Steve Kubby: Requiem for Barr/Root

Steve Kubby was a candidate for the Libertarian Presidential nomination in 2008, and the runner up for the party’s VP nomination in 2008 and 2000. He was also the party’s candidate for Governor of California in 1998. He is currently working on a new business venture in the medical field. Disclosure: I worked on his presidential campaign.

REQUIEM FOR BARR/ROOT

“The common theme of requiems is prayer for the salvation of the soul(s) of the departed, and it is used both at services immediately preceding a burial, and on occasions of more general remembrance.”
–Wikipedia

The Barr/Root campaign is now history. Although I campaigned vigorously in opposition to both men, I supported them once they got their respective nominations. Not only did I attend their victory celebration and congratulate them publicly, I was the only one of a crowded field of 12 presidential candidates to do so.

Like many Libertarians, I set aside personal differences and did what I could to support our ticket. In fact, I even endorsed former drug warrior Bob Barr in my 4 page interview in High Times, a controversial act that brought me only grief.

Frankly, I think Barr and Root did a pretty good job. They worked hard, covered a lot of ground and stood tall on important issues like ending the Drug War, terminating the Patriot Act, and opposing the Bailouts.

But I have not come to praise Barr/Root, but to bury them. Well, more explicitly, I’ve come to bury the bogus ideas about media and celebrity, that propelled Barr/Root into a ticket that over-promised and under-delivered. The bottom line for this ticket is that they promised $30 million in campaign contributions and a popular vote of 5%. Instead, they raised just over $1 million and failed to break 0.5% of the vote, landing them a 4th place finish for LP presidential campaigns. Barr and Root received a record amount of media coverage and they are celebrities in their own right, but it didn’t work out the way we were told it would.

So much for media and celebrity.

The Barr/Root campaign was an honest test of media and celebrity and the results are clear. Media and celebrity is not the answer. Our ideas and our ability to communicate those ideas, is what sets us apart and earns us serious attention. The hunger for new ideas has never been greater and our ideas, about limited government, ending personal income taxes and upholding personal freedom are more mainstream than ever.

If we dilute our message and rely upon celebrity, it gets us nothing but empty rhetoric. On the other hand, if we transmit a pure signal and only a handful get it, but they totally and earnestly get it, then that is revolutionary.

The time is late and our Republic is being crushed under the weight of an illegal, unconstitutional government that doesn’t hesitate to use force and fraud to support its bloated, stinking corpse. The time is past for empty rhetoric and revolution is in the air. So let the revolution begin and let it blossom as a libertarian revolution of new ideas about liberty.

Let us now bow our heads in prayer for the salvation of the soul(s) of the departed myths, about media and celebrity. Now let us resolve, to never again place our trust in style and to remain faithful to the substance of our message, instead.

Amen.

50 thoughts on “Steve Kubby: Requiem for Barr/Root

  1. Andy Craig

    There are a lot of things that went wrong with Barr/Root. While obviously it’s not worth much without an actual principled libertarian who can sell the message well, I don’t think we should completely discount previous fame as one consideration among many. Or am I to understand that Steve Kubby would actually be able to resist the elusive siren call of a Penn/Teller ticket?

  2. JimDavidson

    There’s nothing wrong with a Penn and Teller ticket. I think both men are principled and thorough-going libertarians. There are many things wrong with the compromises inherent in choosing Barr. Evidently, many libertarians objected to his credentials.

    Yes, he did get a lot of votes, but like Harry Browne, could not manage to get more than Ralph Nader. Barr also funded, through his PAC, GOP candidates who ran against LP candidates, and seems to have entirely neglected to raise funds for LP candidates.

    It was a banner year for voter turnout. It could have been a banner year for libertarians.

  3. TheOriginalAndy

    “So much for media and celebrity.

    The Barr/Root campaign was an honest test of media and celebrity and the results are clear. Media and celebrity is not the answer. Our ideas and our ability to communicate those ideas, is what sets us apart and earns us serious attention. The hunger for new ideas has never been greater and our ideas, about limited government, ending personal income taxes and upholding personal freedom are more mainstream than ever.”

