Saturday, October 13, 2012

Don't Blame Me -- I Wrote-In Ron Paul in 2012

If you write-in Ron Paul's name for president in 2012, your vote WILL count -- at least in Alabama, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Maine (so far -- more states may yet be on the way).

That's according to an October 5, 2012 posting on The Daily Paul.

I live in California, and I cast my write-in vote for Ron Paul this past week!

Even if my vote didn't count, I'd still vote for Paul. A vote that's not counted is like not voting -- and not voting is better than voting for one of the lesser evils on the California ballot. quotes Libertarian Party candidate Gary "lesser of three evils" Johnson as saying that a write-in vote for Paul is "meaningless."

Thanks for the tip, Gary. But how "meaningful" would a vote be for your confused and contradictory message, including your support for wars.

Sure, Paul won't win. But neither will Johnson. It's likely that Johnson won't even get 1% of the vote. Contrary to the LP's big hopes and daydreams, Johnson didn't get into the debates, and the race tightening such that Romney looks to have a fighting chance of beating Obama.

Since this is "the most important election in history" and "too important to lose," Americans will once again be "going home" to the major parties that actually have a chance of winning.

If I'm going to vote for a candidate who can't win, I'd rather vote for someone who is uncompromisingly antiwar -- or even not vote at all -- than vote for Gary "lesser of three evils" Johnson.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Libertarian Recomendations for the 2012 California Ballot Propositions

Here's something from the LPLAC Yahoo Group:

I realize that Tom McClintock is not a big el Libertarian, but his philosophy is very close. Here is his take:

Prop 30: Your Wallet or Your Kids -- NO

Either approve $36 billion in higher sales and income taxes or else Gov. Brown threatens to shoot the schools. Don't worry, the income taxes are only on the "very wealthy," but it turns out the "very wealthy" include many small businesses filing under sub-chapter S, meaning lower wages, higher prices and fewer jobs. California already has one of the highest overall tax burdens in the country and yet has just approved a budget to spend $8 billion dollars more than it's taking in. Moral of the story: it's the spending stupid.

Prop 31: Rotting Mackerel by Moonlight -- NO

This one shines and stinks. On the shiny side, it moves us toward performance-based budgeting, restores certain powers to the governor to make mid-year spending reductions and requires new spending to be paid for. On the stinky side, it provides a two-year budget cycle that makes fiscal gimmickry all the easier and locks into the Constitution an incredibly anal process for local communities to adopt "Strategic Action Plans" serving such open-ended new age objectives as "community equity" and nudges them into establishing regional governments to push this agenda. The purpose of local governments is to provide basic services, not to pursue utopian four-year plans.

Prop 32: Cutting The Piggies Off From The Trough -- YES

In the "It's About Time" category, this measure would finally prohibit unions, corporations, government contractors, and state and local governments from deducting money from employees' paychecks for political purposes without their express written consent. As Jefferson wrote, "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." This puts an end to this despotic practice.

Prop 33: Rewarding Responsible Drivers -- YES

Here's a no-brainer: should car insurance companies be allowed to offer a discount to drivers who maintain continuous coverage? No, it's not a trick question. Under California's convoluted law, if you switch auto insurers you can't qualify for the continuous coverage discount. This measure says you can.

Prop 34: Lifetime Room and Board (and Sex-Change Operations, too) for Murderers -- NO

This abolishes the death penalty for first-degree murder. Enough said.

Prop 35: Red Light on Human Trafficking -- YES

Prop 35 greatly expands the definition of "Human Trafficking" (already illegal), and greatly increases existing penalties. The problem is real and growing and needs stronger sanctions, although there are some provisions in Prop 35 that make it ripe for prosecutorial abuse, including limiting the ability of defendants to cross-examine witnesses and broadening the definition of trafficking to include those who never had contact with the victim. On balance, though, the good outweighs the bad.

