Interview with Gary Nolan

I had a interesting conversation with Gary Nolan, a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President, on the telephone today. He’s articulate, surprisingly forceful, and demonstrated a greater intellectual depth with regards to the issues than his web site indicated. I asked him about five issues that were not addressed on the web site, then asked him to tell me about one thing that he particularly felt demanded addressing.

1) On the United Nations and other supranational organizations

I would have nothing to do with them. I would withdraw from them. If they want to rent a building, that’s fine. But I do not support these behemoths that they’ve become, nor would I support them with tax dollars. I would support withdrawing from the United Nations in its current form. If there were a place for all of these countries to send a representative to meet and discuss their problems, fine. But no International Criminal Court or other infringements on US national sovereignty.

2) On the Federal Reserve

I would like us to get rid of the Federal Reserve. Extricating ourself from this mess will be complicated, very, very difficult. I have an econ prof at Case Western who is working on a plan that will enable us to pull ourselves out of this.

3) Public Schools

As a candidate for Federal office, I would get federal government out of education. I prefer private schools and homeschooling to public schools in general. I don’t think federal or state governments have the right to take money away from you to educate someone else. In any case, 50% of public school graduates are functionally illiterate. The public schools are not working.

4) Abortion

This is a matter that should be adjudicated (settled) at the state level. My personal position is pro-life, but that should not factor in here as I am a candidate for Federal office and it is not a federal issue.

5) On Gay Marriage

If we get the federal government out, it doesn’t really matter. Marriage is a religious institution, only the matter of government benefits such as social security even make this an issue. Get the goverment out of it. If you can get a church or synagoguge to confirm your relationship, that’s your business. I favor getting government out of the marriage business altogether.

6) The Wasted Vote (Mr. Nolan’s issue of choice)

Right now this argument is coming from the right, that if you vote Libertarian, then the Democrats will get in office. But look at what happened with a Republican Congress and a Democratic president. Gridlock slowed the rate of Federal growth to 2.5%. Now it’s 7 to 10% not including defense. If you vote for George Bush, you’re saying give me more government. If you vote for Nolan, you’re saying give me smaller government, and at the very worst, you’re throwing it into gridlock. If you want smaller government, you should vote Libertarian.

Also, check out what’s going on at We’ve been variously at #1 or #2 since it started.

Gary Nolan appears to be serious about what he’s doing. I liked him, and felt that his statements about what is a federal issue and what is not a federal issue was based on intellectual consistency and not a desire to weasel out of taking a position. His answer on the Federal Reserve impressed me most, as he’s quite right, you don’t extricate yourself from a mess 90 years in the making overnight. He’d certainly crush George Delano in a debate. While I won’t make an endorsement until I’ve talked to each of the three candidates, I view him much more favorably after having the chance to question him directly. Interestingly enough, he’s received $13,278 in contributions through Amazon, as compared with only 12,574 for Howard Dean and $7,147 for George Bush. John Kerry leads with $26,464.

Libertarians and abortion

While I’m both extremely anti-abortion and comfortable with the Libertarian position of returning the legal issue to the states, I understand that some conservatives who might otherwise support the Libertarian Party are not. But I’m a little suspicious of those who say that they’re sticking with George Delano and the Republicans based on this issue alone. After all, there is a party of principle that supports freedom and is rock solid on this issue. From their platform:

The pre-born child, whose life begins at fertilization, is a human being created in God’s image. The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. It is, therefore, the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born. To that end, the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established for “ourselves and our posterity.” Under no circumstances may the federal government fund or otherwise support any state or local government or any organization or entity, foreign or domestic, which advocates, encourages or participates in the practice of abortion. We also oppose the distribution and use of all abortifacients. As to matters of rape and incest, it is unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his father.

The Constitution Party.

Mailvox: Don’t trust the tears

JW writes: I read your commentary with great interest. I have long been disgusted by feminine manipulative techniques. I am particularly contemptuous of the technique of crying when asked for accountability. I am also contemptuous of men who let women get away with it. I am an attorney with my own firm. Before that, I was the only woman partner in an insurance defense firm. During my tenure there, I saw men turn into absolute doofuses because a secretary would cry instead of taking responsibility for bad behavior. These women would try that technique once with me [JW is a lady attorney]–and then never again. That’s because they knew it wouldn’t work. So, perhaps men should take responsibility for their behavior in these instances too.

I dated a pretty blonde who drove a white Camaro in high school. She regularly drove 85 and got pulled over with some degree of regularity – 14 times in one summer alone. Every time, she’d simply turn on the waterworks and get out of a ticket. Over the seven years before I lost contact with her, she never once got a speeding ticket. I had 10 in that period and I didn’t drive anywhere nearly as fast as she did.

There’s no question that men act as enablers in teaching women to be irresponsible. I’m guilty of it myself. But that does not mean that women are unaccountable for their failure to take responsibility for themselves, anymore than the predatory young men who take sexual advantage of young women are not responsible because they were taught that women have the same sexual impulses and appetites that they do.

Mailvox: Kerry don’t scare me

Jeanne writes: Bush will lose to a Kerry/Edwards ticket. I am going to say that the conservatives and libertarians are screwed. They are not enough of them to make an difference on there own. Because of Bush’s big government tendencies and the resulting loss of his conservative base, we unfortunately are going to be stuck with John Kerry. As I have argued before, lose any notion that somehow a Kerry administration with a Republican Congress will somehow be better. That is extremely illogical. We may not spend as much as the federal level, but in every other area regarding societla issues, we will have liberalism at its best (and therefore scariest) unleashed.

