Screw it, I'm getting free. Who's with me?

Published: 7 years ago

Why I Joined the Boston Tea Party

A libertarian political party should be (a) transparent, (b) bottom-up and not excessively hierarchical, (c) structurally free of common causes for infighting and schisms (like the platform), and (d) member-oriented.

This is true of the Boston Tea Party. Sadly, this is not true of the Libertarian Party of 2008.

Parallels with the Free State Project

I’m researching the Free State Project and recently found out about Wyoming. I learned that Wyoming is, today, considerably freer than New Hampshire and that Wyoming has fewer citizens registered to vote and a smaller percentage of which who actually vote, compared to New Hampshire. Essentially, Wyoming is not only substantially further along the liberty continuum than New Hampshire but it’s also more easily influenceable than New Hampshire.

BTP is Farther along than the LP

This is similar to the situation we face today when selecting a libertarian party. When applying the criteria I named above, the Boston Tea Party is considerably further along the continuum than the Libertarian Party.

Why Fight in the LP for what the BTP Already has?

Why would one spend possibly years fighting within the LP, just to get where the Boston Tea Party already is today?

I’m not leaving the LP or giving up on it. But I’m very interested in seeing how far we can go together in the Boston Tea Party.

First posted at bostontea.us/node/358.

Comments
  1. George, what you say about Wyoming is very true. I have lived in both states, and find Wyoming to be far more easygoing. What’s more, it has its own Free State Wyoming (FSW) project, though I am no longer involved with them. I know many fine people in Wyoming who are dedicated to making it a more free place. There’s also a guy named Ken Royce who heads the FSW project, not such a fine guy, but he writes under the pen name Boston T. Party.

    I am involved with two companies in Wyoming, one called Reliable Distributors, the other Sovereigns of the High Frontier Society. It would be great to work with others in Wyoming to form a new state affiliate for Boston Tea Party. Sovereigns http://www.hisovs.org is having a costume dance party in Gillette on Saturday 6 December.

    Your idea of working together seems perfect. There’s no reason for anyone to leave another party, if they feel they can accomplish something in the GOP, DNC, or LP. We have, this year, endorsed many candidates from the LP, many independents, and one GOP candidate. Of course, BTP candidates are also welcome, and on our voter guide.

  2. I am not so sure about that.
    It depends on what you are looking for.
    If you just want to go out in ‘gulch’ and be by yourself then WY is probably better.

    NH has no income or sales tax.
    NH has 400 State Reps (1 an elected FSPer)
    NH towns have line item budgets… small numbers can have big effects
    NH is small so driving to events is not a problem.
    WY that would be somewhat a problem.

    I have no problem with the FSW.

    Check out http://www.ridleyreport.com for videos of the goings on in NH.

  3. @2 The most convincing arguments in favor of WY for me, frankly, are the low population of WY and the residents’ existing, strong bias for liberty.

    I’ve done a bit of research about this now.

    There are too many people in NH and too many left-leaning people for it to be a success as the first free state.

    Obviously, if 20,000 liberty-lovers move out to WY, or anywhere else, I won’t be by myself. And in any case that’s a silly argument because we who love liberty are already effectively by ourselves. Put me in Manhattan and I’m just a rounding error.

    IIRC, 20,000 free-staters in WY will have at least 1.5-2x more effect, just going by voting numbers, than they will in NH. Talk about a force-multiplier.

    WY is starting with 3 counties that aren’t so far away from each other. This largely obviates the distance problem.

    I was originally attracted to NH but after reading just this (see below) the case for WY appears so much more feasible. And I mean feasible in the sense of likely to be able to achieve the aims of the project.

    http://freestateproject.org/archives/state_reports/wyoming2.php

  4. It does make good points.

    Another factor that I thnk bodes well for NH.. there are more jobs in NH.
    The way that the local governments are set up also make it VERY easy to get involved.

    Also I think 20K is overkill in both states.
    We have found that just a few hundred ACTIVISTS (key word) can make a huge impact. Also by being ACTIVE it bring out many locals who agree with you. Lots of local groups have been reenergized just by being there.

    I hope both projects succeed.

    Come check out the Liberty Forum to hear great speakers and check out NH.
    http://www.freestateproject.org/libertyforum

  5. Yes I hope both succeed too – I hope 51+ succeed (including DC, Puerto Rico and territories). Based on my research, it just seems to me that WY has the best chance to succeed first, so that’s where I’m planning to put my marbles. :)

    WY clearly is not a bed of roses, but then freedom is not free.

    There is good job growth in WY, too. And the Fort Collins, CO MSA has excellent job growth.

    Thanks for commenting.

  6. btw http://ridleyreport.com/ needs an RSS feed. If you can get them to add one I and others would be able to follow the site in our RSS readers.

    Thanks for the link to the Liberty Forum. I’m interested in attending, going to see if I can make it.

  7. There used to be an annual event for FSW. The founder, Ken Royce aka Boston T. Party (his pen name) was unable to organise one for this year, so I thought to do him a favor and put one together. I’ve never been hassled so much.

    “You can’t use the name Freedom Summer Wyoming because it uses the initials FSW. You can’t use our colors purple, blue and green in your logo.” Geez. It went on and on. I’m no longer a member of FSW, though curiously, Royce pocketed my membership fee and hasn’t refunded it.

    If you are interested in events in Wyoming that may be related to FSW, there is an annual costume dance party in Gillette sponsored by hisovs.org. Should be the first Saturday in December this year. There is also a campground set up by Rich H. near Newcastle and Upton. They had an invitation-only event there over Labor Day weekend. Many of the active FSW folx are in Weston county.

    There are lots of jobs in Wyoming. Lots of business opportunities, too. The government is very easy to get involved in if that’s your thing, and there are lots of activists in Wyoming. People do things differently there, though.

    One of the obnoxious things about Yankees, to me, has always been how they know everything about everyone else’s business. I think relying on the FSP guy for info on NH is fine, and would work great. Expecting that person to know anything about Wyoming seems a bit far fetched.

    “I hope both projects succeed.”

    I think hope is a waste of time. If you want one of the projects to succeed, work on it, dude. Do something useful like praying, but don’t expect anything to come of hope.

