Monday, August 31, 2015

Libertarian challenge to NH ballot law dismissed

Judge rejects Libertarian Party's ballot access challenge | Local News - WMUR Home:

August 28, 2015 - "A federal judge on Thursday upheld a New Hampshire law the Libertarian Party argued could prevent its candidates from getting on the ballot.

"Libertarians sued Secretary of State William Gardner last year, challenging new limits on how long parties have to collect signatures to petition their way onto the ballot.

"State law requires a third party to collect signatures equal to 3 percent of the total votes cast during the prior election. Under the change, parties can't begin gathering signatures until Jan. 1 of the election year.

"In a ruling Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro said the law creates reasonable restrictions that are justified by the state's interest in requiring parties to demonstrate a sufficient level of support.

"'Reasonable minds can and do disagree about the wisdom of this country's present two-party political structure, and there is little question that, for better or worse, (this law) promotes that structure to at least some degree by making it marginally more difficult for third parties to gain ballot access in New Hampshire,' he wrote.

"But the law does not impose a severe burden on ballot access, he said, and is therefore constitutional.

"In 2012, the Libertarian Party ran candidates for president, vice president, congressional seats and several state-level seats after collecting the necessary signatures. But it began the collection process in 2011. For the 2016 election, it would need to collect 14,864 signatures. Represented by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, the party argued that the window for collecting signatures is even shorter than what the law specifies given New Hampshire's harsh winters....

"Libertarians also argued that the time limit effectively prevents the party from meaningfully participating in the general election because it would have to use its limited resources on collecting signatures instead of campaigning and fundraising....

"Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the New Hampshire ACLU, said the party is considering an appeal.

"'This law limits voter choice and stacks the deck against candidates who - like roughly 40 percent of Granite Staters - don't belong to a major party,' he said."

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/news/judge-rejects-libertarian-partys-ballot-access-challenge/34972248
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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The rise of the cultural libertarians

Rise of the Cultural Libertarians - Allum Bokhari, Breitbart News:

August 24, 2015 - "Cultural authoritarians from both the left and right occupy most positions of power in government, academia and the media. Both argue that art and expression can be harmful. Conservatives say that overly-violent video games and movies are the cause of school shootings and youth crime.... Progressives argue that 'problematic' media can lead to racism and misogyny....

"Underlying both ... arguments is the idea of culture as a corrupting influence, one that must be policed. This view has little scientific evidence to support it. A recent long-term study found no link between video games and sexism, and violent crime has been in decline for decades despite the growth of violent media. Nonetheless, arguments for a link continue to surface....

"In order to control what they see as dangerous expression, authoritarians often resort to casual and spurious accusations of misogyny, racism, and homophobia. The goal is to manipulate the boundaries of acceptable speech by smearing their targets with socially unacceptable labels and to write off speakers they don’t like as bigots so they don’t have to engage with the speaker’s arguments.

"The range of socially acceptable speech and art is sometimes called the 'Overton window.' The purpose of much contemporary criticism, according to cultural libertarians, aims to move or simply narrow that window.

"Cultural libertarians recognise that efforts to police language and expression are not only counter-productive, but also fragile. The people pushing for greater control are a small segment of the population, whose voice is amplified by media support. To fight them, all you have to do is ignore them – or, better yet, mock them....

"They’ve also worked out that the people leading the charge in social media mobs have vastly disproportionate influence thanks to their publishing platforms and that not only are they hopelessly out of touch with popular opinion but that their tactics are unpleasant and hectoring, often veering into outright cruelty and persecution....

"Cultural libertarians recognise that efforts to police language and expression are not only counter-productive, but also fragile. The people pushing for greater control are a small segment of the population, whose voice is amplified by media support. To fight them, all you have to do is ignore them – or, better yet, mock them.

"Because the social justice tendency takes apparently fringe issues and elevates them to the status of historic civil rights battles, and because humour can be in short supply wherever you find authoritarian points of view, cultural libertarians have found needling their foes with waspish critiques and satire highly effective.

"Cultural libertarians can frequently be found skewering critics who take themselves too seriously or are excessively earnest, especially when making specious arguments about the supposed 'real-world effect' of violent or allegedly offensive media. Their attitude is refreshing for readers tired of being lectured to by newspaper columnists and east coast bloggers, and one of the reasons cultural libertarianism is gaining traction so quickly."

Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/24/rise-of-the-cultural-libertarians/
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Saturday, August 29, 2015

John Robson: Why I’m voting Libertarian

John Robson: Why I’m voting Libertarian | National Post

August 27, 2015 - "So how am I going to vote? The short answer is, I will cast a ballot that doesn’t make me feel unclean. The medium answer is, the Libertarian party has solved my personal problem by finally finding a sacrificial candidate in my riding. The long answer is the short one: I won’t cast an unclean vote, and I hope people in other ridings follow the same advice....

"I have long described myself as libertarian on policy and conservative in metaphysics.

"I’m metaphysically conservative because I believe man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward and there is no remedy for the human condition on this side of the grave. So those libertarians who think dramatically reducing government will usher in a new and radiant form of human existence strike me as the mirror image of socialists who think dramatically expanding it will do the same.

"I also have significant differences with many libertarians on national security. Mind you, they couldn’t possibly run defence spending down further than Prime Minister Stephen Harper has. But I’m libertarian on most policy issues because conservatives who consider governments (both provincial and federal) that are as bloated and arrogant as ours to be compatible with anything they hold dear are out of their minds. And if they know, and don’t want to act, they’re in even worse condition."

"Those who espouse a conservatism of prudence too often and too easily sink into timid immobility, even smug complacency, in the face of looming disaster. Now is never a good time, and then never comes. But is it genuine prudence to set an aging population on a collision course with Soviet-style health care? Starve defence in an increasingly disorderly world, while aspiring to a major global role? Praise families in every other press release while watching that institution disintegrate?

"If not, then no mainstream party is prudent and anyone who considers themselves remotely conservative should be demanding that we dramatically shrink the welfare state. Even Liberals like Louis St. Laurent or Wilfrid Laurier would regard modern Canadian governments as a shocking affront to human dignity, as well as a menace to prosperity.

"The problem, Charles Murray argues in his book, In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government, isn’t just that governments cannot deliver the free lunches they promised; it’s that free lunches don’t nourish. We are not cattle to be fed, watered and pastured. We must strive. That’s why G.K. Chesterton said self-government must mean ordinary people 'are to be, within reasonable human limits, masters of their own lives.' Can you find any party or candidate whose platform now embodies this understanding?

"It need not be libertarian. Obviously I think it should. But I grant that plenty of people of good will and sound mind are liberals or socialists because they genuinely believe the right sort of government intervention does, or can, help people regain control over their own lives and immediate circumstances. The thing is, to achieve that goal, the party or candidate you support must at the very least not be part of a vast, cynical, intellectually crooked partisan machine."

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-robson-why-im-voting-libertarian
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Friday, August 28, 2015

Raul Labrador chairing Paul's western campaign

Rand Paul learns what Coeur d'Alene means, brings libertarian-speak to North Idaho | Bloglander | The Pacific Northwest Inlander | News, Politics, Music, Calendar, Events in Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and the Inland Northwest:

August 27, 2015 - "U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a man who loves freedom so much that he once considered using a catheter to facilitate a 13-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate, came through the Inland Northwest to drum up support for his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

"The freshman senator from Kentucky spoke in both Spokane and later that day in Coeur d’Alene Wednesday, and Boise today, to deliver his libertarian-tinged message of embracing the entirety of the Bill of Rights (not just the 2nd Amendment), expanding his party's reach to the poor and minorities and reducing government spending.

"The son of former Congressman Ron Paul and two-time Republican presidential candidate drew roughly 400 people to Schuler Performing Arts Center at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene....

"U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, an Idaho Republican who chairs Rand's Western States campaign, warmed up the crowd, telling them that the senator was a genuine conservative and that you can’t just speak to the angry people if you want to be elected president. Paul, said Labrador, is even so revered by U.S. Transportation Safety Administration agents at airports (normally the scourge of libertarian-leaning individuals), to the point they might even start a group to support him.

