Monday, March 27, 2017

WWE wrestler Kane to run for mayor

WWE's Kane Runs For Mayor - Being Libertarian - Brandon Kirby:

March 25, 2017 -  "Best known for lighting people on fire and chokeslamming his enemies, World Wresting Entertainment’s Glenn Jacobs, better known as Kane, sets his sights on the political ring to run for Knox County [Tennessee] mayor, according to the Associated Press.

"Standing at 6’9 and weighing over 324lbs, The Devil’s Favourite Demon had a successful 22-year career in the WWE.... Outside of the world of wrestling, Jacobs and his wife own and operate Jacobs Insurance Associates, LLC, offering auto, business, flood, home, life, and motorcycle insurance.

"The successful businessman and entertainer’s bid for mayor is sure to excite libertarians. Jacobs is actively involved in libertarian politics, supporting Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, is a member of the Free State Project, and spoke at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

"In an interview with Fox Business, Jacobs cited Harry Browne, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard, and Mary Ruwart as influences on his political thinking. The former world champion also cited the non-aggression principle as his guiding principle.

"In an interview with Tom Woods, Jacobs elaborated, 'Then I realized that it really is a philosophy that we’re talking about, you know — the nonaggression axiom, that the government should be bound by the same moral laws that the rest of us are. Once you realize that, you’re like, "Oh!" Your entire world opens up, and then your entire paradigm changes.'

"In the interview he also indicated that he believes taxation is theft.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mr. Smith, the ultimate libertarian

Mr. Smth: The Ultimate Libertarian | The Liberty Conservative - Ron Capshaw:

March 25, 2017 -"With its patriotism and lone-man-against-the-system theme, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) is a popular favorite among conservatives. But, although directed by conservative populist Frank Capra, the script was in actuality penned by a then-member of the Communist Party named Sidney Buchman.

"It is difficult to believe in our era of flag-burning and bomb-throwing leftism that once upon a time American Communists promoted patriotism, which depending upon your point of view, was either authentic or a pose to meet the needs of Moscow. But Buchman may have been the real deal, as evidenced by his clashes with director Frank Capra and his later abandonment of Communism....

"Capra, an immigrant, accused Buchman of being a communist because the screenwriter expressed what we would call today a libertarian streak by stating the Jeffersonian view that the American government should be constantly watched for any power-grabs. Capra, by contrast, supported the American government en mass, which led Buchanan to accused Capra of fascism....

"There is a sprinkling of leftism in the film, as when it is revealed that Jefferson Smith’s father was murdered by a mining syndicate for defending a lone miner’s claim. And the chief villain of the film, Jim Taylor, is an arm-twisting capitalist who owns politicians and a considerable part of the media....

"But there the leftism ends. Smith, played by conservative actor Jimmy Stewart, who was certainly intelligent enough to detect any Stalinism in the script, runs afoul of the capitalist villain’s bill designed to spread graft by disguised under the project of building a dam. Smith’s bill is patriotic; he wants to build a boy’s camp, , which would be built on the land set aside for Taylor, funded by contributions from citizens, and designed to teach boys woodcraft and patriotism....

"Taylor unleashes ... what we today call the 'mainstream media' on Smith. Taylor could be George Soros, who today uses his money to influence, if not buy off, politicians, as well as fund violent protests movements. Senator Paine, Smith’s previous sponsor in the Senate, who turns on him and then defends him, by being in the pocket of Taylor affirms Thomas Jefferson’s warning about special interest politicians – ruling not for the common good but for their wealthy benefactors.

"Smith would be Capra’s final moment in the sun, and the director would spend the rest of his career trying to duplicate its success. Meanwhile, Buchman would leave the Communist Party after World War II because he no longer believed communism could be applied to American conditions."

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Friedrich Hayek and the 'collective brain'

Friedrich Hayek and the collective brain - CapX - Matt Ridley:

March 23, 2017 - "It is possible to go through an entire education to PhD level ... without any of your teachers or professors breathing the words 'Friedrich Hayek'.... If Hayek is mentioned at all in academia, it is usually as an alias for Voldemort. To admire Hayek is to advocate selfishness and individualism. This could not be more wrong. What Hayek argued is that human collaboration is necessary for society to work; that the great feature of the market is that it enables us to work for each other, not just for ourselves; and that authoritarian, top-down rule is not the source of order or progress, but a hindrance....

