Brian Holtz // Jan 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm
All in due time. At a minimum, some details about the suspensions will eventually emerge in the minutes of the LPCA ExCom.
It still seems likely that the other suspension will be overturned, but that could be changing as we speak. If both suspensions end up overturned, then a lot of us in the LPCA will be happy to forgive the suspension effort and avoid talking about it publicly. It will then be up to the would-be suspenders to decide whether to talk about it, but (as I understand it) the point of the suspensions was to minimize embarrassment to the LPCA. So they may not want to talk much about it either.
Much of the truth is out there, scattered across various IPR comment threads. So are a lot of allegations — some false, many others unsubstantiated, with a fair cross-section of both being borderline hysterical. So far, I’m even more embarrassed at the LPCA’s reaction to the underlying problems than I am about what’s been proven so far about the underlying problems.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 9:54 am
Ms. Marbry, my understanding was that there was only one cause enumerated for Barnes’s suspension: “he stood for election and was elected to Executive Committee on false pretenses: He failed to disclose to the Convention multiple felony convictions of non-victimless crimes wherein he abused a position of authority and the abused were children.”
Are you saying that a member can be purged for reasons other than the cause(s) explicitly charged by the ExCom in suspending him?
Are you saying that a member can be purged based on secret evidence — evidence not available to the membership?
I of course agree that someone with his record should not be an LPCA officer at any level, and that is why I helped pressure him to resign from ExCom when his record started circulating.
You claim you witnessed Barnes “giving alcohol and marijuana to underage persons” “on countless occasions”. About how many is “countless”? Were these persons closer to 11, or closer to 17? Was Barnes ever alone with them? Were any of these LPCA events? If so, when/where was the first such event? Why was this allegation not included in the stated cause for the suspension? Why did these “countless occasions” only seem to become a problem when word circulated about Barnes’ 20-year-old crimes?
You say he “lied” and “threatened”. Those are serious charges. What is the evidence that he did either? When Cohen publicly claimed Barnes was “unrepentant” in his court proceedings, I told him that if he didn’t correct this reckless (if not deliberate) falsehood, I would forward it to the JudCom as a follow-up to the amicus brief I’d sent them opposing the suspensions. He responded by saying I was “threatening” him, and in so doing he completely undercut his own vague allegations that Barnes had “threatened” people. Are your allegations any different than Cohen’s?
You say he “ran” for LPSBD Vice Chair, and that the article substantiates this. In fact, the article only says that he was elected. You know very well that LPCA offices can be hard to fill. Do you have evidence that Barnes actively sought this office, and wasn’t instead pressured by his county into accepting it? While I agree that he shouldn’t have accepted it, why wasn’t this charge included in the cause for his suspension? And why shouldn’t the LPSBD be disaffiliated for electing him with full knowledge of his record? After all, what’s embarrassing here is not that a pedophile was nominated, but that he was elected. Barnes obviously can’t elect himself.
You say you “wish [JudCom would] make those considerations known and ease the minds of those of us who can only look at this with what we know and ask, ‘WHY?’” How can you say this in a message scolding me for asking for substantiation that you say you have but have been unwilling to provide to us members who are not “right in the middle of this”?
I’ve asked you fifteen questions above, and I’m sorry if that’s a lot. However, you’re a candidate for Vice-Chair of the LP, and purging members is an extremely serious thing. It’s arguably the most serious thing that an LP officer can do. You’ve put yourself forward as a material witness in this case, and have repeatedly publicly criticized a JudCom team that is obligated not to make any material response. I’d be grateful if you made a serious effort to answer each of these fifteen questions.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 10:59 am
brianholtz1965 (1/27/2010 9:17:47 AM): If you don’t today publicly correct your reckless falsehood about Barnes being unrepentant in his court case, I’m going to write to JudCom tomorrow saying that this is the clearest case I know of of you issueing a deliberately libelous falsehood.
brucedcohen2002 (1/27/2010 9:18:06 AM): Knock it of.
brucedcohen2002 (1/27/2010 9:18:08 AM): off
brucedcohen2002 (1/27/2010 9:18:14 AM): Stop threatening me, you silly goose.
Bruce, I haven’t revealed any of the things you contacted me “off the record” to tell me. “Off the record” is about forwarding information. It’s not about giving you carte blanche to scold me for giving you advance notice that I’m about to go on the record to the JudCom. I stand by my assertion that if my giving you this advance notice prompted you to use the word “threatening”, then that word is very cheap in this case.
I’m a Libertarian. I believe in keeping secrets, but I don’t believe in secret trials or secret evidence.
Mr. Dondero, take it from a liberventionist: there is not a hint of anti-semitism in the LPCA. One of the reasons Cohen is in trouble is that he publicly accuses LPCA members of being anti-semitic when their only crime is defending the individual rights of Palestinians under Israeli occupation. He’s repeatedly said this about the Chair of my neighboring county, I’ve repeatedly asked him to substantiate his charge of anti-semitism, and he never once has done so.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 11:46 am
Ms. Marbry, there are more ways to have mischaracterized an event than to 1) lie or 2) make things up.
You can keep repeating this allegation of “threatening” all you want, but until I see some evidence, I’m going to give a presumption of innocence. It’s unfair to say I’m “unwilling” to believe the secret evidence exists. I’m just not willing to see a member expelled over evidence kept secret from the membership.
If it can be publicly proved that Barnes as an LPCA officer exposed the LPCA to legal liability by giving alcohol or marijuana to underage people at a public LPCA event, that would be reasonable grounds for expelling him if he refused to relinquish all LPCA offices. If instead he just shared alcohol or marijuana with a 20-year-old friend in a room of his own house at a private party where he happened to promote the LPCA, then it’s clearly none of the LPCA’s business.
You didn’t answer my most important questions: when did you learn of the Party’s alleged legal exposure, and why didn’t you do anything about it? Why should we elect as LPUS Vice Chair somebody apparently uninterested in protecting her state affiliate from what she now claims is dire legal trouble?
My position is that none of the evidence used to purge a member should be withheld from the rest of the membership. If people attempting to purge a member fail to make their case to the JudCom, it’s up to them to make their case to the membership. It’s not the JudCom’s job to explain why any particular member should be allowed to continue to be a member. Nor is it the JudCom’s job to decide what member(s) should be thrown under a bus for the sake of our overall membership numbers or contribution levels or whatever. Expulsion should only be based on public evidence of the cause for expulsion. Period.
You also didn’t answer my second-most important question: since Barnes didn’t elect himself, why shouldn’t the LPSBD be disaffiliated for electing him?
I’m not “taking it out on you”. You’re a candidate for the Party’s second-highest office, you’ve made public allegations in support of a member’s expulsion, you’ve claimed first-hand knowledge of dire legal danger to the LPCA, and you’ve publicly criticized a JudCom that has already explained to you why it can’t answer your questions and criticisms.
It’s not my job to investigate whether any given member should continue to be a member. If people have evidence that somebody should be expelled, they should share it. What part of “presumption of innocence” is so hard to understand here?
(Note that I’m of course not presuming Barnes innocent of his 1980’s-vintage crimes. As the JudCom noted, his expulsion was not sought simply because he has a criminal record.)
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 11:53 am
Bruce, I stand by my assertion that if my giving you this advance notice prompted you to use the word “threatening”, then that word is very cheap in this case. Thank you for “standing by” your choice of that word. QED.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Ms. Marbry, is your “hand puppet” snark indicative of how you plan to answer member questions throughout your Vice Chair campaign?
Your comment about “Barnes’s background” was conveniently vague. I’ll repeat: when did you learn of the Party’s alleged legal exposure over Barnes sharing substances with the underaged, and why didn’t you do anything about it?
And I’ll also repeat: since Barnes didn’t elect himself, why shouldn’t the LPSBD be disaffiliated for electing him?
It’s shocking to me that you are calling on the JudCom to publicly explain why Barnes should be allowed to remain a member, instead of calling on the ExCom to publicly explain why Barnes should be purged. You admit you know more about the prosecution’s case than we rank-and-file members do, and yet you seem unable to put yourself in our shoes and ask for public evidence from the side on which falls the onus of providing it.
I can believe that our rules would keep proceedings secret if the evidence is ruled as not warranting expulsion. What I can’t believe is that you would ask that such secrecy be violated by the JudCom just because you disagree with the JudCom’s decision. I hope this has nothing to do with the fact that the JudCom Chair is running for LP Chair against your friend and ally Mr. Phillies.
I don’t doubt that our rules muzzle the JudCom, but I would be shocked if anything in our rules muzzles people who know about evidence submitted to the JudCom. I can’t believe that our rules turn certain facts into state secrets just because they were repeated in front of JudCom in a failed attempt to purge somebody.
LG, I’ll ask again for like the fifth time: what exactly is the evidence that “Barnes agreed not to run for any offices”? People keep saying this, but nobody has provided any evidence of it. Until I see such evidence, I’m going to presume Barnes innocent of violating an alleged binding agreement not to ever again serve in LPCA office.
If Barnes is in fact not currently in LPSBD/LPCA office, then why are we even talking about this any more?
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm
Ms. Marbry, don’t pretend that you didn’t connect this case to Hinkle’s Chair race before I did. Please deny it, so I can justify finding the comment I recently saw you make connecting the two.
You were the one repeatedly and publicly claiming here that a member “lied” and “threatened” and that this justified his expulsion. If you feel no obligation to provide any evidence for those claims, then I certainly feel no obligation to corroborate or debunk your claims.
Yes, I’ve read the entire 52-page court file. Are you claiming that it’s sufficient to justify purging Barnes?
I’ll ask again for a third time:
1) When did you learn of the Party’s alleged legal exposure over Barnes sharing substances with the underaged, and why didn’t you do anything about it?
2) Since Barnes didn’t elect himself, why shouldn’t the LPSBD be disaffiliated for electing him?
I’m not “answering for” the JudCom, I’m just defending them from your demands that they break the confidentiality rules protecting our members from failed attempts to purge them.
Again, it’s not my job to extract from the ExCom the accusations and evidence that they tried to use to purge a member. Now that the JudCom has slapped down this purge attempt, I’m willing to forgive and, to the extent possible, forget. If you’re unhappy with the status quo ante (of Barnes being off the ExCom but still able to hold county office), then you go ask ExCom to make a better case, or to disaffiliate the LPSBD.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm
What Knapp said. Zander, I wish you would pick an accusation and stick to it.
You just tried to suggest that, as of Jan 2010, you think that a criminal record like Barnes’s should disqualify one from LPCA membership. But you also just suggested that, as of Oct 2010, you thought that such a record should merely disqualify one from LPCA office. However, the stated cause for the suspension wasn’t either of these two problems, but rather was for the crime of non-disclosure of that record as he stood for ExCom election. And now you tell us about a fourth accusation made before JudCom: that Barnes violated your “understanding” of an “implication” associated with his October resignation from ExCom.
I don’t see anything inappropriate about you relating alleged facts you know that later became part of a case before JudCom. Again, I don’t think a JudCom hearing can create a state secret out of something that somebody already knew.
However, I think it’s unfair and inappropriate for you to claim without elaboration that Barnes will soon be threatening you. Again, if there is specific credible evidence that Barnes has threatened anybody in connection with this case, that would be extremely disturbing and would be a far stronger cause for suspension than anything that’s been made public so far.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm
Zander just came forward, so he’s obviously not afraid. If Zander thinks Barnes is a physical danger to anybody, then Zander (or the threatenee) should go to the police, not to the JudCom.
LG, I thought you said you didn’t favor expelling Barnes. Are you taking a position on it?
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm
@46 : more disinformation from Cohen. In my decade of LPCA activism, I don’t recall the LPCA web site ever trying to list even county chairs, let alone county vice chairs.
Bruce, I’m going to keep bird-dogging every cheap shot you take at the LPCA and its members — even the ones I don’t particularly respect, such as Tom Sipos — until you learn to cut it out.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm
I can believe that in the case of a failed purge attempt, the proceedings — and even the charges — against the exonerated person should be kept confidential. (However, that makes the minutes somewhat interesting, and creates a moral hazard for ExCom’s to go fishing for expulsions.) But I’ll just repeat: I can’t believe that our rules turn certain facts into state secrets just because they were repeated in front of JudCom in a failed attempt to purge somebody. If you show me the page of Robert’s that says that, I’ll dice that page into a salad and eat it.
I do believe that only the JudCom is entitled to know the evidence behind failed purge attempts. However, I believe every member is entitled to know the evidence behind successful purge attempts. And I also believe that public charges against our members should either be substantiated or not made publicly in the first place.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm
Bruce, your @46 obviously referenced @43, which talked about where to find a list of county officers. But it also talked about the link to the LPSBD being broken. The actual problem here seems to be that the LPSBD no longer uses http://www.sbclp.org/. This is more of a LPSBD problem then an LPCA problem, and in fact the LPCA social networks page correctly links to both the LPSBD Facebook and Meetup pages.
So I’ll stand by my statement that you unfairly — and gleefuly, and ignorantly — impugned the maintainers of the LPCA web site.
Brian Holtz // Jan 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm
Bruce, the LPCA site is OK, but I agree it could be a lot better. For example, it could be more like http://www.calfreedom.net/.
But that still doesn’t mean that it’s the LPCA webmaster’s fault that the LPSBD has let their domain name expire. Archive.org says it was alive as recently as August, so I stand by my statement that this is an LPSBD problem more than an LPCA problem.
And I’m going to keep trying to potty-train you, because I’m the one who argued to the JudCom that your brand of childishness is best dealt with methods other than expulsion.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 2:16 am
Cohen and Barnett make even IPR’s worst trolls look sane — and clever. What a pathetic display.
Ms. Pyeatt, I’m not “arguing for the sake of arguing”. I’m arguing because Party members should not be purged without a case that, at a minimum, the JudCom considers airtight — and that really ought to be transparent to the membership.
Purging is the nuclear option. There is nothing more serious that an ExCom can do. There’s no excuse for not getting it right.