"Paul took the stage and began his speech by telling a story of how earlier that day he asked some locals what “Couer d’Alene” meant.... Paul took the expression to mean having no heart, adding, 'Oh, you could have just said Harry Reid,' referring to the Senate minority leader, a line that drew laughter.

"During his speech Paul took aim at federal spending, saying that both Democrats and Republicans use the government as their 'own special piggy bank'....

"He also took aim at his own party. 'What was the Tea Party movement about? It really was we were upset about fake conservatives, we were upset with electing Republicans and things never getting any better. We elected Republicans and for the first eight years of this century the debt doubled, they added new departments, they added new entitlements.'

"He took aim at the debt. 'You ask yourself how did we get into this fix? What goes on that allows spending to go on unabated at such a degree. Well, it’s an unholy alliance between two factions. One faction says we should spend everything and anything on the military without limits. The other side says we should spend everything we can spend without limits on welfare. You know what happens they get together, and then you have unlimited spending on both.'

"On currency: 'Of all the nations, our dollar is the cleanest shirt in a closet full of dirty shirts.'

"The tax code: 'You know what I say is let’s get rid of the whole thing, the IRS included.'"

Read more: http://www.inlander.com/Bloglander/archives/2015/08/27/rand-paul-learns-what-coeur-dalene-means-brings-his-libertarian-speak-to-north-idaho

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Licensing costs over $100 billion, U.S. report says

Occupational Licensing Hurts Just About Everyone, Says White House - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

July 31, 2015 - "Horse masseurs. Hair braiders. Funeral attendants. Florists. All are subject, at least in some states, to 'occupational licensing,' defined by the Treasury Department as 'a government permit allowing workers to legally practice.' Since the 1950s, the number of U.S. jobs where workers are required to be licensed by the state has increased five-fold, now encompassing about a quarter of our working population. Far from being merely a minor inconvenience for workers, this excessive licensing regime 'creates substantial costs, and often the requirements for obtaining a license are not in sync with the skills needed for the job,' according to a new report from the Treasury, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and the Department of Labor.

"Libertarians have been objecting to occupational licensing on these grounds for decades, of course; the free-market friendly Institute for Justice has even been systematically suing to bring about their demise. But it's rare to see federal agencies recommend against more economic regulation, so let's all just savor this small victory a moment. The scathing report paints occupational licensing as a regulatory scheme that serves almost no one any good — raising consumer costs while failing to deliver improved quality; reducing employment opportunities, especially among the most economically vulnerable; and hampering state-to-state mobility and market innovation.

"'By one estimate, licensing restrictions cost millions of jobs nationwide and raise consumer expenses by over one hundred billion dollars,' the report authors write.

"'Consumers are likely most familiar with licensing requirements for professionals like dentists, lawyers, and physicians,' they point out, 'but today licensing requirements extend to a very broad set of workers,' including auctioneers, scrap metal recyclers, barbers, manicurists, eyebrow threaders, and tour guides. This means that an ever-growing share of jobs 'are only accessible to those with the time and means to complete what are often lengthy' — not to mention expensive — licensing requirements, while the penalties for working without a license can include job loss, fines, and even incarceration.

"Yet stringent occupational licensing seldom delivers improved services or safety to consumers. In 10 out of the 12 empirical studies reviewed by the report authors, stricter licensing was not associated with quality improvements."

Read more: http://reason.com/blog/2015/07/31/white-house-occupational-licenses-report
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Food inspectors try to jail woman whose sheep they killed

Help defend farmers charged in rare sheep case | Indiegogo - Karen Selick:

August 7, 2015 - "We need help raising a legal defence fund for Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt, two Ontario farmers charged with defying the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). We have to be careful what we say here, because the government recently asked for (and got) a publication ban on this case.

"Back in 2010, the CFIA issued an order  quarantining Montana’s farm. They suspected her sheep had a disease called scrapie.... They did live biopsies on Montana’s flock. All were negative for scrapie. But the CFIA said that wasn’t good enough. The sheep would have to be killed, and their brains examined....

"On the day before the CFIA were coming to slaughter the sheep, someone removed them surreptitiously from the farm.... Eventually, they found the flock about 8 weeks later, 300 km away. The CFIA killed all the recovered sheep, and examined their brains. All tested negative for scrapie, just as Montana had predicted they would....

"Now four people have been charged with criminal offences. One person has pleaded guilty.  The other three, including Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt, are awaiting a jury trial.  Their charges were laid in December, 2012, but the case is still at the preliminary hearing stage.  No trial date has been set yet....

"The Canadian Constitution Foundation and lawyer Shawn Buckley are defending Montana and Michael, but it’s going to be expensive. The prosecution, with their huge resources (your tax dollars), are trying to exhaust our resources....

"The prosecution has wasted our resources (deliberately, we suspect) by bringing one long motion after another.  One of their motions was to force me (Karen Selick) off the case, alleging I had a conflict of interest because I represented both Montana and Michael. The prosecutors have now subpoenaed me as a witness (yes, against my own clients) as a technique for keeping me off the case.

"They also brought a lengthy motion to force Shawn Buckley off the case, but fortunately the judge ruled that Shawn could carry on.  Then there was the publication ban motion — another long court procedure that used up the defence’s resources and hampered our ability to inform the public about government actions.

"The CFIA clearly wants to put Montana and Michael in jail. When the CFIA investigator first raided Michael Schmidt’s farm in August, 2012, he crowed to Michael, 'Your travelling days are over, Mr. Schmidt.'  The prosecutor once told me that he intends for them to go to a federal penitentiary, which means a minimum sentence of two years. In fact, with the number of charges facing each of them, they could conceivably end up in jail for a decade or more.

"Please help keep these ethical farmers out of jail.  Please donate, then share this page with anyone who cares about healthy natural food, preserving biodiversity, freedom from rampant bureaucracy, freedom of the press, and justice in Canada’s courts.

"The Canadian Constitution Foundation — 'freedom’s defence team' — is a registered charity in both Canada and the US. If you donate at least $25, you’ll get a receipt that you can use to claim a deduction on your income tax return."

Read more: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-defend-farmers-charged-in-rare-sheep-case#/story
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ontario LP activist Ferguson's first federal run

Libertarian candidate enjoying first run at federal seat - Mike Peeling, Brant News:

August 19, 2015 - "Beyond being the Libertarian Party of Canada candidate running for the riding of Brant, Rob Ferguson could soon be the focus of a nationwide campaign pushing for new national leadership.

"Ferguson, who has been legally blind since birth, said Monday in an interview his face could show up in an anti-Stepher Harper meme highlighting his blindness.

"'It will say something like, "I may be blind, but it's not hard to see Canada needs better vision and leadership",' Ferguson said....

"This will be Ferguson's first run at a federal seat after three unsuccessful runs at Brant's seat in provincial parliament and two for a seat on Brantford's city council....

"Ferguson has also taken on the role of CEO for Brant's Liberty Association, the newly established riding association. His wife, Kalena, is the association's secretary and Ferguson's campaign manager.

"The association is starting small with only 20 members.

"'I feel confident our membership will grow,' he said, noting the party needs to create a stronger support system. "We're going to start attending parades and community events'....

"Ferguson proudly pointed out he has been voted best political candidate in the Brant News Readers Choice awards.

"'I think it's my dedication to the community,' he said 'I've alway lived and worked here, and I want to make a difference regardless of whether I'm in office or not.'

"Ferguson says he will always take the time to help anyone who calls him with a problem, pointing to his successful efforts to get warning signs installed in a neighbourhood where a deaf child lives, and to get the city to trim trees that posed a risk to residents."

Read more: http://www.brantnews.com/news-story/5804500-libertarian-candidate-enjoying-first-run-at-federal-seat/

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 24, 2015

Google resists FBI 'fishing' in Benton's e-mails

Google Won’t Let the Government See the Emails of Rand Paul's Aides | Mother Jones - Russ Choma:

Aug. 19, 2015 - "In the summer of 2014, federal investigators began probing whether Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign had paid Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson for his endorsement. After Sorenson confessed, investigators focused on three other men, including current presidential candidate Rand Paul's nephew-in-law, Jesse Benton, whose email account supposedly contained evidence....

