Never Say Try

Austin Dispatches
No. 152
July 4, 2012

The Libertarian National committeemen answered last issue’s question: They really are that fucking stupid.

Independent Political Report publicized some internal communications among chairman Geoff Neale and committeemen Wayne Allyn Schmuck, Michael Emerling Cloud Cloud Emerling, and Starchild. I wrote last time they were unsuitable for the job, partly because they wouldn’t be able to get along with each other. Their e-mails prove me right. They couldn’t even wait a full week after the national convention in Las Vegas.1  

They could settle this matter by stepping out of the next natcom meeting and beating the crap out of each other. Since these four are full of crap, the beatings could take a while. Instead, they indulge in histrionics. The national party could benefit financially through charging admission and pay-per-view fees.

Moreover, they can’t decide from one day to the next which party they think they’re representing, and not always in the obvious manner.2  Schmuck remains unaware that the few valid points he makes about the faults of Libertarians and the necessary fixes have been articulated earlier and better by Murray Rothbard,3  Lew Rockwell,4  John Dentinger,5  and Edward Feser,6  among others.  Schmuck would know this if he were better versed in the movement and its literature. As is, he’s discrediting these and other valid points every time he opens his yap. A pity, because many libertarians need to hear them more often than they do.7

Such as Neale, who behaves as though he were chairman of the British Labour Party, until it’s time for him to defend the workers.8  Then he criticizes government unions in an LP press release about the Wisconsin recall effort.9 Understand: Crushing government unions is a good thing,10 but self-proclaimed “left-libertarians” lack credibility on such issues. It’s consistent with their reflexes, because under scrutiny they turn out to be one or the other, not both. At best, it’s a lifestyle pose by the sort for whom freedom means never having to wear a necktie.11 However, the pose fails to attract “leftists” (kratic and anarchic) while annoying real libertarians, to the detriment of the party and the movement overall.12  

Also of detriment, LP presidential nominee Gary Johnson of New Mexico has been scrutinized on the hustings and found to have a Schmuck-level grasp of libertarianism.13 He couldn’t even clear 50 percent of the vote in the California primary – after he’d already been nominated.14 In the future, convention delegates should avoid making important personnel decisions while short on sleep. And somebody needs to confront Johnson and tell him to shake the drug residue out of his skull, do some reading so he knows what the hell he’s talking about, and step up his game.  

Victims of Soicumstance

After much delay and trepidation, I finally saw the “Three Stooges” feature at the discount theater in Round Rock. It almost succeeded.15  

To give an idea of the challenge, even Shemp Howard is regarded by Stooge fans as something of an unworthy interloper – an attitude turned into a multilayered joke in a “Barney Miller” episode.16 This feature had for years been one of those notorious unmade projects languishing in Hollywood. In 1984, with the Stooges more popular than ever,17 The Associated Press reported that Moe’s real-life son-in-law was considering “a nationwide talent search to replace, Moe, Curly, and Larry” for a new feature film.18  Piqued, Dad found out Norman Maurer’s phone number and to his surprise, got through directly to Maurer and spoke with him briefly. By that point, Maurer had decided the Stooges were inimitable and shelved the project. But it gave my Stooge fan of a father a nice anecdote.

What cooled my enthusiasm about the feature was the amount of screen time devoted to the plight of the orphans. Never mind sentiment – get back to the slapping, eye poking and improper use of tools. One aspect of note: The feature uses Larry (Sean Hayes) a lot more than the old shorts, both in solo turns and in two-shot scenes.

In early June, “God Bless America,” a dark satire about the crass, shallow and ugly aspects of American life and culture, opened at the Alamo Ritz in downtown Austin.19 I was going to see it there, but by chance learned of a Web site that hosts it and others for free, albeit at lower resolution. It’s an OK film, though writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait picks easy targets for the indie movie audience to jeer at. Also, his satiric points would be more credible if he hadn’t participated in the “Police Academy” series.20  

In his newest book, Austin resident Tucker Max recounts getting into a fight with some rich assholes while boating on one of the nearby lakes.21  

As a tie-in to the revival of “Dallas,” the Statesman ran a travel feature on the Southfork Ranch in Collin County.22 I drove by it one of my days off back when I lived in Richardson. It appeared smaller in real life – no wonder the Ewings were so cross with each other: millions apiece and they still have to share the same bathroom.   

U.S. authorities cut off funding for a Pakistani “Sesame Street” after the local puppet theater allegedly ripped off Uncle Sucker for millions.23 This sets up the series finale, where the characters die in a drone attack.24

Business Roundup

The local papers published another round of articles fretting about the tech industry’s condition,25  but as before, the executives and experts avoid discussing the real internal and external causes of their fretting.

