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DOWN WITH POWER and the LP Platform February 29, 2012

Posted by Administrator in : Politics , trackback

An acquaintance of mine sent me, among others, an appeal to help him keep the powers that be within the Libertarian Party from cutting the national platform into even tinier shreds than it’s in now.

I grew sick to death a long time ago of trying to preserve an LP platform worthy of the name from constant attacks on it by would-be Republicans within the LP ranks who are afraid to take what libertarians really believe to the public. Since 1979, the last year I served on the committee, it has gotten progressively worse.

After the Barr nomination, I was so thoroughly fed up, that I obtained a grant (private, of course) to write a book, _DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis_. Basically, it’s a 301-page platform for a REAL Libertarian Party or anybody else who needs a decent, individualistic ideological base.

I wrote it for a number of purposes.

First, it’s meant to serve as a “recruiting” asset to encourage individuals to become libertarians.

Second, it should help new libertarians to get their bearings in the movement. I was a libertarian for ten years before the party was organized, so I’ve seen a lot of people join up, one way or another, then wander around confused for a long while before they “got it” or left the movement in frustration.

Third, the book’s intended to serve as a campaign guide and reference for libertarians running for office, the majority of whom are usually fairly new to the movement. Since there isn’t anything else like it, it should prove useful to them and give the public a better insight into what we’re really all about.

Finally, it’s intended to embarrass the LINOs and Nerf libertarians right out of the movement. I have fond dreams of some Republicanoid candidate having to answer questions from the media that begin, “Do you _really_ believe … ” At which point the candidate has to disagree with and disavow a book written by a 50-year veteran of the movement, or choke on his own hypocrisy.

(The book has a distinctively-colored cover, so the candidate can’t miss noticing that numbers of his audience are carrying it, and probably know more about libertarianism than he does.)

Of course I have to strive to get the party associated in the minds of the press and public with the book. I’m working on that every day. And I have to make sure it sells in sufficient numbers to achieve its purposes.

_DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis_ can be had at Amazon.com, B&N.com, and several other places in both dead-tree and e-reader formats. An audio book will be available as soon as we can produce it.

I have fashioned a new weapon for you. Go forth and wield it.


1. Mark Rogerson - February 29, 2012

I don’t see a Kindle version of it on Amazon at this red hot moment.

2. Administrator - February 29, 2012

It’s there. Somehow they’ve managed not to link it to the dead-tree page. But if you go to the Kindle section, there it is. Kind of annoying. You should complain. Everybody should coplain.

3. Neale Osborn - February 29, 2012

I have a NOOK. THEY got it right!! (TAKE THAT Amazon!!) I have ordered BOTH versions. Cuz I can.

4. Eli - March 1, 2012

Gonna order me a nook and red cover wave it at the LINO version.

PS. Sweeter than Wine was my only 2011 Hugo Novel Nomination. Hopefully others with memberships, even supporting memberships, send nominations in.

5. El Neil - March 1, 2012

I thank you very much, Eli. _DWP_ has a bright yellow cover, however. Hmm. I never even expected to get nominated for a Hugo. Or even a nebula. Thanks.

6. Ken Holder - March 3, 2012

Here be links:
Down With Power:
Amazon.com paper
or Amazon.com Kindle
or Barnes&Noble.com paper or Nook

Be happy.

7. Renata Amy Russell - March 7, 2012

I am reading -Down with Power- and have not finished it yet, but I must say it is a well done work. I feel the same way about children’s prisons – oops – I mean public schools.
(to the tune of Hi Ho, Hi Ho)
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school we go.
We learn some junk, and then we flunk, Hi Ho, Hi Ho…

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school we go.
From nine to three, it’s misery, Hi Ho, Hi Ho…

Only a few teachers brightened my day. One was truly demented (long story). The rest, mediocre.

My Mom taught me that every letter, more or less, has a sound of its own. I was in the midst of _ whole word_ learning, and spiraling down the drain. But Mom’s rudimants of phonetics (NOT phonics, if you please) set me on the path to learning what I could, all through my life.

Glead to read that you daughter is home-schooled. Autodidacts Rule!

8. Neale Osborn - March 7, 2012

We certainly do! My 4 kids are autodidactically trained, and they all are quite smart and well mannered (as all the parents of publicly incarerated children around here tell me, right before they tell me how my kids are suffering from a lack of socialization!)

9. El Neil - March 7, 2012

Thank you, Renata. I was an inmate of the public school system, but it was in a time, largely, before the pod-people took it over. I went toi small town schools from McQueenie, Texas, to Gifford, Illinois. I also went to school on Pepperrell Air Force Base.

