Something Funny Happened Today

I quit HoT a few days ago, but like a battered wife, I am back and posting this. SVD is this blog’s owner and he can say what he wishes. I was offended and it was not about thin skin.

I did not like SVD using a broad brush to imply that I am a retard. My issue with his statement had little to do with argument and much to do with effort. I was concerned that our infighting would hurt us. I worried that I spend too much time here arguing the same issues over and over and over again. I was done because I thought that the arguments here would make people flip out and then vote the same as usual.

But, I got an email today.

Hi Michelle,
My name is Hermelinda Vargas. I am a reporter with News 8 Austin working on a story about Libertarians today. Please give me a call on my cell phone if you’d like to be included in our story.

I know you’ve in in contact wih my News Director, Kevin Benz, about our policy for our in-studio debates, so this might be a good chance to discuss some of those concerns.

If you do not know this news director, here is a chance to know a small piece of him:

Kevin Benz
News Director
News 8 Austin

I contacted the reporter who was surprised that I am 3 hours away, but I offered to find her someone for the news article. I called SG and then I called Nancy Neale. Nancy’s response was:

Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 4:57 PM
To: ‘michelle shinghal’
Subject: News 8 Austin reporter
Importance: High

Michelle, can you call me again about this reporter? (A number for you did not show up on my caller ID) I spoke with her and she’s trying to get a story in tonight. She seems to be responding to specific blogs, of which I am not familiar. I’ve left a couple messages on her phone and she’s not called me back yet.

Nancy

I was never in a fight with SVD. He and I have opposing opinions. I think it better to save our family dirt for private debate. But, at election time, I will carry my tail between my legs. It is my opinion that SVD’s blog made this approach possible.

SVD, you placed me and a number of people in the margin, but your forum brought our cause attention. I may lose every ounce of crediblility that I have, but I can deal with that. It is more important to let people know that we are not dead.

posted by michelleshinghal
  • disinter

    Welcome back Michelle!!

  • Rowdy

    I have to say that it’s good to hear you’re hanging in there with us. It’d be tough to find another Dallas Beauty who’s a Libertarian too… Not to mention funny and as passionate as you. Again, glad you decided to hang around.

  • undercover_anarchist

    Welcome back, Michelle.

    No credibility loss. People get mad. It took more guts to come back than to stay gone.

  • Stuart Richards

    Sweet!

    It’s so good to hear that you’re staying onboard. :)

  • http://www.sundwall4congress.org Eric Sundwall

    That’s the spirit Michelle !

    SVD has some splainin to do (LibertyMix amongst them), but it too can wait until after the election . . .

    Press on . . .

  • Lenny Zimmermann

    Definitely glad to see you sticking it out here, Michelle. If nothing else since HoT is a group blog I think we’d rather see lots more infighting over how SVD might be wrong in asserting his individual viewpoint then how he said it. And it’s that kind of attitude that makes HoT enjoyable to read, anyway.

    I will say that I do miss SGs presence. I think it was a more balancing voice that we get less of recently and, to be perfectly honest, it seems he was more of a driving factor for Liberty Mix as well. That he’s spending more time working dilligently at LP Corporate seems to coincide with the far fewer updates we’ve seen on our investment in Liberty Mix. (I’m starting to wonder if I’m the major sucker for investing $100. :()

  • http://www.lpnm.org Joseph Knight

    Michelle, you belong on HoT & your return suggests that your activism is like mine: obsessive-compulsive. This is good. As for infighting, personally, I’ve stepped on many toes over the years and have gotton mine stomped on as well. Gotta move on – never know when today’s adversaries will be tomorrow’s allies.

    I hereby dedicate my challenge to the “serentiy prayer” to you:

    Reinhold Niebuhr says:

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    Joseph Knight says:

    “God grant me the wisdom to know what needs changing; the courage to try, no matter what the odds; and the tenacity to never give up.”

  • Nicholas Sarwark

    Welcome back, Michelle.

    Here’s hoping that this episode is your only “Nixon moment and that we’ll have Michelle Shingal to kick around a bit longer.

    Also, that you don’t get impeached.

  • TerryP

    Welcome back Michelle. I always enjoy your posts as most of them are positive in nature and are trying to move our movement forward.

  • Andy

    I’m glad to see you back, Michelle!

  • Devious David

    I am confident that the LibertyMix thing that everyone is up in arms about will be rapidly completed following the election. Why is it so hard for people to understand that prick or not, SVD is working on the Bill Peirce campaign?

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    Also, that you don’t get impeached.

