So today I'm supposed to talk politics. Let's get to it.
It is none of my or your business how a businessperson runs his or her business. Let me add a qualifier to that- I don't mean that businesspeople can break the regular rules that everyone has— don't hit people, don't kill them, don't take their stuff. And there can't even be "business" without the presumption of the contractual agreement, so businesses can't cheat people, lie to them, or break their contracts.
That being said, I find it utterly absurd that we (through our bully-friend the Government) have made up zillions of rules about how any given person MUST run their business. I mean, noted exceptions excluded, what business is it of ours how a businessperson decides to do their thing?
Here's an example: once it gets past a certain number of employees, a company falls under many new laws. Most of the federal laws about workplace discrimination, etc., don't kick in until a company reaches a certain size-- 15 employees, in most cases. Now think about it- how arbitrary is that? Someone somewhere down the line picks this number (a committee probably picked it), and all the sudden it stratifies the business world.
Before, the 14-employee businessman and the 15-employee businessman were basically the same thing. But then, voila!, some committee pick the number, and those two guys become as different as can be. One of them can be subject to devastating federal lawsuits, while the other one can only be subject to devastating state lawsuits. And what for? For not hiring someone, or for firing the wrong person, or something like that.
That's the funny part right there (to me, at least). Mr. 15-employee businessman (or Ms......woman) never had to open up his (or her) company in the first place. For those 15 jobs to even exist is the result of that person's work and choices. He or she created those 15 jobs, where before there were none. That point bears rephrasing: if the businessperson hadn't chosen to make it so, those jobs wouldn't even exist.
So, this person goes from supplying the world with 14 jobs, to supplying the world with 15 or more, and we reward them with a set of encyclopedias worth of new laws. That's a great example of our twisted view of the businessperson— "The more you succeed, the more tools we have to tear you down with."
I'm running off at the mouth now— I got myself riled up thinking about poor Ms. 30-employee businesswoman (or Mr....man))— so I will close with a quote from Ayn Rand about businesspeople:
It's Friday already, and I have not "blogged" as much this week as I would have liked. My tired old computer has been behaving very badly. Between Microsoft's broken Windows and the newer software, which seems to eat up RAM like it can't get enough, my poor old 333Mhz computer is just about wiped out. I tend to multitask a lot, and I often end up with around 10 windows open at once. And of course, they are all major memory hogs- mostly Microsoft products.
Here's an interesting spin on the Microsoft anti-trust issue: maybe if they hadn't been battling the federal government for the better part of the last few years, they could have spent more time fixing up their software so it would run better on my machine. I would rather they had spent the millions of dollars on that, rather than on preparing a legal defense to keep away the packs of wild Attorneys General.
If they had, I would probably be able to run more than 2 or 3 MS programs without my MS operating system locking up. I guess that's too much to ask, and I should just be a good boy and buy the newer, faster, computer that will run plenty fast for about 6 months, until new updates come out for all my programs to slow things back down. It will sure be nice when computers are so fast that this sort of thing isn't an issue, and the same goes for Internet connections.
I try to look that far ahead, and guess at what things will be like 2 generations from now. It's too hard to say- the advances that we are coming up on are pretty squarely in the science-fiction range of stuff, so I think it is getting harder and harder to predict what the future will hold.
As I was writing this, I paused long enough to tune into what song was on, and it happened to be "Evolution," by 311.
So, without realizing it, I was writing the above paragraph while this was on:
"Evolution has exponential timing
It'll be half as long
'Til the next breakthrough that
Blows our minds
It's up to humans to brave on with experimentation
Move forth the species by using our imagination."
I guess that's what they call synchronicity. It makes sense— 311's music and I are in tune with one another, and have been for some time now. I just didn't know it was at the point where they are subliminally controlling my writings through song. I'll have to keep that in mind. :)
I'm going to talk politics tomorrow, and I'm writing this to remind me to do just that. So...
Tomorrow: Why it is none of our business what businesspeople do with their business.
Just a quick entry for now. On Sunday, when you last heard from me, I finally sent out an update to my e-mail newsletter, The Free View. I was very, very behind on that. Monday/yesterday I attended a strategic planning meeting of the Nevada County Libertarian Party, which I became Chair of in July. If you want to make a monthly pledge to the NCLP, you can do so here- and wouldn't that be a great thing to do? Yes it would.