You say “The CaExCom signed up and were voted in to do what we thought was best for our party and our state.” Well, that’s infinitely more true of the Judicial Committee. The JudCom is elected specifically to be the Supreme Court and conscience of the LPCA between conventions. These five gentlemen have collectively over a century of experience in the LPCA. As much as I’m willing to trust ExCom’s judgment, I trust JudCom’s even more — because I trust in the wisdom of the delegates who chose them for this specific job.
I wrote @64: “I can’t believe that our rules turn certain facts into state secrets just because they were repeated in front of JudCom in a failed attempt to purge somebody. If you show me the page of Robert’s that says that, I’ll dice that page into a salad and eat it.”
RRONR pp. 630-631 has two relevant rules:
1. Since a society has the right to prescribe and enforce its standards for membership, it has the right to investigate the character of its members as may be necessary to this enforcement. Neither the society nor any member has the right to make public any information obtained through such investigation.
2. Neither the society nor any of its members has the right to make public the charge of which an expelled member has been found guilty, or to reveal any other details connected with the case. To make any of the facts public may constitute libel.
The phrases “details connected with the case” and “any of the facts” refer to the charges and the aforementioned “information obtained through such investigation”. This means information that is developed/revealed/unearthed by the investigation, and clearly can’t include every arbitrary piece of information that happens to get presented in support of a cause for suspension. For example, Zander like most of us already knew that “2 weeks later [Barnes] was elected to the position of Vice Chair of the San Bernardino County party”. Zander presented that fact to JudCom in support of the suspension, but it can’t possibly be a rule of RRONR that for as long as Zander is an LPCA member he no longer can state in public that Barnes was elected VC of the LPSBD in Oct 2009.
There has to be something more about a fact, beyond its mere recitation in front of the JudCom, that makes it a Party Secret, whose public discussion is verboten. The fact can’t be one that was already public, or that was circulating relatively freely among Party members before the investigation. The fact has to be an essentially private one, and if only Kevin and Zander knew about MB’s alleged promise not to run for LPCA office, then that arguably qualifies. But it wasn’t “just because [this fact was] repeated in front of JudCom” that it became a Party Secret, and so I won’t be eating p. 630 of RRONR. If instead I’d announced that I would eat the page of Robert’s that said Zander can’t repeat in public any relatively private fact that was part of the case for suspension presented to JudCom, then I’d be getting some unwelcome fiber in my diet.
And I still don’t consider it fundamentally “inappropriate” that Zander publicly describes his and Kevin’s conversation with MB. However, I’ll now concede that doing so became against our rules as soon as that relatively private fact was made part of a case for suspension.
I agree with Knapp that such a rule is inappropriate for a political party. We should have a process similar to the sequence of a secret grand jury followed by a public trial. The grand jury part could be that the ExCom assembles and debates its charges and evidence in executive session, but the case presented to JudCom should be fully revealed to the membership and to the public. How we govern ourselves should set an example for how we’d govern in office.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 10:46 am
Barnett @121, how and when was MB ever “involved in persecuting Mary Ruwart”? I pay attention to our LPCA ExCom, and followed the Ruwart campaign closely, but I don’t recall MB ever getting involved in the controversies around it.
Pragmatist, a discussion like this certainly doesn’t help the LP’s image, but such discussions among a tiny self-selected group of people have vanishingly little impact on that image. The real public relations issue here is to not increase the likelihood of the LP’s opponents finding and using information that can embarrass the LP and its candidates.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm
Wow, Debra, did you just post as “LibertarianGirl” asking why somebody might be posting under a pseudonym?
Yeah, yeah, it doesn’t count because many of us know who you are. Well, 91% just gave some interesting reasons for posting pseudonymously, so I’m not going to foreclose that possibility by setting a precedent of publicly confirming or denying claims that I’ve used any pseudonyms here. That said, I would love IPR to institute a policy of only allowing posts by users registered under their real name, with first-name-only allowed if there’s no ambiguity (paulie, morey) about what real-world-person is being named.
Regarding transparency, what I’ve advocated is that people who make accusations against fellow Libertarians do so only with public evidence. I dare you to disagree with that position.
Have you read MB’s 52-page court file? I have, and I still have no evidence that makes me embarrassed to oppose expelling him from the LPCA for the non-disclosure cause specified by ExCom, because he no longer holds any LPCA office that was won through non-disclosure.
In fact, I’ll be in Long Beach with leaflets trumpeting the facts of my opposition to the MB and Cohen suspensions, because I will be running for JudCom if 1) Cohen’s suspension is upheld, or 2) Cohen’s suspension is overturned and any of the JudCom heroes don’t stand for re-election.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm
Hey, Debra, are you really against “defending a child molester”, no matter what the circumstances or context? Are you saying that someone with MB’s criminal record has zero rights that a Libertarian should defend?
Matt Harris, Chair of the LPWV, publicly wrote on IPR two days ago: “if a pedophile were to join the LPWV, I would haul them out into the street and beat them to death just as I would should I come across such a person in any other venue.”
It’s easy to be a principled Libertarian when defending the rights of people we can all identify/sympathize with. The true test of your Libertarian courage is when you have to decide whether to defend the due-process rights of the accused, or of the convicted who have already paid the price for their crimes.
I’m not just a fair-weather Libertarian, Debra. Are you?
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 1:37 pm
Debra, thanks for once again demonstrating that you don’t always know what you think you know.
Please quote the words you think I wrote saying you and Gene Trosper are an “embarrassment”. As I wrote on that thread, as LPCA Fact-Checker: you cannot quote [me] saying previously either that you are an embarrassment or that Barnes isn’t an embarrasment. However, Fact-Checker will say that he is ashamed of much of the venom and unsubstantiated mud-slinging employed by Libertarians above to justify purging a member — especially when so much of the mud isn’t even part of the cause which allegedly justified the purge.
And it’s utterly false that I “accused [Dedmon and Trosper] both of having done nothing for the Liberty movement.” That was somebody else — but don’t let pesky little things like truth and evidence get in the way of a juicy accusation against a fellow Libertarian.
I’ll keep saying it until you actually read it: you don’t know that Barnes “broke an agreement in good faith not to run for any office”. What Zander told us here was:
We told Matthew that we would not proceed with a suspension of membership against him if he were to agree to not run for any further office in the LPCA. As no local/state discussion occured the implication was that Barnes would remain a member and activist and would not seek any further office. In doing so it was understood that he would not create any further embarrassment and PR liability.
So Zander claims that there was an “understanding” floating in the air of that conversation, carrying the “implication” that resigning from LPCA’s ExCom means never accepting county office even if his record is disclosed. Bzzzzzt. Sorry, but that’s waaaaay too flimsy a basis to purge somebody.
A less-flimsy basis would be to say that it’s a purge-worthy offense to put anybody with Barnes’s record into any LPCA office. But none of you have the guts to say that, because Barnes didn’t elect himself, and you would then have to purge dozens of people from the LPSBD.
I’ve already said that I don’t think his 52-page court record warrants expulsion from the LPCA. I thought I heard you say that too, and I asked if that’s still your position. Are you ever going to answer?
