We meet the second Tuesday of every month. Our present location is Brown’s Brewing Company, 417 River Street, Troy, New York, although our next meeting will be held at

Our meetings start at 6:30 and formally begin with a reading of the minutes and reports from the Treasurer and Representative to the State Committee followed by other reports on recurring and special activities. These usually take about 30 minutes and are followed by about an hour of discussion about future activities and issues of current interest. Occasionally, we have a presentation that may challenge some of our premises so as to encourage discussion that may increase our understanding of and ability to respond to other viewpoints.

In the future, a brief summary of the minutes of the previous meeting and any special items of the agenda will be posted.

Bill McMillen, Secretary

Freedom of Speech is not just Freedom of the Press

Werner Hetzner, Communication Director of the Capital District Libertarian Party in a letter published in the Times Union on February 4th ask “Did the framers really intend freedom of speech only for the press,” and continues to inquire “Why should the press be more equal and lobbyists less free?”

The letter was in response to a TU Editorial about the Joint Commission of Ethics in which the Times Union took exception to an extension of their mandate into possible oversight of the press.

In his letter, Mr Hetzner pointed out that the Times Union often fails to “object to limits on speech for groups you don’t agree with or find offensive, including “lobbyists, …political consultants, communications specialists or public relations executives” and concludes with the statement “surely newspapers regularly try to influence elections and legislation just like lobbyists.

Picking up on a discussion we had at a recent CDLP monthly meeting at Brown’s Brewing Company, he went on the paraphrase Martin Niemoller “First they came for the Lobbyists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Lobbyist… Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me,” He warned that free speech could be threatened and regulated away. “The ‘Commerce Clause’ has long been a weapon to ‘come for’ many politically inconvenient people, groups and institutions in the past,” and suggested that without vigilance in the defense of all speech, the press “may well be next.”

Helping Big Business and Marginalizing Small Competitors and Unskilled Labor

Have you ever noticed that those with “good” ideas to address economic problems like unemployment and “income inequality” usually involve some sort of government subsidy or “special” tax breaks to a select few. A case in point is our Governor’s Startup New York initiative that provides long term tax exemptions to a select few businesses that locate themselves in one of the areas designated as a startup zone. However, a tax exemption to a selected few means increased taxes to both you and the rest of the people and businesses in the state who are not among the “selected” few. Of course, the selected few will be encouraged to show their gratitude to the Governor in the future.

Income inequality is largely a result of a lack of employment opportunities directed toward the lower level of skills that the unemployed possess. While the recipients of these tax breaks may promise to create jobs at 80 to 100 at a time, these are not necessarily the jobs that are going to provide employment to the currently unemployed. For these people to once again become employed it is necessary to have an economic recovery that applies across the board, one that frees small business from the overregulation and fees that prevent them from growing or getting started. While small business may only create jobs a 5 to 10 jobs at a time, the cumulative effect is far greater. Good ideas do not need government support, good ideas sell themselves, good ideas attract private investments, or so they would if government overregulation didn’t create a layer of fixed costs that discourages the small business startups.

Forcing businesses to provide wages above the skills of their workers, health benefits, retirement and unemployment insurance as well as pay for time not worked, as well as overregulation, licensing fees, a tax free ride for a select few, all have the effect of marginalizing struggling business enterprises, unskilled job applicants and the entire community in which they live. Isn’t it enough that they provide the jobs.

While the corporate giants that can afford these additional mandates might fight them at the start, they are well aware that they can absorb these additional costs which their small competitors cannot.

Radicalizing Americans


(December 2015 Article Revisited

Presidential Candidate and Entertainer Donald Trump has proposed a complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States “until our country’s leaders can figure out what is going on.”

(President Trump has attempted to do this in a way that established that he clearly does not know anything about the numerous types of visas that are issued nor the many types of vetting that currently takes place.  Not did he make any attempt to educate himself by consulting with those that administer these programs.  He clearly was not interested in knowing how the system worked, which was too complicated for him to figure out what was going on.)
The suggestion makes as much sense as would disarming all the police forces within our country until we can figure out what to do with rogue and trigger happy cops.
It makes as much sense as locking oneself in one’s home until we can solve the problem of suicide prone psychopaths who lack the courage to take their own life until they have gunned down a number of innocent people.
Leadership requires more than entertaining the masses and believing that the resulting poll numbers bestows upon him, Donald Trump, leadership capabilities. He must believe that because he was in New Jersey and saw on the television that some people were cheering when the World Trade Center came down, that those people must have been in New Jersey too.
Our nation faces some serious problems exacerbated by the divisiveness not only of Donald Trump but other Republicans attempting to ride a wave of fear that they themselves have stoked.

(The campaign and election of Donald Trump has unleashed latent prejudices leading to a wave of attacks upon persons perceived to be Muslin and other minorities including threats to Jewish institutions and cemeteries.  Words have consequences and Donald Trump has proved himself to be reckless in both his tone and his words.)

Suggestions that pressure needs to be put upon the Muslim community to clean their own house of extremists within their ranks likewise applies to the many decent police officers who need to break with the “blue wall of silence” that allows prejudiced and mentally unstable officers to stay on the force. This is a phenomenon that applies to all social units, from the family on up and cannot and will not be fixed overnight if ever.
Donald Trump, a man who apparently believes being President is to “reign;” a term he has used is speaking of past administrations. I dare say that the danger that Trump poses to the liberty of every man, woman, and child, citizen and non-citizen alike, Christian, Jew, Muslims and all is far greater than the threat posed by a few jihadists whose numbers pale in comparison to the killings that take place every day within our neighborhoods and which are also in need of some serious discussion and action.

(The following paragraph is perhaps the most prescient. Among the many explanations for the chaotic first weeks of his administration are judges, bias media, doctored crowd photographs, fake news, misinformation about electoral counts, bad generals, the FBI, justice department, and President Obama’s wiretapping of the Trump Tower.)
Like demagogues before him who managed to get elected and governed without a clue, Mr. Trump would become the type of leader who, when his policies failed, would find another group of people to scapegoat and marginalize. Believing himself to be infallible and a good business man, when things go wrong, someone’s job or some group’s liberty must, of necessity, be “shutdown.”

Discussion Topic: Blunt Talk to and About Gays

Frank Kappel of Hudson New York attended our most recent meeting of the Capital District Libertarian Party and submitted several essays of which the following is one. He also participated in our discussion on abortion and hopefully will attend additional meetings and participate in discussions on several topics. Visit our Capital District Libertarian Party Meetup site for information pertaining to our monthly meetings and discussions. Bill McMillen

Some Blunt Talk to and About Gays
By Frank H. Kappel

Gays are no longer imprisoned or put to death for their homosexuality, and relatively few dispute that this is a good thing.

Gays’ quest for equal rights has put them on a similar footing as other minorities in obtaining special protection from discrimination in employment, housing and who knows what else, and those who doubt the wisdom of this, usually do so on the grounds that extra special treatment of anybody, except in certain specific circumstances, is itself discriminatory, unjust and destructive of others rights to freedom of association and contracture. For the record, I believe these objections have at least prima facie merit.

In some instances, Gays have been permitted to adopt children, and, while this may not be the ideal biological scenario, if the Gays in question are more qualified than the heterosexuals available, or if not enough qualified heterosexuals are available, this circumstance is not only acceptable, but fortuitous.

Gays, by decision of the Supreme Court, now have the right to enter into matrimony anywhere in the United States, and whether this is right or wrong, it opens up a can of worms fraught with potential problems and the likelihood of injustice to certain religious people and violation of their rights. Had Gays contented themselves with the establishment of civil unions with equal legal standing to matrimony, the potential trouble might have been averted.

Does anyone doubt that Gay hubris could soon result in Kangaroo Courts fining or imprisoning priests, pastors, rabbis or imams who refuse to honor a valid civil license and sanctify a union they sincerely believe to be unholy? Or that challenges to tax exemptions for religious institutions, who stand on principle, will be brought?

The word matrimony etymologically excludes same sex unions, and religious institutions are on firm logical grounds in accepting only the literal definition, but do you think that will matter to a power hungry government or vengeful Gays? The newest civil rights movement will be civil disobedience against those who would dictate to God, Himself.

Furthermore, regardless of whether Gays are hard wired into their homosexuality, or environmentally channeled into it, there certainly should be no shame in it, but, what, specifically, do Gays have to be so particularly proud about to chauvinistically prance about in a parade? Now, some people would be fruitcakes whether they were Gay or straight, but certain obnoxious, ostentatious prurient displays are clearly meant to offend and cause revulsion, and only serve to perpetuate stereotypes to the detriment of all Gays.

To be fair, Irish and non-Irish yearly perpetuate stereotypes of Irish drunkenness with massive displays of overindulgence, but, what, if anything justifies bad form or ill manners by anyone?

Getting back to the subject of hard wiring, have Gays even considered, that at least some straights are hard wired to be revolted by homosexual behavior as a biological safeguard? Surely they’ve witnessed some Gays be revolted by passionate heterosexual behavior.
One of the supposed proofs of hard wiring is the existence of homosexual behavior in some lower animals, but do Gays really want to take that route? The behavior in question is almost universally, or, perhaps, universally among males who have lost their battles for either status or territory necessary to mate with females. In other words, homosexual gratification is Nature’s booby prize for losers.

However, we are not lower animals and can comprehend that Gays can and do make significant, even monumental, contributions to the advancement of our species without actually propagating it, but equal entitlement to rights does not translate into equal merit. As with all categories of people, merit is determined by individual accomplishment, not membership in a category, and as a category homosexuality is biologically and evolutionally less meritorious than heterosexuality. It just is.

As for the claim that Gays are intrinsically more sensitive and intelligent, I assert that the empirical evidence shows they tend, as a general rule, to be just as insensitive and dumb as the general population of straights, and I have no doubt, that, should truly scientific studies be wasted on this issue, I will be validated.

Finally, regarding the assertion, that the highly sophisticated societies of ancient Greece and Rome were wantonly homosexual, I counter argue, that the actual evidence suggests, rather, that there was widespread bisexuality or, that, even secretly strictly homosexual Greeks and Romans regarded it as a duty to produce offspring.

Any questions?

Teen Unemployment

Are you a teenager or even a recent graduate who can’t find a job? If you don’t come from a wealthy family or don’t have the grades and money to go to college, you are in a bind for the rest of your life. Why do you suppose that is? While technology has replaced many of the entry level and lower paying jobs that provide the experience and opportunity to move up the economic ladder, mandated minimum wage legislation and mandated benefits as well as numerous regulations have all but eliminated these jobs, encouraged prospective employers to replace people with even more technology, computers and robots with a resulting deeper divide between the well off and the poor and those who soon will be poor. If a politician wishes to gain leverage in controlling the economy for his or her corporate cronies, promoting programs that purport to help the poor has a great deal of appeal.  However, creating a few jobs that they can point to with pride, they ignore the many unseen jobs they have eliminated.  Unless the electorate learns to recognize the wolf within sheep’s clothing, low paying jobs will be replaced by no jobs.  Young folks: register to vote and Vote Libertarian.


44th State Senate Candidate Chris Davis Addresses Local Libertarians

Chris Davis, a candidate for NY State Senate spoke at the CDLP meeting in Troy on July 14th and has sent us the following:

My goal has been, and always will be, to spread the message of Liberty. Those who discover Liberty for themselves will never again see government the same again. I touched on many issues in my talk, but none is more important than knowing somebody is running committed to fighting oppressive taxation and overregulation, working to end crony capitalism and corporatism, fighting to keep the government out of every facet of life with which they have penetrated. I hope that I convinced you that I am this somebody. While my ideas are not perfect, I know the best way to ensure a chance for our future is by starting to slowly reverse course. Getting items passed that puts power back into our hands, and takes it from the government. However, I can’t do it alone. I need your help. Please consider helping me in this fight. Like us on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/DavisForNYS, and visit the website, http://www.davisfornys.com.  Also, Please consider donating to help support advertising the concept of Liberty. Thank you so very much for welcoming me to speak at your monthly meeting.


Comments from Mr. Jon Katz of Bedlam Farms

A Good Day For Joshua Rockwood: Loaded Miles And Management Fees
April 27, 2015, Jon Katz

It is always a shocking thing for me to see an innocent person treated like a criminal in his own community, I think when a culture criminalizes farming in the name of loving animals, it is turning to the dark side. Farmers are part of a nation’s soul, we fare as they fare, we suffer as they suffer, even if we rarely realize it. A country that forgets where it’s food comes from and what the real lives of animals are like is losing itself in a different way.

Today, another hearing in the saga of Joshua Rockwood, a young farmer caught in a brutal winter, now facing 13 charges of animal cruelty and neglect in a community that seems to know nothing about farms or animals any longer. It’s hard to imagine anyone having a good day in the midst of this long, painful, expensive and arduous ordeal. But Joshua has set about proving that there is justice for an honest man, that the legal system can work for him as well as against him.

He had a good day today.

Unlike so many of the people caught up in the hysteria over animal cruelty and abuse, Rockwood knows how to use his blog and the Internet, he has raised $55,000 online for his legal fees and drawn a powerful army of supporters to his side. They are loyal and loving people, I am very happy to sit among them.

The judge announced the case today as “West Wind Acres Farm versus the complainant, Peaceful Acres Sanctuary,” so it has at least become clear who the complainant was and is. Today’s hearing – delayed from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. was not about the charges of animal cruelty, it is about how much Joshua is being asked to pay by the Peaceful Acres rescue farm in order to get his two draft horses and pony back, should that become possible.

To date, the bill for boarding the three horses is $7,500, according to Marci Beyerl, director of Peaceful Acres. That is for the first 30 days only, it does not include the last month. Beyerl was called to testify about the costs of caring for Joshua’s seized horses, and Joshua’s attorney, Andrew SaFranko was eager to question her about her charges and fees. About 30 of Joshua’s friends, family and supporters came to the hearing, even mid-day, some came long distances to show support for him.

Real courtroom scenes are not like Law & Order or Perry Mason. Smart modern lawyers speak slowly and carefully, take notes, reference files, there are no fireworks, little drama. I’ve covered a lot of trials, SaFranko had done his homework, and knew his stuff. Court proceedings are almost uniformly boring, not exciting. There are lots of conferences, delays, reading of statutes. Still, the cross-examination of Beyerl was, I thought, both revealing and disturbing. It was something of a surprise to me.

And it did shed some light on some of the very troubling issues raised by the Rockwood case. First, Rockwood is accused of nothing that doesn’t happen on almost every real farm in America, especially in a brutal cold wave. Then, there is the increasingly incestuous relationship between some animal rights organizations and the police, who are being drawn into the deepening conflict over the future of animals in our world and the true nature of farming. Americans have, in fact, forgotten where their food comes from and they have forgotten the people who make their food possible.

There are issues relating to conflicts of interest involving people given great authority over other people, and who often have a financial stake in the outcome of their actions and accusations. As the animals of the world disappear in the new Inquisition over animal abuse, the fate of every one becomes more precious. No one is opposed to animal rescue or animal abuse, and so no one thinks to question animal rights organizations and some rescue operations about their procedures. But the Rockwood case is raising a number of questions.

And then, there is the powerless and frightening position many farmers and animal lovers – especially poor ones – find themselves in when confronted with the Orwellian power and aggression of the contemporary animal rights movement and its growing links to local governments. Joshua Rockwood knows how different his story might have been if he had not been able to raise all that money on his gofundme site.

I have three good friends who operate horse and animal rescue farms and sanctuaries – one of them, Ken Norman, our friend and farrier – was sitting right next to me in the courtroom, and in the interests of fairness, I cannot believe how hard they work, how little money they have or earn, or how open they are about what they do. It is all about the horses for them, I don’t think any of them know what a management fee is.

So I was interested in hearing Nanci Beyerl’s testimony.

Beyerl was part of the convoy that came to Joshua Rockwood’s farm in March – she testified that she was asked by the police. The raiding party seized the three horses, and left a large paper trail of charges and accusations, none of which have yet to be addressed in court.

Beyerl conceded that she charges twice as much money for impounded horses – those seized in cruelty cases – as she does for rescue horses who are not impounded. She is asking Joshua to pay for more than $800 a month for the care of his horses if he wishes to get them back, or even if he never gets them back. For rescued horses who are not impounded, she says, she charges $400. In addition, she is charging a daily management fee of $104.

She surprised the farriers and horse rescue people present when she testified that she does not charge for “loaded miles” in the way most animal carriers do, she charged by time and distance for transporting the horses. She is seeking $600 in reimbursement for transporting the three horses to her farm from his – a distance of nine miles.

Beyerl said her boarding rates for Rockwood’s horses are $28 a day, $13 more than her fees for horses that are not impounded. She is also charging Rockwood more than $1,000 for veterinary care – one of the horses is pregnant and about to foal.

She said impounded horses require more time and care than other horses, including talking regularly to the police and the DA’s office. I don’t know Beyerl, she seems to have saved a lot of horses, but she seemed angry to me and at times defensive. Once or twice, she appeared almost outraged that her expenses were even being questioned. She said impounded horses are expensive in part because she doesn’t allow her volunteer staff to handle them or care for them for insurance reasons. Yet she conceded that she brought eight people – all but one volunteers – along on the raid of Joshua’s farm that resulted in the seizure of his horses.

SaFranko pressed her on just how much time she spent managing two draft horses and a pony for $104 a day. She said caring for his horses took her away from her regular duties. She also said she was submitting invoices for $600 for transporting the horses – $400 from her and $200 from a second rescue farm whose trailer was used.

SaFranko then called Wes Laraway as a witness for the defense. Callalway is a history teacher and 20 year veteran of animal and wildlfe rescue runs his own sanctuary in Middleburgh, N.Y., he has five horses and eight donkeys and is lately specializing in exotic animal rescue. He was, I have to say, right out of central casting, tall, ruddy, white-haired, credible and direct.

Laraway (he was not paid to testify) said he never heard of a management fee and had never charged one. He did not charge any fee for the animals that he rescued and cared for, he did accept donations. He has never heard of the practice of charging more money for impounded horses than rescued ones, and has never done it. He said he used a “loaded miles” fee arrangement for all of the animals he had transported. That is, transport charges are computed and begin when the animals are loaded onto a trailer, and end when the are loaded off at their destination. He said most loaded ride fees range from $2 to $5 per mile on average.

If he had transported Rockwood’s horses, the invoice would have been from $40 to $50 for all three.

I contacted each of my horse rescue friends, all three said they have never heard of a management fee in horse rescue, all three said they charged on the basis of the “loaded miles” system, although often, they said, they had to waive the charge because horse owners had no money. “Often, these people are not evil, they are just broke,” one told me. They all said their daily boarding rates for a draft horse range from $8 to $16, and none charged more for impounded horses than conventionally rescue ones. In fact, they all said they simply accepted the horses they took into their care. They rarely, if ever, charged any fees for them unless they were boarded.

“This,” one said, “is why all horse rescue people are broke.”

I know these good people long and well, they are all broke and live to rescue horses in trouble, it is their life, none could imagine what a management fee might be. “Caring for one horse in trouble is just like caring for another,” said Susan, who runs a rescue farm in Maine. “Managing them all is what I do.”

So there we are, another chapter unfolds in the animal wars now raging across America. This is a case that should never have happened, criminal charges that should never be brought. I felt the prosecutor somehow felt the same thing, she did her duty, but she seemed to have little heart for it. And how could she?, it is the case, as Ken Norman said, of the Bullshit Misdemeanors. I watched the faces of the farmers and friends and family of Joshua Rockwood, there was a great deal of pain in their eyes. Sitting in a courtroom watching Joshua fight for his farm and his life was the last place they wanted to be.

And unfortunately for Joshua, this nightmare is just getting underway. He is holding up, he had a gleam in his eye I had not seen before in the courtroom, this is a stand he wants to take. “I’ll tell you one thing,” a neighbor whispered to me in the courtroom, “he will never give up.”

Neither, I think, will his new army, and perhaps that is what is most significant about his case.


As of today, there were no further hearing dates set, the judge is awaiting motions from the lawyers on the admissibility of some of the evidence.

Term Limits will not bring change.

On Sunday 2/15, the Times Union printed a letter written by me in response to a previous letter in support of term limits. I’ve never supported term limits because voters already have the power to impose term limits or not. What voters do not have is the ability to choose the political bosses that choose the candidates that will appear on the ballot. The text of my letter follows:

Michael Moore (“Term limits will clean up politics,” Feb 4) suggests term limits will clean up our state politics. I submit we already have the ability to impose term limits: Vote the miscreants out of office. But that isn’t enough With or without term limits, the political bosses who wield the real power will continue to put on the ballot those who they feel will take direction.

The real change that is necessary is ballot access for anyone who seeks to serve and the elimination of preferential treatment for, and the state’s official designation of, recognized political parties. While political parties would still exist, there would be no majority, no minority party, only representatives of the people. Election boards would be responsible for keeping track of registered voters and the taxpayers would be free of the expense of keeping track of party enrollment.”

In 1951, Susan B Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton and joined her in her then three year old effort for women’s suffrage. It wasn’t until 1920, long after there death, that women were granted the right to vote.

Obviously, the Republican and Democratic parties have influenced the election law, not only in New York State but across the entire nation to restrict or exclude competition. I have no illusion about the willingness of legislators from these two parties to changing the law; but the illusion that reform can be accomplished with term limits should be challenged and those that seek term limits or other so-called reforms such as public campaign financing should not be mislead by these less that half way measures.

Yes the Libertarian Party is seeking and has in some states achieved ballot status; but that is not because we wish to have official state recognition and the accompanying state regulation. What libertarians want is equal treatment and unfettered ballot access for all.

The time to begin to disenfranchise political parties and their bosses and to return it to individuals citizens is now. Even if it takes a hundred years.

William P. McMillen

Reminder about next meeting

Robert Porter, LP Candidate for Albany City Council in 2003 will speak about his recent experience and observations about the operation and the role of grand juries. “Bar” as he known gained experience in criminal investigation while serving in the United States Marines.

The Capital District Libertarian Party meets at Brown’s Brewing, Trojan Room, 417 River Street, Troy New York at 6:30 the second Tuesday of each month. Next meeting is March 10th.

A discussion of the criminal justice system and the jury process will follow Bar’s presentation. All are invited.