  8. Well Jim.

    I am ‘working on it’.
    I was elected in my town.
    I am very active in politics at the State level.
    I attend protests.
    I volunteer time and money.
    I moved from CA to NH. I put my money where my mouth is.

    I should change my post to say
    I know it will succeed in NH with a lot of hard work. I hope it works out in WY … how is that? Is that better?

    I stand corrected on the jobs in WY. And you are right I don’t know much about WY. But I do know what is going on in NH.

  9. Hope is free. :)

    Having been born and grown up in Pennsylvania, I suppose I’m a Yankee as well. I’m not offended by “Free State”‘s comments in the least – in fact I welcome and enjoy them.

    I respect what he and other FSP-NHers are doing and would join and move to NH if/when they have a scenario more likely to succeed than that in WY. I definitely look forward to collaborating with them where feasible.

    Jim, you make a good point. It’s not just about jobs. Business opportunities are also an important point to consider. I am self-employed, have been for 8 years and would do just about anything except initiate force or fraud to avoid ever having a “job” again. A “job” limits my freedom. Having my own business is much more fun and liberating.

  10. Right… I really do hope that both Projects succeed.
    I voted with my feet and moved to NH.
    Had I heard of the FSW first I probably would have moved there. I joined the FSP long after the vote.
    But my choices probably would have been:
    ID
    AK
    WY
    NH
    something like that.
    However I have moved to NH and have seen the great things taking place here. (which does not take away from what is going on in WY)

    I emailed Ridley regarding RSS.

    Also feel free to use code 2009VP for 10% off at the Liberty Forum.

    And I hope that the BostonTeaPary has a vendor table at the Liberty Forum as the party might have some people who agree at the event.

  11. Free State: Great idea about a vendor table. I will follow up with the BTP Chairman. And thank you for that discount code!

    I was planning to tour WY & NH in March anyway, so the timing of the Liberty Forum is very convenient for me.

    Thanks again for commenting.

  12. Good news from New Hampshire:
    4 Free State Project Movers won election to the NH House this past Tuesday.

  13. That rocks. I’m not finding any information on who won their races though. I checked the FSP website and forums…

  14. NH: 4 Free Staters win House seats

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrBo92YBT4c

    And it looks like all four moved in from out of state. Amazing.

    Ok you’ve really got me thinking again about NH again.

    The claimed greater variety of jobs available in New England is making me rethink the feasibility aspect from a different angle. It’s hard for people with regular jobs to take something entirely different somewhere else.

  15. I shared the exciting news about NH legislators from the FSP with one of my friends in Montana. He wrote back:

    “Montana has elected a few Grand Western Conference attendees: Jerry O’Neil = state senator (Columbia Falls)
    Andy Lockridge = Philipsburg City Council (county seat of Granite Co.)
    Rick Jore = state representive (third party and from Polson)
    others

    In addition, LP candidate Stan Jones helped defeat Republican,
    Conrad Burns, in 2006, and thus gave the Dems a majority in
    the US Senate. Mike Fellows, MTLP Chair and host at GWC,
    just got third place in Montana’s lone Congressional District.”

  16. JenS

    It’s not polite to slander other’s names, Jim. That may be your version of the story, but it didn’t happen that way. Royce has always been upfront with his reasonable expectations of independent event planning and FSW forum behavior. You voluntarily agreed to the terms of using the forum, being a member, and of organizing the event, and you quit of your own volition. I think you ought to retract your insinuation.

  17. No, I did not quit, liar. I was prevented from logging in. To this day I am prevented from having access to the member benefits. Ken Royce is a liar and a thief. He stole my membership fee. He lied when he said he would do everything he could to support the event that I volunteered to put together this past Summer.

    I realise this doesn’t matter to you since you never had to pay a fee to become a member. You also didn’t have to travel to Wyoming in 2004 and on various occasions to be involved in the group. Nor did you donate thousands of dollars, including gold and silver, to the group. I’m sure that your interest in slamming me for making a statement about Ken Royce is purely vicious.

    But, I stand by my statements. Ken Royce made a statement to me that because I had used the colors blue, green, and purple, and the words “Freedom Summer Wyoming” that I was persona non grata with his little dictatorship. He had asked me to organise an event for this past Summer, which I did. But because he didn’t like the way I chose to market it, he threw me out.

    I never voluntarily agreed to “quit” of my “own volition.” To say so is a lie. I defy you to prove it. You suck. Being a sycophant for authoritarians makes you disgusting to me.

  18. JenS

    Jim, I dare you to refrain from calling other people names they don’t deserve. I bet you can’t. It is your essential charm, isn’t it, that causes you to have untold numbers of people disassociate with you.

    What member benefits? Logging in? Oooh. Big deal. You gave freely to be a part of the organization which you enjoyed for many years. Ken did not forcibly take it from you. When you become verbally abusive to other people and disrespect them and their property, that’s when they gladly grant your wish of noninvolvement.

  19. I call things as I see them. If you don’t like being called a liar, Jen, stop lying.

    If you don’t like being called a sycophant for authoritarians, stop sucking up to sleaze and filth like Bob Barr and Ken Royce.

    Yes, logging in to comment upon and defend myself in discussions with other members of FSW was one of the bright points in my life. You helped to destroy that for me.

    I invested my time, my thoughts, and my effort in a project that you never really cared about. So, you are in no position to evaluate what it meant to me to spend four years working on that project. You weren’t at the Grand Western Conference II when I got involved, you weren’t at the first, second, or third jamborees. I was.

    Ken did forcibly take it from me, yes. He forcibly and against my express preferences prevents me from accessing my member privileges. He does so without returning my member fee, because he is a filthy thief. He failed deliberately to support my efforts to create a successful event this past Summer in spite of his promise to the contrary because he is a liar.

    You are a nasty person, and I have contempt for you. Please stop involving yourself in my life. Please stop following me around the blogosphere to criticise everything I say and do. You are a contemptible person who has never accomplished anything worth having. I regret deeply my efforts to be your friend. Pearls before swine.

  20. JenS

    I don’t need to call anyone names to defend my position. When you go around and trash my libertarian friends needlessly, then YES, it is my business.

