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Offline TRX

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OT FW not ADD friendly (Rant +)
« on: April 07, 2006, 05:31:04 PM »
THE VILLAGE CHOICE
A Weekly (um, quarterly) Rundown of News, Views and Events Affecting
Freedom in NYC
Volume 5, Issue 2 * April 7, 2006

THE VILLAGE CHOICE is brought to you by the Manhattan Libertarian Party.
http://www.manhattanlp.org

In this issue:
* Weld seeks the Libertarian nod!
* Serf City, here we come!
* The Wild Woman of Albany strikes again!
* Your calendar of pro-freedom events!
* Much more!

==============

* News Bites *

A Libertarian Governor?
GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bill Weld is sailing into uncharted waters in
New York Republican politics: He's making a major run to line up the
backing of the tiny Libertarian Party. Weld confirmed to the Daily News
last night that he would "definitely be interested" in winning the
Libertarian line. "'Libertarian' is not a bad word in my lexicon," he
said, noting one of his favorite expressions is: "I want the government
out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom."
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/406850p-344319c.html

Yes, I Know It's a Jan and Dean Song
At the height of the political races last summer, the libertarian
candidates weren't getting much press in the daily newspapers in New
York. So Jim Lesczynski and the Manhattan Libertarian Party created
their own publication, Serf City. The title is a pun on a Beach Boys
song, but also symbolizes the state of affairs in New York City, Mr.
Lesczynski said.
http://tinyurl.com/kvon2

But Guns Aren't Sharp Objects
A Fresh Meadows Marine who just embarked on his second Iraq tour posted
a note on his MySpace Web page as a caution to anybody else who may find
themselves in his situation - headed into the war on terror: no small
weapons allowed. "So I am getting ready to board the plane to Kuwait
City and I am loaded for bear," he wrote. "We all have our weapons on us
with other assortment of gear and we are told that we cannot carry
knives onto the plane with us... Plane full of Marines, all carrying
weapons and I can't carry my four-inch pocket knife on board. The
perfect start to a long deployment."
http://www.queenstribune.com/qconf/MakingItInQueens.html

Our Wild and Crazy Public Servants
The woman who accused state Sen. Ada Smith of scalding her with hot
coffee said her out-of-control boss threatened to kill her if she told
anyone about the incident, an explosive new court document shows. In a
deposition filed in Albany City Court yesterday, Jennifer Jackson said
she was working at her job as an aide on the morning of March 21 when
Smith came into the office carrying a cup of coffee and bragging she had
lost 4.3 pounds. According to the deposition, when Jackson said she
thought Smith would have lost 20 pounds given her busy schedule, the
fiery senator - without warning - threw coffee into her aide's face
while screaming, "You need to keep your f- - - ing mouth shut!" With her
eyes burning from the coffee, Jackson said she told eyewitness Claude
Nelson, Smith's chief of staff, "I can't take this anymore. I'm
quitting." Before leaving, Jackson, 41, said she told Smith (D-Queens),
"Senator, you can't do this to people. It's abusive." An enraged Smith -
known as "the wild woman of Albany" for her unpredictable behavior -
allegedly responded by yanking off Jackson's hairpiece and throwing it
on the floor while yelling an expletive. Soon after, Smith is said to
have warned, "If you tell anyone what happened in this office, I will f-
- - ing kill you."
http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/62045.htm

====================

* Rant of the Week *

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

by Jim Lesczynski

Perhaps you noticed this is the first issue of THE VILLAGE CHOICE to
show up in your inbox in three months. Perhaps you didn't notice, or
didn't care. I've received a few emails since January asking what
happened to our weekly publication, but for the most part people seem to
be getting along well enough without it. For those who do care, as I've
mentioned in past issues, I simply don't have time in my schedule
anymore to put this out on a weekly basis. Anyone interested in assuming
the reins of THE VILLAGE CHOICE should drop me an email, but until that
happens, assume that this publication will appear infrequently at best.

But that's not what I want to write about today. I want to discuss the
top item in the news clips above. As has been rumored in Libertarian
circles for some time now, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, the
leading candidate for the Republican nomination for New York governor,
is seeking cross-endorsement by the Libertarian Party.

This is big stuff. Weld would be by far the most serious, experienced
candidate the Libertarian Party of New York has ever endorsed. Even if
Weld didn't win, it's almost a lock that he could pull 50,000 votes on
the Libertarian line, something no other Libertarian candidate for
governor has managed in our 32-year history. If we hit the magical 50k,
it means that the Libertarian Party is an officially recognized big-time
party with permanent ballot status for the next four years. No more
sweating it out on the streets in the dead of summer, expending massive
amounts of time and energy collecting signatures just to get our
candidates on the ballot. Instead of 3,500 signatures to run a candidate
for Congress, it would be more like 1 or 2 signatures, depending on
party enrollment levels. Even in areas where we didn't run a candidate,
the Libertarian Party would still own a column on every ballot.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Ah, but there's a catch. There's always a
catch. See, Weld isn't a purist Libertarian. He isn't even a moderate
Libertarian. Weld is more, shall we say, libertarian-leaning. A fellow
traveler of the freedom movement, if you will. While he peppers his
interviews with wonderful sound bites like, "I want to get the
government out your pocketbook and out of your bedroom," when the rubber
hits the road, Weld often comes up short. He's for medical marijuana,
but opposes drug re-legalization. He's opposed to eminent domain abuse,
but supports Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards scheme. He's a card-carrying
member of the NRA, but signed a massive gun control law while governor
of Massachusetts. (His defense is that it wasn't as bad as the gun
control Pataki signed in New York.) And so on.

