Monday, January 21, 2019

Cannabis legalization bill introduced in Connecticut

Connecticut legislators have introduced the first legal marijuana bill of 2019. Here’s what it would do. - Hartford Courant - Russel Blair:

January 18, 2019 - "More than 40 House Democrats have introduced Connecticut’s first marijuana legalization bill.... .... Previous recreational marijuana bills have failed, but lawmakers have an increased sense of urgency this year with bigger Democratic margins in the General Assembly, a new governor who is supportive and legal sales across the border in Massachusetts.

"The proposed bill dictates that sales would be limited to customers who are 21 and older and that medical marijuana dispensaries would be given the first licensees to sell recreational pot. The drug would be taxed, but the legislation does not include a specific tax rate. People who have criminal convictions for marijuana possession would have their records wiped clean....

"A portion of the money raised from the tax on marijuana would go toward drug awareness education, drug-prevention officers in schools and substance abuse treatment programs....

"The Department of Consumer Protection, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, would regulate the recreational program, too. Marijuana of a certain potency would have to be labeled as such and packaged in child-safe materials....

"DUI laws would apply if a driver had 'at least five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter in his or her blood' or had consumed marijuana in the previous two hours....

"State residents would be allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use, according to the proposed bill. Marijuana would have to be transported in a sealed container and public consumption of recreational marijuana would be prohibited. Delivery of the drug directly to consumers would be allowed, but marketing and advertising of marijuana would be against the law....

"25 percent of licenses for growers, processes, wholesales and retailers of recreational marijuana would have to be in enterprise zones, which are located in poorer cities and towns.

"Gov. Ned Lamont has said he will make marijuana legalization a priority, but it’s unclear if there is sufficient support in the legislature to pass a bill this year.... A legalization bill passed a legislative committee last year but was not called for a vote in either chamber."

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Matt Kibbe TV show debuts Feb. 18 on BlazeTV

BlazeTV adds libertarian, comedy fare to its pro-America line-up - Washington Times - Jennifer Harper:

January 16, 2019 - "BlazeTV, the independent company launched in December by conservative titans Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, has expanded its programing to include libertarian content and humor, featuring longtime grassroots activist Matt Kibbe and comedian Chad Prather.

"'As a libertarian, I’m proud to be joining BlazeTV. I’m going to put some new ideas forward, have thoughtful conversations with smart people from different perspectives, and reach for new audiences outside of the usual silos,' said Mr. Kibbe, who founded the grassroots groups Freedomworks and Free the People, and will anchor a new offering called Kibbe on Liberty.

"It showcases his basic guiding principle — 'Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff' — and is set to debut on Feb. 18.

"'This isn’t just about producing quality content. As supposedly public social media platforms censor certain voices to shelter their ideological biases, BlazeTV will be a vital platform where speech is truly free,' Mr. Kibbe noted."

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Matt Kibbe on the Libertarianism wiki:

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Lessons from the government shutdown

John Stossel: Government shutdown lessons -- We could take a chainsaw to so much of government | Fox News:

January 17, 2019 - "This government shutdown is now longer than any in history. The media keep using the word 'crisis.' But ... I see people going about their business -- families eating in restaurants, employees going to work, children playing in playgrounds, etc. I have to ask: Where’s the crisis?...

"We need some government, limited government. But most of life, the best of life, goes on without government, many of the best parts in spite of government....

"Columnist Paul Krugman calls this shutdown, 'Trump’s big libertarian experiment.' But it’s not libertarian. Government’s excessive rules are still in effect, and eventually government workers will be paid for not working. That makes this a most un-libertarian experiment. But there are lessons to be learned.

"During a shutdown when Barack Obama was president, government officials were so eager to make a point by inconveniencing people that they even stopped visitors from entering public parks. Trump’s administration isn’t doing that, so PBS found a new crisis: 'Trash cans spilling … (P)ark services can’t clean up the mess until Congress and the president reach a spending deal,' reported NewsHour. But volunteers appeared to pick up some of the trash. Given a chance, private citizens often step in to do things government says only government can do.

"The Washington Post ran a front-page headline about farmers 'reeling … because they aren’t receiving government support checks.' But why do farmers even get 'support checks'?... Most fruit and vegetable farmers get no subsidies, yet there are no shortages of peaches, plums, green beans, etc. Subsidies are a scam created by politicians who get money from wheat, cotton, corn and soybean agribusinesses. Those farmers should suck it up and live without subsidies, too.

"During shutdowns, government tells 'nonessential workers' not to come to work. But if they’re nonessential, then why do we pay 400,000 of them?...  We could take a chainsaw to so much of government.

The New York Times shrieks, 'Shutdown Curtails FDA Food Inspections!' Only if you read on do you learn that meat and poultry inspection is done by the Department of Agriculture. They’re still working.... More important, meat is usually safe not because of government -- but because of competition. Food sellers worry about their reputations ... so they take many more safety measures than government requires. One meat producer told me that they employ 2,000 more safety inspectors than the law demands....

"Even security work is done better by the private sector. At San Francisco’s airport, security lines move faster. Passengers told me, 'The screeners are nicer!' The TSA even acknowledged that those screeners are better at finding contraband. That’s because San Francisco (Kansas City, Seattle and a dozen smaller airports) privatized the screening process....

"Private contractors are better because they must compete. Perform badly, and they get fired. But government never fires itself."

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Walker runs for B.C. Libertarians in Nanaimo

Nanaimo byelection candidate fights government intervention | Times Colonist - Carla Wilson:

"The B.C. Libertarian Party candidate in Nanaimo is urging citizens to rethink how much government they want in their lives.

