Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Constitution: It Isn't That They Can't Read It, It's That They Don't Care!

Do you think the highest laws of the land should be followed? Do you believe in the U.S. Constitution and believe it should be respected and enforced?  Well, tough noogies because you are pretty much outnumbered by people who are 'buffet style Constitutionalists' who only pick and choose the parts they want enforced and, even worse, people who just flat don't care what it says.

You can scream at people, especially the far left radicals, all you want that they need to, "read the Constitution!".  You're mistake here is that (a) you think they haven't and (b) that they care what it says anyway.

I had a brief, but frightening conversation (summary in 'vent form' below) with someone claiming to be some kind of campaign manager for somebody in the Central Indiana area last evening.  And, ultimately, my takeaway from it was this person is jealous of ambitious people, hates corporations, doesn't care one bit what the highest laws of our land really say and thinks that 'majority rules' is the best way to force oppression, tyranny and personal opinions on everyone.

Let me say this again.  THEY DO NOT CARE WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS!  All they care about is getting more than 50% of the people voting for them so they can impose whatever they want, regardless of our founding documents and principles, on everyone else.  And if you are in the 49.99% or lower you can just take it because this is how they will get revenge on everyone they hate.  They don't care what it says because they disagree with it.

As I noted at the end of my Facebook rant, "Seriously, if you think 51% doing whatever they want to the other 49% is moral and legitimate that just makes you a bully willing to oppress any minority that disagrees with you."

Below is from My Facebook Post (and yes, I understand military and interest and some other things aren't include - but try and get the point):

Feeling the need to vent: I was verbally accosted earlier by a ridiculously know-nothing, unambitious, young, whackjob, liberal smartass whose arguments against reducing the level of theft against the citizenry, sound money and all things related to economic freedom basically amounted to saying "Roads and infrastructure, schools and Wal-Mart." ... Okay, fine, out of everything the Federal Government takes from us 3% of it goes to roads and infrastructure and 1% goes to education ... and I could honestly not care less about one (Wal-Mart) corporation out of many tens of thousands. Don't like them? Don't shop there.
So, give me the other 96% back, keep your roads and your centrally dictated education bureaucracy. I promise to continue not caring who gets married, what you smoke or endorse the bombing of civilians overseas or unwarranted meddling in other nation's internal affairs. Seems like a fair trade off. I'll come back for the other 4% (just like they try and keep coming for the remaining 50%) eventually.
Of course, when they start the conversation with a childishly mocking "Oh, I bet you think we should have the gold standard. hah hah" ... My reaction to pompous, know-nothing, unambitious, holier-than-thou 'we'll do whatever we want to you because majority rules' jerks is increasingly visceral. Seriously, if you think 51% doing whatever they want to the other 49% is moral and legitimate that just makes you a bully willing to oppress any minority that disagrees with you.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Has Anyone Seen This Indiana Pacer Player?



This well-liked, popular NBA player has been missing since around February of 2014 where he disappeared during the NBA All-Star Break.  If found please contact Frank or Larry at (317) 917-2500.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Phrase "A Well Regulated Militia" Has No Impact On Your Rights

Those opposed to individual rights and who believe that a woman being raped is morally superior to her being able to defend herself against a (generally) larger and stronger male attacker like to look at the 2nd Amendment and try and argue that the clause "A Well Regulated Militia" at the beginning of it somehow limits the intent of the very plainly worded "The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed."

It is important to note that it very plainly says, "The Right of the People."  It does not say The Right of the "Militia" or the "Army" or "Specially Trained Operational Units".   And it would be odd if sandwiched in the middle of a bunch of rights that the government is barred from taking from the people it were to throw in some specially privileged group.

So, let us be very clear that the phrase, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state" means no more than if the 1st Amendment said, "Because some people think Purple is the best color and others just love Jesus, Congress shall make no law...."

And for those who think that those who wrote and approved of that document thought they must have meant only the muskets available at the time.  Let us remember that these were generally very smart people who knew technology would advance over time and who had just fought for their right to secede against the greatest military power on the planet.  They knew what they were doing and what they were protecting and it wasn't the right to hunt deer.

