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A new LUG, a new BL store!

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A new LUG, a new BL store!

Postby Peppermint Pig » Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:03 am

I guess this is the best place to post this...mods, move at your discretion please...I have several announcements to make, but they are related so I'm condensing them into this one thread.


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I'm happy to announce the establishment of a new Lego Users Group, LibertyLUG. We are a non-geographical LUG for people who share an interest in pro-liberty issues. Though we are not located in a single area, that doesn't mean we aren't interested in community activism or participation with other LUG's. We've just completed a set of membership guidelines, which also explains our raison d'entre, to be provided to anyone interested in joining. Reply or PM if you are interested. This group does not have any member fees or junk like that. As we're just beginning, there yet exists no website for the group.

Incidentally, Stone Goblin and I have established our own Bricklink shop named the LibertyLUG Store. There's no intention to associate store operations with the LUG, though we don't exclude the possibility of working with other members so that the store is beneficial to group participants (read: discounts, etc). We'll add a link to the store once its open to the public.

SG and I are discussing the possibility of running a grand opening sale with discounts for CC members, so please stay tuned! :)
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Postby Danielas » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:30 am

What do you mean by Pro-liberty? As in opposed to like Pro-communism?
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Postby Peppermint Pig » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:38 pm

lol

In a matter of speaking, yes. You'd be surprised how many people claim to support liberty and prove otherwise.
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Postby Bruce N H » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:06 pm

Hey Candied Swine,

I'm confused, are you planning a website or something since this is non-geographic? I'm a little apprehensive about the explicit linking of a LUG to activism, but will be interested to see where this goes. Of course, pro-liberty could mean very different things to different people.

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Postby Tower of Iron Will » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:09 pm

Peppermint Pig wrote:lol

In a matter of speaking, yes. You'd be surprised how many people claim to support liberty and prove otherwise.


Well you might want to be more specific. Liberty, as defined by the US Constitution or as defined by the pro-war, pro-war profiteering, facist, torture all foreign brown "terrorist-looking" people?
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Postby Munchy » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:40 pm

*edit* Removed post.

GL with your LUG and your BL store.


*edit2* Having further reread the TOS I find that I was in violation of the C-C administrative policies.

My apologies.
Last edited by Munchy on Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby JoshWedin » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:47 pm

Munchy wrote:Lock this thread please.


We don't lock threads because someone is offended by someone else's comment in one. Threads are locked if the Terms of Service are violated or if one of the Admins deems that it is needed.

This purpose of this thread is for Peppermint Pig to announce his new LUG and for discussion thereof. If it falls into political arguments, it will be locked. If you are offended by a members comments, discuss that with them via PM. Do not highjack this or any other thread.

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Postby Peppermint Pig » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:17 pm

Bruce, a website would probably be the best way to handle it, but only if it's necessary. E-mail may work for starters. It's rather bare-bones at the moment until we see what the needs of the group are.

"I'm a little apprehensive about the explicit linking of a LUG to activism, but will be interested to see where this goes."
I completely understand. I hate to think that liberty is a controversial subject warranting a lock down of a thread. On the one hand, I need to explain what this group is, but on the other I want to avoid discussing politics and devolve this into a flame war. I certainly hope people are able to restrain themselves from arguing about it. I'm not talking patriotism or anything like that. Simply liberty, as an inalienable right of all men.....Let me start a FAQ:

Q. Is LibertyLUG political?
A. We encourage open discussion and constructive critique. Set design, themes, pricing policy, retailers, manufacturing, competition or third party products, and economic or political factors are fair game for discussion in our group. Sometimes philosophy and politics in general comes up, but to be on-topic, we like to make sure it's channeled into the Lego hobby.

Q. Is the LUG 'activist' in nature?
A. In the sense that groups are 'active', sure, but not in the sense that there are mandatory activities or agendas promoting non-lego issues. Everything is meant to further our enjoyment of the Lego hobby, first and foremost, while complementing common interests in freedom and prosperity.