Michael Dell exulted on his Twitter account about a photo of President Obama talking on the phone and gazing at a Dell Latitude laptop.26 Unfortunately, Obama was talking to customer service.

A new saloon has replaced one of the worst restaurants in Travis County, which inexplicably remained open for years.27

The June 8 Chronicle ran a cloying feature on a cooperative bakery that somehow is supposed to critique capitalism, and refute centuries of utopians failing at creating viable alternatives thereto, with vegan doughnuts. Doubtless you’ll hear all this from the patrons, punctuated with a shpritz of half-masticated crullers. The lifespan of a cooperative, run by women, in the food services industry and dedicated to using the highest-quality ingredients, will likely be short. Anyway, the doughnuts themselves, otherwise described in the article as puffy discs of fried dough, with sugar, chocolate and vegetable oil, still don’t get a pass from health professionals. If only the bakery could last, the ranks of self-righteous statists would be decimated through clogged arteries.28  

Media Indigest

e152fig1 To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the reign of a high-toned descendent of a foreign warlord,29 Life magazine published some special issue for the supermarket checkout lines with a cover of the young Queen Elizabeth II looking like Seth Green in drag.30 Meanwhile, the denizens of Airstrip One say their country’s gone into the crapper since she first sat on the throne, according to a new poll.31  The Libertarian Alliance recommended abolishing the monarchy and kicking Liz and her family off the dole for doing nothing for 60 years while Muslims and Jamaican street gangs have overrun the country with the connivance of the parasitic political class.32  

The Chronicle predictably sneers at “For Greater Glory,” about the Cristero War in Mexico. The review tries to disguise the hatchet job as an esthetic critique, then gives away the game a few sentences later about “… the film’s true intentions: to tell a tale of Christian heroism rather than an epic saga about a people’s revolution or the cost of freedom.”33 As though there’s something inherently incompatible with the three. Clearly, this reviewer is unfamiliar with the scholarship, often associated with the Mises Institute, on the topic.34

Meanwhile, Louis Black returned to writing his “Page Two” column in the Chronicle after a long convalescence.35 While his writing and insights haven’t worsened, neither have they improved.  He’s still a meathead.

Black plus the vegan bakery reminds me of my alma mater’s newspaper, where a top editor was a vegetarian but also overweight and a heavy smoker. Predictably, she was also a pinko. Now the newspaper, the first to pay me for writing, will switch from printing daily to twice-weekly in a magazine format in autumn.36  

Further Political Follies

In the Texas primaries’ postmortem, Chronicalista Michael King whines about the Republican gerrymandering of congressional districts to stymie Democrats – especially white Democrats – from victory in Travis County.37 That’s the whole point of gerrymandering, and has been since the ‘60s. King is whining about finding politics … in politics because he doesn’t like the results.  When the Democrats controlled Texas, they did the same thing, and stymied the GOP from winning more congressional seats during its ascendancy than it would have otherwise. The Dems might still be in power, and therefore control redistricting, but the statists capped several decades’ struggle in 1982, gained control of the Texas Democratic Party, drove out everyone else, and lost the state because they insisted on cramming their agenda down the throats of a people whose ancestors twice threw off outside tyranny.38 Don’t hold your breath waiting for King or his ilk to acknowledge something like that.

Cumulative anecdotes suggest Obama’s supporters are edging away from him. In The Villager, syndicated columnist Raynard Jackson criticizes the NAACP for straying from its mission by supporting homosexuals and illegal immigrants, and for becoming “a patsy for the Democratic Party.”39 The other Austin black newspaper, Nokoa, includes an even-handed assessment of Mitt Romney’s Mormon background in its June 7 issue.40 Meanwhile, Don Rickles insults Obama at a mixed-race Hollywood event and gets laughs.41  

Austin Death Watch

The City Council voted June 7 to jack up Austin Energy electric rates by government fiat, rather than a private utility charging the market rate. The Chronicle predictably sneered at this alternative to the statist quo, too.42 Similarly, City officials are talking about a fee increase to hire more bureaucrats to clear the backlog of construction permit applications – a backlog the existing bureaucrats are responsible for and probably created so as to require a fee increase.43

In the final hearing on Austin’s new comprehensive 30-year plan, even supporters and participants of the plan criticized it for resembling the 1928 plan that drove blacks to the east side and for trying to turn Austin into Portland, Ore. The Council approved the new plan anyway. However, if the new plan is like the 1980 plan, we can undercut, thwart, and eventually ignore it.44  