On a 311 note- they have a thing called "311 Radio," which , if you have a decent internet connection, is a great source of music to surf by. It's mostly 311 music, plus select stuff that they or their fans choose. Pretty neat, and smart marketing as well.
-The Free View-
August 12, 2001
376 weeks until election day
In This Issue:
-What I've been up to, Pt. 1
-How to Unsubscribe/Subscribe
"The government that has enough power to give you everything you want has enough power to take away everything you have."
Hi freedom fighters,
It's been a long, long while since I sent one of these updates out, and a lot of new people have joined the list since the last issue. I know many of you have been wondering where I've been, and what I've been up to. I haven't been slacking off, but I've been bouncing from project to project so rapidly that I haven't taken the time to write an update. And, as always, I have a hard time deciding what exactly to send out. It's one of the handicaps of running an unconventional campaign, especially at this still-early stage: we're making up the rules as we go along sometimes.
The advantage of that, of course, is that *we are making up the rules*. Before this campaign is done, we'll have made up so many new rules of campaigning that the TwoParty won't even know the game anymore.
Which isn't to say that not sending this newsletter out for months on end is some sort of super-strategy. Just trying to see the silver lining on the cloud of my delay. :)
It is now August 12th, and I am sending this newsletter out as is. I've got more to say, as always, but if I don't send now I may never get this out to you all. ;)
I have been getting a lot of e-mails about the campaign and a lot of new signups. Welcome to everyone that is new to this list. I will be sending out another edition (the conclusion of what I've been up to) within 10 days, and then another one when I return from Burning Man.
Also, I have begun a "weblog" or "blog" on the http://freedom2008.com site home page. You'll see it if you scroll down on that page. My first week of "blogging" ends tomorrow, so there is already some stuff posted there. Check it out if you want, but don't blame me if you get hooked on my daily musings. ;)
So, with no further ado...
What I've been up to
Joe Cain Day Parade:
Joe Cain is credited with basically bringing back Mardi Gras after it had not been celebrated for quite some time. In Nevada City, California, where I live, they have a parade to celebrate Joe Cain and the spirit of Mardi Gras, on February 25th. My friend and business partner Edie Lerman made plans to have a presence at the parade on behalf of the American Medical Marijuana Association (AMMA), and I helped her and many others out in preparing for, publicizing, and participating in our parade presentation. In about a week, Edie and I designed custom balloons, had T-shirts printed, made handout literature, and decorated her car as a float. We were rewarded for our efforts by a tremendously enthusiastic crowd reaction, and a picture of Edie (in costume) ended up on the front page of the local paper (The Union) the next day! At the parade, our balloons were so popular that we gave away all of them, and our T-shirts were so popular we sold all that we brought- 20+ I think, at $20 each.
AMMA and Kubby activism:
Most of my March and April activism time was spent further assisting AMMA, and following and assisting in Steve Kubby's long and arduous trial and sentencing.
Steve Kubby is a major Libertarian activist- he was the Libertarian Party's gubernatorial candidate for California in 1998, he was involved in getting the now-famous Prop 215 medical marijuana bill passed, and he founded the American Medical Marijuana Association to help patients secure their "new" rights under medical marijuana laws.
One of the things I worked on in March was writing a complaint to the Placer County (a neighboring county) Board of Supervisors for Steve Kubby and AMMA, where Edie and I went through that county's charter and found the sections where the Board was violating it. This summary was sent to the county Sheriff, the Board of Supervisors, and the media by Steve Kubby on behalf of AMMA, along with a freedom of information act-like request for disclosure of their law enforcement practices and expenditures.
Also in March, a group of about ten medical marijuana activists met at my house, and we began to plan the specifics of what was to become Medical Marijuana School.
In early April, Steve Kubby had a major court date, where he made an appeal to have his sentence commuted, or, more accurately, eliminated. The full chronicle of Steve and Michele Kubby's two-year legal ordeal is hard to recount in any short form, but you can find out more about it at his web site: http://www.kubby.com
I attended this court date, as did a lot of other supporters, and Edie and I prepared picket-line style signs, with slogans like "Set Kubby Free!", "Leave Patients Alone", "Patient not Prisoner", and many more. A group of us supporters stood outside the courthouse with our signs until it was time to go in. This demonstration, and Steve's arrival, was covered on the local evening news, along with his handing over of the Directorship of AMMA to Dr. Jay Cavanaugh, which took place on-camera outside the courthouse.
