Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Libertarian makes SCOTUS case for Kavanaugh

Here’s The Libertarian Case For Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination - Ilya Shapiro, The Federalist:

July 29, 2018 - "While Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been warmly received on the Right, libertarians haven’t been uniformly thrilled. The night of the announcement, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) tweeted that it was a '[d]isappointing pick, particularly with respect to his #4thAmendment record,' also mentioning 'government surveillance' as an area where Americans can’t afford a 'rubber stamp.'

"A few days later, my Cato Institute colleague Matthew Feeney did a critical dive into Klayman v. Obama, where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected ... a 2015 challenge to the National Security Agency’s telephony-metadata collection. Kavanaugh wrote separately to say the program passed constitutional muster.... But should this be that big a worry?... this ... has likely been superseded by Carpenter v. United States, where the Supreme Court this past term ruled that police need a warrant to access cellphone location data....

"Kavanaugh has both rejected executive supremacy in favor of judicial review and praised Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), which argued that the military can’t detain U.S. citizens absent a congressional suspension of habeas corpus.

"Kavanaugh [has also] lauded Scalia’s role as the court’s 'most tireless advocate for the right to trial by jury [under the Sixth Amendment].' Accordingly, in United States v. Moore (2011), Kavanaugh found that a criminal defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights had been violated when the government introduced Drug Enforcement Agency reports at trial without allowing the defendant to confront the report’s author....

"Kavanaugh has also been a leading advocate of interpreting statutes to incorporate robust mens rea requirements, protecting individuals from criminal sanction unless the government establishes a 'guilty mind'.... [I]n United States v. Burwell (2012) ... he argued that a defendant could not face a mandatory 30-year sentence for carrying a machine gun during a crime because the government had not proven that he knew the weapon to be a machine gun.... [In]  United States v. Williams (2016) ... he commended a majority opinion that reversed the conviction of a gang member involved in a hazing ritual 'to underscore the critical importance of accurate instructions to the jury on mens rea requirements'....

"Kavanaugh dissented from a decision upholding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s broad theory of liability in enforcing fraud laws against a broker who transmitted a fraudulent statement dictated by his boss. Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case (although of course Kavanaugh will be recused from it if he is confirmed).

"All this goes without mentioning other issues ... from the Second Amendment — he would’ve struck down DC’s gun-registration requirement and ban on semi-automatic rifles, using an historical rather than a 'tiers of scrutiny' approach — to a skepticism of broad judicial deference (Chevron, Auer, etc.) to executive agencies. As he repeated at his nomination ceremony, 'the Constitution’s separation of powers protects individual liberty.'"

Read more: https://thefederalist.com/2018/07/29/heres-libertarian-case-brett-kavanaughs-supreme-court-nomination/
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See also: Brett Kavanaugh and due process

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dunn quits Senate race in NM; Johnson may run

The Latest: Libertarian US Senate Hopeful in New Mexico Out | New Mexico News | US News:

July 30, 2018 - "Aubrey Dunn, the Libertarian Party U.S senatorial candidate in New Mexico, has announced he is quitting the race, opening the door for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson to jump in.

"Dunn said in a statement Monday that he wanted to focus on his current job as New Mexico land commissioner and that a water crisis in southeastern New Mexico demanded his 'full attention.'

"Dunn called upon former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson to take his place as the Libertarian candidate for the New Mexico seat. Dunn says Johnson is willing to replace him if the Libertarian Party State Central Committee nominates Johnson as his replacement.

"Johnson consultant Ron Nielson told The Associated Press on Friday the former governor is 'strongly considering' running if Dunn quits the race."

Read more: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-07-30/the-latest-libertarian-us-senate-hopeful-in-new-mexico-out
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Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Scotsman who discovered spontaneous order

Adam Ferguson and the Spontaneous Order of Society - Foundation for Economic Education - Richard M. Ebeling:

November 26, 2016 - "One of the most cherished misunderstandings, if not delusions, of the social engineer – the individual who would presume to attempt to remake society through conscious and planned design – is the confident belief that he (and those like him) can ever know enough to successfully remold mankind and human institutions. An appreciation of how limited is our individual knowledge and abilities to ... make a 'better world' through government regulation, control and central planning has been slow in fully developing ... [but] was a central hallmark of several of the members of the Scottish Enlightenment.

"A leading figure in this Scottish movement was Adam Ferguson (1723-1816), who for several years held a chair in Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.... Ferguson is best known for his 1767 work, An Essay on the History of Civil Society ... [which] contains some of the clearest analyses of social institutions and their emergence and evolution as the spontaneous development of the interactions of multitudes of people over many generations, the results of which are unpredictable, yet often superior to any attempt to actually guide or direct social processes through time.

"Ferguson believed that the origin and nature of man in society had to be derived from historical investigation.... [M]an may be a willing, volitional and acting individual, but he is born into society in the form of families and clans, which then took on more complex and extended forms of human relationship and association over extended time. The formal institutions of society concerning rights and law emerged out of this more primitive human order precisely to delineate private property ownership and impose restraints on abusive political authority.

"Thus, Ferguson argued, society was not created by design to provide safety and security, but, instead, freedom and rights emerged and evolved out of more primitive forms of tribal and collective association as responses to considered injustices and abusive power....
“Like the winds, that come we know not whence, and blow whithersoever they list, the forms of society are derived from an obscure and distant origin; they arise long before the date of philosophy, from the instincts, not from the speculations of man.... Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what is termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments [institutions], which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design....
"Ferguson was insistent that however much we may now see and appreciate the logic and the benefits that have arisen through the evolution of society’s institutions to protect rights, secure property, enforce justice, and maintain the peace that fosters the environment that makes liberty and prosperity possible, the multitudes of human actions and interactions that brought this about were done by individuals giving no thought to how their specific goal-oriented activities would generate the complex order of modern society....

"Ronald Hamowy, an expert on Adam Ferguson who wrote his dissertation on Ferguson and his conception of spontaneous order under the supervision of F.A. Hayek  ... emphasized that Ferguson’s greatest concerns with commercial society came not from the development of the market order, itself, but from the intruding and intervening hand of government into the competitive system....
'In matters of particular profession, industry, and trade,’ wrote Ferguson, ‘the experienced practitioner is the master . . . When the refined politician would lend an active hand, he only multiples interruptions and grounds of complaint’....
"[T]o try to impose ... centrally engineered designs on society limits its potentials and possibilities to what a handful of finite and limited human minds can anticipate and imagine. Far better for all to have the individual liberty, and to respect the freedom of others, to use their knowledge as they see fit in the pursuit of their own personal happiness, so all may reap the benefits that come from the interactions of multitudes of minds the full outcomes of which that no one can successfully comprehend."