Prop 36: Gutting Three Strikes -- NO

After many years of rising crime rates, Californians finally struck back with the three-strikes law. It is actually a two-strikes law: after two serious or violent felonies -- in which one has murdered, assaulted, raped, robbed or pillaged his fellow citizens -- he is on notice that any further misconduct will remove him from polite society. Prop 36 would require that the third strike also be a serious or violent crime, giving dangerous criminals yet one more opportunity at atrocity. The Left predicted that "Three Strikes" would have no effect on crime -- in fact, crime rates have plummeted. When it ain't broke, don't try and fix it.

Prop 37: Spit it Out - NO

This is the latest effort of the Nanny Left to tell us what to eat. It requires foods that contain any ingredients resulting from biotechnology advances to carry the scary warning: "GENETICALLY ENGINEERED." There is not a shred of evidence that biotechnology is the least bit dangerous -- it often reduces the need for pesticides. To avoid branding their products with the Scarlet Warning, food processors would have to prove that every scrap and crumb in their fare is devoid of biotechnology or face crushing lawsuits. Grocery prices high enough yet?

Prop 38: Pay More, Get Less - NO

Not to be outdone by Prop. 30, this measure heaps $120 BILLION of new income taxes on those earning more than $7,316 (the new millionaires and billionaires of California's impoverished economy). It's for the schools, of course. No doubt these dollars (which families would just waste on necessities) will be as well spent as the staggering fortune that we're already shoveling into the sclerotic school system.

Prop 39: Tax Us Before We Hire Again - NO

This is a $1 billion per year tax increase on California businesses to subsidize a whole new generation of Solyndra scams. But remember, businesses don't pay business taxes; they only collect them from employees through lower wages, from consumers through higher prices, or from investors through lower earnings. Prop 39 might be bad news for California's employees, consumers and investors, but it's great news for the Nevada Chamber of Commerce.

Prop 40: Your GOP Donations At Work -- YES

This is a monument to the stupidity of some Republican Party leaders, who spent nearly $2 million of party funds to qualify -- and then drop -- this referendum to overturn the Senate reapportionment because several state senators didn't like their new districts. They had hoped to run in their old seats, but after qualifying the initiative found out they couldn't anyway. A "Yes" vote affirms that the new non-partisan Citizens Redistricting Commission works.



Los Angeles County Libertarian activist Ted Brown differs with some of McClintock's recommendations. Brown writes:

Prop 34 -- YES on getting rid of the death penalty; the government has no right to kill people, as far as I am concerned.

Prop 35 -- NO on the sex trafficking measure; this will pass with 75% but it still has many bad provisions; our own Cop to Call Girl author, Norma Jean Almodovar, is one of the opponents.

Prop 36 -- YES on modifying 3 strikes, so that the 3rd strike must be a serious or violent one.

Measure B on the L.A. County ballot should be a resounding NO -- especially since my wife and I wrote the argument against it. This measure would force adult film actors to wear condoms.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

2012 Presidential Debate Party in West Hollywood

Jay Jones, of the South Bay Libertarians, emailed me the following message from Taylor Peck:

"iSideWith is hosting a watch party for the first presidential debate next Wednesday in West Hollywood. We would be honored if you and any members of the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County could attend."

iSideWith / Pink Taco
Presidential Debate Watch Party

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Pink Taco West Hollywood
8225 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 380-7474

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fight Hollywood -- Protect Internet Free Speech


Today's the big hearing. We told you that we're beating back Hollywood's attempts to take over the Internet again.

Today's court hearing on the MegaUpload case will decide if Hollywood will be able to use the courts to undermine Cloud storage and social media platforms. Will you help us fight back (again)?

If you haven't yet, please click here to sign on to our legal brief, and make sure the court understands that millions of Internet users will be impacted by the judge's decision.

Whether you've signed or not, please use these links or forward the email below to urge your friends to get involved right away. If you're on Reddit, please post a link to, or vote up any such links that have already been posted. We need as many people as possible to sign on to the brief so that the judge understands the broad impacts of his decision.

If you're already on Facebook, click here to share with your friends.

