Civil Liberties Initiative


  On what basis do you feel the Republic of Vietnam flag is "no longer a valid flag?" Is the Gadsden ("Don't Tread On Me") flag also no longer a valid flag? Obviously the Board did not know what they were doing when they voted to honor the yellow flag with red stripes, but I'm glad they did it. I only wish they'd had the courage and right principles to stand by their action.

  It's absolutely not true that we can have no impact on state, national, or international issues. What do you think the old saw that "all politics is local" means, anyway? Does it mean that there is literally no such thing as national or international politics? Of course not! It means that even politics at those levels IS strongly influenced by politics at the local level.

  Now it may well turn out for other reasons that a strictly local measure would be a good choice for an initiative to pursue. But let's not make that a basis for selection and ignore the implications of "all politics is local," or your other apropos quote, "Politics is grand theater." It is indeed, and that's why symbolic measures count! Ultimately we are actors on a world stage.

  When I talk with my roommate about political issues, his attitude is that it's not productive to focus on such things. He believes that we each need to work on improving ourselves, and that's what really matters. Consequently he didn't even bother to vote in the last election. You or I might dismiss such sentiments as dangerous and regrettable coming from someone whose outlook is generally left-libertarian (he once worked for the ACLU), but consider that he is merely taking the parochialism you express below one step further, to its logical conclusion.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< Starchild >>>

Dear Starchild and Everyone Else;

On the civil liberties issues I personally believe it would behoove us to have an issue or issues which were local in nature so we could see positive tangible results here locally. We can't save the world - yet!

I base this on the old political saw of "all politics is local". AND I base this on the Board of Supervisors having a foreign policy agenda and lots of people I know get disgusted with the supervisors issuing foreign policy resolutions instead of tending to their knitting.

As an example of this stupidity a little ways back Fiona Ma wanted the City to recognize the old flag of the Republic of Vietnam the yellow one with the red stripes. This is no longer a valid flag but the Supervisors said okay and started an international brouhaha. DOH!

When we select an issue or issues let's try to keep it local with local impact and local tangible results. Leave the broad sweeping issues of a national or statewide basis alone because we can not change the broad issues until we change the yahoos in Congress and Sacramento.

Let's change something we can change here in the City on a civil liberties - civil rights basis. This issue or issues must be Libertarian oriented and be attractive to the group of San Franciscans who go and vote on election day.

Also keep in mind this will be the Nov. 2006 ballot which will include 5 Supervisors districts up for election and the civil liberties issue or issues could be used as an issue for or against candidates to promote them or embarass them.

Bella Abzug once said, "Politics is grand theater".

Let's have the LPSF put on a real show!!!

Ron Getty
SF Libertarian

Let's post suggestions to the list. I'd like to see what people come
up with, and discuss the ideas as a group. Here are a few possible
topics for civil liberties initiatives that I think could appeal to
significant portions of the left:

-a resolution against the PATRIOT Act
-a measure limiting police power or making police more accountable, etc.
-a pro-nightlife measure (e.g. make it easier for clubs to stay open 24
-a resolution against the war on drugs
-a pro-immigrant measure (e.g. eliminate enforcement against
undocumented persons driving without a license, unlicensed day labor,
-repeal law making it illegal to sleep/live in your vehicle
-repeal laws restricting skateboarding, rollerblading
-repeal fees for amplified sound permits, other charges for free speech
-repeal health codes required for feeding the homeless
-a measure allowing bath houses to open again
-a measure deprioritizing enforcement of laws against prostitution and
unlicensed massage
-a resolution against the use of torture, and supporting the
application of Geneva Convention rights to all prisoners
-repeal the law against public nudity
-repeal the youth curfew laws

As to *why* it would be good to pursue a civil liberties initiative
that will appeal to the left, here are a few reasons:

