LP Clark Co. Education Forum
By John Elkins
On July 14, the Libertarian Party of Clark County held a public lecture focused on Alternatives to Public Education, at the local utility building meeting room.
Diana Cieslak Moore from the Freedom Foundation was first to speak to the crowd about internet schooling options as either a supplement to public schooling or as a home-schooling program in its own right. Armed with literature and a good approach to dealing with a myriad of questions Diana enlightened all about the power of the internet for educating pre-teens and teens as well as adults who want to go back and get their high school diplomas.
Inga Galbraith from Family Learning Experience (FLEX), a local Vancouver (WA) chapter is a support group for home-schooling families. She explained how the local school districts give only basic and rudimentary aid to home-schoolers and how FLEX pulls together to not only give their children a top notch education but also has gatherings to ensure that kids get proper socialization through planned activities.
The Initiatives; what to vote for and why.
At the September 17th meeting of the State Executive Committee held at the Seattle office the committee voted to endorse initiatives I-1125, I-1183, and oppose I-1163. The committee also voted to endorse Senate Joint Resolutions 8205 and 8206.
While the committee was quick to endorse I-1183, the liquor privatization initiative and oppose I-1163, the SEIU sponsored training initiative, the committee spent a significant amount of time discussing the pros and cons of I-1125 the transportation initiative sponsored by Tim Eyman.
Parts of I-1125 make sense from a Libertarian perspective. Other sections of it are questionable but overall the committee felt it was worth our support. One section that requires the legislature to set the tolls received considerable comment. In the end it was felt that even though the initiative lacks some points that we feel are important it is a step in our direction.
Washington Libertarian Oct/Nov 2011
Meet the new Chair; Larry Nicholas
I was elected chair at the May convention and many of you know me and we've worked together. For those who don't know me or my background, I’m from Bellingham. My father’s grandfather and family moved to Bellingham from Santa Monica about 1919. My mother’s family came from the Harz mountains region of central Germany to Bellingham about 1925. My wife is Jessica and we have 2 sons, the youngest graduated this last June.
I own a small business that my grandfather and great grandfather started in 1929 here in Bellingham. It is now Accurate Lock & Security, in the same location since 1936. I am active in various locksmith associations and hold certifications from them. I’m the Legislative chair for the NW Locksmith Association.
I'm also a member of the NW Business Club and serve on the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee. In '07 I became a member of the Leadership Council for the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) Washington.
Since my oldest son joined Cub Scouts in the late 90’s, I’ve been very active in Boy Scouts. I have been a Den Leader, Webelo leader, Pack Committee Chair and an assistant Scout Master in the Boy Scout troop leading trips to Bowron Lakes twice and summer camps on the Oregon coast, the Olympic Peninsula and locally.
I have served on the board of my neighborhood association (Alabama Hill Association), as Vice Chair, Secretary and now as Chair for the 2nd year.
About '97 when Brett Whilhem came to town and bought me coffee, I became active in the Libertarian Party. The state convention in ’98 was my first and I have attended most since. At the 2006 state convention I was elected to the Judicial Committee, I've been a potential Libertarian Elector twice. When Bruce Gutherie moved to Seattle in '06, I was elected chair of the Whatcom Co. LP and continue to serve in that position. In '07 I was elected to the SEC. This year I took over as convention chair, holding the convention at the Phoenix Inn in Olympia.
My first national convention was in Anaheim in 2000, followed by '04, '06 & '08. I hosted the first Washington State Harvest Room Party in Portland (’06) with the second one in Denver (’08) & intend to host another next year in Vegas for the National LP Convention.
The Whatcom co. auditor formed a committee -CEAC (Citizen's Election Advisory Committee) to help decide which voting system we would change to from the punched card ballots. Bruce encouraged me to serve as the LP rep & I have since about '06.
Whatcom Fair Voting is a non-partisan group to work on election issues for CEAC but also for the state. We have helped write and pass legislation in the past. We usually hold a forum every year. This year it is on Re-districting. I have served on WFV since about '06 as the LP rep.
