Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dodge Landesman, Democratic Candidate For City Council, Endorses Republican Alex Zablocki For Public Advocate

Dodge Landesman, a registered Democrat, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination to run for City Council from the 2nd Councilmanic District in New York City, announced on his Facebook Page on June 27, 2009 that he supports Republican Alex Zablocki for Public Advocate. Just before the endorsement, Alex Zablocki told Dodge Landesman that if elected, he is considering the formation of a Bi-Partisan Youth Commission to which he intends to appoint Dodge as head.

In his capacity as the elected State Representative of the Manhattan Libertarian Party to the State Committee of the Libertarian Party of New York, Mr. Landesman had suggested the Libertarians consider endorsing Democrat Norman Siegel for Public Advocate. Mr. Siegel did not seek the endorsement of the Libertarian Party at the New York City Libertarian Party Nominating Convention held on May 11, 2009 but Republican Alex Zablocki did seek the LP nomination, eventually losing out to Jim Lesczynski.

Dodge Landesman, MLP State Representative, Endorses Republican Alex Zablocki For Public Advocate

Dodge Landesman, who serves as State Representative of the Manhattan Libertarian Party on the State Committee of the Libertarian Party of New York, announced on his Facebook Page on June 27, 2009 that he supports Republican Alex Zablocki for Public Advocate instead of Jim Lesczynski, who was nominated as the Libertarian Party's candidate for Public Advocate at the New York City Libertarian Party Nominating Convention held on May 11, 2009. Just before the endorsement, Alex Zablocki told Dodge Landesman that if elected, he is considering the formation of a Bi-Partisan Youth Commission to which he intends to appoint Dodge as head.

Mr. Landesman, who is a registered Democrat, is currently seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party to run for City Council from the 2nd Councilmanic District in Manhattan. He did not comment on why he was not going to back the Democratic Party's candidate for Public Advocate although he did suggest to the Libertarians before their Nominating Convention that they consider endorsing Democrat Norman Siegel for Public Advocate. Mr. Siegel did not seek the endorsement of the Libertarian Party for Public Advocate but Republican Alex Zablocki did seek the LP nomination but lost it to Jim Lesczynski.

Quotations From "Anthem" By Ayn Rand

by Ayn Rand
ISBN 0-451-19113-7

Dr. Tom Stevens has taken selected quotations from this book for reference here. To enable you to research the context of each quotation, page numbers have been provided. These quotations do not necessarily reflect the ideas of Dr. Tom Stevens or the Objectivist Party.

We have come to see how great is the unexplored, and many lifetimes will not bring us to the end of our quest. But we wish no end to our quest. We wish nothing, save to be alone and to learn, and to feel as if with each day our sight were growing sharper than the hawk's and clearer than rock crystal. (pg. 36)

We are glad to be living. If this is a vice, then we wish no virtue. (pg. 47)

The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them. (pg. 52)

So much is still to be learned! So long a road lies before us, and what care we if we must travel it alone! (pg. 54)

We knelt by the stream and we bent down to drink. And then we stopped. For, upon the blue of the sky below us, we saw our own face for the first time. We sat still and we held our breath. For our face and our body were beautiful. Our face was not like the faces of our brothers, for we felt no pity when looking upon it. Our body was not like the bodies of our brothers, for our limbs were straight and thin and hard and strong. And we thought that we could trust this being who looked upon us from the stream, and that we had nothing to fear with this being. (pg. 80)

Your eyes are as a flame, but our brothers have neither hope nor fire. Your mouth is cut of granite, but our brothers are soft and humble. Your head is high, but our brothers cringe. You walk, but our brothers crawl. We wish to be damned with you, rather than blessed with all our brothers. (pg. 83)

I am. I think. I will. (pg. 94)

My hands. My spirit. My sky. My forest. This earth of mine. What must I say besides? These are the words. This is the answer. I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of my quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. (pg. 94)

It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears give song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect. (pg. 94)

Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: "I will it!" (pgs. 94-95)

Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the lodestone which point the way. They point in but one direction. They point to me. (pg. 95)

I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars. (pg. 95)

I am a man. This miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before! (pg. 95)

I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them. The fortune of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom. (pgs. 95-96)

I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man's soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet. (pg. 96)

I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned. (pg. 96)

I shall choose my friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters. And I shall choose only such as please me, and them I shall love and respect, but neither command nor obey. And we shall join our hands when we wish, or walk alone when we so desire. For in the temple of his spirit, each man is alone. Let each man keep his temple untouched and undefiled. Then let him join hands with others if he wishes, but only beyond his holy threshold. (pg. 96)

For the word "We" must never be spoken, save by one's choice and as a second thought. This word must never be placed first within man's soul, else it becomes a monster, the root of all the evils on earth, the root of man's torture by men, and of an unspeakable lie. The word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages. What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey? But I am done with this creed of corruption. I am done with the monster of "We," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame. (pgs. 96-97)

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: "I." (pg. 97)

Our son will be raised as a man. He will be taught to say "I" and to bear the pride of it. He will be taught to walk straight and on his own feet. He will be taught reverence for his own spirit. (pg. 100)

I shall call to me all the men and the women whose spirit has not been killed within them and who suffer under the yoke of their brothers. They will follow me and I shall lead them to my fortress. And here, in this unchartered wilderness, I and they, my chosen friends, my fellow-builders, shall write the first chapter in the new history of man. (pg. 101)

At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled. (pgs. 101-102)

Through all the darkness, through all the shame of which men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through. And man will go on. Man, not men. (pg. 104)

Here, on this mountain, I and my sons and my chosen friends shall build our new land and our fort. And it will become as the heart of the earth, lost and hidden at first, but beating , beating louder every day. And word of it will reach every corner of the earth. And the roads of the world will become as veins which will carry the best of the world's blood to my threshold. And all my brothers, and the Councils of my brothers, will hear of it, but they will be impotent against me. And the day will come when I shall break all the chains of the earth, and raze the cities of the enslaved, and my home will become the capital of a world where each man will be free to exist for his own sake. For the coming of that day shall I fight, I and my sons and my chosen friends. For the freedom of Man. For his rights. For his life. For his honor. And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die, should we all perish in battle. The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. The sacred word: EGO. (pgs. 104-105)

NOTE ON THE WORD "EGO" IN THE INTRODUCTION BY LEONARD PEIKOFF: Ayn Rand's working title for this short novel was Ego. "I used the word in its exact, literal meaning," she wrote to one correspondent. "I did not mean a symbol of the self – but specifically and actually Man's Self." Man's self, Ayn Rand held, is his mind or conceptual faculty, the faculty of reason. All man's spiritually distinctive attributes derive from this faculty. For instance, it is reason (man's value judgments) that leads to man's emotions. And it is reason which possesses volition, the ability to make choices. But reason is a property of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. The term ego combines the above points into a single concept: it designates the mind (and its attributes) considered as an individual possession. The ego, therefore, is that which constitutes the essential identity of a human being. As one dictionary puts it, the ego is "the I" or self of any person; (it is) a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from the objects of its thought. It is obvious why Ayn Rand exalts man's ego. In doing so, she is (implicitly) upholding the central principles of her philosophy and of her heroes: reason, values, volition, individualism. Her villains, by contrast, do not think, judge, and will; they are second-handers, who allow themselves to be run by others. Having renounced their minds, they are, in a literal sense, self-less.

Quotations From "Ayn Rand Answers"

Ayn Rand Answers
The Best of Her Q & A
ISBN 0-451-21665-2

The quotations by Ayn Rand noted below were first edited by Robert Mayhew. Dr. Tom Stevens has taken selected quotations from this book for reference here. To enable you to research the context of each quotation, page numbers have been provided. These quotations do not necessarily reflect the ideas of Dr. Tom Stevens or the ObjectivistParty.

