TONIGHT: Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / 8pm @ Karl’s Klipper

Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / Thursday, July 7th @ 8pm

Karl’s Klipper
40 Bay Street in St. George near the Ferry
Staten Island, New York 10301
(718) 720-4442

[get directions here]

MEETING AGENDA

A Reading: The Sixth Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused enjoys certain rights. Yes, even tyrants and traitors.

A Discussion: 2011-2012 SILP Officer Candidates & By-Law Amendments

  • Confirm officer candidates/positions so we can reconcile scope of executive committee and related by-laws for 2011-2012
  • Propose/approve any amendments to our by-laws prior to convention

A Strategy: Outreach & Recruitment

Dave Narby will outline a strategic initiative for developing working relationships with other civic and political organizations in Richmond County.

A Legal Defense Plan: The Constitution Lobby

  • A discussion of the new Constitution Lobby (We The People Foundation) and how the libertarians could (and arguably should) play a significant role
  • Update on We The People of New York, Inc.

The People Speak: Your Topics, Your Thoughts

We yield the floor to any and all NY-13 neighbors and residents, regardless of political affiliation or subject matter. Speak your mind; observe your First Amendment rights. We respect all points of view.

Pocket Constitution: Pick One Up

The SILP will once again be offering to all in attendance free pocket copies of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence.
We look forward to seeing you.

Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / Thursday, July 7th @ 8pm

Karl’s Klipper
(get directions here)
40 Bay Street in St. George
Staten Island, New York 10301
(718) 720-4442

MEETING AGENDA



A Reading: The Sixth Amendment
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused enjoys certain rights. Yes, even tyrants and traitors.

A Discussion: 2011-2012 SILP Officer Candidates & By-Law Amendments

  • Confirm officer candidates/positions so we can reconcile scope of executive committee and related by-laws for 2011-2012
  • Propose/approve any amendments to our by-laws prior to convention

A Strategy: Outreach & Recruitment
Dave Narby will outline a strategic initiative for developing working relationships with other civic and political organizations in Richmond County.
A Legal Defense Plan: The Constitution Lobby

  • A discussion of the new Constitution Lobby (We The People Foundation) and how the libertarians could (and arguably should) play a significant role
  • Update on We The People of New York, Inc.

The People Speak: Your Topics, Your Thoughts
We yield the floor to any and all NY-13 neighbors and residents, regardless of political affiliation or subject matter. Speak your mind; observe your First Amendment rights. We respect all points of view.
Free Pocketsize Constitution!
The SILP will once again be offering to all in attendance free pocket copies of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence.

Narby, Panzella Step Up for State Libertarian Duties


STATEN ISLAND, NY, June 3, 2011 – The Staten Island Libertarian Party (SILP) announced that two of its members have been elected to take on additional responsibilities at the state level with the Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY). Founded in 1970, the LPNY has played a crucial role in the creation and growth of today’s largest independent party in the United States.
Dave Narby, SILP Secretary, was elected as one of five Members at Large during the recent LPNY State Convention. He will be involved with a number of special assignments for the state party chairman, Mark Axinn, including community liaison activities, and assisting with the development of emerging chapters in the greater New York City metropolitan area.
Mr. Narby ran a highly respectable grassroots campaign for Assembly District 61 in last year’s midterm elections. He regards his political stance as centrist in nature, and has been a registered independent Libertarian for over a decade.
An investor and entrepreneur, Mr. Narby is well studied in the science of sound-money principles and economic policy. He resides in the Silver Lake community with his wife, Jennifer DeSanctis-Narby.
Another 2010 SILP assembly candidate, Danny Panzella (AD 63), was chosen in a special election to assume the post of State Committee Representative. Mr. Panzella will represent and vote the interests of the Staten Island chapter at the monthly LPNY state committee meetings. Richard Bier previously held the position, and will continue in his role as SILP vice chairman.
A founding member of the Staten Island Tea Party Patriots, Mr. Panzella has since expanded his tea party activism throughout New York City. Along the way he has forged a reputation as a determined and outspoken advocate for government transparency. He works as an independent investigative journalist and publishes his online magazine, Truth Squad TV.
Mr. Panzella lives in Manor Heights with his wife Jo Ann and their newborn son, Xander. They enjoy raising chickens and gardening as a hobby.

# # #

Liberty Tree Town Hall Meeting / Thursday, May 19th @ 8pm

Mike’s Unicorn Diner
(get directions here)
2944 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314-6606
(718) 494-2129

Different place, same mission.

Join our traveling town hall as we
pursue our promise of liberty outreach.