    She’s unimpeachable!

  • DAP

    Devious David- SVD is to blame because he promised the release of LibertyMix before anyone even knew who Bill Pierce was. Also, occasional updates don’t take time; they are expected. In the spirit of capitalism and the free market, take notice that we invested over $10,000 in this experiment, and we deserve to be informed on its progress.

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    Hopefully, some progress on it will actually take place after the election.

  • Julian

    Michelle

    What is being done on this site is the First Amendment at its best. Don’t you know I am the whipping boy on this site, not you? I have been called everything but a socialist.

    I still believe I am a libertarian although Paulie Cannoli, the anarchist, who believes that Noam Chomsky is THE MAN, a man that actually supported what Pol Pot did in Cambodia. If he/she can lay claim to libertarianism, anyone can.

    Paulie got me interested in Chomsky again (he was a mover and shaker in the extremist leftist movement during the 60′s) and I found him to be even more radical that even during the 60′s. He also supports North Korea. Check him out. He is not the role model of libertarianism as Paulie would lead some of you to believe.

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    I am the whipping boy on this site

    Yes, but, Julian – you know you love getting whipped and have a burning desire to come back for more.

    You actually exaggerate my support for Chomsky, but that’s standard procedure for you, you old flamer.

  • George Whitfield

    Welcome back Michelle. I think you are positive, practical, and rational. And although your skin is not real thick, it is resilient.

  • Julian

    Paulie Cannoli

    I guess you just pick what you want to support with Chomsky. The man would be dangerous if he weren’t so ridiculous. You and Jane Fonda seem to be the only two that gives him any play time.

    In Chomsky’s case, it is a good thing to throw the baby out with the bath water. He has nothing to say that is rational or worthwhile.

    He is another of those so-called philosophers that believes he has the right to determine what is best for the rest of us but the rules of social order he proposes are only for the masses, not for the elitist great thinkers and enforcers as he believes he is. He is a buffoon and narcissist. I have checked him out. In war, politics and philosophy, one must know his enemy. He is the absolute enemy of personal liberty and most importantly, anarchy.

    You are truly an idiot. You buy into bullshit that, if applied, would guarantee your own demise. You are the most consistently inconsistent person I have ever read. You are truly a retard.

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    What I actually said:

    http://hammeroftruth.com/2006/10/09/another-candidacy-rocks-the-chicken-suit/#comment-175229

    http://hammeroftruth.com/2006/10/09/another-candidacy-rocks-the-chicken-suit/#comment-175234

    http://hammeroftruth.com/2006/10/09/another-candidacy-rocks-the-chicken-suit/#comment-175290

    At no point did I suggest he is a role model of libertarianism. Notice the terms “by and large”, “does not speak out nearly enough about the authoritarianism of state socialists,” and “obviously not perfect”?

    Julian doesn’t really have to be whipped, he self-flagellates.

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    Julian,

    Being called a retard by you is a badge of honor.

  • http://www.myspace.com/liberty_activist White Marriott

    Brava!

    I admire your work. I believe you help us look good, even without the photo!

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    You are the most consistently inconsistent person I have ever read.

    Point out some inconsistencies, rocket scientist.

    He is the absolute enemy of personal liberty and most importantly, anarchy.

    “(Chomsky) describes himself as a libertarian socialist who sympathizes with anarcho-syndicalism and is highly critical of Leninist branches of socialism. He also believes that libertarian socialist values exemplify the rational and morally consistent extension of original unreconstructed classical liberal and radical humanist ideas to an industrial context.”

    “He has a view of broad free-speech rights, especially in the mass media; he opposes censorship and refuses to take legal action against those who may have libeled him.”
    -wikipedia

    He also supports North Korea.

    Evidence?

  • Leroy

    No credibility loss. People get mad. It took more guts to come back than to stay gone.

    I’ll second that. As usual UA, you say what needs to be said and provide a view that would otherwise not be heard.

    Don’t you know I am the whipping boy on this site, not you?

    Funny, I thought Dondero assumed that role. :)

    She seems to be responding to specific blogs, of which I am not familiar

    Michelle, it would be interesting to hear about what specific issues this reporter wants to talk about. Keep us posted, and welcome back!

  • http://www.pnar.org Tom Blanton

    Well, it is nice that Michelle came back, but now that socialist dude, Julian, that stalks her is back again.

    I think he was reading Chomsky books the whole time Michelle was gone.