    I did not support the Barr/Root ticket at the National Convention or in the November election, but I do not think that this is a completely accurate statement. Barr and Root are NOT big celebrities. They are minor celebrities, maybe C or D list at best.

    If a bigger celebrity was on the ticket it definitely would have made a bigger difference. Of course I’d prefer that bigger celebrity to be a mode hardcore Libertarian but this is besides the point.

  4. Libertarian Joseph

    I think the LP had a minor victory this year.

    I would’ve preferred either:

    Barr-Kubby ticket OR Ruwart/Kubby-Gravel ticket. I’m not so sure Gravel would do well at the top of a LP ticket.

  5. TheOriginalAndy

    “JimDavidson // Nov 10, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with a Penn and Teller ticket. I think both men are principled and thorough-going libertarians.”

    Penn and Teller are government Kool Aid drinkers as they believe the official government fairy tale about 9/11 and have attacked those who dare to point out the numerous holes in the story. Anyone who spouts the official statist propaganda about 9/11 does not belong on top of the Libertarian Party ticket.

  6. rdupuy

    That was a 100 times better article than I’ve seen recently!

    So much comes across like childish rants.
    It’s perfectly fine to use strong language ‘come to bury them’, when its part of a reasoned, well written argument.

    I’m not even going to comment on anything else, I’ll leave it at that.

    Thanks for the better effort.

  7. TheOriginalAndy

    “Libertarian Joseph // Nov 10, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    9/11 wasn’t a government issue.”

    9/11 – and more specifically government sponsored false flag terror operations – is one of THE most important issues of our time. Anyone who doesn’t see that 9/11 was an inside job, or at the very least QUESTION the official 9/11 story, has their head shoved up their ass. They fall into the following categories…

    1) They are just plain stupid.

    2) They are intellectual cowards, as in they are not necessarily stupid people, but they are too chickenshit to question the official government story.

    3) They are too busy or too lazy to have examined the facts surrounding 9/11 and may not be aware of the fact that there are a lot of questions surrounding the official government story.

    4) They are government bootlickers who wouldn’t dare question anything the government says or does.

    5) They know that 9/11 was an inside job and are intentionally lying about it. These people probably work for the government or are government contractors or are the recipient of government grants or are benifitting from 9/11 in some other manner.

    6) They are extremely naive people who think that government is too stupid to have carried out the attack and that there is no way they could have done it (Many naive libertarians fall into this category. NOTE: Not everyone in government is stupid, some of them are highly intelligent, they are just plain evil control freaks and are most definitely devious enough to have carried out 9/11.).

    If one doesn’t understand false flag terrorism, and how governments use it to increase their power through PROBLEM-REACTION-SOlUTION (as in they create a crisis to get a desired reaction out of the public and then they provide solutions to the crisis which they created which increases their power and futhers their agenda), then one doesn’t really understand what is going on and therefore should not be on top of the Libertarian Party ticket.

    Also, the 9/11 Truth Movement is one of the fastest growing parts of the Freedom Movement, in fact, it is probably THE fastest growing part of the Freedom Movement. It is now many times larger than the Libertarian Party. It is actually horrible from a strategic standpoint that so many Libertarians ran away from this issue like cowards. If every 9/11 Truther (or even a large percentage of 9/11 Truthers) in the country voted Libertarian in the Presidential election we could have SMASHED the million vote barrier in this election.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    Barr-Kubby ticket OR Ruwart/Kubby-Gravel ticket. I’m not so sure Gravel would do well at the top of a LP ticket.

    No way in hell Gravel would accept that.

    Kubby/Ruwart, Ruwart/Kubby or Barr/Kubby could have worked. Kubby/Root (the Grass-Roots ticket) would have been OK too.
    We also talked about Phillies/Kubby (AKA Phillies/Blunt) but George has too many people who would vote against him for the nomination (I don’t just mean people who wouldn’t vote for him, that’s separate).

    Here’s what would NOT have worked:

    Gravel as VP to anybody. Too much ego.

    Probably same for Barr.

