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Author Topic: Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.  (Read 9709 times)

Joe

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So how should we research and argue the "Which state?" question?

Mickey, wrote on another thread:
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Sorry, Joe. I wasn't really trying to make it out like you were intentially trying to keep the Wyoming info from us.
Unfortunately others have made that accusation.  So to them I ask: When I find information about one or a few states, should I not post it because I was not able to find it for the other states? Or should I be reluctant to post some information because it makes some states look bad and others look good?  Or should I post whatever I find and let the chips fall as they may?

I'm not an expert on any of the ten states.  Yet I have done one heckuva lot of political and geographic research on all of them and could perform as an expert proponent for any of them.  That's why I took on the task of making the ballot argument for Maine (which will be mailed with the other nine arguments) and making the case for Maine in the Great Debate here. That and the fact of my being stationed in Maine and traveling around some of it for a short time. Yet I'm not even close to being even a tenth of the expert that each one of the voting Porcupines should be on all of the states in order cast informed votes.

One of my goals here is to help people identify the strong and weak points of each of the states. From my experience as councilman I've tried to identify what criteria really would be important to the success or failure of Free State Activism and of making a Free State.  I've dug up a lot of info and posted it.  Whenever I could I've tried to find equivalent info for all ten (or thirteen last summer).  I've let the chips fall as they may. You can see that in much of my research because my rankings have various states at the top. Yet, as I've looked at ever more information, a few states keep hitting the top few slots.  One state keeps hitting so many top spots that it can not be ignored. Unfortunately my personal favorite, Maine, is not on the top, it is often near the bottom.

Emphatically I believe that the FSP and the high stakes involved are not the place for emotional "faith" and high pressure sales tactics based on marketing and political tricks.  But, because some state proponents have resorted to such tactics, it seems the only effective response is, unfortunately not facts, but similar tactics.  I say unfortunately because that is exactly what Porcupine activists are going to be dealing with in politics in the chosen state. Opponents will throw out deceiving claims and even lies, the rebuttal of which will take an enormous amount of time and energy.  No sooner will you respond to one letter to the editor than another one will appear -- demanding another rebuttal. And facts don't wash with the public. Emotional arguments do. Bullshit often does.  People too often don't have the ability or willingness to understand the facts or to do their own research and think for themselves. Too often they are intimidated by "know it alls".  The opposition knows this and finds it ever so easy to discredit a Thomas Jefferson or a scientific theory with some emotional bullshit that sells easier than an understanding of Jefferson or science.

So we have to respond with letters to the editor and titles and articles and columns and postings and sound bites that play by the same tactics as the opposition.  Bullshit sells. Facts and research don't.

I wish I and a few others could sell Maine because, as I've argued in the Great Debate, it has some assets for a Free State that the others can't match.  Yet its population numbers are a major drawback. I've made the case elsewhere on these forums that even a state with 100,000 people will be a hard fight.  A million people is such a stretch as to be most discouraging a prospect.

But we don't have such a small population state. Thus we strive to identify the least bad of the poor chances.  Emotional bullshit should not be part of that process. Unfortunately it is and we must deal with it now, and later when Porcupines face opposition in the chosen state.

One of my greatest frustrations here is the so very few numbers of Porcupines doing research.  These are supposed to be the activists which will be doing research on budgets, ordinances, statutes, etc.?  That so few are willing to do research on the biggest question of all -- which state -- is disappointing to say the least.  And when so many dismiss the research that has been done -- that is a blow to my confidence that they could be activists at all.  How can they debate a budget when they may know so little about it?  The research here is only the beginning.  Informed activists are crucial to the task of nurturing an informed electorate which can see through the bullshit thrown by the opposition.  (I assume that an informed electorate is what we seek -- rather than tabloid electioneering of sheeople which the statists are so very effective at).
« Last Edit: July 18, 2003, 10:54:08 pm by Joe (sequel to Solitar) »
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Dave Mincin

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2003, 11:33:08 pm »

Joe,

I agree few of the porcupines, myself included have done much research, re which is the best state.   But I must also say that research and numbers are just one aspect of what it will take to create a Free State.

What about people Joe?  What about the porcupines?  What about those who say they will be political activitists?

I hear all this research, but I hear nothing about the people, like individuals that will carry the flag, that will go out and really do what needs to be done to win elections, and gain political power.

Come on Joe, I went to the Getaway, I talk to everyone I could, they were really great folks, dedicated, and ready to work to create a Free State!  

You give me statistics, tell me why we should go somewhere else, yet when I ask about the people in those states, I get little or nothing.

