All cracked up


Before ice-covered Portage Lake east of  Alaska’s largest city came alive this week, skater Paxson Woelber heard the ominous crack of a glacier near its head as did the acquaintance standing next to him.

“The guy I was with booked,” Woelber said. 

Woelber instead turned his camera toward the sound. The thousands of pounds of ice falling off its face were far enough away he didn’t think he and three nearby friends were in any real danger no matter how big the wave developing beneath the lake ice.

“Before the wave got to us, we were just standing there,” he said. “We talked it over: ‘We’re going to go up and down. We can ride this out. We’ll be OK.'”

As the ice rippled toward him, however, he admits to having some brief second thoughts.

The unseen water split the smooth surface ice into big plates as the underice wave  rolled  beneath. The plates shook as if in an earthquake. Water shot from the cracks that opened between them.

“It was kind of wild,” Woelber admitted. “It was unnerving.”

And then it was over. In some ways now, he said, the video looks worse than the reality that passed in less than a minute.

“We stayed on this ice for half an hour or more,” he said. “After it stopped moving,  it was just there. If you watch that video, it’s possible to believe the entire lake was a shifting thing….but it’s a big lake.

“I skated off” onto unfractured ice not far away, Woelber added. He is convinced there were others far away on the miles-long lake that day who never knew what happened.

Death trap

The event also led Woelber and his companions into a discussion of what might have happened on a busy weekend with a lot of people on Portage Lake and some of them sure to be close to the face of the glacier either to say they did so or to get that classic “before-you-die” photo of Alaska uniqueness.

Had the ice calved on Sunday, he said, “almost certainly people would have gotten killed.” With sunny blue skies on the weekend, the glacier only 50 miles from Alaska’s largest city attracted a mob of the curious.

Parents with children sauntered along lake within the shadow of the 10-story ice. People climbed around on the crevassed face itself. Woelber said he saw Facebook photos of people touching the face of the wall of ice and balancing in front of it atop basket-ball size chunks of newly refrozen ice that had obviously been created by a previous calving.

“I don’t really get it,” he said. “I don’t get what people are thinking.”

It’s obvious, he added, that near the spot where a sizable piece of the glacier falls onto the frozen lake, the lake ice is immediately smashed into cubes – not cracked  into plates. Anyone near the glacier then would end up in the frigid water.

If they didn’t get hit and killed by the falling ice itself.

Falling ice is little different from falling rock. A 32-year-old woman was crushed to death by falling ice after she ventured into a Byron Glacier ice cave  only about a mile southwest of the Portage Glacier last summer. 

A 28-year-old Italian tourist was killed in March of 2015 when ice from the Lake George Glacier about 25 miles east of Anchorage fell on her. A 21-year-old Anchorage man barely survived after wandering into a snow cave adjacent to the Byron Glacier in July of 2016 only to have it collapse on him.

Snow is lighter than ice, and friends were able to free him before hypothermia set in. “He is very lucky,” emergency medical technician Terry Kadel said at the time. Kadel was one of the team called to treat the man.

Growing fears

To date, most of the Alaska deaths from falling ice have come in the summer. But with winter-accessible glaciers north and south of Anchorage becoming big sightseeing destinations both for Alaskans and a growing number of tourists, concerns are growing about the year-round dangers.

So many fat-tired bike riders are now flocking to the Knik Glacier at the head of the Knik River 50 miles northeast of Anchorage this year that complaints have arisen about parked cars and trucks clogging the Knik River Road.

Forty-five miles south of the city, the Skookum and Spencer glaciers in the Placer River valley are on nice days crowded with snowmachine riders, fat bikers and cross-country skiers. And then there’s the Portage Glacier down ice-covered Portage Lake at the end of the Portage Road in a popular Chugach National Forest recreation area.

Many have this winter voiced the same fear as Woelber that someone could be killed by falling ice. Venturing close to the face of a glacier is a little like playing Russian roulette.

The odds are good – 83 percent to be exact – that the hammer of the firearm involved will fall on an empty chamber. But the consequences of bad luck are extremely high; you’re almost certainly going to die.

Woelber said he wouldn’t mind if his video attracted the attention of a large audience.

“I understand we were in a bit of a pucker worthy situation,” he said, “but we were safe. We were pretty far away. It was fun to go through that.”