"FBI agents got a search warrant that entitled them to read the emails without Benton's cooperation. But the plan did not go smoothly. Benton has a Gmail account, and Google's policy is to notify users when their accounts have been hit with a search warrant. Benton's attorney, Roscoe Howard, promptly filed a motion to block the search warrant, alleging that it was improper, and Google stopped cooperating with the FBI.

"Two weeks ago, Benton and two other top Paul aides ... were indicted on federal charges, including conspiracy, campaign finance violations, and making false statements.... The FBI still hasn't gotten ahold of Benton's emails. Last week, a judge ruled that the FBI had a right to the emails, but once again, Benton resisted and Google agreed....

"'Frighteningly, the government still maintains that it has the right to trample Mr. Benton’s privacy rights and look through every single one of Mr. Benton’s emails, just as if his email account were a warehouse full of documents,' Howard wrote. 'The government’s statement underscores its true intent —to conduct a fishing expedition.'

"The government has now demanded that Google be held in contempt if the company doesn't immediately turn over the emails, and it has argued that Benton and his attorney can raise their concerns at trial if they don't like the way the search warrant was obtained....

"Hanni Fakhoury, a senior staff counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said courts have not yet settled the question of how specific or broad email search warrants should be.... 'This case is smack in the middle of the debate,' Fakhoury says. 'This is a very high-profile and dramatic example of it, because we're talking about half a million emails.'

"Howard, Benton's attorney, wrote in one filing that his client had cooperated fully with investigators and provided a 50,000-page list of all the emails in his account, which may contain as many as 500,000 emails. Howard argues that the government's search warrant is simply too broad, and that Benton's Gmail account contains both personal and political correspondence.

"Google has now officially joined the fight. Its lawyer, Guy Cook, told the court that the company will not turn over Benton's emails. 'Google cannot be held in contempt simply for allowing Mr. Benton to exercise his appellate rights and awaiting the district court’s ruling on the warrant’s validity,' Cook wrote. The company's position is that it will release emails only after the conflict over the search warrant has been resolved in court.

"A Google spokeswoman declined to discuss the case specifically but said the company won't comply with overly broad requests."

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/google-jumps-legal-fight-over-paul-aides
'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Seasteading Institute's floating cities of the future (video)


August 18, 2015 - "Seasteading, the concept of building floating cities that are independent of the government, is a big, expensive idea that would require billions of dollars and decades to see to completion. It’s hard to even imagine what these communities would look like. But a design competition for architects has done some imagining for us....

The Seasteading Institute, a group founded by Peter Thiel in 2008, views seasteading as the ideal solution to the government’s inability to 'innovate sufficiently.' It’s a movement that has grown up in the tech world, attracting interest from libertarians and techies alike (it was famously parodied in the second season of Silicon Valley, too). In a seminal story on seasteading that Wired published in 2009, the concept is described as the urban planning equivalent of Linux: 'a base upon which people can build their own innovative forms of governance.'

"This spring, the institute announced a competition that invited designers and architects to visualize these floating cities. It’s not so much that the group is ready to build them (lol) — rather, it seems like the competition was designed to drum up public interest. A picture of a floating city, replete with pools, yachts, gardens, and luxury housing, is worth a thousand words. Judged by architects, scientists, engineers, and seasteaders themselves, the competition wrapped up this month — and the results were recently posted online."

See designs here: http://gizmodo.com/designing-the-floating-libertarian-cities-of-the-seaste-1724827820


Saturday, August 22, 2015

KY GOP OK's Paul's plan for presidential caucus

Kentucky GOP OKs Caucus; Allows Rand Paul to Seek 2 Offices - ABC News - Adam Beam, Associated Press:

August 20, 2015 - The Kentucky Republican Party has agreed to hold a presidential caucus for Rand Paul - but only if he shows them the money.

"The party's executive committee approved a proposal on Saturday to hold a presidential caucus on March 5. The plan would let Paul run for president and re-election to his Senate seat at the same time without violating state law that bans candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election.

"But the caucus could cost as much as $500,000, and the Republican Party has less than $170,000 in cash on hand according to its latest disclosure report....

"Saturday, after a more than four hour meeting ... Republicans agreed to approve the caucus on one condition: The state party had to have $250,000 in its bank account by Sept. 18 specifically reserved for caucus expenses. If the money is not there by the deadline, the caucus would be canceled and Kentucky would have its regularly scheduled primary.

"Paul told reporters after the vote he was relieved, adding that getting the required two-thirds majority to approve the caucus was not easy....

"State law bans candidates from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election. Paul tried without success to convince the state legislature to change the law. A presidential caucus allows voters to vote for Paul for president on March 5 and then vote for him again for re-election to his Senate seat during the primary election on May 17.

"Saturday's vote passed 111-36, avoiding a potential embarrassment to Paul's presidential campaign."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/kentucky-gop-oks-caucus-rand-paul-presidential-run-33251268
'via Blog this'

Friday, August 21, 2015

DC lectures bring libertarian ideas to youth

David Boaz: 'Americans are looking for a new public philosophy; libertarianism' - The Mass Media: News - Winston Piette:

August 5, 2015 - "Over 200 young activists attended the Capitol Hill Lecture Series: Free Markets, Individual Liberty & Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation in Allison Auditorium on Jul. 29. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who gave the introductory remarks, and David Boaz,  executive vice president of the Cato Institute and author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, were among the many high-ranking free-market thinkers leading the lecture.

"'Americans are looking for a new public philosophy," Boaz states. 'The social conservative and  neo-conservative foreign policy agenda are rejected by the American people. And the big spending government has been a total failure.

"'Libertarian is the path to a safer and a more prosperous America', claims Boaz.... 'If you think about the issues that people are talking about today: legalizing marijuana, gay marriage, police misconduct, the role of Federal Reserve in the financial crisis and in the slowest recovery in memory, all these issues are about individuals' freedom'....

"Boaz argues that libertarian is a movement for personal and economics freedom. It is based on three fundamental principles: individuals rights, rights that someone has simply virtue of being. Spontaneous order, the idea that society is a result of human action, ... not ... human design. And a limited constitutional government, the concept that  people delegate power to the government to protect their rights....

"Boaz believes that Americans are leaning more and more toward libertarianism. 59 percent of Americans consider themselves to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal which,  he says, means 'a lot [of] Americans love the idea of getting the government out of their pocketbook and out their bedroom'....

"President of The Fund for American Studies Roger Ream, in his brief remarks,  hails Sen. Rand Paul as a strong advocate for the values of the limited constitutional government. 'He is someone who Americans look to for leadership in the area of returning and restoring investment, entrepreneurship and opportunities for all,' says Ream.

"The Capitol Hill Lecture Series is sponsored by the Einhorn Family Foundation and  hosted by the Fund for American Studies in partnership with the office of Sen. Rand Paul.  It is designed as a network for people who are interested in economic freedom and limited government. This summer lecture series features  influential speakers such as Peter Schiff, CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc.;  Matt Welch, editor in chief of Reason, the libertarian magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets", and David Boaz."

Read more: http://www.umassmedia.com/news/david-boaz-americans-are-looking-for-a-new-public-philosophy/article_c2a14642-3b7d-11e5-8825-1ba6ad9fc503.html
'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 20, 2015

NY Libertarians challenge state's Sullivan Law

Libertarians challenge New York’s pistol permit law - City & Region - Buffalo News - Phil Fairbanks:

August 17, 2015 - "When Edward Garrett moved here from South Dakota, he went about getting a pistol permit.

"Three years later, he’s suing New York State in Buffalo federal court....

"Garrett, a Town of Evans resident and the new chairman of the Erie County Libertarian Party ... is one of eight plaintiffs in a new civil suit challenging the constitutionality of New York’s pistol permit law, a gun control law dating to 1911 and the Tammany Hall days of New York City.

"The suit, filed on behalf of the local Libertarian Party, points to the time and cost involved in applying for a permit – they claim it can take up to a year – to suggest that the law is overly burdensome and therefore a violation of the Second Amendment.

"The plaintiffs also take issue with the various local governments charged with issuing permits and claim the decision-making on who gets them and who doesn’t can vary greatly from county to county.

"'The law is arbitrary in both its scope and authority,' said Richard Cooper, a Nassau County businessman and a former state chairman of the Libertarian Party. 'That’s inherently unfair'....