(The Founding Father I most admire is) Thomas Jefferson – for the Declaration of Independence, which is probably the greatest document in human history. There is, however, one minor fault on the level of fundamentals: the idea that men are endowed with rights by their Creator rather than by Nature. (pg. 1)

The political system of free enterprise and capitalist economics were one historical development. Both were the result of a philosophy of reason, freedom, and individual rights – the basis on which this country was founded. (pg. 3)

Your freedom of judgment, your freedom of production, your freedom to control your life. Those rights are morally inalienable, and must never be surrendered. (pgs. 4-5)

To the question, "Should the government have the power to tax?," I'd answer, "No, all taxation should be voluntary." (pg. 7)

The government's only proper role is protecting individual rights. That means: the military, the police, the law courts. (pg. 8)

No government planner has the right to forbid products for the consumer's own good. Let the consumer decide. (pg. 9)

I don't think the government should run schools. Education should be private, and children should go wherever their parents decide to send them. (pg. 24)

My defense of capitalism is based on individual rights, as was the American Founding Fathers', who were not altruists. They did not say man should exist for others; they said he should pursue his own happiness. Finally, it is not in a man's rational self-interest to cheat his customers. The abler the man, the better he is able to plan long range. (pg. 27)

"Altruism" is a term originated by the philosopher Auguste Comte, and has been used ever since to mean exactly what Comte intended. "Altruism" comes from the Latin alter, meaning "other." It means placing the interests of others above your own – existing for the sake of others. Altruism holds that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only moral justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest virtue. (pg.27)

Man's first moral virtue is to think and to be productive. (pg. 29)

In order actually to be alive properly, a man must use his mind constantly and productively. That's why rationality is the basic virtue according to my morality. (pg. 30)

The first thing Objectivism would advocate in regard to undeveloped nations is not to send them material help but to teach them political freedom. For any nation, no matter how undeveloped, if it establishes a political system that protects individual rights, its progress and development will be phenomenal. (pg. 36)

When currency is not backed by gold, then we are under the power of a government that arbitrarily sets the value of money, devalues the currency, inflates credit, and taxes us indirectly through the manipulation of money (which is more disastrous than direct taxation). The government's power to destroy the objective value and security of currency is precisely what ultimately destroys the economy. (pg. 40)

The notion that antitrust laws protects free competition is a wide-spread economic fallacy. (pg. 41)

If men want to organize into a union and bargain collectively with their employer, that is their right, provided they don't force anyone to join, or force their employer to negotiate with them. (pg. 41)

If a man permits himself to be a criminal, we treat him in the same manner that he demands. He wants to deal in force; we answer him by force, and put him in jail to protect the rest of us from the next time he feels like "expressing himself." (pg. 45)

It's better to condemn murderers to jail for life than risk taking the life of an innocent man through possible miscarriage of justice. (pg. 46)

Politics must begin with an idea. You cannot win elections with isolated slogans used once in four years. If anything practical can be done, it is this: Work out a consistent set of principles, and teach it to the people in your party: precinct workers, local candidates, and perhaps national candidates. (pg. 46)

Formulate a policy of what controls should be repealed first, and what steps could achieve a fully decontrolled economy. (pg. 46)

Begin in the high schools and colleges, because that is the source of future politicians and men of action. You can achieve nothing in a political election if you neglect the institutions where ideas are formed. (pg. 46)

The best the government can do is stop moving toward dictatorship and collectivism, and start moving toward freedom. (pg. 50)

Anyone serious about saving the world today must first discard the dominant philosophy of the culture. Stand on your own as much as if you moved to a separate valley, like in Atlas Shrugged. Check your premises; define your convictions rationally. Do not take anything on faith; do not believe that your elders know what they're doing; because they don't. (pg. 55)

Don't force your views on unwilling listeners – don't be evangelists out to save souls. But people are so confused today that if you clarify even one point for them, in your own circle – in a letter to an editor, a school paper, and so forth – you help make public opinion. (pg. 61)

The difference between religion and philosophy is that religion is a matter of faith. You either have faith or you don't. You cannot argue about it. But when you deal with philosophy, you deal with reason and logic. That is an objective element of language common to all men. You can try to persuade others that you are right, or you are free to disagree with them. In a free country, you need not deal with them. But religion is an issue of faith. By definition, if one doesn't accept faith, or if different people believe different faiths, no common action, agreement, or persuasion is possible among them if religion is made a condition of political agreement. (pg. 62)

Persuasion, reason, argument are not the province of religion. Religion rests on faith – on an acceptance of certain beliefs apart from reason. (pg. 63)

In America, religion is relatively non-mystical. Religious teachers here are predominantly good, healthy materialists. They follow common sense. They would not stand in our way. The majority of religious people in this country do not accept on faith the idea of jumping into a cannibal's pot and giving away their last shirt to the backward people of the world. Many religious leaders preach this today, because of their own leftist politics; it's not inherent in being religious. There are many historical and philosophical connections between altruism and religion, but the function of religion in this country is not altruism. You would not find too much opposition to Objectivism among religious Americans. There are rational religious people. In fact, I was pleased and astonished to discover that some religious people support Objectivism. If you want to be a full Objectivist, you cannot reconcile that with religion; but that doesn't mean religious people cannot be individualists and fight for freedom. They can, and this country is the best proof of it. (pg. 63)

You should vote only so long as you think a candidate has more virtues than flaws. But if you regard both candidates as evil, do not choose a lesser evil. Simply don't vote. (pg. 69)

Anarchists are the scum of the intellectual world of the Left, which has given them up. So the Right picks up another leftist discard. That's the libertarian movement. (pg. 72)

I'd rather vote for Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, or Jerry Lewis – they're not as funny as John Hospers and the Libertarian Party. They're not defenders of capitalism. Further, their leadership consists of men of every persuasion, from religious conservatives to anarchists. Most of them are my enemies: they spend their time denouncing me, while plagiarizing my ideas. Now it's a bad sign for an allegedly pro-capitalist party to start by stealing ideas. This party plagiarizes some of my ideas, mixes them with the exact opposite – with religionists, anarchists, and every intellectual misfit and scum they can find – and they call themselves Libertarians and run for office. They are perhaps the worst political group today, because they can do the most harm to capitalism, by making it disreputable. I'll take Jane Fonda over them. (pg. 72-74)

Libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication when that fits their purpose. They're lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They want an amoral political program. (pg. 74)

Without government, every criminally inclined individual resorts to force, and every morally inclined individual is helpless. Government is an absolute necessity if individual rights are to be protected, because you don't leave force at the arbitrary whim of other individuals. (pg. 75)

Russian pushed this country into World War Two. What would have been a better policy? Let Hitler march into Russia, as he had started to. Let the two dictatorships fight each other; then the West – England, France, and the United States – could finish off the winner. Then maybe, today, the world would be safe. (pg. 83)

When a country doesn't recognize the individual rights of its own citizens, it cannot claim any national or international rights. Therefore, anyone who wants to invade a dictatorship or semi-dictatorship is morally justified in doing so, because he is doing no worse than what that country has accepted as its social system. It is improper to attack a free country, because it recognizes the individual rights of its citizens. (pg. 92)

The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are still practically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are. (pg.96)

Nationalism properly understood – as a man's devotion to his country because of an approval of its basic premises, principles, and social system, as well as its culture – is the common bond among men of that nation. It is a commonly understood culture, and an affection for it, that permits a society of men to live together peacefully. But a country and its system must earn this approval. It must be worthy of that kind of devotion. (pg. 102)

I don't care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you are a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn't know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights - they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal 'cultures' - they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It's wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you're an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a 'country' does not protect rights - if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief - why should you respect the 'rights' that they don't have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too - that is, you can't claim one should respect the 'rights' of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights. But let's suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages - which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their 'right' to keep a part of the earth untouched - to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it's great that some of them did. (pgs. 103-104)

As a principle, one should respect the sanctity of a contract among individuals. But I oppose applying contract law to American Indians. When a group of people or a nation does not respect individual rights, it cannot claim any rights whatsoever. The Indians were savages, with ghastly tribal rules and rituals, including the famous "Indian Torture." Such tribes have no rights. Anyone had the right to come here and take whatever they could, because they would be dealing with savages as Indians dealt with each other – that is, by force. We owe nothing to Indians, except the memory of monstrous evils done by them. (pg. 104)

Racial quotas are vicious in any form, at any time, in any place, for any purpose whatsoever. Affirmative action is vicious; it isn't profiting anybody; it isn't improving the lot of the minorities. It's giving jobs and patronage and pull to the leaders of minority groups, and observe that only the races that got themselves organized get anything out of it (if you could call it an advantage). It's as un-American and unjust as any current movement. We are supposed to be color-blind, and that's what we should be. (pg. 105)

I am profoundly anti-feminist. If women want to be equal – and of course, potentially, they are – then they should achieve it on their own, and not as a vicious parasitical pressure group. (pg. 106)

Man cannot properly live with indecision. He must decide what his values are and why, and then what purpose he wants to pursue. When he has chosen a central purpose, that will give him the lead by which he can organize his whole hierarchy of values. Without that central purpose integrating his values, he can neither be happy nor know what will make him happy. (pg. 109)

The central purpose of one's life is to achieve one's own happiness, not to sacrifice oneself to others or others to oneself. "Selfishness" means to live by the judgment of one's own mind and to live by one's own productive effort, without forcing anything on others. (pg. 109)