Had they been closer to the glacier, it would have all been different.

“We could have been in way, way more danger than we were,” he said. “If this scares people, I don’t mind.”

CORRECTION: This story has been modified from an earlier version to more accurately reflect the conversation between Woelber and his friends after the ice stopped rolling.











42 replies »

  1. “I dont want to get too off track of Craigs article but, I don’t think there are a lot of “innocents” killed in Afghanistan”

    Well, you could just get a little more ‘off track’ by bringing in alien abductions as pertinent to the topic. Imagine: “Glacier visitors experience alien calving experience.” Look, just STFU until you can actually bring it.

    Again, the man just wrote a nice piece. Why do so many of you try and make it yours?

    • Sure Monk,
      Maybe you only watch Fox News as Sean Hannity probably agrees with you.
      As for the data on Afghanistan, well it tells a different story.
      “Hospitals in Afghanistan are treating large numbers of war wounded, including amputees and burn victims. The war has also inflicted invisible wounds. In 2009, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health reported that fully two-thirds of Afghans suffer from mental health problems.
      About 104,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001. More than 31,000 of those killed have been civilians. An additional 41,000 civilians have been injured since 2001.”

      • My opinion here Steve-monk is referring to Bryan’s quote and is not saying what you think.

      • Jeezus man, ctrl + f + quote. Young man, you need help. Seriously, you need help. I don’t hang here 24/7 as you do so my tardy reply. That you don’t actually read is a tell. You are f___ked up what with your blindness and relentlessness.

    • And I thought monks were stoic creatures…
      Nothing like bringing up the wars we are in to get the “handles” pissed off.
      Keep it coming brother…
      It is good to get that anger off of your chest!

  2. A couple of notes: Knik River Tours now allows you to park at their location. So that takes some of the parking congestion away from the Knik River Road.

    Also, to the left of this video is the Burns Glacier. I saw that last year fat bikers were riding the Burns. And of course, with no equipment or knowledge to perform a crevasse rescue. Alaska has not yet had a fat bike death via falling through a snowbridge into a crevasse. Who will make history and be the first!?

  3. While living in Alaska and reading the local media sites, it is easy for one to forget that the U.S. is still at War with Afghanistan.
    Between yearly Irod Trail coverage and constant in state political bickering sessions, AK residents must look to outside news agencies to see what the hell is going on in our world.
    With 14,000 troops currently “deployed” in Afghanistan (fighting for nearly 20 years) and NO withdrawal in site, this current “Conflict” is scheduled to surpass Vietnam in overall costs to our National Deficit?
    “Even though the conflict has been making fewer headlines in recent years, the U.S. has never dropped as many bombs on Afghanistan as it did this year. According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command data, manned and unmanned aircraft released 5,213 weapons between January and the end of September 2018.”
    Does anyone even care anymore than innocent civilians are dying at the hands of American made munitions?
    Americans are protesting everything from sexual assault to animal rights, yet NO one dares to protest the topic of War in the new Amerika’.
    It seems rare as well for the American Journalist to step up to the plate.

    • I dont want to get too off track of Craigs article but, I don’t think there are a lot of “innocents” killed in Afghanistan. The US painstakingly goes to GREAT lengths to avoid “innocent” deaths. Sadly at times at the lose of our troops. Does it happen? Sure! More people are killed in Democrat ghetto, rat holes every weekend then are killed in Afghanistan.
      Oh, ran across this and thought of you:

      • Bryan,
        A quick check on your source’s website says this about their own Agenda:
        “Black Community News (BCN), affiliated with the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), is a conservative Christian news and opinion blog. This blog is not a general black news site.”
        And in case you have not heard “Greenies” are tired of debating Climate Change with none believers who will never be brought into rational thought through data and observations.
        Go play out on the Glacier in 50 degree March Sun…nothing to worry about here.

      • But in case anyone is keeping track of Regime change around the globe…
        “A brief glance at the candidates designated for US-led regime change – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Syria as the most obvious – demonstrated an obvious fact: only unarmed countries need to worry about foreign actors determining their ‘democratic’ future.”
        And let’s not forget Venezuela as well.

      • I think I found what you meant – “not a general black news site”, meaning “not black enough or not confined to the Democrat plantation”.. Got it.

    • Steve, how your comments relate to the Portage Lake incident, I do not get.
      Though I will comment on your view:
      Concerning US involvement in Afghanistan, I have left msg and sent emails to Sullivan, Murkowski & Young, about extracting ourselves from Afghanistan.
      This police action, military conflict or out n out war is being waged for one reason only. Dollars, in the hands of the many corporations, that make up our military industrial complex in America. War and military conflicts are a huge business to our national GNP. It is the bread and butter. The US produces and manufacturers more munitions and weapons, than any other country in the world.
      Unfortunately, the side effect is that American men and women are dying for the all mighty dollar. Shame on us for letting it continue!
      Alexander the Great tried to conquer Afghanistan and finally gave up. The Russians were there for 10 years, lost over 15K soldiers and 35K wounded. 2 million Afghans were killed.
      The Taliban control over 60% of the country. When the last American leaves, Afghanistan will go on, like we were never there. What a travesty for nothing but money.
      To his dying day, Sec Robert McNamara held on to his story we had to stop world wide communism from spreading. That is why we were in Vietnam. Almost 59K Americans lost their life and over 1 millions Vietnamese were killed.
      My cousin was in the Navy, assigned to those patrol/river/swift boats, he ingested agent orange, which was spread everywhere. He is dying a slow death. 22 US soldiers from the Vietnam era, are dying per day.
      The consequence of our involvement in Afghanistan will reverberate for decades. US participatory democracy at work. It ain’t pretty.

      • James,
        Thanks for sharing that comment…
        I feel for your cousin as my father was also assigned to the PBR division in Vietnam and eventually experienced skin cancer from his exposure to Agent Orange.
        The travesty of these wars have carved deep wounds in the fabric of America.
        Neither Republicans or Democrats seem to give a shit about how many bombs the U.S. is dropping in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen or Niger in the last year?
        Unlike the times of Vietnam, very few reporters are even willing to tackle the topic and there is little to NO pushback from Society?

      • Thanks Steve,
        The politicians who decide to enter a military conflict, should be required to suit themselves up and go do it. I have some old Army fatigues that might fit them.
        Our current POTUS got out of Vietnam, due to bone spurs. LOL!

    • What the f__k is the matter with you? Why on earth would you post what you did on an essay about glaciers? I mean, c’mon man. What is it with all you whack-a-doodles that LIVE to post here about your burning jihad’s? Half (at the least) of the posters here must be in an institution. Congrats, Medred, you have a cult following of loonies. We have a nice essay and there is only ONE comment as I type that actually pertains to the subject!

      • Love this comment!! Sorry, normally I don’t like too much snark, however, I will make an exception for someone who else who complains about not staying on topic. Some of these stories are like a neurotic’s facebook page. Half of the time, we don’t even need to read the comments, just look at who it’s from and you’ll know where it’s going – Nice job, Monk!


      • Sometimes I think it’s the titles…I mean “All Cracked Up” pretty well sums up some of the comments here.

      • But the good news, monk, is that the Dunleavy proposed budget is “dead-man walking” after the performance by Ed King (flanked by Revenue Commissioner and OMB Director) before the Senate Finance Committee on two days this week.
        This all started out as a way to rid State Government of “Leftys” by the former tier 1 retiree (Art Chance) that Administration was counting on to point out said leftys. But that all collapsed a few weeks ago after Chance was unable to fit into an off the rack business suit, designed for “skinny queers,” so it then fell on Ed King to convince Legislature that the proposed cuts were not as bad as ISER folks were telling it. King did his best but with those two administration folks, each with a shiv aimed at his ribs, he was left pretty much blabbering nonsense (except for the one time he preferred not to answer a question due to his wearing an administration hat).
        All that’s left now is the determining how much of the statutory PFD will be necessarily reduced in order to “not” prolong the recession we find ourselves in now.

