Study their behaviors. Observe their territorial boundaries. Leave their habitat as you found it. Report any signs of intelligence.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Suspicious of the California Elections Code

One of the questions we will consider at tomorrow's LPCA Executive Committee meeting in Burbank is whether to authorize California to hold County Central Committee elections for the Libertarian Party. Since every dues-paying Pledge-taking member already counts as a CentCom member, there is not a lot at stake here. I wrote to the rest of ExCom tonight:

1) How does the certification/pledge requirement get enforced on elected central committee members? How does the state decide how many electable spots are available in each district?

2) What motive might one have for seeking election to a county central committee? It appears to be primarily a way to avoid paying dues.

3) The Bylaws talk about election to the "state central committee" via "Libertarian voters in a primary election pursuant to the relevant parts of the election code", but the election code talks only about "county central committees". Why doesn't this mismatch mean simply that there is currently no extant referent for "the relevant parts of the election code"?

4) Do all of the Peace & Freedom election code provisions apply to us? Sections 7800 and 7802 sound like a recipe for a takeover attempt:
7800.  At the convention meeting of the state central committee, the
state central committee shall consist initially of only those
members of central committees elected at the most recent direct
primary election.
7802.  At its convention and subsequent meetings the state central
committee, in its sole discretion, may appoint any additional members
to the state central committee as it may desire.
5) Does our decision affect whether or not 7805 applies to the LPCA? I don't want it to apply.
7805.  This committee may remove any elected or appointed member
who, during the term of membership, affiliates with or registers as a
member of another political party, publicly advocates that the
voters should not vote for the nominee of the party for any office,
publicly gives support to or avows a preference for a candidate of
another party or candidate who is opposed to a candidate nominated by
this party, or has violated the bylaws or constitution of the state
central committee.
I don't agree that the Bylaws mandate County Central Committee elections, even if the ambiguity in (3) above were resolved. Since the Bylaws reference the election code, and the election code says the elections are optional, then the Bylaws references to elected county central committee members could easily have been intended to cover the contingency of the elections having been held, rather than assuming that the elections must be held.

I don't like the idea of the LPCA voluntarily choosing to further entangle our private associations with the state election code -- especially a code written for another party, and with such suspicious provisions. I didn't even mention these other provisions of the P&F election code that I found:
7803.  The state central committee may require a balance of elected
and appointed members so that 50 percent of the state central
committee members from each county are women and 50 percent are men.

7851. A county central committee may require a balance of elected
and appointed committee members to create a total membership division
of 50 percent women and 50 percent men.

There might be more garbage like this, as I haven't read the whole thing. I think we should distance ourselves from it as much as possible, rather than ask that it apply to us (or ask that it apply to us more thoroughly). Unless somebody can answer these questions, I plan to vote against allowing central committee elections.

2007-12-01 Update: The answer to question 1B above is: at least 5, and typically 7 to 15, according to the formula in section 7752.

Note also section 7755, which says that any candidate nominated for partisan office is automatically elected as an additional member of the central committee. Given how few elected CentCom members we have combined with rule 7800 above, this suggests that the latest set of candidates for partisan office could try to hijack the LPCA at any convention.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kill Bob The Builder

Nobody in our house has watched "TV" -- i.e. televised programming straight from the tuner in real time -- since we got our first TiVo in early 2000. (The living room TiVo effectively killed the TV that we used to occasionally watch in the bedroom.) However, our kids watch their fair share of "shows" -- digital recordings of broadcast programming, or (since we switched to Media Center in 2004) Internet video downloads. Even now that we have a house with a couple of sound-isolatable non-bedroom TV rooms, we tend not to have the kids watch shows in a room with no parent. That makes it critical to get the kids to like shows that the parents can tolerate. Here's what I've learned in the six years since we lost our absolute control of what our big screen shows us.

1) Kids love animation. I don't know why. Our kids will watch effectively any kind of animation, no matter how bad. (I'm talking even 1960's vintage Iron Man and Fantastic Four cartoons -- ugh.) Whenever I think that the advice described in this posting has given our girls good taste in shows, some piece of animated garbage will inadvertently catch their eye and prove me wrong. And it's not just that they learned to association animation with kid-targeting. Their earliest exposure to animation was largely The Simpsons and Futurama, which I won't discuss further here because 1) they're not kids' shows and 2) I don't want Social Services to know how much role Matt Groening has played in raising our kids.