In the meantime, Austin’s growth by annexation jeopardizes funding for county fire districts, reports the Statesman.45 The Austin power elite will no doubt enjoy the spectacle of some cedar chopper’s paradise burning from their downtown condo terraces. That’s if they’re not first driven out by rising property taxes – up by 38 percent in the last 10 years at the hands of the City, County, and Austin Independent School, Austin Community College, and Central Health districts, according to the Statesman.46

Three motorcyclists died in separate incidents scattered across town during the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally from June 7-10. One fell from the flyover connecting southbound Interstate 35 to U.S. 290 East. Worse, the snarled traffic inconvenienced me while I was trying to get someplace.47  

The latest news about the Formula One racetrack indicates that even with improvements, parking, roadways and the airport are insufficient to handle 300,000 visitors.48  I think everyone is missing an opportunity. Instead of Formula One racing, the police can stop idiot drivers and send them to drive the track in their normal fashion until they crash and kill each other. Instead of tickets, the City can charge admission and pay-per-view fees. This would probably raise enough money to pay off the massive municipal debts, while simultaneously solving a persistent traffic problem and sate the appetite for blood sport. We could even have theme nights for various categories of bad drivers.

Neighborhood News

A self-service yogurt bar has opened at Shops at Arbor Walk. A salon has opened at the Austin Commons strip mall. A dermatology practice has opened at the Plaza North medical building.49 Culver's has remodeled its shop at Braker and Kramer lanes.50  Twin Liquors replaced an independent liquor store at The Market at Parmer shopping plaza.


