Monday, November 22, 2010

Sad News - David Nolan, R.I.P.

Libertarians across the country were saddened to learn that a co-founder of the Libertarian Party, David Nolan, had died suddenly Saturday night. The Libertarian Party was actually formed in Nolan's living room. There are many articles in response. Here's a small sampling:

Independent Political Report - the comments are loaded with tributes

David Nolan was on the current Libertarian National Committee, and just recently ran for US Senate against John McCain. He invented the "Nolan Chart", a later version of which is now used by the Advocates For Smaller Government, which we all use for outreach at events.

Greg Noland administers 'The World's Smallest Political Quiz', which incorporates 'The Nolan Chart". Photo from recent Good Earth Festival in Atlanta, IN.

David was apparently driving to an event to support the Advocates. He had created a fundraising event for his upcoming birthday - Tuesday - asking Facebook friends to support the Advocates as a birthday wish. Link to the page to donate in David's memory.

I had the opportunity to meet with David at several LP national conventions. My lasting impressions of him are of his calm demeanor at the microphone during heated platform arguments, as the voice of reason, but as one deeply respected by each of the various factions within the party. The room always got respectfully quieter when David Nolan began to speak.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Better Off Without TSA

I would rather go back to the days of no screening whatsoever in airports. It's a whole lot of cost, invasion of privacy, loss of decency, and hassle for very little in return. Are we safer? I don't think so. Interesting discussion from Bob Greene at CNN:
The atmosphere at the airport is as free-and-easy as in a public park. The official assumption is that the people around you pose no threat; from the moment you walk through the front doors of the airport until the moment you step onto the plane, not a soul will stop you or ask you a question.

Would you feel safe? Would you want to live in such a country?

You did, if you were a citizen of the United States before the 1970s.
He's right that the people who are working the jobs are bewildered. They probably believe in what they are doing. But their belief doesn't change the invasive nature of what they do, and it certainly doesn't eliminate the possibility that some lunatic can think of another way of commandeering a plane that doesn't require any metallic object.