"'I’m basically trying to get a message of freedom out there,' Bill Walker said. 'Take responsibility for yourself, your family, your community'....

"Walker, 60, has lived in Nanaimo for 25 years. He grew up in Vancouver and earned a bachelor’s degree in urban geography from McGill University. He has spent the bulk of his career as a mortgage broker and owns Coast Finance Corp. in Nanaimo. He also has a seven-room inn in Tofino.

"Walker joined the Libertarian Party five years ago. He said the party does not believe government should be intervening all the time. He also ran in the 2017 provincial election.

"There isn’t a campaign budget for the campaign, Walker said. He is being helped by a couple of friends.

"Walker, an advocate of private medical clinics in B.C., said such clinics would improve the public system by reducing waits. 'This is about freedom of choice.'

"He is opposed to government intervention in rental accommodation, saying that more rental properties could have been built in past years, and in favour of turning the Insurance Corp. of B.C. into a co-operative operation.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

NC, Nevada Libertarians join park cleanup effort

Volunteers clean up Lake Mead in wake of government shutdown - Cristen Drummond, Las Vegas

January 12, 2019 - "The partial federal government shut down continues to impact national parks, including Lake Mead.... The Libertarian Party of Nevada organized a cleanup earlier today. About 40 people visited Boulder Beach on Jan. 12....

"The Libertarian Party of Nevada organized this call to action, but that didn't stop those with other political affiliations from helping out.

"This is one of many cleanups at national parks scheduled by libertarians around the country today. The libertarian party plans to organize another beach clean up next month, and may also go up to Mt. Charleston."
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NC Libertarians Clean Up National Parks During Shutdown - Ashley Claster, Spectrum News:

January 12, 2019 - "Trash is piling up in national parks across the country. The workers who usually clean it up are not on the clock because of the government shutdown....

"The Libertarian Party of North Carolina is helping fill the void. The party chair, Susan Hogarth, said it is up to the people who love the land to do what the government cannot.

"'A big thing for Libertarians is that people will take care of the things that are important to them,' Hogarth explained. 'So we want to be a part of that. In fact, we don't think the federal government should be owning park lands or any lands. So, as part of that, we'd like to show that it's possible for it to be taken care of without the government doing that job....

"'That's a really clean park anyway because the people, they really take care of it.... They care about it. They go running here and bicycling. So they do tend to throw their stuff away. But that means the trash cans are full,' Hogarth said.

"Libertarians coming from all parts of the state say they're here to show their commitment to the community..... Hogarth says the cleanup is a demonstration that the people who use these resources care about the land and will take care of it, even when state and federal agencies do not."
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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

5th Amendment covers biometric phone locks, California judge rules

Feds Can't Force You To Unlock Your iPhone With Finger Or Face, Judge Rules - Thomas Brewster, Forbes:

January 14, 2019 - "A California judge has ruled that American cops can’t force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger....

""The order came from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the denial of a search warrant ... filed as part of an investigation into a Facebook extortion crime, in which a victim was asked to pay up or have an 'embarassing' video of them publicly released. The cops had some suspects in mind and wanted to raid their property. In doing so, the feds also wanted to open up any phone on the premises via facial recognition, a fingerprint or an iris.

"While the judge agreed that investigators had shown probable cause to search the property ... judge Kandis Westmore ruled ... that the government did not have the right, even with a warrant, to force suspects to incriminate themselves by unlocking their devices with their biological features. Previously, courts had decided biometric features, unlike passcodes, were not 'testimonial' ... because a suspect would have to willingly and verbally give up a passcode, which is not the case with biometrics. A password was therefore deemed testimony, but body parts were not, and so not granted Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination....

“'If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,' the judge wrote. 'The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial....'

"Andrew Crocker, senior staff attorney at the digital rights nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the latest California ruling went a step further than he’d seen other courts go....

"The magistrate judge decision could, of course, be overturned by a district court judge, as happened in Illinois in 2017 with a similar ruling. The best advice for anyone concerned about government overreach into their smartphones: Stick to a strong alphanumeric passcode that you won’t be compelled to disclose."

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Rangers shut down Tennessee park cleanup

Libertarians told to stop cleaning Shiloh National Military Park - Adam Friedman, Jackson Sun:

January 14, 2019 - "Members of the Libertarian Party in West Tennessee thought it would be nice to help clean up Shiloh National Military Park since most of the park's staff has been put on leave because of the partial government shutdown.

"But after less than 30 minutes of groundskeeping, they were told to leave.

"'Every other effort to clean up the national parks, from Washington, D.C., to Yosemite, has been fine," Tennessee Delta Region Libertarian Party Co-Leader Victoria Lee said. 'But when we went to Shiloh, we were told we were not allowed to clean up the park.'

"Lee, along with 25 other Libertarian Party members, and their families, went to Shiloh on Sunday to help clear off walking paths and rake leaves.

"The clean up at Shiloh is part of a nationwide initiative by the Libertarian Party to help clean up national parks around the country.

"'This is all in order to prove that volunteerism works,' Tennessee Delta Region Libertarian Party Co-Leader Marcus Baker said. 'Government isn't needed for everything; there are volunteers out there who can handle certain things. We all like keeping our national parks clean, simple as that.'

"A Shiloh National Military Park ranger can be heard saying in the video that he understands that the volunteers are trying to help but that volunteers can't clean up without a signed volunteer liability waiver.

"The Jackson Sun reached out to Shiloh National Park but has not received a response."

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