Regarding threats, you’re not paying attention. I wrote @64 above: if there is specific credible evidence that Barnes has threatened anybody in connection with this case, that would be extremely disturbing and would be a far stronger cause for suspension than anything that’s been made public so far. Now, Debra, either give us some evidence that he’s threatened anybody, or stop spreading unsubstantiated rumors to that effect. Is that too much to ask?
I write my postings here with care, and it’s not an instanenous process. Your previous comment was posted while I was still composing mine, but you jumped to the false conclusion that I deliberately ignored your questions. This is yet another example of you not knowing something that you thought you knew. How many times do you have to be wrong in saying something defamatory about a fellow Libertarian, before you start to see the pattern and become more careful and charitable in what you say?
I did not invoke a straw man. You make a blanket statement about “defending a child molester” that made it sound like you think such defense is always wrong. I asked you if that’s what you thought. Now you admit that “defending a child molester” with Barnes’s record isn’t always wrong — which pretty much undercuts your earlier blanket statement. QED.
P.S. Some of the poems above are clever, but none of Cohen’s tiresome stories are. However, it’s always amusing/instructional to see such an extreme example of someone with so little understanding of how people are perceiving them and their actions.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm
Tom, it would not be unreasonable for ExCom to take the position that they will summarily suspend any [victimful] Megan’s Law registrant who accepts LPCA office at any level. But that’s not what they accused MB of. Instead, they accused him of violating an “understanding” floating in the air of a 3-person conversation, carrying the “implication” that resigning from LPCA’s ExCom means never accepting county office even if his record is disclosed.
They should have just told him in writing that they would summarily suspend him if they ever again noticed him holding LPCA office at any level.
Indeed, they could still do that now. And if he didn’t resign, I bet the JudCom would uphold the suspension.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Barnett, I ask again: how and when was MB ever “involved in persecuting Mary Ruwart”? I pay attention to our LPCA ExCom, and followed the Ruwart campaign closely, but I don’t recall MB ever getting involved in the controversies around it.
The more an unsubstantiated charge is repeated against a Libertarian, the less I believe it.
The problem with Libertarians isn’t that they do too much infighting. The problem is that they’re so incompetent at it.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 2:06 pm
Hmm, I don’t know that Hinkle ever criticized Ruwart over child sex issues, but he’s not currently subject to purge efforts, so I’ll just thank you for the correction, and leave it at that.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 3:06 pm
LP Pragmatist, if you want to know about the winners in the LPCA, then spend more time reading http://Calfreedom.Net/, and less time generating traffic on IPR threads like this.
Mr. Pyeatt, if you agree with Pragmatist, then why doen’t you work with your remaining fellow ExCom members to get more of CalFreedom’s positive stories about the LPCA posted on the LPCA web site? The most recent news on the LPCA site about Libertarians moving public policy in a libertarian direction is from 2006 — almost four years ago! CalFreedom has half a dozen such stories from the last six months alone, including a landmark victory that is not mentioned anywhere on the LPCA site:
This ExCom needs to spend less time purging members, and more time moving public policy in a libertarian direction.
Mr. Trosper, please don’t presume I don’t defend one person’s rights just because I defend another’s. On the contrary, I was very vocal — but ultimately unsuccessful — in imploring Dr. Ruwart to explain how children would be protected from predators in Ruwarchistan: http://libertarianintelligence.com/search/label/Ruwart
Tom, I of course meant any victimful Megan’s Law registrant. I’ve updated my comment above with “[victimful]“.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Barnett @246: As for Hinkle’s involvement with the “Starr Chamber,” that’s public knowledge within the LPCA circles. I have it on good authority that Hinkle was involved in that mess.
I’m a pretty well-connected LPCA insider, and I have no idea what “involvement” you think Hinkle has had in any of the things for which people like to complain about Starr.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 3:59 pm
I don’t like people taking me on my word. I instead like people taking me on my quotes, hyperlinks, etc. — i.e. evidence.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 8:20 pm
Knapp is indeed generally very good on substantiation, but there is one occasion that still sticks in my craw. He has been known to say without any context that the 2008 LP nominee “publicly advocated government distribution of child porn on demand”.
The actual fact of the matter is that Bob Barr merely called for Georgia state law to be followed in the case of a 17-year-old male convicted of child molestation for receiving video-recorded consensual oral sex from a 15-year-old girl. Here was Barr’s so-called “advocacy”:
The [federal Justice] department’s statement noted — correctly — that federal laws dealing with child pornography make the distribution thereof a crime. The federal government’s statement also correctly recognized, albeit implicitly, that Georgia law requires that “public records” (a term very broadly defined under state law) generally must be made available to the public.
Insofar as both the U.S. and Georgia constitutions provide for trials in criminal cases to be open to the public, clearly it makes sense for the evidence in such cases to be similarly open to inspection by the public. Only if there is evidence that a court explicitly orders be kept under seal, such as might otherwise endanger life or an ongoing investigation, is it proper for a public official, such as a district attorney, to refuse to make records of a trial available publicly, following conclusion of the case.
The Georgia Open Records Act is even more explicit. If the judge with jurisdiction over a case does not approve public inspection of the evidence, the person responsible for the maintenance of the evidence, including a district attorney, is then required by the law to make available a reproduction or copy.
I don’t recall Tom ever admitting that his characterization was misleading. I now keep this example firmly in mind when I hear Tom make an inflammatory accusation against another Libertarian.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Tom, on 2008-10-24, you made that allegation about Barr simply to make a ludicrously strained analogy with Ruwart: The mainstream media has given precisely zero attention to Bob Barr’s 2007 public advocacy of government distribution of child porn on demand. Why would anyone believe that they’d have been any more hyperbolic about Mary Ruwart’s 1998 non-advocacy of child porn?
But in fact, Ruwart had reiterated in May 2008: Bans on child p0rn0graphy are like bans on drugs and prostitution. They don’t work. They only make a bad situation worse. We’ve driven the child p0rn0graphy market underground, where profits soar and criminals abound. [...] We can limit abuse of children in the child p0rn0graphy trade by ending its prohibition. [...] Courts are likely to consider that pre-pubescent children had been coerced, since desire would be absent. The burden of proof would be on the p0rn0graphy producer or older sex partner to show that coercion, e.g. rape, had not occurred.
She thus stood by her statement in her book: Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make for choice is just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life. When we outlaw child p0rn0graphy, if the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.
Readers here can judge for themselves whether they can in the future trust Tom when he makes analogies between Libertarians he likes and Libertarians he doesn’t like.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 9:27 pm
Nice trifolds, George — good work.
As long as we’re on a practical-politics interlude in the thread you asked to be created, I just set up my latest free Libertarian campaign site: http://www.rodriguezgoestowashington.com/. My queue for creating these is currently empty, so any LP candidate who wants one can have one on a first-come-first-served basis.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 9:37 pm
Tom, you have a reputation/image as a hard-nosed realist when it comes to practical politics. If you want to claim that the statements quoted above from Barr and Ruwart were roughly equivalent in terms of the risk of controversy/blowback to the LP over child pornography, well, then just digging yourself deeper into the lack-of-credibility hole.