    I have nothing to do with how others react to your caustic nature.

    No, I was not there from the outset like you were. That does not mean I don’t care about it. I was not even aware of the movement then.

    Royce does not prevent you from contacting your friends in Wyoming. You know how to contact them otherwise. You have the power to do anything you wish in WY other than post to the private FSW forum which you do not own.

    I am a fair person. I regret the way you go around starting fights in the liberty movement. I do not get kicked out of forums, get banned from posting to blogs, or cause affiliates of a party to succeed from its national counterpart as you have. Perhaps you do not see a pattern here.

    I realize you are not going to change. This is exactly the reason I could not justify being your friend after you had asked again. You are too hateful when your pride is hurt. I wish things were different. However, you are a great teacher. You show me what a freedom lover should NOT be.

  21. I say exactly what I think, and express how I feel. You don’t like it? Tough. Why don’t you do something about it?

    You do, in fact, behave like a harpy. As you know, I was getting along fine with my friends in FSW before you started making sharp and unpleasant comments about the event being planned for last Summer. You claim no responsibility for your words. So why should I be responsible for mine?

    You were not there from the outset. You have no idea what it means to me now, nor what it meant to me then. You just felt like dumping on me, and minimising my concerns. Because, of course, being a harpy, you have to belittle the issues other people have. You stink on ice.

    Royce does prevent me from having contact with my friends in Wyoming. More importantly, he prevents me from having the benefits of membership, without bothering to return my membership fee. That’s because he’s a thief. His theft of my membership fee is a fact. Calling him a thief is not name calling, it is truth telling. Just like calling you a harpy.

    I am a fair person, you are not. I don’t mind getting kicked around. I stand up for what I believe, and people know exactly where they stand with me. I don’t try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I don’t put lipstick on a pig.

    Charles Jay wanted to keep the Dagny Barnes episode quiet. He made a deliberate power play to destroy the Boston Tea Party. So I posted his nasty messages to the public lists, and he lost his friendship with John Wayne Smith. I don’t regret my actions at all in the least. If it cost five state affiliates, I’d do the same thing again. Leadership often involves taking a stand on principle – something that a sycophant like you would never understand.

    See a pattern? Sure. I see a pattern. I see you and a lot of other authoritarians pretending to be libertarians. I see you deliberately causing trouble for me wherever you can, whenever you are able. I understand that you are a cruel and heartless hating person. That’s okay. Hating you back works for me.

    You are very hurtful. And you always will be. Thanks for the dig about my teaching skills, you nasty old harridan.

  22. Please take this personal battle elsewhere Jim and Jen. Thank you.

  23. JenS

    My apologies, George. Jim, I will pray for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

  24. Gee, not him/this again . . .

    First of all, Jen had nothing to do with Jim’s wholly self-deserved reputation on the FSW forum (and elsewhere).

    The basic outline of what actually happened can be read beginning here:

    http://www.fundamentalsoffreedom.com/fswforum/index.php?topic=5959.msg46256#msg46256

    Jim Davidson left the FSW and its forum in a huff in April 2008:

    “I absolutely, categorically refuse to post on your forum.”
    (He wrote this, even in regards to managing his own summer event which
    he threatened to effectively bail on.)

    “No, you aren’t preventing me from posting, this time, though you have insisted that I stop posting in the past. You aren’t preventing me from expressing myself, but you are making it unbearable to do so.”

    “I’m sick of contributing to your project.”
    “I don’t wish to work for you, nor with you, nor near you.”

    He left; he quit. His choice.
    Only then after was his account blocked, after attempted forum misuse.

    Then I learned that he had solicited/accepted funds for the event before
    he had actually secured the “hearsay” private campground that he was
    soliciting those funds for.

    He did donate several hundred dollars in specie total to the FSW,
    but certainly not “thousands of dollars.”

    He has never asked for a refund of his $25 membership fee.
    He’s welcome to it, if I am provided an address to send an M.O.
    by certified mail. If he continues to falsely defame me as a “thief”,
    then I will see him in a court of law or in a boxing ring. His choice which.

    What’s most useful about email and forum history is their perfect
    memory and timestamps, especially when such covers the entirety
    of the communication (as in this case).

    If Jim insists on publishing untruths, I will format the entire exchange,
    post it publicly, and allow people to judge for themselves what happened.
    (That would include, Jim, your Houston saga which was relevant to the FSW.)

    Thanks, Jen, for your posts and support.

    That’s all I have to reply about this tired old topic.

  25. I would like to thank George for his gracious willingness to have me respond on his blog to Mr. Royce’s distortions, lies, and malfeasance.

    One of the first things that is important to mention is the character of Mr. Royce. He is a writer of some minor note, especially amongst fans of a certain type of gun book. He has self-published an array of books, some of them more interesting than others. His “Boston’s Gun Bible” is a definitive review of every conceivable gun, contains some good advice, some bad advice, and an enormous amount of minutia on various guns. As a reference work it is very useful. As reading material it is sleep inducing. His “Hologram of Liberty” is an excellent review of the anti-federalist arguments against the constitution together with some truly brilliant analysis. His identification of distinct language in the constitution establishing a case for oaths to two separate documents is quite compelling. “Bulletproof Privacy” is very dated. “Molon Labe” is a very unusual novel, as any novel with appendices must be regarded as weird. I found the story in “Molon Labe” compelling, but the presentation dragging. Amazon carries reviews of many of his books, so I shall not belabor the point.

    Royce has a number of character flaws. I believe these include racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, religious bigotry, and other classic conservative difficulties with freedom for people unlike himself. I base my belief that he is racist on my experience of him telling a large number of racist and ethnic jokes, as well as some of his explicitly stated positions on immigrants, especially those who speak Spanish. My experience of his xenophobia and sexism is similarly direct, in listening to him talk candidly around campfires for a number of years. I also reflect on the small number of Native Americans, the scarcity of Hispanics, and the complete absence of blacks at the various events he sponsored for his group.