The musket argument is no different than suggesting that the 1st Amendment's protection of free speech was limited to the movable type and one page at a time printing presses available at that time since the framers could not possibly have imagined the telegraph, radio, high-speed printing presses, television or the Internet.  They fully expected that any individual would be able to arm themselves with firepower equal to any typical, regular soldier or officer of the military [note: before someone who lacks reading comprehension skills tries to say something about nuclear or biological weapons, read the statement again where it says "typical, regular soldier or officer of the military" - hint, they don't generally give just anybody the pass codes to "the football"].

Now that we have completely settled this debate, we can move on.  And anytime some anti-rights, pro-crime, anti-self defense, apoplectic, promoter of all things statist throws out "...well regulated militia..." in one of your spirited Facebook (or other) debates, you can just repost this article.  Because, that is what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

99, 97, 47 Hike: Painting By Numbers

I'm part of the 99% who doesn't hate the 1% and actually aspires to join them someday.  Or am I part of the 53% who thinks that 47% is too high of a number for a supposed free country instilled with self-reliance and self-determination?  I know that for about a decade I've been part of the 3% that last election was more like 7% and, who knows, might turn out to be 9% or 12% this time - you know, the vote wasters who are tired of the traditionally 48%s demanding we vote for them to get the change they never deliver to us.

Of course, the two old 48%s gave us 200% more debt between 1981 and 1989, 100% more between 2001 and 2009 and at least 60% more since 2009.  Not sure I can vote for more of that.  Of course, they did that while my dollar went down 30% from 2009 to 2012 and my gas went up 100% and Solyndra lost 100%.

I don't forget that 50% pay 97% and that the 1% pay 38%.  Of course, as part of the 72% who is willing to point all of this out I'll be accused of actually being in the 1%, or worse, for hating the 14% just because I'm part of the 72% that is in the 53% and aspires to be in the 1%.   In the meantime, most folks are preparing to split their vote up among two guys who basically agree on 96%.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Once Again: Not Voting or Writing In Ron Paul's Name Wastes Liberty Movement's Effort.

[Updated and revised from article a few months ago (click here to read)]

As the RNC Convention looms and it looks nearly certain that the most consistent and reliable Constitutional, small government, low tax, pro-liberty vote in Congress - the most trusted and honest man in D.C. will not end up as the nominee the Ron Paul movement is on the verge of splintering into ineffective factions.  Something the established political machinery desperately wants.  It is critical the movement not fall into this trap.

Let's start with the general election.  A lot of Ron Paul supporters have fallen into the trap of being part of a "cult of personality" where a single man (or person) becomes more important than the message or the policies.  It is important that each person ask themselves "Am I for the things that Ron Paul advocated" OR "Am I only for those things if we're talking about Ron Paul."

It is important to ask yourself whether or not you want the liberty movement to stay unified and its existence and importance to be evident in election results.  Do you want them to know you're there or do you want to end up as statistical noise explained away by the talking head or media mouthpiece of the day?

Because right now, it looks like Ron Paul supporters are going to have three options.  Let's look a them.

NOT VOTING IN THE GENERAL ELECTION:  So, you're angry. I get it. You realize that in many ways Ron Paul was flat out cheated out of victories in at least a couple of states.  You're aware that the RNC and/or the Romney camp sued to try and not seat legitimate Ron Paul delegates at the convention.  And you know you're not going to vote for Obama or Romney.

Well, if you're not going to vote for Obama or Romney then not voting is exactly what they want. I saw somebody post on Facebook recently, "We will all just stay home and not vote. That will show them!". SURE it will.  Romney will get his votes, Obama will get his and Libertarian Party will get (probably a lot better than) their usual fraction of a 1% and nobody who matters will know you stayed home.  For starters A LOT of Ron Paul supporters are people who traditionally didn't vote anyway or are relatively new to being involved in politics.  Voter turnout can vary wildly.   If the needle moves from 57% to 60% or 60% to 54% do you think there is any way the media is going to be able to know or connect some portion of that to Ron Paul people staying home or not?

Nope. It will be within the usual range (49% in 1996 to around 57% in 2008) and any variance will get explained away as being weather related, not being impressed with Romney, Democrats not excited about re-electing Obama but not willing to vote Republican, etc...      Trust me. There will be no "hundreds of thousands of Ron Paul supporters just stayed home today."    Won't happen.

WRITING IN RON PAUL'S NAME:  Remember.  Most votes anymore are electronically tabulated.  So, chances are good nobody is going to see your protest anyway.  Maybe, in some areas, some unpaid election volunteer might see it before promptly ignoring the vote.  Sure, you may feel better because you voted for the man but, again, there will be no way for the media or the talking heads to report even if they were so inclined. And you know they aren't.

