Letter to Arlo Guthrie


arlo

Arlo Guthrie

hippiehank

Arlo fan

 

 

 

 

Howdy Arlo, I read with shocked amazement that you’d admitted, in print, to voting Republican. Immediately I rationalized that this was probably back during the Cold War, in hopes of maybe a defense against H-missiles–a youthful indiscretion is all. Surely we both learned from watching Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Waffen Bush… right? 

Then I remembered that you’re the same Arlo Guthrie, who turned himself in for littering in the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre. You’re the trusting and unsuspicious youngster from Stockbridge Massachussetts who had failed to count upon a THIRD POSSIBILITY and you were immediately arrested… handcuffed… I’m here to talk about that third possibility, the one that strikes off the handcuffs and lets non-violent people like us out of jail.

I meeean, I’m here to talk about the libertarian party because I don’t, and am so reckless as to suppose you don’t want your kids to be shot or jailed over weed, your home nationalized by the IRS, or your car stolen by state troopers exercising faith-based asset forfeiture and causing crashes and depressions in the name of Prohibition. (This is the part where the audience, you, chimes in to say NO in four-part harmony).

IF this seems reasonable, then BOTH halves of the Kleptocracy must seem pretty much alike and wrong to you and me both. Both the Democratic and the Republican parties in their published platforms want to keep the IRS treatening Willie Nelson, asset forfeiture looting threatening the economy, military bombing crusades, crashes, panics, deportations… I am not making this up–I’ve read those platforms.

Remember walking down Haight street in that freest of free markets and thinking it wasn’t all that weird?
Uncoerced markets work because prices–unlike votes wasted on teevee candidates–carry information. One reason spoiler votes are 6 to 36 times as hard-hitting as soft machine votes is because of cancelling. After all, 50 million platitudes divided by 50 million of the exact same platitudes equals one. Fractions are like that, whether you like it or not. You can simplify them by cancelling out the stuff that’s the same, and that makes the 1% remainder easier to compare.

Every politician who loses by 1% percent when the Libertarian (or Green) party candidate got 2% thinks about how outcomes could have been different if only he’d offered friendlier laws. Those votes put useful information into the hands of decisionmakers regardless of what candidate gets elected. Because this information acts to improve the laws, the Libertarian party voters and candidates always win because we only want bad laws to go away.

The only way to vote for DIFFERENT LAWS–and be counted–is to vote Libertarian. Voting Green or CPUSA only presses the Dems further down the Ho-Chi-Minh trail to the old East Berlin, and voting for the Tea or Consta-too-shun parties only pushes the GOP further Klanward into Italian fascism or German National Socialism. Voting for either one of these soft machines is kinda like jumping up and down yelling kill! kill! kill! But LP voters jump up and down hollering: repeal! decriminalize! reduce! So I agree with you that–unlike piles of garbage–it’s better to have two parties than one. All I’m asking is that they not both be trying to get us killed.

Some of my friends (who watch teevee) are worried that their vote might be the one that could have defeated the girl-bulliers. I’m not worried because bookies are betting cash money that the Lady candidate is going to win. They also bet the GO-Pee candidate and my candidate, Gary Johnson, are both going to lose. Here are today’s odds. When the numerator is larger than the denominator, they expect that candidate to not get elected. Both my candidate and the guy with the orange hair have larger numerators. Hillary’s numerator is smaller than her denominator, which means Irish bookies’ actuarial calculations at Paddypower.com lead them to expect her to be the first First Lady ever to become President.

electionday2016odds

A 7 to 2 payout means Trump only has a 28% probability of winning.

That’s about it. I’m happy to hear you on the radio now and then–but there are limits to how many times I’m allowed to play Alice’s Restaurant on the stereo. I’ll rest a lot easier if I find out you said something nice about voting for peace and legalization and all kinds of groovy things–as opposed to bullying girls, beating people over the head with nightsticks or sending them off with implements of destruction to do mean, nasty, ugly things on the other side of the planet.

Your fan, Hank Phillips.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s