"The law, known to some as the Sullivan Act, named after the Tammany Hall politician who sponsored it, requires licenses for state residents who possess firearms small enough to be concealed.....

"The suit makes several references to government tyranny and the potential for what happened in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Pol Pot’s Cambodia to happen here. It also suggests that individuals have a right to self-defense and the defense of their families and that gun ownership is a fundamental part of that right.

"'Governments do abuse power,' said James Ostrowski, the Buffalo lawyer representing the plaintiffs. 'We’re not going to let the government deny us the right to bear arms.'

"Unlike previous legal challenges, Ostrowski thinks this lawsuit can be successful. He noted that the U.S. Supreme Court, in recent years, has struck down gun bans and recognized an individual’s right to bear arms in two landmark cases, District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago."

Read more: http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/federal-court/libertarians-challenge-new-yorks-pistol-permit-law-20150817
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Libertarian McFadzean running in Lakeland, AB

Candidate Q&A: Libertarian Robert McFadzean | Cold Lake Sun - Peter Lozinski:

August 17, 2015 - "It’s election season again. We spoke to each of the candidates and asked them an identical list of questions. This week we spoke to candidates in the Lakeland riding.

Here’s the point-of-view of Libertarian Party candidate Robert McFadzean. 


Q: What are your three main platform points?
A: "The first point would be free enterprise in place of government enterprise - that is running things through private enterprise instead of having the bureaucracy run things.

"The second one would be using free market regulation as opposed to government regulation, and the third one would be a free or sound money system in place of our current money system which continually devalues our money...

Q: How would you describe your chances?
A: "Look at voting patterns. Roughly 50 per cent of the voters actually get out and vote, and of course the winner of the election gets 25 per cent plus of that vote.

"I guess what I’m saying as far as the Libertarian (party) is concerned, and like you say, it has been going conservative all these years, would be looking at those people who are just not voting because they don’t think there’s anything to vote for, which is essentially where I’ve been at the past two years.

"I don’t see any choice between these other parties that are basically tax and regulate-type platforms.

"I think the Libertarians [are] an alternative that might appeal to people that haven’t been voting, and maybe we can get some traction there.

Q: Many issues are interconnected between Cold Lake and Bonnyville. How well will you work with whoever wins in the other riding?
A: "If I was a single libertarian member of parliament, I doubt if I would have a lot of influence as far as the federal government would concern.

"I don’t think that’s the way that I’m going to campaign, promising people that I’m going to do a lot for them in specific issues or groups that are vying for special privileges. my platform is Canadians in general, we need liberty from government involvement in our lives and our businesses. That’s where I’m coming from."

Read more: http://www.coldlakesun.com/2015/08/17/candidate-qa-libertarian-robert-mcfadzean
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Marijuana legalization initiative on 2015 Ohio ballot

Ohio prepares to vote on marijuana legalization: which states will be next? | US news | The Guardian - Scott Keyes:

August 17, 2015 - "Ohio officials approved a bid last week to get recreational and medical marijuana legalization on the 3 November ballot. Thus far, Ohio is the only state where voters will consider pot legalization in the 2015 election. But ... a number of states, including California, Massachusetts and Arizona, are already laying the groundwork to legalize recreational pot. They just won’t put it on the ballot until 2016, lining up with the presidential election.

"The conventional wisdom has been that such votes are more likely to pass if they’re held during presidential elections when turnout is significantly higher....

"What’s indisputable, though, is that legalization advocates across the country have momentum. Recreational marijuana has been on a winning streak since 2012, and by 2016 the number of states embracing legalization could more than double....

"ResponsibleOhio executive director Ian James said his group targeted 2015 precisely because there will be lower turnout. 'Seventy-four per cent of votes in off-off year elections comes from major metros and college counties. Those tend to be more our voters,' he said. In effect, James is betting that thousands of young voters who wouldn’t have shown up otherwise will turn out this November to vote for legalization, enough to swing a low-turnout election.

"In addition, James argued: 'Having a smaller turnout lets us have a much deeper, more adult discussion with voters. Unlike in a presidential year when it becomes more of a partisan vote, we don’t have that partisan angle to this'....

""The only public polling on the matter, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found 52% of voters in favor and 44% opposed to legalization in Ohio. According to ResponsibleOhio’s internal polling, support is, unsurprisingly, highest among young voters and, surprisingly, extraordinarily high even among Republicans between the ages of 18 and 35, with around 80% in favor....

"The group submitted 320,267 valid signatures to get the ballot initiative approved, just clearing the minimum of 305,591 signatures from Ohio voters.

"If the initiative passes, advocates say, Ohio could enjoy a significant tax revenue windfall, as states like Colorado have, in addition to law enforcement savings on the $100m the state now spends enforcing marijuana prohibition. 'You’re filling potholes with pot money,' James said. And as in other states, the initiative also aims to address racial disparities. In Ohio, blacks are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses than white Ohioans, despite similar rates of usage."

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/17/legalized-marijuana-states-recreational-medicinal-ohio
'via Blog this'

Monday, August 17, 2015

Neil Armstrong's spacesuit saved by private funding

Kickstarter Saved Neil Armstrong's Spacesuit | Foundation for Economic Education - David J. Herbert:

August 11, 2015 - "Last month, the Smithsonian Institute launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore on the moon 46 years ago. Not only was the goal met in just four days, but, with a week left, the campaign has already beaten its target by over $135,000....

"Let’s set aside for now the question of whether preserving a spacesuit constitutes a worthwhile government project and instead focus on the important lesson here: We don’t need to automatically think that only government should fund public projects. Where Neil Armstrong took a giant leap for mankind, the American public has taken a small step towards smaller government.

"Traditional economic literature contends that (1) public goods exist, (2) the market cannot supply them, (3) these goods must be supplied by government, and (4) government must tax citizens in order to pay for providing them. These taxes are, as the old saying goes, 'the price we pay for a civilized society.'

"In successfully funding this campaign, the American people once again demonstrated that chain of reasoning is not as sound as econ textbooks assume. When Congress refused to fund preserving a part of the nation’s history, the American people stepped up and did it themselves....

"While crowd-funding public projects in this fashion is relatively new, it nevertheless has been used in other situations where conventional wisdom suggests a need for government funds....

"This speaks volumes to the American people. Despite the fact that Congress has a budget of many trillions of dollars this year, we’re already hearing that some organizations are going to have to economize and prioritize what projects they undertake, and there’s even a looming threat of sequestration in the fall.

"What this Kickstarter campaign effectively says is that the American people have had enough with a Washington bureaucracy that systematically fails to provide the things we care about. We don’t care about politics, grandstanding, or budget tricks. We care about getting things done. Today, we have yet another shining example of how unnecessary government is for getting what we want.

"Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other crowd-funding websites provide a way for the American public to fund projects in a way that has previously been prohibitively costly. It allows all of us to contribute what we think is right towards causes that we as individuals care about. Thanks to these websites, there is no mystery as to where your dollars go because you specifically chose which projects to fund.

"The time has come for the American public to wrest control of the public purse from Washington bureaucrats who would rather grandstand and bicker with one another than effect real change. Crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding public projects provides a means of returning this power directly to the people. "

Read more: http://fee.org/anythingpeaceful/kickstarter-saved-neil-armstrongs-spacesuit
'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New book from Independent Institute's Higgs

Taking a Stand: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Economy - The Independent Institute:

July 28, 2015 - "Renowned economist and historian Robert Higgs has pioneered a whole new understanding of the causes, means, and effects of government power and the need to deconstruct statism and re-establish institutions that protect and advance liberty, prosperity, and peace.

"In the course of his work, he has completed seminal work on such issues as health care, the environment, law and economics, urban development, race discrimination, agriculture, immigration, war and peace, economic development, government spending and debt, welfare, money and banking, presidential power, civil liberties, the Great Depression, science, unemployment, and far more.

"Now Taking a Stand offers the grand opportunity to make his vast insights available to general readers by combining his keen analysis with his engaging wit, humility and compassion in order to charm, educate and inspire people on the moral and practical imperative of individual liberty, entrepreneurship and innovation, peace, economic growth, personal responsibility, civic virtue, and the rule of law....

"Higgs may be the most outspoken scholar on the most pivotal development of our time: the growth of the state and the eclipse of individual liberty. Long known for his work on how national emergencies fueled the growth of American government and how the threat of state aggression can prolong economic stagnation, Higgs is equally insightful on the defects of Western democracy, the insidiousness of the welfare-warfare state, the mythmaking of political elites and entrenched bureaucrats, and the quirks and quacks of academia.

"These strengths are on full display in Taking a Stand: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Economy, a collection of ninety-nine shorter pieces Higgs has written for the most part for The Beacon and The Independent Review over the past several years. Together, they show the depth and breadth of a writer who possesses both mastery over his subject matter and an uncanny knack for turning a phrase....

"Taking a Stand is Higgs’s most diverse and most personal book yet—and perhaps his most compulsively readable. The book delves into topics as far afield as the hypocrisy of America’s political establishment, the hidden causes of the U.S. economy’s post-2009 malaise, the challenges facing liberty’s advocates, Higgs’s own personal and professional heroes, and even his journey from the muddy economic mainstream to the clear waters of Austrian economics (written in hilarious verse, no less)."

Read more: http://www.independent.org/store/book.asp?id=115&s=hp1#t-0
  'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Walter Block to Canadian libertarians: Run for LPC

Open Letter to Canadian Libertarians from Walter Block | The Dollar Vigilante:

May 21, 2015 - "'“Why Canada needs more election debates' from the April 23, 2015 edition of Maclean’s Magazine ... mentions only six political parties in Canada (Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc Québécois and Forces et Démocratie). But is there any such organization that he overlooks? Go to the head of the class if you note the absence of the only political party in Canada that actually supports limited government, private property rights, legalization of victimless “crimes,” economic freedom and a non-interventionistic foreign policy. That is, of course, the Canadian Libertarian Party.

"Why this insulting oversight? Of course the main reason is that the powers that be (Maclean's, other major media) are not exactly in sympathy with the libertarian philosophy. But another cause is that high profile libertarians in Canada – and yes, yes, there are many – simply do not run for office on the Libertarian Party ticket. So I ask you, I plead with you, please contact the Canadian Libertarian Party and offer to run for Parliament in the next election....

"This insult, and insult it was, simply could not occur in the U.S. There, of course, the Libertarian Party is much stronger than in Canada, and cannot as easily be totally ignored. True, libertarianism in the U.S. has been fueled by the Ron Paul phenomenon.... There is no such phenomenon in Canada at present, unfortunately. But, there wasn’t always one in the U.S. either. It always has to start somewhere. If not right now, when is better?

"Running for office need not be an arduous task. A paper candidacy, where you do absolutely nothing but lend your name for this purpose, is better than leaving any ridings completely uncovered. Of course, the more you do in this regard the better for promoting liberty, and running for MP will give you a megaphone otherwise unavailable to you. Murray N. Rothbard, Mr. Libertarian, used to say that the average guy was mainly interested in beer, pizza and bowling (substitution for Canada: hockey) most of the time. But, whenever there was a national election, this man in the street could sometimes become interested in politics at least for a brief moment, and that we could best acquaint him with our philosophy on these occasions. No truer words were ever uttered.

"Of course, of course, politics is far from the only way to promote our beloved libertarian philosophy. There are many other roads to this end. But, the political system is surely one of them. Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul. He has brought more people to our camp than any other person now living, and he did it all though the ballot box; I rest my case if anyone really doubts that political action, too, can promote liberty; hey, the first step, surely, is to announce that we’re here and not going away.

"There are some highly credentialed libertarians who believe voting, let alone running for office, is incompatible with our perspective. They are entirely wrong, if libertarianism is defined as adherence to the non-aggression principle (NAP). Is voting a per se violation of the NAP? Of course not. Is running for office and losing, necessarily an uninvited border crossing onto someone else’s person or property? Of course not. Is winning and actually taking office incompatible, if the MP becomes a Dr. No like Ron Paul and votes against every bill incompatible with our philosophy? It is really difficult to see how this can be the case.

"But, do we not give “sanction” to the state when we enter the dirty realm of politics? No more so than when we use a government road, its post office, carry its currency in our wallets, visit a public park or museum, go to a public school, etc. This applies even to those of us who eat food, wear clothing, live in housing, etc., since the omnipresent state is involved in all of those things. My book on Ron Paul is almost entirely devoted to making the case that politics and libertarianism, correctly understood, are not logically incompatible.

"So, please, Canadians, if you value liberty at all, seriously consider running for office on the Libertarian Party ticket."

Read more: https://www.dollarvigilante.com/blog/2015/05/21/open-letter-to-canadian-libertarians.html
'via Blog this'

Friday, August 14, 2015

Miner carries Libertarian flag in Prince George

Gold miner sets sights on change in carrying the Libertarian flag - William Stodalka, Alaska Highway News:

August 12, 2015 - "A gold miner is hoping to make history by becoming the region's first Libertarian MP.

"Todd Keller, who is currently working a grueling 27-days-on, three-days-off shift at a gold mine in the Yukon, is carrying the Libertarian banner in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding in the upcoming federal election on Oct. 19.

"'I have become frustrated with all previous government's economic policies,' Keller wrote in an email interview with the Alaska Highway News.

"'Taxation is out of control and there is virtually no wage growth'....

"Keller decided to run as a Libertarian after talking with their party’s leader, Tim Moen, saying he was 'convinced that the Libertarian Party has the leadership and the direction to be a serious contender to form the next Government of Canada with Tim Moen as its Prime Minister.'

"Libertarians call for the government to step away from many of its current functions, and instead leave those functions up to individuals and the private sector.

"Keller cited the government's involvement with the CBC as an example.... 'I would sell the CBC on the Toronto Stock Exchange with an IPO to the Canadian people only,' he wrote.

"'I would further require the CBC to pay a monthly dividend to their new shareholders so the investors can begin to get some of their billions back from years of paying tax dollars into this broadcast machine.'

"On domestic policy matters, Keller wants to affect change with regards to individual rights, saying he finds it 'a travesty' governments violates the rights of individuals in this country. Keller cited Bill C-51 as an example of legislation violating or threatening a number of Canada’s fundamental freedoms....

"'I think the Conservative Party wants the opportunity to violate your civil rights and devalue your money for their own selfish interests,' he said. 'To "win over" people (who typically vote for a mainstream party candidate) people need to realize they are a lot more Libertarian than they think they are. I recommend everyone Google search the word 'Libertarianism' and see for themselves how much of themselves are actually a part of it.'”

Read more: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/gold-miner-sets-sights-on-change-in-carrying-the-libertarian-flag-1.2028295
'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 13, 2015

3 million gallons of toxic mine waste released into Colorado river by Environmental Protection Agency

EPA chief: Colorado mine spill 'pains me' | KSL.com - Michael Biesecker, Associated Press:

August 11, 2015 - "The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday her department takes full responsibility for spilling 3 million gallons of mining waste that turned a southwest Colorado river an unnatural shade of orange, adding it 'pains me to no end.'

"Gina McCarthy made the comments as her agency comes under increased scrutiny after federal and contract workers accidentally unleashed the spill last week while inspecting the abandoned Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado.

"The contaminated water that flowed into a tributary of the Animas and San Juan rivers contained high levels of arsenic, lead and other potentially toxic heavy metals. McCarthy expressed regret that the spill occurred and said her agency has 'added responsibility here'....

"The accident comes at a sensitive time for the EPA, a frequent and favorite target of conservatives and pro-business groups. McCarthy spoke Tuesday as part of an event on the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan, which mandates steep greenhouse gas emission cuts from U.S. power plants.

"State and local officials in the areas affected by the spill have characterized EPA's initial response as too slow and too small. It took about 24 hours to first notify some downstream communities of the accident and the agency originally underestimated the volume of the spill.

"The plume of pollution has since flowed at least 100 miles downstream to New Mexico, where towns and cities have been forced to close their intake valves to protect public water supplies."

Read more: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=151&sid=35918688&title=epa-chief-colorado-mine-spill-pains-me
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Amnesty International: decriminalize sex trade

Amnesty approves policy to decriminalise sex trade | World news | The Guardian - Jessica Elgot:

August 11, 2015 - "Amnesty International has approved a policy to endorse the decriminalisation of the sex trade.