For example, you try now to dispute my characterization about your differential opinion of Barr and Ruwart, saying blandly that you like them both. Readers thus are conveniently not told that you call one of them “a dixiecrat rather than a libertarian”, and refused to vote for him.
Again, readers can decide for themselves whether Tom feels free to mislead readers when it suits him.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm
Ms. Pyeatt, I replied to both your posting and your husband’s. Neither of you have answered me. To say that “nobody except Gene and LG really cares about what really happened” is simply unfair.
I followed a link from the uninteresting CraigsList discussion to the far more interesting San Bernardino County Sun discussion. There I read that on Dec. 28 a Bruce Cohen wrote: “Matt raped multiple young boys. Three of them, serially. When he was their Scoutmaster. He raped his younger relatives, too.”
California law defines rape as involving “sexual intercourse”. There is no such allegation anywhere in MB’s court file.
If Cohen really posted that, then he should be suspended from the LPCA until he either substantiates it or apologizes for it.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 10:33 pm
I already corrected the part about substance abuse. “Fondled” is the word from his court file; your gross words aren’t in there. In subsequent characterizations I just gave the age ranges: 11 to 13 years old. As I told you four days ago:
LG, the facts of the case remain as follows. Barnes served his time for these three acts (fondling 11- to 13- year-old boys) that he committed two decades ago when he was their 19-year-old scout leader. He presumably paid into the victim’s restitution fund that his case file quotes the judge saying he would have to pay. His expressed deep regret for his crimes, which he aptly called “heinous”. There is still apparently no evidence that he ever offended again in the subsequent two decades, despite claims here that he has had ample opportunity. He quietly resigned his state ExCom seat when his court file first circulated. His county knew of his record when they subsequently elected him. You can shout all you want, but the facts remain what they are. No less, and no more.
Meanwhile, at the same time and place as Cohen above, you wrote: “there is a huge difference between legalizing prostitution and thinking its ok for an adult to rape a 12 yr old”.
So please don’t lecture me about mischaracterizing MB’s crimes, Debra.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 11:12 pm
When his record first circulated, I worked overtime to defend the LPCA from having someone with his record as a party officer. Now I’m working overtime to defend the LPCA from a precedent of purges based on flimsy charges, and to defend LPCA members from inaccurate or unsubstantiated allegations.
If you don’t like to see me working overtime on that, then you and your allies should stop putting out so much stuff that cries out for correcting or substantiating.
If you guys were doing it right, I wouldn’t have a thing to do here. Not one thing to do.
Think about that, Debra.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 11:15 pm
Debra, your @323 is an argument that the ExCom (and you!) failed morally by not advocating immediate expulsion as soon as you folks learned of his criminal record.
You need to make up your mind on that question once and for all, and quit waffling on it.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 11:22 pm
Mr. Pyeatt, being sincere and well-intentioned is not a guarantee that one is being fair, and isn’t making any serious mistakes.
The answer here is very simple. ExCom should notify Barnes in writing that anyone with his record is subject to suspension whenever he is holding any LPCA office at any level.
I would have no problem with that, and I bet JudCom wouldn’t either.
Brian Holtz // Jan 31, 2010 at 11:54 pm
Cohen didn’t apologize, but I guess that would be asking too much from someone of his character.
However, he did (mostly) correct his false accusation of “rape” — even while repeating yet again his malicious and unsubstantiated insinuation that MB has violated the law against his “working directly and in an unaccompanied setting with minor children on more than an incidental and occasional basis or have supervision or disciplinary power over minor children”.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 12:09 am
Bruce, you wrote: “I wonder what his Parole Officer would say of him being in a position of influence around minors, especially in his role as an elected official of the Libertarian Party of California.”
Not only did you insinuate that he was violating the statutory restriction on him, but you also insinuated that the LPCA has placed him in a role that would violate that restriction.
That’s despicable, Bruce. Why isn’t the truth enough?
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 12:22 am
Tom, nowhere in this thread have I claimed that the statements I’ve cited from you aren’t “strictly accurate”. What I’ve instead said is that the statements in question misled your readers, and invited them to believe things that differ significantly from what is actually the case. Namely:
1) That Bob Barr advocates as a general policy that on-demand distribution of child pornography should be a service of government.
2) That the statements quoted above from Barr and Ruwart were roughly equivalent in terms of the risk of controversy/blowback to the LP over child pornography.
3) That you have no differential motivation or agenda in how you characterize the respective views of Barr and Ruwart.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 1:18 am
Debra, I have absolutely “defended” Barnes’s actions — for example, from your inaccurate characterization of “rape”. I have also repeatedly condemned Barnes’s actions as “heinous”, etc.
Correcting false statements about action X does not mean that I defend the morality of action X.
That one subsequently-corrected paragraph that you just can’t stop repeating was a hypothetical from me, rebutting the utterly unlibertarian idea from you and others that certain people can be considered effectively guilty of future crimes because of the nature of their past crimes. That sentiment is disgusting, and I will always oppose it. You tell me how many years you think MB should have got for his past crimes, and I probably won’t bother arguing for a lower number. But if you argue that he should be punished for future crimes you presume he will probably commit, then I will argue against that tyrannical idea to my last breath. So tell us now: do you reject prior restraint and all its works and empty promises?
And yes, arguing against prior restraint has everything to do with protecting the LPCA — against the sick and evil precedent that members can be sanctioned for the mob’s predictions of the accused’s future crimes. My comment was aimed directly at you, after you were asked “Do you have evidence that Mr. Barnes is likely to commit further violent acts?” Your response was to shout: “THERE IS NO REFORMING BEING A PEDOPHILE”. If you think MB should be locked away for life, then have the courage to say so.
I never told you that you can have no opinion on MB. I just pleaded with you not to do things that would help lead to his criminal record being publicly associated with the LPCA. Admit it: you’ve earlier said you didn’t think he should be suspended. So I don’t want to hear from you that somebody with his criminal record deserves to be suspended, unless you admit that your standards are changing on this case from day to day.
You say: “I’ve said not 1 rumor , what I have said is that I believe the claims of intimidation and lies lodged by others.” Debra, saying “I believe [rumor X]” counts as spreading rumor X. That could not be any more obvious.
I’d have to know more details about the crimes he confessed to in order to guess whether he committed more crimes than those. However, I do know that 1) he should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and 2) simply doubling or tripling the exact crimes he committed wouldn’t appreciably change my opinions about this case.
Mr. Trosper, are you suggesting that the LPSBD has its Vice Chair “working directly and in an unaccompanied setting with minor children on more than an incidental and occasional basis or have supervision or disciplinary power over minor children”? I’ve never heard of any LP affiliate anywhere that offers babysitting by its Vice Chair, and I seriously doubt that the LPSBD is going to offer such a service while MB holds that office.
343 comments. What is there left to say on this case that hasn’t already been said?
Well, there’s always room on IPR for more inaccurate or unsubstantiated allegations against one’s fellow Libertarians. Bring ‘em on. I’ve got chunks of ‘em in my stool.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 1:57 am
Tom, what I wrote was: “Readers here can judge for themselves whether they can in the future trust Tom when he makes analogies between Libertarians he likes and Libertarians he doesn’t like.”