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Colombian president admits Drug War being lost

President Santos on the Drug War: "The Cure Has Been Worse Than the Disease" | Americas Quarterly - Juan Manuel Santos:

July 24, 2018 - "More than a century ago, in 1912, representatives from countries around the world signed the International Opium Convention.... Fifty years later, in 1961, the United Nations adopted the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.... In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs.

"After more than 106 years of head-on battle, we must now assess, with brutal honesty, where we stand.... An effective policy [toward] illicit drugs should have led to a reduction in trafficking and use. Yet data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report show that between 2006 and 2015, worldwide consumption by adults remained stable.

"But we are not only losing the war on the public health front. U.S. law enforcement agencies have arrested at least 1.4 million people for drug violations annually since 1997. But despite these high numbers, the availability of drugs on the streets has not diminished. Criminal organizations wreak violence and terror and represent a threat to individual security, national security and even global security. Also, drug-trafficking mafias consistently seek to corrupt state institutions and democracy.

"In the world, and particularly in Colombia, we invest billions of dollars a year chasing the dream of a drug-free world.... Colombian authorities have made more than 1 million drug seizures since 1993. While such figures demonstrate Colombia’s efforts to fight drug trafficking, they also show we’re on a stationary bicycle, spinning our wheels instead of moving forward.

"The policy prescription we have used for years, based mainly on punitive repression, has not solved the problem.... We need a global drug policy free of prejudice, based instead on empirical evidence and, above all, recognition that there will always be drug users. Drug use should be a matter of public health, not law enforcement.....

"Enforcement must focus on the criminal organizations that profit from drug trafficking and are the leading engines of violence.... As for the weakest links in the chain – small producers and drug users – we must offer solutions based on respect for human rights....

"The War on Drugs has taken too many lives: The cure has been worse than the disease. In Colombia, we have paid a very high price for it, perhaps the highest of any nation.... It is time to accept the reality that as long as there are drug users there will be drug suppliers – and that there will always be drug users....

"The solution is not so simple as advocating for the legalization of drugs.... It is time we talk about responsible government regulation, look for ways to cut off the drug mafias’ air supply, and tackle the problems of drug use with greater resources for prevention, care and harm reduction with regard to public health and the social fabric.

"This reflection must be global in scope in order to be effective.... It must reach beyond law enforcement and judicial authorities and involve experts in public health, economists and educators, among other disciplines. But above all, it must be an innovative, intelligent reflection based on facts."

Read more: http://www.americasquarterly.org/content/new-way-forward-drug-policy
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Friday, July 27, 2018

Facebook shuts down Brazil Libertarians' pages

Brazil: Facebook Censors Pages and Profiles of Libertarian Political Party - David Unsworth, Pan-Am Post:

July 27, 2018 - "As presidential elections loom in Brazil, Facebook has closed multiple political pages, ... with undue scrutiny being placed on the libertarian Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL) party.

"Through a statement, on Wednesday, July 25, Facebook closed '196 pages and 87 profiles in Brazil that violated our authenticity policies'....  Facebook alleged an alleged 'rigorous investigation” by which it justified intervening in the freedom of expression and access to information of countless Brazilians....

"Most of them were part of the Movimento Brasil Livre network, which the mass media has deemed 'extreme right', despite being supporters of the legalization of drugs and civil unions for people of the same sex. The party’s national coordinator, Fernando Holiday, is black and gay.... Holiday leads the party along side, Kim Kataguiri, grandson of Japanese immigrants and pre-candidate for federal deputy, whose actions and protests were key to achieving the impeachment of ex-president Dilma Roussef. Currently MBL is protesting outside the offices of Facebook in Sao Paulo....

"In the words of Ricardo Almeida, MBL coordinator, in the state of Bahia.... 'Of course it is false that we spread fake news.... First, in general, the news shared by sites linked to the MBL are also disseminated by other means. Second, the indictment does not include any evidence of the alleged false news. Third, an expressive part of the content is opinion and analysis, not news. And fourth, several personal profiles were also shut down, which were not false accounts....

"'We have evidence that Facebook has anti-right-wing orientation. And not exclusively in Brazil, but in other countries such as the United States.... Facebook is using its discretion in order to reduce the influence of right-wing parties, especially of the MBL, in the presidential election....

"'Facebook, although it is a private company, has contractual obligations and its policy is intended to be transparent... Zuckerberg himself was very clear when he was testifying before the US Senate to say that Facebook is a politically neutral forum.... If people go on Facebook to use it as a tool to disseminate ideas, and then Facebook makes it impossible to do that, the minimum that can be determined is that a breach of contract has been committed.'"

Read more: https://panampost.com/david-unsworth/2018/07/27/brazil-facebook-censors-pages-and-profiles-of-libertarian-political-party/?cn-reloaded=1
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Britain reschedules cannabis to allow medical use

Cannabis-based medicines get green light as UK eases rules | Society | The Guardian - Jamie Grierson:

July 26, 2018 - "Doctors in the UK can prescribe cannabis-derived medicine after the government announced a relaxation of laws governing access to the substance.

"Thousands of people with drug-resistant conditions will potentially be able to use cannabis-derived medicinal products for treatment after the home secretary, Sajid Javid, announced they should be placed in schedule 2 of the 2001 Misuse of Drugs Regulations, allowing clinicians to prescribe them by the autumn.

"Cannabis has been classed as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is thought to have no therapeutic value and cannot be lawfully possessed or prescribed.... The move by the home secretary comes after the government’s official drug advisers and the chief medical officer ... separately concluded there was evidence of therapeutic benefit for some conditions.

"The reviews came after a number of high-profile cases involving children being denied access to cannabis oil to control epileptic seizures. The cases included those of Billy Caldwell, 12, and Alfie Dingley, six, who have forms of intractable epilepsy, also known as refractory epilepsy, that appear to be eased by the use of cannabis oil....

"When the review was announced, there were reports of divisions within the cabinet over the approach that should be taken – with the prime minister, Theresa May, disagreeing that a review should go ahead.

"But Javid, who commissioned both reviews, told parliament that if experts identified significant medical and therapeutic benefits, he would be minded to follow their advice.... Javid ruled out legalising the drug for recreational use after interventions by the former Conservative leader William Hague and police officials."

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/26/cannabis-based-medicines-get-green-light-as-uk-eases-rules
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

5 Libertarians on California general election ballot

As GOP, Dems squabble, Libertarians, Greens and others see opportunity – Whittier Daily News - Kevin Modesti:

July 25, 2018 - "Christopher Stare, a 28-year-old Silver Lake resident with a new PhD in cognitive neuroscience who is making his political debut by running for the state Assembly as a member of the Libertarian Party ... came in second as a write-in candidate in the June 5 primary and advanced to the Nov. 6 general election against Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, a Democrat from Los Angeles. The sobering footnote: Stare advanced because he was Carrillo’s only opponent. In California’s 'top two' primary system, he could have moved on by getting one vote. He wound up getting only four votes, including his own and his wife’s — trailing Carrillo by more than 42,500....