"At its decision-making forum in Dublin, the human rights group approved the resolution to recommend 'full decriminalisation of all aspects of consensual sex work'.

"It argued that its research suggested decriminalisation was the best way to defend the rights of sex workers, rejecting complaints by women’s groups who said it was tantamount to advocating the legalisation of pimping and brothel-owning.

"'We recognise that this critical human rights issue is hugely complex and that is why we have addressed this issue from the perspective of international human rights standards,' said Salil Shetty, the secretary general of Amnesty International. 'We also consulted with our global movement to take on board different views from around the world.'

"Amnesty’s decision is important because the organisation will use its weight to lobby governments to accept its point of view.

"Many former sex workers have criticised the decision.... However Amnesty’s decision has also been welcomed by some sex industry figures. 'I am thrilled,' said Laura Lee, an Irish sex worker and activist. 'It is the best way forward to take sex work out of the Dark Ages and give us the rights and protection we deserve.'

Morgane Merteuil, a former sex worker and general secretary of the French sex workers’ trade union Strass, told Newsweek: 'We support this because from experience we know that criminalisation harms sex workers, their human rights and their capacity to self-organise and fight against abusers.

"'The crimes committed against sex workers are already crimes. But the law against pimping also criminalises individuals who come into contact with prostitutes. It makes it harder for sex workers to build relationships, it means they can’t tell people what they do, they can’t share their money and they can’t get access to healthcare.'"

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/11/amnesty-approves-policy-to-decriminalise-sex-trade
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Paul vs. Christie in the first Republican debate

Rand Paul and Chris Christie Clash on NSA Spying in the Republican Debate - The Atlantic - Conor Friedersdorf:

August 7, 2015 - "One of the biggest clashes in the Republican debate Thursday night came after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked about his past attacks on Senator Rand Paul. The two men disagree about an NSA program that spied on tens of millions of innocent Americans by logging all phone calls they dialed and received. Paul, a leading critic of the phone dragnet, has argued that it flagrantly violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures....

“'Do you really believe you can assign blame to Senator Paul just for opposing the bulk collection of people's phone records in the event of a terrorist attack?” a moderator asked Thursday.... 'Yes, I do,' [Christie] said. 'And I'll tell you why: because I'm the only person on this stage who's actually filed applications under the Patriot Act, who has gone before the Foreign Intelligence Service court, who has prosecuted, investigated, and jailed terrorists in this country after September 11th.... And I will make no apologies, ever, for protecting the lives and safety of the American people. We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way.' In fact, the phone dragnet has never stopped a single terrorist attack, during Chris Christie’s tenure as a U.S. attorney or at any other time....

"Paul responded to Thursday’s attack by expressing his preference for targeted surveillance rather than an expansive dragnet that sweeps up everyone’s metadata. 'I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans,” he said. 'The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence. I'm proud of standing for the Bill of Rights. I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights.'

"Christie was ready with a retort.... 'You know, that's a completely ridiculous answer: "I want to "collect more records from terrorists, but less records from other people." How are you supposed to know?' 'Get a warrant!' Paul said. 'Get a judge to sign the warrant!'

“Listen, Senator, you know, when you're sitting in a subcommittee, just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,' he said. 'When you're responsible for protecting the lives of the American people, then what you need to do is to make sure –– to make sure that you use the system the way that it’s supposed to work.'

"In fact, 'get a judge to sign a warrant' is a rather succinct description of how 'the system' is 'supposed to work,' if we define 'the system' as the Constitution rather than national-security officials following their gut instincts. It’s hardly 'blowing hot air' for a senator to call on the executive branch to follow the law....

"On Fox News after the debate, a couple of commentators suggested that Christie won his exchange with Paul. I cannot comment on the style preferences of a GOP voter base that presently prefers Donald Trump to all other candidates. But on substance, Paul easily bested Christie in this exchange.... Christie seems oblivious to the basic logic of the Bill of Rights. The constraints it places on government are not suspended in the aftermath of a terrorist attack –– they are, in fact, most important precisely when a polity is panicked and officials are unusually able to seize excessive power without criticism. His praise for leaders unapologetically jettisoning such constraints in the name of protecting us is more dangerous than any terrorist plot in U.S. history."

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/rand-paul-and-chris-christie-clash-on-nsa-spying/400718/
'via Blog this'

Monday, August 10, 2015

Libertarians removed from city ballot in Indiana

Libertarian candidates removed from ballot - Herald Bulletin: Local News - Ken de la Bastide:

August 8, 2015 - "The five Libertarian Party candidates running for office in the city of Anderson have been removed from the November ballot for a violation of state law.

"The Election Board voted unanimously Friday to remove the candidates because their declarations of candidacy were not certified by the state party chairman.

"A complaint with the Election Board was filed by Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, alleging state election laws were violated by the Libertarian Party.

"State law requires that local candidates be nominated at a convention and that ballot vacancies have to be certified by the chairman of the state party.

"The applications to be included on the ballot for elected positions filed with the Madison County Clerk’s office indicate that there was no local party convention, and the vacancies were certified by Greg Noland, chairman of the Madison County Libertarian Party.

"Election Board attorney Jeff Graham said the Election Board was in a difficult position.... Graham said when the complaint was filed he wanted to determine how the candidates could remain on the ballot.

"'The board is constrained by state statute,' he said. 'It’s tough to get around.'"

Read more: http://www.heraldbulletin.com/news/local_news/libertarian-candidates-removed-from-ballot/article_d05cc1f2-3d36-11e5-b3ef-8bcb17974ed2.html
'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Libertarian Party: Freedom is for everyone

Libertarian party pledges freedom for all | Hinton Parklander - Dayla Brown:

August 7, 2015 - "The federal election has been announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Oct. 19 causing the most expensive election in Canadian history, according to Global News. It will also be the longest, embarking on a whopping 78-day campaign.

"For the Yellowhead riding ... Cory Lystang, Libertarian, said that he’s excited about the election and feels good about the party’s platform....

"Lystang said he completely left politics in 2011, refusing to even vote due to a loss of confidence in the government. He began to read into laws such as property rights and firearms rights through social media. Lystang explained that over the past three years he has been following the Libertarian Party of Canada.

"'All the basic principles of the Libertarian Party of Canada I agree with 100 per cent,' he said. 'There’s no compromises on the fact that everybody can be free and freedom is for everyone.'

"Lystang explained that the party’s platform aims to make the government smaller, more fiscally sound and more transparent.

"'We don’t think that the government needs to be this huge entity that tells everybody what to do and collects everybody’s money and then throws it back to us. With the federal government as it stands right now, over 50 per cent of our budget is transfer payments back to provinces,' he explained. 'So imagine if we left all that money in the provinces and the [federal] bureaucrats didn’t get their cut of it, we’d be doing a lot more with our money.'

"'Nobody has really looked at a platform that allows for everyone to be free,' he said. 'So if I say,"I don’t think it’s a big deal if somebody smokes marijuana," I don’t smoke marijuana myself, but it doesn’t hurt me, then people are going to say, "well what about all the damaging effects?"'

"Lystang said that Portugal has almost beaten the war on drugs by changing the way they view drugs and addictions. The Libertarian Party plans to legalize marijuana and decriminalize drugs to allow people to receive help instead of facing charges because of possession or other drug-related incidents....

"Lystang said the Libertarian Party is, 'not advocating the use of drugs, we’re advocating the idea that if you do something and you’re not hurting someone else, it’s your choice. We will give them a way or give them help to get away from it so they don’t use.'

"However, the Libertarian Party would not provide more government-funded programs. Lystang explained that the party believes more in 'voluntary funding'. By decreasing taxes for all Canadians, Lystang said citizens would be more able to invest money into programs that they believe in."

Read more: http://www.hintonparklander.com/2015/08/07/libertarian-party-pledges-freedom-for-all
'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 8, 2015

New York LP adopts ambitious growth program

Audacious goals drive Glogowski’s New York Libertarian Party - The Daily News Online - Jim Krencik:

"Building a political party out of a '43-year social club' is a challenge that Mark Glogowski has embraced since his election as state Libertarian Party chairman in April.

"Glogowski, twice a candidate for the Assembly seat covering Orleans and Genesee counties, spoke with attendees at both counties’ fairs this year about their own political philosophies and encouraged them to be more involved....