  • evergreen-libertarian

    Glad to see you back Michelle.
    Far too many pastey faced white boys around here.
    evergreen

  • Daniel Paige

    Paulie ~ You say I have been hearing allegations from a number of folks here and elsewhere that I support state socialism, yet I’ve still to hear specific examples of positions I’ve taken in 1993 or later to that effect.

    You then said the Green Party key values can be worked toward through libertarian means.

    This is a direct quote from http://gp.org/tenkey.shtml which is the page you cited (my emphasis).

    All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment.

    Do you see those two statements (yours, and the Green Party’s) as inconsistant?

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Chomsky provides effective points at criticizing state corporatism and the military-industrial complex. Too bad he was supposedly paid millions of dollars for consulting by the Pentagon, the military and the infrastructure he criticizes and invests heavily in oil.

    http://www.amazon.com/Do-As-Say-Not-Hypocrisy/dp/0385513496 – a fascinating book skewering the idols of the left for their utter hypocrisy.

    I sympathize with the left over the right, but this is a compelling indictment for why leftist leaders and policies have killed leftist values, goals, etc. This is why we need a new Left (not corporatist, pro-war neoliberals, but a libertarian left built around decentralizing state and corporate power, focused on individual and economic freedom, Swiss-style localism, small businesses and the poor.)

    Chomsky ignores both reality and history – the Left created our current structure, the Right just used it. Elite run with elite – including in gov’t. Shrink gov’t, shrink the elite.

  • Derrick

    Just ran across this News 8 Austin story, and thought I would share:

    http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=172689&SecID=2

  • Derrick

    Off-topic: Bruce Guthrie’s debate w/ D+R Senate opponents will be streamed live tonight at 9PM Pacific (Midnight EST) on http://king5.com/ . That’s like, 24 mins from now.

  • Michelle Shinghal

    Derrick,
    The reporter for that story is the one that emailed me. I called her today to thank her for the coverage. With this newspiece, News 8 Austin has done so much for the people it depends on. Some people think that we bitch about media bias because we think we are due something. I bitch because a news program does the voters a disservice by providing a portion of the facts. News 8 stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. Libertarians won, but Texans won more. That is what this whole thing is about. I think that I will send flowers to Ms. Vargas.

  • LeoTolstoy

    Daniel Paige wrote:
    “You then said the Green Party key values can be worked toward through libertarian means.

    This is a direct quote from http://gp.org/tenkey.shtml which is the page you cited (my emphasis).

    All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment.

    Do you see those two statements (yours, and the Green Party’s) as inconsistant?”

    well no – this is actually in keeping with clasical liberal principles as expressed by the likes of Locke, Paine, Jefferson who said (paraphrasing) the earth should be treated as a tenancy-in-common for humans (usefruct) to preserve for future generations.

  • paulie cannoli

    Daniel,

    That depends on how you interpret “rights” – if it is taken to mean as a right to have an equal opportunity to pursue success, I would agree with it, but if it is taken to mean the right to a guaranteed income, I would disagree. That particular point goes on to clarify:

    “We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.”

    I agree with the statement as written – but disagree if it is taken to mean compensatory measures taken *by the government* against all individuals who happen to belong to
    traditionally priveleged groups.

    Libertarian means of solving these problems should be presented in a way to demonstrate that we are aware of them and hope to solve them, rather than be seen as defenders of discrimination and unfairness, as we too often are.

  • Daniel Paige

    Paulie (& Leo) ~ These quotes from the Green Party’s 2004 platform (II-a-1, 2)are what make me see those statements as ‘un-libertarian’

    b. We call for equal representation of women in Congress instead of the current 13%

    c. People of color in this country have legitimate claims to reparations in the form of monetary compensation for centuries of discrimination.

    Since this is directly from their platform, it is in effect a statement of intent should a Green Party representative be elected to public office. How could we go about these actions through libertarian means?

  • paulie cannoli

    I’m sorry, I think you may have misunderstood.

    I do NOT – repeat, NOT – endorse the Green Party Platform.

    I do agree with the Ten Key Values (although not necessarily every point used to explain them) and believe that libertarian means would achieve them far better than those within, or similar to, the current GP platform.

    At the same time, while I endorse libertarian means, it bothers me that all too often advocating them is understood to mean that we don’t care about diversity, the environment, poor folks, children, etc. In this way, we become the enemy to a large audience which would in fact achieve its goals best through our means, but will never even consider the possibility as long as we don’t change how we present ourselves.

    Combining Green goals with libertarian means addresses both problems.

