunger for lunch?

    * Don't sit down. A person sitting is unapproachable at a show. If buyers want to learn about your product, and you are waiting for them in a chair, chances are they will walk on by and feel put off.

    * Don't eat in the booth. If you are not in the position to share what you are eating with people who come into your booth, don't eat in front of them. (Also, chewing gum is a huge faux pas!).

    * Be careful not to talk about a function you attended or plan to attend unless everyone at the show has been invited. Nothing makes people feel more uneasy than hearing about not being invited to an event. Along these lines, never make an invitation to one person if anyone else not invited could possibly hear.

    * If you said "hello," you must say "goodbye." Don't disappear without closure of some sort.

    * Shake hands to say "goodbye."

    * Turn off your cell phone, unless you are on a break. If you must be in contact at all times, invest in a vibrating pager or cell phone. If either does go off in the company of others, ask if you may put the caller on hold until you can excuse yourself to a quiet, private location to talk. Don't carry on a conversation in front of anyone in your booth. That is a strong form of ignorance. It is the same as broadcasting your business on the front page of The Washington Post.

    * If you don't know what to talk about to break the ice, consider what things you have in common. First, you are at a tradeshow, so ask if it meets their expectations. You had to travel, so ask how their trip was. You probably heard the general session opening speech, so ask their opinions about it. Compliment the guests in your booth on a positive aspect of their company. This could be the number of years they have been in business, their recent merger, their standing on the Fortune 500 list or a recent "win" they had in securing a big contract. Nothing makes someone pay attention to you in a positive way than being complimented.

    * No gossiping. When it is slow in the booth, many salespeople revert to gossip to pass the time. This will kill your professional image quickly--even with your colleagues who are also participating.

    * Brush up on your grammar. Poorly spoken English causes others to regard you as uneducated. Even a college degree doesn't count if you use the language improperly. Also remember, using swear words are taboo for a professional image. They also make others quite uncomfortable.

    While this is a short list, the tips are important to cultivate proper behaviors at a trade show, or any business function.

    Keep this in mind: Treat others with the respect, kindness and professionalism. If you do, you remain in good standing with your competition. You can really stand out if you master some of the suggestions.

    Once you incorporate these behavior tips into your approach at a trade show, you will enjoy your relationship-building efforts and make each trade show a more effective use of your time and efforts and each business encounter more productive.

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  8. Lessons in Government by (Author Unknown)

    I think it is very important that we teach our children about the true nature of government. Now, at last, there is a way to give your children a basic civics course right in your own home! In my own experience as a father, I have discovered several simple devices that can illustrate to a child's mind the principles on which the modern state deals with its citizens. You may find them helpful too.

    For example, I used to play the simple card game WAR with my son. After a while, when he thoroughly understood that the higher-ranking cards beat the lower ranking ones, I created a new game I called GOVERNMENT. In this game, I was Government, and I won every trick, regardless of who had the better card. My boy soon lost interest in my new game, but I like to think it taught him a valuable lesson for later in life.

    When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp and will allow him to understand the benefits. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 of this to his younger brother, who has done nothing to deserve it, and tell him that this is "fair" because the younger brother 'needs money too'. Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money and for various other things you need. Make him place his $5 in a savings account over which you have authority. Explain that if he is ever naughty, you will remove the money from the account without asking him. Also explain how you will be taking most of the interest he earns on that money, without his permission. Mention that if he tries to hide the money, this, in itself, will be evidence of wrongdoing and will result in you automatically taking the money from him.

    Conduct random searches of his room in the small hours of the morning. Burst in unannounced. Go through all of his drawers and pockets. If he questions this, tell him you are acting on a tip-off from a mate of his who casually mentioned that you had both earned a bit of spare cash last week. If you find it, confiscate all of that money and also take his stereo and television. Tell him you are selling these and keeping the money to compensate you for having to make the raid. Also lock him in his room for a month as further punishment. When he cries at the injustice of this, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy" and only interested in looking after his own happiness. Explain that he should learn to sacrifice his own happiness for other people and that since he cannot be relied upon or trusted to do this voluntarily, you will use force to ensure he complies. Later in life he will thank you.

    Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily. Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about and carefully explain that ignorance of your rules is not an excuse for breaking them. Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven't yet issued. Instill in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under a democratic government. He is too young to understand the benefits of democracy, so explain this wonderful system as follows: You, your wife and his brother get together and vote that your son should have all privileges removed, be caned, and confined to his room for a week. If he protests that you are violating his rights, patiently explain his error and tell him that the majority have voted for this punishment and nothing matters except the will of the majority. When your child has matured sufficiently to understand how the judicial system works, set a bedtime for him of, say, 10:00 p.m. and then send him to bed at 9:00 p.m. When he tearfully accuses you of breaking the rules, explain that you made the rules and you can interpret them in any way that seems appropriate to you, according to changing conditions. Promise often to take him to the movies or the zoo, and then, at the appointed hour, recline in an easy chair with a newspaper and tell him you have changed your plans. When he screams, "but you promised!" explain to him that it was a campaign promise and hence meaningless. Every now and then, without warning, slap your child. Then explain that this is self-defense. Tell him that you must be vigilant at all times to stop any potential enemy before he gets big enough to hurt you. This, too, your child will appreciate, not right at that moment, maybe, but later in life. If he finds this hard to accept, you can further illustrate the point as follows. Take him on a trip across town with you, to a strange neighborhood. Walk into any random house you choose and start sorting out their domestic problems, using violence if that is what is required. Make sure you use overwhelming force to crush the family into submission - this avoids a protracted visit and becoming involved for long periods of time. Explain to your son that only a coward stands idly by whilst injustice is happening across town. Tell him we are all brothers and problems left to fester will eventually spill over into your neighborhood. Use some of the $5 you took from your son as bus fare and to purchase a baseball bat. Drink a bottle of whisky and then lecture him on the evils of smoking dope. If he points out your hypocrisy remind him that the majority of people drink and that, as already explained, the needs of the majority are the only moral standard. Break up any meeting between him and more than three of his mates as being an 'unlawful gathering'. If he strokes the cat without the cat giving its express permission, slap him hard for feline harassment. Mark one designated spot in the yard where he can leave his bike. If he leaves it anywhere else, padlock it and demand $50 to release it. If he offends more than three times, confiscate the bike, sell it, and keep the money. Install a CCTV system in your son's bedroom and also record all his telephone conversations. If he protests, accuse him of having something to hide. Explain that only criminals seek privacy and that good, dutiful children relinquish their privacy in exchange for the advantages which protective parenthood offers. Remind him of the boy across town who was caught smoking dope in his bedroom by just such a CCTV system, and explain that this case justifies installing CCTV in all teenagers' bedrooms. Lie to your child constantly. Teach him that words mean nothing - or rather that the meanings of words are continually "evolving", and may be tomorrow the opposite of what they are today. Have a word with his teachers at school and ask them to share any merit marks your son achieves, with any ethnic minority students who did not get any merit marks. If he questions this policy, explain that long ago we abused the ancestors of these people, and so it is only fair that he shares the merits around to compensate their descendants.

    This is also probably a good time to tell him that his energy, talent and enthusiasm will not secure him a job if the quota of such 'abused' people has not yet been filled. Tell him talent stands for nothing - it is fairness and sharing which are important. Remind him that his primary duty is the happiness and welfare of people he does not know, and will never meet. Ban cutlery from your home and make your son eat with his fingers. If he asks why, remind him of the youth who stabbed a cat to death last week with a fork. Explain that if the banning of cutlery saves just one cat, then this prohibition will be worthwhile. If he protests, question him closely about why he is intending to kill innocent cats, or accuse him of being a cat hater. Issue him with a pass card, which he must show before he can enter the house. Stand guard at the front door. When he comes home, politely but firmly take him into the spare room and question him about his movements. Ask him how much cash he has on his person. If in excess of $50, confiscate the lot as it exceeds the house rule for maximum cash allowed. Then search his rucksack and pockets. To keep him guessing, do the occasional strip search. If he protests, detain him for longer and make the search more thorough. If he gets really angry with this, hold him in a locked room until he misses his next outing or party.

    If these methods sound harsh, I am only being cruel to be kind. I think it is important for children to understand the nature of the society in which we live. I hope you found that amusing. I did when I wrote it, but on second reading, I feel a bit sick. It makes the point too plainly to avoid.

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