You are not your brother's keeper. You cannot and do not have unchosen obligations; you're responsible for your own actions. You would be responsible for any harm you do to other people. You would be held responsible for any relationship that you enter into voluntarily, for any contract that you break unilaterally. You would have to stand by your word. You would have no right to pass on to others the burden or consequences of your mistakes or failures or whims. In other words, you cannot make other men your victims, and you need not be their victim. (pg. 110)

Any help you might want to give others would be your private privilege, but not your moral – and certainly not your legal – duty. If you want to help others, fine, so long as you can afford it, so long as it's your voluntary choice, and so long as you do not claim it as a major virtue or duty. It is good to help others only when you help them on the grounds of the value you see in them. If you see a talented man struggling, and you want to help him financially (and you can afford it), that's not a sacrifice, and would be a good gesture, under my morality. But it's not good to help someone who is suffering as a result of his own evil. If you help him, you are sanctioning his immorality, which is evil. (pgs. 110-111)

Reason involves knowing the nature and the consequences of your actions, and of knowing where your rational self-interest lies. Reason does not mean you can arbitrarily decide that whatever you want is in your self-interest. To go by reason is not to be guided by emotions or whims. (pg. 115)

Anything man wants or needs must be produced; man must possess knowledge in order to produce it; reason provides that knowledge. (pg. 115)

A man of self-esteem does not want the unearned: he doesn't want anything from others that he must obtain by coercion – by crime or by government force and regulation. Such a man deals with other men as an equal, by trade. Further, a man of reason plans his life long range. The psychological distinction between a rational man and an evader is that a rational man thinks, plans, and acts long range,while the more neurotic and evasive a person is, the shorter the range of his interests. (pg. 115)

The Declaration of Independence, which contains the Objectivist morality by implication, says man has a right to his own life, his own liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness; it doesn't mention service to others. (pg. 116)

If I want a society in which my rights are respected and I am free to pursue my happiness, I cannot push onto others the job of establishing such a society. If I can contribute to its establishment, I should do so. (pg. 120)

In any proper deal, you act on the trader principle: you give a value and receive a value. (pg. 124)

I have a profoundly selfish interest in the freedom of my mind, knowing what to do with it, and therefore fighting to preserve that freedom in this country for as long as I am alive – and even beyond my life. I don't care about posterity; I care about any free mind or independent person born in future centuries. (pg. 124)

I have been saying for years that before we help the helpless – who can only be lifted a little – we should see to it that we help the talented children, the child prodigies, who need support desperately. They don't need financial help; what they need is freedom and private schools in which they'd be free to rise as fast as possible, without being held down to the community standards of the average child. The people who prefer to help the mentally weak, and neglect or actually hinder the talented, are the most unjust, evil people on earth. (pg.125)

A human being is a living entity; life starts at birth. An embryo is a potential human being. You might argue that medically an embryo is alive at six to eight months. I don't know. But no woman in her right mind would have an abortion that late; it's very dangerous for her. So nature is consistent with the interests of both. I'm in favor of abortion, of birth control, of sex as such, as an absolute right of the parties involved. The right of a living human being comes above any potential human being. I never equate the potential with the actual. (pg. 125)

No state, community, or individual has any right to tell a woman what to do with her life. An embryo is not a human life, and one of the most disgusting frauds today is the enemies of abortion calling themselves "pro-life" when they advocate the rights of the embryo –an unborn entity – but refuse to recognize the rights of the living person: the woman (and, for that matter, the father). (pg. 126)

The fact of birth is an absolute – that is, up to that moment, the child is not an independent, living organism. It's part of the body of its mother. But at birth, a child is an individual, and has the rights inherent in the nature of a human individual. Until the moment of birth, a child is physically the property of the mother. (pg. 126)

A piece of tissue – an embryo – cannot have rights. (pg. 127)

Anyone who speaks of the mentally retarded knows that a retarded child is not capable of taking care of itself. He knows that the child's parents (particularly the mother) will be tied to that child for life. The sacrifice of the mentally healthy to the mentally deformed is unspeakable – it is a sacrifice without recipients. In that way it is a more evil, more meta-physical view of life than altruism. Its purpose is not to have some man sacrifice himself to others, but to have man sacrifice himself. The more useless the sacrifice, the better. (pgs. 127-128)

A mental (as opposed to a physical) cripple is a horror to deal with, and to a mother it is the constant horror that it is her child, only it is not human. To be made to live for a subnormal, mindless child whom one cannot face is sacrifice and drudgery without a goal. It is the person's own values and chance for happiness that are being destroyed. (pg. 129)

Objectivism is an atheistic philosophy. (pg. 131)

To call my philosophy, which demands the absolutism of reason, dogmatic – which means "arbitrarily taken on faith" – is the most profound smear. (pg. 133)

First produce something; then evaluate it according to objective standards. If somebody is better than you according to these standards, you learn from him. It's an inspiration. But if many people are worse, don't take pride in that. (pg. 135)

I think it would be improper for a woman to be president. The kind of woman who would agree to be is in some respect neurotic. (pg. 139)

I am opposed to women's lib. I believe in masculine superiority passionately, enthusiastically, delightfully – not intellectual or moral superiority, but sexual and romantic superiority. If you don't understand this, then I'll reluctantly say: I'm sorry. (pg. 139)

The difference between men and women is sexual. In the sexual roles, it is proper for a man, who is the stronger sexually, to be worshipped, and the woman who would even conceive of such a thing is not a woman. (pg. 139)

Philosophy deals with broad abstractions – with principles – which underlie other conclusions, other knowledge. It's a philosopher's job to provide you with these principles; it's your job to apply those principles to your own life. Philosophy will foreshorten the difficult problem of knowing what to do in complex situations. Philosophy is the guide; you are the traveler. (pgs. 144-145)

John Locke did some valuable thinking. He was the teacher of the Founding Fathers. But this is only politics; in metaphysics and epistemology, Locke was disastrous. He departed from Aristotle and denied that we can perceive reality. (pg. 149)

My philosophy includes only what men can perceive, identify, and demonstrate by means of reason. It doesn't permit the invention of "facts," or the acceptance of anything on faith – that is, without rational demonstration. (pg. 149)

There is no evidence for any kind of God, afterlife, or mystical dimension. (pg. 149)

The consistency of nature, the fact that nature follows certain laws, is not a product of design, but of the Law of Identity – the fact that things are what they are. (pg. 150)

In material nature, nothing happens by chance or design – that's a false alternative. They happen according to the Law of Identity: things interact according to their natures. This is not chance. Chance is a concept pertaining only to human ignorance. When we don't know the causes of some event, we say it happened "by chance." (pg.150)

Existence exists and consciousness exists. (pg. 152)

Once you arrive at the conclusion that someone is a mystic (that some part of his philosophy, by his own statement, is not subject to reason or is beyond reason), then he has saved you the trouble of considering anything else that he says. (pg. 153)

Outside of your reason, you have no means of knowing anything. If you concluded that man can know nothing, one look around would refute you instantly, because you could see how far man has come, and that he needed knowledge to get where he is. (pg. 161)

I am primarily a defender of reason, not of individualism or capitalism. I defend capitalism because I'm a defender of individualism; I defend individualism because I'm a defender of reason. That's my epistemological base. (pg. 162)

Every rational endeavor expands knowledge. (pg. 164)

Irrationalism - Men no longer respect reason or believe it's valid. This is the result of the philosophy they have been taught for at least the past two hundred years. Altruism - This moral theory holds that the only justification for a man's existence is service to others. Collectivism - The view that the individual has no rights, that a collective (society or some other group) holds all rights and may dispose of any individual as it pleases, and that its power over the individual is unlimited. Irrationalism, altruism, and collectivism are the three fundamental evils of today's dominant philosophy. (pg. 165)

"Rational" refers to a policy or principle arrived at in the full context of everything relevant to a given action. The first rule of rationality is that if you value your life and believe you own it, you must recognize the same right in others. (pg. 168)

Playing devil's advocate means assuming a role opposite to your own conviction; advocating ideas the "devil" would throw at you. This technique trains you to answer every objection to your position. It's a good way to test your ideas, because if you encounter an objection you can't answer, you better find the answer or correct your thinking. (pgs. 178-179)

The exceptional person acts on the premise: "I must find things out for myself; I must go beyond what is now known." The well-trained, but unexceptional, person acts on the premise of taking things as given: "This is an established profession. It has demanding standards, and it takes a lot of work to comply with these standards. I'll fulfill all of the requirements set by my profession. I'll learn everything required. I'll read the appropriate journals and be as good a practitioner as any." That is the premise of stagnation. That type of person can achieve his goals and be competent; but in five to ten years his profession will have left him behind. (pg. 179)

