Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boston Tea Party elects officers; adopts platform

The Boston Tea Party convention, which is winding up tonight, has elected Jason Gatties as National Chair, Douglas Gaking as Vice Chair, and Michelle Luetge as Secretary.

Three of the four At-Large National Committee seats appear to have been decided for Thomas Knapp, Darryl Perry, and Neil K. Stephenson. For the fourth position a single vote currently separates Steve Trinward and me.

Particularly with the election of Jason, Tom, and Darryl we have established a strong slate of officers (I honestly don't know the rest well enough to comment). Jason, Tom, and Darryl have in common that each of them has stepped forward this year to run for office--something more people need to do.

Possibly even more significant is the adoption of a four-point program that is the same as the Campaign for Liberty:

Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, elimination of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.

[Note to my liberal friends: please tell me which pieces of the above you wouldn't endorse. Aside from the extent of the military pullback in item one, I suspect you'd be OK with most of the rest, which says something, doesn't it...?]

This is the beginning of a long-term strategy to get the idea and ideals of limited government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility back in front of voters.

I'm hoping it will succeed, and I'm willing to do my best for it.

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