Question: What do George Bush, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, John Kerry, me, and Bob Graham have in common? (Aside from being white and male...oops.)
Keep in mind -- aside from me, none of those candidates are actually blogging, as far as I know. (And Bob Graham hasn't been a candidate for a while now.)Those other blogs are made up of campaign members and supporters blogging on behalf of the candidates -- providing an ongoing virtual pep rally of sorts. This campaign probably won't have that sort of blog until the next election cycle starts.
The news story which provoked Doug at Xtreme Think Tank's entry on campaign blogs was this one: "Add 'Blog' To the Campaign Lexicon".
Here is a list of some of my appearances in the media over the years. This list will be filled out with many more items from the past, and updated with items in the future, so be sure to check back. I'll add a link to this in the main menu of site links.
LP presidential hopeful endorses Advocates libertarian award program
July 30, 2003
The Essential Hurdle for Libertarians
(Opinion article by Lance)
Liberty For All
July 20, 2003
Mourning the Bill of Rights in California (with photos)
LP News (National Libertarian Party publication)
(NOTE: In the bottom picture, the person referred to as Miles Everett is actually Lance)
Cliques: a major part of high school life
Viking Ventures (Student newspaper of Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, Delaware)
(Reference to Lance's Boston Public: The Case Against Schools essay)
January 10, 2003
Blogging for President?
Confounding Carnivore: How to Protect Your Online Privacy
Novermber 29, 2001
Carnivore Controversy Lingers
Silicon Valley BizInk
October 5, 2001
"I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it."
(Opinion article by Lance)
Liberty For All
ISPs worry Carnivore will devour privacy
Silicon Valley BizInk
December 15, 2000
Interview with Lance Brown, CEO of PeoplesForum.com
Help Net Security
November 5, 2000
(Also presented at International Debate Education Association Conference, Budapest, Hungary, October 6-8, 2000, as Internet Debating: The USA Perspective)
Too Close For Comfort?
Close friends that make great business partners
.Com and get it: For Internet enthusiasts, there's no place like a domain
September 12, 1999
Lance Brown Speaks at Million Marijuana March in San Francisco
(brief mention in an overall recounting of the rally)
May 3, 1999
Ezine Review of Liberator Online
(Brief mention of Lance's review of their publication at now-defunct eZines)
April 16, 1998
You may recall that I mentioned the Advocates for Self-Government and their Lights of Liberty program not long ago. Well, recently I got a note from James Harris, editor of their e-mail newsletter The Liberator Online, asking if he could use my complimentary comments in some way, testimonial-style. I said (in effect) "go for it, and let me know when you do so I can thank you on the site."
Well, he let me know alright, at least in a way. My testimonial was highlighted by Advocates' President Sharon Harris, in the "President's Corner" column that leads off the above-mentioned newsletter this month! If you've read my big list of e-zines and e-mail lists, you might be aware that The Liberator Online is the world's largest-circulation libertarian e-zine, with over 50,000 subscribers. That makes this a mega-mention, and I'm here to deliver the thanks that are due.
Thanks for the mega-mention, Sharon and James! :-)
It's entirely possible that I've been subscribed to that e-mail newsletter longer than any other. I glanced through my records quickly to check, and I came across this review of it that I wrote, for the eZines online database:
All I can say is that I subscribe to well over 20 different newsletters, about half tech, and half news or politics. The Liberator Online is EASILY my most-anticipated, and most-enjoyed, of all my subscriptions. Week after week.
In my opinion, you are cheating yourself if you don't get this newsletter. It is run by The Advocates for Self-Government, people who are making a big impact in saving the world from its lack of self.
I wrote that in the first days of April 1998, so I guess I've been heaping praise upon the Advocates for quite a while -- and deservedly so. I've got no intention of stopping.
I was going to razz them for mistakenly using the Harry Browne spelling on my last name, but upon a little reflection, I think I've decided not to worry about that when it happens. It's going to happen a LOT, because Harry Browne has been the most prominent LP presidential candidate over the past decade. Given that, it's a really natural mistake to make. I've just got to get used to it, I think, and eventually it will fade. I also decided it doesn't matter very much in the end. So no worries. :-)
My essay "The Essential Hurdle for Libertarians" has been published as an article on LibertyForAll.net, one of the more prominent libertarian e-zines. You can see it here. Not bad for something I wrote almost by accident! :-)
Lance Brown, a libertarian running for the presidency in 2008 (No, that's not a typo. That's the first election in which he'll be eligible to run in virtue of his age.), has an excellent piece on what liberals and libertarians have in common, and why it's so hard to convince a liberal to abandon government as a solution to everything. Here's the part that really resonated with me:
...[the part that resonated with her]...
