Different Floors of the House

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Family Friendly Prose from J-Slog Sunday Presents: All Together Now



Different is better because it is not you.

I don't want to hold your hand.

I hate the Beatles and especially John Lennon.


Imagine me sticking a slab of C4 on your mother's Beatles LP collection and watching little shards of vinyl launch into the sky.  What would those records sing as they whirred through the air with the greatest of ease?

All together now.



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Libertarians represent at America Speaks

I couldn't believe my eyes Saturday morning.  Libertarians came out in solid numbers, across the nation, to participate in what is now being hailed as the largest town hall discussion in the history of our nation: America Speaks.  To be able to participate instantly with other concerned citizens of all political banners was quite a feat.  I was impressed by the sheer scope of the event and by the utilization of 21st century technology to bring people together in one virtual town hall meeting.   I have sent a letter of personal thanks to the groups' organizers for their efforts.
We had a good day today, I think we made contact with a whole bunch of people who will be inclined to look to alternative candidates without the cloudy mist of confusion and general lack of knowledge about our Libertarian values.  After years of shouting into the wind, technology has proven to be our benefactor in diffusion.  I can't tell you how exciting this is about to get!
At the event, we sat in groups of eight or so people around a table with one goal in mind:  generate a 1.2 trillion dollar decrease in the fiscal deficit by the year 2025.  Lofty?  Yes.  Unrealistic?  Maybe.  Sounds like a job for a Libertarian!
I have to admit, amid all the praise I have for America Speaks, the process did have a somewhat ubiquitous feel to it.  1.2 trillion is totally incomprehensible and got to be cliché near days' end.  I didn't see a comprehensive view of the problem we faced and the information about the debt supplied by sponsors was sophomoric--not on every level--but, enough to make me take pause.  There was not one mention of debt monetization in the literature or discourse; not one mention of our trade deficit. 
I will say that I thought people worked together quite well despite our differences.  There was one little wrinkle in our coming-together-of-the-minds operation though.   One guy called me a Nazi because I suggested we not interrupt each other and take turns voicing our opinions as opposed to engaging in less-productive cross-talk and banter.  This fellow, a stark-raving Trotskyite, stormed out of the Convention Center after throwing a Nazi/F-word/blah blah blah verbal cocktail my way.  I thought he was going to punch me but I think he suddenly remembered the Libertarian stance on the 2nd Amendment, because he just stormed out.  After that, the dialogue was encouragingly diplomatic.  My table was pretty much filled occupied by left-of-center democrats and a token socialist/eco thug (every other word was either cap and/or tax).  By the end of our 6-hour negotiations, I had them agreeing to abolishing the IRS code and 15% spending cuts across the board.  I could not overcome a deep-seeded, latent fear of allowing people to manage their own SSI via savings accounts, but who can blame them since they undervalue the government's role in this current fiscal "downturn"?   I had to concede an  unrealistic 90% taxable income increase that amounted to nothing less than a  pipe-dream.  They really didn't grasp-or want to grasp-the tax system (which as probably why they finally agreed to put the kybosh on the whole IRS thing!)  and failed to comprehend the effect taking 33% of 90% of say, 400,000 would have on their local economies alone.  It was 6 hours, I can only do so much.
Here's what I learned, really: 
1.  People are looking for answers and their general distrust of government is a tool that is driving Libertarian thinking out from the Underground, into the mainstream.
2.  Whether it's cliché or p.c. or whatever, people want to come to a consensus solution on this problem.  I heard "bipartisan" over and over on Saturday.
3.  People think we can get it done.  Period.  Americans are so cool like that, they believe anything is possible.
My line of the day in response to a complaint that my fiscal policy suggestions were "throwing the baby out with the bathwater": 
"Ok.  But I have to inform you, that's not a baby, it's a dead possum we only think is a baby because we do nothing but coddle it endlessly".
All in all, I thought it was a good exercise and suggest to anyone who has a chance to participate in the next one to do so.
Feel free to forward this to your own libertarian/fiscally conservative friends...or even your l-o-c democrat friends, who need it the most. 
Yours in Liberty,
Chris Lostaglia
Campaign Manager, Jeff Lawrence for Congress