1 “Geoff Neale on “The Situation” With Michael Cloud.” Independent Political Report 22 May 2012 <>.
2 Root, Wayne Allyn. “How Romney Can Win the Presidency – This Week.” 18 Jun. 2012 <>.
3 The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard. Ed. Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. Burlingame, Calif.: Center for Libertarian Studies, 2000: 37-42, 100-115.
4 Rockwell. “The Case for Paleo-Libertarianism.” Liberty Jan. 1990: 34-38.
5 Dentinger, John. “Envy vs. Cooperation.” Idem., Nov. 1988: 68-70.
6 Feser, Edward. “What Libertarianism Isn’t.” 22 Dec. 2001 <>.
7 Eisler, Dan. “Re: - A Far-Right Texan Inspires Antiwar Left.” E-mail to TCLPActive, 11 Mar. 2003.
8 AD No. 63n25 (Apr. 15, 2004).
9 “Libertarian Party Says Gov. Walker Made Right First Step.” Libertarian Party Headquarters press release, 6 Jun. 2012.
10 Reynolds, Morgan O. Power and Privilege: Labor Unions in America. New York City: Universe Books, 1984: Ch. 8.
11 Doherty, Brian. “Rockwell-Doherty Interview.” Rockwell. Speaking of Liberty. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2003: 410.
12 AD No. 111n10 (June 12, 2008).
13  Antle, W. James III. “Antiwar, Conservative, and Looking Toward November.” The American Conservative 25 May 2012 <>; Burris, Charles. “The Litmus Test.” The LRC Blog 3 Jun. 2012 < >; Field, Eric. “Gary Johnson Disappoints: LP Candidate Doesn’t Understand Libertarianism.” 3 Jun. 2012 <>; “Gary Johnson: Statist.” Scott Lazarowitz’s Blog 8 Jun. 2012 <>; Sipos, Thomas. “Gary Johnson on Afghanistan, Libya and Non-Intervention.” Libertarian Peacenik 1 Jun. 2012 <>; Wenzel, Robert. “How Libertarian Is Gary Johnson?” 2 Jun. 2012 <>; Vance, Laurence. “Gary Johnson’s Libertarianism.” The LRC Blog 3 Jun. 2012 <>.
14 “Primary Election Results.” The Orange County Register 7 Jun. 2012: 2.
15 The Three Stooges. Wessler Entertainment/C3 Entertainment Inc./Conundrum Entertainment, 2012.
16 “The Doll.” Barney Miller ABC-TV, 26 Mar. 1981.
17 Ferretti, Fred. “Three Stooges Nostalgia Is Today’s Newest Fad.” NYT 4 Mar. 1983, late city final ed.: B1.
18 Thomas, Bob. AP. “Film Maker Seeking Three New Stooges.” Hackensack (N.J.) Record 4 Sep. 1984.
19 Baumgarten, Marjorie. Rev of God Bless America. AC 1 Jun. 2012: 63.
20 Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment. Warner Bros. Pictures/The Ladd Co., 1985; Police Academy 3: Back in Training. Police Academy Productions/Warner Bros. Pictures, 1986; Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. Warner Bros. Pictures, 1987.
21 AD No. 133n18 (May 4, 2010); Max, Tucker. Hilarity Ensues. Austin, Texas: Blue Heeler Books, 2012: 180-190.
22 Anders, Helen. “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch….” AAS 20 May 2012: D8.
23 “End of the Road for Pakistan’s Sesame Street as US Cuts Grant.” The Daily Telegraph 6 Jun. 2012: 21.
24 Becker, Jo, and Scott Shane. “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will.” NYT 29 May 2012: A1
25 Calnan, Christopher. “Does the Valley Have a Monopoly on V.C.?” ABJ 25 May 2012: A1+; Stelte, Mitzie. “City Working to Close Technology Talent Gap.” CIN 22 Jun. 2012, Northwest Austin ed.: 1+; Zehr, Dan. “Many Midtier Jobs Go Missing.” AAS 24 Jun. 2012: A1+.
26 Calnan. “Dell Plays With Obama Pic.” ABJ 25 May 2012: A2.
27 CIN Jun. 2012, Round Rock/Plugerville/Hutto ed.: 7.
28 Haupt, Melanie. “Sweat, Equity.” AC 8 Jun. 2012: 34-35; Rothbard, Murray N. An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Vol. I: Economic Thought Before Adam Smith. Brookfield, Vt.: Edward Elgar, 1995; Shafarevich, Igor Rostislavovich. The Socialist Phenomenon. 1975. Trans. William Tjalsma. New York City: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980; Walker, Jesse. “Workers Take Control.” Liberty Apr. 1993: 53-54+.
29 Paine, Thomas. Common Sense, 2nd rev. ed. 1776. Rpt. in Collected Writings. New York City: Library of America, 1995: 18.
30 McCracken, Kristin. Seth Green. New York City: Scholastic Library Publishing, 2001.
31 Burgess, Anthony [John Anthony Burgess Wilson]. 1985. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1978: 4; Reuters. “Poll: UK Has Changed for Worse Under Queen Elizabeth.” Today’s Zaman 30 May 2012: 20.
32 Gabb, Sean. Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back. London: The Hampden Press, 2007: 71-72, 75-77.
33 Baumgarten. Rev of For Greater Glory. AC 1 Jun. 2012: 60-61+.
34 Woods, Thomas E. Jr. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2005.
35 Black, Louis. “A New Day, a New Dance.” AC 8 Jun. 2012: 6.
36 Tallmadge, Alice. “The Oregon Daily Emerald.” Oregon Quarterly Summer 2012: 36-41.
37 King, Michael. “Primary Lessons.” AC 1 Jun. 2012: 9-10.
38 Fehrenbach, T.R. Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans, rev. ed. New York City: Da Capo Press, 2000: Ch. 11-14, 21-23; Richards, David. Once Upon a Time in Texas: A Liberal in the Lone Star State. Austin, Texas: U of Texas, 2002: 221-226.
39 Jackson, Raynard. “NAACP Strays Far Away From Its Mission.” The Villager 8 Jun. 2012: 2.
40 “Understanding Mormons.” Nokoa 7 Jun. 2012: 5.
41 Gandelman, Joe. “Don Rickles and the Gasp of Political Correctness.” The (Torrington, Conn.) Register Citizen 15 Jun. 2012: A7.
42 Kanin, Mike. “Total Utility.” AC 15 Jun. 2012: 22-26; King, Michael. “Electric Lessons.” AC 15 Jun. 2012: 11-12; Stelte, Mitzie. “City Council OKs New Austin Energy Rates to Minimize Revenue Shortfall.” CIN, Northwest Austin ed.: Jun. 2012: 9; Toohey, Marty. “Council OKs Higher Electric Rates.” AAS 8 Jun. 2012: A1+.
43 AD No. 149n27 (Feb. 11, 2012); Garza, Vicky. “Permit Reviews to Speed Up in a Few Months.” ABJ 22 Jun. 2012: A1+; Toohey. “Proposed Fee Increase Meant to Speed Up Review Process.” AAS 14 Jun. 2012: A1+.
44 Smith, Amy. “This Isn’t Portland.” AC 22 Jun. 2012: 22.
45 George, Patrick. “Annexation Plans Likely to Hurt Budgets of County’s Fire Districts.” AAS 24 Jun. 2012: A1+.
46 Toohey. “Property Taxes Up 38% in 10 Years.” AAS 1 Jul. 2012: A1+.
47 Merrigan, Tara. “Motorcyclist Falls From I-35 Flyover, Dies.” 9 Jun. 2012: B3; Price, Asher. “Two More Bikers Die in Separate Incidents.” AAS 10 Jun. 2012: B1.
48 Whittaker, Richard. “Council Briefed on F1 Prep Work.” AC 22 Jun. 2012: 16.
49 “Now Open.” CIN, Northwest Austin ed.: Jun. 2012: 4.
50 “Remodel.” Idem., 5.