You have no choice about whether to have a philosophy. The choice is whether you know your philosophy and have chosen it consciously – or whether you are at the mercy of your subconscious, of chance generalizations and undigested abstractions accepted on faith from others without any clear understanding and decision on your part. (pg. 183)

My school of writing is romantic realism: "romantic" in that I present man as he ought to be; "realistic" in that I place men here and now on this earth, in terms applicable to every rational reader who shares these values and wants to apply them to himself. It's realistic in that it's possible to man and applies to this earth; it's romantic in that it projects man and values as they ought to be, not as statistical averages. (pg. 188)

The (implicit) premise of free will and the purposeful progression of events (a plot) are the distinguishing characteristics of romantic literature, whereas a plotless story that concentrates on characterization and the statistical is deterministic and therefore naturalistic. Those are the extremes. Every story has some elements of both – in the details. (pg. 200)

The truth, of course, is that genealogy, race or tribe do not make or break your character. You do – and the credit or blame is exclusively yours. (pg. 210)

If you want to be a writer, ask yourself first of all what you want to say. That will determine in what form you will say it – whether it's properly fiction or nonfiction. The next question to ask yourself is: Why do I think that people will be interested in hearing this? Do I have something new to say? Is what I want to say important and, if so, why? Or am I just planning a rehash of what everybody has heard millions of times before? If you can answer these questions properly, you're on your way toward becoming a writer. These are the first steps. (pg. 221)

My purpose is to enjoy life in a rational way: to use my mind to the greatest extent possible; to pursue, admire, and support human greatness; to make all my choices rationally; to expand my knowledge constantly. (pg. 231)

I'm concerned only with the time when I am here. Mortality, by definition, finishes me. So why worry about it? (pg. 232)

We know that we have a mind and a body, and that neither can exist without the other. Therefore, when I die, that will be the end of me. I don't think it will be the end of my philosophy. (pg. 232)

Objectivist Party Of New Jersey Unveils "John Galt For Governor" Campaign

Neil McGettigan, President of the Objectivist Party of New Jersey, recently announced his affiliate's decision to run a campaign urging people to write-in John Galt's name for Governor of the State of New Jersey this coming November. After checking with the Board of Elections, Mr. McGettigan announced that running a fictitious person for Governor as part of an informational campaign is not illegal in the state and that if "John Galt" is written in by more than 1,000 people, it will be counted as part of the official vote tabulations.

In announcing the campaign, Mr. McGettigan said as follows:

The state of New Jersey faces a crisis, staggering debt, out of control property taxes and an economy that keeps sinking lower and lower. Jon Corzine, the current governor, has proven to be an agent of stagnation, driving these forces that are destroying our State. The Republican Party is clearly going to nominate a similar politician that will conduct identical policies that will help line the pockets of his friends at the expense of New Jersey's citizens. If we want real change then we need John Galt.


He is a retired engineer who devolved a special atmospheric electric generator that would have solved our energy crisis had not Wahabist backed lobbyists worked against him. His plan to save New Jersey is simple.

· Save our Freedoms and Civil Liberties

· End the War on Drugs

· Legalize Gay Marriage in NJ

· Stop Eminent Domain

· Balance the State Budget by ending Wasteful Programs

If you think John Galt can save New Jersey, then do the following:

· Cross out "God" on U.S. paper money and write "Galt" so it reads "In Galt We Trust"

· Draw dollars signs in chalk on public sidewalks


Write in John Galt’s name on Election Day for Governor of New Jersey!

Neil McGettigan has already purchased "John Galt For Governor" bumper stickers which he is distributing throughout the state. He is coordinating the activities of the campaign through the following Facebook Group and welcomes your input:


We wish the Objectivist Party of New Jersey the best of luck with this new campaign and with their efforts to spread liberty and the Objectivist Party message to all who are willing to listen.

In Liberty,

Dr. Tom Stevens
Objectivist Party

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jeff Grizlo II Credits Dr. Tom Stevens For Curing Him Of Debilitating Sexual Fetishes

Jeff Grizlo II, a Governing Board member of the Objectivist Party, credited Dr. Tom Stevens, the party's Founder, with helping him to cure debilitating sexual fetishes he suffered from since first reaching puberty. Grizlo said:

It all started when I was 14 years old. A friend and I found out we had a curiosity about women's underwear, so we ordered two white women's panties through a mail order catalogue and when they arrived, he took one and gave me the other. I started wearing those panties just before bed and rubbed myself through them until I got hard. I did this every night for years until I couldn't get hard UNLESS I was wearing the panties. The only substitute I found was to masturbate face down rubbing myself against the soft silk sheets that were on my bed. My method for achieving this became such a curiosity that I often would show my friends how I rubbed off in this manner (keeping my pants on, of course).

By the time I was 18 years old, I was unable to get hard by touching myself and could not perform with a partner. No one knew of my sexual fetishes until I revealed them to Dr. Tom Stevens after I turned 18. I was quite desperate and sought out his help in the matter because I trusted him and felt he was the most intelligent man I had ever met in my life.

The first thing Dr. Stevens did was to help me understand that I should not feel guilty about having developed these fetishes. He also explained that it probably wasn't medically considered a problem unless it interfered with my normal sexual functioning. When I told him it was, he told me that the longing and desire to purchase more and more women's clothing needed to end so he purchased for me all the women's underwear and nighties I could ever want and met me so I could wear them in private to my heart's content.

The next stage he recommended was for me to use the clothing only sometimes and for only part of my pleasure sessions. He showed me how I could focus on my body's pleasure without fantasizing or using particular fabrics as enablers. Dr. Stevens set me on a course that eventually freed me from my sexual addiction and at some point, I told him to destroy all the female underwear and nighties he was holding for me. While all of my cravings have not completely disappeared, they have been reduced to the point where I can function normally and get hard when I need to without the use of fabrics.

I am not ashamed of the addiction I developed and my road to recovery began when I admitted I had a problem and shared it with the right person. That person was Dr. Tom Stevens and I want the world to know that he cured me of my debilitating sexual fetishes. While he is not a medical doctor, he is a Renaissance Man of the highest order and one of the most intelligent men living on our planet at the current time. I am honored to know him.

Dr. Tom Stevens, Founder of the Objectivist Party, commented on Grizlo's revelations in the following manner:

I applaud Jeff Grizlo's courage in making the decision to go public with his struggle against this debilitating sexual fetish. In doing so, I expect he gives hope to others who suffer in silence and have been too ashamed to seek help. I chose to give Jeff a helping hand in his time of need because he was a worthy recipient who gave great benefit to me in return. I appreciate his kind words and thank him for the confidence he placed in me.

Besides serving on the Governing Board of the Objectivist Party, Mr. Grizlo also serves as Executive Vice-President of the Objectivist Party of New York and as President of Stonewall Libertarians New York.

Rhode Island May Consider Changing Its Name

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States by area. However, very few people know that it has the longest name of any state in the union. The official name of what is commonly referred to as Rhode Island is "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations".

The name Rhode Island and Providence Plantations derives from the merging of two colonies, Providence Plantations and Rhode Island. Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence. Rhode Island is the area now known as Aquidneck Island, which comprises the city of Newport and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay.

A push to drop "Providence Plantations" from the state's name advanced further than ever when the Rhode Island House and Senate each passed different versions of a bill that would allow residents to vote in a referendum in 2010 as to whether their home should simply be called "State of Rhode Island". One of the two versions of the bill must now be approved by both chambers of the legislature and signed by the Governor before the referendum can be scheduled. Those who support dropping "Providence Plantations" from the state's name argue it conjures up images of slavery, while those opposing the change in name argue it's an unnecessary rewriting of history that ignores Rhode Island's tradition of religious liberty and tolerance.

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was the first of the thirteen original colonies to declare independence from British rule and the last to ratify the United States Constitution. The state's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the state's geography, as nearly one tenth of Rhode Island's inland area is covered by salt water. In addition, no resident of the state is more than a thirty minute drive from the water's edge.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farrah Fawcett's E-Mail Reveals Ayn Rand Thought Their Sharing The Same Birth Date Had Significance

It appears that Ayn Rand reached out to Farrah Fawcett in the early 1980s to request she consider playing the character Dagny Taggart in a television miniseries version of Rand's epic novel Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand first contacted Farrah Fawcett's agents with a personal letter (and a copy of Atlas Shrugged) and they eventually spoke on the phone.

The shocking revelation revealed by Fawcett to Amy Wallace of the Daily Beast months before her death was that Ayn Rand "seemed to think we must have a lot in common since we were both born on the same day: February 2nd".