    Gravel at the top of the ticket was not going to happen. With advocating for several big government economic policies, that just was not going to fly with the LP delegates. They probably would have picked him for VP, but he did not want it.

    Ruwart on a ticket with Barr. She flat said no. Kubby would do it, but Barr said no to him.

  9. TheOriginalAndy

    “No way in hell Gravel would accept that.”

    I agree. Gravel has some good points (such as he actually questions the official 9/11 story) but he is way too off the mark on economic issues to be a Libertarian Party candidate.

  10. TheOriginalAndy

    Ruwart/Kubby SHOULD have been the ticket this year as they were the best choices out of what was available at the National Convention.

  11. paulie cannoli Post author

    “No way in hell Gravel would accept that.”

    I agree. Gravel has some good points (such as he actually questions the official 9/11 story) but he is way too off the mark on economic issues to be a Libertarian Party candidate.

    That’s true too, but what you are responding to there is that HE would not accept the #2 spot.

    He probably could have had it with Barr if he could set his ego aside.

  12. darolew

    “Penn and Teller are government Kool Aid drinkers as they believe the official government fairy tale about 9/11 and have attacked those who dare to point out the numerous holes in the story. Anyone who spouts the official statist propaganda about 9/11 does not belong on top of the Libertarian Party ticket.”

    Fail.

    Even if the ‘official statist propaganda’ is wrong, it’s still more coherent than the typical 9/11 “Truth” explanations I’ve heard.

  13. Gregg Jocoy

    On the subject of “revolution” as Kubby mentions in his piece, I refer you to the words of Malcolm X.

    Sometimes I’m inclined to believe that many of our people are using this word “revolution” loosely, without taking careful consideration [of] what this word actually means, and what its historic characteristics are. When you study the historic nature of revolutions, the motive of a revolution, the objective of a revolution, and the result of a revolution, and the methods used in a revolution, you may change words. You may devise another program. You may change your goal and you may change your mind.

    Look at the American Revolution in 1776. That revolution was for what? For land. Why did they want land? Independence. How was it carried out? Bloodshed. Number one, it was based on land, the basis of independence. And the only way they could get it was bloodshed. The French Revolution — what was it based on? The land-less against the landlord. What was it for? Land. How did they get it? Bloodshed. Was no love lost; was no compromise; was no negotiation. I’m telling you, you don’t know what a revolution is. ‘Cause when you find out what it is, you’ll get back in the alley; you’ll get out of the way. The Russian Revolution — what was it based on? Land. The land-less against the landlord. How did they bring it about? Bloodshed. You haven’t got a revolution that doesn’t involve bloodshed. And you’re afraid to bleed. I said, you’re afraid to bleed.

  14. George Phillies

    I believe the resonable expectation was that Ruwart/Kubby would have been at least as big a disaster as Barr/Root was reasonably likely to have been. I say ‘reasonably likely’ because my anticipation for what will come out of Barr/Root dropped significantly when I saw the Pre-election FEC financials. The post-election financials, by the way will be out before the next lnc meeting.

    A list of difficulties with Ruwart/Kubby begins with her near-total lack of campaign organization and goes on to her positions in her book, such as her answer to her own question about child pornography. Her supporters are unable to comprehend that Mr. Cory’s positions on that issue, as repeatedly transmitted to the LNC before and while the press release went out, are shared by a large part of the real libertarians in the party and would have led to significant results.

    As anyone who was paying attention would have noticed, in my concession speech I did say something nice about each of the four remaining candidates.

  15. Steve LaBianca

    George Phillies – A list of difficulties with Ruwart/Kubby . . . goes on to her positions in her book, such as her answer to her own question about child pornography.

    It seems to me that George intends to keep the bogus “advocacy” for child pornography alive because this “issue” will, when he runs for the LP presidential nomination in 2011/12, be to his advantage to attempt to discredit Mary Ruwart.

    Make no mistake, about it, George is a libertarian of sorts, and he is no dummy. So, if Mary Ruwart DOES begin a campaign for the LP nomination, and does so earlier than this year, he will need this “strawman” to knock her down, as Mary is, was, and will continue to be a formidable adversary for the LP presidential nomination. If W.A.R. decides to throw his hat in, he will pile onto this bogus claim of “advocacy” as well.