"Five Libertarian candidates finished second in their primaries and advanced to November ballots, all in races for the Assembly, including Stare in the 51st District, Autumn Browne in the 69th District (Orange County) and Honor “Mimi” Robson in the 70th District (L.A. County). Three Green candidates finished second and moved on to November.... Statistically, these were Libertarians’ and Greens’ best showings in the primaries since California voters approved the top-two system in 2010....

"But the third parties’ chances of actually winning any offices appear small.... Hurdles remain, ... among them the top-two system that usually is — pretty much by definition — bad for third parties....

"Stare’s goal is to use his campaign to win attention for Libertarian ideas — promoting fiscal responsibility in California government, opposing the state gas-tax increase, easing business and occupation licensing, fighting the housing crisis by allowing more home construction, loosening restrictions on immigration and decriminalizing drug use.

“'I think this is a time in our country when people are starting to look at other options,” Stare said. 'Donald Trump isn’t popular, even in his own party. People are fleeing the Republican Party. Democrats are seeing the rise of democratic socialism, and that’s kind of antithetical to our system'.... Stare thinks he could get a substantial number of votes 'by just being the "not Democrat" on the ballot'....

"Greens and Libertarians in California have achieved most of their electoral successes in local races ... and a Libertarian is mayor of Calimesa. Each party holds council seats in three small cities, among them Palm Desert and San Gabriel. A Green is on the board of supervisors in Mendocino County, and Calimesa Mayor Jeffrey Hewitt is running for Riverside County supervisor.

"In the latest voter registration data, Libertarians comprise 0.74 percent and Greens 0.45 percent of the state’s voters, far behind Democrats (44.4 percent), Republicans (25.1 percent) and people listing no party preference (25.5 percent)."

Read more: https://www.whittierdailynews.com/2018/07/25/as-gop-dems-squabble-libertarians-greens-and-others-see-opportunity/
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Monday, July 23, 2018

WI Libertarian told not to accept Bitcoin donations

Libertarian candidate accepts Bitcoin donations that could be illegal - Max Bayer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

July 23, 2018 - "The Libertarian candidate for governor says he will accept campaign donations in Bitcoin, despite a state Ethics Commission finding that such donations appear to be illegal.

 "'We will not allow the lack of appropriate interpretation of the current statute (to) affect the First Amendment rights of those who want to show support and contribute,' said a statement from Phil Anderson, who is running for governor and is the chairman of the state Libertarian Party. 'I have no faith in the Assembly to handle this fairly nor expeditiously.'

"Anderson asked the Ethics Commission to allow candidates to accept Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency. In May, the commission referred the matter to the Legislature because it found a contribution in cryptocurrency 'does not appear to fit' the acceptable categories spelled out in statutes ... [and] suggested the Legislature address two facets of cryptocurrency: its constantly changing value and the anonymity of donations....

"Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Etherium, are internet-based currencies that can be used to buy goods or services. They were founded on the principle that currencies should be decentralized.

"Anderson emphasized that he believes he and his party are complying with the law.... If a complaint is filed against him and the Ethics Commission intervenes, Anderson said he and the party are 'going to push back all the way'....

"Anderson said there shouldn't be any concern regarding donations to his campaign. His portal uses Bitpay and requests donors' names, addresses and phone numbers."

Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/07/23/libertarian-candidate-accept-bitcoin-donations-despite-warning-ethics-commission/807234002/
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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Medical marijuana improves cognitive ability, another study finds

Harvard Study Shows Smoking Marijuana Improves Cognitive Function | Inc.com - Cynthia Van:

June 29, 2017 - "Preliminary evidence from a ... study led by Harvard Medical School Affiliate McLean Hospital's Staci Gruber, PhD, suggests that medical marijuana (MMJ) may not impair, and in many cases, may actually improve executive functioning in adults. Splendor in the Grass? A Pilot Study Assessing the Impact of Medical Marijuana on Executive Function, assessed the impact of MMJ treatment on executive function and explored whether patients improved cognitive functioning. 'After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex,' explained Gruber in a press statement.

"Previous studies have shown that anxiety often interferes with both attention and executive function, so if MMJ products relieve anxiety, it is likely that a patient's cognitive function may improve. Chronic pain also impairs cognitive performance, especially in tasks requiring executive function, so a reduction in pain will likely increase concentration and cognitive performance.

"'Symptom improvement may therefore result in improved cognitive performance,' wrote the authors. 'Interestingly, two previous studies have noted a positive association between a history of MJ use and improved cognitive performance on measures of psychomotor speed, attention, working memory, executive functioning, and verbal learning in patients with bipolar disorder compared to patients without a history of marijuana use.'

"The subjects in the study completed the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence ... [and] also completed several executive functioning tasks, such as the Stroop Color Word Test, the Trail Making Test, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. After three months of MMJ treatment, participants completed tasks significantly faster, without making any more errors....

"MMJ products are often -- but not always -- low in THC, the primary psychoactive constituent of the plant, and high in other cannabinoids, including CBD, a non-psychoactive component touted for its therapeutic potential, which may also mitigate some of the negative effects of THC.

"According to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, more than 22 million Americans report current use of recreational marijuana and more than 1 million are certified for medical marijuana use."

Read more: https://www.inc.com/cynthia-than/the-surprising-way-to-be-better-at-brain-teasers-a.html
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Saturday, July 21, 2018

3D printing creates a home in a day for $4K (video)

Startup to make 3D-printed concrete homes for US$4,000 | CTV News:

April 3, 2018 - "A non-profit partnership is raising money to 3D-print durable and affordable concrete homes in El Salvador, in an effort to offset the global housing crisis. Each single-storey, 650 square-foot home costs US$4,000 to build using a concrete-extruding printing apparatus, which is programmed to create the foundation and walls of the structure....

"Icon co-founder Jason Ballard says 3D-printing ... allows for faster, better and cheaper projects to be completed with much more creativity.... He says printing with the liquid concrete makes all manner of shapes possible, from traditional squares and rectangles to circular and spiral shapes. It also simplifies construction by eliminating the need for drywall, wood framing, insulation and other materials used to build the walls in traditional homes....

"Ballard and Icon partnered with the non-profit group New Story to launch their housing initiative, which is made possible by their concrete-printing apparatus, dubbed the Vulcan. The first home printed by the Vulcan I was built in Austin, Texas, with the 350 square-foot structure taking approximately 48 hours and costing $10,000 to complete. But Icon says its next printer, the Vulcan II, will be able to hit its lofty goal of building a 650 square-foot home for $4,000 in less than a day.