    His conservative politics also run toward a very strong law and order mentality, whether or not the laws are just. He seems to hold against me his belief that I might possibly be a felon, although the actual legal evidence for this point is exceedingly ambiguous. The only documentation available indicates that I was admonished by the same court, in the same set of papers, both that I was being convicted of a misdemeanor and that I was being convicted of a felony. The court did not sentence me to state prison, so the argument that I was convicted of a state prison felony is void. The court did, however, take official notice of my injuries sustained at the hands of Houston Police, including eleven broken bones. I feel confident that Mr. Royce is the sort who enthuses about a group of police standing around watching while one of their number kicks a suspect (who is laying face down at the time) in the face, then jumps on his back, handcuffs him, and then kicks him repeatedly in the chest. The X-rays and MRI of my injuries are unequivocal.

    Now, of course, the issue of whether or not I might possibly be a felon comes up with respect to my being in possession over the last several decades of any number of firearms. It so happens that this matter was addressed in a Tennessee court, which found no evidence of “felon in possession of firearms” violation, in 2006, and in a Kansas court which similarly dismissed a charge of “felon in possession of firearms” in early 2007. The latter court investigated the charges and found the clerk of the court and the judge in my 2004 conviction in Houston to both be of the opinion that I was *not* convicted of a felony. But, I’m sure that if Royce chooses to respond, he’ll be eager to call me a felon. Doing so would be a lie, mind you, but he’ll want to do it.

    And, of course, Royce is not at all sympathetic about police brutality. Anyone who is beaten by police under any circumstances had it coming. Given his views on law and order, on police brutality, on talking back to the police (cite his “You and the Police” endorsements of sycophantic behavior), on the relationship of the genders, on race, on immigration, and on sundry other issues, I have, over the years, come to the conclusion that he is an authoritarian. He wants an orderly society, preferably with himself in charge of designing that order.

    > Gee, not him/this again . . .

    It is unfortunate, of course, that I continue to exist, and continue to express my views. Royce is too timid to bother to kill me, or otherwise render me unable to point out the limitations of his character.

    > First of all, Jen had nothing to do with Jim’s wholly self-deserved reputation

    Actually, Jen had quite a lot to do with it. At a time when Jen had my telephone number and more than one private e-mail address for me, she posted a series of public criticisms of my efforts to organise an event, at the time several months away. I was surprised and very upset by her approach to this matter.

    > Jim Davidson left the FSW and its forum in a huff in April 2008:

    I was excluded from the forum, and prevented, by Royce, from logging in.

    > “I absolutely, categorically refuse to post on your forum.”

    I had offered not to post on the forum in order to appease his concerns that I was attempting to take over the FSW or abuse my posting privileges. Doing so in no way indicated a repudiation of my other membership privileges. To this day, I cannot log into the forum to retrieve private messages left for me there.

    > (He wrote this, even in regards to managing his own summer event which
    > he threatened to effectively bail on.)

    This set of statements deliberately misrepresents the facts. First, Royce demanded that I stop posting, which caused me to refuse to do so, as above. He also demanded that I not contact other members of FSW to inform them of the facts of the event, so that they could post details to the forum. These were among the many things Royce did to deliberately undermine the event.

    Second, I objected to Jen’s criticisms of the event by posting my concerns about my difficulties to that point in getting any reply from the land owner who had agreed to let us host the event on his property. I had made, over a period of two months, repeated attempts to phone and e-mail Rich, and due to various difficulties of his own, he was unable to reply. After Jen’s very ugly criticisms, I focused considerable attention on the event, and after being given wrong numbers by three people, finally got through to Rich. It was then possible to confirm the event could take place. I made my concerns about the fundamental problem of not having contact with the land owner known to the members of FSW in order to be open with them about whether the event would likely take place. Royce, of course, does not like openness. He wants to have all the details worked out behind the scenes, without bothering the little people as he sees them with any of the potential difficulties. I favor a much different style of management, in which the facts as I know them are made known to as many people as possible, so that solutions can be generated without the group think limitations of the leader principle.

    > He left; he quit. His choice.

    I did not. I did not quit. I stopped working with Royce, but I never stopped working on the Freedom Summer Wyoming event. In fact, we held the event, in June 2008, with some limited attendance. I never resigned from FSW. Of course, Royce neglects to mention that his requirements for my continued involvement in and posting to the FSW forum included not using the words “Freedom Summer Wyoming” to promote the event, not using the colors blue, green, and purple in our marketing materials, and many other idiotic and asinine requirements. Royce is an arrogant prick.

    > Only then after was his account blocked, after attempted forum misuse.

    Only then after. Not quite sure how to parse that. But I suspect it represents Royce trying out various ways of making a misleading statement. Not sure why he settled on that one. My account was blocked because I asked another member of the forum to post information about the event – which Royce had claimed he would support with all his abilities and powers. He describes this request on my part as attempted forum misuse, because he had already determined to shut down my event as much as possible. Royce is a hateful authoritarian who cannot stand to have anyone else be successful.

    > Then I learned that he had solicited/accepted funds for the event before
    > he had actually secured the “hearsay” private campground that he was
    > soliciting those funds for.

    This statement appears to be an accusation of fraud. Since the agreed upon private campground was provided for the use of the actual paid members of the event, I’m not sure what Royce is going for here. Either it was wrong of me to say that there was a difficulty in coordinating with the land owner, together with my offer in the same message that I would return all the fees received, or there was a difficulty in receiving funds while uncertain whether the land owner would coordinate adequately to make the event successful. As it turns out, Rich did an excellent job, and everyone who paid into the event was able to camp on his land. So, I’m not sure what Royce is on about here. He’s probably trying to get me arrested, because he’d like some more cops to beat on me.

    > He did donate several hundred dollars in specie total to the FSW,
    > but certainly not “thousands of dollars.”

    I did in fact donate several thousand dollars of value, including cash and specie, to the FSW. Of course, Royce has never been willing to provide any accounting of the income or expenditures of the FSW to any of the founding members, nor to anyone else. However, I have my own records of my contributions, including the cash and specie donated to him, including the $1500 for the December 2006 event I hosted for FSW and LP Wyoming, and including many other contributions of my time, talents, writings, and labor. Among the very many things that made me resentful of Royce over the years was his deliberate slighting of my contributions at each and every event where I made them.