If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

For more background, or to forward to your friends, here's the email we sent yesterday:


It's us versus THEM again.

Hollywood attorneys are trying to use the courts to circumvent Congress and implement a backdoor SOPA/PIPA scheme.

Fight Back: YOUR FILES ON Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, etc. and even your emails are in jeopardy.

We need to make sure the judge understands that his decision will affect millions of people.

Demand Progress is fighting back in the courts and standing up for Internet users. We are taking on the United States and the MPAA. Please click here to support our legal brief -- the court will be hearing the case THIS WEEK.

BACKGROUND: One day after the Internet staged a massive blackout to protest Congress's Internet censorship legislation (SOPA/PIPA), the United States responded by seizing millions of ordinary user files hosted on the popular website

With an aim of shutting down Megaupload and other Cloud-based hosting services (like Dropbox, YouTube or even your email provider), the government is trying to claim website operators should face decades in prison for the misdeeds of some of their users.

But while they pursue trumped up criminal charges against the companies' founders, they are shutting down dozens of websites, and leaving ordinary Internet users without any way of retrieving their files.

Please click here to sign on as a supporter of our legal brief: The judge will be hearing the case THIS WEEK, and we need to make sure he understands that his ruling affects millions of us.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called the case against Megaupload a "threat to innovation". Wozniak likened the Megaupload site to a highway and those who shared pirated movies and songs to speeding motorists.

"You don't just shut down the whole street because somebody is speeding," he said.

Numerous laws on the books already give copyright holders plenty of avenues to stop actual infringement, but that's not enough to satisfy Hollywood's lawyers and lobbyists.

And get this: The prosecutor in the case, Neil MacBride, previously served as the Anti-Piracy Vice President of the Business Software Alliance, where he represented the intellectual property interests of countless multinational corporations.

Now Hollywood's lobbyists, represented by the Motion Picture Association of America, want him to make it nearly impossible for ordinary Internet users to get their property back.

Please click here to sign on to our legal brief, and make sure the courts understand that millions of Internet users will be impacted by the judge's decision.

And please use these links or forward this email to urge your friends to get involved right away -- we need as many people as possible to sign on to the brief so that the judge understands the broad impacts of his decision.

If you're already on Facebook, click here to share with your friends.

If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

One last thing -- Demand Progress's small, dedicated, under-paid staff relies on the generosity of members like you to support our work. Will you click here to chip in $5 or $10? Or you can become a Demand Progress monthly sustainer by clicking here. Thank you!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

LAPD Is Electronically Tracking Your License Plate

The LAPD (and increasingly more Southern California police departments) are electronically monitoring wherever you drive, using a vast computerized network that tracks license plates on streets and highways.

That's according to Jon Campbell, who writes in the L.A. Weekly (June 21, 2012):

Using a vast and automatic electronic tracking system that is all but unknown to the California public, on the day of Robles' murder, police in Los Angeles County cities had made a detailed record of the alleged getaway vehicle's movements.

The information came complete with GPS coordinates — even photographs.

In a situation evoking the hit movie Minority Report, the suspects were being watched even before they were considered suspects.

L.A. Weekly has learned that more than two dozen law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County are using hundreds of these "automatic license plate recognition" devices (LPRs) — units about the size of a paperback book, usually mounted atop police cruisers — to devour data on every car that catches their electronic eye.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Police Department are two of the biggest gatherers of automatic license plate recognition information. Local police agencies have logged more than 160 million data points — a massive database of the movements of millions of drivers in Southern California.

Each data point represents a car and its exact whereabouts at a given time. Police have already conducted, on average, some 22 scans for every one of the 7,014,131 vehicles registered in L.A. County. Because it's random, some cars are scanned numerous times, others never.

Read the rest of Campbell's report.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Media and State to Crush Internet Freedom

Some libertarians believe that censorship can only be practiced by a State.

That may (or may not) be the correct definition of "censorship," but as a practical matter, large corporations (indeed, all huge concentrations of power) do pose serious threats to free speech.