"Icon intends to put the plans for its concrete home up online, so others can use it once the technology becomes more widespread.... The New Story charity is currently accepting sponsors to build homes at a cost of $4,000 per house, with the cost of building a full community tagged at $400,000.“

Read more: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/startup-to-make-3d-printed-concrete-homes-for-us-4-000-1.3869268
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Young Americans for Liberty settle Berkeley suit

UC Berkeley settles lawsuit filed by libertarian student group - Ryan Geller, Daily Californian:

July 5, 2018 - "UC Berkeley settled an alleged discrimination lawsuit that was filed by the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, or YAL, by adjusting the campus’s application process for Registered Student Organizations, or RSOs.

"YAL, a campus libertarian student group, claimed in the lawsuit that UC Berkeley denied the group’s RSO application because it was 'too similar' to other groups on campus.... The settlement included $8,250 for legal fees and other losses as well as a requirement that UC Berkeley post clear statements of policy and the campus RSO guidelines on its website.

"According to Khader Kakish, president of the UC Berkeley chapter of YAL, UC Berkeley told YAL in an email to work with Cal Libertarians because of the similarity between the two groups. Kakish added that YAL was also asked to provide proof that it had made an attempt to work with Cal Libertarians and submit a 'statement of uniqueness' if it wanted to continue the application process....

"YAL has more than 900 chapters across the country at public and private universities, where the group promotes personal and civil liberties as well as the importance of free-market economics, Kakish said. Alliance Defending Freedom, a network of attorneys that advocates for free speech for faith communities, took on the UC Berkeley YAL chapter’s lawsuit initially on a pro bono basis, according to Kakish.....

"UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in an email that the campus’s policy is to encourage new student organizations to consult with existing organizations that are similar and ... added that campus policies were not actually changed as a result of the settlement.....

"Gilmore said in an email that the campus is satisfied with the settlement and that the money paid to the plaintiff recognized that YAL members did receive an email that was unclear about the application process and existing policy. Gilmore also stated that once YAL expressed its dissatisfaction to the campus, its RSO status was granted.

"According to Kakish, the group’s RSO status was not granted until after the lawsuit was filed."

Read more: http://www.dailycal.org/2018/07/04/uc-berkeley-settles-lawsuit-filed-libertarian-student-group-young-americans-liberty/
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Businesses want President's tariff powers limited

Limit Trump tariffs, businesses tell Congress - Paul Davidson, USA Today:

June 26, 2018 -"With U.S. trade fights increasingly roiling markets, a growing chorus of U.S. industries is backing legislation in Congress that would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"Fifty-one trade groups are joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 222 state and local chambers by signing a letter that was sent to U.S. senators Tuesday in support of a bill introduced this month by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. The legislation would require Congress to approve or reject any new tariffs the president imposes based on national security concerns.

"Trump had urged Corker to drop the bill but he declined. It’s co-sponsored by seven Republican senators and four Democrats.

"'The U.S. business and agriculture communities are deeply concerned that the President’s unrestricted use of section 232 to impose tariffs may not be in the national interest,' the letter states. 'It is now also increasingly clear that the way the steel and aluminum tariffs have been used will result in retaliatory tariffs from our largest trading partners and closest allies, and that retaliation will have serious negative economic impacts on the United States'....

"The industry letter to the U.S. Senate notes that Congress delegated to the president the authority to invoke tariffs in 1962.

"'While the president should still have this type of authority, the current circumstances highlight the need for Congress to ensure that the authority will be used, as intended by the Congress, in the overall national interest.'

"Those signing the letter include the National Retail Federation, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Apparel & Footwear Association and the Computer and Communications Industry Association. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 328 points Monday amid Trump's fresh trade threats."

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/06/26/limit-trump-tariffs-businesses-tell-congress/732481002/
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Registered Libertarians in Nevada grow to 14K

Growing number of Nevada voters eschews 2-party system | Brookville Times - Caroline Biscotti:

July 15, 2018 - "Tens of thousands more voters were registered as neither Democrat or Republican this midterm election compared with 2014, with most of that growth coming from Libertarians....

"A slew of ideological differences separate candidates and voters outside the two-party system, but in the November general election, those ballots could tip the scales for Republican or Democratic candidates....

"Members of the Libertarian Party of Nevada make up roughly 1 percent of active registered voters and only slightly outnumber the nearly 14,000 active voters identified as 'other' in Nevada as of May, but have seen consistent growth in all four of Nevada’s congressional districts since 2014.

"The Libertarian party does not hold a primary to determine its November candidates. They held local and state conventions earlier in the year when dues-paying members voted on the names that will appear on the general election ballot ... said party spokesman Sam Toll.... Toll, who joined the party in 2016, said he would be in favor of opening the voting up. He also said the state’s primary system should be open to nonpartisan voters.

"New Libertarians are generally younger and more diverse, Toll said, with some growth coming from voters who are increasingly turned off by Republicans and Democrats.

"'We’re going to take advantage of this opportunity that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dropped in our laps in the 2016 election,' he said. 'We’re really focusing on being inclusive.'

"Libertarians have been working to create a party infrastructure to help candidates and nominate people who talk about relatable issues like health care, said Steve Brown, Clark County Libertarian Party chairman and 3rd Congressional District candidate. He said 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson broke the party’s vote record.

"Brown and Toll said the party is moving away from candidates who focus on niche debates that most voters don’t identify with and toward people who focus on kitchen-table issues.

"''The difference between 2016 and 2018 is the difference between night and day,' Brown said. 'We are so far ahead of where we were as a party two years ago.'"

Read more: https://brookvilletimes.com/growing-number-of-nevada-voters-eschews-2-party-system/
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Arizona politicians enjoy "legislative immunity"

An Arizona Lawmaker Thought Speeding Was OK Because of His Legislative Immunity - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Zurie Davis:

July 13, 2018 - "An Arizona politician has been caught on camera bragging that he's exempt from the law. The body-cam video, first shared by Parker Live Online, shows a sheriff's deputy speaking with state Rep. Paul Mosley (R–Lake Havasu City) after pulling him over for speeding.

"'I informed Mosley that 97 mph in a 55 mph zone is considered criminal speed,' the deputy wrote in his written report. 'Mosley stated he was just in a hurry to get home to surprise his family in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Mosley also told me that I should just let him go and that I shouldn't waste anymore of my time dealing with him due to his immunity as a government official'....

"After a brief argument about speeding, the deputy walks away without appearing to give Mosley a speeding ticket. A search of traffic violations by the Associated Press does not show Mosley receiving a ticket that day.

"The legislative immunity that Mosley touted is found in Article 4, Part 2, Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution. It states, 'Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, and they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session.'

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard criticized Mosley's use of immunity, saying, 'Nothing short of an emergency justifies that kind of speeding, and assertions of immunity in that situation seem outside the intent of the constitutional provision regarding legislative immunity.'