MEETING AGENDA



A Reading: The Fifth Amendment
Protects the People against abuse of government authority in court proceedings; also contains a favorite Libertarian hot button: no private property shall be taken for public use, without just compensation.

A Discussion: SILP Leadership and 2011 By-Law Amendments
Before we go to convention, we will need to discuss the makeup of our executive committee for 2011-2012, and propose/approve any amendments to our by-laws.
The People Speak: Your Topics, Your Thoughts
We yield the floor to any and all NY-13 neighbors and residents, regardless of political affiliation or subject matter. Speak your mind; observe your First Amendment rights. We respect all points of view.
Free Pocketsize Constitution!
The Staten Island Libertarian Party will once again be offering to all in attendance free pocket copies of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence.
Liberty Kitchen & Pantry!
We ask anyone planning to attend to consider bringing a food gift to the Town Hall for donation. Area food pantries are running short.

  • Baby food always needed
  • Non-perishable foodstuffs and canned goods
  • New or like-new pots, pans, microwaveable cookware, cooking utensils welcome
  • We’ll even find a good home for your extra or unneeded cookbooks

If you cannot attend but want to help, you may also arrange for pickup or find the nearest drop-off location by calling our Liberty Line @ 646-543-7457, or contact info@statenislandlp.org.

Convention 2011 : Libertarian Party of New York

The Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY), our state affiliate, will hold its Annual Convention on April 30th. Get your registration in before prices go up April 10th.
See details below:

39th Annual State Convention

Saturday, April 30th

Lily Flanagan’s Pub
345 Deer Park Avenue
Babylon, New York
Mere steps from the LIRR Station

Click here for Google Map
Click here for Directions

Registration Information:

Send a check to:

SCLO, PO Box 728, Bellport, NY 11713

Please include proper amount and indicate the package you are purchasing:

Registration @ 9AM Contn’tl Breakfast with lunch Package*
Business Meeting 10 – 12 noon @ no charge
VIP Speakers table – $80 by 10 Apr, $100 after
Food/Speakers Package* – $60 by 10 Apr, $80 after
Speakers only [no food] – $30 by 10 Apr, $50 after

Buffet Luncheon includes one of three entrees: chicken, beef, or fish, which will be chosen the  day of event.

Convention Speakers

Julian HeicklenFully Informed Jury Association: “America: Land of the Prisoners”
Bill Redpath – former Chair of the Libertarian National Committee and current Treasurer
Danny PanzellaOPT OUT Alliance, Libertarian candidate for Assembly on Staten Island
Warren RedlichLPNY 2010 Gubernatorial candidate
Gigi BowmanCampaign for Liberty New York State Coordinator
Peter Nichols – 2010 Huntington Town Supervisor candidate
Masood ManoochehriStudents for Liberty: “The New Libertarian Generation”
George Marlin – “NY’s Financial Treadmill to Oblivion”

Schedule of Events

9am – Registration (Continental Breakfast included with Full Package*)
10am – 12pm – BUSINESS MEETING
12pm – 1pm – Lunch
1pm – Speakers
Immediately following conclusion of convention the LPNY State Committee
will convene in the Pub (on 1st floor)

Borough Politburo

[commentary]

Scroll down the March 20th edition of Tom Wrobleski’s Strictly Political to a short entry entitled “Off With Their Heads.” The political editor at the Staten Island Advance satirically notes some outrageous comments made recently by our own distinguished Borough President, James P. Molinaro.
In a moment of weakness (or moment of truth), the honorable Mr. Molinaro felt obliged to share his dismay over government inaction, arguing, “benevolent dictatorship is the way you get things done.”