When a few huge corporations own and control a major share of the world media, and increasingly, of the internet, then freedom is imperiled.

Some libertarians claim that the State causes all media monopolies; that monopolies can never occur in a "true free market." I'm not convinced about that.

Either way, I think libertarians should beware of both State and Corporate (whether free market based or not) threats to internet free speech. I thus direct you to Josh King's article on ("How to Protect Free Speech, June 16, 2012):

The Stop Online Piracy Act may have been shut down at the eleventh hour, but free speech on the Internet continues to come under attack. In addition to "son-of-SOPA" (which we will surely see in the coming year, under a different name), the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and a host of proposed regulations at the state level have taken aim at the open Internet.

In response to these threats, the Internet Defense League is launching in the coming weeks. Building on the efforts that brought SOPA to a screeching halt, the league aims to fight against bad laws and restrictions on online expression, wherever they may arise.

As general counsel for Avvo, a social media startup that offers an expert-only Q&A forum and profiles and ratings of lawyers, doctors and dentists in the U.S., I've seen firsthand how those with the means to do so will exploit any opening possible to try to silence speech they do not like. I've responded to hundreds of lawsuit threats and lawsuits against Avvo on grounds ranging from privacy to commercial misappropriation to unfair competition to copyright or trademark infringement — all for activity that is soundly protected by the First Amendment.

The takeaway is simple: any attempt to regulate speech online — whether in service of "stopping piracy" or "defending against cyberattack" — must be ruthlessly interrogated for how it will be abused. Because it will be abused. Those with censorious impulses will push the four corners of the law as far as possible to silence speech they don't like.

It is depressingly common to see the mere threat of a lawsuit cause a withering of speech online. It's vitally important that we recognize and call out the certainty that even well-intentioned laws that impact expression will be used as a bludgeon against the open expression of information and ideas online. In addition to opposing SOPA and its ilk, here are three areas where companies can take a stand to protect free speech on the Internet.

Read the rest of King's important article:

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ray Bradbury, RIP

I discovered Ray Bradbury in a trash can. On my way home from grammar school, I saw that someone had discarded some yellowed, worn 1970s paperbacks. I salvaged all the true ghost stories and horror fiction anthologies. One Berkeley paperback contained Bradbury's "The Small Assassin," the tale of a mentally mature infant who plots his mother's murder. (Think of The Family Guy's Stewie.)

People forget that Bradbury, known for his science fiction, was also a horror writer. With "The Small Assassin," I became a lifelong Bradbury fan, whatever his story's genre.

I first met Bradbury in 1992, at a Malibu, California book-signing. (His, not mine). He loved my trash can story. One would expect the author of Fahrenheit 451 to rejoice at people rescuing any books from landfills, incinerators, or recyclers.

Read the rest of the article in the Hollywood Investigator.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Police Lie for Tape When They Say "Stop Resisting"

It's routine for police to repeatedly say, "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" when making an arrest -- even if the arrestee is not resisting. This is because police are often audio-recorded on tape, but not video-recorded.

Police are actually trained to repeatedly say, "Stop resisting. Stop resisting!". Having an audio recording of an arrest in which they say "Stop resisting! Stop resisting! is a nice piece of "evidence" at trial should they ever be charged with police brutality.

It's an especially neat piece of "evidence" if the arrestee was not resisting and the police were brutal -- such as the Fullerton Police beating of Kelly Thomas.

But don't take my word for it. Witnesses -- civilians and police officers -- all say that this is standard operating police procedure.

On May 11, 2012, a caller to Los Angeles's John and Ken Show, on KFI-AM, described how, when he was arrested -- and complied -- the officer nevertheless kept mindlessly repeating, "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" You can hear that portion of the show here.

Then a week later, on May 18, 2012, a caller who described himself as a former police officer, told John and Ken that the police are indeed trained to say "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" whenever making an arrest. You can hear that portion here.