2) Justice League. As a kid I was a Marvel Comics snob, with utter disdain for the D.C. universe. My first glance at the ridiculous body shapes in the Justice League cartoon made me think this would be as bad as the Super Friends of my childhood, but within minutes I knew I was wrong. The 2001-2006 Justice League animated series was simply one of the best serials I've ever seen, period. I've now downloaded about half of the episodes from Gnutella networks, and selection effects cannot discount the fact that only a handful of the episodes weren't excellent. I gave copies last year to a buddy of mine for his boys, and many months later he called me immediately when he'd finally watched an episode. He was floored by how good it was. (Granted, he'd watched the best story of the whole series, the two-part "A Better World", but it's still fairly representative, and in fact began the best story arc of the whole series. In that arc, as is true for the entire heroic genre, moral ambiguity is the key to being serious drama.) The Marvel franchises have made far better feature films than the D.C. franchises have, but the JL animated series is the gold standard for bringing superheroes onto the screen. (Caveat: I haven't yet watched Heroes, in part because I can't watch it with the kids.) (Caveat 2: the Silver Surfer animated series somehow got 12 episodes on the air despite blatantly not trying to appeal to kids at all, and is an exception to the dismal Marvel animated efforts. The other notable exceptions have been the two recent Ultimate Avengers DVD movies, but they aren't quite kid-friendly.)

3) Powerpuff Girls & The Tick. These two animated series are incredibly intelligent and incredibly funny. It's amazing how Zoe will continually pause animated and live-action dramas (as well as live-action comedies) to demand explanations about plot, but she almost never did so for these two comedic series. That tells you just how subtly the adult-targeted humor is woven into the dialog. (As good as the animated Tick was, the 8-episode live-action Tick series was even better. I've never seen any sitcom paint characters so well right from the pilot, with the only exception being The Office.) SpongeBob Square Pants deserves honorable mention here, but we never watched enough to know how consistently good it is. Rollie Pollie Ollie is definitely tolerable too, but doesn't try as hard to make adults laugh.

4) Tom and Jerry & The Pink Panther. Dialog is very distracting. If you need to pacify kids in the same room as you, put on some vintage Tom and Jerry or Pink Panther. The musical scores are quite good, and the shows are easy to ignore while still classically entertaining if you care to watch.

5) Veto Dora, Diego, and Bob. Dora The Explorer got through my filter because I was a sucker for how it taught a little bit of Spanish. The kids got hooked on Dora (which escalated to include Go, Diego, Go), and so I had to endure Dora's repetitive inanity for countless cumulative hours. By the time I had the idea of having them watch the all-Spanish version of Dora, they were old enough to object and demand English. Bob the Builder got through my filter because I was a sucker for its claymation and its theme song. But Bob simply sucks. He doesn't even fit inside the cabs of the vehicles, and has to dangerously hang onto the door! I would love to see Bob and his politically-correct gang sectioned with a pizza-cutting wheel.

6) "Holtzes Don't Watch Commercials". To try to inoculate them against future TV experiences outside our exclusively DVR household, I trained Zoe to exclaim "Holtzes don't watch commercials" (really) and demand they be skipped. The first button she learned on the remote was the commercial-skip button. Shannon was following in Zoe's footsteps up until about two months ago. All of a sudden, Shannon (4) started demanding to watch the "Barbie" commercials, and soon all the toy commercials. This is not good. She also keeps hoping Christmas is tomorrow, and at the toy store explains that we need at least one of any toy we don't have. This is not good.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Political Spending History

Saturday's ExCom meeting of the financially troubled LPCA is sure to bring renewed pressure on ExCom members and deep-pocket prospective donors, of which I am both. I note again that I'm the one candidate for LPCA internal office who campaigned on a theme of matching our finance structure to our cost structure (like real enterprises do):

We shouldn't need to be to be doing heavy generic LPCA fundraising if we have the right dues model and engage in projects that are either self-financing (from incremental project-specific fundraising) or are cheap (e.g. due to use of information technology). Aside from money for specific projects, we should more often being asking our members for their time (e.g. in outreach efforts) than their money.