Um, excuse me, comrade?
The article continues: “Democracy doesn’t work, he said. “You can’t piecemeal government. I know I shouldn’t be saying this.” No, he really shouldn’t, but he did, nonetheless.
With both feet now firmly planted in mouth, Mr. Molinaro then delivers this gem: “Will you have corruption? But we have corruption now.” Well, Diamond Jim, since you put it that way.
The context for these little brow-raisers? Mr. Molinaro’s admitted frustration in failing to get a left-turn lane installed after more than a decade of trying, among many other disappointments. Forget that he helped to create the leviathan bureaucracy that encourages little government gimmes like this, but then also can’t get out of its own way when it comes time to fulfill them.
Surely he doesn’t believe that a dictatorship is the conservative, constitutional solution to a bloated, overreaching, underachieving system. The BP was just venting, blowing off steam, right? He wasn’t actually proposing authoritarian government, however benign.
I suppose neither was President George W. Bush when he said in alleged jest: “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” The context here, too, was frustration with the system. Apparently this was also the case with his political yang, President Barack H. Obama, the renowned industry nationalizing, czar-happy Transformer-in-Chief.
The New York Times reports that Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’”
To be fair, what these so-called leaders say is unequivocally true. There is no doubt that a dictatorship would make life a lot easier for them, if only this were Tahrir Square, or certainly Tiananmen Square. But this is New York, and we prefer to keep our Times Square just the way it was, thank you.
The real issue, perhaps, is whether political leaders should be saying these things in the first place. A lot of patriots have shed a lot of blood devising, developing, and defending to the death this Constitutional Republic these past 250 years. It is an insult to us all. True, we have also fought and died for the American freedom to say whatever it is we feel, Molinaro included. It is our absolute, natural, God-given right.
Yet it is also the People’s right, indeed our solemn, civic duty, to remain vigilant, and speak out against the undemocratic impulses of any elected official, regardless of context, the appearance of innocence, or the presence of ignorance. And to question: What of their duty? What of their sacred oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of New York State?
Perhaps I have overstated the principle; people say crazy things all the time. Isn’t this really much ado about nothing? Just words? Let us turn to another famous utterance from #44:
“Don’t tell me that words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream.’ Just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words. Just speeches…”
The point Mr. Obama was making in this speech, of course, is that words do matter. And while they can certainly inspire, they also have the power, thankfully, to illuminate. We should all consider ourselves fortunate to glimpse these public servants as they really think. To know what runs through a person’s mind, as it slips unfiltered past the lips, is genuine godsend.
To wit: when the proverbial S[tuff] Hits The Fan, we’ll know exactly who to keep an eye on during the crisis.
As for the controversy at hand, should Mr. Molinaro apologize? Resign? Be dragged before a grand jury to explain his wistful pining for dictatorial power and process? Old school tar and feathers? That will be left to the People to decide.
However, if the Reader Comments section were any indication, it is equally disheartening to find the residents of this beloved island far more consumed with petty nonsense about who may or may not march in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Not a single poster paid heed to the Borough President’s revealing words, preferring instead to alternately bicker about Richmond’s tea party and young democrats club. Apparently this is the new pastime.
I can only say to my well intentioned neighbors: Beware. For when we become so divided over the little things, history hath shewn that we tend to miss the really big, important ones. Remember that ‘divide and conquer’ is the ancient tool of the Tyrant.
“Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.”
Hey, I’m just sayin’.
I’ll give you the last word.

# # #

THANK YOU

Dear Friends,
My sincere thanks to you all for digging deep and helping to get the Liberty Kitchen & Food Drive off to such an inspiring start. We now have a car full of canned goods ready to be delivered.
Dave Narby, the SILP Secretary, has been in contact with Project Hospitality. We’ll be working with them and other neighborhood organizations to get these gifts to where they’re needed most.
Local food banks are reporting 30-40 additional families seeking assistance each week. We’re talking hard-working, self-reliant families who have simply found themselves overwhelmed by these tough economic times. And sadly, it might just get worse.
So please, keep it coming:

  • Jars of baby food always needed
  • Non-perishable foodstuffs and canned goods
  • New or like-new pots, pans, microwaveable cookware, and cooking utensils
  • Extra or unneeded cookbooks also welcome
  • No donation is too small.
  • Feel free to bring your gift to our next Town Hall meeting

To arrange for pickup or find the nearest drop-off location:

Call our Liberty Line at 646-543-7457

Or contact info@statenislandlp.org

The goal of the Liberty Kitchen & Food Drive is simple: Help families to help themselves by maintaining a sense of independence, dignity, and self-worth. We’ll faithfully assist in providing food to those in need, plus the knowledge and tools to prepare it.
Again, thank you on behalf of your neighbors for your generosity and compassion.
Highest Regards,
–ed
Edward Stehlin, Chairman

Identity Crisis: So who exactly are the Libertarians?