I've never understood the logic of liberalism. It seems to be something like, "Of course this government does a bad job at nearly everything it tries, but if we get a different government, one populated by good liberals, then government will be great." Of course, we've had very liberal governments in the past, just as we've had very conservative governments, and the same ineptitude pervades, but no matter, because this time will be different. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result. Draw your own conclusions.
I agree with liberals that most people are basically good, and that it's morally good to help people for no reason other than that they are in need and I have the means to help, and that no child should go to bed hungry, and that we should preserve our environment, and that no one should discriminate against anyone else based on arbitrary demographic characteristics. The only thing I disagree with them about is their beliefs that we should try to use government, a tool which has been proven to fail, to achieve those goals, and that it's okay to use force against some people in an effort to make things better for others. And I'm baffled by the fact that other people don't see just how wrong they are.
There was an interesting series of comments posted there (well, two interesting ones), so you might want to go over and check it out.
Also, the editor of the Libertarian Today Message Board posted a big excerpt from and link to my article, and a little discussion has spawned off of that. The positive comment was by Bruce White, who said:
I agree entirely.America simply MUST get away from this constant see/saw back and forth between conservatives and liberals--each taking their turn at the public trough and basically doing nothing for the grassroots people because they would rather not shake up the big money power brokers.Stand with,stand for,America the GREAT.Thanks
The negative comment was from Vin Rosa:
You lost me irretrievably with your first paragraph:
"My mother is a Democrat -- a Massachusetts Kennedy Democrat. That's a special breed of Democrat -- one who holds onto the romantic vision of JFK and RFK, and the whole Kennedy feeling, and wraps that around their view of the Democratic Party, then tops it off with pride in being from the veritable bastion of Kennedy Democraticism, Massachusetts."
"Special," all right. Subservient monarchists who continually hand power to a clan that long ago declared itself above the law.
"Romantic vision?" Looks like you bought the BS hook, line and sinker.
My reply is titled "Re: me buying the BS", and goes like this:
I'm sorry you weren't able to get past the fact that my mother is a Democrat. I'm not sure what makes you think I have bought any "BS", but I make it clear where my political allegiance lies -- with the Libertarian Party. I believe strongly in libertarian principles, and my hope is to make them as universally accepted as possible.
The only way libertarian principles will achieve their deserved dominance in America and elsewhere is if we can show people that libertarian principles will bring about the things most people want. There is no way a majority of the country will take the leap of faith that we ask of them without being convinced that A) our policies won't ruin the country (or state, county, etc.), and B) our policies will bring them to the America they desire. That's what most people care about, and that's what motivates most people's votes. And the burden of proof is on us to convince a majority of people that the libertarian plan meets both of those criteria.
We need to show them proof in current events, when we can, and we need to show them proof in a vision of America that people find believable.
By the way, my mother is more of a libertarian than a Democrat in her beliefs...she's just unable to give up on the sales pitch of the Democratic Party. And of course she has the same fearful reserve as most people do when we talk about ending public schools, or the Drug War, or income tax. She has a hard time seeing things being another way -- most people do -- and I firmly believe that improving our ability to get people to see the future America that we see is of critical imprtance to our political success.
My good friend Gina also wrote me wondering just how it is that a libertarian society is going to take care of the niceties (and not-so-niceties) involved in keeping this country ticking. By which I mean ticking like a Swiss watch, not like a past-due time bomb, as it currently is.
[Note to FBI -- that's a metaphor, not a threat.]
I'm putting together a mega-essay about Green Liberty, which is my term for the confluence of libertarian principles and liberal/green values. It's going to be a while in the making, but I've got about 4 pages, mostly outline, done. I think it's going to be pretty long by the time I'm done with it. I'm also putting together a list of the elements that comprise the "safety net", or the basic functions that people expect from a society. Tom Knapp at Rational Review has issued a call for libertarians to work to create the social structures and institutions that will be needed to support a libertarian society. That's basically the mission statement of Future Solutions, my non-profit project. That project, along with its flagship effort The Free School on the Internet, have taken a backseat to my company PeoplesForum.com for many years now, but as I mentioned in The Little Brown Reader, the seating arrangement is in the process of changing. So I'm working on a list of problems and liberty-respecting solutions.