      • Steve O…
        Been watching a few videos on the principles of the Libertarian Party…
        Seems not only is your pro interventionist strategy against their core principles, so too is how you call out those on the “left”.
        You see Libertarians choose to treat everyone equally and respect each other’s beliefs.
        Your comments are very Un-Libertarian from all my research on your political party.
        On a side not, it looks like the anti BDS legislation is getting squashed in the house.
        “The House Democratic leadership has been forced to drop a vote on a resolution to condemn anti-semitism and bigotry, after a high number of lawmakers outpoured support for Ilhan Omar, one of the few progressive lawmakers in the United States Congress, stating that she was being singled out unfairly.
        Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the first to speak up, stated that “Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world. We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel,”

      • Steve,

        What are you talking about?

        What pro interventionists strategies do you think I support? You think because I reject socialism and tyrant dictators that I cannot be a libertarian? You’ve definitely misunderstood what being a libertarian is all about while watching whatever videos you’ve been watching if you think libertarians can’t and won’t call out incorrect beliefs when they see them. I respect your right to your opinion, but I do not surrender my right to tell you how wrong your opinions are.

        It’s clear you don’t understand what is happening in the world around you because you allow your brain to be filled with propaganda. The reason the antisemitic resolution was going to be brought forward was because of the antisemitic remarks of a Democratic lawmaker. You seem to think that’s a good thing. That the resolution was put off before ultimately being watered down, which doesn’t surprise me…many on the left are and have been antisemitic. One thing for sure is that allowing antisemites in the Democratic party isn’t going to help that party grow.

        Talk about being all cracked up, thanks for showing all of us just how cracked up the left is. They are the open border party who thinks allowing illegal aliens to vote is ok and that antisemitism is no big deal.

      • Steve O,
        A comment like this:
        “Talk about being all cracked up, thanks for showing all of us just how cracked up the left is.”
        Is NOT Libertarian just so U know.
        Libertarians respect all opinions as long as they do not harm other’s rights.
        “In a nut shell you can do whatever you want as long as you do not harm or infringe upon another persons natural rights.”
        That means I can believe in Climate Change, Global warming and non intervention (even for Venezuela).
        I have seen not many Libertarian Comments from you and I think a simple solution for Craig is to force commentors to use their real names.
        We will then see this left vs right shit come to an end.
        In reality, I have fallen victim to this forced dichotomy even though I share many conservative beliefs.
        You see cookie cutter handles and comments rarely fit Alaskans no matter how hard U try.

      • Steve,

        How exactly am I harming or infringing upon your natural rights by stating my opinions?


        Was that actually an antisemitism resolution? Maybe you could call it an antibigotry resolution, but it definitely did not directly address the problem of a sitting member of the House of Representatives spouting antisemitic remarks.

      • Bill,
        Good link.
        The full statement is:
        “House passes resolution condemning anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination”
        This is a positive resolution (as you see the Republicans voted Against it).
        The Anti BDS legislation that was snuffed, was an infringement on self expression and our right to protest the authoritarian regime of Israel.
        It is good the freshmen women are bringing up ALL the important issues.
        Fresh blood in Congress was desperately needed!

      • Steve,

        You sure have an interesting way of trying to put this left vs right shit to bed. You come on here and accuse me of things that you cannot back up, you tell me what my views are and what they are not, then when I ask you to show me where you think I’ve said the things you claim I’ve said somehow you think you are the victim and I should use my full name?

        Putting more antisemites who push antisemitic views and favor the antisemitic BDS movement in Congress is not a good thing for this Country or the world, in fact it is a regression to the hate and division not seen in generations.

      • Only a lunatic would claim “Libertarian Values” and not allow criticism of Israeli Interventionist military actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
        Creating what many call the largest “open air prison” in the world.
        Ron Paul speaks often on this very subject.
        Much of the “arms” used by Israeli military comes from the U.S. along with HUGE aid packages.
        “Israeli soldiers wore T-shirts with a pregnant woman in cross-hairs and the slogan “1 Shot 2 Kills,” adding to a growing furor in the country over allegations of misconduct by troops during the Gaza war.
        “The smaller they are, the harder it is,” says another shirt showing a child in a rifle sight.”
        It is NOT “anti Semitic” to question the actions of authoritarian regimes and the House of Representatives fully agrees as does CBS news along with millions of Americans.

      • Steve,

        You really are cracking up man. On a story about falling ice on a frozen lake and the dangers involved you are ranting about things that cannot logically be connected. If you want to know the Libertarian Party platform here it is calling people lunatics because you disagree with them just shows how big that crack is. You are the only one confusing antisemitism and valid disagreement. Unfortunately what Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party did was offer cover for antisemites and people who support the antisemitic BDS movement ike the Congresswoman who spouts antisemitic remarks.