For reference purposes, here is my non-LPCA-related political spending history:
  • 1980? - I may have sent like $20-$50 to Reagan, but I'm not sure.
  • 1995 Oct 12 - When Arlan Specter was the lone socially-tolerant candidate for the GOP nomination, I donated $250 to him.
  • 1999 Oct - I sent Gov. Jesse Ventura $50 when he told Playboy "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers."
  • 2000 - I paid $1000 for a life LP membership in 2000 or 2001.
  • 2000 Nov - I donated $250 to Tom Campbell's Senate race.
  • 2001 Aug - I paid $175 for a voter guide statement in my race for San Carlos School Board.
  • 2002 - I'm pretty sure I donated a couple hundred bucks to Rep. Ron Paul, but haven't dug up the records to confirm it.
  • 2004 - I gave $500 to liberal Republican Steve Poizner's campaign for CA Assembly.
  • 2004 June - I gave $500 to Michael Badnarik's presidential campaign.
  • 2004 Oct - FEC records say I donated $1000 to the LPUS.
  • 2005 Nov - I donated $500 to Michael Badnarik's congressional campaign.
  • 2006 Jan - I donated $750 to the LPUS to help finance that lame Penn Jillette LP-promoting video clip eventually shown at the Portland convention.
  • 2006 Jun - FEC records say I donated $399 to the LPUS.
And here is my LPCA-related political spending history:
  • 2004 - I spent $629 in filing fees so that Libertarians in CA-14 would have a candidate for Congress (me).
  • 2004 Nov - I donated $800 to finance sending the LPSM election newsletter to all reglibs in the county.
  • 2005 Jun - I donated $300 to Richard Rider's campaign for mayor of San Diego.
  • 2005 Nov - I donated $936 to finance sending the LPSM election newsletter to all reglibs in the county.
  • 2006 Mar - I spent $1000 in filing fees so that Libertarians in CA-14 would have a candidate for Congress (me).
  • 2006 Mar - At the 2005 LPCA convention, Allen Rice ended a bitter fight over "floor fees" by donating $195 to cover unpaid fees. I paid him the $195 when he later complained about the controversy.
  • 2006 May - I donated $500 to Bob Weber's write-in primary campaign, in an LPCA effort to create a test case by which to challenge an election law and make it easier to get Libertarians into general elections.
  • 2007 Apr - I donated $200 to the LPCA convention for permission to email all the delegates regarding my race for ExCom.
  • 2007 Sep - I donated $200 to the LPCA pursuant to the 2006 Operation Breakthrough.
Thus, not counting a couple grand in travel-related expenses, I've given over $4700 to LPCA-related causes over the last four years, and a total of over $7000 to Libertarian causes since becoming an LP activist in 1999. In addition, I tried to give away $4000 in an LP-related essay contest but got no takers, and tried to give away $1000/yr in bounties for LPCA activism but got effectively no response. (I won't count the various times I've issued challenges that if met would require me to donate to the LP, since in most cases the challenges are designed to prove that the challengee is not serious about the challenged position.) I remain open to helping finance projects I believe are worthy, but I'm not going to be an enabler of the LPCA's broken financial model by handing over (or raising) cash to finance basic party operations -- like our anti-war-obsessed anti-reformist newsletter. Besides, I'm sure the new editorial slant of California Freedom has unleashed a flood of donations that were being withheld back when CF didn't take sides on the major internal LP schisms...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Liberty Dollars and Inflation Sense

If the Federal currency police were looking to give the Ron Paul campaign a boost, their abhorrent raid on the offices of the Liberty Dollar was pretty much the wisest move they could make. Most Americans don't remember that from 1933 through 1974 it was illegal in this country to own gold bullion without a license. The end of gold ownership regulations, along with the ends of the draft (1973), wage and price controls (1974), and the U.S. war in Vietnam (1975), must have contributed to the optimism of the early days of the Libertarian Party. Unfortunately, those four decades of gold regulation contributed to a paranoia about currency that still lingers in libertarians like Ron Paul. They claim that the government statistics showing low inflation since 1982 are a lie, and aren't persuadable by technical information about the CPI or systematic rebuttals to their fevered and ever-shifting arguments.