As always, I'll keep you posted. :-)
I called in during C-Span's Washington Journal on the 4th of July, when they were taking calls about the U.S.'s planned military tribunals. I'm heartily against the tribunals, which is what I said, along with making the point that it's a pretty sad statement on our existing federal justice system, if it's not sufficient to handle certain types of cases. It's basically saying that sometimes we need to make exceptions to the rights of the accused as outlined in the Bill of Rights. Why? What's wrong with the Bill of Rights?
I learned one thing from my call-in -- don't ask questions. The hosts at C-Span never state opinions, so when you ask a question (even a rhetorical one, as mine were), it makes for a dead spot in the conversation. The hostess helped me out the second time, by coming back with "What do you think?" in response to my question.
Your best bet on C-Span is to either just have a short simple statement, say it, and sign off, or to write down your points as fully as you can while you're on hold. In my experience, you get a minute or two of waiting before you go on, and instead of just pacing around getting nervous, it's better to at least bullet-point the main things you want to say. It's even better to write out the sentences, because if you stall or get off-track, you could stumble, and they usually keep the most articulate (and verbose) people on the longest. There's a maximum time for all callers, but whether you get that whole time or not depends on whether you fill it up well. I only did OK with my time, and my on-air stint was correspondingly short. But some callers get on for a few minutes or more.
People who watch C-Span are generally people who take public affairs pretty seriously. They are a good audience to persuade. I don't know how many people watch it on any given morning, but it's more than just a couple.
So call in! They have call-in periods at other times, like during important votes, after important speeches, and other times. You can e-mail (and fax I think) in too, but calls get the most attention, and make for better persuasion. (Although with textual comments you can be careful to say exactly what you want.) The phone number isn't always the same (often there are different lines for different sides of a debate), and you should know what they're talking about currently before calling in, so I won't post a phone number here. Just tune in. C-Span often isn't as boring as you'd think. The live coverage of Congress usually is, but most of the rest of their programming is really interesting, if you care about the topic. They show all sorts of different forums by various organizations, and you'll see lots of frank and critical stuff -- critical of anything and everything, depending on the forum in question. C-Span is one of my favorite networks, and one of the most educational channels on television. I watch something on C-Span nearly every day, and it's always one of my stops when channel surfing -- because you never know what might be on.
Don't have cable? Go to C-span.org, and dig through their massive archives. Or watch it live online -- that way you can still call in. :-)
I'm going to post another short entry about my article at LibertyForAll, because the two items don't blend well into one post.
The site has gotten some attention in various quarters, and I want to give thanks and acknowledgement where it's due.
I mentioned the Dagley Dagley Daily a while back, when Janet Dagley Dagley noted the campaign in her essay. Apparently she has liked what she's seen, because she put links to this blog and The Little Brown Reader under "Some of our favorite blogs".
I've posted 107 entries in the latter blog already, and it's been noticed by at least a few people. I know that because Mark at Artic Zoo also took note, and saw Dinesh D'Souza's "What's So Great About America" when I posted about it over there. It inspired him to post an old essay of his about Adam Smith and the rights of man. It looks quite thoughtful, though I haven't been able to give it the concentration needed to read it yet. Give it a look!
Many thanks to Sean, Janet, and Mark, and everyone else who's taking notice and spreading the word. I'll be adding them to my new links section, which I'm building slowly behind the scenes.
Next entry: I called C-Span, and you should too. Plus: "The Essential Hurdle for Libertarians" in LibertyForAll!
This is a long-ago interview I did with Help Net Security about the StopCarnivore.org website, back in its heyday. That project has been growing cobwebs for a while -- once the War on Freedom started, Congress and the Administration became impossible to reason with, and Carnivore became a small part of a much larger problem. My personal battle plan shifted to a broader type of attack -- more of a long-haul strategy to rollback the War on Freedom, rather than an effort to slap down one foolish and dangerous initiative.
Which isn't to say that there's nothing more I could be doing with StopCarnivore.org. There is, and I'm going to be switching it over to group blog mode, in my effort to bring all my active websites up to speed. For each of my projects, I have a list of supporters and enthusiasts, and I hope to marshal their resources more effectively.
I say all this in case you happen to visit StopCarnivore.org, and see how outdated it is. You can see the change in attitude I just described in the tone and content of the last entries there, in the months after 9/11.
