imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Stealing Montana

by Mike Keefe-Feldman Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 11:15 AM

Vin Suprynowicz told fellow libertarians that the particular words they choose to explain their politics is of the utmost importance. For instance, they should talk not about shutting down public schools, but closing "monopoly government youth propaganda camps."

from Invasion of the Libertarians?

by Mike Keefe-Feldman, Missoula Indpendent, 5/29/2003

How do I look?

---------------------

Montana legislators Joe Balyeat (R-Bozeman) and Jerry O'Neill (R-Columbia Falls) hope the Free State Project will move to Montana, as it is in line with their libertarian principles. Both representatives emphasize the importance of shaping public perception of the project. "The one problem in Montana is we have a liberal media that will probably go out of its way to focus on the most extreme members of your group," says Balyeat. "They will probably even paint you in an extreme light with stereotypes."

J.J. Johnson, the editor of SierraTimes.com, a politically-contentious Web site that rants on subjects such as police corruption and the war in Iraq, agrees on the importance of image. "The biggest challenge will be how things are viewed," Johnson says.

In this vein, Rep. O'Neill urges the members of the Free State Project to portray themselves in the light most favorable to the audience at hand. "When I go to the veterans' home," says O'Neill, "I don't say I'm here to take away your medical aid. I say I'm here to protect your gun rights."

O'Neill's comment draws a big laugh from the audience. Syndicated columnist, author and speaker Vin Suprynowicz tells the conference that even the particular words they choose to use will be of the utmost importance. For instance, says Suprynowicz, they should talk not about shutting down public schools, but closing "monopoly government youth propaganda camps."

If the project is successful in attracting 20,000 members, public perception will become an even more important issue with the chosen state's natives. Bozeman's Quincy OrHai says that it is important that the newcomers don’t come off as invading know-it-alls.

"It would be a mistake for people to move here with the Free State Project and immediately begin to try to change things. That's the one good way to alienate everybody. The first thing you do is you settle in and you find out what the locals do. And then, after you find out what they do, you find out why they do it. And that usually takes at least five years. And then after that, you begin to think that you could be of help changing this or that."

Sorens takes OrHai's idea a step further, saying that there’s no reason Free Staters have to announce to their native neighbors that they are indeed Free Staters. "We're just people moving in," says Sorens. "They don't have to know why."

The best way to create a positive image may be to find local allies, a process that’s already begun in Montana. Gary Marbut, the president and founder of the highly-effective Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), is not a member of the Free State Project, but Marbut spoke on the Montana panel during the Grand Western Conference and could clearly be a local aid to incoming porcupines.

Another ally for Free Staters in Montana may be found in activists such as John Masterson, who leads the Missoula-based chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and says that he works with anyone who will work with him.

Yet, no matter how the Free Staters craft their image, opponents will portray them in a different light. One such opponent is Brad Martin, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. Martin says that the reason Montana is in its current fiscal troubles in the first place is an overabundance of Libertarian philosophy.

"The Libertarian wing of the Montana Republican Party has been in the lead for years. They want to cut provisions that protect workers' wages, fair pay. They're the wing that wants to cut programs like Meals on Wheels. They're that group of Republicans that doesn't believe in government providing support for our neediest citizens, while at the same time advocating tax breaks that will mostly benefit the wealthy."

Martin says that when Libertarians use the term "small government," the words are "code" for a lack of responsibility to help citizens who cannot survive without government aid in their lives.

If it faces in-state opposition from either the media or politicians in power, the project may encounter an even larger battle looming on the horizon with the federal government. In the midst of the Patriot Act and other federal restrictions on civil liberties, Free Staters are mindful that the feds didn't just sit back and nod while the Branch Dividians went their own way in Waco.

Approximately 150 libertarian-minded individuals gather inside the Best Inn's conference center in Missoula to plan the rise of a state where government's only job would be to protect people and property.

Freedom's pricetag

----------------------------

There is no way to know exactly how the free state would work, or if it would work at all. That's what makes it so exciting to members and curious non-members alike: it's an experiment, so by definition the results are uncertain. Yet it remains clear that freedoms come at a price. This is classic Libertarian dogma. If you want freedom, you'd best accept the responsibility that comes with it. As the conference draws to a close, the man who started it all steps to the podium. Jason Sorens talks to his fellow Free Staters about responsibility, tells them that things will not be easy, that the status quo is comfortable to most people. He also says that his group will never be able to reach the kind of widespread consensus that Republicans or Democrats manage. To Sorens, this is both the strength and the weakness of the Free State Project. The majority of the interested faces before him belong to white males, but when it comes to exactly how the project should function, they're a diverse bunch. Still, Sorens points to some common links among all the conference attendees.

"We're all just American citizens living the American dream, doing what Americans have always done, from the Pilgrims to the Mormons."

In the end, it is the American dream that is ultimately the goal of the Free State Project: the idea that individuals should be free to fly an F-15 fighter over Montana, shooting at clouds while snorting coke and shagging a prostitute and no one can tell you "no." Or the dream could be raising and teaching one's kids alone in the countryside on a diet of Whitman and the Bible without worrying about child services knocking on the door to see what's going on. It could mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people, and that’s the whole point.

But the freedom to pursue the American dream has always required money. Fortunately for them, most of the conference attendees have it, which is another common bond linking them. The conference has drawn those who own entire valleys of land, but not those who accept food stamps to feed their kids. It has drawn able-bodied travelers, but not the handicapped person in the wheelchair who counts on government to tell businesses that they must make their entrances accessible. And as diverse as the crowd is, the working poor are noticeably absent.

Well, almost absent.

After a day of discussion, several porcupines walk to a fast-food restaurant abutting Brooks Street. If any of them had struck up a conversation with the women and men behind the counter before ordering their burgers, they might have found Missoulians working two jobs for a total of seventy hours a week just to stay broke and not fall into the red. These are the people who benefit most from government aid, and who would suffer most from its withdrawal. But they can’t make it to the Grand Western Conference to argue their side of the story. They're working weekends.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
What do Libertarians look like? like this Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 2:18 PM
What do libertarians really believe? Jason Sorens Thursday, Jun. 05, 2003 at 7:35 AM
Help me Eric Friday, Jun. 06, 2003 at 9:25 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy