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Author Topic: Never was a time limit to reach 20k  (Read 7968 times)

Mike Lorrey

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Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« on: November 03, 2005, 12:32:42 pm »

Having read Claire's blog entry RE the FSP notice to people who thought there was a three year deadline to reach 20k members, and as one of the people who helped formulate the rules of the FSP, I can say categorically that there never was a three year deadline to reach 20k. We set a three year deadline to reach 5,000 members in order to hold the state choice vote, but there never was a deadline to reach 20k. Some people seemed to have misunderstood (unintentionally or not) the rules and thought the 3 year 5k rule meant we had three years after reaching 5k. This is not the case.

I had reasoned that reaching 5k within three years would be easy with ten candidate states to choose from: everybody has their own favorite state, and the more candidates you have means you reach your membership goals sooner. So long as most members don't opt out of a majority of the candidates, showing they are more committed to achieving liberty in their lifetime than in getting their own way, this works. And it did work, we reached our 5k target in two years.

The problem is once you've chosen the target state, recruiting the other 15k members automatically becomes more difficult, because now you only have one state for people to decide before joining whether they want to go there, before they start really considering whether freedom is more important than a few snowflakes, or droughts, etc. Odds are that, all else being equal, nine out of ten prospective members who would have joined before the vote become prejudicially opposed to the one state that they just dismiss out of hand before investigating why that one state is actually better than what they may think is the best state to move to.

It also turns out that after NH was selected, a few sore losers who had promoted Wyoming or Montana started promoting this idea that there was a three year deadline to reach 20k. This was pure disinformation by a group of people intent on building a competetive organization at the expense of the FSP, hoping that after we didn't reach 20k in three years, they could start promoting their "alternative plan" of taking over the lower population Wyoming with the existing membership of the FSP. Sadly this is all too typical of our movement. It's hard enough to herd cats normally. When you get a number of alpha cats fighting over who is gonna run the pride, the whole movement suffers.

There are also fingers to point at within the FSP. I had argued that we needed to ramp up membership promotion to a professional level, with professional fund raising to match, in order to get the fence sitters off their butts, and a full time group of leaders who would make the FSP their job to reach the membership goals. Those arguments were ignored. Hopefully people will realize their mistake, but I'm not holding my breath.

What I am looking forward to are more members moving to NH. We are reaching the 400 member mark, which would make this the most successful libertarian migration to date. Groups we've founded are changing politics in NH already, grading all state legislators and awarding campaign funds to the best; and even nationally. It was porcupines like myself, John Babiarz, and Logan Darrow who have challenged the philosopher kings at the SCOTUS to be held to their own standards. This has raised a ruckus among the power elites, eager to protect their friends, Souter and Breyer, and their property here in NH from being held to the same Kelo standard they imposed on the people of Norwich, CT. The Congress is now passing a bill that will place a two year embargo on federal funds of any kind being sent to any state, county, or local government that abuses eminent domain for 'economic development'. Here in NH we are tightening up our own eminent domain laws, and while we are not eliminating ED entirely, this is a good step in the right direction. Making it much more difficult to do means it is far less likely to happen, and the rarer it becomes, the more outraged people will get on the rare occasions that it does happen.

I have encouraged libertarian groups in other states to do likewise, going after the properties of SCOTUS justices in their states. None have shown an ounce of leadership in this. Many have taken a purist attitude toward what we are doing, but the FSP was NEVER about libertarian puritanism. Most of our members believe that the major problem with the libertarian movement is that too many act like theocratic little ayatollahs, trying to purge those who refuse to abandon political success in order to remain ideologically pure. The FSP is about one thing: achieving liberty in our lifetime. That means action, that means practical activism and achieving political success.
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Ian

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2005, 01:09:16 pm »

Oh, I can't wait until Debra sees this... :violent5:

*heads for cover*
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Tin-Man

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2005, 01:12:45 pm »

How many threads are we going to have about this same pointless subject?  Sheesh.
 :argue: :violent1:
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debra

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2005, 01:36:56 pm »

Hello Mike,

I appreciate your posting. However, I must strongly disagree with your statement:

Quote
as one of the people who helped formulate the rules of the FSP, I can say categorically that there never was a three year deadline to reach 20k. We set a three year deadline to reach 5,000 members in order to hold the state choice vote, but there never was a deadline to reach 20k. Some people seemed to have misunderstood (unintentionally or not) the rules and thought the 3 year 5k rule meant we had three years after reaching 5k. This is not the case.

No one has claimed a 3-year deadline to reach 20k, it was 5 year (2001 - 2006). As for your being "one of the people who helped formulate the rules", unless you're going by a new name now, you were NOT on the original organizer's yahoo list, where the deciding discussions about the FSP took place. I was...and a deadline was a clearly recognized and understood part of the structure.

I really hate beating a dead horse because the issue was more or less resolved with the Board's statement.  Whether or not the SOI originally included the specific date isn't something I have documentation on, so I'm willing to take Jason's word that it didn't. However, that doesn't negate the fact that the understanding of a deadline was an accepted part of the FSP. It was mentioned frequently in our discussions, it used to be in the FAQs, and there are NUMEROUS media articles in which the word DEADLINE was specifically mentioned by officers and board members. There's even a videoclip of Jason giving a speech in which he used it. It is ONLY in the past 18 months or so that it's been downgraded to "goal" and "figment of your imagination".

What kills me is that -- need I repeat it? -- the issue is DEAD. It's been resolved by the FSPs statement.  So what on earth do you hope to accomplish by coming in here, bringing up 2006, telling me I'm either a liar or an idiot, and then cheerleading the organization that's helping to smear me?  I'm serious. I was perfectly willing to let the matter drop despite the fact the FSP is STILL continuing with the charade that it was "never a deadline", simply because it no longer mattered, and I didn't see the point in continuing the divisiveness over something that's a non-issue. Apparently you did, though.

The ONLY issue at stake for me is NOT whether a deadline is a good thing or a bad thing. It is NOT whether the FSP should have changed it's structure. It is NOT whether NH was a good choice or bad choice. The issue is that those of us who DO know of the 2006 deadline are being consistently and repeatedly accused of either lying out our asses, spreading disinformation, trying to "weasel out" of our commitments, and/or stupidly "misunderstanding" the goal as a deadline.

I've absolutely had it with people implying I'm a shill for the Free Westers (I'm not associated with them in any way, and my #1 state was Alaska, for pity's sake).   And if you had bothered to read my speeches to the Wyoming and Clark county LP's, you'll see I mention the 5 year deadline -- and those speeches were written LONG before the state was chosen. So your allegation that this was a rumor started by "sore losers who didn't get their state chosen" really doesn't stand up, does it?

I also have a problem with the FSP leadership KNOWING that the 2006 deadline was an understood part of the plan, but when the numbers aren't working, pointing to the SOI, saying, "Well, TECHNICALLY the SOI said thus and so..." That's a slimey politician's game, a loophole. It's like getting people to vote for the RICO Act by presenting it as "strictly to get rid of organized crime" and then -- when expedient -- using it against a bunch of annoying political protestors because TECHNICALLY the law says you can. It's a bait-and-switch tactic in which members were signed up with a promise that was (apparently) never intended to be kept.

If this is the new-and-improved "bring 'em back to the fold" recruiting methodology for the FSP, you may want to re-think it. 'Cause it doesn't seem to be working for me.

Debra

PS: Tin-Man -- God, I hope not many more. Maybe I should start moving all the FSP threads into George's Place??  :laugh:
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005, 01:47:56 pm »

Maybe you need to rechannel them into a FSP and corresponding FSW section of these forums....that is unless the two being next to each other will spread cooties*LoL*
Give em a place to continue to hash and rehash stuff out and lettem' all have at it......
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

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debra

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2005, 01:52:25 pm »

Zoot - F'ing BRILLIANT!!! I think I can make sub-forums in each of these forums, so under gulching, maybe FSP and FSW?
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2005, 02:05:30 pm »

Why thankya' there Debra*grin*
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

Mike Lorrey

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2005, 02:20:45 pm »

Hello Mike,

I appreciate your posting. However, I must strongly disagree with your statement:

Quote
as one of the people who helped formulate the rules of the FSP, I can say categorically that there never was a three year deadline to reach 20k. We set a three year deadline to reach 5,000 members in order to hold the state choice vote, but there never was a deadline to reach 20k. Some people seemed to have misunderstood (unintentionally or not) the rules and thought the 3 year 5k rule meant we had three years after reaching 5k. This is not the case.

No one has claimed a 3-year deadline to reach 20k, it was 5 year (2001 - 2006). As for your being "one of the people who helped formulate the rules", unless you're going by a new name now, you were NOT on the original organizer's yahoo list, where the deciding discussions about the FSP took place. I was...and a deadline was a clearly recognized and understood part of the structure.

Actually, I was on the original organizers list when it was founded. I left that list after several months, as the email load got too high for me. Jason can confirm my original involvement, he invited me when I responded to his original essay on TLE that appeared after one of my own was published.

Quote

I really hate beating a dead horse because the issue was more or less resolved with the Board's statement.  Whether or not the SOI originally included the specific date isn't something I have documentation on, so I'm willing to take Jason's word that it didn't. However, that doesn't negate the fact that the understanding of a deadline was an accepted part of the FSP. It was mentioned frequently in our discussions, it used to be in the FAQs, and there are NUMEROUS media articles in which the word DEADLINE was specifically mentioned by officers and board members. There's even a videoclip of Jason giving a speech in which he used it. It is ONLY in the past 18 months or so that it's been downgraded to "goal" and "figment of your imagination".

I know that some people thought there should be a deadline, including you, and I know that some of those people did not pay attention to the fact that there wasn't one, and continued to include one in FAQs, etc. I am perfectly willing to accept the assertion that some of those who believed there was a deadline did so in good faith (including you), however it is well documented on the FSP forum that some of the loudest Wyoming advocates have used it as gospel to undermine the FSP.That is water over the bridge, and you are right that the dead horse shouldn't be getting beaten, except that it wasn't me that wrote in her blog a tirade against the FSP claiming fraud and deception about a rule that never existed.

Quote

I've absolutely had it with people implying I'm a shill for the Free Westers (I'm not associated with them in any way, and my #1 state was Alaska, for pity's sake).   And if you had bothered to read my speeches to the Wyoming and Clark county LP's, you'll see I mention the 5 year deadline -- and those speeches were written LONG before the state was chosen. So your allegation that this was a rumor started by "sore losers who didn't get their state chosen" really doesn't stand up, does it?

I never accused you of being a shill, and AK was my favorite, despite many calling me a shill for the NH crowd, just because I lived here. Whatever deadlines you mentioned, it is clear that you may have mixed them up with the other two: the three years to 5k deadline, and the 5 years to move after reaching 20k deadline. It is also clear from the FSP forum record, that Wyoming/Free West partisans promoted the heck out of the fictional 3 year to 20k non-rule for their own benefit.

Quote

I also have a problem with the FSP leadership KNOWING that the 2006 deadline was an understood part of the plan, but when the numbers aren't working, pointing to the SOI, saying, "Well, TECHNICALLY the SOI said thus and so..." That's a slimey politician's game, a loophole.

Except there never was a deadline. Your 'understanding' to the contrary, that some people miscomprehended the SOI, which were the only rules there were or bound anyone to anything, means that the only slime is by those claiming to be outraged that they were somehow 'cheated' by a loophole that wasn't a loophole. IMHO having a 3 year deadline to reach 20k is what is a 'loophole' for some people to get out of a contract they entered into, except that "understood" loophole was not in the contract! The SOI is the contract, nothing more, nothing less. Claims of a 3 year/20k loophole that did not exist on paper is like a wife trying to get out of a prenupital contract by claiming things were promised that were not in the contract. If it ain't in the contract, it means nothing, your "understanding" notwithstanding.
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debra

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2005, 03:05:37 pm »

Story's changing Mike. Ya might want to see to that. You said the free west groups *started* the rumor. I proved they didn't. Now they simply "used" the rumor?

You DO know that there was an fsp-organizers list as well as the original freestateproject list that was created after Jason's article, right? And you're saying you were on the organizers list, even though I don't recall you being in a single discussion on it?  Assuming that's the case (and who am I to disagree? I don't have it in writing, after all), then that means:

 -  In all of the board meetings where we discussed the deadline and the numbers necessary to meet that deadline, Jason and the others were simply humoring me and had no intention of EVER honoring that deadline

 - When I gave those speeches, the rest of the board privately snickered, "Ha ha, she really believes this crap about a deadline! What a loser! Wonder how many people she'll con into joining?" rather than saying, "Yo, Debra, babe. WTF is this about a deadline?" or issuing a public correction

 - The board deliberately kept the misleading FAQ about the deadline on the website, despite the fact that it was not true

 - Jason and Elizabeth deliberately lied in the various media interviews, using the word "deadline" even though they never intended there to be a deadline

Well, gosh, that certainly must make everyone feel better about the FSP. I know *I* do! You gotta wonder why Claire would accuse the FSP of deception ... :rolleyes:
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DigitalWarrior

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2005, 03:30:02 pm »

I differ with the decision to continue as though nothing happened but am still on board with the project.  We cannot maintain our integrity by ignoring this question.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030812172804/http://www.freestateproject.org/faqs.htm#when

The Participation Guidelines do not specify a requisite time period between reaching 5,000 members and reaching 20,000 members. However, the assumption has always been that if 20,000 is not close at hand within five years of the launch of the Free State Project (officially September 1st, 2001), the Project will fold.

I saw this and it was one of the best reasons I joined, the explicit pass/fail criteria. 
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sorens

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2005, 04:37:09 pm »

Debra - I've never said that we "never" had a deadline. Maybe some other people have, and if they did, they are mistaken. However, we changed it from a "deadline" to a "goal" sooner than you remember, while you were still involved. Here's the PG change we did in Dec. '02:
http://freestateproject.org/about/bylaws/12-15-02/bylaws.htm

I believe we changed the wording of the FAQ soon after that.

I understand how you would be upset if people are saying that you are lying by claiming that we thought there was a 2006 "deadline." There was a 2006 "deadline." We changed our minds, and decided to make that "deadline" a "goal" instead. Then last month, we decided to abolish that "goal." We will probably create some other "deadline" in the future, after due consultation with the members, but next year is too early to shut down, given what we've accomplished so far.

Since you are upset about people's erroneously calling you a liar, you can probably understand why I am also sometimes upset that some people are calling the FSP leadership oathbreakers for changing our minds about the 2006 deadline and letting people opt out. We didn't have to let people opt out, but we did. Why are some people outraged at our decision? Do they want us to shut down and go home, forget how far we've come? I don't get it.
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debra

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2005, 05:41:27 pm »

Debra - I've never said that we "never" had a deadline. Maybe some other people have, and if they did, they are mistaken. However, we changed it from a "deadline" to a "goal" sooner than you remember, while you were still involved. Here's the PG change we did in Dec. '02:
http://freestateproject.org/about/bylaws/12-15-02/bylaws.htm

I believe we changed the wording of the FAQ soon after that.

Thanks Jason, that's correct. Mike above was saying that it was *never* a deadline, and I pointed out that yes, it had been, and I had recruited people by stating there was a deadline. When he insisted that there *never* was, it left the alternatives that I was either lying or deliberately duped.

However, the only discussion in the organizers list that I remember regarding it was along the lines of  "If we have 19,990 members on August 30, we don't want to shut down just because we're 10 members short." IOW, there was still a deadline, but we'd make allowances if we were a few short. 

Quote
I understand how you would be upset if people are saying that you are lying by claiming that we thought there was a 2006 "deadline." There was a 2006 "deadline." We changed our minds, and decided to make that "deadline" a "goal" instead. Then last month, we decided to abolish that "goal." We will probably create some other "deadline" in the future, after due consultation with the members, but next year is too early to shut down, given what we've accomplished so far.

And I personally don't have any problem with the change, as I've mentioned several times. My only grievance has been personal: when people like Mike insist "it was always just a goal" , it puts my reputation on the line.

Quote
Since you are upset about people's erroneously calling you a liar, you can probably understand why I am also sometimes upset that some people are calling the FSP leadership oathbreakers for changing our minds about the 2006 deadline

Whether or not they agree with the decision, IMO it doesn't make you or the FSP oathbreakers, and I can understand your being upset about it. However...

Quote
and letting people opt out. We didn't have to let people opt out, but we did.

That's the crux of the conflict, though. If people signed on believing that 2006 was a make-or-break date because of what *I* said as an official representative of the FSP, then IMO, the FSP *was* obligated to let them opt out, if only because they didn't publically repudiate the information I gave. (Heck, I don't remember anyone correcting me on my speeches, and those were given after the 2002 date you cite above).  It's only if you hadn't let them opt out that I could understand people calling the FSP oathbreakers.

The really sad part about this whole thing is that by releasing the 2006'ers in your statement, you guys FIXED the problem. It's not an issue any more. But it keeps coming up, and each time (although I shouldn't) I feel like I need to "defend my honor", corny as it may be.

Quote
Why are some people outraged at our decision? Do they want us to shut down and go home, forget how far we've come? I don't get it.

I can't speak for Claire or anyone else but  I'm not outraged at the decision iself. Frankly, it's obvious the original plan wasn't going to work, so something needed to be done. Shutting down certainly seems like a waste. The only issue I've ever had is the way in which the 2006 thing was handled, and that's solely because it reflects on me. 

I'm not sure why anyone would consider the FSP changing the format in and of itself as "breaking an oath" as long as you didn't insist on obligating those who had signed up under the previous structure. It doesn't make sense. The way things were going, the FSP wasn't going to hit 20K by 9/06, so the 06'ers wouldn't have any obligation at that point anyway. And if the FSP wanted to then transform itself  into the Committee to Promote NH ... why is it *less* honorable to do that right now, knowing that we'd end up doing it anyway?

I'm not saying it well, but IMO, the only dishonorable thing would have been not releasing the people who signed with the belief there was a deadline. Since you did, I got no beef with any of your decisions, and don't question either your ethics or the sincerity of your intent.

Hope this helps clarify.

Debra
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sorens

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2005, 06:02:30 pm »

The really sad part about this whole thing is that by releasing the 2006'ers in your statement, you guys FIXED the problem. It's not an issue any more. But it keeps coming up, and each time (although I shouldn't) I feel like I need to "defend my honor", corny as it may be.

Yeah, I understand, and it's too bad that you have to do that. Maybe from now on we can just point people to these threads and that will clear everything up. (Somehow I have a feeling that won't do the trick for some people!)
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2005, 04:05:47 am »

Quote
Somehow I have a feeling that won't do the trick for some people

But by the same token......I don't think ANYTHING would do the trick for everybody....now would it?*grin*
Time to count the losses, concentrate on the glasseaters, and let the rest come as they will...and they will come as progress is made......
THAT, you can rest assured of...

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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

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Re: Never was a time limit to reach 20k
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2005, 08:39:46 pm »

The FSP is about one thing: achieving liberty in our lifetime. That means action, that means practical activism and achieving political success.

Not to me .... it means that I am free.
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