"The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police also responded by rescinding its endorsement of Mosley.... Mosley's colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, have also responded negatively to the video.... On Thursday, Mosley apologized for his conduct in a Facebook post."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/13/arizona-lawmaker-speeding-immunity
'via Blog this'

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdbZIPusCMw

Monday, July 16, 2018

NM Libertarian candidate for governor off ballot

Libertarian recount fails to qualify governor hopeful | Elections | santafenewmexican.com - Tripp Stelnicki, Santa Fe New Mexican:

July 13, 2018 - "A recount of Libertarian primary results from eight counties did not produce enough additional write-in votes for Bob Walsh, the Libertarians’ would-be governor candidate, according to unofficial results.... Walsh, a retired mathematician, and the would-be lieutenant governor candidate, Robin Dunn, each needed 230 Libertarians to write in their names in the June primary to win the Libertarian nomination and ensure a place on the ballot.

"Both fell short, and the party requested a recount earlier this month, arguing that some of its voters’ choices might not have been counted because they had not filled in a scannable bubble next to the line for write-in candidates....

"Both needed roughly 50 additional votes; unofficial results show Walsh picked up 11 votes, Dunn 13.

"Walsh said Friday he was evaluating a possible challenge to the 230-vote write-in rule. He explained various arguments he said he could explore.... 'Obviously we are disappointed this didn’t prevail,” said Chris Luchini, chair of the state Libertarian Party and himself a Libertarian candidate for sheriff of Los Alamos County....

"The June contest was the Libertarian Party’s first primary as a major party in New Mexico, a result of former Gov. Gary Johnson earning 9 percent of the state’s vote in the 2016 presidential contest.... Whether the Libertarians will retain that status ... without a candidate for governor remains to be seen.

"According to state law, a party must earn more than 5 percent of the total number of votes cast in a race for either governor or president to keep its major-party status. But some Libertarians contend the party could also retain the status with 5 percent of the vote in any statewide race. 'That will be litigated,' Luchini said.

"There are Libertarians who qualified in several statewide races this year. State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, who switched from the Republican Party, is challenging U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat.... Sandra Jeff, a former state House representative, is the party’s nominee for secretary of state. A. Blair Dunn, an attorney and the son of Aubrey and Robin Dunn, is running for attorney general. There is a Libertarian candidate, Michael Lucero, seeking the open state land commissioner’s post."

Read more: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/elections/libertarian-recount-fails-to-qualify-governor-hopeful/article_c0c52e03-9b5e-5297-bbc5-6b3daf8b9a80.html
'via Blog this'

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What is 'Christian Libertarianism'?

What's Behind Christians' Interest in Libertarianism? -  Jamin Hübner, The Christian Post:

April 12, 2018 - "The 2017 U.S. Presidential election catalyzed a fresh, theological identity crisis for many Christians in America.... Several prominent leaders in conservative evangelicalism ... called upon the entire church to support the Trump administration.... But other Christians, especially younger millennials who haven't taken part in last generation's 'culture wars,' dissent from both this alignment and the urgency of political action in general.... All of these dynamics continue and give birth to different vistas of inquiry. One such vista that has emerged from these tumultuous dynamics (among other discontents that have been brewing) is 'Christian Libertarianism.'

"Libertarianism, according to some studies, is the fasted growing political movement of the twenty-first century. Its entrance into mainstream thought is visible in numerous spheres. In academia, for example, one can observe the release of such projects as The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism (SAGE), The Routledge Handbook to Libertarianism (2017), and other literary milestones....

"However, what really interests many is that libertarianism is gaining considerable traction in 'post-evangelical' and Catholic Christian circles — at least enough to merit public outcry. Albert Mohler, the President of one of the largest seminaries in the world, has publicly criticized Christians for entertaining libertarianism as a viable political philosophy. Pope Francis did the same in ...2017 during a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Christian libertarianism's abandonment of traditional social categories, political parties, and trust in political authority as a whole is viewed by some as a threat to both Western civilization and social stability....

"So, what is Christian libertarianism? At the heart of it is a pre-modern, pre-Constantinian reading of the New Testament. The contemporary narratives about Jesus being a pro-gay socialist (on the left) or the great consumerist, pro-gun American (on the right) just don't seem to fit the Gospel accounts at all. The contemporary account about Christianity mindlessly approving whatever the government does (based on a misreading of Romans 13) is also a distorted picture. What fits the first-century picture best is that Jesus has a problem with political authority in general. It simply isn't right for one human being to rule over another. (This was a result of sin in Gen 3:16). This is precisely what politics is — it is a license to initiate force against your neighbor. This ruling happens regardless of the political structure, whether it is through a chieftain, pharaoh, emperor, king, republic, democracy, parliament, or congress.... And this ruling/ruled relationship stays in place regardless if it is done in the name of 'the public good,' 'national security,' 'America first,' or anything else. The problem with all of this should be obvious: neighbors (even "enemies") are to be loved, not exploited by politicians.

"Christian libertarians also note that that Christ-event was the culmination of the entire history of Israel. And from the time of kingship to the Roman Empire, there is a constant critique of empire-building, nationalism, and power-grabs through politics. Gideon seemed like a good guy at first, but politics and the license to kill eventually corrupt him (Judges 6-8). David, despite being a man 'after God's own heart,' wasn't allowed to build the temple because he shed 'too much blood.' Solomon had a peaceful kingdom...until his bureaucracy grew out of control and split the kingdom (2 Chron 10-11). Of course, none of this should be a surprise: God had a problem with kingship to begin with (1 Sam 8).

"In contrast, the kingdom of God in Jesus didn't even involve violence in the name of some public good or great nation. It didn't involve coercion at all. Power itself is not something to pursue and selfishly wield, but rather give up and voluntarily distribute for the good of others (cf. Lk 22:25-26). In the end, Jesus died as an enemy of the state for 'perverting our nation and forbidding payment of taxes to Caesar' (Lk 23:2). What a testimony this is for today! The greatest empires in the world were threatened by someone who changed the status quo — not through armies and violence — but through peace and forgiveness. How could this be so threatening? Because no politician or dictator can do anything about it. All the world knows is laws and guns. So they did what they knew: made him illegal, and then killed him. (Ironically, the Romans even failed this.) The world was never the same again....

"So, the world should be alarmed: radical nonviolence is extremely disturbing. It disrupts the social order. It is political heresy to both liberals and conservatives. We're not allowed to just vote for some candidate and subcontract the gospel out to some up-and-coming 'Christian politician.' Instead, we actually have a responsibility as the church to restore the world with our own resources. A wild idea, indeed."