This interview came before all that darkness, when Carnivore seemed like this scary new Big Brother tool, rather than just one tool in an expanding toolbox of such items. The original article is on their website, but I'm storing it here too for safe keeping.
Interview with Lance Brown, CEO of PeoplesForum.com
by HNS Staff - 2000.
Mr. Brown is also: President and CEO of PeoplesForum.com; CIO/Technology Supervisor of Dispute Solvers/Rent-a-Court, an online dispute resolution firm; Candidate for President of the U.S. in 2008. Already a veteran political activist at age 27, Mr. Brown plans a life of dedicated service to the causes of freedom.
How much time did it take you to open StopCarnivore.org?
I bought the domain name on July 17th, and had it hosted by that night. It took about 3 or 4 days to put the site together enough to be presentable. I was trying to launch it in time for last Monday's Congressional Hearings, and I did that. The first big traffic day was Monday the 21st. I have been updating and adding to the site daily since then.
The main focus of the site is Carnivore. What is the main problem with this system?
At an academic/political level, the biggest problem is that it blatantly violates the 4th Amendment to our Constitution. That amendment specifically requires searches of only a very limited and targeted scope, and Carnivore is a sweeping violation of it.
On an "average person" level, Carnivore is wrong because it gives far too much power and control to a very dangerous agency...one which has shown its disrespect for civil and human rights, not to mention privacy, on numerous occasions. Few Americans trust the FBI, and rightly so. Carnivore gives them, and through them, any Government Agency, the potential to control, limit, and interfere with electronic communications on a mass level.
And for those with full faith in Government, Carnivore is still a bad idea. Its super-invasive nature will drive criminals, and large numbers of innocent people to use encryption in greater and greater numbers. Those companies and citizens who fear for their privacy will simply relocate, digitally, to a place such as HavenCo.
Is Carnivore a next step of the ever-spoken-about Echelon network?
As I understand it (and I am not fully educated on Echelon), any talk about the specifics of Echelon are speculation at best. I see, and I think that the more cautious and/or paranoid of us see, that Carnivore seems eerily like a physical manifestation of Big Brother - the feared "evil twin" of Governement. Why else would a tool be developed which can scan all communications, unless that was its intended use?
The bottom line is that ISPs were supplying the FBI with this information before Carnivore. It's unneeded - which makes me wonder why it's here.
StopCarnivore.org has been featured on (among others) Free-Market.net's Freedom Home Page of The Week, Freedom Action of The Week and USA Today. How much exposure did those features give to the site?
It's hard to tell exactly how the word is getting around. I didn't get a single visitor from the USA Today column online, but I can't say what happened with all the readers of the paper edition. And the Free-Market.net awards are very new. they are just starting to draw people in. Free-Market.net is a very large network, and I was very proud to get their double honor. They reach a lot of important people in the freedom movement. Word is spreading more each day: by e-mail, through links, and more and more from the search engines.
As you noted, on Monday, July 24, 2000, the House Judiciary Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss Carnivore. What was the result?
Very little really. It prompted a lot of media attention to the issue, and motivated 28 Congresspeople to petition Janet Reno to suspend Carnivore, but she has refused to do so. The FBI did a fairly good job of downplaying the danger of Carnivore, but it seems likely that more hearings will ensue. There has been an "impartial" study of Carnivore commissioned by Janet Reno, and the ACLU and EPIC are still waiting on their Freedom of Information requests to see Carnivore's code. When eityher of those things occur, we will likely see more hearings. What will happen there depends on how much the public raises their voice between then and now.
If these privacy groups receive the Carnivore code, do you think it will be the original code or a "slightly lighter" version of it?
I don't think the FBI will release the code, if they can avoid it. They will use the claim that it will threaten their efforts to invade our privacy, which is true. I think asking for the code of Carnivore is another way of showing that it's so despicable, that they can't even show us the code. I think we will get the "impartial" Government study of Carnivore, and that will be about it. If we find out about the "guts" or Carnivore, I think it will be through a "leak," either at an ISP, within the FBI, or from hackers who find and dissect Carnivore on the network. Otherwise, we will just get the Government's "impartial" perspective.
To the latest findings, is Carnivore "on-line and working" on some Internet Service Providers?
Yes, the FBI testified before the Congress subcommittee that Carnivore has been used some 26 times since last year, with 16 of those uses being this year. It was implied, if not stated at those hearings, and later in Janet Reno's refusal to suspend the system, that it is currently in use. No word was given on where it is deployed. We hope to find that out on our own.
