Ramblings & ephemera

The secret plans of Libertarians revealed

From The New York Times‘ “1 Cafe, 1 Gas Station, 2 Roads: America’s Emptiest County“:

At last count (by Sheriff Hopper toting it up in his head), 16 people make Mentone their home and 55 others are spread throughout the rest of Loving County’s 645 square miles of parched, salty West Texas grassland and rattlesnakes — about one person for every nine square miles. …

Yet it is modest enough, as a plaque outside the courthouse confesses: “Mentone has no water system (water is hauled in) nor does it have a bank, doctor, hospital, newspaper, lawyer, civic club or cemetery.”

And since Mentone is the only town, neither does Loving County.

What it does have is the Boot Track Café (open mornings), a post office, a gas station and the yellow Deco two-story courthouse. There are two roads. There is no operating church, although the county’s oldest building, a 1910 schoolhouse, is open for nondenominational worship. Seven children ride a school bus 33 miles to Wink in the next county.

… The material described the plans of a Libertarian faction in its own words “to win most of the elected offices in the county administration” and “restore to freedom” Loving County. The blueprint, called “Restoring Loving County,” said that land was hard to come by but that a ranch had been split up and members were in the process of buying sections.

“The people who are living there will be able to register to vote,” it said. “They must swear that they intend to make Loving their home.”

The goal, said an e-mail message attributed to a group member, was to move in enough Libertarians “to control the local government and remove oppressive regulations (such as planning and zoning, and building code requirements) and stop enforcement of laws prohibiting victimless acts among consenting adults such as dueling, gambling, incest, price-gouging, cannibalism and drug handling.”

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