I was also lucky to have more than one teacher who actually gave a rat’s ass about his or her pupils growing into autonomous adults.

That system is long gone, and the only way to deal with it now is abolish it. I’m not even sure that we need private schools. My daughter, once she could read, was pretty largely self-taught.

10. R.D. Bartucci - March 7, 2012

Mr. Smith writes:

“I was also lucky to have more than one teacher who actually gave a rat’s ass about his or her pupils growing into autonomous adults.”

Insofar as I recall (and I’ve had some experience of both government schools and those of the local Roman Catholic Diocese), the emphasis was never on inculcating autonomy but rather getting kids to demonstrate COMPETENCE in the subjects taught.

When in 1973 I scanned the “Notebooks” section in *Time Enough For Love*, I came to recognize that as fundamentally Heinleinian.

See his bit about how “A human being should be able to….”

None of my teachers in either category of school really gave a rat’s ass about their pupils’ ability to think and act independently, much less creatively (no matter how much noise was made about “creativity”). They simply wanted us to meet situations and circumstances with the ability to find and apply workable solutions.

To the extent that I’ve ever had teaching responsibilities (mostly with medical students and residents in training), that’s been my objective.

There simply isn’t a helluva lot of “autonomy” in work with (or on) other human beings, and in medicine – as in much else – you’ve got to deal with the preferences and other peculiarities of people whom you serve.

I recently came across and eight-year-old issue of *Analog* (April 2004) in which Geoffrey A. Landis (see http://www.geoffreylandis.com/) had published what he called “Geoffrey’s Laws of Engineering” in an article titled “Rules of Engineering Projects.”

I found his fourth law particularly memorable:

“In engineering, you can never ignore the laws of physics. In human endeavors, you can never ignore the laws of economics.”

Apply that to education, and focus clarifies quite effectively.

11. Neale Osborn - March 8, 2012

I can’t pilot a ship, and I write dirty limericks, not sonnets. Other than that, I can do it all! Well, maybe I can’t die gallantly- haven’t tried that one yet!

12. Donald Qualls - March 13, 2012

Though the “ship” Lazarus Long was referring to was almost certainly a starship, I will claim that, given the need, I could manage to steer and, in simplest form, navigate any waterborne boat or ship small enough for a single person to handle (if you need a crew of three to start the engines or raise the sail, you may be out of my league). The one that gets me is “diaper a baby” — no offspring, never had to, and certainly never wanted to. Then again, I’d probably figure it out at need. I’ve written sonnets, I can cook, I can (under duress) clean, I fix stuff for a living, do my own gunsmithing (within limits, mostly economic for lack of expensive tools) and can operate manual machine tools — and I can write computer programs too, though I’m dreadfully out of practice and out of date on that (they keep changing the blooming operating systems every couple years).

I doubt I’ll live long enough to fill out the list (there are a couple fairly odd things on there, as I recall), but I think it likely I can pick up anything on there that comes up in actual practice (not to mention a fair number of things that aren’t on there).

13. R.D. Bartucci - March 13, 2012

Mr. Qualls writes: “The one that gets me is ‘diaper a baby’ — no offspring, never had to, and certainly never wanted to.”

Med school solved that for me. The pediatrics professors insisted that every kiddie be examined completely every day as part of routine rounds, meaning that each infant had to be stripped to the skin.

The pediatrics nurses staffing the nursery in the hospital affiliated with the school emphatically required each medical student conducting any such examination of their patients not only do the stripping but also diaper and dress the kid before returning the larva to its box, so you had to know where the clean clothes and blankets were, too.

The nurses never allowed us even to re-use anything the kid had been wearing.

Fast-forward to my intern year. On the OB/GYN rotation in a hospital half a continent away, I was not only the doc doing some of the deliveries but also the lowest-on-the-totem-pole guy on the service, which meant that I was stuck with all the scutwork, including looking after all the munchkins the more senior residents had extracted.

My first day fulfilling that obligation saw me unwrapping and examining a one-day-old neonate and then restoring the little monster to her status as a properly-swaddled bundle of infant humanity.

I was sitting at the charting station when one of the nurses came in and, with a puzzled expression on her phiz, asked “Did you examine Baby Whatsit?”

Looking up, I brilliantly responded: “Yeah.”

“Did you examine ALL of her? It looks like you didn’t even take off her onesie or her diaper.”

“Well, of course I did. Duh.”

“You dressed her afterwards?”

Blinking, I regarded the nurse for a moment before repeating: “Yeah. Something wrong with that?”

She shrugged. “It’s just that none of the other residents EVER does that.”

Bereft of originality, I shrugged, too. “You ladies just have to catch ‘em younger and train ‘em proper.”