    Make no mistake about this as well . . . George will almost undoubtedly throw his hat into the ring again for 2012 . . . just like his run for the LNC chair had been a semi annual affair since 2000, so will his vie for the presidential nomination be done like clockwork.

    NOTE: This comment shouldn’t be construed to “knock down” George Phillies . . . he does bring some merit into the LP presidential nominating process, but I find some of his positions, even though he calls them “mainstream”, not libertarian at all.

  16. Steve LaBianca

    Libertarian Joseph // Nov 11, 2008 at 11:46 am

    What defines a “child”? The age that the STATE tells us? One size fits all?

    This question points out the problem with legislating “childhood”, as such a concept is not anything near adequately defined in terms of chronological age.

    IMHO, Mary Ruwart made one mistake in addressing the issue of “child” pornography. I believe that she now realizes that “child” legislation can never be one size fits all, and speaking of “children” is way too broad a category to apply positive law to.

    During the 2008 campaign, she did address the nature of “pre-pubescent” and “post-pubescent”, as a starting point of differentiating young people who would fit in the broader category of “children”.

  17. Peter Orvetti

    If Ruwart had won the presidential nomination and received 504,956 votes, Barr and Root backers would be kvetching about another 0.4% LP showing and saying how much better their guys would have done…

  18. George Phillies

    Mr. LaBianca, we have found one thing that we agree upon, namely that the other’s position is not Libertarian.

    Ruwart’s position on being sorry that children agree to perform sexual acts, but only sorry, is one of a piece with the ‘libertarian’ science fiction novel in which the heroes inadvertently break into 3rd grade class birthday party, and find they are looking down the muzzles of the very real guns that the 8-or-so-year-0lds are all carrying. It’s just plain daft.

    It’s up there with her position that if someone commits a crime and can pay the financial penalty levied by a jury, they should suffer no other penalty for their deeds. Most people in their right minds do not believe that rich people whose wealth is not widely known should be entitled to commit crimes whenever they want to write a check. The implications for the local mob, when it wants to hire hit men, are also obvious, except in Ruwart’s book.

    There is also her claim about global air pollution, which applied to chlorofluorocarbons would prove that the CFC ozone hole is impossible.

    I’m sorry, Ruwart’s notion of libertarianism is not libertarian, because it is not reality-based, and it would be downright dangerous if brought to practice.

    Having said that, I have indeed had people urge me to run again in 2012, but I think the more interesting question is whether there will be a functional political party by that date.

  19. DarkDiscordian

    We don’t just need more votes, we need more libertarian votes. For instance, Nader had a level of popularity and carried the Green Party, but no one was voting for the Green Party, they were voting for Nader. So when Nader left the Greens, the party’s performance fell off. Many of the votes we got were from conservatives who care little for the libertarian party, while we lost votes from libertarians.

    Ruwart or Kubby may have achieved more or less votes, but I believe we would have achieved a greater number of libertarian votes and would have converted new people to libertarianism. Those people would have gotten involved in the party, and voted for other libertarians (such as those in state and county races). As it is, we converted nearly no one. We need to have candidates who will talk about our party, our positions, and our philosophy. We don’t need a candidate who likes to talk about him or herself, because as a small party we need to focus on building the name. Once we have the name and the average voter understands our basic philosophy, then we can worry about winning and bringing in popular candidates. Until then, let’s not get too big for breeches.

  20. AnthonyD

    Steve LaBianca,

    You must be living in some fantasyland of a an exceedingly thoughtful and intellectually rigorous electorate if you think that Mary Ruwart’s position on children having sex would have be strengthen by making some sort of distinction between pre- and post-pubescent sex. Some children are entering puberty at 11 or 12 years old. To think the American voter would reason, “Well, some 12-year olds are old enough to have sex,” is laughably absurd. This is the electorate that spent weeks on the “lipstick on a pig comment” by Obama. Where is your evidence that those people are prepared for a reasoned discussion of eliminating laws against statutory rape?