I also helped, mostly with moral support and my attendance, with the filing of a notice of intent for a recall of the District Attorney of that county, Bradford Fennochio. In fact, I took photos of the event, and my picture of Dr. Jay Cavanaugh serving D.A. Fennochio with the notice ended up being used by a the Auburn Journal, the main newspaper in Placer County.
Medical Marijuana School:
The rest of April was spent planning the Medical Marijuana School, which took place on April 21st. It was a really great event- probably the most successful drug-war related event I've been involved with, in many ways. Basically, Medical was an all-day event where we had classes on medical marijuana rights in California and in Nevada County (where I live), and also on cooking with cannabis, and growing it. In addition, we had two panel discussions, featuring activists, doctors, and even our county D.A. Mike Ferguson was on one panel. One panel was moderated by the News Director of local radio station KVMR, and another was moderated by the Mayor of Nevada City. We also had information and displays about certain facets of the drug war, and about the benefits and uses of marijuana.
Attendance was estimated at about 1000 people for the day which, in a county of 90,000 people, is a lot of people. There are three primary reasons why this was one of the best drug war-related events I've been involved with:
-It bridged gaps: The age range of the attendants at the School was, as the old saying goes, "from 8 to 80," or pretty close to that. There were a surprising number of senior citizens there, and for the cynics, there were a surprising number of very clearly sick people who weren't "hippies"
-It was educational, not political: Although the School did have politics in the air, and many of the viewpoints there came down on one side of the issue, the event was primarily educational, and that was evident throughout the day. The people who came to the School mostly came to learn, and the classes we held operated just like school or university classes (about medical marijuana). People took notes and asked questions, there were overhead projectors and handouts, and we even had a short final exam, and a "diploma" of sorts.
-It tore down the wall: When you see your county D.A. talking to a federal marijuana patient and a local grower, 10 feet away from a bunch of pot plants, and with an assorted crowd of local residents milling around amongst it all, you can tell that something has changed. An event like we had was something that simply could not have taken place 10 years ago, when I first joined the marijuana legalization movement. As far as any of us know, this event was the first of its kind...and its effect was electrifying. By treating medical marijuana, which has been legal in California for over 4 years, like a normal, legal subject for study and inquiry, we broke through a long-standing barrier in the cannabis liberation movement. We got people from outside of the "pro-pot" circles to come and learn about cannabis. We also affected a very real change for most of the people who attended, which is something that pot rallies have been trying to do (and generally failing to do) since their inception. People went home with the knowledge they got, and put it to use. In one way or another, most of the people who came to our School became better advocates of the virtues of the plant known as marijuana.
I look forward to seeing the Medical Marijuana School format replicated in other parts of California, and in the other states that have embraced medical marijuana recently.
In the couple weeks after the School, I tried to catch up some on what has become a nearly overwhelming amount of e-mail that I have yet to respond to. I focused mostly on e-mails regarding StopCarnivore.org ( http://StopCarnivore.org ), because I had been neglecting that site for too long. I also tried to get a bit more done on GreenLiberty.org, and I think I touched up the campaign site as well.
Then I got an e-mail from Ryan Oprea, Director of Bureaucrash (http://Bureaucrash.com ), letting me know that his job would be becoming available, and that I had been recommended as a candidate for it, and asking me to consider applying. I considered it, and decided that I would very much like to be Director of Bureaucrash. Bureaucrash is a network of libertarian guerilla activists, largely made up of youthful and college-age libertarians, and being able to be a leader of such a network would really be a dream come true.
Much of my spare time in May was spent rewriting and refining my resume, and writing and then majorly re-writing my "vision statement" for Bureaucrash. I fretted and fussed quite a bit over both of those...it has been quite a while since I have applied for a challenging job that I really want, and I've never applied for a job as an activist, for a non-profit institute.
To date, I haven't heard yet about the job at Bureaucrash. 11 people made it to the interviewing stage, and I was one of them. The first round interview (with current Director Ryan) went well, and I think I am still being considered, but Bureaucrash has yet to reveal any more, other than that they are looking over everyone's application file, and that the decision will be made soon- basically on time, which is by the end of July or so. Wish me luck, but don't get too excited yet. ;) I find it's wise to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Update: I have heard about that job. I didn't get it. No biggie though. More soon...
Be Well, Be Free,
Candidate for President - Year 2008