People will create the Free State Joe, not statistics!  You want to convince me that NH is not the place we should go then tell me about the people that are there to support us that welcome us that are ready to work to create a Free State.  If all you can give me is statistics then sorry my friend I don't buy it!

Dave
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Tony Stelik

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2003, 09:43:19 am »

Joe
I have found NH is “DO IT YOURSELF POLITICKS” state.
Politicks is there like hobby practiced by independents (libertarians)
People of NH can’t wait for FSP reinforcements.
FSP is wormy welcomed.
Question to you:
What is the other state with this benefits for FSP?
I am looking through the forums and I see the westerners do not even know how to culturally discuss. Zero tolerance for different point of view. How this will play with the voters?
Marshrobert hit the nail on the head asking about the people.
Answer my post
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Karl

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2003, 10:26:12 am »

And "handful" is all the Porcupines have.  Maybe one in thirty voters.  When Porcupines gather together and see a couple dozen like-minded potential activists they get enthused. Yet a few dozen effective activists is a mere handful in a state of a million people. Will 20,000 Porcupines result in 20,000 activists?  Be careful with the answer since history proves otherwise.

Much of your case for Wyoming has been staked around the idea that we can outvote or "convert" a significant portion of the native population.  One of your arguments even presumed a massive strategic moving effort in order to outvote the natives in 20% of legislative districts.  All this was supported by statistics.  All fine and good.  But I make these points:

1.  You have expressed many times that 20,000 people is not enough.  I agree.  I'm far more pessimistic than most.  I apply the 80/20 rule twice.  Only 20%, or 4,000 people will actually move.  Of those, only 20%, or 800 are "activists" as we would define them.  Thats right!  Only 800 porcupines running for office, writing letters, and attending rallies.  Now, if most people here were as pessimistic as I, they'd dump the whole FSP idea and move on.  But I have seen what a couple dozen activists can do in New Hampshire.  Fourty times as many would be extraordinary.  But not enough to outvote anybody in any state!  We'll have to rely heavily on native activists, mostly on an issue-by-issue basis.

2.  Your 20% legislature plan, which you illustrate to promote Wyoming, requires that we move strategically to 20% of the districts.  This is an extraordinary proposition given the already dubious prospects for employment in Wyoming.  We would be expected to further restrict employment options to areas immediately around those chosen districts.  It is simply not a valid option.

3.  Much, if not most, promotion by activists occurs through mass means -- letters to the editor, television/radio interviews, political campaigns, speeches, and through direct lobbying efforts.  The activist-to-population ratios simply don't apply here.  Some have expressed the idea that we can "convert" people to our views, like so many Mormons-on-bicyles.  Such nonsense!

CONCLUSION:

The population analsysis we've seen is flawed.  We cannot hope to make meaningful progress by outvoting anyone, even in Wyoming.  We must use a DIFFERENT STRATEGY.  We must run for offices, and promote our ideals on a campaign-by-campaign basis.  We must do this in a place that has expressed openness to our ideas, and that has a strong grass-roots political culture.

New Hampshire is that place.  Wyoming and other western states is not.
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Zxcv

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2003, 10:34:08 am »

Wow, Joe, proof of your thesis with just a couple of responses. No wonder you get discouraged.

Personally, I don't think we should respond with the tactics our opposition uses. Or if we do it at all, we should do it very sparingly. Sort of like Frodo with his Ring.

There is a lot of bullshit out there, but we have some new tools to combat it. The Internet is uncontrolled, unfiltered information. Of course there is a lot of bullshit there too, but people will start learning whose opinion carries weight and whose does not, as the points and counterpoints of arguments are laid out. It's not an instantaneous process, but I'm optimistic over the long term that the bullshit can be defeated, or at least contained.

BTW, I would not say "statistics is all we have". There are other valid tools for weighing the choices.
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Karl

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2003, 10:54:07 am »

BTW, I would not say "statistics is all we have". There are other valid tools for weighing the choices.

Yes, his statement on this matter is indeed:  bullshit.
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LeRuineur6

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2003, 11:20:56 am »

I'm sorry to tell you this, but you can't put a statistical measure on the "welcome" of a state.  New Hampshire, for example, has been infinitely more welcoming to the FSP than Wyoming.

That the advocates of Wyoming minimize the significance of this fact astounds me, especially if facts are all we have.

A late entry for WY into the welcoming game, limited WY welcoming tactics, and weak WY welcoming strategies coupled with an unprecedented, strong, hard-working, well-researched, detailed, powerful welcoming strategy in NH leads any observer to many logical conclusions, the least of which is the ability of NH FSP activists to get things done, to strike a chord with voters, and to influence people.