So the next time you're on a jury, and the prosecutor introduces some audio recording of a police officer repeating the magic phrase, "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" -- don't be so quick to believe it. It's possible the arrestee was resisting -- but it's equally possible the cop was lying for the tape -- and to fool you, the juror!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Ron Paul Republicans for Central Committee

Registered Republicans in California will be voting for Republican Party Central Committee members in the upcoming June 5, 2012 election.

I live in California's 50th Assembly District. I've been Googling the 13 candidates for Republican Party Central Committee.

The below five candidates appear to be pro-Ron Paul:

* Mary C. Willison

* Vrezh Zatikyan

* Brooke Loesby

* Nels Hefty

* Gavin William Greer

* Mary Mottahedeh

Here's a video of candidate Vrezh Zatikyan registering Republicans to vote for Ron Paul in the June 5, 2012 primary:

Please support the above five pro-Ron Paul candidates for Republican Party Central Committee if you're a registered Republican in California's 50th Assembly District.

You can vote for up to seven candidates, but I recommend only voting for these five. Voting for two other, non-Ron Paul candidates will dilute votes from these pro-Ron Paul candidates.

You have until May 21st to register (or to re-register) Republican in California, so that you can vote for Ron Paul.


I've since been sent this list of all libertarian candidates for Republican Central Committee throughout California:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Landlord Rights Meeting in Los Angeles

From The Fair Housing Coalition:

I have good news for landlords who own rental property in the City of Los Angeles. The Eberly Company, which is the outreach contractor hired by the City of Los Angeles to help landlords deal with code violations, is hosting a special event for members of The Fair Housing Coalition. But since we want to fill up the room, all are welcome.

The meeting will take place:

DATE: Wednesday night, April 25, 2012

TIME: 5 to 7 p.m.

LOCATION: 1645 Corinth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025

I believe it is near Pico and the 405. Next to the Court House. There will be signs posted to direct you to the proper auditorium.

Attending this two hour love fest will be members of the Eberly Company, members of the LAHD REAP department, and LAHD code enforcement department. This is your opportunity to ask questions and speak your mind.

Have you even been mistreated by the LAHD?

For almost 30 years, the LAHD has treated landlords as if we are criminals, guilty until proven innocent. Partially because landlords have stayed home and not attended meetings at City Hall when decisions were being made about new laws relative to L.A. housing.

If you own a rental property in L.A., you can no longer afford to not be involved. You must become proactive politically.

We want a full house. We want the LAHD to realize that we are no longer sitting homes on our butts, or too busy to show up and speak up for our rights as property owners and housing providers. Unless you will be in a coma on Wednesday night, I urge you to show up.

Deena Eberly put a strong effort into making this happen. We must start changing the image that L.A. landlords are weak-sucks that the LAHD can easily push around. We must send a message. We need you to show up. Tell every landlord you know about this meeting. A huge turnout will create an image that we are united in fighting for fairness.

For three years, I've shown up at City Hall speaking out against the unfair policies of the LAHD. I've appeared on talk radio. I've met one-on-one with members of the L.A. City Council. I've opened their eyes to the injustice.

A few people who work for the LAHD have told me that their bosses are now feeling the pressure. We have their attention. We must not drop the ball. We have to show them that we are more than just an army of one. The more people who show up, the greater the momentum.

I'm trying to get at least one council member to attend. Bring your spouse, bring a few of your apartment managers, and/or bring a handyman who works for you. We must fill up the room. Make a note to yourself and tape it on the dashboard of your car.

Bill Hooey, Fair Housing Coalition.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ben Pleasant's Contentious Minds Now on YouTube

Frequent Karl Hess Club attendee Ben Pleasants's play, Contentious Minds, is now available for free viewing on YouTube.

Here is Part One:

Pleasants's journalism and criticism includes When Bukowski Was a Nazi, Dan Fante: Man on Fire, Charles Bukowski Taught Me 'How to Write a Short Story', When Ask the Dust Was Forgotten, and Hawaiian Princess: Marc Forby Tells the Tale of Princess Kaiulani.