VOTING FOR GARY JOHNSON:  Gary Johnson endorsed Ron Paul in 2008 and Ron invited Gary to talk at his event in Florida this week.  I took one of those on-line "who do you agree with polls" and it came out Gary Johnson 97%, Ron Paul 96%, Mitt Romney 75% and Barack Obama 8%.   Gary has come around on a few issues the past few years and a lot of Ron Paul supporters don't seem willing to give him credit for it.   Every vote that Gary Johnson gets is going to be counted, added up and reported on.

So, if the pro-liberty Ron Paul supporters are adamant that they will only vote for the man despite his own cries that it is about the message not him then that part of the pro-liberty vote gets split off like a tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it or care.  What if the pro-liberty base is 6%, 8% or maybe even 12% right now.  And it gets split 3 or more ways?   The end result will be that the only guy on the ballot who basically agrees with Ron Paul on nearly everything will get his 2 or 3% and be completely brushed off by the media.  And next time around the liberty candidate will likely not be able to get in debates, will be dismissed and the entire impact of the Ron Paul Revolution will be dismissed as a toothless bump in the road.

But, let the liberty candidate get a huge chunk of the vote and it sends a message that says that more and more people are done with the status quo and want to move more in the direction of the ideas that Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Andy Horning (Indiana Senate candidate), Judge Napolitano and others have been offering to us.

If you just plain don't vote or you martyr your vote by writing Ron's name in you basically are leaving the battlefield.  Don't leave the battlefield, the liberty movement needs you.  Be counted.  Together we are strong, divided up we are just easily ignored statistical noise.

---
follow on twitter: @SeanShepard1

Monday, August 13, 2012

There's a Difference, But How Much of One? Republican Versus Democrat Presidential Candidates.

I don't mean to throw everybody in the same bucket and make wide-sweeping generalizations and, certainly, if somebody asks me if someone like Mitt Romney (R) would be better than Barack Obama (D) as President I'm highly inclined to say, "Sure. Probably better if nothing more than as a better executive."  That doesn't mean I don't think someone like former NM Governor Gary Johnson (L) or someone like Congressman Ron Paul (R - TX) wouldn't be much, much better - especially for people who really want to see major changes.

Certainly, there are fine people with both parties that don't necessarily subscribe in lock step with each other on everything; but, I was chastised recently for suggesting that Republican and Democrat presidential candidates generally tend to agree with each other on about 96% of everything.  Someone thought that was ridiculous and so out of the park on its face that the conversation wasn't even worth having.  But, let's really look at this.

For the most part, the candidates generally agree on the same number of Federal Cabinet Level departments (15) and (within a few percentage points) the budgets of each.  They agree on keeping the income tax and the IRS.  They agree on keeping the level of income theft approximately the same (39%, 35%, 25% ... just negotiating the level of theft).  They agree on keeping the TSA, DEA, FDIC, CIA, FBI, NRO, NSA.  They agree on keeping the ACF, AHRQ, USAID, FAA, FCC, FTC,  ITA and SEC.  Both sides claim they would have voted for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens under the NDAA.  Both sides believe that you are the property of the government to do with as they see fit under the SSS (the draft).    

They typically will have budget proposals that are within a few percentage points total (or one might be 5% of the total of the other) of each other.  They agree on staying in the United Nations. They agree on foreign aid and the approximate levels of it.  They agree on keeping most subsidies.  Keeping Social Security (except maybe tweaking it a bit).  Keeping (or "protecting") Medicare/Medicaid.  

Both sides almost always believe in some level of gun control.  They might differ widely on exactly how much.  Both sides think the Federal Government has a major role to play in education, farming and energy.  

[As an aside, let's look at energy and the Federal department that was created in the 1970s under Democratic President Jimmy Carter who said it's mission was to get us independent of foreign oil. The government (the President) said that with its creation we would not use one more drop of foreign oil annually than we did at that time.   Well, 16,000 or more employees and tens of billions of dollars a year in the budget each year ... OOOoooops.   And, yet still, there would be howls from all corners if someone tried to close down DoE.  Sad.  Right now we don't hear either of the two major party sides talking about shuttering the Department of Energy, even after Solyndra.  Nope, they agree on keeping it despite it's obvious ongoing failure.  Fascinating.]