I'm a very busy person and require help with the party to make things work. Many of you currently serve or have done so in the past and I want to make sure you understand how much your efforts are appreciated. I must ask again, or for the first time, for your help in any way you can. We need volunteers to take on projects, help with getting the Meetup groups going and for next year’s presidential race starting with gathering signatures to get our candidate on the ballot. In addition to volunteers, we need donations whether it’s just the $25 membership dues or a monthly pledge of $5 or $30 through Donor Town Square, it all helps keep the party going.
I never thought I could be the state chair, certainly nothing I aspired to be. However, as you can see by my background, this is not the first time that leadership was entrusted to me. My fear is just that I can't live up to some of the past chairs of the party and that I might fail to do a good job in the position. It is for that reason and my other commitments that I ask patience of you and advice.
Washington Libertarian Oct/Nov 2011
Forget King County Metro car-tab fees and bus cuts
By JEFF JARED
Kirkland Reporter Contributor
Republished by permission.
I must disagree with my paper’s support of Councilmembers Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert’s about-face to vote in favor of the $20 King County car-tab tax hike to bail out our socialist bus system in King County).
Instead of another tax hike to rescue our government-run monopoly and centrally planned bus system (King County Metro), we should just legalize private jitneys.
And similarly, limits on cab medallions (business licenses to drive a cab) should also end, breaking the taxi semi-monopoly as well.
The county bus monopoly loses money and can’t support itself. Sales taxpayers and car drivers must make up the difference between what the bus passenger pays and what the ride really costs.
As some have said, many buses are empty and most are too big. That’s government monopoly.
If we only had one grocery store to use because of a countywide monopoly, we’d riot. But we take a bus monopoly lying down.
We should break up King County’s bus monopoly by legalizing jitneys and other private, non-fixed-route carriers like motorcycle cabs (Thailand), minivans (Manhattan) and gypsy cabs (Russia).
Gypsy cabs are freelance cab drivers, like you or me, who need some extra money. Gypsy cabs could be fully freelance or in a loose organization. Jitneys are like buses but are more flexible in their routes and usually the size of minivans.
Let others “cherry pick” bus stops. Let a free market operate and transportation routes would flourish as supply meets demand. Government centrally planned monopolies don’t do this and always lose money requiring subsidy. See Amtrak and the US Postal Service.
And the federal Urban Mass Transit Act of 1964 should be repealed. There is no place for the feds in local transportation. Fixed-route monopoly bus systems using downtown cities as their hubs is a 1960’s idea that doesn’t reflect modern population and travel patterns.
Studies show that privatizing buses works. And jitneys and vans won’t be crashing over each other trying to get passengers. That’s a myth.
Is there a safety issue with “unknown” freelance cabbies? Well, a private certification system could help, but there is an element of hitchhiking here. But I used gypsy cabs all over Russia without a problem.
Why not $5 anywhere in King County? Today, this would require three bus transfers and take three hours, or would cost $60 in a cab. After deregulation, this would take 30 minutes and cost $5 in a jitney.
So when I’m driving back to Kirkland from Seattle on 520 on a sunny day with my convertible top down, I could swoop in at Montlake Station and grab a couple passengers for $2 each to help pay for the toll on the way to Kirkland.
Or if I’m a passenger at Montlake trying to get to Kirkland, I’d have two or three minivans, jitneys or gypsy cabs to choose from every five minutes, without having to board an over-engineered government monopoly bus on a 1960’s style fixed route that comes every 45 minutes, and loses money in the process.
Washington Libertarian Oct/Nov 2011
Book Review: Now You Know the Rest of The Story The Big Short and Reckless Endangerment
Originally published in theTacoma Political Buzz Examiner; September 22, 2011 - Republished by permission of the author
The late radio personality Paul Harvey used to end his stories with the line "and now you know the rest of the story." In other words, things are frequently not what they at first appear to be. The subprime mortgage crisis is one of those historical events with many twists and turns. It is difficult to tell the full story. And more facts keep coming out.