"He’s tasked himself with doubling the 11 county-level parties and dramatically increasing the 6,000 registered Libertarians there were at the beginning of the year.

"Both pushes will give New York more clout in the party’s 2016 presidential nominating convention and help with getting candidates [on] the ballot, but Glogowski is setting his sights even higher.

"'We’re easily going (to double) our number of chapters, and if we can get to 50,000 registered members, I think by 2019 we can be the second-largest party in the state, without taking from the Democrats or Republicans,' Glogowski said.

"After joining the party as a disaffected Republican in 2009, Glogowski has risen quickly to the Libertarian’s top post. The most recent leap came at the 2015 state convention. The party’s chairman was stepping down after five years, and he was among those to enter the ring for the post.... 'An increasing number of people jumped onto my bandwagon, and the next thing I know I’m the chairman,' Glogowski said.

"Since then, Erie and Niagara Libertarians have formed county-level parties, with Wyoming, Chautauqua and Orleans set to be formalized by the end of the year, with Tioga and Chenango to follow.

"Having more organizations with stronger control at the local level has already borne fruit, Glogowski said. Genesee County split off from the regional Greater Rochester party in 2013, and he sees them as the role model for the new or coming parties in Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Orleans.

"'They very quickly focused on the aspect that as a social club, (members of other parties) could join, and as a consequence, Democrats and Republicans and Greens were all trying to impose views on how the government should run. The Genesee County party is for the purpose of promoting the libertarian worldview.

"'They limited officerships to registered Libertarians and endorsements to Libertarians. It’s a huge step forward ... we have a very clear description of what we stand for.'"

Read more: http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_c34d0906-3c03-11e5-ab4d-b7c718d654fd.html
'via Blog this'

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rand Paul goes on offensive in first GOP debate

In GOP Debate, Rand Paul Goes on Offense - US News - David Catanese:

August 7, 2015 - "Donald Trump may have wanted to avoid a fight in the first Republican presidential primary debate of the season.

"But Rand Paul had other ideas....

"An energized Paul seized on Trump's answer to the first question of the evening, when the real estate mogul refused to pledge not to run a third-party candidacy if he failed to attain the Republican nomination.

"'He's already hedging his bets because he's used to buying politicians,' Paul interjected in a moment that kick-started a highly charged debate.

"Almost 50 minutes later, Paul interrupted Trump again when the bombastic businessman tried to explain away his past support for a Canadian-style health care system.

"'News flash: The Republican Party has been fighting against a single-payer health system for a decade,' Paul charged.

"Trump mostly shrugged off the slight, telling Paul, 'You're having a hard time tonight.'

"He could have gone back at Paul much harder in typical Trump bluster. But the national leader in GOP primary polling wasn't too hot or too cold. He didn't provide many specifics on issues. He also didn't launch any over-the-top attacks....

"If anything, the debate highlighted how difficult it is to stand out in a field of 10, which is why Paul appeared to take the biggest risk of the evening by going on the offensive.

"His other tussle came with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over national security.

"When Paul said he wanted the National Security Agency to 'collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent Americans,' Christie called the answer 'completely ridiculous.'

"Paul subsequently stressed that those seeking records should obtain a warrant.

"'Senator, you know, when you're sitting in a subcommittee just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,' Christie said as the two began talking over each other.

"Paul then delivered his most effective blow of the night.

"'I don't trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug,' he said, referring to Christie's embrace of the president following Hurricane Sandy but right before the 2012 election.

"The audience of about 4,500 burst into roaring gasps and applause in response to the line. That embrace of President Barack Obama has haunted Christie for three years, sowing distrust among the conservative base, and Paul pulled off the scab."

Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/run-2016/2015/08/07/in-gop-debate-rand-paul-goes-on-offense
'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Indiana county GOP wants Libertarians off ballot

GOP challenges Libertarian Party candidates - Herald Bulletin: Local News - Ken de la Bastide:

August 3, 2015 - "The Madison County Election Board is being asked to remove the five Libertarian Party candidates from the November ballot.

"A complaint was filed with the election board by Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, alleging state election laws have been violated by the Libertarian Party.

"State law requires that local candidates be nominated at a convention and that ballot vacancies have to be certified by the chairman of the state party.

"The applications for a candidate to be included on the ballot, which were [filed] with the Madison County Clerk's office, indicate there was no local party convention and the vacancies were certified by Greg Noland, chairman of the Madison County Libertarian Party.

"The candidacies being challenged include those of Rob Jozwiak for Anderson mayor; Tracy Walser for Anderson city clerk; Chris Nealis, city council District 5; Robert Walser, city council, District 6; and Brad Kirby, city council at-large."

Read more: http://www.heraldbulletin.com/news/local_news/gop-challenges-libertarian-party-candidates/article_db978ab0-397c-11e5-b3e6-ab09fbb1c544.html
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Jesse Benton charged with bribery over 2011 case

Rand Paul 2016: Jesse Benton, Super PAC head, indicted in payment scheme - Politico - Kyle Cheney, Katie Glueck, & Manu Raju:

 August 5, 2015 - "A close confidant of Sen. Rand Paul was indicted Wednesday for an alleged conspiracy to bribe an Iowa state senator in 2011 to shift allegiances to Paul’s father, Ron, then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

"Jesse Benton, a longtime aide to the younger Paul who’s now helming a super PAC supporting the Kentucky Republican’s 2016 presidential bid, faces charges of conspiracy, obstructing an investigation, submitting false campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission and making false statements to the FBI. Two other operatives, John Tate and Dimitrios Kesari, also face charges connected to the alleged payoff....

"'Senator Rand Paul is disappointed that the Obama justice department chose to release this just prior to the highly anticipated first Republican presidential debate,' said a campaign spokesman, who asked not to be identified. 'It certainly appears suspiciously timed and possibly, politically motivated. Additionally, these actions are from 2012 and have nothing to do with our campaign'....

"According to the Justice Department, the three operatives paid more than $70,000 — concealed as legitimate campaign expenditures — to then-state Sen. Kent Sorenson in order to shift his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann to the elder Paul. Sorenson made his switch public on Dec. 28, 2011, in Des Moines. The three operatives also coached Sorenson to lie when asked whether he was offered money for his support, according to the indictment....

"The super PAC Benton runs, America’s Liberty PAC, is one of three pro-Rand Paul presidential super PACs. The other two are Concerned American Voters, run by Jeff Frazee and Matt Kibbe, and Purple PAC, run by Ed Crane. America’s Liberty PAC, however, is the one super PAC that’s been sanctioned by the Paul campaign, and on its website it describes itself as the “only Super PAC endorsed by Senator Paul.”

"The fresh headlines of the scandal, which came one day before the first Republican debate, could impact not only Paul’s presidential ambitions, but also his reelection bid for his Senate seat. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Wednesday blasted out a story on the indictment with the subject line 'Hey Rand, We’ll See You When You Drop Out Of The Presidential Race!'

"Benton, 37, had been a rising star in GOP politics and is a Paul family member. (He is married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter, who is Rand Paul’s niece.) With his deep ties to the libertarian movement, Benton has long had clout among the conservative grass roots."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/rand-paul-2016-jesse-benton-super-pac-121034.html
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Koch urges business to oppose corporate welfare

Charles Koch Urges Conservatives to Skip ‘Corporate Welfare’ - Philip Elliot, Time:

August 1, 2015 - "Conservative billionaire Charles Koch told his ultra-rich friends that they face a 'life and death' decision whether to keep lobbying for tax breaks and government subsidies.

"'Business leaders (must) recognize that their behavior is suicide, that it is suicide long term. To survive, long-term, they have to start opposing, rather than promoting, corporate welfare,' Koch told about 450 allies at an Orange County, Calif., summit that began Saturday....

"'Obviously, this prescription will not be an easy pill for many business people to swallow. Because short term, taking the principled path is going to cost some companies some profits, as it will for Koch Industries,' the 79-year-old Koch said. 'But long term, it will allow business people to continue to own and run their businesses, which none of us will be able to do, in my view, in the future otherwise.'