Sometimes the logic is more complicated than you might think. As it turns out, history shows that a Clinton hamstrung by a Republican Congress worked out rather better than George Delano. For that matter, Clinton with a Democratic House worked out better than the three-headed Republican monster. Here’s the basic point: libertarians don’t care if it’s George Delano or John Francois screwing the country. In fact, seeing it done in the name of conservative Republicanism only makes it more unpalatable. If the car goes over the cliff at 200 MPH or 30 MPH, it’s still going over the cliff.

I’m not sacrificing my principles for a slower car crash.

He gets it

Randy Barnett posts in NRO’s Corner: It seems to ordinary folks like my Dad that Bush has completely abandoned all conservative/libertarian principles on the domestic front. If the White House does not wake up and realize the damage it has already done by triangulating, it will indeed undercut Bush’s chance to survive to fight the war in a second term. Any single transgression can be explained away but the sum total cannot. For example, the problem with the campaign-finance bill is not that it was a bad bill. It is that it was unconstitutional and Bush ran against the bill–then flipped. The problem with the education bill is not just that it was written by Ted Kennedy, but that it abandoned the principles of reform that the President campaigned on–then flipped. Ditto the prescription-drug bill–another flip. “Compromised” away were the principles that made candidate Bush better than Al Gore for many who voted for him.

I am not sure what the White House can do about this at this late date. Complaining about conservative/libertarian complaints will not get it done. Ask Bush I. Conservative/libertarian pundits are merely the messenger.

There is, of course, the official Republican Party response. Put your hands over your ears and chant “Na na na, Kerry is worse.” I don’t find that the least bit convincing. If worry about the undeclared and unconstitutional war is your only hang-up, remember that plenty of Democratic presidents have won wars too. Kerry even voted for it. I still believe Bush will win, however, thanks to the Massachusetts court and the “marriage” issue.

A new product line

Mogambo snarls: according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics released last week, the average salary a U.S. worker can expect to make has dropped from $44,570 to $35,410 since 2001. Fabulous. People are making less money. I can’t WAIT to hear how the government weenies put a positive spin on THAT!

Wages dropping while inflation spirals. Yeah, I don’t think this plan of run the economy at Warp 9 until November is working so well. But then, you couldn’t really expect much, considering that one of the members of his Council of Economic Advisors has a dog named Keynes.

Now, if the guy had named his toilet paper after John Maynard, I’d have some hope.

Libertarian Party candidates

I did a little research on Gary Nolan, Michael Badnarik, and Aaron Russo, three of the Libertarian candidates competing for the nomination. I hope to speak with each of them before making an endorsement. I have no qualms, however, about saying that each of these three men are VASTLY superior to either George Delano or John Kerry. I’d summarize my impression of their positions on the issues as based on their web sites as follows:

Gary Nolan: organized and articulate, sincere but appears to be somewhat of a comparative lightweight where the deeper issues are concerned. Has a blog of sorts, so he’s got Doug’s vote sewn up.

Aaron Russo: multi-talented dilettante. If elected, could be the only President to get bored halfway through his second term and resign. You’ve got to like that. Definitely a citizen-legislator sort. Rock solid on the issues.

Michael Badnarik: thoughtful, probably the most seriously intellectual. I liked his willingness to address abortion as well as his honesty in how he came to reach his position. Focused strongly on the highest priority issues.

At this point, I’d say that I’m leaning towards Mr. Badnarik, who appears to be cut from the same economically aware, highly principled cloth as Ron Paul. I encourage you to check out all three of their sites. However, I warn Republicans, it can be a little depressing to read these candidates on the issues and then realize that you’ve got George Delano leading the charge for the GOP, such as it is.

Since interest in the Libertarian Party appears to be growing, here’s where and how to join the party.

*Yes, I’ll be providing similar information on the Constitution Party this week too.

Isn’t that just too bad

From the Washington Times: Episcopal Church officials yesterday announced a $3 million shortfall in the church’s 2004 budget, caused chiefly by parishes and dioceses withholding funds to protest the ordination of a homosexual bishop. The shortfall equals 6 percent of the $48 million in revenue the church had expected this year. Church officials, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times, have revised the budget to $45.1 million.

I’m only surprised that it isn’t more than that. Of course, they only went off the rails in November. Over the course of the next year, that 6 percent would compute to a 36 percent drop. Since I know some very unhappy Episcopalians who plan to leave but haven’t found their new church yet, I suspect it may be even more.

Lies, damned lies and statistics

The Fleckmeister writes: …the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), whose job it is to compute the Gross Domestic Product each quarter, has “stopped reporting the real computer hardware shipment figure used to calculate real GDP growth, though it is still used in GDP calculations.” The BEA, which is part of the Commerce Department, made this readjustment because it is “concerned the rapid price declines for computers made the figures misleading.” Let’s stop and review the bidding for a second. Remember: GDP is the measure of goods and services produced in this country. The government decided that certain of its data series involved in calculating GDP were misleading. So, what did it do? Simply stop breaking them out. Makes sense to me; how about you?

Better yet, the government has decided to begin applying hedonic calculations to health care costs as well. So, you see, health care isn’t actually more expensive even if it costs you more to go to the doctor’s office than it does to rent an apartment, because the care is better. Doesn’t that make you feel good? Maybe you aren’t going anymore because you can’t afford it now, but if you did have enough money to pay for it, it would actually be cheaper because the quality is higher.

Hedonic calculations may sound superficially logical, but they are nothing more than a smokescreen designed to hide inflation.