The Big Short by Michael Lewis and Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner give different perspectives about the leveraging up of American real estate.
Lewis is a fine storyteller and has enough understanding of Wall Street and the private sector participants to weave a fine tale. His depictions of the hedge fund operators who were among the first to realize that subprime mortgage lending machine was leading to financial disaster were wonderful insights into the difficulties associated with going against the prevailing worldview. In addition to having the insight there was a problem, they had to figure out how position their portfolios to benefit from others’ follies. Telling much of the tale from their perspective makes for a good story, but leaves out some of the most significant players in making the mess. The Big Short is an enjoyable read, but don’t stop with this book if you want to understand the big picture of subprime mortgage mess.
Morgenson & Rosner’s take on the situation is a more complete depiction of the causes of the subprime mess are more thorough, though they miss the color of the hedge fund operators betting against the proponents of subprime lending. In particular, Reckless Endangerment covers the roles of DC politicians and regulators as well as the operators of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two quasi-governmental organizations at the core of the problem. The book goes back in time to show the role of Jim Johnson, one time CEO of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines, Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, and Angelo Mozilo. These people and others pushed banks and mortgage brokers to loan mortgage money to people who did not qualify using standard credit screens. Most people who took out subprime mortgages could not afford the homes they bought. Foreclosures were a foregone conclusion. But the mortgage brokers and investment bankers were bailed out by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranteeing the mortgages pools containing the subprime mortgages while mortgagees have been left with foreclosure and financial distress. Without Congress, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the real estate bubble would not have gotten as big and the casualties would not have been as wide spread.
Reckless Endangerment also covers the sins of the mortgage brokers, bankers and rating agencies in the fiasco, but fits these into the overall fabric of the total story. There is plenty of blame to go around in this mess, and this book does a nice job of spreading it around to the appropriate people.
Reckless Endangerment is a serious book about the crisis and deserves to be read by anyone who wants to understand the total picture of the crisis. However, since the book was completed before the implications of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac insolvency have become completely known, it does not cover the rest of the story.
In the first quarter of 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took onto their books almost $4.5 trillion of mortgage pools that they had guaranteed. These are mortgage pools full of subprime and other low quality mortgages. This means the government is on the hook for the principal for these mortgages. While it is unlikely these mortgages will be a total write-offs, it is likely they will be as large of a loss as the rest of the bailout process combined.
This $4.5 trillion will overhang the US capital markets and economy for years to come.
Thank you, Jim Johnson, Barney Frank and Angelo Mozilo.
JOIN the VOICES of LIBERTY Please Clip and Return
Become a regular contributor at ___ $10, ___ $20, ___ $50_____ $100_____ or more.
Please send a check with the enclosed envelope payable to the LPWA
Your signature please:______________________________
Your name (please print): ___________________________
Street or p.o. box____________________________ City ________________ State____ Zip___________
Care to contribute by computer? Then this is the place for you.
How to donate to the Libertarian Party of Washington State
You can do either a one-time donation or set up a monthly pledge with either of the two services listed. The membership dues for the LPWA is $25/year, so you might use that as a benchmark of what you might want to donate. Even a $5/month donation goes a long way. Please keep in mind that these services do have fees and just $1 more can help with those.
Please check if you would like to be a candidate, ___ Volunteer to help the party. ____
Let us know about your group so we can post it on the web site and in the news letter.
Vancouver area Libertarians: meets the 2nd Thursday of each month: For location see lpclarkwa.org for information.
Bellingham area Libertarians: meet 4th Friday, 1pm @ Grand Ave Ale House http://www.meetup.com/NW-Washington-State-Libertarian-Meetup-Group/ Spokane area Libertarians: for dates and times see; http://www.meetup.com/Spokane-Libertarians/
LPWA Chair Larry Nicholas will be in the Tri-Cities are on Oct 22 and in Spokane on Oct 25 for meetings with the local membership.
Locations have yet to be determined. Please check the blog http://lpwablog.blogspot.com/ or the website https://lpwa.org/Home_Page.html for more information. We will post details as soon as we have them.