    This is precisely what the problem would have been were Ruwart the nominee this year. By the time she tried to get into some sort of discussion of pre- vs. post-pubescent sex with the likes of Sean Hannity, a crowd of local farmers and millworkers would have been gathering outside the studios waiting for her to come out so they could string her up for advocating child rape.

  21. Peter Orvetti

    This just in: Absolutely every member of the LP who has ever started a blog, or commented on one, is considering a 2012 presidential run. The nominee will be decided by pageview rankings as of July 4, 2011.

  22. paulie cannoli Post author

    This is precisely what the problem would have been were Ruwart the nominee this year. By the time she tried to get into some sort of discussion of pre- vs. post-pubescent sex with the likes of Sean Hannity, a crowd of local farmers and millworkers would have been gathering outside the studios waiting for her to come out so they could string her up for advocating child rape.

    I didn’t catch them lining up to string up Bob Barr for advocating making public the tapes of teenagers performing sexual acts in the Genarlow Wislon case. And those teenagers didn’t even agree to have those tapes made public.

  23. AnthonyD

    paulie,

    I find it odd that you would support the idea of the government’s right to keep some evidence in a trial secret. Not very purist, or libertarian, for that matter.

  24. paulie cannoli Post author

    I don’t support government’s right to keep it secret, I support the kids’ right to keep their privacy.

    Otherwise, all I have to do is sue you and introduce videos of you having sex which you did not agree to distribute, and who are you to say that you did not agree to have those distributed?

    Or better yet, I can bribe a corrupt cop who has AIDS and cancer to arrest you, and forcibly sodomize you on video and then kill himself after he books you. Then the video of the incident should be public, right?

    What about if it’s your mom, your wife or girlfriend or boyfriend or sister or little brother or your kid? Still all good?

  25. paulie cannoli Post author

    I find it odd that you support the idea of a court system in an involuntary society.

    Of course there would be a court system in a voluntary society, just not a government monopoly. But what does that have to do with this real world case?

  26. Libertarian Joseph

    Maybe a voluntary society wouldn’t have one…

    What does it have to do ith the real world? nothing.

  27. Libertarian Joseph

    Well, maybe it’ a small society of a 2 or 3 families that choose to live like anarcho communists. I think it’s statist to want every society to have a court system.

  28. AnthonyD

    paulie,

    how long will it be before the prosecution claims the same right to keep evidence secret in certain cases? Oh, they are already doing that now, arent they? I support open trials, in any instance.

    In any case, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see the difference between Barr’s position on the Wilson case, which involves technical legal issues that some might agree with, and Ruwart’s position on child sex, which would likely get a person hung and possibly permanently damage the image (such as it is), of the party foolish enough to nominate said purist.

  29. AnthonyD

    paulie,

    and to repeat something I said at the time of his nomination, I am not a big fan of Barr and many of his positions, including the one in the Wilson case. He is, and campaigned, far too conservatively for my tastes.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, he was the best option of the ones available in Denver. By far.

  30. paulie cannoli Post author

    how long will it be before the prosecution claims the same right to keep evidence secret in certain cases? Oh, they are already doing that now, arent they? I support open trials, in any instance.

    So do I. What I don’t support is making videos of teens (or anyone) having sex made public without their consent.

    In any case, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see the difference between Barr’s position on the Wilson case, which involves technical legal issues that some might agree with, and Ruwart’s position on child sex, which would likely get a person hung and possibly permanently damage the image (such as it is), of the party foolish enough to nominate said purist.

    Gotcha.

    Making videos of underage people having sex made available without their consent = AOK.

    With their consent=death penalty offense.

  31. paulie cannoli Post author

    ON THE OTHER HAND, he was the best option of the ones available in Denver. By far.

    I stand by my votes in Denver.

    Kubby til he was out, Ruwart afterwards.
    Kubby on every ballot for VP.

    The only vote I would change would be for LNC.

  32. AnthonyD

    I am sure there is a lot of evidence in criminal trials that is released without the consent of the defendants, stuff they wouldnt want people to see them doing. Thats no reason to keep it private.