Over the course of the 2010 campaign season, the question most asked of me personally by voters was a seemingly simple one:
“What do you stand for?”
The “you” in this context meant the Staten Island Libertarian Party (SILP) and our candidates in particular, or alternatively, the Libertarian movement at large. Our chapter’s boilerplate reply, crafted by committee for accuracy and consensus, was equally simple:
“Limited government, personal liberty, free markets, and state’s rights.”
Indeed, our positions on these issues constitute key planks of the SILP platform. All pretty straightforward stuff.
Further, it’s reasonably certain that Libertarians universally embrace the first two pillars noted above. The national Libertarian Party (LP), which bills itself as the ‘Party of Principle,’ has it distilled down to this mantra: ‘minimum government, maximum freedom.’
Kinda catchy, right? You’d think so.
Yet among the hundreds of New Yorkers with whom I spoke, and who claimed to have some insight into Libertarian philosophy, the pendulum of perception regarding Libertarianism swings wildly, from a party of right-wing extremists, to one of far-left anarchists. (A similar affliction confounds watchers of the Patriot/Tea Party movement, but that’s another op-ed for another time.)
After 40 years, one wonders if the Libertarian Party still struggles to define itself in this world of three-second sound bites. Or maybe the electorate is just hopelessly hardwired for 2-party tyranny. After all, conventional punditry has long proclaimed that a third-party vote is a wasted vote. Worse still, they insist, it is a “spoiler” vote that will only throw the election to the enemy (whoever that is…).
Whatever the reasons, all manner of misconceptions and misnomers abound regarding Libertarians and their beliefs; prominent media outlets, slanted all across the political spectrum, can’t seem to get it right with any regularity.
We’ve also found that the name Libertarian itself can cause something of a misdirect. Many voters make that phonetical leap of logic that Libertarian = Liberal. While there is some genuine basis of truth in that, there is one significant exception.
It is classical liberalism to which we pay homage. Modern liberalism? Not so much. The term was hijacked long ago. Many of the policies now associated with self-styled social liberals lie 180-degrees from the original tenet and meaning of liberalism. Of course, the exact same thing can be said for many so-called conservatives, who profess (with a straight face) to be today’s champions of small government and individual rights.
So much for principle.
To some extent our current case of mistaken identity is self-inflicted. Like any large national party (reportedly the largest independent), we have our own undeniable factions. A veteran New York state LP member once advised that ‘getting Libertarians to agree on anything is like herding cats.’
Not surprisingly, our public persona (as well our political unity) is vulnerable to far-flung chapters with competing interests, brought about through disparate geo-cultural values, social-driven agendas, and myriad policy emphases. And they don’t always align neatly. Yes, even in the great State of New York.
I will argue that this is as it should be, insomuch that Liberty teaches individualism and self-determination. It also preaches tolerance of, and respect for, different political and ideological points of view.
But in the marketing parlance that is endemic in modern politics, it becomes difficult to uniformly promote a “brand” when the “product” is inconsistent across the marketplace. And so it follows that in an army of independent thinkers, there is going to be a lot of inconsistency.
So, you may ask, what then are we selling?
What are the ‘Principles’ that drive the Staten Island Libertarian Party?
Let me quickly remind that I do not necessarily represent the views of the national LP mother ship, nor our friends in Manhattan, Greater Rochester, and Hudson Valley et al. Neither do I speak here for my Staten Island member colleagues; they rather excel in doing that themselves.
The following notes, then, are simply my own observations of the dominant themes in the year since I began working with this remarkable group of patriots:
Our extremely knowledgeable membership holds a deep, abiding respect for the Founders of this country, and the well-documented Originalist intent of our United States Constitution. We would do well not to forget that our liberties have other protections, too, in the Constitution of the State of New York.
We are determined to hold accountable all transgressors of said constitutions, with special days of reckoning reserved for elected officials, as they have sworn an oath to uphold them.
Taxed Enough Already. We witnessed with total astonishment an unprecedented fiscal recklessness in the wake of a near-catastrophic economic collapse. And this on the heels of an already unprecedented build-up of debt during two wars. Is it their plan to see this nation insolvent?  Is it possible to return to pre-Great Society levels in federal spending.
In New York we need hard caps on taxes; property, income, and sales. But then also cut and cap state and municipal spending.
Our discussions on sound money principles and fiscal restraint are epic, and alone worth the price of admission. [btw, meetings are free; membership is only $20 per year]
Speaking of monetary policies, exactly who are these unelected, unaccountable persons at the Federal Reserve, and what exactly are they doing with our dollars? With whom? And why? Demand transparency.
We are for private enterprise. We know what makes America run, and who creates real jobs of opportunity and advancement. And it ain’t the government.
We advocate the removal the job-killing restrictions and business-crushing regulations that stifle the entrepreneurial spirit, and stagnate our district’s economic recovery.
There are strategic opportunities right now to attract new employers to this district, too. Incentivize companies. Reinstate business credits. Address the area’s transportation needs by opening up to private competition.
Fiercely anti-statist. From table salt to salty language, small farms to firearms. Quite simply, ‘don’t tread on me.’ Let’s neuter the nanny state. We are a Sovereign People.
We support State’s Rights. The needs and desires of New Yorkers are as different from those in Iowa as they are in California. Have we not yet learned that one-size federal legislation does not fit all? We are not the United States of America, but these United States.
Likewise, the needs and desires of Staten Island are as different from Fire Island as they are from Rikers Island. Government that governs best is local.
The neo-federalists may not enumerate which products we must purchase, and then penalize our families should we choose not to comply. Exactly what part of the Tenth Amendment does this central government gang not understand?
The U.S. Department of State does not have permission to sign global treaties with world bodies, which ultimately compromises the national sovereignty of the People. For the record, neither does the president.
Nor does the United Nations have permission to pass judgment on our sovereign states’ laws; dictate how we raise our children; control the trade of private firearms; or allocate the amount of carbon exhaled on this planet.
No more foreign entanglements; military, financial, political, or otherwise. We’ve got enough challenges right here at home.
Education reform. The current framework is definitely not what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he advocated a public system of education for our children.
Empowerment before entitlement. Let us foster prosperity and self-worth through personal independence. And work to eliminate government dependence, and the indifference and indignity that flow from it.
Why does a term limits law that New Yorkers overwhelmingly approved in 2010 not go into effect until 2021? Are 34 incumbents really that special that the law should not apply to them?