      • Steve O,
        First off, this is your comment from above:
        “Talk about being all cracked up, thanks for showing all of us just how cracked up the left is.”
        Libertarians respect others opinions, not label others just as left or right.
        Secondly, your beliefs are against core values of the Libertarian party (like supporting intervention abroad in places like Venezuela).
        “Libertarian vice presidential candidate William Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, told NPR the party is making a bid for jilted Bernie Sanders voters.
        Weld described the Libertarian foreign policy philosophy as “to the left” of Clinton. 
        Both Governor Johnson and I think that the instinct towards regime change can have a lot of unfortunate, unintended consequences, and they can be moral and they can also be economic and they can be military. The strikes that Syria and Libya – the people we wound up signing up with turned out to have very close links with ISIS.”
        So, maybe you should turn in your gold card for a red one that shows who you are?
        As for criticism of Israeli military actions, you are way behind the International “rolling ball” on this one.
        Global spotlight is on Gaza and the crimes committed against unarmed protesters…the BDS movement grew out of this situation not against religion or specific beliefs.
        “Gaza health authorities said some 200 people have been killed since Palestinians launched weekly border protests March 30 last year. They are demanding the right to return to land from which their ancestors fled or were forced to flee during Israel’s founding in 1948.
        Independent United Nations investigators last week released a report saying that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in killing scores of Palestinians at weekly protests in Gaza last year.”

      • Steve,

        I’m going to politely have to ask you to stop deliberately misrepresenting my beliefs and that of the Libertarian Party. You continue to either outright lie or you simply make things up to push your agenda.

        Using the propaganda of the failing Socialist dictator of Venezuela as some kind of reference does not prove anything, other than how easy it is to convince some people of whatever it is they want to believe. Venezuela under the current and previous socialist dictatorships have been demonstrably antisemitic.

        One of the more ironic things about the propaganda you are pushing is that you argue for regime change when you support BDS, but you argue against regime change when you support Socialist dictators in Venezuela. You’ve proudly cast your lot with the left, so quit crying when people point out that fact.

      • Steve O…
        Left, Right Center…
        The 50% of Americans (100 million in last election)
        Do Not Even Vote!
        Hillary Won the popular vote 66 million to Trump’s 62 million?
        So U can split hairs over my opinion (and whether it is left, right or center of “the majority”) to the end of the day.
        Not many folks even give a shit but U.
        I never called for regime change in Israel, nor did I ever say I support BDS.
        (Maybe U should stop putting words in my mouth and lying)
        I do think it is wrong for the Senate to attempt to limit free speech with “anti bds” legislation.
        I am glad the House stopped this.
        Funny how Ron Paul and former VP candidate for Libertarian Presidential campaign are against so many of the values you laud today?
        “Weld described the Libertarian foreign policy philosophy as “to the left” of Clinton….”
        Think about that when you point to those on the “left”, cause someone may be pointing to you saying that you are also on their “left”.
        But most folks (50 percent of the population) could care less.

      • Steve,

        I’m not splitting any hairs you’ve repeatedly backed a Socialist Dictator. You’ve repeatedly brought up the antisemitic BDS movement and shown your support for antisemitic people and causes. That is not center or right in this Country, that isn’t even just a little left, that is in the extreme left in this Country. You keep telling me what I think and what I cannot think, but you keep denying what you’ve put in writing. Here’s the deal, people in the center and people on the right in this County do not support Socialist Dictators and they do not support antisemitism, well some might support antisemitism as antisemitism is not confined to the left or right. So you can call yourself conservative or a centrist or whatever it is you identify as, but your beliefs as displayed here are far left.

        You can keep quoting Libertarians that you find online and use them to show how you think I should follow them. But until you actually understand that that very mindset of yours is the antithesis of libertarian thought you will just have to keep mindlessly posting quotes of various Libertarians. Do you follow all the policies and beliefs of Maduro and Chavez? You see the point is Liberatarians are, by construct, allowed to think for themselves. I no more follow the words of Ron Paul than I do his son Rand. I am my own person and can form my own opinions, the vast majority of which align with the Libertarian Party. I don’t expect you to understand that at all.