Read more: https://www.christianpost.com/voice/whats-behind-christians-interest-in-libertarianism.html
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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Stripper/activist Daniels arrested in police sting

Stormy Daniels Was Arrested Because of a Terrible Law That Threatens Free Expression - Reason.com - Marc Randazza:

July 13, 2018 - "Earlier this week, Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who says she took hush money to stay quiet about an alleged 2006 affair with Donald Trump, was arrested for violating an Ohio statute that prohibits a stripper from allowing patrons to touch her if she is nude or semi-nude. The statute used against her is an example of how free expression can fall victim to zealous moralizers — and how almost any law aimed at free expression can be used to punish a political opponent....

"There's no escaping the conclusion that erotic dancing is a form of expression protected by the Bill of Rights....  [However, in]  Renton v. Playtime Theatres (1986) ... the Supreme Court said that the government can't restrict adult businesses because the government doesn't like the expression therein — but it can restrict them, using zoning regulations, because of harmful effects the businesses may cause....

"By the early 2000's, adult entertainment businesses that survived the zoning wars got hit with the 'proximity' rules. The expressed reason for these regulations was to discourage prostitution. However, anyone who has spent time in a strip club knows that you must get somewhat close to the dancer in order to tip them. Try putting a dollar in a g-string without some incidental contact. Further, some regulations went so far as to prohibit patrons from even getting near a stripper....

"Daniels was arrested under one of these laws after an extensive sting operation. Why did the State of Ohio devote a team of police officers and hours of taxpayer-funded overtime to an investigation, raid, and arrest of a woman for the grave crime of touching another person while semi-nude?

"Daniels ... is an outspoken political activist. And, it seems that she was targeted, in particular, due to her political activism. Otherwise, why was there a massive sting operation involving multiple vice detectives on that particular night, a tour Daniels had advertised well in advance? It sure wasn't because the City of Columbus was under siege by a rash of touchy strippers.

"And therein lies the deeper evil in any and all laws aimed at free expression. When you give law enforcement a tool that can be used to target someone who has unpopular views, they will use it....

"The case against Stormy was immediately dropped ... because the statute has a strange quirk wherein it does not apply to performers who do not 'regularly appear' at the particular strip club. Nevertheless, the damage is done. The law on the books restricts free expression — and now that there has been a high profile arrest, the chilling effect will be palpable."

Read more: https://reason.com/archives/2018/07/13/stormy-daniels-was-arrested-because-of-a
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Vapers urged to oppose FDA flavor crackdown

Vaping Industry Rallies To Oppose Looming Flavor Crackdown From The FDA - The Libertarian Republic - Steve Birr:

June 28, 2018 - "The vaping industry is rallying former smokers who quit using an electronic cigarette to share their stories with federal regulators, who are mulling restrictions on flavored products. The advocacy campaign, dubbed #Fight4Flavor, comes in response to a proposed rule from the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco and nicotine flavoring....

"The Global Vaping Standards Association (GVSA) is leading the campaign, which encourages any users of alternative technologies and smokeless products to submit comments to the FDA on how flavors helped them make the switch from combustible cigarettes, which continue to be the number one cause of preventable death worldwide.

"The FDA is currently seeking comments on the implications of flavored products, particularly whether they are having a negative impact on youths....

"Public health experts focused on harm reduction note flavor restrictions will likely serve to marginalize former smokers relying on a vape to satiate their nicotine cravings, potentially pushing them back to deadly combustible cigarettes. They argue flavors are key to helping smokers disassociate with the taste of tobacco.

"The GVSA coalition includes companies AVAIL Vapor, Charlie’s Chalk Dust, Mama’s, SMOK, The Drip Club, Vaporesso, Midwest Distribution, My Vapor Store and Vapor Authority.

"'The industry leaders of this coalition are all committed to advocating for vapers’ rights and their right to choose flavored e-liquids while also following strict regulations to keep vape products out of the hands of minors,' Maggie Gowen, executive director of GVSA, said in a statement.... 'Today over 400,000 people have made a comment, and through our combined resources, we have the ability to reach over two million additional vapers. For adult consumers, flavoring is what helped them transition from smoking to vaping. For the manufacturers and retailers, it’s their livelihood. We have to champion an endeavor that protects all of these groups in an effort towards harm reduction'....

"Comments for the proposed FDA rule must be submitted by July 19.

"Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and the Centre for Health Policy at the Imperial College in London published a study in September 2017 investigating the impact flavor restrictions may have on e-cigarette use. The scientists found that a ban on e-cigarette flavors in the U.S. would reduce the use of vaping devices by more than 10 percent, suggesting users would default back to more harmful cigarettes."

Read more: https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/vaping-industry-rallies-to-oppose-looming-flavor-crackdown-from-the-fda/
'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Libertarians request pardon for Ross Ulbricht

Libertarian Party Urges Trump to Pardon Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht - CCN:

July 10,2017 - "The Libertarian Party has requested [that] President Trump grant a full pardon to Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a [double] life sentence with no parole possibility for his role in launching and operating the Silk Road website, which facilitated illegal drug trading. The party passed a resolution urging the pardon at its annual convention on July 3.

"On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Ulbricht’s petition for writ of certiorari, which prevents him from appealing his sentence before the court.

"'We’re opposed to the drug war in all of its forms,' Richard Fields, the press secretary of the party’s national committee, told CCN.com. 'Ultimately, that’s what Ulbricht was convicted for'.... Ulbricht’s attorneys indicated the prosecution withheld evidence that DEA agents involved in Ulbricht’s apprehension were convicted of malfeasance, Fields further noted.

"Just recently, the Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. United States setting a precedent that warrantless search of Ulbricht’s Internet traffic would not have been allowed had the case been decided prior to his trial, he added. That alone should be grounds for a pardon.

"Darryl Perry, chair of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, presented the pardon resolution at the party’s recent convention. An attendee noted that because Ulbricht’s appeal to the Supreme Court was denied the previous week, his only hope of walking out of prison a free man is via a pardon.

"'We need to send a clear message now, and in two years, and in two more years we need to keep sending this message that we have a political prisoner who is serving two life sentences plus 40 years for the crime of running a website, being a libertarian and being unapologetic about doing those two things,' an attendee commented prior to the vote on the resolution, according to a YouTube video of the proceedings. The convention unanimously passed the resolution....

"Ulbricht claimed his Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights were violated during both the investigation and the sentencing. He also claimed law enforcement officials gathered Internet traffic information without a required warrant during the investigation. He further claimed the judge issued an unreasonable sentence that was partly based on allegations he tried to hire a hit man, for which he was never even charged.

"Amicus curia briefs were filed by 20 organizations supporting Ulbricht’s petition. Supporters included the Reason Foundation, a libertarian organization, as well as the National Lawyers Guild and the Gun Owners of America.

"Thomas Knapp, director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism, noted on the organization’s website that Ulbricht’s trial was unfair since the defense was not provided information on the government’s investigative methods nor allowed to provide an alternative view about the identity of the Silk Road operator known as 'Dread Pirate Roberts.' Nor could the defense bring up the fact that two government agents investigating Silk Road were imprisoned for their corrupt activities."