This cannot be denied.
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Zxcv

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2003, 11:37:02 am »

That's because folks in Wyoming, as far as I can tell, are not terribly excited about political pressure groups. Wyoming is not a politics-saturated state (which is I thought what we were all shooting for, in the long range - civil society over political society). They are more interested in people as individuals. My scant experience in Wyoming tells me I'd be very welcomed there.
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Dalamar49

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2003, 11:38:04 am »


Personally, I don't think we should respond with the tactics our opposition uses. Or if we do it at all, we should do it very sparingly. Sort of like Frodo with his Ring.

Movie references! I love 'em.  :D
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Dave Mincin

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2003, 07:11:04 pm »

As usual, I must respectfully disagree. :)

PEOPLE will determine if the Free State suceeds, not statistics, and I have met enough real live porcupines to know that we will suceed!
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robmayn

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2003, 08:39:35 am »

And "handful" is all the Porcupines have.  Maybe one in thirty voters.  When Porcupines gather together and see a couple dozen like-minded potential activists they get enthused. Yet a few dozen effective activists is a mere handful in a state of a million people. Will 20,000 Porcupines result in 20,000 activists?  Be careful with the answer since history proves otherwise.

1.  You have expressed many times that 20,000 people is not enough.  I agree.  I'm far more pessimistic than most.  I apply the 80/20 rule twice.  Only 20%, or 4,000 people will actually move.  Of those, only 20%, or 800 are "activists" as we would define them.  Thats right!  Only 800 porcupines running for office, writing letters, and attending rallies.  Now, if most people here were as pessimistic as I, they'd dump the whole FSP idea and move on.  But I have seen what a couple dozen activists can do in New Hampshire.  Fourty times as many would be extraordinary.  But not enough to outvote anybody in any state!  We'll have to rely heavily on native activists, mostly on an issue-by-issue basis.



CONCLUSION:

The population analsysis we've seen is flawed.  We cannot hope to make meaningful progress by outvoting anyone, even in Wyoming.  We must use a DIFFERENT STRATEGY.  We must run for offices, and promote our ideals on a campaign-by-campaign basis.  We must do this in a place that has expressed openness to our ideas, and that has a strong grass-roots political culture.

New Hampshire is that place.  Wyoming and other western states is not.


This pretty much sums up the conclusions that I have arrived at as well.
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jgmaynard

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2003, 09:27:11 am »

That's because folks in Wyoming, as far as I can tell, are not terribly excited about political pressure groups. Wyoming is not a politics-saturated state (which is I thought what we were all shooting for, in the long range - civil society over political society).

That's what YOU said YOU want, Zxcv..... If we are going to have to convince tens of thousands of voters to vote our our issues and candidates, I think we're better off where people CARE about politics.... :D

JM
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anarchicluv

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2003, 02:57:47 pm »

That's because folks in Wyoming, as far as I can tell, are not terribly excited about political pressure groups. Wyoming is not a politics-saturated state (which is I thought what we were all shooting for, in the long range - civil society over political society). They are more interested in people as individuals. My scant experience in Wyoming tells me I'd be very welcomed there.

Zxcv,

You make an excellent point here; especially for those with an anarcho-capatalist outlook.  I would much rather we move to a state w/ less politics than more.  Wyoming is certainly the best choice when taking this into consideration.

Some will use politics as a means of changing our chosen state into the most Free State in the union; others such as myself will take a much different approach.  I think that regardless of the approach one chooses to take, the less politics involved the better.

Jeremy
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Karl

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2003, 03:10:02 pm »

That's because folks in Wyoming, as far as I can tell, are not terribly excited about political pressure groups. Wyoming is not a politics-saturated state (which is I thought what we were all shooting for, in the long range - civil society over political society). They are more interested in people as individuals. My scant experience in Wyoming tells me I'd be very welcomed there.

If this is the prevailing ethic of free staters, we're in trouble.  New Hampshire has remained relatively free because of a vigilant, politically active populace.  Without a similar ethic in other states, we may find some supporters, but few allies.

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JonM

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Re:Bias in state advocacy and in research and dealing with opposition.
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2003, 03:15:44 pm »

Zxcv,

You make an excellent point here; especially for those with an anarcho-capatalist outlook.  I would much rather we move to a state w/ less politics than more.  Wyoming is certainly the best choice when taking this into consideration.

Some will use politics as a means of changing our chosen state into the most Free State in the union; others such as myself will take a much different approach.  I think that regardless of the approach one chooses to take, the less politics involved the better.

Jeremy
A much different approach?  Will they be referring to your house as a compound on CNN one day?

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