Q. Does the group espouse a particular political ideology?
A. No, but I suppose that depends on how you view ideologies. LibertyLUG was established in part to support personal freedom, such as found in agoristic ideologies (from Wikipedia: bringing about a society in which all "relations between people are voluntary exchanges — a free market."). That's about as 'activist' as it gets. There is no set path to follow but the one you think is best.

Q. So what do you expect from members?
A. We encourage individuals to distinguish themselves in the community, through MOCs, publishing, charity work, or anything else that benefits the group, or other Lego fans/community members in general. The extent of these activities depends on the interests of that individual.

Q. So do you have any group activities, seeing as you're a group and all?
A. Of course. Build activities, promotions, and publishing projects are things we look forward to as a group. All voluntary, of course.

Q. How do I join? Is there a fee?
A. There's no cost to join, but for a bit of your time and enthusiasm.

And that's all I can really think of at the moment. I think people who know me, or consider themselves part of a pro-liberty circle on the internet will connect with the ideas behind the group. We're just as much about having fun as the next LUG out there.

Thanks for your time and patience.
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Postby Aliencat » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:29 pm

Peppermint Pig wrote:Simply liberty, as an inalienable right of all men.....

Inalienable eh? That rules me out then :(

I kid, I kid.
Seriously though, I may see this the wrong way Peppermint Pig, but isn't what makes a LUG a LUG (not by definition but by what we've experiences in the past) a "base of operations" so to speak.
With Lowlug for example we chat on a forum, have meetings somewhere the Netherlands from time to time, display MOCs at model shows and Lego shows, stuff like that. I would say our "base of operations" is a website where we all exchange ideas, tips, show MOCs, ask for critique/help etc. Much like the Classic-Castle forum.
What ties us together is the fact we all live in the same country (with a few exceptions) and speak the same language, this is what makes our LUG our LUG, and what makes it succesful and keeps it ticking is the website as a platform of communication.

Without a website, geographical tie, collective theme interest, same building style, and all that jazz, I wonder what makes this LUG this LUG.
I realize I'm not making much sense, but what I mean is, why will people feel connected to communicate with each other without a platform of communication, and dedicate their MOCs in a certain way?
The way I see it, you share a political view with your LUG-members, be it a rather broad one. Liberty as you describe it is something not many people can disagree with or oppose.
So I wonder what will connect the people of LibertyLUG? If you're all over the world and can't host/attend events massively, if your interests lie in many different themes, etcetera. Basially what I mean is what connects the people of LibertyLUG?

Let me just say, don't get me wrong dude, I'm not trying to say your idea is a bad idea, nor am I trying to say I don't see that this LUG will work, in fact I might even join in on the fun.
But you know what they say, curiosity killed the cat. I'm just curious, it's in my nature.
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Postby Peppermint Pig » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:58 pm

How can I get angry at valid critiques? Thanks for your curious comments Aliencat! :)

Conventionally, yes, a regional base of operations constitutes the basis for the founding of a LUG. And yes, it does seem like the common thread is vague here. Part of the issue is perhaps that we're just starting out and haven't defined our virtual territory. I should clarify and justify the LUG.

Without a website, geographical tie, collective theme interest, same building style, and all that jazz, I wonder what makes this LUG this LUG.


A website is likely needed, yes. I certainly cannot say we're a 'trains' group, or a 'space' or 'castle' group. Those things do not establish the common bond for us. We let our common interests flow into the builds and define our group. Virtually all people support liberty in an inarguable way, so we seek people who take a step forward from that with a more involved interest in liberty... a person already versed in the philosophy or activism. That means our creations would lean towards the historical and political general themes, but not absolutely.

I realize I'm not making much sense, but what I mean is, why will people feel connected to communicate with each other without a platform of communication, and dedicate their MOCs in a certain way?


No, you're making perfect sense. I just hope I'm doing the same. :)

So I wonder what will connect the people of LibertyLUG?


Because we aren't a localized group, we shift our presence into online activity. This will inevitably lead to us hosting public build contests with prizes. We will also be focusing more on providing better service as merchants. We also wish to encourage the support of metal-backed currency as a means to retain our wealth and and allow ourselves and our hobby to prosper under hard economic times. An interest in publishing shall also distinguish LibertyLUG. We generally want to promote professionalism.

Though we're enthusiastic about lego, we believe that people come first and we should be able to create more value than we consume. What kind of value, or how it is created is up to each member.

You might also want to think of us as the 'anti-corporate' LUG faction out there. To put it bluntly, we will not always see eye-to-eye with Lego and its policies, so we're respectfully leaning against including Lego employees and related persons as members, but would have no problem working with such persons on projects/activities.

We also believe in sharing information and internal assistance with seeking parts and deals. There should always be strings attached lest people feel cheated, and avoid disrupting the stability and prosperity of the group. Collaborative projects are also strongly encouraged, even though some of us may be thousands of miles away from one another.

I hope that helps to identify some of the goals and guidelines of LibertyLUG for you. We wish to break down borders and barriers of communication, and enhance the Lego community by defending the rights of the individual through Lego art and activities.
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Postby Aliencat » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:43 pm

Thanks for addressing my questions, Peppermint Pig. The above is clear to me now, however my curiosity still gets the better of me.

I'm wondering how you're planning to successfully work with a combination of Lego and political views, because let's be fair, that's what LibertyLUG will essentially be about. The only thing that can make people say "I want to become a member of LibertyLUG!" would be an opportunity to express their political views through MOCs.
The past has shown us this can be done very well but always has a flipside. As with political art, writing, etcetera, there will always be people who oppose these views, and if you're not catering to a certain group, wouldn't this cause conflict within LibertyLUG eventually?

I may see it wrong, so be sure to note that this is just the way I see it and I realize I can be wrong. But the way I've seen it happen on other LUG sites is that no matter how well built political MOCs are, there are always people who get offended by them, even if just for the sake of getting offended or arguing for that matter. They will retort in saying they're just expressing their own political views and there really is no civilized way to end or repress it.

The only thing that stops this from happening in other LUGs (and sometimes of course it does happen) is the thing that binds a LUG's members together, what makes a LUG a LUG.
For example, in Classic-Castle we can all disagree and argue but in the end we're all Lego Castle fans, or we quite simply wouldn't be here. Classic-Spacers can argue all they want (and they do a lot), but in the end if they see a well-built space ship, they'll all admire it equally and agree on how great it is.
In LUGs that are centered around a geographical area there is an equal tie, TexLUG members are all from the same state, LowLUG members are all from the same two countries, and so on. Being in the same area means you can organize meetings, see each other face-to-face, show your MOCs and exchange building techniques, ask other people how they "did that little bit right there" and so on, and that creates a strong bond.

I'm sure the above is all redundant information that you already know, but it does lead up to my simple question: what binds LibertyLUG members together? What makes them say "Yes we both support the same thing" when we know expressing political views can offend and cause arguments?

Again don't think I'm just trying to undermine your LUG, I think it's a great idea, and I do support the way you're trying to break down the boundaries and barriers of communication, I'm just still curious to know more.
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Postby Maedhros » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:13 am

I think my concerns are quite similar to Aliencat's here. Just another global LUG doesn't quite make sense to me but if you want to base it on political views that's of course an interesting concept. However, if you want to do that you'd probably have to define what YOU mean by Liberty. Is it the brutal economical Liberalism of Adam Smith and Robert Nozick? The Social Liberalism of J.S Mill? Unwavering loyalty to the American Constitution?

Virtually all people support liberty in an inarguable way, so we seek people who take a step forward from that with a more involved interest in liberty...