They mostly agree on keeping the Federal Reserve intact as is.  They agree on not returning to a commodity based currency or in introducing currency competition.  They agree on strong arming the states with threats to withhold Federal funds if not using a seat belt in your vehicle isn't made into a crime (hey - doesn't everyone believe that people with loaded firearms should stop and detain citizens at roadside and demand they produce their papers for not wearing their seat belt?).

Even in speech you hear Romney say, "repeal and REPLACE Obamacare."  ... REPLACE?  No, no, no.  We need to repeal more than Obamacare and replace most of it with nothing [that's a whole other topic].

Do you hear any of these guys talking about getting Wickard v. Filburn overturned?  That one court case is where the Federal Government claims its authority to regulate everything from wheat (as in the case) to how much water your toilet bowl can legally hold with each flush.   Do you hear either side calling for repeal of S.1858 (2007) which Congress passed and George W. Bush signed into law, thereby allowing for the Federal Government to collect, database and test DNA from all newborns without parental notification or consent?   Nope, they must agree that is all a-okay.

Indeed, both sides seem to agree that the Federal Government actually has a role in defining the word "marriage". Essentially amounting to a Federal take over of a religious ritual and deciding to give (or not give) benefits based on someone having completed such a (religious) ritual.  Both sides agree with and subscribe to Keynesian (vs. Austrian) economic principles.

They agree that the U.S. Government should be meddling in the affairs of other nations, propping up some dictators and taking others out. Ignoring human rights violations in some countries while lambasting those in others.  They agree for the most part on our military presence overseas and keeping 700 bases open in 100 or more countries.

So, sure. They will pretend there are these vast differences on a handful of issues ... abortion, same sex marriage, to what extent guns should be regulated, whether the top tax rate should be 39% or 35% or 29%, what should be done about so-called 'illegal immigration', whether Obamacare was the right law or something just really similar to it might be better.  We might even get lip service from one side about drug decriminalization; but, after four years in office we've seen that promise broken.  And if you consider that Romney has been pro-choice, pro-government takeover of healthcare and definitely anti-gun in the not-to-distant past, then are you really making a choice between two sides with the slimmest of hairs difference in their philosophy on the appropriate size, scope and power of government?

Indeed, we will be subjected to the same political 'debate' (or lack of as the case really is) that we've heard every four years for as long as I've been alive.  And every four years one side or the other wins but not a whole hell of a lot changes.  SO, let's not pretend that both the Democrat and Republican candidates don't basically agree on 96% of everything, okay?   At it's most basic, both sides agree that the U.S. Federal Government should be able to do just about anything it wants to, to anyone, anywhere in the world at any time.  And, as a result, that is why other voices and ideas, like those of Governor Gary Johnson should absolutely be included in every debate.  So, we can hear something different ... from someone who actually means it when they say something.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan - Compare Perception vs. The Voting Record Truth

Mitt Romney announced today that he has selected Congressman Paul Ryan (WI - 1st) as his running mate in the 2012 presidential election.  Most conservatives have a positive opinion of Rep. Ryan.  A lot of that is based on all of the media attention that "the Ryan plan" which when contrasted with the Obama White House budget plan and goals was, no doubt, a significant improvement.  However, even that plan did not eliminate deficit spending even 10 years out and I don't recall that it ever actually called for eliminating whole Federal Departments - something that is badly needed.

[Remember, Governor Perry wanted to eliminate three of them but couldn't name all three (VIDEO - see 23 second mark).  Congressman Ron Paul had five on his list to eliminate.  Personally, I have seven I'd like to see phased out.]

But, when we can, it is important to look at someone's actual voting record in order to determine where they REALLY stand.  Do they draw a line in the sand and demand that legislation be Constitutional before they vote for it?  Do they demand that government limit itself to protecting each person's rights to life, liberty and property?  Or, do they buy into the idea that a little bit of big government, expanding government and socialism is good now and again?  Let's look and you can decide for yourself if Representative Ryan is as awesome as his reputation seems to be in conservative circles.  Pro-liberty, conservative defender of the Constitution or myth - you decide.