Readers of course know that I’m not simply complaining that you’re an advocate.
Just like they know that by “likes” I meant “supports” rather than “is congenial toward”.
Readers of course know that what I’m suggesting is that you too often try to be as misleading as possible within the constraints of “strict accuracy”.
And thank you for not denying that your “strictly accurate” statements didn’t conveniently tend to guide readers toward the three inaccurate conclusions I enumerated above.
Chuck Moulton // Feb 1, 2010 at 2:40 am
I don’t currently live in California and I don’t have any inside knowledge of this situation going beyond what has been posted in this thread.
I did live in California for a year though, serve on the LPCA’s Ex-Com, and befriend many of the people posting here. And I know enough about the LPCA’s bylaws and Robert’s Rules to give the judicial committee the benefit of the doubt (following procedure without condoning behavior).
I just want to say that I appreciate the thoughtful logic of Brian Holtz and Tom Knapp. Keep up the good work, guys.
I don’t mean to denigrate (by omission in my praise) the contributions of others who have chipped in with relevant comments and maintained decorum, but Brian and Tom are really the gold standard of constructively critical — while still respectful — discussion and this thread would have been much more readable if more had followed their examples.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 3:27 am
“Anyone who bothered to read the evidence I presented for my ACCURATE claim could not plausibly reach such a conclusion.”
Duh — my entire point is that the evidence underlying your statement did not support the belief you were trying to create in people who did not bother to fact-check your statement.
It’s beside the point that people were making inaccurate statements about Ruwart. You tossed your own credibility into the same hole when you did the same thing about Barr. You may think the ends somehow justified the misleading means, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t mislead.
And you didn’t make this misleading claim in just this one context about Ruwart. You also used it in a completely different context, as part of an effort to — wait for it — demonstrate that Barr had a campaign strategy of appealing to racism.
Come to think of it, this is sort of a signature Knapp polemical move: make an outrageously inflammatory and misleading statement, for which you have in your back pocket a little factoid that if necessary you will claim somehow makes your misleading statement “strictly accurate”. I’ve seen it often enough now that I read between your lines for the mental smirk that usually accompanies it, and usually don’t bother with the exercise of fact-checking it, because it never seems to pay off in me finding out to be true what you wanted me to believe.
Coincidentally, M Carling likes to do a similar thing, but only in in-person social settings. He does it as kind of a parlor trick, to goad people into asking about his preposterous or inflammatory assertion, and then he’ll smile as he reveals the factoid or interpretation that makes his assertion true in some strained sense. If it’s just him and me, I sometimes turn the tables by not asking what he’s talking about, just to see him almost physically wrestle with the urge to volunteer an explanation. It’s all good clean fun.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 4:13 am
Chuck, I appreciate your generous comment — probably a lot more than you might think. I too also appreciate how Tom has spoken up on this topic, and your compliment to us both makes me realize this just wasn’t the time and place to gripe about Tom’s shot at Barr. Tom’s level of intellectual honesty is truly exemplary, and in fact downright inspirational. He makes one proud to be a Libertarian, and at a time like this we could sure use more Party members who can do that.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:37 am
Tom, I thought you get it, but maybe you don’t. While I had always respected MB, I’m not a particular friend of his, and I’ve never spent any time with him outside of LPCA ExCom meetings and convention floor proceedings. I’m not standing up for him per se, but rather for the ideas that 1) the charges and evidence used to purge a member should not be secret from other members, and 2) public accusations against members should not be made without substantiation.
I’d do the same thing for a member who I don’t respect, or who I’ve documented lying about me. It’s about process, not people.
Mr. Trosper, let me explain my point for the sarcasm-impaired: I’ve never heard of an LPCA function where being an LPCA officer meant you would have so much as five seconds alone with some member’s child.
As for me not having “street smarts about putting children in harm’s way”, you have no idea what you’re talking about. As far as my three daughters are concerned, you Gene Trosper are a child molester until proven otherwise. Nobody at puberty or older gets to be alone with my daughters, at any time or for any reason, unless positive controls or positive knowledge is in place to ensure/vouch that the person can be trusted not to be a risk. This is Parenting 101.
Any risk to children here has vanishingly little to do with whether MB is an LPCA officer, and has zero to do with whether MB has an LPCA membership card in his wallet. That risk is entirely up to MB’s social circle within the LPSBD.
I too of course care about MB’s victims. If there’s something that you think the LPCA can do to actually help them, I’m waiting to hear it.
Starchild, I’m glad you’re here to speak up for the principles of transparency and due process. However, we shouldn’t spread hysteria about ExCom conspiracies, any more than we should spread hysteria about MB. Our Bylaws clearly state: “Such appointments [for ExCom vacancies] shall be to complete the term of office vacated unless a convention meets sooner, in which case a new election shall be held for any position so filled.” The next convention is in two weeks. Chillax.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm
Tom @390, that Stanhope video on fear-mongering is pure genius. Everybody should watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Oww4Ap3YZA
Here goes Cohen again @370: making the unsubstantiated allegation that Mark Selzer is an “embezzler”. If Cohen really posted that, then he should be suspended from the LPCA until he either substantiates it or apologizes for it.
Starchild, you’re not helping fact-based reason triumph over irrational hysteria when you question whether MB’s 11- to 13-year-old victims had force initiated against them. The case file says “He stated he was severely depressed after having realized he had molested boys in his scout troop. He stated he was appalled by his behavior. [...] He acknowledged the wrongfulness of his actions, and expressed some relief that he had been called to account”.
Wants To Know asks me:
1. Do you believe Mr. Barnes is an asset or a liability to the Libertarian Party of California?
It’s a major liability for MB to be entrusted with any official responsibilities at any level of the LPCA.
Is his mere membership a liability? There are a few people whose membership in the LPCA I consider a net liability to it, but so far I only advocate expelling them if they are prima facie guilty of unrectified or unrepentant force initiation. Like Cohen apparently libeling MB as a “rapist” or Mark Selzer as an “embezzler”. (I’m assuming for our purposes here that libel counts as aggression, but there are interesting libertarian arguments each way.)
2. If you believe he is a liability, what do you plan on doing about it?
What I’ve been doing since his record first surfaced: creating the circumstances to induce him to renounce all official LPCA responsibilities with the minimum amount of bad publicity for the LPCA that is consistent with due process, intra-party transparency, and human decency. Every LPCA member concerned about this matter should be trying to do the same thing, and while we won’t all agree on exactly how to do it, it’s clear that some people here aren’t trying to do anything remotely like this.
We can talk about the exact meaning of “all official LPCA responsibilities”, but my basic idea is that I don’t want anybody to be able to truthfully say that the LPCA knowingly has a victimful child-molestation convict in charge of anything.
Mr. Ubble, thanks again for providing a voice of reason here. We need all of those we can get.
Zander, it’s more effective to prosecute somebody on airtight narrow grounds than on a broad but thin indictment that specifies everything you don’t like about the person. Remember, Saddam was hanged for just the 1982 Dujail Massacre, and Al Capone was sent away only for tax evasion. If you picked the wrong grounds and lost, there’s nothing in our rules against trying again with the right grounds.