-because a majority of San Francisco voters lean to the left; we want
to speak their language
-because it will help us cultivate a reputation for the LP as being
truly independent and a middle voice in a polarized society
-because it can help keep the Libertarian Party from falling into a
vicious cycle of becoming more conservative, like a ship taking on
water to starboard, until it sinks
-because *most* civil liberties issues would hold more appeal for
leftists than for right-wingers; why a bias toward the exceptions?
-because issues such as those listed above stand on their libertarian
merits as surely as does a payroll tax repeal, so why not?
-because some people might be turned on to freedom if we show its
connection to things they see as positive social values (e.g.
sexuality, nightlife, immigration, helping the homeless, etc.) and not
just to things they see as negative social values (e.g. money and guns)
-because we need more artists, fiction writers, musicians, performers,
energized young idealists, students, women, minorities, and creative
people in the movement, and people in these categories tend to lean
more to the left

Yours in liberty,
<<< Starchild >>>

> Hi Ron,
> I am wondering if you would like suggestions on the proposed civil
> liberties initiative from the whole membership. If so, would you like
> the suggestions to be on the lpsf activists list or made to your own
> e-mail as Initiative Chair.
> Thanks again for all the work you have done.
> Regards,
> Marcy
> --- In, Ron Getty
> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Starchild;
> >
> > What civil liberties issues are you proposing? Secondly, why the
> stressed emphasis on appealing to the left in such issues? Civil
> liberty issues do not of necessity have to of necessity left leaning
> even in SF.
> >
> > However, what list of civil liberty issues would you propose to
> be considered for discussion?
> >
> > Would these cover: Human rights? Ethic rights? Ethnic rights?
> Moral rights? Sexual rights? Social rights? Religious rights?
> >
> > What are the issues we as Libertarians in SF could either sponsor
> or co-sponsor which would highlight Libertarianism in SF and
> spotlight the LPSF and attract voters to our LPSF cause and
> membership in SF?
> >
> > Yes I did fully understand the point you were making at the
> meeting. However, I and I am certain others would need some input
> from yourself where you articulate the civil liberty issues and
> provide some elucidation on what you would wish to have us consider
> and why those issues.
> >
> > Then from that list of issues which I am certain after some good
> sensible discussion we would winnow it down to a couple issues. Then
> for some final solid discussion and bringing forth at the next LPSF
> meeting for a vote of endorsement on the motion for the civil
> liberties initiative.
> >
> > I am all ears awaiting your e-mail.
> >
> > Ron Getty
> > SF Libertarian
> >
> > Starchild wrote:
> > Ron,
> >
> > I personally worked to oppose Proposition H, and am a strong
> supporter
> > of the right to keep and bear arms, but that's beside the point. A
> gun
> > rights initiative is NOT the kind of measure that will appeal to
> most
> > people on the left. There are lots of different potential civil
> > liberties issues we could take on which would fit the bill, but
> this is
> > not one of them. I thought you understood the point I was making at
> the
> > meeting today, but now I am not so sure.
> >
> > Yours in liberty,
> > <<< Starchild >>>
> >
> > > Dear Everyone;
> > >
> > > At this afternoons LPSF meeting it was moved and seconded and
> endorsed
> > > to consider a three initiative program. 2 economic issues -
> > > the payroll tax repeal and the salary cap along with a civil
> libreties
> > > initiative. Here's one proposed civil liberties initiative.
> > >
> > > Both the Examiner and the Chronicle this week have had letters to
> the
> > > editor published about the SF hand gun ban and how opposed they
> were
> > > to this. Other letters have also been published in both
> > > newspapers since the handgun ban was passed.
> > >
> > > While the court challenge is pending we could consider a a repeal
> of
> > > the handgun ban as a civil liberties issue as discussed at this
> > > afternoons LPSF meeting.
> > >
> > > While we ourselves do not have to sponsor we certainly could be a
> > > strong co-sponsor along with the Pink Pistols and the RKBA or
> similar
> > > organization.
> > >
> > > The following is a sample proposed initiative written in the
> language
> > > so near and dear to everyone whoever placed an initiative on the
> > > ballot with all the rhetorical hyberbole of the Chris Daly
> > > anti-handgun proposition.
> > >
> > > Ron Getty
> > > Chairman Tax Initiaitive Committee
> >

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