Paul Ryan voted YES on all of the following:

  • No Child Left Behind (2001)
  • Yes on authorizing invasion of Iraq (2002)
  • Expansion of Medicare/prescription drug benefit (2003)
  • $70 million Section 8 housing vouchers (2006)
  • Head Start Act (2007)
  • Extending unemployment benefits from 39 to 59 weeks (2008)
  • TARP (2008)
  • Economic Stimulus [HR 5140]  (2009)
  • $15 Billion bailout for GM and Chrysler (2008)
  • $192 Billion in additional "stimulus" spending (2009)


Rep. Ryan supports Federal bailouts, increased Federal involvement in education, undeclared wars to invade countries that pose no threat to the United States, stimulus spending, foreign aid and Medicare Part D.  Ryan voted for NDAA (indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without a lawyer or trial), CISPA, National ID Cards and civilian surveillance without warrants.

From my perspective, I don't understand the big Veepgasm that the conservative and Tea Party folks just had over his selection.  Sure, neither Mitt nor Paul are Obama, but neither one of them can hold a candle to outgoing Rep. Ron Paul (TX) or former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.



Friday, May 4, 2012

A Libertarian Journey: Why The National Party Needs Mark Rutherford.

It must have been around October or November of 2008.  My cell phone rang.  It was Republican Indianapolis City Councilor (at-large) Ed Coleman.  I had only met Ed a few times and never missed an opportunity to give him grief about introducing a Fireworks ban for Marion County (basically Indianapolis).  Ed, a veteran employed in the medical industry, whom I shared a couple of mutual friends with is a boisterous and gregarious kind of fellow who can tend to wear on people a bit, but as near as I've ever been able to tell he has a well-meaning heart of gold.

I thought it was a little odd that I got the phone call as I wasn't an official with the Libertarian Party of Indiana, but I had just months earlier come off of a great third party campaign for Indiana's 7th Congressional District where the Honorable Julia Carson (D), beloved by Democrats and reviled by Republicans, had passed resulting in a Spring "special election".  Julia was ultimately replaced by her grandson, now Congressman Andre Carson, after he had been swiftly moved up through the party while news of Ms. Carson's fading health was kept quiet from the media.

Flashback to the year 2000.  My first Libertarian Party event was a visit to Indiana by then Presidential candidate (the late) Harry Browne.  I had been prodded in years prior by a few co-workers that as a small government fiscal conservative who really didn't care what adults did in the privacy of their own homes that I was basically a libertarian.  After listening to some news clips in 2000 of Gubernatorial candidate Andy Horning I decided to show up for a few Libertarian events and put a Horning for Governor sign in my yard.  The result was that I got introduced to (then) State Party Chairperson Mark Rutherford, an Indianapolis attorney and a few other people, like current chairperson Sam Goldstein.  Mark sat down with me, at the Rathskeller if memory serves, and we talked about possibly running for school board or town council or something.

This meeting was critical because without being pushy, Mark explained a lot of things to me and planted important seeds.  I wouldn't volunteer for my first political campaign until 4 years later or run for office myself until another 4 years had passed.  But, in late 2008 I had gotten my feet wet and actual voting records and philosophy had become more important than who said mostly the right things, sounded good and had nice hair and teeth.  I had learned about Austrian economics, the philosophy of Liberty, read the work of Frederich Bastiat and spent hours listening to the wisdom of very smart people like Andy Horning, Mark Rutherford and Travis Cross.

But, back to 2008...

The conversation with Ed was, essentially this (paraphrased and condensed)...  "Sean. This is very confidential and I need to trust you; but, I'm thinking about switching parties.  I'm tired of being threatened, talked down to and told how to vote.   Can you arrange a meeting?"

My first response was along the lines of, "Sure, Ed.  I can set something up with the right people.  How much have you thought about this? You do realize it could make re-election very, very difficult."

Ed acknowledged that he understood and so a meeting commenced several days later at a pub/eatery in Park 100 near 71st Street and I-465.   Then exiting LPIN Director Todd Singer, new Executive Director Chris Spangle, former LPIN Chairman Mark Rutherford (affectionately referred to as "The Godfather"), Sam Goldstein, myself and one or two others attended and discussed things with Councilor Coleman.  The fact that Ed was surrounded by a group of professional individuals who were not promoting their own self-interest was probably a relief to him.  And, I swear, we darn near tried to talk him out of it.  Why?  Because, if somebody is going to make that kind of change you want to make darn sure they know what they are doing and that they REALLY want to do it.  There wasn't going to be any talking him into it, it had to be his choice.