    And children can’t give consent with regards to sex. But FAR more important to me is the fact that the person who wants to argue about when that age of consent starts is a horrible selection be the LP nominee for president, which was the point of my original post, #22.

  33. paulie cannoli Post author

    17 year olds can certainly consent to have sex. And they can, and should, have the right to keept videotapes of it from being distributed by the government.

    What the hell kind of sick state puts teenages on trial for having concensual sexual relations with other teenagers, and sends them to prison for it? And what kind of “libertarian” can defend this?

  34. AnthonyD

    Barr was not putting anyone on trial for having consensual sex. He was indicating that the district attorney involved in the case was REQUIRED to make the evidence available, per the Georgia Open Records Act. He might have a point there.

    And “What the hell kind of sick state puts teenages on trial for having concensual sexual relations with other teenagers, and sends them to prison for it?” Our kind. This one. The good ole’ U.S. of A. Disappointing? You bet.

    S0 I ask you, in light of what we agree on regarding this sick society, how well do you think Ms. Ruwart’s opinions on children having sex would have gone over with this country’s voters, had she been nominated?

    Methinks not too well.

  35. TheOriginalAndy

    “S0 I ask you, in light of what we agree on regarding this sick society, how well do you think Ms. Ruwart’s opinions on children having sex would have gone over with this country’s voters, had she been nominated?”

    Since Mary Ruwart did not make this a campaign issue (nevermind the fact that this entire thing is being blown out of proportion) I doubt that it would have even been brought up. This was something that people supporting other candidates brought up by digging it out of a book that Mary Ruwart wrote years ago where the entire point of the book was to provide libertarian anwsers to difficult questions (some questions which other candidates would likely run away from).

    If the issue did come up then it actually may have been a good thing, because that would mean that more people would read Mary Ruwart’s books.

  36. paulie cannoli Post author

    http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2008/11/final-election.html

    I was taking a look at a comprehensive list of Presidential election results today and noted a variety of details about the less publicized aspects of the results. Among the big-name third party candidates, lefty retread Ralph Nader garnered a tad more than half a percent of the vote and outpolled Libertarian (so to speak) Bob Barr by about 180,000 votes. Both trounced Cynthia McKinney who was carrying the Green banner. And Alan Keyes, who I didn’t even know was running, trailed McKinney by a significant margin. We thus see another remarkable result this year: three African-American candidates were among the top 7 candidates overall. (Not that this factoid is likely to eclipse the larger narrative…)

    But what caught my eye was a little further down the results list. It appears that the World Series winner Phillies captured a solid 518 votes for President. The Phillies outpolled Ted Weill, the Reform Party candidate (trivia answer: Weill’s running mate was Frank E. McEnulty) and Jonathan Allen who ran (with Jeffrey Stath) on the HeartQuake 08 ticket.

    What would a Phillies Presidency have looked like? There would be no need for a Vice-President, of course, since the team has a variety of players who could step up in an emergency. (Query: would the team be able to add members after the inauguration, in case of injury or death?) Would a Phillies Presidency have focused on the long ball – a few huge initiatives (socialized medicine! nuclear power in every home!) – or on nipping the corners of the plate (two dollars off every purchase of Propecia! a tax deduction for the purchase of Mobil 1 synthetic oil!)

    One thing’s for sure. George W. Bush would have had a heck of a better time hosting that President-elect at the White House. Wait…so Phillies meant George Phillies, the failed Libertarian?

    That’s very different. Never mind.

  37. AnthonyD

    paulie & The Original Andy,

    During Bob Barr’s very first major interview (on Fox News), I am pretty sure right after winning the nomination, Sean Hannity went right to the issue that might be most closely identified with the LP: drug decriminilization. At that point in time, when many conservatives feared Barr could cost the GOP the election, Hannity wasted zero time in attacking what he thought was a weak point in libertarian philosophy. This is true even though you guys and I would agree that Bob Barr is no warrior in trying to end the drug war.