Two delicious ironies arise here. The first is that, if the gold bugs are right, then they should at some point be getting rich from their contrarian insights. That point always seems to be slipping into the foggy future. The second is that, if gold bugs had sufficient faith in -- or at least understanding of -- how markets work, they would realize that the modest 2%-4% inflation they decry is a scourge that any semi-intelligent person can hedge against using the right market instruments. What's economically most poisonous about inflation is that it historically has come in spiky and hard-to-anticipate amounts. A steady pace of low single-digit inflation is really only a problem for people who stuff currency into mattresses. (Indeed, if inflation gets to close too zero, it might draw the economy into a liquidity trap -- for details, see this Bernanke speech, and Tyler Cowan's dissenting view). A year ago, I had the pleasure of watching Prof. David Friedman sit in a living room and systematically dismantle an overmatched gold bug's arguments against fractional reserve banking. The closest approximation I can easily find on the web is this wonderful little paper he wrote in 1982 for the Cato Institute: Gold, Paper, or...: Is There A Better Money?

A somewhat dated overview of the the details of how the Fed influences inflation is this 1990 entry in the indispensable Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, part of the invaluable Library of Economics and Liberty. Some newer information is in this 2002 blog posting by Brad DeLong, and this 2004 paper about a "new monetary consensus". When liberal economists like DeLong can agree with libertarian economists like Tyler Cowan on the uninterestingness of the gold standard as a policy position, it's clear to me that gold buggery and Federal Reserve conspiracy theories are just a movement burden that we sane libertarians will have to grin and bear. The only interesting question I see on the inflation front is that regarding asset inflation: equities and real estate, and the extent to which their premiums are being driven (respectively) by the post-1995 productivity resurgence and by allegedly loose monetary policy. The conventional wisdom seems to say yes, but at least one mainstream economist says no (to the second thesis). The wild card for me here is the geolibertarian analysis of real estate valuation. I need to search the writings of Prof. Fred Foldvary and find out what geolibertarians think about inflation and asset prices.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Impeach Richard Cheney?

There must be something Dick Cheney has done that is impeachable, right? But given how little formal authority his office holds, it's hard to get a grip on exactly what he should be impeached for. Bruce Fein is a wonderful constitutionalist (and of counsel to the Ron Paul campaign), but his Cheney indictment at Slate is pretty thin. His complaints all seem to consist of Cheney persuading George W. Bush to commit the many impeachable acts that Bush has committed. Dennis Kucinich's impeachment resolution against Cheney is a little bit better, being more focused (on WMD, al Qaeda, and Iran). It also is the second-best list I've seen (after this one) of the Administration's recklessly false statements about Iraq. In my model Bush impeachment resolution, I indeed included as a last (and most tenuous) charge that Bush "invaded Iraq under pretenses about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that at best were recklessly and negligently false." However, the impeachable offense here is the invading under the pretenses, and not the promulgation of those pretenses. If Kucinich is right that it's impeachable to win a policy debate that shouldn't have been won if that victory has dire consequences for the nation, then a President Kucinich would be impeachable pretty much as soon as he starts signing legislation.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

When Technology Outraces Theology & Ethics

Pluripotent stem cells can now be generated from cells of the ordinary connective tissue of mature humans, according to forthcoming articles in Cell and Science. The Cell article's abstract reveals:
Successful reprogramming of differentiated human somatic cells into a pluripotent state would allow creation of patient- and disease-specific stem cells. We previously reported generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, capable of germline transmission, from mouse somatic cells by transduction of four defined transcription factors. Here, we demonstrate the generation of iPS cells from adult human dermal fibroblasts with the same four factors: Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc. Human iPS cells were similar to human embryonic stem (ES) cells in morphology, proliferation, surface antigens, gene expression, epigenetic status of pluripotent cell-specific genes, and telomerase activity. Furthermore, these cells could differentiate into cell types of the three germ layers in vitro and in teratomas. These findings demonstrate that iPS cells can be generated from adult human fibroblasts.
A development like this tempts one to poke fun yet again at certain religionists, but been there, done that. Reason's Ronald Baily links to his own pokings from 2004:
Is Heaven Populated Chiefly by the Souls of Embryos?