Pleasants's novels include Spearmint Leaves and The Victory of Defeat.

Here is Part Two:

Friday, March 09, 2012

Libertarian Art Olivier Promotes 9/11 Truth Film

Ted Brown, who currently serves as Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County, submits the following event notice:

"Is there another explanation for what happened on Sept. 11, 2001? Art Olivier thinks so.

"Art was a city council member and mayor of Bellflower, and later was the Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President (2000) and for Governor of California (2006). He has now become a filmmaker. His new film is called Operation Terror and will soon be out on DVD.

"Art will speaking to the upcoming Region 63 (Foothills) Libertarian meeting about making the film, what it's about, and why he thinks the 'official' explanation of those tragic events leaves a lot of questions.

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Time: 7:00 p.m. for dinner & conversation; 8:00 p.m. for the program

Location: Panera Bread Restaurant, 3521 E. Foothill Blvd, in Pasadena (west of Rosemead Blvd, at the west end of the Hastings Ranch Shopping Center)"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Steve Reed, RIP

Longtime Karl Hess Club attendee, J. Neil Schulman, sends the following note:

"A short while ago I received a sad phone call from Tim Reed that his brother Steve Reed, a libertarian, frequent Karl Hess Club attendee, and a friend of mine, passed away in his sleep on February 4th, apparently due to complications of diabetes.

Tim will be attending tomorrow (Monday's) Karl Hess Club meeting to say some words memorializing Steve.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ben Pleasants Interviews Actor Timothy Bottoms

Frequent Karl Hess Club attendee Ben Pleasants recently interviewed actor Timothy Bottoms in Moorpark, California.

As a journalist and critic, Pleasants's work includes When Bukowski Was a Nazi, Dan Fante: Man on Fire, Charles Bukowski Taught Me 'How to Write a Short Story', When Ask the Dust Was Forgotten, and Hawaiian Princess: Marc Forby Tells the Tale of Princess Kaiulani.

Pleasants's novels include Spearmint Leaves and The Victory of Defeat.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Regina Cobb Memorial Service

Longtime KHC attendee Pamela Maltzman forwards this email regarding Regina Cobb, whom some of you may have known:

Dear Friends,

It is with great sorrow that we must share with you the news that our sister, Regina Cobb, passed away on Dec. 30 after a massive stroke.

It has been a devastating loss, and Gina will be greatly missed. She touched many lives in many ways we cannot even know. You are receiving this email because your name was found in a list of Gina's contacts.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, Feb. 3 at 10:30 AM at:

Christ Lutheran Church
28850 So. Western Ave
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Please let us know if you plan to attend.

May Peace be With You,
Regina's Family

Valerie Hennes (sister) vhennes at toast dot net
John Liudzius (brother) reginacobbmemorial at gmail dot com

Friday, January 06, 2012

Foothills Libertarians Discuss Death Penalty

Libertarian Party of Los Angeles activist Ted Brown sends this notice about Region 63's upcoming anti-death penalty speaker:

This month's Foothills Libertarian speaker will be Loretta Keller, a local activist for SAFE California, the group that is sponsoring an anti-death penalty initiative for the November 2012 ballot. They are currently circulating the petition and copies will be available.

Ms. Keller is a freelance writer who writes features for the Los Angeles Times and opinion pieces for the Pasadena Star-News. She has a degree in psychology and is an artist.

(Note: The Libertarian Party has no official position on the death penalty. It is not mentioned in the party platform.)

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: This month we will elect officers for 2012: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Current dues-paid party members are eligible to vote, and you can renew or join at the meeting.

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time: 7 p.m. for dinner & conversation; 8 p.m. for the program

Location: Panera Bread Restaurant, 3521 E. Foothill Blvd, in Pasadena (west of Rosemead Blvd, at the west end of the Hastings Ranch Shopping Center)

I look forward to seeing you there.

For liberty,
Ted Brown, Secretary
Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County,
Foothills Region 63
(626) 794-7101