So now we face a serious dilemma in the Party of Principle. Do we set
our principles aside, "just this once," and go with a kinda-sorta
Libertarian in order to get major party status and be on easy street for
the next four years? Or do we go with Plan B, which is to once again
nominate an earnest but invisible hardcore Libertarian and be content
with the same result we have always gotten?

Weld wouldn't be the first controversial candidate we've ever nominated
- controversial within the party, that is. Party in-fighting usually
happens whenever we consider a candidate outside the rank and file of
the LP. We have a strong preference for inbreeding; the Libertarian
Party is like the Romanovs of New York politics in that respect. In some
cases, particularly during the Howard Stern episode, I thought the
criticism of outsider candidates was entirely justified. In other cases,
as with the great Audrey Silk, leader of C.L.A.S.H. and our recent
candidate for mayor, I thought the intramural potshots were entirely
unfounded.

Regardless of my feelings on any particular candidate, one thing I
believe firmly is that there is a right time and place for internal
criticism and debate. That time is BEFORE we give them the nomination.
Unfortunately, all too often it seems some of us don't begin the serious
debate over a candidate's qualifications until after the horse has left
the barn. Or, maybe there are a few socially dysfunctional spoilsports
in the party who just care nothing for the good of the party or the
advancement of liberty, and who are content to get their jollies by
tearing down our candidates throughout the course of the campaign
season.

I'm about as purist of a Libertarian as you can find, and I can find
plenty to nitpick about any campaign, but I guarantee that you will
never find me publicly knocking a Libertarian candidate between
nomination and election day. And publicly includes on those infamous
wastes of time, the Yahoo Groups.

If you want to criticize a candidate for being insufficiently
libertarian, please do so. Personally, I think now is the time for our
candidates to be more libertarian, not less. But let's hear it now,
before the nomination. Or if a promising candidate disappoints during
the course of the campaign, save it for after election day, when we can
do a post mortem and hopefully learn from our mistakes. Trashing a
candidates while he or she is our nominee does the campaign no good, it
does the party no good, and it does the cause of freedom no good.

And spare me the childish whining about free speech and "constructive
criticism." A private email to the candidate is constructive. If the
candidate rejects your advice, there is absolutely nothing constructive
about taking your gripe public. It just pisses off the candidate and
demoralizes the troops. Yes, you have a right to free speech. You have
an absolute right to speech that damages the Libertarian cause. But
let's not have any delusions about what it is you're really doing.

If you find you just can't stomach a nominated candidate, then by all
means don't support him or her. Go find something else to do for
freedom, and sit out this election. There are plenty of ways you can
advance the cause without involvement in electoral politics.

Weld isn't the only quasi-libertarian seeking our nomination this year.
There is also Steve Greenfield, a Green Party activist from New Paltz
who is seeking our Senate nomination. As far as I can tell, he's even
less of a libertarian than Weld. In all likelihood, I will vote for Jeff
Russell, a long-time true-blue Libertarian, for Senate at our statewide
nominating convention in Albany. Still, if Greenfield somehow gets the
nod, I will either find a way to support his campaign, or I will simply
find something else to do for freedom over the next seven months. The
same goes for Weld.

Fellow Libertarians, come to the convention in Albany on April 29. Make
your voices heard. Starting April 30, I don't want to hear them.

===================

* Upcoming Events *

Monday, April 10, 6:30 p.m.
Manhattan Libertarian Party monthly meeting
Guest speaker: John Chodes, author of _Destroying the Republic_
Food and drink service available
Ukrainian East Village Restaurant, 140 Second Avenue
http://www.manhattanlp.org

Monday, April 10, 10:30 p.m.
"The Libertarian Alternative"
A Libertarian political talk show
Time Warner Cable Ch. 34, RCN Cable Ch. 110, MNN Ch. 1
http://www.libertarianalternative.org

Wednesday, April 12, 8:30 p.m.
"Hardfire"
A Libertarian political talk show focusing on NYC
Time Warner Cable Ch. 56
http://hardfire.net

Monday, April 17, 8:00 p.m. - midnight
Manhattan Libertarian Party tax day protest
Help us cut off the lifeblood of Leviathan.
James Farley Post Office steps, Eighth Avenue at 34th Street
http://www.manhattanlp.org/events.htm

================================

* News tips, rants and events wanted! *

Help us improve THE VILLAGE CHOICE. Send news bites, rants and event
announcements to villagechoice@manhattanlp.org. Please include a web
link whenever possible. We will occasionally consider broader topics,
but our strong preference is for items pertaining to freedom (or the
lack thereof) in New York City.

* New editor wanted! *

THE VILLAGE CHOICE is edited by Jim Lesczynski. But he's ready to pass
the baton. If you'd like to see THE VILLAGE CHOICE published on a weekly
basis again, you may have to step forward and do it yourself. Seriously,
we're looking for a new editor. If you're interested, please email
villagechoice@manhattanlp.org.
 
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See you next week!
Life, Liberty, Happiness (pursuit of) and pasta


 

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