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Libertarian calendar for April

30 Apr
For Libertarian Party events go here

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    April 25
    8 pm Pacific

    Adam Kokesh on Outright Libertarian radio

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    Washington DC
    April 30

    Who is Happy About Capitalism?

    ***Register here: http://bit.ly/1pz68P6

    Capitalism is the social system for individuals who want to achieve happiness in society. So why is it constantly attacked? Join Tom Bowden for a discussion of Ayn Rand’s unique insights into the system she called an “unknown ideal.”

    Lunch will be served.

    RSVP is required for attendance.

    Register: http://bit.ly/1pz68P6

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    Washington DC
    April 30

    “This Town” by Mark Lebovitch
    6th and I Synagogue

    7 pm

    Admission:
    Ticket: $14
    1 ticket + 1 book: $18
    2 tickets + 1 book: $24
    How to Purchase:
    Online or by phone (877.987.6487 with a $1.50 fee per ticket). Additional fees apply.
    Seating:
    General Admission
    Doors Open:
    6:00 pm

    Mark Leibovich

    In Conversation with Franklin Foer and David Brooks

    Apr 30, 2014 • 7:00 pm
    Hailed as a “hysterically funny portrait of the capital’s vanities and ambitions” (The New Yorker), This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital captured America’s attention asthe political book of 2013.
    Washington, D.C., might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of big politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation’s capital, just millionaires. In This Town,Leibovich—chief national correspondent forThe New York Times Magazine—presents a blistering examination of our ruling class’s incestuous “media industrial complex.”
    …  More +
    More Info: Twitter

    Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism: Is this contradiction fictional?

    27 Nov
    Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism – The Objective Standard

    The enterprising Craig Biddle actually discusses various libertarian authors, including Objectivism friendly ones, at slightly more length than his predecessors have.

    I think he misses at least one minor and one major point.

    The minor one is that Ayn Rand called her politics “libertarian,” and recommended that word to Joan Kennedy Taylor when she gave Joan advice on her young Manhattan Republican club magazine Persuasion, in the 1960s, until Miss Rand had a tiff with her friend John Hospers leading her to abjure libertarians (having already had cross personal words with Murray and Joey Rothbard).

    The major one being that many libertarians who use the phrase “natural rights” do think of themselves as discovering and articulating those rights by means of Ayn Rand’s or similar neo-Aristotelian philosophies. And when they say people can be libertarians even if they are Zorastrians, Rastafarians, Muslims, or Jews, they aren’t saying any of those religions supply sound foundations for ideas of justice or rights. Just that people do in fact hold libertarian policy positions motivated by their (often new) interpretations of those religions.

    Recriminatorium – Another Post-Election Recrimination

    23 Jan
    So we’ve seen a lot of post-election recriminations, mainly different Republicans attacking each other, or attacking Libertarians for daring to exist and for running against them, to explain why they lost.  (With Democrats laughing at them from the sidelines.)

    Whatever these recriminations are worth, no one from either major party seems to see them in the context of both Obama and Romney each getting both a minority of the vote – Obama 30% of registered voters and Romney 29% of them – and each getting several million fewer voters than their parties did in 2008.

    This is not my recriminatory question.  Though I do have questions about this:  How far will the Democrats and Republicans go to violate the First Amendment to suppress any new parties that appeal to the 40% of voters who left the presidential slot blank or stayed home altogether?  What would happen if some day the Republican actually ran and talked again and again about individual rights being the touchstone for a policy of reducing government power?  And what would happen if a GOP candidate, of whatever gender, had produced a majority of their campaign ads using the fantastic line up of female talent on display briefly at their convention?

    My question is instead for our frequently bilious and often holier than thou cousins, the Objectivists and their acolytes, the students of Objectivism, who mainly liked Gary Johnson when he was a Republican, then decided in some cases to support him even after he became a Libertarian (emphasizing that they were only supporting his candidacy and not the party or any of its other candidates).  I am primarily thinking of Dr. Diana Hseih and her website and podcasts.  Ultimately Hsieh threw her support to Romney, on the entirely reasonable grounds that Obama should not be allowed to appoint anyone else to the Supreme Court.  (I myself  didn’t spend any effort arguing that people worried about this should vote for Johnson in swing states, and I was a Johnson Elector in a non swing state.  Though I also pointed out to GOPsters attacking Libertarians that they should be trying to set up a vote exchange where they would get two Republicans to vote for Johnson in non swing states in exchange for a Libertarian to vote for Romney in swing states.)

    So Objectivists, how did that work out for you?

    Hsieh was not alone.  Someone who does a not invaluable looking Objectivist blog SelfishCitizenship, rightly took Johnson to task for spending too much time complaining about not being in the debates, and not enough time talking about crucial issues.  This blogger doesn’t show any cognizance of how this works, but I am sure Johnson’s real failure was to not take control of the narrative.  He was being asked why he wasn’t doing better and how he could win, and complained that the system was set up to exclude him – when he should have rejected the journalist’s question and spoke about issues instead.  The blog author (Jim?) argues that if Johnson can’t run a competent campaign how could he be a competent president?  Do the Objectivists realize this question applies to the GOP and Romney?  Who run people every year and don’t seem to learn?  And who don’t run state governments as well as Johnson did.

    Here’s Hsieh on Johnson back in 2011:

    GQ published an excellent article on the only presidential candidate that I could possibly support, namely Gary Johnson. Here’s a tidbit:

    A few things you need to know up front about Gary Johnson. There is nothing he will not answer, nothing he will not share. For six straight days, we spent virtually every waking hour together, which might have had something to do with the fact that there wasn’t another reporter within ten miles of the guy. Or that when you’re polling in the low digits and your campaign fund is less than Mitt Romney’s breakfast tab and your entourage is Brinck and Matt, you tend to be more forthcoming. But in fact, Johnson is fundamentally incapable of bullshitting, which is one of the many, many things that make him so unusual for a presidential candidate. (When a reporter asks him, after he gushes about how great New Hampshire voters are, if he says the same thing in Michigan, he replies, “No, Michigan’s the worst.”) He finds presidential politicking of the sort we’ve grown accustomed to—slick, scripted, focus-grouped, how-does-the-hair-look—to be “absolutely phony.”

    Johnson is not just determined to eliminate the budget deficit by immediately cutting the budget by 43%. He’s also pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-marijuana-legalization, and more. He’s not as hawkish on foreign policy as I’d like, but he’s opposed to altruistic foreign wars. You canread about his positions here.
    In my view, Gary Johnson is a far better candidate than I thought possible from the GOP. And I’ll be damned if I’ll sit on my hands while something that good passes us by — particularly when our alternatives are wild-eyed Jesus freaks, slimy pragmatists, and economy-killers. Hence, I’ve donated a few hundred dollars to his campaign — and I’d urge others to considerdoing the same.
    If you’re not able to do that but you like what you see, please pass on the GQ article (or this blog post) to friends and fellow free-market activists.