I don’t know what rules JudCom has adopted for the hearings that our Bylaws vaguely say they must hold, but RRONR Ch. 20 is very clear that the charges and evidence for at least a successful expulsion have to be revealed to the society while being withheld from the public. I would oppose any JudCom rule that contradicts that RRONR principle.
I would also have a problem with any JudCom rules that allowed a rogue JudCom to muzzle all possible prosecution complaints that the JudCom got a decision wrong. I guess this is why a grand jury is an annually-rotated set of somewhat random citizens, and is not allowed to be a semi-permanent set of insiders who can protect the guilty. Since we are a political party and not a book club or stamp collecting society, we should default toward complete transparency, and only allow narrow pieces of evidence to be sealed under the most extreme circumstances. Being an activist in the LPCA is (or should be) a public endeavor, and our members should not expect us to freely associate with them if they can’t stand sunshine.
I find it hard to believe that our JudCom has effectively deleted “or for cause” from our Bylaws. You saw the email from one of them citing the example of P@ul Irel@nd’s for-cause expulsion based on his written threats of violence against a member.
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm
Zander, if mere mendacity were sufficient cause for expulsion from the LPCA, then the JudCom would be a full-time job.
Cohen, calling someone a “rapist” in the context of their child-molestation conviction isn’t “figurative” — it’s unfair and malicious and cruel and a lie and libelous. Every time you exaggerate what MB plead guilty to, you are suggesting that you secretly don’t consider his actual crimes to be heinous enough for your ulterior purposes, and that your attacks on him are more about what you think he (and others) have done to you than what he actually did to any children.
They say the judge in Bernie Madoff’s case didn’t get a single letter vouching for Madoff’s character. Is there anybody in the LPCA who is willing to publicly say they think Cohen is honorable or honest or well-mannered or civil or clever?
Anybody at all?
Brian Holtz // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm
Zander @425: exactly. It’s not the (alleged) mendacity per se, it’s the fact that the (alleged) mendacity is connected to the specific PR exposure of somebody with MB’s record being entrusted with official responsibilities at any level of the LPCA.
If that PR exposure is so bad — as it arguably is — then that exposure itself is cause to suspend whenever suspension is the only way to remove the exposure.
I appreciate your honesty above @57, but you pretty much torpedoed your mendacity charge in my eyes when you talked about the “implications” of an “understanding” that was in the air of an unrecorded private conversation MB had with only two other people. (You said MB did not “refute” your understanding of the conversation, but you didn’t say he didn’t dispute it either.)
Reading between the lines of the JudCom press release, I would guess this is roughly why they overturned this suspension attempt, and why they practically invited another attempt with their talk of “extend or substitute for the stated causes”.
Cohen, if Selzer is an embezzler, then show us the evidence. That you haven’t shown it screams that you don’t have it. Big surprise.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm
Geof, I already said what the larger issue is: creating the circumstances to induce MB to renounce all official LPCA responsibilities with the minimum amount of bad publicity for the LPCA that is consistent with due process, intra-party transparency, and human decency.
Cohen’s dishonesty, ill-manneredness, incivility, and libelous accusations have only distracted from the larger issue.
Which would be better for the LPCA: if 1) our leadership were united in calmly but forcefully relieving MB of his Party responsibilities, based on due process and airtight evidence, or 2) hysteria and railroading force some of our leadership to publicly rescue the due-process rights of someone with MB’s record?
Again: every time Cohen and others exaggerate MB’s crimes, they in effect minimize his crimes in the eyes of those who know what MB actually plead guilty to. Cohen’s vendettas are more important to him than is the reputation of the LPCA, so he’s willing to force LPCA leaders to defend MB’s due-process rights just so that he can enjoy the spectacle.
That’s sick, and I’m ashamed that I ever considered Cohen a friend. I’ve tried for several years to nudge him toward more civility and honesty, but I see now that it’s hopeless. I give up.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm
The rules and decisions of a state’s leaders are binding over everyone in a given geographic jurisdiction. The rules and decisions of the LP’s leaders are binding over only those who voluntarily choose to associate with the LP.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm
I’ve received information indicating that the minutes of the January 2010 LPSBD meeting will show that MB has resigned from all offices and committees of that affiliate. At this point, it appears that MB has no official responsibilities within the LPCA at any level.
I commend Matt for putting the interests of the LPCA ahead of his own, by stepping down from official positions he could have fought to hold on to.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm
Cohen, I didn’t say you put the MB scandal out in the open. (You do seem to be on everybody’s short list of suspects for initially circulating the Megan’s Law entry, and/or for tipping a newspaper to the story, but no evidence about this has surfaced, and you give such suspicions the hyperbolic penalty-of-perjury denials that you reserve for the few times when you actually stand by the your words write.)
What I said was that your unfair, uncivil, ill-mannered, prima-facie-libelous public comments on this scandal helped create a hysteria around it that led to a public split in the LPCA’s leadership and and to a Google News entry about the suspension.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm
Dan, I’ll repeat what I wrote @419: I don’t know what rules JudCom has adopted for the hearings that our Bylaws vaguely say they must hold, but RRONR Ch. 20 is very clear that the charges and evidence for at least a successful expulsion have to be revealed to the society while being withheld from the public. I would oppose any JudCom rule that contradicts that RRONR principle. I would also have a problem with any JudCom rules that allowed a rogue JudCom to muzzle all possible prosecution complaints that the JudCom got a decision wrong.
If the JudCom had any written rules in place about suspension-hearing secrecy before these two recent suspensions, can you share them with us? In particular, can you tell us what parts of RRONR Ch. 20 the JudCom considers to be replaced by our Bylaw 5.5?
In the absence of any such explicit rules on secrecy, I would argue that the spirit of our rule base is that the charges and evidence for even an attempted expulsion should be made available to the membership while simultaneously being withheld from the public.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm
Once again, something Cohen says is demonstrably false.
He says he “proved” the initial email from “Edward” wasn’t from him, but that’s not possible without access to internal Yahoo databases. All Cohen could have proved is that the email came from the account “email@example.com”. Anybody could have created that Yahoo account, including Cohen.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm
What “delay”, Cohen? As soon as the Megan’s Law entry circulated, LPCA leaders started investigating the case. As soon as they had his case file, pressure was put on Barnes to resign, and he did.
Once again, anyone taking Cohen’s assertions at face value is left with a distorted and misleading version of reality.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm
Geof, I didn’t say in either @484 or @486 that these two particular Cohen falsehoods were willful. Insufficient data in these two instances.
The link says: “A Roman legal principle indicating that a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any matter.” I’ve elsewhere documented Cohen issuing willful falsehoods, e.g. about whether MB’s LPCA office puts him in violation of the statutory restrictions on such offenders.
I’m not saying that everything Cohen says is probably false. I’m just saying that Cohen has surrendered his credibility.
When this first became public, why was there not an immediate statement by the leadership?
There was. The only news I’ve seen on this was the Nov. 6 article in the San Bernardino Sun, and it includes statements from the LPSBD leadership.
