Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two libertarian websites suspend publication

Dow Jones' Heat Street is closing - Business Insider- Jake Kantner:

June 30, 2017 - "Heat Street, the 'punky libertarian' website which was the brainchild of former Tory MP Louise Mensch, is being shut down after little more than a year.

"Heat Street will close on August 4 and the operation will be moved under investor brand MarketWatch, according to a spokesman for Dow Jones, the arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire which housed the website.

"In an emailed statement, he said: 'The operation will be restructured under the MarketWatch umbrella, with the goal of strengthening cultural, entertainment and gaming coverage.

"'The Heat Street brand and future content associated with the brand will be part of the MarketWatch group.'"

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Being Libertarian 'Going Dark' in Light of Corporate Readjustment - Being Libertarian - Martin van Staden:

July 19,2017 - "In light of our momentous growth and expansion, Being Libertarian will be ceasing most activity, including the posting of new images, articles, and videos across our platforms. This will, however, only be for a short period of time, as the senior management engages with one another on our path forward. The structures which were created almost two years ago are not keeping up with our growth and professionalization in all the respects they should be, so the Board is going to readjust and reconsider various elements of Being Libertarian’s constitution and operations.

"While no new content will be created for the next while, followers of Being Libertarian on Facebook will be treated to some of our older articles and videos from our impressive archive of content. We encourage you to continue engaging, and thank you again for your continued support."

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Libertarian Jake Porter running for Iowa governor

Libertarian Iowa gubernatorial candidate calls for 'real changes' | Cedar Rapids Gazette - James Q. Lynch:

July 19, 2017 - "The politics-as-usual approach to state government by Republicans and Democrats is unsustainable and hurting vulnerable Iowans, according to Jake Porter, a Libertarian who is joining the race for governor.

"'We’re having this huge budget crisis, and I don’t see other candidates proposing real changes,' Porter said Tuesday.

"Instead, Statehouse lawmakers and the governor are using the budget as a weapon, according to Porter, who will formally announce his candidacy on 'The Simon Conway Show' on WHO Radio between 4 and 7 p.m. Thursday.

“They’ve decided we’re having a budget crisis, so we’re going to cut the services people use most, whether it’s mental health services, sexual abuse hotlines, domestic abuse shelters (or) hearing aids for kids,” Porter said. 'They’re not actually going after any of the waste that could easily be cut. They’re going after the things that are going to hurt the most people, probably as an excuse to raise the sales tax next year.'

"Porter, 29, a Council Bluffs business consultant long active in the Libertarian Party, previously ran for secretary of state. He thinks his views and priorities are more closely aligned with voters than either the Democratic or Republican platform.

"He wants to make medical cannabis available, restore voting rights for felons who have served their time, end corporate welfare, return Medicaid to its pre-privatization status and phase out the state sales tax.

"He opposes corporate welfare on libertarian principles. It’s wrong, Porter said, to ask Iowans to pay millions of dollars to financially sound corporations. He singled out the Research Activities Credit that refunds tax money to corporations even if they have no tax liability.

"'They’ve put the tax bill on the smallest Iowans and smallest companies,' he said. 'I don’t think the state should favor one business over another....

"'I’ve watched the budget grow from $6.2 billion from the end of the Culver administration to $7.3 billion' under Gov. Terry Branstad, he said. 'So they can’t claim they’ve actually cut any government. They’ve grown it while giving large tax breaks to big financially sound corporations.'"

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Medical cannabis legalized in Greece

GREECE HAS JUST LEGALIZED MEDICINAL CANNABIS: What Does This Mean for the Future of Greek Weed? - Dope Magazine - Seshata:

June 30, 2017 - "The government of Greece, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of the left-wing Syriza party, has today announced that cannabis is effectively legal for medicinal use. Tsipras announced in a press briefing at the Ministry of Health that the Joint Ministerial Decision on the legalization of medical cannabis was signed and published.

"As part of the announcement, it was stated that cannabis is to be reclassified from Table A — the most restrictive category of narcotics, which also includes heroin, LSD and MDMA — to Table B, a category that includes methadone, cocaine and opium.

"The reclassification means that the state can potentially give licenses for cultivation in the near future, although nothing has yet been announced regarding potential licensing procedures....

"Greece has long had extremely restrictive laws on cannabis and other drugs, and implemented laws prohibiting its sale and use as early as 1890. However, this announcement is the latest in a string of recent moves towards liberalization of cannabis laws....

"This latest news marks yet another small but significant step on the path to legalization of cannabis in Greece. Prior to prohibition, the country had a thriving export industry of fine-quality hashish, originating from the Peloponnese region of southern Greece. Urban legends of the fine landraces of the region still abound in Greek grower circles.

"Even further south, in Crete, there is a thriving market in illicit cannabis cultivation. Throughout the country, rates of recreational consumption are consistently high, yet penalties for its use remain harsh.

"Greece has a long history of cannabis use and cultivation, a favorable climate (in both temperate and political terms), and a need for economic stimulus. It is therefore possible Greece’s current government will continue on this trajectory and consider the legalization and regulation of other forms of cannabis cultivation, sale and use in coming years."