    > He has never asked for a refund of his $25 membership fee.

    I have in fact repeatedly asked for a refund of my membership fee, for access to the paid up member benefits. Admittedly, this task has been somewhat more difficult because Royce forbade me from contacting him by e-mail on several occasions.

    > He’s welcome to it, if I am provided an address to send an M.O.

    My address is published in quite a few places on the Internet, including at Vertoro.com. If a money order for $25 shows up in Panama, I’ll withdraw the accusation of theft. Until then, given the very substantial contributions of value to FSW, and the absence of member benefits, I believe the accusation stands.

    > If he continues to falsely defame me as a “thief”, then I will see
    > him in a court of law or in a boxing ring. His choice which.

    If I continue to be a paid up member with neither a refund nor member benefits, it seems to me that the statement is exactly accurate. I see that he’s willing to threaten me with force, here, for a statement expressing the truth as I see it. Either the force of a government court, or the force of a boxing ring. Note that like most of his choices, and the typical choice offerings of authoritarians, there is no non-violent offer. Arbitration, mediation, negotiation – none of these are sufficiently violent for his taste.

    For my own part, I would not bring boxing gloves to a gun fight. Any threat of violence allows me to invoke my freedom to defend myself with as much force, when, and as I see fit.

    > If Jim insists on publishing untruths,

    I’m not the publisher here. I am quite confident of the truths that I have stated. We can see here that Royce admits he has my membership fee and that I don’t have my member benefits. He asserts, quite falsely, that some sets of my words taken out of context, represent my quitting his group. But then he offers to send me $25. So, it is a mystery which position he is taking. Either he did hold my member fee without providing member benefits, in which case I am right in feeling ill used, and justified in describing the process as theft, or he is certain that I had quit his group “voluntarily” and not in the midst of one of the most acrimonious fights I’ve ever had with people I had previously trusted – a matter of having my heart broken by Jen in the process – and therefore he would conceivably be justified in having me beaten up in a boxing ring by one of his friends.

    > I will format the entire exchange, post it publicly, and allow
    > people to judge for themselves what happened.

    Oh, my goodness, what a delight. Please throw me in the briar patch, Br’er Bear.

    Yes, that would be delightful. Why not post the entire FSW forum where it can be seen publicly? Mind you, if it becomes a matter for courts of law, my attorneys would love to get it on discovery and distribute it far and wide. Royce might be mindful of the extent to which publication can be a multi-edged sword. I have attorneys in jurisdictions competent to require Mailvault to unload a number of documents, as well. I have not threatened Royce with the force of the state, but I am very willing to use the state’s protections for the accused and for the defendants in a civil case to defend myself, when, as and how I see fit.

    > (That would include, Jim, your Houston saga which was relevant to the FSW.)

    You mean the bit of business about having eleven of my bones broken for allegedly “evading arrest” in January 2004? Please, publish all sorts of misconceptions and misstatements about it. Now that you have threatened to sue me for slander or libel, I can evaluate a defensive counter-suit in the same vein. Does anyone know what I was allegedly to be arrested for when I was allegedly arrested? There seems to be no record of that point in my case file.

    > Thanks, Jen, for your posts and support.

    Curiously, I had tried my best to paint a positive picture of Wyoming and give a reasonably pleasant overview of FSW, my difficulties with its fuehrer to the contrary notwithstanding. But am I thanked for presenting information about FSW on this thread? No.

    Jen’s comments, rather than enhancing the quality of things being said about FSW has brought out one of the more unpleasant episodes in its recent history.

    > That’s all I have to reply about this tired old topic.

    We’ll see whether that’s a true statement, soon enough.

    I am curious about the 2008 plans of FSW. I recall a number of political ambitions for the group outlined in part in 2004. I must say that I continue to agree with the strategy that Royce outlined at the Grand Western Conference II in Three Forks, Montana in Spring 2004. He called for a strategy of filling up smaller population counties – of which Wyoming has quite a few – with immigrants interested in more freedom. These freedom enthusiasts would then seek office within the county government.

    I say that it was excellent thinking on Royce’s part, because the county is the essential level of government for the administration of elections. The county sheriff in Wyoming counties is the highest law enforcement authority. A vast array of powers and possibilities arise from any county anywhere in the USA being run by actually libertarian persons. Which fact, I think, is reflected in the heinous treatment of Ron Paul delegates to county conventions far and wide.

    There were a number of goals for FSW, some of them identified in the book “Molon Labe” for moving people in to certain counties (Crook, Weston, and Hot Springs first). I remember 2006 goals and 2008 goals for members in state.

    A number of FSP enthusiasts have been elected in New Hampshire And Ben tells me that a number of Grand Western conferees were elected in Montana. I would be curious to learn about any progress in Wyoming.

    The only guy I know who got very far in his county was Ken Bollinger (sp?) in Crook County. Ken got on the planning board or zoning committee, or some such group. He was there when urban planner Fred Duncan showed up demanding new fees for septic systems, and new regulations to review and approve private property owner land uses. (I find the parallel to urban planner Mikaela L. Engert in Keene making trouble for Ian Bernard Freeman to be intriguing – FSW activists caught on to the urban planner’s online forum and found a number of posts suggesting that urban planners do not respect individual liberty or private property.)

    As I recall, Ken said something like there would be permits for new construction on private property over Ken’s dead body. Within a few weeks, Ken had been encouraged by a county clerk to make incorrect statements on an application for a concealed carry permit, and was in court for essentially all the time since. I don’t know if Ken is ever going to get his freedom back.

    I know that Rich has ambition to run for a county level office in his county in Wyoming, so that would be fun. I have a continuing respect and admiration for Rich which he has earned by being ethical, considerate, hard working, and honorable.

    In spite of my difficulties with Colorado interloper Royce and South Carolina resident Jen, I have found nearly all the people I’ve met and worked with in Wyoming to be good people. Decent, hard working, honorable, ethical, willing to go long distances to help friends, and unlikely to let government get in the way of their determination to do the right things, are the qualities that I’ve observed in nearly all the people I’ve met in Wyoming going back to 1997. (I have very few complete memories of my family travels in Wyoming in 1971, but they are uniformly positive.) That’s particularly true of the people I met in LP Wyoming. So, I would suggest that anyone thinking about Wyoming not regard Royce as in any way typical.