Dr. Tom Stevens, Objectivist Party Chair, stated he "finds this new information to be of some concern because it reveals that the founder of Objectivist philosophy, which promotes reason, logic and rational thought over faith, superstition, and mysticism thought her having the same birth date as someone else had significance. Believing two people might have ' a lot in common' simply because they were born on the same day of the same month is based on no scientific principle and exhibits faith in mysticism."

Dr. Stevens said, "It might make some logical sense if Ayn Rand thought that someone born in the same year in the same town might have a lot in common because they were exposed to similar socialization and experiences but it makes no sense at all for Ayn Rand to have assumed two women born in different years and different countries would have 'a lot in common' simply because they were born on the same day of the same month."

Stevens said, "No one is perfect and this in no way detracts from the great philosophy of Objectivism that Ayn Rand brought to the world. It is also possible that Ms. Rand threw that line out to Farrah Fawcett just to butter her up without believing their sharing a birth date had any significance at all. We will never know since both parties to that conversation are now dead and we can ask them no further questions about it."

Excerpts from the e-mail interview Farrah Fawcett had with Amy Wallace of the Daily Beast months before her death detailing the relationship she had with Ayn Rand follows:

Ayn contacted me with a personal letter (and a copy of Atlas Shrugged) through my agents. Even though we had never met (and never did), she seemed to think we must have a lot in common since we were both born on the same day: February 2nd....

When we finally spoke on the phone (actually she did most of the speaking and I did most of the listening), she said she never missed an episode of the show. I remember being surprised and flattered by that. I mean, here was this literary genius praising Angels.....

Ayn said that while Angels was uniquely American, it was also the exception to American television in that it was the only show to capture true “romanticism”—it intentionally depicted the world not as it was, but as it should be. Aaron Spelling was probably the only other person to see Angels that way....

She kept saying that someday somebody would offer me a script (and a role) that would give me the chance to “triumph as an actress.” Ayn wanted that script to be Atlas Shrugged and that role to be her heroine, Dagny Taggart....

I remember liking the [Fountainhead] movie because it was unique in that the characters seemed to be the embodiments of ideas as opposed to real flesh and blood people with interests and lives. Now that I think about it, I think that’s why Ayn was drawn to Charlie’s Angels. Because the characters that Kate, Jaclyn and I played weren’t really characters (the audience never saw us outside of work) as much as personifications of the idea that three sexy women could do all the things that Kojak and Columbo did.....

But I also responded to The Fountainhead because, as an artist (a painter and sculptress) myself, I related to the architect’s resistance to make his work like everyone else’s—which was, of course, what Ayn’s own art was all about. And that resistance to conformity is probably one of the reasons that she was so determined to see me play Dagny: At the time I would have been the completely unexpected choice.....

Later, when I read Atlas Shrugged, I was reminded of my first and only conversation with Ayn and how some of the characters in her novel(s) take an immediate liking to each other, almost as if they had always known each other—at least in spirit. And this was the feeling I got from Ayn herself, from the way she spoke to me. I’ll always think of “Dagny Taggart” as the best role I was supposed to play but never did…

Dr. Tom Stevens stated, "I am grateful to Farrah Fawcett for revealing the substance of the conversation she had with Ayn Rand. Whatever was meant, it has now become part of the historical record and future information that comes to light can be checked against it."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Joe Rivera Appointed Executive Vice-President Of Libertarian Freedom Council

On June 25, 2009, Joe Rivera was appointed to serve as Executive Vice-President of the Libertarian Freedom Council, an independent libertarian political organization founded on August 16, 2003 that promotes libertarianism, works with libertarian-leaning young professionals, students and entrepreneurs nationally and internationally, and helps support efforts to make the Libertarian Party a viable political entity in these United States.

In his message to all Libertarian Freedom Council members accepting his appointment, Joe Rivera said the following:

I, Joseph Rivera, am honored to accept my appointment as Executive Vice-President of the Libertarian Freedom Council. The organization's cause, the promotion of the Libertarian Party and libertarian values, is one that I find extremely worthwhile and rewarding. I am also excited by the group's focus on the youth of today and in helping them to become the leaders of tomorrow. A motivated and organized youth is instrumental in the struggle to restore both social and economic freedoms to the level of esteem and reverence they once held. As Executive Vice-President, I am looking forward to leaving a positive influence on the Libertarian Party and its success, as well as accelerating the personal and professional growth of those who want to do the same.

To share some more about myself, I am a recent high school graduate, so I feel that I fit right in with the youthful atmosphere of this group. I currently live in the town of Granby, CT, but I will be attending Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts in the fall. I am a dabbling musician, and would like to use music as a means of promoting the cause of liberty in a very public and evocative way. Most importantly, I am a very open minded and logical person who holds reason as his highest source of truth, and I am very approachable, so there should be no hesitation in contacting me should the need arise. My e-mail addresses are osoboricuso@yahoo.com and riveraj@wpi.edu, and as August comes I will be phasing to the second more and more, so that will probably be the best to use.

I am always open for ideas, suggestions, and feedback. Hopefully I have made myself an approachable leader, and will be working productively with all of you as this organization works to accomplish its goals.

In welcoming Joe Rivera aboard as the LFC's new Executive Vice-President, Dr. Tom Stevens, President of the Libertarian Freedom Council, stated:

I look forward to working with Joe Rivera in his new capacity as Executive Vice-President of the Libertarian Freedom Council. I am counting on him to help me spread the message of liberty to young professionals, students and entrepreneurs and to encourage them to take an active role in getting the government to respect every person's right to his own life, liberty and property. I intend to take personal responsibility for helping Joe develop his leadership skills and to utilize reason in all the decisions he makes in his professional, political and personal life. I have high hopes that Joe will achieve great things during the next few years and he has made the commitment I believe will make his future potential success a reality.

The Yahoo Group for the Libertarian Freedom Council is located at:


In Liberty,

Dr. Tom Stevens
Libertarian Freedom Council

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

William Weld Reneges On Promises To Libertarian Party

Governor William Weld sought the endorsement of the Libertarian Party at their LPNY State Convention held in the Best Western Albany Airport Inn on Wolf Road in Albany, New York on April 29, 2006. After addressing the delegates, many wanted assurances that Governor Weld, if endorsed, would stay in the race as the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor even if he lost the endorsement of the Republican Party for that office. With that in mind, Sam Sloan asked Governor Weld the following question:

Q. I want to make sure that you are going to stick to this to the end, no matter what threats you get from the Republican Party. And by the way, will you run even if you don't get the Republican Party nomination?

A. Yes and Yes.

On June 1, 2006, William Weld lost the formal endorsement of the Republican Party at the Republican State Convention to Assembly Minority Leader John Faso by a vote of 61% to 39%. Governor Weld could still have contested the nomination of the Republican Party for Governor by running in the Republican Party Primary, however Stephen J. Minarik, the Chairman of the Republican Party in New York State, called Governor Weld on June 5, 2006 asking him to drop out of the race "in the interest of party unity". The next day, Governor Weld announced he would not continue his fight to secure the nomination of the Republican Party for Governor.

Since this was the exact scenario he had been asked about, Libertarian Party leaders fully expected Governor Weld would be good to his word and would continue as the candidate of the Libertarian Party for Governor. They were in for quite a surprise when Governor Weld informed them he was declining their nomination. Many argued the LPNY was foolish to have believed that a politician could also be a man of honor and stand by his word. Weld's reneging left a bad taste in the mouth of all those who had supported and trusted him.

William Weld served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997 and moved to New York in 2000. On April 24, 2005, reports leaked out that he was in talks with New York State Republicans to run for Governor of New York in 2006 against likely Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer. Incumbent GOP Governor George Pataki announced on July 27, 2005 that he would not seek a fourth term. On August 19, 2005, Weld officially announced his candidacy for Governor of New York, seeking to become the second person after Sam Houston to serve as Governor of two different U.S. states.

Since William Weld had a reputation of being somewhat libertarian in his philosophy of government, a number of individuals in the Libertarian Party of New York started courting Governor Weld in order to encourage him to seek the nomination of the Libertarian Party instead of the Conservative Party. Dr. Tom Stevens, a member of the LPNY State Committee, was the first person to make the suggestion and led the campaign to get the LPNY to consider endorsing William Weld. Dr. Stevens debated the issue on the Cable TV show Hardfire (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WukTzlUXpZ8) which was taped live before the Manhattan Libertarian Party. Stevens argued that if Weld ran for Governor as the Libertarian Party candidate without the endorsement of the Conservative Party that it was highly likely that the Libertarian Party could finally obtain the 50,000 votes necessary to obtain ballot access as a Minor Party for the next four years making it significantly easier for the Libertarian Party to run candidates throughout the state.