I'm afraid taking the word of liberty for granted like that is a case of America-centrism from you there (no offence). I would of course agree that freedom of speech etc is essential while at the same time I think an unregulated market economy runs counter to the concepts of freedom and equality. So well, back to my point. I'd like to see a clear definition of what you mean by Liberty.

PS. If anyone disagrees with my views on politics here, feel free to PM me about it so we don't get this tread locked ;) DS
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Postby Sir Nelson » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:06 am

Maedhros wrote:Is it the brutal economical Liberalism of Adam Smith and Robert Nozick? The Social Liberalism of J.S Mill? Unwavering loyalty to the American Constitution?
Ka-Zing!! :!:


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Postby Peppermint Pig » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:42 am

I'm wondering how you're planning to successfully work with a combination of Lego and political views, because let's be fair, that's what LibertyLUG will essentially be about. The only thing that can make people say "I want to become a member of LibertyLUG!" would be an opportunity to express their political views through MOCs.


I think that is a strong appeal since most lego communities try to avoid those issues and this could be an outlet. I don't think that's the ONLY appeal, nor do I think that 'political' MOCs are the only thing we would do. But I do think most politics would show up in MOCs, and not so much in other activities since our group guidelines stress professionalism and being active.

The past has shown us this can be done very well but always has a flipside. As with political art, writing, etcetera, there will always be people who oppose these views, and if you're not catering to a certain group, wouldn't this cause conflict within LibertyLUG eventually?


If people feel that we are obligated to cover their issues, that might be a problem since we don't believe in being forced to do things. If an opposing view exists, perhaps they will form their own group, or produce their own MOC, or publish their own critiques. That's the nice thing about liberty, and it's why we've established this as a foundation of the LUG.

I may see it wrong, so be sure to note that this is just the way I see it and I realize I can be wrong. But the way I've seen it happen on other LUG sites is that no matter how well built political MOCs are, there are always people who get offended by them, even if just for the sake of getting offended or arguing for that matter. They will retort in saying they're just expressing their own political views and there really is no civilized way to end or repress it.


I've seen this before with artwork and artists who defend what they do with what seem like excuses/cop-outs. I like to state my reasons for a piece if I believe it's going to arouse passions, but I hardly ever create that kind of work. Again, let me say we're not expecting all of our output to be political in nature, let alone controversial. Creating MOCs is just one element of our liberty-oriented group.

For example, in Classic-Castle we can all disagree and argue but in the end we're all Lego Castle fans, or we quite simply wouldn't be here. Classic-Spacers can argue all they want (and they do a lot), but in the end if they see a well-built space ship, they'll all admire it equally and agree on how great it is.


Exactly. And I really enjoy the way such focus builds a nice, tight-knit community. For LibertyLUG, we're not suggesting people have license to do whatever they want without consequences. I really hope people have moved beyond creating obscene or bigoted art and then hiding behind the justification that it's a 'freedom of speech' issue. That is not our intent. We seek the opportunity to use our freedoms to express the virtues of liberty, peace, etc, and point out injustice, tyranny.

what binds LibertyLUG members together? What makes them say "Yes we both support the same thing" when we know expressing political views can offend and cause arguments?


You have insight into Classic Castle and what keeps its members together. To explain this association to an outsider is not unlike explaining the association of liberty advocates to those who don't follow such issues. People rooted in the philosophy and history of liberty are like Lego fans: They may have their own way of approaching the subject (writing, activism, debate, etc), as lego has fan-based themes which people organize around (space, castle, and cross pollinating to create new themes/subthemes), but they have common bonds in the core philosophy, just as with Lego groups there is a core philosophy of improving skill and technique, and enjoying the community with friends. And, just like Lego fans, each individual brings their own interests to the table. The common thread should be a support for voluntary action, whatever your ideology may be.


I don't believe you are undermining the LUG. You're helping me explain in greater detail. Much appreciated Aliencat!
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Postby Peppermint Pig » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:58 am

May the wings of Liberty LUG never lose a feather.

Here's to our brick colors, the colors that never run. :lol:
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