  26. Insert here.

    The whole April 2008 flap with him, the June event, and the FSW forum is described in the below links, if anybody truly cares. No use retyping it all here.

    readable by the public:
    http://www.fundamentalsoffreedom.com/fswforum/index.php?topic=5959.msg46256#msg46256

    readable by FSWers:
    http://www.fundamentalsoffreedom.com/fswforum/index.php?topic=6004.0

    I will, however, correct three of his most blatant untruths. For the laughable rest, Jim continues to make my point _for me_ far more persuasively than I can.

    ____________
    >> “including the $1500 for the December 2006 event I hosted for FSW and LP Wyoming”

    He’s counting _that_? That was Jim’s own private HiSovs fundraising event, and not an FSW one:

    “Your hosts for the evening are the Sovereigns of the High Frontier Society . . .
    Sovereigns of the High Frontier Society is a Wyoming based non-profit corporation dedicated to education and scientific research. . . . please consider bringing your checkbooks.”
    ~ Jim Davidson
    http://www.fundamentalsoffreedom.com/fswforum/index.php?topic=2733.msg21661#msg21661

    ____________
    Regarding his felony conviction, Jim personally informed me of this, and we discussed it by email thereafter.

    When I learned that Crook County officials had taken specific umbrage to the FSW forum posts of Jim Davidson, I warned Jim that he should take caution at his June 2008 event. I.e., as a convicted felon (erroneous or not), that he would be wise not to handle firearms there. This was cordial and well-meaning advice. Jim then publicly and hysterically morphed that to mean that I was going to call the police on him to disrupt the event. He even alleged this to the landowner, which nearly caused Rich to rescind his hosting offer.

    >> It so happens that this matter was addressed in a Tennessee court, which found no evidence of “felon in possession of firearms” violation, in 2006, and in a Kansas court which similarly dismissed a charge of “felon in possession of firearms” in early 2007. The latter court investigated the charges and found the clerk of the court and the judge in my 2004 conviction in Houston to both be of the opinion that I was *not* convicted of a felony.

    Oh, really?

    If his conviction was indeed reversed subsequently, he certainly made no point of it back in April when I warned him to be careful–and I’ve seen no paperwork about the courts’, uh, “findings.” (Ever get your guns back, Jim?)

    Here’s the real test: go try (with witnesses) to buy a firearm through an FFL and its NICS check. Then he’ll know for sure.

    ____________
    >> “I have in fact repeatedly asked for a refund of my membership fee, for access to the paid up member benefits. Admittedly, this task has been somewhat more difficult because Royce forbade me from contacting him by e-mail on several occasions.”

    It took several occasions because his right to speech seems to trump others’ right to association and privacy. His emails I no longer read, as I haven’t the time nor stomach for what I have sadly come to regard as logorrhea lunacy.

    I was unaware, until now, of any request for a refund, as Jim could have always mailed me a note asking for his $25. He should still do so, including his domestic mailing address (from which I can get evidence of receipt). I’m not sending his M.O. to get lost in some Central American country.

    _____________
    In short, if anybody else wants a new and pointless hobby, help yourself. There is only one rule: nothing is (or ever will be) ever Jim Davidson’s fault, even though he is the only common denominator to his numerous banishments.

    I am not the source of Jim’s problem. Jim is the source of Jim’s problem.

    All that said, can George please get this site back on track about the Boston Tea Party?

    Regards,
    Kenneth W. Royce

  27. I’ll weigh in here and say I don’t personally know Jim, Jen or Ken. I have read one of Ken’s books and have respect for him. I have seen a lot of Jim’s writing and have respect for him, too. I don’t know anything about Jen, so can’t say anything either way.

    I hope that this can be the end of this topic here. I think all parties have expressed themselves sufficiently on this matter on my website.

    For more on the Boston Tea Party, please see http://bostontea.us or check the front page of this website from time to time.

    Thanks everyone for your comments.

  28. JenS

    With all due respect George, I will be brief regarding Jim’s last comment.

    (stricken by website owner)

    To your original post George, I think the reason that the Boston Tea Party may be “(c) structurally free of common causes for infighting and schisms” is because it is smaller. Any organization that is not large is going to be freer of waste and possibly more efficient.

    Now I do not see that the BTP is necessarily free of infighting, nor does it have the resources of the LP, but I hope that it can help create a freer society. How, I am not really sure as it seems a waste of time and resources…the BTP may perhaps have a greater uphill battle than the LP, and to attempt to debase the LP seems quite underhanded, but perhaps competition is a good thing here? Otherwise, we’ll just split the vote further.

    From what I have observed, it has a lot of anarchistic members. That seems to me to be somewhat of a contradiction, but perhaps I am mistaken on that front.

  29. Rather a great many authoritarians who masquerade as libertarians think that anarchism is a threat to their liberty. This generally represents their preference for the state to smash other people’s faces, whether they admit it or not.

    In answer to Ken, or is it Boston’s, question: yes, I got my guns back.

  30. I will be brief regarding Jim’s last comment.

    Yes, you will. I have struck that part of your comment which continues the discussion of personal disagreements from the past. I clearly requested that you cease discussion on that topic.

    I think the reason that the Boston Tea Party may be “structurally free of common causes for infighting and schisms” is because it is smaller.

    That would not be a structural reason.

    Now I do not see that the BTP is necessarily free of infighting

    That is not what I claimed. I claimed that it is “structurally free of common causes for infighting and schisms”. One example of such is the platform.

    it seems a waste of time and resources…the BTP may perhaps have a greater uphill battle than the LP, and to attempt to debase the LP seems quite underhanded

    Do you care to explain why you think the BTP is a waste of time?

    Since when is open competition underhanded?

  31. Thanks, George.
    It has already taken thirty years for the LP to get where it is today, and although BTP’s name is self-explanatory, is not well-known. There are mainly ballot access hurdles and recognition hurdles to get though. It is frustrating enough as a Libertarian to jump those, I would imagine moreso regarding the BTP. That is my opinion, and it is just that.