On the site you speak mainly about the American people because Carnivore affects mostly their lives. Do you think that the problem "can" extend to the rest of the world and by what pace?
Where the Internet is concerned, I think that the problems of the U.S. are automatically world problems. The U.S is home to most of the world's Internet users, data traffic, web sites, and 'Net companies. Very few world Internet users can go for long without interacting with a server in the U.S., and as soon as they do, they could become part of a Carnivore investigation.
The United Kingdom has problems with RIP bill. RIP and Carnivore have some similiar functions.
From what I understand, RIP is almost a replica of Carnivore, with the big difference being that the UK Government is not invoking it in secret, like the FBI did last year in the U.S. In many types of Internet policy, the U.K. has shown itself to be a sterner, more regulatory twin of the U.S. So RIP is not surprising...but I hope that the U.S. will lead the way to reversing the trend of Governmant invasion of the Internet.
What is your opinion regarding ideas of buliding parallel networks that will be based on user's anonimity and privacy? Is there always another side of the coin in fully anonymouse networks? (of course there is no full anonimity)
I would prefer that there were no need for counter-measures such as anonymous networks, parallel distribution, and the like. But what it shows is that the Government's attempts to "reign in" the Internet are bound to be subverted- the scale of which will be in proportion to their invasion. The more we feel like we are not secure in our "papers and effects" as the Constitution guarantees, the more we will do to protect that security, or to evade the invaders. The bad side of this is that these networks don't allow for copyright protection, and other lawful protections that government is responsible for. I think the government is encouraging the disgruntled and threatened to go hide out, and this is not a healthy relationship between Government and Citizens.
About the "Carnivore poll" - It's well-known that an on-line poll cannot be taken seriously, but the last time we checked 6% of the votes gave Carnivore a green signal. Are you satisfied with the results?
Like you said, an online poll only means so much. But, given the little public knowledge of Carnivore, I think it's encouraging to see such a near-total rejection of it. BTW, the percent has gone from 8% in favor to 6% since we put the link on our page. :)
Since the petition involves mainly the American people, do you think that the visitors from other countries that sign the petition will be taken as valid entries? Is the e-mail address the main way to check the validity of the signed message?
I think that all the entries will be taken as valid, at least by the petition form. It is up to the recipients whether they want to invalidate some signatures on the petition. My hope is that they will not question the validity of any of the signatures, and simply be led to realize that, regardless of exact numbers, there is a widespread and vocal negative reaction to Carnivore.
Regarding your StopCarnivore.org work, have you received any threats by e-mail, snail-mail or any other way?
No, I haven't recieved any threats - mostly just helpful comments, suggestions and critiques. Of course, the campaign is still quite young. :)
Were you contacted by the FBI?
Was your site visited by the US Governement?
According to our server logs, the site has been visited by people from a number of Government Agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Washington, D.C. Superior Court, and the Treasury Department, to name a few. And so far, the Marines are the only branch of military that hasn't seemed to visit yet. I just posted a fuller list of the Agencies that have stopped by on our home page.
What are your plans for the future? It stands in your info that you plan to run for president in 2008...
I plan on fighting for freedom for the rest of my life, until everyone is free from unprovoked force, or I die, whichever comes first. Part of that plan is running for President in 2008, a campaign which I began 6 years ago. I have a number of freedom-related projects in the works, including a Free School on the Internet, and web sites such as nomoredrugwar.com, fightthefeds.org, and no1040.org, an anti-tax site. These sites are still in development. Also, I just acquired stopechelon.org, and will begin a campaign against Carnivore's International twin when the time is right. Overall, I plan to provide opportunities for people to escape the restraints, both real and artificial, that our current way of life has created upon our freedom. We live very un-free lives, all of us, and that has got to change if we are going to move forward as a species.
I've got the audio from my radio appearance last week online now. It's a pretty hefty file -- 6.28 megs. I'll be breaking it up into smaller pieces soon. It's about 50 minutes long, and it's pretty solidly packed with stuff about the war on civil liberties. It's me and local Green activist Kent Smith on a local show called "Public Planet" on KVMR, hosted by Mike Thornton.
I was hoping the file would stream, but it seems you have to save it by right-clicking on the link and choosing "Save As" or whatever similar option your browser has. (Then play the file once it's loaded.)
Also, there are two video clips from the Funeral for the Bill of Rights online now here. Others will be added soon.