    The point here is obvious: To think the mainstream media would not have found out what Ruwart wrote in her book (a great book, I might add), and gone after her immediately on it (if they paid attention at all), shows a near total ignorance of the mainstream media’s prodigious ability to “blown things out of proportion.” The MSM is, after all, an industry that spent weeks dissecting a stupid comment about lipstick on a pig.

    The Catch-22 of the situation would have been that if by some miracle Ruwart started getting any traction at all, it would have only intensified the media’s focus on the “child sex” issue. The entire of libertarian philosophy would have been lost in a media frenzy-stampede regarding a party dumb enough to nominate someone who believes there should be no age of consent laws. Or do you guys not recall how much time the MSM spent on Rev. Wright, William Ayers, and what Obama’s middle name is.

    Our best case scenario had Ruwart been nominated is that she would have been totally ignored.

  38. kiddleddee

    Actually, Barr had weighed in on the subject of the Wilson case, not just the release of the video. He fully supported the arrest and conviction of Wilson, who was 17 at the time that he videotaped himself receiving consensual oral sex from a 15 year old girl. He characterized Wilson’s acts that evening as a party “which degenerated into hedonistic sexual acts” and praised the law which made consensual sexual acts between teenagers “aggrevated child molestation” and which landed Wilson in prison for an appalling 10 years (Wilson has since been released, but to my knowledge still carries the criminal conviction – for having committed no crime – on his record) The question of whether to release the tapes begs the question of whether the tapes should have been in the hands of the government in the first place. Releasing the tapes simply compounds the government’s criminal activity against Wilson and his partner.

  39. MarcMontoni

    A list of difficulties with Ruwart/Kubby begins with her near-total lack of campaign organization …

    Unfortunately, most Libertarians don’t have a large pool of people to ask to help; so one must choose from what is available.

    … and goes on to her positions in her book, such as her answer to her own question about child pornography. Her supporters are unable to comprehend that Mr. Cory’s positions on that issue, as repeatedly transmitted to the LNC before and while the press release went out, are shared by a large part of the real libertarians …

    Now there’s the catch-phrase. Mr. Phillies should have used “some” in the place of “real”. “Real” libertarians would have understood what Ms. Ruwart was saying. What escapes Cory and Phillies is the fact that under the current command-and-control regime, kids are *still* having consensual sex, despite their parents and the law. The truth, according to the government’s own statistics, is that a majority of Americans have themselves violated the very draconian laws about exploring their sexuality that they wish to impose upon their children.

    Generally speaking, government’s idea of protecting children is burning them alive at Waco.

    I remember my childhood. I was perfectly able to say “no” at nine or ten, and did so. I also remember the activities of other children around me. Anyone who is in favor of strict (and high) age of consent laws should first state whether they were still virgins at 18. Statistically speaking, a *majority* of Americans have had sex by age 15 or 16; and a substantial cohort has had sex by the age of thirteen. For those who are math challenged, that means the **average** American is by definition an unconvicted criminal, and should be on the Sex Offenders list. Keep in mind that’s just the *average*.

    Were we to start discussing the “substantial compliance test” (example — road engineers generally try to set speed limits at a point where 85% or more of drivers will be in compliance), then the age where consent should probably considered valid is about 12 or 13 (viz., the point at which about 15% of American “children” have voluntarily engaged in some form of sex).

    The outrage directed at Ruwart over this issue is somewhat vacuous. There’s nothing there to back it up; no will to *really* address what these folks claim is a problem, at its major source. Where are all these people who get so lathered over underage sex, when one more 13 year old girl in the projects joins the millions of pregnant teenagers already in the inner cities? Perhaps these folks should go where most of the statistics come from and start talking to the tough kids on the street. I can see the headline now: “Well-fed middle-aged white suburban male killed while trying to tell gangbanger not to have sex with his 13-year-old girl friend…”

    The more young adults are infantilized, the more irresponsibly they will behave. Tell them they can’t have sex until 18, or 21, or 30 (there are nutcases in state legislatures who actually suggest it!), and they’re going to do it anyway. And guess what, Alice — they certainly won’t bother using a condom! The fact that it’s illegal won’t stop them; and the act of committing so enjoyable a crime will convince them to evade other laws in the future.