    I do not appreciate the leadership of the Boston Tea party smearing the Libertarian Party unjustly. Competition is good, but all should play nice in the sandbox. We should reserve our insults, if we are going to give any to the Demopublicans. And even in this, I think it is the wrong campaign tactic to take instead of just focusing on issues.

  32. I do not appreciate the leadership of the Boston Tea party smearing the Libertarian Party unjustly.

    I don’t think there is anyone currently in the leadership of the BTP that is doing this.

    But, yes, I agree, ad hominem is inappropriate at best and at worst worthy of being despised and shunned. It’s not productive. I condemn its use.

    I think constructive criticism is good though. I try to only engage in that kind of criticism.

    The fact is that the national LP is being run in a secret manner. Through either negligence or hard work (I can’t know which), the membership is being shut out of active participation in running the national party.

    A libertarian party that is not run in a transparent manner is destined for the trash heap. Since I value myself, I value liberty. I want liberty now. I already have considerable personal liberty, being self-employed and almost entirely free of debt. Now I set my sights on liberty from government.

    In order to achieve my goal, I need a strong, trustworthy libertarian party (it’s not the only thing I need, but it’s an important one IMO). Unfortunately the LP is not fitting my bill. There seem to be some definite efforts to move the LP away from fitting my bill, in fact.

    The BTP is committed to transparency. Transparency engenders trust. With trust, people can work together even when they don’t win all the arguments, because at least they know it was a fair fight. Without trust, all is lost.

    By some metrics it took the LP only 8 years to get twice as far as it is now. It may take 20 years for Chrysler to develop a car people want, while Honda can do it in 18 months. The history of the development of the LP is not a road map for other libertarian parties.

    With respect to the hurdles, I have a favorite quote:

    Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led diffcult lives and led them well. (Teddy Roosevelt)

  33. Great points, George.
    I am not interested personally in all the crap going on within the National LP. A lot of it is infighting, and although I wish everyone would be fair and nice to each other, I just don’t care to hear all the gory details. Both warring factions have turned me off.

    I just support my local Libertarian Party, and that’s it. That’s all I have been doing since national had started spending lots of money at the national HQ for office stuff instead of state party ballot access.

  34. I think when you invest time, resources, your reputation, etc in a political party, product, organization, etc – when you go out and sell this to others – you have to feel good that what you’re selling is actually right, or right for the customers.

    For example, if you’re offered a job selling a product, and you find out that it is faulty, and the company refuses to acknowledge the fact and stand behind their product, I don’t see how an ethical person could take or remain in that job.

    In order to pursue greater political liberty through the electoral system, I need to sell people – voters, donors, journalists, bloggers, etc – on the idea that my political party – its people, what it stands for, its practice of its principles, etc – is right, ethical, worthy.

    How can I do that under the current circumstances? I suspect it would require a lie, which I refuse to do.

    My local LP could be spotless in this regard, but if it comes out that the national LP is not, all that is shot to hell. It’s overshadowed.

    It’s like the US dollar. I may manage my dollars responsibly. I may earn as much as I can ethically and spend as little as possible, only spending it for quality products and not wasting any on items that bring me insufficient value. I may invest my surplus cleverly and produce even more wealth.

    But if the national government takes 50% of that and hyperinflates the rest of it to a value of nothing, what is the point?

    Thanks for commenting. :)

  35. Thanks, George.

    ____________
    I’m not sufficiently informed on the LP/BTeaP issues to comment
    here, but some previous thoughts I posted elsewhere may be helpful:

    “One thing that the Reform Party truly understood was the value of
    sufficiently large consensus. They didn’t expect every candidate to
    rate 100% on their platform, and considered 80% a passing grade.
    This strikes me as highly realistic. It worked well enough to win the
    governor’s house for Ventura.

    “No perfect Libertarian candidate will ever be elected from the start,
    primarily because the voting majority will never hear of him. We
    must arrive there by stages. Ron Paul is an excellent first stage.

    “The “Judean People’s Front” and the “People’s Front of Judea” need to get behind the most electable Judean candidate [that they can find].”

    _____________
    If the LP and the BTeaP and the Constitution Party and the libertarian
    wing of the GOP could momentarily set aside their <30% of philosophical
    differences and support vastly libertarian candidates, we could probably
    see some of them reach office.

    Whatever our libertarian label, we are a niche market. We need each
    other, because even the largest of us is not large enough to matter
    (i.e., not even to swing 3% of the national vote).

    Regards,
    Ken Royce

  36. I agree. We need a liberty party that is a big tent. We need to welcome anyone who wants smaller government, but without compromising on our base principles.

    Well said. I think that the results of everyone in the liberty movement pulling together could be so great.

    Thanks for commenting.

  37. Big tent. That is how I view the LP. I do not believe the LP has “compromised” just because we have had one candidate who some people didn’t like, and national officers that perhaps should not be re-elected. There will be other candidates, and other times to change the platform, officers, and procedural rules. There are many different shades of libertarian within the party.

    I see the BTP as purists who aren’t able to work with others or see shades of gray, except for those who are still working within the LP. So while I do not feel that working with another minor party is worthwhile, I do not view the BTP as something “good” I can sell. Particularly when you have people within it throwing around insults to other libertarians willy-nilly. That does not go for everyone, but when you have a former chair who can’t be mature, I want no part of it.

  38. The problem with all LP party loyalists is that any criticism is unfair, any discussion of wrongdoing is unacceptable, any statement of facts of corruption and abuse of power is rejected, and any argument for a different way of doing things is rejected as an attack. This turns out to be more true of the LPRadicals group than of its reform caucus, though the reformers are far less interested in freedom.

    When people present information about Perry Willis abusing his power, corruptly allocating contracts, deceiving the members of the LP about how many people have joined, gaining a part of every new member sign-up fee to feather his nest, or even, as John Famularo has done, showing direct instructions given by Willis to falsify information on membership numbers in order to maximise Willis’s gain, the LP loyalists ignore the information, disregard it, contradict it, lie about it, or simply do nothing about it.