Read more: https://www.ccn.com/libertarian-party-urges-trump-to-pardon-silk-board-founder-ross-ulbricht/
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ND Libertarian candidate denied recount sues

ND Libertarian candidate sues for recount | Grand Forks Herald - Jack Dura, Bismarck Tribune:

July 10, 2018 - "The only Libertarian who appeared on North Dakota's statewide primary ballot is asking the state Supreme Court for a recount, alleging errors that affected his vote total.

"Roland Riemers appeared in the June 12 primary as the Libertarian candidate for secretary of state. Officially, he received 247 votes statewide for his party's nomination for the office — short of the 300 votes he needed to advance to November's general election....

"[T]he Secretary of State's Office maintains he was the only candidate in his column, and cannot request a recount, according to a June 20 letter.

"The Libertarian also pointed to possible issues with ballot counting and crossover voting for candidates of different parties as reasons for his vote total.

"'I think it's quite possible to pick up 53 votes across the entire state out of 100-some thousand votes that were cast," Riemers said.

"Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger said, as Riemers had no opposition within his column for his party's nomination for secretary of state, he has no basis for a recount.... 'I don't want to respond more than what we already did. Now it's in the court's hands, and it'll be up to them to decide what they think should be done.'"

Read more: https://grandforksherald.com/news/government-and-politics/4471009-nd-libertarian-candidate-sues-recount
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

NSA deleting millions of unwarranted call records

NSA Purging Millions of Improperly Collected Call Records Is Important (and Not About Trump) - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Scott Shackford:

July 3, 2018 - "The National Security Agency (NSA) has announced that it is deleting millions of phone and text records it has gathered since 2015, because it is holding a bunch of records it was not supposed to have....

"In this case, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act in 2015 to better control (and potentially limit) the NSA's access to the metadata (that is, everything but the conversations' actual content) of Americans' communications. This reform was part of a backlash against the mass surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden, and the bill was passed after some privacy-minded lawmakers, such as Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), forced a part of the Patriot Act to expire that was being used to justify mass amounts of domestic snooping.

"Under the USA Freedom Act, the NSA no longer collects and combs through our communications metadata itself. Instead it now has to request records from telecommunications companies using strictly defined search terms....

"The problem, as Charlie Savage of The New York Times uncovered, is that the telecom companies were accidentally sending too many records in response to NSA requests. And so the agency was receiving private personal information about Americans' communications data that it neither asked for nor had the right to examine:

"As a result, when the agency then fed those phone numbers back to the telecoms to get the communications logs of all of the people who had been in contact with its targets, the agency also gathered some data of people unconnected to the targets. And so the agency was receiving private personal information about Americans' communications data that it neither asked for nor had the right to examine.... 'If the first information was incorrect, even though on its face it looked like any other number, then when we fed that back out, by definition we'd get records back on the second hop that we did not have authority to collect,' [an NSA spokesman] said....

"The NSA requested more than 500 million telecom records just last year. It is unable to determine which records it has the authorization to collect, so it is purging all of them....

"Many of the same privacy-minded lawmakers who managed to force some of the surveillance authorities of the Patriot Act to expire also opposed the USA Freedom Act. Congressmen like Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) voted against the bill because they believed it still gave the government too much power to collect our records without warrants. Sen. Paul rejected the USA Freedom Act for the same reason....

"Unfortunately, Trump has shown that he's perfectly fine with snooping on Americans  ... [as he] happily signed a bill in January renewing and expanding the government's authority to secretly spy on Americans under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/03/nsa-purging-millions-of-improperly-colle
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Monday, July 9, 2018

Warrant needed for cell location info, SCOTUS rules

Carpenter v. United States Decision Strengthens Digital Privacy | WIRED - Louise Matsakis:

June 22, 2018 - "In a highly anticipated decision released [June 22], the US Supreme Court ... decided in Carpenter v. United States that the government generally needs a warrant in order to access cell site location information [CSLI], which is automatically generated whenever a mobile phone connects to a cell tower and is stored by wireless carriers for years....

"'We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information,' Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. 'In light of the deeply revealing nature of CSLI, its depth, breadth, and comprehensive reach, and the inescapable and automatic nature of its collection, the fact that such information is gathered by a third party does not make it any less deserving of Fourth Amendment protection.'

"Roberts was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented....

"At issue was an antiquated legal principle called the third-party doctrine, which ... comes from United States v. Miller, a 1976 case in which the court ruled that law enforcement doesn't need a warrant in order to access bank records because 'the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the obtaining of information revealed to a third party.' Three years later, in 1979, the court ruled ... that the third-party doctrine also extends to call records collected by phone companies.

"But on Friday, the Supreme Court said that cell site location information is a 'qualitatively different category” of information. CSLI allows law enforcement to paint a nearly complete picture of Americans' movements. Last year, AT&T and Verizon jointly received nearly 125,000 requests from law enforcement for CSLI data, according to their transparency reports. Law enforcement officials will now only be able to make such requests after obtaining a warrant, which will require them to demonstrate probable cause....

"The court declined to decide on whether law enforcement seeking a smaller window of records — fewer than seven days ... constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. The opinion also allows for exceptions for emergencies, like 'bomb threats, active shootings, and child abductions.'

"Carpenter v. United States began in December of 2010, when a series of robberies hit Michigan and neighboring Ohio.... Timothy Carpenter, who was later convicted of committing several of the robberies and sentenced to 116 years in prison ... argued that obtaining the records constituted a Fourth Amendment search, and therefore the police should have needed a warrant. His motion was denied, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld the case. The Supreme Court agreed to hear it last year....

"Fourteen of the largest US tech companies — including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft — filed a brief in support of updating the Fourth Amendment for the digital era. It was technically not filed in support of either party, but largely backed Carpenter's position. The cohort even included Verizon, which cooperated with the National Security Agency as part of its broad bulk surveillance programs for years."

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/carpenter-v-united-states-supreme-court-digital-privacy/
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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Vohra announces 2020 Libertarian POTUS bid

Controversialist Arvin Vohra Announces 2020 Libertarian Presidential Run - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Matt Welch:

July 6, 2018 - "Arvin Vohra, a 39-year-old educational entrepreneur notorious for questioning age-of-consent laws for 14-year-olds, for arguing that joining the military to pay for college is 'morally unacceptable,' and for joking about shooting up school boards, announced at the tail end of the Libertarian Party's biennial national convention that he is running for president. Vohra joins longtime libertarian activist and serial arrestee Adam Kokesh, a 36-year-old Iraq War veteran who is running on a platform to dissolve the federal government, as the two biggest L.P. presidential candidates to officially announce.