    The Phillies bloviation continues:

    Ruwart’s position on being sorry that children agree to perform sexual acts, but only sorry, is one of a piece with the ‘libertarian’ science fiction novel in which the heroes inadvertently break into 3rd grade class birthday party, and find they are looking down the muzzles of the very real guns that the 8-or-so-year-0lds are all carrying. It’s just plain daft.

    Child soldiers — including 8-year olds — in various African and S American wars — notwithstanding.

    … It’s up there with her position that if someone commits a crime and can pay the financial penalty levied by a jury, they should suffer no other penalty for their deeds. …

    Are you saying that would be any worse than the 40% of murders that are never cleared these days?.

    … Most people in their right minds do not believe that rich people whose wealth is not widely known should be entitled to commit crimes whenever they want to write a check. …

    Hmmmm… Law of unintended consequences: there will spring up a cottage industry of people willing to be beaten, raped, and maimed in exchange for the penalty checks. The mind boggles.

    But seriously. Real libertarians don’t believe anyone is entitled to commit crimes against real victims. For that matter, only a fool would think that rich people would willingly trade their fortunes for a few giggles. There aren’t that many billionaires, and for the millionaires, most of them only have a few million. Running over one park bench with three or four people would financially ruin the majority of them; and if it was intentional it is likely even in a libertarian society, they would find themselves confined so they couldn’t attack anyone else. So how many in the good Doctor’s silly little world would really throw caution to the wind?

    The implications for the local mob, when it wants to hire hit men, are also obvious, except in Ruwart’s book.

    Hmmmm… let’s see… libertarian society… no Prohibition… private cops… insurance… no victimless crimes… I got it!! Mr. Sajak, give me “Will there be fewer mobsters?” for $100! Phillies forgets – what will the local “mob” be protecting in a libertarian society? The only things remaining on the prohibited list will be real crimes like assault and theft. But when the local crackhead can get a job at the local McBurger and still make enough in a few hours to buy insanely cheap drugs out of the vending machine in their crackhouse, for the next week’s bender, what will the mobsters have to do? Besides joining the crackheads and some congressmen for some crack?

    And even if there is a local mob, how long do you think it will take them to figure out that it would be better to fess up, say, $10,000 for a small nuisance crime than to murder someone to keep them quiet about that $10,000 nuisance crime — than to get tagged with the $1,000,000 (or more) fine for murder?

    Most mobsters aren’t really stupid. But the laws they currently flout sure are.

    There is also her claim about global air pollution, which applied to chlorofluorocarbons would prove that the CFC ozone hole is impossible.

    Brrzzzzztttt. Wrong answer. I’m as environmentally concerned as the next person. There are way too many theories manufactured from moth-eaten cloth about the environment. Fight pollution for provable damages as trespass, yes. Giving the whiskey and car keys of illegitimate power to the prepubescent children who run the government is just plain stupid.

    I’m sorry, Ruwart’s notion of libertarianism is not libertarian, because it is not reality-based, and it would be downright dangerous if brought to practice.

    Hmmmm… As dangerous as the current regime? I think not. Libertarianism is about using gentle and voluntary market persuasion to achieve just ends. That is all Ruwart advocates.

  40. BrianHoltz

    It took Ruwart only eight days to back off from her book’s position that the rules should be age-blind, but once she endorsed a sliding rebuttable-presumption standard, there was no longer an interesting controversy here about “age of consent”. (She’s still vulnerable for her mistaken claim that “desire” can be the only reason for a child to competently want to engage in sexual activity, but that’s a technicality that most of her critics, and all of her supporters, will overlook.) Even the question of whether the rules about consent should be established by legislation vs. markets doesn’t make for a truly novel controversy among libertarians. No, the most intellectually interesting remainder of this controversy is…
    posted at http://libertarianintelligence.com/2008/05/anti-ruwart-conspiracy.html

    Presumably for reasons of space, George both overstates his case in suggesting that Ruwart is unlibertarian, and understates his case about Ruwart’s views on justice. For more, see http://libertarianintelligence.com/2008/05/checkbook-justice-in-ruwarchistan.html

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