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Sharpe to run as Libertarian for NY governor

Larry Sharpe Announces Run For NY Governorship As a Libertarian - Elias J. Atienza, The Libertarian Republic:

July 12, 2017 - "Larry Sharpe, the 2nd place runner-up 2016 vice presidential candidate, announced that he was running for Governor of New York in 2018. He did this as a ‘birthday announcement’ and confirmed he was running as a member of the Libertarian Party....

"In the live stream, he said that he wanted his campaign to be a model for future Libertarian campaigns and stressed that he was in it to win.

"'I will run as a Libertarian and Libertarian only. I will show the nation that you can win as a Libertarian, that you can run a campaign as a Libertarian, and you can be taken seriously as a Libertarian,' he said.

"Sharpe is a relative newcomer to the Libertarian Party, having risen from obscurity to almost snatching the vice presidential nominee spot from Bill Weld....

"Sharpe faces an uphill battle in a state that has elected Democrats to the governorship since 2008. However, he is helped that Cuomo approval rating has dropped recently to 46 percent according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

"Only Cuomo and Sharpe have announced their intentions to run for governor ... as of this publication."

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

‘Game of Thrones: Libertarian Edition’ (video)

Reason releases hilarious parody video ‘Game of Thrones: Libertarian Edition’ – TheBlaze - Brandon Morse:

July 14, 2017 - "With season seven of the smash HBO show “Game of Thrones” debuting on Sunday, Reason has released another hilarious video putting a libertarian spin on the fantasy epic.

"Reason’s  Austin Bragg, Meredith Bragg, Andrew Heaton, and Remy Munasifi have made libertarian versions of “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” in the past. “Star Trek: Libertarian Edition” won a Southern California Journalism Award for Best Humor/Satire Writing of 2016.

"The video features Heaton and Austin Bragg playing numerous roles. Heaton plays the Hand of the King attempting to convince the small council that small government and non-interventionism is the key to a more prosperous Westoros.

"Heaton and Austin Bragg also play two members of the Night’s Watch trying to figure out why their ancestors built a giant wall to keep out the 'free folk,' people who marry whoever they want, live however they please, and elect leaders instead of being under the rule of someone they never approved of."

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thiel invests millions in 'immortality project'

Mammoth task: billionaire Peter Thiel funded effort to resurrect woolly beast | Technology | The Guardian - Olivia Solon:

June 30, 2017 - "PayPal billionaire and Gawker war-wager Peter Thiel has invested $100,000 in a research effort to resurrect the woolly mammoth.

'Thiel, who believes that viewing death as inevitable is a sign of 'complacency of the western world', gave the money to Harvard University genomics professor George Church, whose laboratory is attempting to revive the extinct pachyderm .... taking DNA extracted from frozen mammoths and using it to genetically modify elephant cells....

"Peter Thiel’s team did not respond to requests for confirmation of the investment, but Church told MIT Technology Review that it was true....

"It’s not entirely surprising Thiel wants to bring a mammal back from the dead. According to several interviews, Thiel sees death as a terrible inconvenience that needs disrupting.

"'Almost every human being who has ever lived is dead. Solving this problem is the most natural, humane, and important thing we could possibly do,' he is quoted as saying on the website of the SENS Foundation, a charity Thiel funds that approaches aging as a disease in need of a cure.

"In 2015 he continued on his warpath against human fragility.

"'I’ve always had this really strong sense that death was a terrible, terrible thing,' he told the Washington Post, 'Most people end up compartmentalizing, and they are in some weird mode of denial and acceptance about death, but they both have the result of making you very passive. I prefer to fight it.'

"Thiel’s 'fight' involves investing millions in biotechnology and artificial intelligence in what he has called 'the immortality project'. His investment firm Thiel Capital has, according to Inc, expressed an interest in a company called Ambrosia, which is running a trial where individuals can pay $8,000 to receive a blood transfusion from a teenager in the hope that it will restore some youthful vigour....

"He has also signed up with cryogenics company Alcor to be deep-frozen at the time of his death in the hope that he too can be resurrected."

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Illinois legislature passes asset forfeiture reform

Illinois Legislature Passes Asset Forfeiture Reform - Hit & Run : - C.J. Ciaramella:

June 27, 2017 - "The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill Friday tightening the state's civil asset forfeiture laws and shifting the burden of proof onto the government to show why it should be allowed to keep seized property.

"The vote came on the heels of an investigative report from Reason earlier this month showing lower-income neighborhoods of Chicago were hit hardest by asset forfeiture. Reason's report, analyzing more than 23,000 property seizures over the last five years, was cited by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx in a letter to the Chicago Tribune Saturday urging Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the bill into law....

"The bill, approved unanimously in the state senate and with only one dissenting vote in the house, would raise the standard of evidence for forfeitures from probable cause to a preponderance of evidence and bar seizures under $500 in many drug cases.

"It would also abolish a requirement of residents challenging seizures that they pay a 10 percent bond on the estimated value of their property to file a petition, and expedite hearings for owners claiming innocence....

"Overall, civil liberties groups are pleased with the bill. 'The main thing is shifting the burden of proof clearly onto the state and relieving property owners of having to prove their innocence,' Ben Ruddell, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Illinois, says."

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