    When LP activists are not paid for their petition gathering work, or when an LP national official demands that petitions be burned to prevent payment from going out, these problems are brought up, and nothing is done. The LP loyalists don’t want anyone questioning the party. Any argument that the party is corrupt, controlled by people who abuse their power, or engaged in idiotic political “strategies” such as nominating a Dixiecrat racist war monger, are not allowed.

    So, of course Tom Knapp got disgusted and formed the Boston Tea Party. Of course, hundreds of people have joined this new party. Of course there are many of us who won’t have anything to do with the shambles that has been made of the LP, the so-called party of principle, which is a party of corruption, abuse of power, deception, and idiocy.

    This doesn’t mean that the existence of the Boston Tea Party is an attack on the LP. It means that there are many members of the BTP who quit the LP because of the hateful, vile, despicable things the LP does, and approves of, and does nothing about.

    My criticisms of the LP are mine. They belong to me. They don’t belong to the Boston Tea Party. I am not an officer of that party. I am not an at large committee member of that party.

    And I don’t give a rat’s ass what that hateful harridan Jen thinks about what I say. The fact that she resents the things I say about the LP makes me certain that I’m on the right path. This goes double for Royce.

  39. And I suppose all former chairs of the LP are able to be mature? That’s a curious metric by which to judge a political party.

  40. I’ve unsubscribed from this thread because it bores me.

    (stricken by website owner because it was off-topic and I asked that discussion of this topic cease on my website at this time.)

  41. George,
    No, of course not. I am not denying any wrong doing by anyone in the LP. I am sure there is. And a lot of the politics that seems to go on in the LP is not only about real issues, but personal attacks of each other, which the BTP is clearly not immune from. So no party is perfect, is what I am saying.

    Perhaps you view the LP as more corrupt than the BTP, just as I view the Republican Party as more corrupt than the LP. I can understand this view, appreciate it, and possibly agree with it. Maybe I just need to get to know more about the Boston Tea Party. I agree with the BTP’s basic concept, but I find the mantra “to reduce government” to be lacking because it does not make any indication that rights should also be protected.

  42. True, no party is perfect.

    Corrupt is a generalization. I simply find the LP less and less transparent in its way of doing things, less accountable, less libertarian.

    I’m confident that people can protect their own rights, or find others to do that for them. I’m not an anarchist. I lean Objectivist. But at the same time as I think we need government police, courts and national defense, I think people need to be primarily responsible for protecting their own rights.

    I suspect that we are going to more clearly define the BTP over the next 2-4 years and I’m glad to participate in that process – perhaps even as Chairman of the national party.

  43. Ah. Well you have the same thoughts on security that I do. I consider myself a minarchist. True, vigilance will always be needed from the citizenry to be sure that checks and balances stay in place, and that government stays on a short leash.

    However, my dreams of a libertarian society are probably way off base, as there will always be authoritarian types that will have to be contended with. Any “compromise” that a libertarian politician makes is either going to be viewed either good, or selling out. Any advance of liberty is good, though. Major education needs to take place in this country. Most citizens do not know their rights.

    If Keaton is not kicked off the LNC, I think there still may be some hope for transparency.

  44. I think that if they kick Keaton off, it will be the end of the LP for a lot of people. Corporate authoritarian types will be pleased and the radicals will even further reduce their participation.

    Even worse that not knowing their rights, many citizens think it is a faux pas to bring up the issue of rights at all.

  45. Phil Harmonic

    I’ve read through this site (though not all of the outward links). As a lifelong resident of Wyoming, I’d like to recommend that if you decide to follow-up on the Wyoming plan – you’ll need it to come from Wyoming natives. Wyoming is a very open, freedom-loving, state, but many of us have grown very ill-tempered towards outside interests trying to come in and utilize us for their whims. We resent and fight any group or idea that we feel is coming from the outside. We are tired of feeling like we are looked at as a “toy” of those from larger states. While I do not imply that this is your aim, I would just like to offer a friendly warning that you might need to take extra steps to make sure it isn’t interpretted this way by Wyoming residents. In my most humble opinion, any such action (as you have suggested) will almost necessarily need to be run by native Wyoming residents. We’ve had too many people from out of state (or transplants) telling us what we are supposed to do as of late; followed by too many developers coming in and grabbing land (shutting it down); followed by the Hollywood elite who have somehow mistaken Wyoming as their own personal backyard plaything. We love freedom, but we’re pretty pessimistic of outside forces trying to peddle things to us. Please don’t take this as discouragement, but instead, as advice on how to approach any dealings with the people of Wyoming. (Don’t even MENTION what the federal government has done to us with the wolf thing!!)

    (I could point out several folks living in the hills of southeast Wyoming that will quite literally shoot you if they see you on their properties/ranches if you have not made plans with them prior to showing up (no exagerations, and since many of these folks don’t even have telephones – this can be a quite tricky catch-22)…folks who don’t have or need electricity, have caves carved into the side of hills with months worth of provisions, etc., etc., so you really will meet A LOT of resistance if anyone gets even the slightest hint of outside influence driving movements. As you mentioned above – we love our freedom in Wyoming, and we don’t like ANYONE tinkering with it; but if it’s gonna be tinkered with – it had better be from native Wyoming folks!)

  46. but many of us have grown very ill-tempered towards outside interests trying to come in and utilize us for their whims

    The FSW, as far as I know, is all about defending Wyoming as it is now; it’s about taking advantage of its status as one of the most libertarian states, not about controlling it.

    I would just like to offer a friendly warning that you might need to take extra steps to make sure it isn’t interpretted this way by Wyoming residents.

    Thanks, I appreciate that. I understand that the the existing participants are taking this into consideration, but I’m not very familiar with the goings on there.

    I actually decided to move to New Hampshire with the Free State Project, instead.

    I could point out several folks living in the hills of southeast Wyoming that will quite literally shoot you if they see you on their properties/ranches if you have not made plans with them prior to showing up

    Good for them. Property rights are critical.

    so you really will meet A LOT of resistance if anyone gets even the slightest hint of outside influence driving movements

    I don’t know if it counts for anything but I understand that a good number of people have already moved to WY and make it their permanent home. IOW, they’re committed to becoming WY natives.