"Hayek’s point in his famous essay of 1945, 'The Uses of Knowledge in Society', is that central planning cannot work because it is trying to substitute an individual all-knowing intelligence for a distributed and fragmented system of localised but connected knowledge, much of which is tacit.... In Hayek’s words, 'how valuable an asset in all walks of life is knowledge of people, of local conditions, and of special circumstances ... the method by which such knowledge can be made as widely available as possible is precisely the problem to which we have to find an answer.' His answer, of course, was the price mechanism....

"Trade creates a collective problem-solving brain as big as the trade network itself. It draws upon dispersed and fragmented knowledge to create things that nobody can even comprehend, wholes that are more complex than the sum of their individual mental parts. No other animal does this....

"As Hayek put it, 'That the division of labor has reached the extent which makes modern civilization possible we owe to the fact that it did not have to be consciously created but that man tumbled on a method by which the division of labor could be extended far beyond the limits within which it could have been planned.'

"The invention of exchange had the same impact on human culture as sex had on biological evolution – it made it cumulative. So human technological advancement depended not on individual intelligence but on collective idea sharing....

"Which is, of course, why the internet is such an exciting development. For the first time, humanity has not just some big collective brains (called trade networks), but one truly vast one in which almost everybody can share and in which distance is no obstacle....

"Truly something very weird has happened to the world when, for advocating this bottom-up, egalitarian, collectivist idea, for advocating freedom for people to exchange ideas and serve their fellow human beings thus encouraging social change, Hayek is condemned by left-leaning commentators as a right-wing zealot....

"Hayek taught us to distrust the idea of putting people in charge of other people. Given that government has been the means by which people have committed unspeakable horrors again and again and again, from Nero and Attila to Hitler and Mao, why are people so forgiving of the state and so mistrustful of the market?"

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Bernier tops Tories with $1M raised in 2016

Maxime Bernier, the 'Albertan from Quebec' | CTV News - Laura Payton:

March 2, 2017 - "Maxime Bernier, the Quebec MP with the Montreal banking background and expensive suits, ... is a staunch libertarian who outpaced all his competitors in fundraising last year. He raised more than a million dollars, outpacing Kellie Leitch, the next closest contestant, by close to $200,000.

"Among the reasons Bernier is doing well among Conservative members: he promises to deregulate the telecommunications and airline industries, cut taxes and -- most notably for an MP from the riding with the most dairy producers in Canada -- eliminate the supply-management system that lets the industry set the price for its products.

"He's also staunchly opposed to boutique tax credits, the targeted rebates offered to narrow slices of the Canadian population that complicate the tax code, and which many fiscal conservatives oppose....

"'The philosophy of the [last] government was to buy votes with special interest groups. And I'm doing the opposite. I don't want to buy votes with special interest groups like the farmers, like the big corporations and all that,' Bernier said, sitting in his Parliament Hill office. ''Maybe the dairy producers won't vote for me in the next election, but I will gain more votes with the population because of that position'.... .

"Bernier also opposes loans for companies like GM and Bombardier, calling them corporate welfare. He wants to renegotiate Canada's equalization system, in which some provinces send money to the federal government to be redistributed to less prosperous provinces. On health care, he wants the federal government to get out of the way of the provinces and territories.

"'Health care, it is 100 per cent provincial jurisdiction. And you must give the means for the provinces to be able to do what they have to do," he said. 'The best way for them to be independent and accountable in front of their population, it is transferring tax points. So you lower the personal income tax at the federal level and you let the provinces tax for their own responsibility.

"'If you respect the Constitution and transfer tax points, [Canadians] will know who to blame for the wait times... that will give the right incentive for the provinces,' Bernier added."

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

FEC won't appeal presidential debates ruling

FEC Won't Appeal Ruling against Debate Commission - - Shawn M. Griffiths:

March 8, 2017 - "The FEC [Federal Elections Commission] released a press release Wednesday that it will not appeal a federal judge’s decision against current rules governing the Commission on Presidential Debates in Level the Playing Field v. FEC:

"'On February 1, the District Court ordered the Commission to reconsider Plaintiffs’ allegations and evidence, issue a new decision on the two administrative complaints and issue a new decision on the rulemaking petition. The Commission voted on February 22 not to appeal the District Court’s decision.'

"The FEC has chosen to comply with Judge Tanya S. Chutkan’s order and must issue three new decisions related to the administrative complaints that were previously dismissed by the FEC by April 3."

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Regulation chokes cannabis market in Uruguay

Legalizing weed: how Uruguay tripped up - - Meagan Campbell:

March 17, 2017 - "One Thursday morning in December 2013, marijuana became legal in Uruguay. Before midday, in the country’s two largest cities, 10 people walked into post offices, provided thumbprints, photo ID and addresses and received cannabis registration cards, which would limit their purchases—at designated pharmacies—to the equivalent of two fat joints per day. As the first country to legalize and regulate the drug, Uruguay appeared, at least for a moment, to have cannabis under control.

"Four years later, much of the policy has gone to puff. Pharmacies were supposed to start selling the drug to the newly registered citizens, but because the product is cost-controlled, pharmacists have no incentive to deal it. As a result, Uruguayans still have nowhere to legally buy marijuana. Even if pharmacies were stocked, most pot smokers are reluctant to join the registry, which they believe invades privacy, sets arbitrary monthly limits and would bind them to buying weed during business hours.

"'On the positive side, Uruguay has legalized marijuana, and the country hasn’t collapsed,' says José Miguel Cruz of the Latin American Marijuana Research Initiative. Yet, he says, 'the problem in Uruguay is that the government is regulating absolutely everything.' Citizens are permitted to grow six plants in their homes or more if they move their plants to registered 'cannabis clubs,' but Cruz says, 'They don’t want to grow it. They don’t want to join a club. They just want to get it.'

"And get it, they do. Police are seizing almost triple the amount of black-market marijuana as before the policy change — last year, the equivalent of about 13 million joints, based on numbers reported by the newspaper El Pais. Marijuana tourism also appears to be mushrooming; Brazilian and Argentinean police are seizing more of the drug, and Uruguayans, who can now legally grow it, have admitted selling weed to their international neighbours."

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

McLean runs in Saanich for police accountability

Man who filed complaint against police enters political arena - Wolf Depner, Saanich News:

March 14, 2017 - "The person who filed a successful complaint against a Saanich Police officer will run in the next provincial election. Andrew McLean will run in Saanich South for the Libertarian Party of B.C.....

"McLean filed the complaint following his January 2016 arrest during which he refused to show identification to the officer who was investigating a suspected arson case. The officer then put McLean in a wrist lock, taking him to the ground and placing a knee onto his back.

"Retired judge Wally Oppal later found this conduct constituted abuse of authority 'by using unnecessary force and by detaining and searching [Andrew McLean] without good and sufficient cause.'

"McLean said he had already made the decision to run before this incident. 'I didn’t know whether it was going to be provincial or federal at that point,' he said. 'But that experience certainly heightened concerns around police accountability.'

"McLean says he is not running to wreck anybody’s reputation. 'But I think it is an important issue, along with a variety of other things,' he said. 'It is more of a symptomatic issue. It is a symptom of a larger problem … that being, too much power in the hand of the state.'

Canada is 'severely lacking' police accountability, he said. 'We do have the (OPCC), but police as a matter of routine investigate themselves, which is a clear conflict of interest. That shouldn’t be happening and that is an issue I hope to be able to effectively address in this campaign. We need accoutabilty when it comes to policing.'

"McLean also wants to raise a number of socio-economic issues such as house affordability and illegal drugs during his campaign.

'I’m running primarily because I am getting really tired of big government interventionism within our lives,' he said. 'It seems the government’s solution to every problem is to tax it and if you can’t tax it, then want to ban it. It is all about taking more and more and more from families, which makes it harder, harder, and harder to for families to get by on a dailybasis....'

'The only acceptable role for goverment as far as I am concerned is in the defence of freedom, liberty and personal property,” he said. 'That is why we have law enforcement [and a military force]. I would describe myself as a minarchist libertarian, meaning that I support the idea of government, but to a limited extent.'"

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