[B]etween 60 and 80 percent of all naturally conceived embryos are simply flushed out in women's normal menstrual flows unnoticed. This is not miscarriage we're talking about. The women and their husbands or partners never even know that conception has taken place; the embryos disappear from their wombs in their menstrual flows. About half of the embryos lost are abnormal, but half are not, and had they implanted they would probably have developed into healthy babies.

So millions of viable human embryos each year produced via normal conception fail to implant and never develop further. Does this mean America is suffering a veritable holocaust of innocent human life annihilated? Consider the claim made by right-to-life apologists like Robert George, a Princeton University professor of jurisprudence and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, that every embryo is "already a human being." Does that mean that if we could detect such unimplanted embryos as they leave the womb, we would have a duty to rescue them and try to implant them anyway?

"If the embryo loss that accompanies natural procreation were the moral equivalent of infant death, then pregnancy would have to be regarded as a public health crisis of epidemic proportions: Alleviating natural embryo loss would be a more urgent moral cause than abortion, in vitro fertilization, and stem-cell research combined," declared Michael Sandel, a Harvard University government professor, also a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.

As far as I know, bioconservatives like Robert George do not advocate the rescue of naturally conceived unimplanted embryos. But why not? In right-to-life terms, normal unimplanted embryos are the moral equivalents of a 30-year-old mother of three children.

Of course, culturally we do not mourn the deaths of these millions of embryos as we would the death of a child—and reasonably so, because we do in fact know that these embryos are not people. Try this thought experiment. A fire breaks out in a fertility clinic and you have a choice: You can save a three-year-old child or a Petri dish containing 10 seven-day old embryos. Which do you choose to rescue?

Stepping onto dangerous theological ground, it seems that if human embryos consisting of one hundred cells or less are the moral equivalents of a normal adult, then religious believers must accept that such embryos share all of the attributes of a human being, including the possession of an immortal soul. So even if we generously exclude all of the naturally conceived abnormal embryos—presuming, for the sake of theological argument, that imperfections in their gene expression have somehow blocked the installation of a soul—that would still mean that perhaps 40 percent of all the residents of Heaven were never born, never developed brains, and never had thoughts, emotions, experiences, hopes, dreams, or desires.

But religious fundamentalists make too easy a target. In fact, modern science and prospective technology pose some fascinating ethical questions even for people whose worldview isn't derived from unsigned stories about an unpersuasive [Mt 11:20, Lk 10:13, Jn 6:66, 10:32, 12:37, 15:24] unpublished slavery-tolerating genocide-affirming [Mt 24:38, Lk 17:27] exclusivist [Mt 10:5, Mt 15:24] family-resenting [Mk 3:33, 10:29; Mt 10:37, 12:48, 19:29; Lk 11:27-28, 14:26] apparently-illegitimate [Mt 1:18-24, Jn 8:41] carpenter.

Skipping past the obvious examples regarding intellectual property and cloning, here is a sampling of other prospective technologies and the ethical questions they raise:
  • Corporate data-sharing and massive open-content community-maintained databases
    • What are a private citizen's reasonable expectations of privacy against other people sharing what they know about the person?
  • Photo-realistic computer-generated reality
    • Is child pornography always evidence of a crime?
    • Can recordings be trusted in court as evidence?
  • Miniaturized ubiquitous hi-capacity recording (ultimately, smart dust)
    • What are a private citizen's reasonable expectations of privacy against being recorded in public spaces?
    • For how long can those in power escape sousveillance?
  • Artificial wombs
    • Can abortion be tolerated when the fetus or embryo can easily be saved?
  • Cultured meat
    • Will killing animals for food be allowed when perfect meat can be grown artificially?
    • Will vegetarians eat cultured meat?
  • Virtual reality and designer psychotropics
    • As the cost of pleasure plummets while its intensity and realism skyrockets and its biochemical (as opposed to psychological) addictiveness declines, will it be a good or bad thing that so many people will be largely opting out of the traditional matter/energy economy?
  • Mass-production of persons (through any combination of AI, nanotech, and biotech)
    • How do inter-generational, inter-family, and international ethical relations deal with nearly-arbitrary potential increases in population?
For more such questions, see the (shockingly good) Metaphysics of Star Trek by Richard Hanley. My speculations on many of these topics are at

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Knowing Humans 2.0

This is my last Knowing Humans posting on Yahoo 360 and my first posting on Knowing Humans 2.0, hosted by through Subscribe there now.