  • Daniel Paige

    I may have misunderstood. I thought you were agreeing with their statements as the Green Party means them. If you are using those statements to drive libertarian thinking, though, I caution you: defining what everyone should think is in no way libertarian. Any person should be able to deal with/ignore any person s/he chooses, on any basis.

    Another thing that bothers me (my emphasis):

    We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.

    How is mob rule any better than elitist rule?

  • Daniel Paige

    As an inter-personal ideal, I believe most of the Green Party’s “Ten Key Values” state a beautiful goal for society. But as a philosophy defining political thought, it seems more like a vehicle of socialism.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    As a former Green myself, I know most Greens seriously have good intentions. I also think they are blinded by these good intentions in certain fields, especially economics. Because the Left hates the market economy, they can’t be bothered to learn market economics – and thus, they hate the market economy. Nonetheless, the market economy won’t crash anytime soon. If you must deal with the market economy, one should at least understand how to use the market economy to accomplish progressive ends. Libertarians understand this, Greens don’t.

    While they use history to fuel their arguments, they don’t actually seem to understand it. Take Howard Zinn – his book “A People’s History of the US” is pretty much the embodiment of the libertarian case against the state, highlight the abuses of past administrations – so he wants…more government?

    Corporate control, war, human rights abuses, etc. are creatures of big gov’t. Until the Greens/Left get this, their policies will be suicidal.

  • undercover_anarchist

    The Green platform is just as morally offensive to me as the CP’s.

    But the preponderance of GP candidates are anti-racist, pro-GLBT, anti-war, pro-immigration.

    I can’t say the same for the LP.

  • paulie cannoli

    How is mob rule any better than elitist rule?

    Again, it just depends on how you understand the statement. I’m all for involving including citizens in the decison making process; it just so happens to be that I believe a true market economy (not corporate-state collusion) is a great example of same.

    I think the current system beasically consists of elitist hierarchical top-down structures in business, government, education, media, etc., reinforcing each other’s control of society. I see true freedom as a bottom-up movement:

    mom and pop businesses against state-connected large corporations, decentralization and individual sovereignty against big government, private and home schooling against the state bureaucracy, self-defense against the police state, blogs and zines against the media monopolies, etc.

  • paulie cannoli

    As an inter-personal ideal, I believe most of the Green Party’s “Ten Key Values” state a beautiful goal for society. But as a philosophy defining political thought, it seems more like a vehicle of socialism.

    It’s all in the interpretation. If you apply the values as the GP platform does, you’re right; but there is no reason they can’t be applied in a manner fully consistent with libertarian non-aggression/non-initiation of force principles.

    Corporate control, war, human rights abuses, etc. are creatures of big gov’t. Until the Greens/Left get this, their policies will be suicidal.

    Precisely.

    The Green platform is just as morally offensive to me as the CP’s.

    But the preponderance of GP candidates are anti-racist, pro-GLBT, anti-war, pro-immigration.

    I can’t say the same for the LP.

    And I agree with this too. Combining the best in both parties would be ideal. As I said: Green goals through libertarian means.

  • Daniel Paige

    I think I see where you are coming from, Paulie. But still, their writing seems to give me a feeling of repression. The “Ten Keys” uses the phrase ‘We must’ quite a bit, and I feel that anytime someone else is saying I must (I being a part of we) do anything, it is antithetical to libertarian ideals.

    I realise that libertarians are seen as uncaring because of this whole ‘self-rule’ thing. But if I don’t want to hire someone because they are purple, short, or ugly, ‘We’ must stay out of my personal decisions.

    Maybe it’s the source that colors my thinking on the subject. Or maybe I just don’t see a libertarian way to get everyone to think the same way about social issues. I’ll be giving this more thought…

  • undercover_anarchist

    Daniel – I think what Paulie is saying (and I agree with him) is that the 10 Key Values themselves – NOT the GP’s explanation of those values – are good.

    The Greens have totally betrayed their roots. They were originally a pseuedo-anarchist party that believed in small government at the most local level possible (i.e. state better than fed, county better than state, city or towship better than county, household better than city, and individual best of all). I can tell you, it’s going to be like Animal Farm – they’re going to write that pesky “Decentralization” value out of the ten key. Soon, it will be replaced by “Democratic Centralism” or more direclty, “Maoism.”

    If the Michigan LP is a haven for racists (which it is), the Michigan GP has been usurped by a cabal of self-identified Trotskyists and big government “social democrats” who hate liberalism and have a disdain for economic reality.

    Still, I bet that in more than 50% of races, I would vote for the GP over the LP. It’s sad.