On April 28, 2006, one day before the LPNY State Convention in Albany, New York, a number of Republican County Chairs sent Governor Weld a letter, which they made public, requesting he NOT to seek the nomination of the Libertarian Party for Governor and warning of unimaginable consequences for the Republican Party if he did.

The text of that letter was the following:

The Honorable William Weld
355 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1001
New York, NY 10017
Dear Governor Weld:
As County Chairs of the New York State Republican Committee, we are very concerned about your willingness to solicit and accept the endorsement of the Libertarian party for your campaign for Governor.

While you may receive some short-term benefit from obtaining a second line on November's general election ballot, you potentially could create serious political problems for each and every Republican candidate for years to come should the Libertarian Party reach 50,000 votes and qualify as a recognized party in New York.

Another recognized party would force all Republicans to consider obtaining the party's endorsement at election time, or leave it to their opponents. This could seriously change the political landscape Republicans face each year in a state where we are outnumbered by five to three.

One look at the platform of the Libertarian Party demonstrates the controversy Republicans would face.

Positions out of the political mainstream the Libertarian Party has taken include supporting an end to the American military as we know it today; supporting the legalization of unlawful drugs and prostitution; calling for an end to the legal drinking age; opposing general laws against pornography or obscenity; supporting full marriage rights to same-sex couples; calling for an end to all restrictions on immigration into the United States; and, supporting full amnesty for all illegal immigrants already here.

Their platform simply does not reflect Republican principles and values, forcing Republican candidates into facing additional opponents, or opponents with additional ballot strength each year.

As County Chairs, we ask that you refrain from accepting their endorsement. By accepting the Libertarian endorsement you could be subjecting the Republican Party to consequences that are unimaginable and long lasting for the sake of political expediency.
Lowell Conrad,
Chairman, Livingston County Republican Committee
Robert Smith
Chairman, Onondaga County Republican Committee
Bill Hatch
Chair, Steuben County Republican Committee
Regional Vice-Chairman, New York Republican State Committee, Region 7
Marty Smith
Chair, Herkimer County Republican Committee
Former Secretary, New York Republican State Committee
Jim Ellis
Chair, Franklin County Republican Committee
Regional Vice-Chairman, New York Republican State Committee, Region 5

Despite the warning, Governor Weld attended the LPNY State Convention on April 29, 2006 and made the following comments to the delegates to show them he shared their basic libertarian philosophy. Weld said:

A government that respects individual rights is the government that best represents the spirit of American democracy. Removing the burdens of taxation and reducing the cost of doing business empowers our individuals and our economy. Government should stay out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.

On June 6, 2006, despite his explicit promise to continue as the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor even if he lost his bid for the Republican nomination, William Weld sent a fax to Richard Cooper, the LPNY State Chair, informing him that he was declining the Libertarian Party nomination. In that fax, William Weld said,

I am unable to pursue further the gubernatorial nomination of the Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY)...I am grateful for LPNY's support and look forward to continuing to advance our mutual message of lower taxes and smaller government in the months and years to come.

Despite his alleged commitment to "lower taxes and smaller government", Governor William Weld endorsed Democratic candidate Barack Obama for President of the United States on October 24, 2008.

Dr. Tom Stevens, who had been an early backer of the idea that the Libertarian Party of New York should give its gubernatorial nomination to William Weld, said:

Had William Weld won the Republican Party's nomination for Governor in 2006, I am very confident that the Libertarian Party would have obtained 50,000 votes and ballot access for the next four years. With reduced petition signature requirements and the ability to nominate state-wide candidates through the convention process, the Libertarian Party would have been able to run candidates throughout the state that could have spread the message of liberty in a manner that could have built the Libertarian Party from the ground up making it a political force to be reckoned with. Had William Weld fulfilled his commitment to continue running on the Libertarian Party line even if he lost the Republican Party's nomination for Governor, we still might have had a shot of garnering the prized 50,000 votes although the task would have been a bit more difficult.

I am not sorry we took this shot. It was a good gamble with a significantly positive potential upside. What I had not anticipated was that William Weld could lie to the delegates at the LPNY State Convention promising them he would stay in the race as their candidate through November even if he lost the Republican Party's nomination for Governor and then go back on his word without any hesitation. What is even more disturbing is that a man allegedly committed to a government that should "stay out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom" would then go and endorse Barack Obama for President! Need I say more about this man's character and integrity?

Dr. Stevens followed up by saying he would never work with William Weld in any capacity at any time in the future. He said, "I have a choice and I only choose to work with honorable people who are good to their word."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stevens Not Seeking Third Term On Libertarian Party Judicial Committee

Thomas Robert Stevens, a member of the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party, has announced his intention not to seek re-election to a third term on the Judicial Committee at the upcoming Libertarian Party National Convention scheduled to be held in St. Louis, Missouri over Memorial Day weekend in 2010.

Dr. Tom Stevens was first elected to serve on the 7-member Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party on Sunday, July 2, 2006 at the Libertarian Party National Convention held in Portland, Oregon.

The seven (7) members of the Judicial Committee elected at that LP National Convention were the following individuals:

Ruth Bennett
Michael Dixon
Joe Dumas
Allen Hacker
Gerhard Langguth
Nicholas Sarwark
Tom Stevens

Ruth Bennett, Allen Hacker, Nicholas Sarwark and Tom Stevens were re-elected to serve on the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party on Monday, May 26, 2008 at the Libertarian Party National Convention held in Denver, Colorado. Joe Cobb, Travis Nicks and David Nolan were also elected and joined them on the Judicial Committee.

The vote totals of all the candidates running for the Judicial Committee at that convention were as follows:

David Nolan - 214 (Elected)
Ruth Bennett - 211 (Elected)
Joe Cobb - 142 (Elected)
Travis Nicks - 129 (Elected)
Nick Sarwark - 122 (Elected)
Allen Hacker - 115 (Elected)
Tom Stevens - 109 (Elected)
Adam Mayer - 104 (Not Elected)
Tim Hagan - 95 (Not Elected)
Michelle Shighal - 90 (Not Elected)
Jon Roland - 79 (Not Elected)
Rock Howard - 77 (Not Elected)
Sean Concanon - 31 (Not Elected)

Dr. Tom Stevens will continue to serve as a member of the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party through the upcoming Libertarian Party National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri over Memorial Day weekend in 2010 at which the new members of the Judicial Committee will be elected. For the current term and the immediate past term of office, Dr. Stevens was the only member of the Judicial Committee residing in New York.

Although he will not be running for re-election to the Judicial Committee, Dr. Stevens has every intention of attending the upcoming Libertarian Party National Convention in St. Louis as a delegate from New York State.

Dr. Stevens attended the Libertarian Party National Conventions in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004, in Portland, Oregon in 2006, and in Denver, Colorado in 2008.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Libertarian Party Judicial Committee Opinions Regarding The R. Lee Wrights Appeal

On June 21, 2009, the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party issued opinions in the Matter of the Appeal of R. Lee Wrights. There was a Majority Opinion written by Nick Sarwark that was joined by Ruth E. Bennett, Joe Cobb and Travis Nicks. Dissenting Opinions were written by Allen Hacker, David Nolan and Dr. Tom Stevens.

The Majority Opinion written by Nick Sarwark that was joined by Ruth E. Bennett, Joe Cobb and Travis Nicks is as follows:

Mr. Wrights Has Standing to Appeal His Removal From the LNC

The Judicial Committee is empowered by the LP Bylaws to hear appeals of the "suspension of National Committee members-at-large." (LP Bylaws 9.2 (c)). The argument has been advanced that since Mr. Wrights was not suspended from the LNC through the procedures described in LP Bylaws 8.5, his removal is not actually a suspension and thus is not appealable to the Judicial Committee. We are not persuaded that removing an at-large committee member is not a suspension merely because it was done outside the established bylaws procedures. Following that argument would result in a situation where a suspension done according to established procedures can be appealed and potentially overturned, but one done without following established procedures would be unreviewable. Rather, we are persuaded that Mr. Wrights was suspended from the LNC, regardless of the words used by Mssrs. Sullentrup and Redpath to describe it, and thus has standing to appeal his suspension to the Judicial Committee.