Also, “we’re looking into it” is exactly what Zander told me on the day that the Megan’s Law entry first circulated. I assume the leadership said that to anybody who asked about it. You can’t seriously suggest that the LPCA should have issued a press release in response to something that was only circulating among insiders.
If you want to see an LPCA leader fighting “rumor and innuendo in the public sphere”, then: hi, nice to meet you, my name is Brian Holtz.
Why aren’t you complaining that much of that “rumor and innuendo in the public sphere” was created by other LP (ex)leaders, like Cohen (“rapist”), and Marbry (“alcohol and marijuana to minors at party-related functions”), and Pyeatt (“never showed any remorse”).
It would have been counterproductive for the LPCA to officially fight all the “rumor and innuendo in the public sphere”, as that would have just publicized the scandal much more widely.
Since you’re the only LPCA member who stood up to vouch for Cohen, you should ask yourself: have Cohen’s public comments on these matters on net helped the LPCA or hurt it?
Dan, if a member leaks Party-internal information, that’s the member’s fault, not JudCom’s. RRONR Ch. 20 doesn’t make exceptions for large or leak-prone societies; it just flatly says that the assembly has to see the charges and evidence. Again: I don’t read our Bylaw 5.5 as reversing that principle, and I would disagree with any JudCom rule or practice that does so.
Brian Holtz // Feb 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm
Yes, Cohen, “member” is the proper term to describe you.
The confidentiality rule in Robert’s is explicitly to protect the society from libel liability. If you yourself publicize the charges and evidence against you, and waive any libel claims while doing so, then I would defend you from claims that you’ve broken the rules in Robert’s.
JudCom may have other rules. You should demand them in writing, and tell us what they are.
Brian Holtz // Feb 3, 2010 at 1:40 am
I don’t now which is sillier: 1) to say that declining to publicize something is the same as hiding it, or 2) to think that if the LPCA “called a press conference” over MB’s initial resignation, so much as a single reporter would have shown up.
“Libertarians Elect Known Child Molester To Party Office” is a far juicier story, and Google News indicates that no other outlet picked up that story from the San Bernardino County Sun.
Hasn’t there been enough ravaging of human lives in this story, that the LPCA should have tried to inflict even more while amateurishly trying to score some allegedly positive publicity over it?
Brian Holtz // Feb 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm
The title I gave was a worst-case hypothetical. The actual title was “Libertarian Official Is Registered Sex Offender”. A copy of it is at http://www.armedpolitesociety.com/index.php?topic=21777.0
Interestingly, the reactions posted there were more reasonable than those of many of MB’s fellow Libertarians.
Brian Holtz // Feb 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm
SBCLP member @514, it’s unfair to suggest (“nefarious”) that any of the people you named think that what they are doing in connection with this controversy is inconsistent with the best interests of the LPCA.
Brian Holtz // Feb 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm
Anyone guilty of N crimes of child molestation can be assumed to be guilty of N+1 crimes of child molestation. Thus, all child molesters can be assumed guilty of infinitely many crimes of child molestation.
Does anyone believe that prosecutors don’t routinely over-charge cases to give themselves more chips at the plea-bargaining table?
Do Libertarians believe in presumption of innocence, or not?
Um, Debra, the who-hates-pedophiles-the-most contest is over, and the good news is that you tied for first place. Congratulations.
Brian Holtz // Feb 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Debra, I repeat: I am only defending 1) the LPCA from a precedent of purges based on flimsy charges, and 2) LPCA members from inaccurate or unsubstantiated allegations.
To suggest that I am defending child molestation per se is grossly unfair.
Brian Holtz // Feb 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm
Debra, if you can repeat yourself, then I can too: That one subsequently-corrected paragraph that you just can’t stop repeating was a hypothetical from me, satirizing the utterly unlibertarian idea from you and others that certain people can be considered effectively guilty of future crimes because of the nature of their past crimes. That sentiment is disgusting, and I will always oppose it. You tell me how many years you think MB should have got for his past crimes, and I probably won’t bother arguing for a lower number. But if you argue that he should be punished for future crimes you presume he will probably commit, then I will argue against that tyrannical idea to my last breath.
So my big unforgivable crime was using a hypothetical case to argue against unlibertarian ideas of prior restraint.
Meanwhile, you libeled MB as a “rapist”, even though you surely knew that what he was not convicted of rape.
It’s not at all obvious to me that we’re on opposite sides of the fence here. First you defended those saying expel MB, then you said MB shouldn’t be expelled, and later you said he should. Now we know he’s resigned all LPCA offices at all levels, so I have no idea where you stand on expelling MB today.
Except I’m pretty sure you hate pedophiles. I think I’ve figured that part out.
Brian Holtz // Feb 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm
Debra, fondling isn’t intercourse. It just isn’t. Rape is not the same crime; he was not charged with any “sexual penetration” crime. That’s section 289; MB was convicted under section 288. Does truth matter, or not?
Mr. Trosper, how does falsely calling MB a “rapist” helps his victims? What precisely should the LPCA do for MB’s victims — whose identity we don’t even know? If you think the courts failed to impose enough punishment/restitution on MB, then specifically how much more would be enough, and who should administer it?
If you don’t want to see MB defended at all for anything, then don’t be part of the mob spewing hysterical and exaggerated accusations against him. Isn’t the truth he confessed to awful enough? The hysterical need to exaggerate what he did gives the perception that the exaggerators don’t think that what he actually was convicted of was awful enough to justify what they’re trying to do to him.
It’s silly to say that defending MB from false accusations suggests that Libertarians think “governments hold a monopoly on the initiation of force”. On the contrary, I’ve accused private parties here of libel, which many Libertarians say is initiation of force.
Correction: Debra, you’re in fact losing the who-hates-pedophiles-the-most contest. Matt Harris, Chair of the LPWV, publicly wrote on IPR Jan. 29: “if a pedophile were to join the LPWV, I would haul them out into the street and beat them to death just as I would should I come across such a person in any other venue.”
So Gene, Debra, you have to either match this level of hysteria, or explain to us why you “defend pedophiles” (from being killed on sight). Don’t you “care about the victims of molestation”?
Brian Holtz // Feb 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm
@548, I’m not a lawyer, but I assume that libel trials are decided by juries. No jury is going to convict anyone of libeling MB for saying that he is guilty of the three crimes for which he was convicted. Indeed, the San Bernardino Sun said pretty much exactly that: “Barnes, 41, pleaded guilty in 1993 to three counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, according to court records. The crimes were committed in the summer of 1987, when Barnes was 19.”
Brian Holtz // Feb 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Mr. Trosper, I didn’t say that you had ever called MB a “rapist”. You issued a general complaint that the defenses of MB here don’t help his victims, and one of the things I’ve defended him from is that word “rapist”. So I asked how him getting called that name helps his victims — i.e. whether he should be defended from that false accusation.
If you don’t want to answer my questions @524, I’d be elated to let the matter drop.
Guilt @551, I’m only here to correct false, exaggerated, or unsubstantiated accusations against the LPCA and its members. I don’t see any point in publicly debating legal technicalities with anonymous commenters.