#

These are just some of the topics discussed at our monthly assemblies. I think it is a fair snapshot (albeit through my lens) of what is important to the Staten Island Libertarian Party membership, and the neighbors that have visited with us.
Again, I encourage you to please read our party’s platform so you can get a better sense of where we stand. Maybe you’ll even decide to stand with us.
Better yet, swing by one of our Liberty Tree Town Halls for a firsthand look at what we’re doing, and then decide for yourself. This, too, is as it should be.

#

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

[For further reading on classical liberalism, here are other links from Stanford and the Mises Institute.]

Liberty Tree Town Hall, March 9th at 8pm

On Wednesday evening, the Staten Island Libertarian Party will present its monthly Liberty Tree Town Hall, in the dining room at Karl’s Klipper, 40 Bay Street, in historic St. George across from the post office.
We will soon be visiting other parts of the island. So if you can’t make this one, stay tuned for news regarding other locations.
(And if you know of an appropriate venue in your neighborhood,  please let us know!)

#

AGENDA 03.09:

2011 Civic Initiatives Update
Sit in on our review of first quarter project planning. If you’re looking to make a difference in our community, this is the place to be. There is much to be done. No contribution of time or effort too small. All are welcome.
2012 Candidate Discussion
The first in a series of conversations about the next general election cycle. Ever think about running for office? Know somebody that should run for office? Stop by, patriots wanted.
The People Speak
We yield the floor to any and all neighbors and residents, regardless of topic, position, or party affiliation. Come speak your mind, observe your First Amendment rights. Give us your views of our government. Share your vision for the future of our community. Visitors and Members of the Free Press always welcome.
Free Pocketsize Constitution
Speaking of rights… The Staten Island Libertarian Party will be offering to all in attendance free pocket copies of the Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence. Did I say they were free?
Liberty Kitchen & Food Drive

We ask anyone planning to attend to please bring a gift or donation to the Town Hall. Area food pantries are running short. We’re hearing that there are 30-40 new families seeking assistance each week.
Needed:

  • Baby food and formula
  • Nonperishable foodstuffs and canned goods
  • New or like-new pots, pans, microwaveable cookware, cooking utensils
  • We’ll even find a good home for any of your extra or unneeded cookbooks

Thanks, and see you on Wednesday.

Our Rights and Right-to-Work

With all the hubbub over state budget cuts, unions, and collective bargaining agreements, I thought I’d do some fact checking. That eventually led me to a Wiki entry on right-to-work. Below is an excerpt from that piece on the Libertarian perspective.
I was wondering what is the perspective of this group.
From Wikipedia:

“Libertarian Capitalist View”

From a libertarian capitalist perspective, right-to-work laws may be argued either for or against, depending on whether the focus is on the freedom of the employee or the freedom of the employer. A right-to-work law can be seen as either freeing individual employees from being coerced into joining a union,[21] or as restricting the right of an employer to enter into a voluntary contract with its labor union. For example, the Libertarian Party’s affiliate in the state of Georgia includes an endorsement of right-to-work laws in its party platform.[22] The national Libertarian Party has included talking points in its platform which have explicitly called for the repeal of private sector right-to-work laws.[23][24] That platform plank was pulled in 2006, but after substantial internal debate, the platform again is squarely in favor of ending restrictive measures: “We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions, and an employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union.”[25]
(The full Wiki entry can be found here.)