There is Some Ambiguity in the Language of the Bylaws Regarding When a Sustaining Member's Dues Lapse

LP Bylaws 5.3 defines "Sustaining member" as "any Party member who has given at least $25 to the Party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member." There is a dispute over whether "prior twelve months" indicates the twelve calendar months prior to the month where the dues are checked for a lapse or if it indicates the twelve months prior to the date of the alleged lapse. This question becomes important as Mr. Wrights sustaining membership had lapsed as of the date of Mr. Sullentrup's letter to him under the latter formulation, but not under the former. While it is not necessary to resolve this question here, since we conclude that the Secretary exceeded his discretion in removing Mr. Wrights regardless, there is a general principle in law that ambiguities should be resolved in favor of the accused, and under that principle, the former construction would be preferred.

There Are Situations in the Bylaws that Require the LNC Secretary to Recognize a Vacancy on the LNC

LP Bylaws 8.5 says that "A National Committee member who fails to attend two consecutive regular meetings of the National Committee shall be deemed to have vacated his or her seat." This "shall be deemed" language can be read to mean that the LNC Secretary is required to recognize the vacancy of the National Committee member who missed the two consecutive meetings; recognizing the vacancy is not left to the discretion of the LNC Secretary. This specific mandatory language is the proverbial exception that proves the rule, i.e. if there is not specific mandatory language, the LNC Secretary retains some level of discretion in carrying out his/her duties.

The Eligibility Requirements of LP Bylaws 8.4 do not Contain Specific Enforcement Language

LP Bylaws 8.4 reads, "A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party, and shall not be the candidate of any party except the Party or an affiliate." While there is dispute about whether this language specifically requires continuing sustaining membership and the effect of a lapse in that membership, there is no dispute about whether the Bylaw contains specific enforcement language. It does not. It is clear from other sections of the Bylaws that when the delegates intend to make a provision mandatory, they are capable of enacting clear language to that effect. See, e.g., the third paragraph of LP Bylaws 8.5 (requiring a member who misses two consecutive meetings to be removed). It is also clear that the delegates are capable of writing language prohibiting action, such as LP Bylaws 8.7, which reads in part, "A National Committee Regional Representative may be removed and replaced only by the act of the affiliate parties which constitute the subject region."

In Absence of a Specific Enforcement Procedure, Suspension of an At-Large Member Must be Done Through the General Procedures Contained in the LP Bylaws

Given the lack of either kind of language in LP Bylaws 8.4, two possibilities exist. Either the Secretary and Chair are empowered to enforce the language as they see fit or the LNC has to act as a whole under the process given for suspension of an LNC member. We are not persuaded that the Secretary or Chair can suspend an at-large member of the LNC without a 2/3 vote of the LNC. This is not to say that the Secretary is required to allow an At-Large member who is lapsed all of the rights and privileges of a member in good standing. The Secretary could refuse to acknowledge the votes of an At-Large member he/she believes to be ineligible to hold the office. The Secretary and Chair could refuse to seat an At-Large member they determine to be ineligible. What they cannot do is suspend an At-Large member from the National Committee without following the procedures in the Bylaws. When, in this case, the Bylaws do not contain specific enforcement procedures related to a particular provision, the ambiguity is resolved in favor of the existing default procedures (those described in LP Bylaws 8.5), rather than allowing an ad hoc procedure to be undertaken by one or two officers of the National Committee.

Mr. Wrights Suspension Was Improper and Hereby Reversed

After reviewing all of the facts in light of the LP Bylaws, we conclude that Mr. Wrights was improperly suspended from his position on the LNC. We reverse that suspension, effective as of the date of the original communication from Mr. Sullentrup to Mr. Wrights regarding his removal. We also recommend that the current LP Bylaws Committee consider changes that would bring greater clarity to these provisions

The Dissenting Opinion written by David Nolan is as follows:

While Article 8, Section 4 of the Bylaws was interpreted in an arbitrary and unreasonable manner in the case of Mr. Wrights, eligibility for membership on the LNC is not a "for cause" question, and thus does not require a vote for removal as specified in Article 8, Section 5.

I strongly urge the 2010 Bylaws Committee to clarify the intent and terms of Article 8, Section 4 to prevent future misunderstandings and misinterpretation.

The Dissenting Opinion written by Allen Hacker is as follows:

In the matter of the appeal of R. Lee Wrights of the recent situation vacating his At-Large Representative seat on the Libertarian National Committee pursuant to Bylaws 8, Section 4; Decision in the Minority as Separate among Three such Minority Decisions:

The question in this case is a simple one: "Does a lapse in dues require a for cause removal under Section 8.5 of the bylaws?" This question arises from Bylaw 8.4 which requires that an LNC At-Large Representative be a Sustaining member as defined elsewhere in the bylaws. The question only appears to become difficult if it is removed from the sense of the bylaws as a coherent body of law and then addressed only within the confines of the present appeal and its originating circumstances. However, any such difficult is extraneous; the Judicial Committee should always decide any issue before it from a holistic perspective, on the premise that decisions tailored to any set of particulars may well not function well in others. Deciding this question in that manner divorces all emotion and politics from the decision and is the best path to future party unity. To decide this question in the affirmative by any logic would set up a paradox, or worse, within or respect to the bylaws. On the one side of that paradox is the undisputed fact that the LNC cannot ignore, suspend or alter a bylaws. Yet a Yes decision would seem to empower the LNC to do just that by either inaction or failing to carry a motion for suspension in the event of a member's failure to maintain the status required by bylaw 8.4. For that exception to be valid, the Judicial Committee would have to have an existing power to overturn the supreme law of the Party, and that power it does not have.

The only responsible decision is to answer the question in the negative. This prevents the creation of said paradox, and avoids the Judicial Committee stepping out of bounds. It also avoids the Judicial Committee assuming the role of janitor upon the discovery of ill-considered bylaws and/or their unintended consequences. Therefore, without regard to the precipitating circumstances underlying the appeal before us, and without comment on anything beyond the question before us, I answer the question in the negative: NO, a lapse of sustaining membership as required by Bylaw 8.4 does not require a for-cause motion, and the consequences of such a lapse cannot be decided under a for-cause vote, pursuant to Bylaw 8.5.

The Dissenting Opinion written by Dr. Tom Stevens is as follows:

The only question currently before the Judicial Committee is that portion of the R. Lee Wrights appeal seeking an advisory opinion on the following hypothetical question for which no relief was requested:

4. Does a lapse in dues require a "for cause" removal as described in Article 8, Section 5?

The short answer to that question is NO. A lapse in dues by a member-at-large of the LNC does not require a "for cause" removal as described in Article 8, Section 5 of the Libertarian Party Bylaws.

Article 8, Section 4 and Article 5, Section 6 contain provisions dealing with the eligibility of LP members to serve on the National Committee and to hold National Party office.

Article 8, Section 4 reads as follows:

A National Committee member shall be a sustaining member of the Party, and shall not be the candidate of any party except the Party or an affiliate.

The relevant portion of Article 5, Section 6 reads as follows:

Only sustaining members shall be eligible to hold National Party office or be a candidate for President or Vice-President.

The wording in Article 8, Section 4 that "A National Committee member SHALL (emphasis added) be a sustaining member of the Party" is clear enough and is reinforced by the wording in Article 5, Section 6 that "only sustaining members shall be eligible to HOLD (emphasis added) National Party office". It is evident that "National Party office" refers at least to all members of the Libertarian National Committee and not just to the "Officers" mentioned in Article 7, Section 1 of the bylaws.

If a lapse in "sustaining membership dues" did require a "for cause" suspension under Article 8, Section 5 of the Libertarian Party Bylaws, inaction by the LNC or a vote against suspension of a member whose sustaining membership dues lapsed would enable that person to continue to attend and vote at LNC meetings even though ineligible to serve under the LP Bylaws. Since the LNC has no power to suspend or ignore the provisions set forth in the Libertarian Party Bylaws, the conclusion must be drawn that a lapse in dues cannot require a “for cause” suspension under Article 8, Section 5 of the LP Bylaws.

One other point is worth making. What exactly does “for cause” mean and can it reasonably encompass a “lapse in dues”? Article 13 of the Libertarian Party Bylaws (entitled “Parliamentary Authority”) reads as follows:

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Party in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order adopted by the Party.

It is therefore proper for this Judicial Committee to look to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised for guidance on exactly what the phrase “for cause” means. That guidance is found in Chapter XX entitled “Disciplinary Procedures” specifically in the section entitled “Remedies Against Misconduct or Dereliction of Duty in Office”. On page 642, the following passage can be found:

Except as the bylaws may provide otherwise, any regularly elected officer of a permanent society can be deposed from office for cause – that is, misconduct or neglect of duty in office…

The phrase “that is” is equivalent to “i.e.” which means that the exact definition of “for cause” is “misconduct or neglect of duty in office”. Since a lapse in paying dues is neither “misconduct” nor a “neglect of duty in office”, a lapse in dues cannot require a “for cause” removal under Article 8, Section 5 of the Libertarian Party Bylaws.