        I remember the good old days when you used to watch videos on chemtrails and you tried to convince everyone they were happening for some reason or another.

        And for the last time stop misrepresenting my views. You have no idea what I think about foreign affairs other than I do not agree with Socialist Dictators or the antisemitic BDS movement.

      • Steve O.
        None of your comments are ever “Libertarian”…
        You label others.
        You do not respect others opinions.
        Then you degrade them with lies.
        You are so out in space with your replies.
        By not supporting military intervention in foreign countries, this does not “back” socialist dictators.
        Not in the least.
        Nor do I have any record of supporting the BDS movement.
        I am for free speech and a citizen’s right to protest.
        I wonder how U feel on the “war on drugs” policy?
        Libertarians do not believe drug addicts should be arrested for their disease.
        They believe in treating the problem, not the symptoms.
        For a guy like me to believe in the bill of rights and freedom of expression, that makes me a “lefty” in your head.
        Good luck judging all those you talk with and meet.
        Labels are great for bringing people together….Not!

      • Steve,

        You don’t understand what Libertarian means, and you continue to misrepresent them for some unknown reason. You just said you watched a couple videos about Libertarians…stop watching youtube and learn to converse with actual people, talk with Libertarians and listen to what they say…or just go to their website and read about their platform for yourself. More than anything stop listening to and reading the Socialist Dictatorship propaganda that you keep citing as your sources. Open you mind to other viewpoints.

        I respect some peoples opinions, but I respect all peoples right to have their opinion…there is a difference. You are correct in the aspect that I don’t respect everyone’s opinion, some opinions do not deserve respect…this has nothing to do with being a Libertarian or not.

        Saying that I degrade others opinions with lies is just silly, you still have yet to reconcile the lies you’ve said about me right up there ^ in previous comments.

        Your comments show your backing of Socialist Dictators and the BDS movement.

        The war on drugs is a waste of money.

        What makes you a “lefty” as you call it is that you support left wing ideas. The only people who support Socialists are socialists, conservatives do not support socialism, nor do centrists, nor do libertarians, nor do republicans, nor do democrats of yester year. Socialists fall on the left side of the political spectrum.

        Hopefully now I pass your Libertarian bonefides test…I can only hope that you will let me join the club…or will there be more tests ahead?

      • I suppose communists also support socialism in the absence of communism, are you a communist Steve?

      • Steve O…
        After a dozen responses you will not comment on any of your political views that completely oppose the Libertarian party.
        Your whole facade is built on a house of cards stacked in the wind.
        Maybe your family did not teach you the “golden rule” in life?
        Either way, without giving respect, you will continue to live a life without getting it as well.
        I consider myself an American first, Patriot second and a Capitalist last (one who favors policies that support social welfare, livable wages and a clean environment).
        Why do these values scare those on the far right like yourselves?
        Is it that U have lived a life of greed that now appears shallow and unrewarding?
        Remember Libertarians treat other’s opinions as equal, they do not try to change how others think or feel on an issue.
        Try to remember this no matter how difficult it may be for you.

      • Steve,

        I don’t know where you got your opinion that Libertarians just let people walk all over them and are not allowed to comment on other opinions, but obviously the choice of where you get your information is flawed. Your fundamental understanding of what a Libertarian is is completely flawed.

        You talk about “giving respect” and yet just on this thread you’ve called me a “lunatic”, you’ve claimed that I’ve infringed upon your “natural rights” somehow, claimed that I’ve degraded others, and I am “out in space”. You’ve done and said all of that and when I ask you to explain you simply attack me further.

        As I asked you before, what pro interventionists strategies do you think I support? You think because I reject socialism and tyrant dictators that I cannot be a libertarian? Which of my beliefs do you think is directly contradictory to whatever it is you think are Libertarian values?

        The fact that you think I am “on the far right” is very telling of your views not mine.

      • Steve,
        This should help your continued misunderstanding of Libertarians.
        As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty: a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and are not forced to sacrifice their values for the benefit of others.

        We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

        Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

        In the following pages we set forth our basic principles and enumerate various policy stands derived from those principles.

        These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.
        We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

        We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

        Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

        We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

        Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

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