"He pointed to big banks that took 'virtually free money from the Fed' and bailouts in exchange for regulations. 'Now, the chickens are coming home to roost,' Koch said. 'The Fed is taking control of these banks. The Fed now decides what businesses they can be in and how they run those businesses.' Koch said 'regulators, auditors, controllers' are implanted at the banks to keep tabs. The banks, Koch argued, end up making political donations to avoid too much oversight.

"Koch warned that other businesses would be next if their leaders continue taking government subsidies. 'This means stopping the subsidies, mandates and special privileges for business that enriches the haves at the expense of the have-nots,' Koch said.

"It’s that class distinction that Koch has made the focus of seminars at the luxurious resort. 'In my view, we’re heading toward a two-tiered society, a society that is destroying opportunities for the disadvantaged and creating welfare for the rich,' Koch said. 'Misguided policies are creating a permanent underclass, crippling our economy and corrupting the business community — present company excepted, of course. But what this is doing, then, is turning more and more Americans against what they mistakenly believe is free enterprise.'

"With his brother David, Koch is among the most powerful players in Republican politics by virtue of their wealth.... Koch’s opinions shape opinions among rank-and-file conservatives and congressional leaders alike. In fact, five White House hopefuls planned to cycle through the three-day summit in Dana Point, Calif. At least 14 members of Congress or Governors were on-hand, as well....

The Koch-backed network plans to spend $889 million ahead of the 2016 elections... Some of it, advisers say, will be spent pushing against what Koch sees as unjustifiable corporate welfare."

Read more: http://time.com/3981312/charles-koch-corporate-welfare/

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lystang's second Libertarian campaign in Alberta

Cory Lystang running in federal election | Drayton Valley Western Review - Mammta Lulla:

July 27, 2015 - "Cory Lystang from the Libertarian Party of Canada has been chosen once again to represent his party in the upcoming 2015 federal election.

"'Our message starts from fewer taxes, less government and more freedom. We want to shrink government down, make it more fiscally responsibly, so it doesn’t cost as much, which will be extremely large tax savings for the public,' said Lystang.

"The candidate was last chosen in the November 2014 by-election that took place in Yellowhead district.... Lystang agreed he is new to politics and his campaigning involves going out and meeting people.

"'I am trying to get out to farmers markets and talk to people because the biggest thing is I am new to politics and nobody really knows who I am so that’s what my campaign is, it is trying to get out and talk to people and let them know there are other options,' he said....

"'I want to try and talk to the regular person, the person that’s out working in the oilfield. The ones who don’t want to vote anymore because there is nobody to speak for them. I am an oilfield worker. I grew up on a farm. I know what it’s like paying huge tax bills. So I want to reach out to more people like me which I believe are the majority in Alberta.'

"Being a gun enthusiast, he travels to gun shows and spreads the word of his party.

"During the by-election in November last year, Lystang had said guns are tools in the right hands. [W]hy should firearms be illegal if it’s already illegal to kill? It’s laws like these which nobody understands. Firearms in the right hands are tools, not weapons, police have them,' he had explained....

"'Once you can get 10 per cent of the people in an area to embrace a new idea, it certainly becomes common choice of normal. So if we can get to the point of 10 percent of people embracing the idea of libertarianism in Yellowhead district, you are going to see a major shift. That is our main goal,' he said.

"'I am not going to make an estimate that I am going to hit 10 per cent but I would absolutely love to see myself above 10 per cent at the end of this election, and if you remember the provincial election anything is possible if I can get the right message to the right people,' he said.

Lystang can be contacted at cory.lystang@libertarian.ca or search Cory Lystang on Facebook. More information about his party can be found on libertarian.ca."

Read more: http://www.draytonvalleywesternreview.com/2015/07/27/cory-lystang-running-in-federal-election
'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tim Moen on Libertarian political action

Fort Mac Philosopher: Political Campaigning - Answering Critics - Tim Moen, leader, Libertarian Party of Canada:

March 22, 2014 - "I have wrestled with the paralyzing idea that having imperfect philosophy, not knowing the ultimate 'Truth' can result in unintended harms when acted upon. This is obviously an impossible standard to meet, and so then how is one to proceed?...

"Doing nothing is obviously not an option. Sitting still is dying. Humans don't live or survive by doing nothing and waiting for perfect philosophy. I've come to believe that the best way to proceed is by paying attention to the process of proceeding and being open to course correction as better reason and evidence present themselves. Philosopher Peter Boghossian calls this doxastic openness and contrasts it with doxastic closure which is essentially another name for dogma. To use a cliche it is about the journey not the destination.

"So I am proceeding on a course of trying to create positive change in the world by advancing the message of liberty. I want to be open to reason and evidence....

"When I hear criticism being levelled my way by fellow liberty activists I take it seriously. You are unlikely to come to the liberty movement in todays day and age through parental or institutional propaganda, in fact those are all the forces you must overcome. So liberty lovers are typically people who have reasoned their way into that position and I take what they have to say seriously. I could be on the wrong course and I need to be open to course correction.

"A friend and fellow liberty lover has been the most vocal critic of my campaign. Here is something he posted the other day that he admits is directed at me:

"The state is as good a tool for preaching liberty as is the church for preaching atheism."

"At first blush this seems to make some sense. Being the state while arguing against the state or being the church while arguing against the church seems to be self-defeating.... It's important to remember that the state doesn't exist as a material entity, it doesn't act, only people act, so what you are talking about when you use the words 'the state' is a set of beliefs that reside in ones brain and inform ones actions. If someone is devoid of these beliefs and therefore devoid of actions that lead to more initiation of force then can that be called 'the state?' It seems to me that is just a dude preaching non-aggression and trying to disabuse people of delusional beliefs, even if that dude participated in a popularity contest and most people think that gives him extra rights. His entering into the popularity contest did not create the delusion in others, but by getting in front of the delusional maybe he can influence them.

"I certainly don't want to be wrong and I don't think you do either.... So in the spirit of doxastic openness here is the evidence that could be presented to me that would convince me that what I'm doing is harmful to the liberty movement:
  1. Show me that preaching to the converted is more effective than reaching out to the "lost" in my particular circumstances. 
  2. Show me that the state exists as a material entity and not an abstraction, or explain to me how a person who is widely believed to have a monopoly of force actually has those rights as opposed to being perceived to have those rights.
  3. Provide me with evidence that I could be doing something more effective.... ME, not you or someone else and not some Platonic version of me that's in your head. 
  4. Show me some evidence that what I am doing is creating delusion that didn't previously exist. 
  5. Explain to me how someone who is committed to peace and non-aggression taking a spot that would otherwise be occupied by a politician interested in using the guns of government is not making the world safer?
"Now I would ask you to consider the evidence it would take you to reconsider whether what you are doing is the best course of action for your mission in life."

Read more: http://fortmacphilosopher.blogspot.ca/2014/03/political-campaigning-answering-critics_22.html
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Saturday, August 1, 2015

The U.S. government: Too big to succeed

Why the Federal Government Fails - Cato Institute Policy Analysis 777 - Chris Edwards | Executive Summary:

July 27, 2015 -  "Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful.... Scholarly studies support the idea that many federal activities are misguided and harmful. A recent book on federal performance by Yale University law professor Peter Schuck concluded that failure is 'endemic.'

"What causes all the failures?

"First, federal policies rely on top-down planning and coercion. That tends to create winners and losers, which is unlike the mutually beneficial relationships of markets. It also means that federal policies are based on guesswork because there is no price system to guide decisionmaking. A further problem is that failed policies are not weeded out because they are funded by taxes, which are compulsory and not contingent on performance.

"Second, the government lacks knowledge about our complex society. That ignorance is behind many unintended and harmful side effects of federal policies....

"Third, legislators often act counter to the general public interest. They use debt, an opaque tax system, and other techniques to hide the full costs of programs. Furthermore, they use logrolling to pass harmful policies that do not have broad public support.

"Fourth, civil servants act within a bureaucratic system that rewards inertia, not the creation of value....

"Fifth, the federal government has grown enormous in size and scope.... Failure has increased
as legislators have become overloaded by the vast array of programs they have created. Today’s federal budget is 100 times larger than the average state budget, and it is far too large to adequately oversee.

"Management reforms and changes to budget rules might reduce some types of failure. But the only way to create a major improvement in performance is to cut the overall size of the federal government."

Read more: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa777.pdf