That having been said, it is our position that the Judicial Committee does not have “subject matter jurisdiction” to hear this appeal. The Judicial Committee is not a Court of General Jurisdiction. Our “subject matter jurisdiction” is explicitly set forth in the Libertarian Party Bylaws. When we receive an appeal, the Judicial Committee must determine whether the issue appealed is within our “subject matter jurisdiction”. The Judicial Committee cannot point to subsequent actions or decisions of the LNC for which we might have jurisdiction and then bootstrap that back to the original appeal, which we did not have the power to hear in the first place.

The “subject matter jurisdiction” of the Judicial Committee is set forth in two sections of the Libertarian Party Bylaws. The first section is Article 8, Section 12 and the second section is Article 9, Section 2. Each provides independent grounds for “subject matter jurisdiction”.

The relevant portion of Article 8, Section 12 reads as follows:

Upon appeal by ten percent of the delegates credentialed at the most recent Regular Convention or one percent of the Party sustaining members the Judicial Committee shall consider the question of whether or not a decision of the National Committee contravenes specified sections of the Bylaws. If the decision is vetoed by the Judicial Committee, it shall be declared null and void.

The appeal currently before the Judicial Committee does not arise under Article 8, Section 12. It is not an appeal by “ten percent of the delegates credentialed at the most recent Regular Convention” nor is it an appeal by “one percent of the Party sustaining members”. It is instead an appeal by one individual and therefore the Judicial Committee cannot claim Article 8, Section 12 as the grounds for having “subject matter jurisdiction” over the R. Lee Wrights appeal, it cannot cite “a decision of the National Committee” as grounds for accepting the Wrights appeal, and it has no power to declare any “decision of the National Committee” null and void.

The only section of the Libertarian Party Bylaws that is relevant to whether the Judicial Committee has “subject matter jurisdiction” over the R. Lee Wrights appeal is Article 9, Section 2.

Article 9, Section 2 reads as follows:

2. The subject matter jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee is limited to consideration of only those matters expressly identified as follows:

a. suspension of affiliate parties (Article 6, Section 6),
b. suspension of officers (Article 7, Section 8),
c. suspension of National Committee members-at-large (Article 8, Section 5),
d. voiding of National Committee decisions (Article 8, Section 11),
e. challenges to platform planks (Rule 7, Section 9),
f. challenges to Resolutions (Rule 8, Section 2), and
g. suspension of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates (Article 12, Section 5).

It is pretty clear that the delegates who adopted the above language meant it when they stated the subject matter jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee is LIMITED (emphasis added) to consideration of ONLY THOSE MATTERS EXPRESSLY IDENTIFIED (emphasis added) and then went on to state the exact sections of the bylaws and convention rules under which the Judicial Committee has the power to exercise that subject matter jurisdiction.

The only possible stated grounds under which the Judicial Committee can take "subject matter jurisdiction" over the amended appeal of R. Lee Wrights is Article 9, Section 2, Sub-Section c dealing with suspension of National Committee members-at-large under Article 8, Section 5.

The relevant portion of Article 8, Section 5 reads as follows:

The National Committee may, for cause, suspend any member-at-large by a vote of 2/3 of the entire National Committee. The suspended member-at-large may challenge the suspension by an appeal in writing to the Judicial Committee within seven days of receipt of a notice of suspension. Failure to appeal within seven days shall confirm the suspension and bar any later challenge or appeal...At the hearing the burden of persuasion shall rest upon the appellant. The Judicial Committee shall either affirm the National Committee’s suspension of the member-at-large or order reinstatement of the member-at-large within 30 days of the hearing.

In the circumstances that gave rise to the R. Lee Wrights appeal, the National Committee did not by a 2/3 vote of the entire LNC suspend R. Lee Wrights "for cause" and did not send him a notice of suspension. Hence, the Judicial Committee lacks "subject matter jurisdiction" over his appeal. Had he been suspended "for cause" by a 2/3 vote of the entire LNC, that action would be within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee, and if in such a situation, we found in his favor, we could order reinstatement. However, in this case, Mr. Wrights' sustaining membership dues lapsed and his seat was declared vacant. He was not "suspended" under the provisions of Article 8, Section 5. Therefore, it is clear that the Judicial Committee has no jurisdiction in this matter.

The amended appeal submitted to the Judicial Committee by R. Lee Wrights was as follows:

To: Libertarian Party Judicial Committee
From: R. Lee Wrights

On April 17, I appealed my suspension from the LNC. After further consideration, I want to clarify exactly what I am asking for in my appeal. I respectfully request the Committee to rule on the following:

1. Does a failure to maintain a sustaining membership constitute a resignation as claimed by the Secretary and Chair?

2. If Question 1 is answered in the affirmative, how long is the grace period between the time when the membership fee becomes due and the supposed resignation?

3. If Question 1 is answered in the affirmative, does the Secretary or Chair have the authority to decide if and when an effective resignation has taken place?

4. Does a lapse in dues require a "for cause" removal as described in Article 8, Section 5?

Respectfully submitted by,

R. Lee Wrights,

It is true that in the original appeal submitted by R. Lee Wrights, he appealed his “suspension” from the LNC. Perhaps upon realizing he had not been “suspended” from the LNC, he submitted the above amended appeal asking the Judicial Committee to “rule on” the questions posed.

On the first three questions raised by R. Lee Wrights in his amended appeal, the Judicial Committee voted 4 to 3 against it having "subject matter jurisdiction". All three questions dealt with asking the Judicial Committee to issue an advisory opinion on a matter dealing with what Mr. Wrights refers to as a "resignation", a "supposed resignation" and an "effective resignation". It does not deal with a "suspension" having taken place under Article 8, Section 5 of the bylaws. Ruth E. Bennett, Allen Hacker, Nick Sarwark & Dr. Tom Stevens voted against the Judicial Committee having subject matter jurisdiction on these questions. Joe Cobb, David F. Nolan and Travis Nicks voted in favor of the Judicial Committee having jurisdiction so the vote was 4 to 3 against jurisdiction.

The fourth question posed by R. Lee Wrights was the following:

4. Does a lapse in dues require a "for cause" removal as described in Article 8, Section 5?

There are problems obviously with the wording of the question itself since Article 8, Section 5, speaks of a "suspension" "for cause" and not a removal but that aside, the Judicial Committee voted it had "subject matter jurisdiction" over this hypothetical question even though no relief was sought by the appellant, no "suspension" under Article 8, Section 5 had taken place, and no relief could be granted since "reinstatement" was impossible since no "suspension" had taken place. Ruth E. Bennett, Joe Cobb, Allen Hacker, Travis Nicks, David F. Nolan & Nick Sarwark voted the Judicial Committee had jurisdiction over Question 4 of the R. Lee Wrights appeal. Only Dr. Tom Stevens voted against the Judicial Committee having "subject matter jurisdiction". On whether to accept Question 4 of the R. Lee Wrights appeal for the purposes of holding a hearing, Ruth E. Bennett, Joe Cobb, Travis Nicks, David F. Nolan & Nick Sarwark voted to hear the appeal on Question 4. Allen Hacker & Dr. Tom Stevens voted against hearing the appeal.

To reiterate, since the National Committee did not “suspend” R. Lee Wrights under Article 8, Section 5 of the Libertarian Party Bylaws, the Judicial Committee does not have “subject matter jurisdiction” over his appeal. In addition, R. Lee Wrights seeks no relief when he asks the Judicial Committee to “rule on” a hypothetical question and to issue an advisory opinion. Finally, the only relief that could be granted under Article 8, Section 5 is the ordered “reinstatement of the member-at-large” but since R. Lee Wrights was never suspended, his reinstatement cannot be ordered.

While it is clear that a lapse in dues does not require a “for cause” removal under Article 8, Section 5 of the Libertarian Party Bylaws, it is also true that Article 8, Section 4 does not contain explicit language describing a process for declaring a member-at-large’s seat vacant upon that member-at-large’s sustaining membership dues lapsing. However, the absence of such language does not imply that there is no automatic removal for failure to satisfy the eligibility requirements. The Bylaws Committee needs to address this issue and to recommend a process that can be followed when it is discovered that a member-at-large or any other person holding National Party office is found to be in violation of the eligibility requirements for that office. The proposed amendment might make the loss of eligibility result in an automatic removal from office, or it may state that the person holding National Party office be given 30 days to pay the lapsed dues or to resign as the candidate of another political party before being removal. Ultimately that decision will be and should be in the hands of the credentialed delegates meeting at the next Libertarian Party National Convention.