COVER LETTER FOR MEMBERSHIP MAILING AT LPSF MEETING 6-13-09

Ron & Marcy,

  Good to see this project moving forward and thanks for your work on the letter (copied and pasted below). Nothing is screaming out at me to be changed, but here are a few suggestions that I think could improve your solid effort:

• "Libertarianism" is normally capitalized only at the beginning of a sentence
• "Some of these basic principles are the following" should be followed by a colon.
• Drop "You can only defend freedom if you are yourself free" -- not sure I've heard that one before, and technically I don't believe it's true. Even a prisoner can help defend freedom by writing letters, etc. If you want another libertarian principle to replace it with, "A person accused of a crime should be considered innocent until proven guilty" and "That which is voluntary should be legal" are both good.
• "Your taxes should be replaced with charity and user fees" could be confusing; I suggest "Public services should be funded with user fees, and giving to charity voluntary and encouraged." (I realize that phrasing was probably used because all the principles are phrased in "you/your" language, but I think it's probably good to have some universal language in there anyway.)
• There seems little basis for calling Thomas Jefferson the first libertarian; if anyone deserves that title, it might be the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (circa 4th century B.C.E.) who supposedly said things like "Without laws or compulsion, men would dwell in harmony." Jefferson certainly was not "the first Libertarian," because the Libertarian Party didn't exist in the U.S. until 1971!
• While looking up the exact wording of the "best government governs least" quote, I learned (or perhaps was reminded, I forget!) that Jefferson probably was not the source of that quote at all. According to the Jefferson Encyclopedia (see http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/That_government_is_best_which_governs_least), it is often attributed to him, but they have not been able to find it in his writings, and the original source of the quote may have been an editor of "The United States Magazine and Democratic Review" published in 1837 who wrote, "The best government is that which governs least."
• Don't refer to "Meetups" unless you mention Meetup.com; in my experience many people still have not heard of it, and without the explanation, the capitalization and spelling may stick out like a sore thumb to those unfamiliar with the site
• Don't add any more signatures at the bottom of the letter; that will just look strange because you already have four names with signatures above
• Replace "at 3:00 pm which goes to 5:00 pm" with "from 3:00 to 5:00 pm" (sounds less awkward) and replace "Please consider meeting us at our next business meeting" with "Our next business meeting is" and add a comma after "July 11" (avoids using the word "meeting" twice in short succession); replace "Or join us in a hosted Social Hour" with "After each meeting is a hosted social hour" and add a final sentence, "You're welcome to come for the meeting, the social hour, or both!"
• Replace "been parade participants" with "marched" and "including manning a booth" with "and hosted a booth"; add a dash between "post" and "parade."
• Replace "We had several LPSF members at the recent repeal the Fed Rally" with "Several LPSF members took part in the recent 'End The Fed' rally".
• Replace "to show how much the government spends" with "to show how much the U.S. federal government spends." I actually suspect they are currently spending much *more* than a million dollars every 8 seconds, since the copy on the "million dollar bills" was written before all the bailout and stimulus spending. I don't think it's too big a deal, but we could add something to that effect in parenthesis, or just say something like "to illustrate profligate government spending that may lead to hyperinflation."

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Ron,

The letter is great! Thanks for sending it as an email.

I agree with most of Starchild's suggestions, but not all. As he notes,
Thomas Jefferson is clearly out of place, neglecting John Locke, Adam Smith,
Sam Adams, Ethan Allan, Frederic Bastiat, and more. Also, as Starchild
notes, TJ was a libertarian, not a Libertarian.

I suggest not listing the exact date of the next meeting. Otherwise, the
card becomes outdated thereafter. Either fill the date in by hand, or simply
say "the second Sat. of every month."

"Your taxes should be replaced with charity and user fees" is misleading or
incorrect. Better would be "Your taxes should be replaced by your freedom to
do with your money as you see best."

I have more suggestions, but I've run out of time.

Rob, please put this on the agenda for Sat. to discuss further. Thanks.

Warm regards, Michael

Dear Michael, Ron and All,

I can visualize this letter ending up in the same bin as Starchild's surveillance brochure, nowhere, as we argue about each word on it. I will bring the envelopes, stamps, and brochures to the next meeting in hopes of sending the letter out as planned. I am OK with a vote to continue revisions, but someone else will have to take the envelopes and brochures home and cart them back if and when if ever we are ready to send the letter out.

Obviously, since Ron is the main author of the letter, I have no problem either with him making decisions on it. Ron, please let me know if you do NOT want me to bring the materials to the next meeting.

I will bring a bill for approval at the meeting for $48.90 ($4.90 for 100 peel and seal envelopes -- the self seal ones were twice as expensive -- and $44.00 for 100 stamps). I paid for the brochures with an LPSF check.

Marcy

Dear Marcy and All Others;

Marcy please do bring the envelopes and the mailing stamps and the LPSF envelope stamper and the brochures for the printing folding stuffing project for Saturday.

I have 100 bonded cover letter letterheads printed along with 100 LPSF membership applications and 100 maps of the 170 Hawthorne. The cover letter stays as sent to the Activists list.

Please bring a blue or black ink pen with yourselves for envelope name and address hand printed in legible readable hand print. And for a nice PS on the letterhead inviting them to become an active member in time for the next meeting in July.

I will also bring pens for those who are pen challeneged.

Further changes on new cover letters for future mailings will be considered at the LPSF meeting as the cover letter gets endlessly revised and edited and revamped and reworded and re-edited and revised and revamped and re-worded endlessly and endlessly for several eternities unto the next several eons.

But be very careful as Crows Three Times the Ancient Siouxian Warrior and Medicine Man will place a curse on re-writing editors and revampers so that they will always for an eternity have inkstained fingers which will never wash out. AHA!!!

Just for the record when I write an op-ed of some 750 - 800 words for the Libertarian Perspective of the Libertarian Party of California and it goes for editing we may have minor changes of wording or adding a clarifying sentence and an AP style grammar correction but we have not ever had endless minutea changes ad naseum.

Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
Hostis res Publica
Morte ai Tiranni
Dum Spiro, Pugno

Dear Ron,

I hereby confirm that I will bring the materials you mention. Suggestion for your consideration only: before you had indicated that you would include a map, I had taken a sample to the post office comprising of envelope, brochure, letter, and application to see if by chance the weight was over $.44 cents. The postal clerk said "Just makes it at $.44!" I am wondering if the map might bring the envelope over the $.44. Maybe I should take a sample to the post office again, this time with another sheet of paper? Or have you checked already?

Marcy

If things haven't been printed yet, and the map puts us over the first
class envelope weight, what about printing the map on the back of the
letter?

Amarcy D. Berry wrote:

Dear Marcy

based on a standard #10 envelope plus the letterhead and the membership application and the map the weight is .7 ounces on our office postal scale and unless the brochure weighs a whole big lot it shouldn't go over $.44 and be under postal weight guidelines as I do doubt very seriously if the USPS is going to weigh each envelope to see if they can charge more because it was underweighted postage wise.

However if you so desire you may do so and check it out at the USPS. I used photo copy paper on the membership and map pages and the bonded cover letter does not weigh much more although a little thicker..

Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
Hostis res Publica
Morte ai Tiranni
Dum Spiro, Pugno

Dear Rob;

That makes it just a little bit on the tacky side to do that type of economizing and a big yucky to that idea. It's photocopy paper and don't hardly weigh at all.

Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
Hostis res Publica
Morte ai Tiranni
Dum Spiro, Pugno