No decisions were made at that meeting, but on the evening of February 16, 2009 word started to leak out and on Tuesday, the 17th we held a press conference at the prestigious, private downtown Indianapolis Columbia Club to announce that Ed was joining the Libertarian Party of Indiana.  Ed was the elected representative of somewhere around one million people and he was joining the Libertarian Party?!

Evaluating Ed's votes on the council over the following 3 years shows that he consistently opposed tax increases, opposed restrictions on people's rights, opposed corporatism, opposed government sponsored monopolies and was willing to ask sometimes unpopular questions.   People who truly, honestly believe in small, cost-effective government that minds its business had a friend in Ed and those he surrounded himself with for advice and council.  I was honored to be one of those people from time to time and wish life and circumstance had allowed me to participate more.

When it came time for Ed's re-election campaign in 2011 a wise decision was made to run him as a district candidate rather than try and cover the entire county of somewhere in the neighborhood of a million people.  Knowing that resources would be limited it made a lot more sense to try and win one of the 25 district seats.  It also helped that the sitting councilor for that district had been appointed to replace Republican Mike Speedy who had gotten himself elected to the State House.

The Coleman campaign was better funded and quite possibly better organized than any other council race, and although Ed garnered around 26% of the vote and didn't win, the Republican challenger was forced to send multiple mailers targeting ... the Libertarian. At least one of the mailers was blatantly dishonest and misleading and, rumor has it, they hired a private investigator to try and dig up dirt they could use.  Hey, if you can't win on ideology and voting record, mudslinging will have to do, eh?   The bottom line is that the money and organization moved the bar.  This was a fruitful endeavor.

This campaign was coming off of a 2010 election year that saw Libertarian candidates state wide nearly double previous vote totals - threatening major party status in one race.  And in 2008, a higher percentage of votes went for the LP's presidential candidate than in any other state.

Let me say, without question, that Ed's campaign was the absolute best organized Libertarian race I have seen to date, although to be fair, I haven't observed up close one of the great Rex Bell statehouse campaigns.  

I showed up that morning to get my poll location and materials and was handed an organized packet including Google Map directions to my location, a snack bag with bottled water, yard signs to place at the polling location and instructions on how to conduct oneself and who to call if there is any trouble.   Allison Maguire gets major credit for organizing things so well, and I hope I'm not slighting her husband, Tim, in any way. He was there that morning and I'm sure he helped.

At my poll location, the Democrat volunteers didn't even have handout materials for around 90 minutes after the poll opened and they were not especially enthusiastic or political.  The Republican volunteer bragged about how she had been doing this for 20 years and was a Precinct Committeewoman, yadda, yadda ... but she was surprised to be educated, by a Libertarian supporter no doubt, that people could actually run, in an election, for the position she had been appointed to.  I still don't think she believed me.  And, best of all, the Libertarian Party of Indiana had EVERY poll location in Ed's district staffed.  It's my understanding that has never happened before.  And, resulting from that, there are now many more dozens of trained Libertarian poll workers for the next cycle.

So what is the point to all of this?

None of  this was possible without Mark Rutherford's leadership of the Libertarian Party in Indiana over many years.  Mark worked very hard to build up the Indiana organization and make it one of the top handful in the country.  He did this by putting a smart, strategic, professional face to the party that attracted other, like minded individuals.  He made it "okay" to be a Libertarian.  And because it was okay, there continue to lots of new people joining great folks like Sam Goldstein, Chris Spangle, Jerry Titus, Dan Drexler or long-time (often unthanked) treasurer Dale Wedel who continue to grow the party and enhance its credibility.  In fact, in a recent visit to the Marion County meeting I realized that half of the people there were new in just the past 2 or 3 years.

As I write this, Mark Rutherford is running to become the National Chairman of the Libertarian Party when they hold their elections in Nevada this week.  Mark Rutherford would make an excellent choice and it might say something about the party's overall interest in being successful if it decides to ignore the great success that Mark, by way of the legitimacy he helped build in Indiana, isn't given a chance to do the same at the national level.  

Given the success of ideological libertarian candidates like Republican Ron Paul; the increased level of interest in candidates like (former) Governor Gary Johnson who is seeking the LP's nod for President; businessman, celebrity and community activist Rupert Boneham who is seeking the Indiana Governorship; and the massive influx of young voters interested in liberty, honest money, free markets, Austrian economics and the philosophy of liberty I think it is fair to say it is time for the Libertarian Party to take things to the next level.  I have to think Mark could help do that.  He certainly did it in Indiana.