With the public announcement of Mosh and Yahoo's embarrassing lack of blog search capability, I can no longer use laziness and company loyalty as an excuse for not migrating off of 360. (When Personals was re-org'd into the Search subdivision a couple years ago, I asked when Yahoo was going to have solutions for searching blogs and our own intranet. We still lack good answers for either.) I've recently resolved to do more of my online political activism through blogs and wikis and less through email-based forums, and so this week I started looking for an alternative to 360.

I picked because it met my minimal requirements in being totally free and able to 1) backup my blog, 2) manually import and back-date my 360 postings, and 3) operate through my own domain. I've imported my 360 postings of the last year and soon will all 200 of them up. I've also set my SiteMeter count of the new blog based on the 151K pageviews currently registered on the 360 blog. (Its technorati rank was 2,124,856, oddly up 400K from 2.5M in September despite relative quiescence. The rank of was 2.9M, as it was just a page of links to my 360 posts.)

I've indulged this week in customizing my template, adding features such as:
  • The title area is centered over an up-to-date image of the current shading of the Earth, and adjusts nicely on window resizings.
  • A table of contents hack borrowed from Beautiful Beta.
  • A borrowed hack to suppress the Blogger nav bar.
  • My blogroll imported from Bloglines.
  • My recent bookmarks imported from Yahoo My Web.
  • My recent email correspondence imported from my Yahoo Group.
Next I want to add better search facility to replace the one that was in the nav bar. I also want to try out the AdSense integration, if only to see what sort of ads Google would place here. I have no financial need to try to monetize my blog, so the only ads I foresee posting here are for causes I endorse. In fact, I have a scheme in mind to de-monetize my blog by giving money to other bloggers. More about that later. :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Impeach George W. Bush

Whereas, George W. Bush has proposed and signed federal laws that have no basis in the Article I Section 8 powers of Congress, such as the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act and the No Child Left Behind Act;

Whereas, George W. Bush knowingly ordered the "extraordinary rendition" of suspected terrorists to other countries for purposes of torture, in violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture;

Whereas, George W. Bush allowed his administration to condone torture, failed to investigate and prosecute high-level officials responsible for torture, and officially refused to accept the binding nature of a statutory ban on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment;

Whereas, George W. Bush knowingly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by ordering warrantless wiretapping;

Whereas, George W. Bush knowingly deprived at least two United States citizens of their constitutional rights by means of military incarceration;

Whereas, George W. Bush proposed and signed the Military Commissions Act, which violates the U.S. Constitution's Article I Section 9 guarantee of habeas corpus;

Whereas, George W. Bush proposed and signed the USA PATRIOT Act, which contained provisions later ruled to be in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution;

Whereas, George W. Bush invaded Iraq under pretenses about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that at best were recklessly and negligently false;

Therefore, be it resolved that George W. Bush, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A model LP resolution on foreign intervention

A Resolution Affirming the Libertarian Party's Traditional Position Concerning Foreign Intervention.

Whereas, the original Libertarian Party Platform of 1972 warned that the United States should not "act as policeman of the world" while asserting that any legitimate government "must protect itself and its citizens against the initiation of force from other nations";

Whereas, the Libertarian Party Platform of 1976 held that "the principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments";

Whereas, the Libertarian Party Platform has held since at least 1980 that "American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives, liberty, and property of the American people on American soil";

Whereas, President Bush's claim that "the Iraqi regime possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons" was at best recklessly and negligently false;

Whereas, President Bush invaded Iraq without a declaration of war;

Whereas, the civil war in Iraq has demonstrated the wisdom of the Libertarian Party's traditional opposition to military adventures;

Whereas, the United States government long ago achieved its purported primary war aims of 1) eliminating any WMD capability or international terrorist infrastructure, and 2) deposing Saddam's regime in favor of a federal democratic constitutional framework (naively) intended to protect minorities and fundamental human rights;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Libertarian Party calls on the United States government to

  • withdraw its armed forces from Iraq, without delay or preconditions;
  • cease all efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan;
  • desist from any further attempts to spread democracy in the Middle East or around the world through military force; and
  • follow its historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures while protecting America from the initiation of force launched from outside its borders.