"'On the first day of my presidency,' Vohra tweeted Thursday, 'I will pardon those in prison who have neither harmed anyone nor stolen anything. I will start with @Snowden and @RossUlbricht.' Next comes 'all nonviolent drug users, all nonviolent drug traffickers, all nonviolent drug kingpins...anyone that's in jail for crypto-currency crime [and] gun possession where they didn't actually hurt anybody.'

"'My number one goal,' the candidate tells me, 'is to end the welfare state and abolish the income tax. I'm going to be using my campaign to spread that message on the policy level, but also to help people realize there are so many ways to reduce government without changing policy, including opting out of government schools, including using cryptocurrency, including using the power of jury nullification.'

"Vohra, who served two terms as national vice chair, has been the Libertarian Party's single most controversial figure the past year and a half. In February, he survived attempted suspension and censure motions from the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) over his age-of-consent and military remarks; in April, a second effort to suspend after the school-shooting joke came one vote short. Vohra's self-conscious controversialism—what movement graybeards call the 'libertarian macho flash'—was a recurrent, negative theme throughout the three-day national convention....

"[I]n all three rounds of voting ... Vohra's limped along at 9–8–10. Party delegates had ample opportunity to weigh in on the incumbent's provocative rhetorical strategy, and the conclusion was unmistakable: two thumbs way down.

"Vohra sounds cheerful about seeking his party's presidential nomination after such a snub. 'I'm going to be trying to bring a lot of new people into the party,' he explains. Also, 'a presidential campaign to me is just different from being a vice chair. A vice chair is about kind of half externally focused, half internally focused, and realistically most people objected to my internally focused messaging.... A presidential campaign ... is 99 percent externally focused, and so the type of messaging that goes into it is just different.' In other words, he says he'll tone it down at least a little."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/06/controversialist-arvin-vohra-announces-2
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

George Will promotes 2020 Weld POTUS run

WILL: Can this libertarian restore conservatism? | Opinion | niagara-gazette.com - George F. Will:

June 22, 2018 - "'This,' exclaimed Margaret Thatcher, thumping Friedrich Hayek’s 500-page tome The Constitution of Liberty on a table in front of some Conservative Party colleagues, 'is what we believe.' It also is what Bill Weld believes, which is why he aspires to be the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential candidate.

"The former twice-elected Republican governor of Massachusetts has been visiting Libertarian Party state conventions and [was] in New Orleans at the national convention June 30-July 3. There he will try to persuade the party, which sometimes is too interested in merely sending a message (liberty is good), to send into the autumn of 2020 a candidate representing what a broad swath of Americans say they favor: limited government, fiscal responsibility, free trade, the rule of law, entitlement realism and other artifacts from the Republican wreckage....

"Weld, who majored in classics, took philosophy classes from Robert Nozick, whose Anarchy, State and, Utopia, a canonical text of libertarianism, argues that 'the minimal state is inspiring as well as right.' Weld served in Ronald Reagan’s administration for seven years, five years as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.... Weld was head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division....

"Weld’s sandy-reddish hair is still abundant and, at 72, he is eager to build on his 2016 experience as the Libertarians’ vice-presidential nominee. During that campaign, 'I carried around with me every day' the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."' Noting that the Articles of Confederation excellently referred to powers not 'expressly' delegated, Weld says, 'I might have been an anti-Federalist.' Imagine having a president who knows that there were anti-Federalists....

"During a recent breakfast at the Hay-Adams hotel across Lafayette Square from the White House (the Adamses reached these shores shortly after the Welds), Weld recalled how, as governor, he taught agencies to not expect 'last year’s appropriation plus 5 percent.' He cut taxes 21 times and raised none. A believer in freedom for what Nozick called 'capitalist acts between consenting adults,' Weld says his most satisfying achievement was cutting the 6 percent tax on long-term capital gains by 1 point for each year the asset is held....

"If the florid face of today’s snarling GOP wants to be renominated, he will be.... And in the autumn of 2019, upward of 20 Democratic presidential aspirants might clog the stages at 'debates' that could become contests to see who can most arrestingly pander to activists ... who are enamored of 'Medicare for all,' government-guaranteed jobs and generally gobs of free stuff....

"If in autumn 2020 voters face a second consecutive repulsive choice, there will be running room between the two deplorables. Because of its 2016 efforts, the Libertarian Party will automatically be on 39 states’ ballots this fall and has a sufficient infantry of volunteers to secure ballot access in another nine. So, if the Libertarian Party is willing, 2020’s politics could have an ingredient recently missing from presidential politics: fun. And maybe a serious disruption of the party duopoly that increasing millions find annoying."

Read more: http://www.niagara-gazette.com/opinion/will-can-this-libertarian-restore-conservatism/article_a7d83747-4bd8-5cde-aec1-b7591b8a3b68.html
'via Blog this'

Friday, July 6, 2018

100K sign to put Ohio Libertarians back on ballot

Ohio Libertarians seek a return to the ballot this year | cleveland.com - Jeremy Pelzer:

July 5, 2018 - "On Monday, Libertarians submitted almost 103,000 petition signatures to once again become an official 'minor party' in Ohio, according to Secretary of State Jon Husted's office.

"Husted's office is now checking to see whether at least 54,964 of those signatures are valid - the current threshold to become a minor party in the state. Under Ohio law, Libertarians also need 500 or more valid signatures from at least half of the state's 16 congressional districts.

"If they pass those requirements, the party plans to run a candidate for governor this November.... Libertarians also are looking to run candidates for secretary of state and other offices, said Scott Pettigrew, vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Ohio's central committee.

"If the party clinches state recognition, candidates would have until July 19 to submit petitions to run as a Libertarian (the filing deadline for independent and other parties' candidates has already passed). If there are multiple candidates for a single office, a five-member party committee (which includes Pettigrew) would decide which of them would appear on the 2018 general-election ballot as a Libertarian.

"If the Libertarians regain ballot access, the party's main goal will be to make sure their gubernatorial candidate gets at least 3 percent of the statewide vote in November. That's the threshold minor parties in Ohio need to reach to remain on the ballot in 2020....

"In the long term, Ohio Libertarians will also have to work to regain interest from voters and activists, which has dwindled since the party lost state recognition in 2014 thanks to stiffer ballot-access rules and the disqualification of their gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Earl."

Read more: https://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2018/07/libertarians_seek_a_return_to.html
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Thursday, July 5, 2018

US Libertarians call for decriminalizing prostitution

Libertarian Party Adopts New Sex Work Plank, Becomes Only Notable U.S. Party to Endorse Prostitution Decriminalization - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

July 2, 2018 - "The Libertarian Party officially 'supports the decriminalization of prostitution,' according to a new plank in the party's political platform. This makes the L.P. the only notable U.S. political party to stand unequivocally for sex-worker rights and in opposition to cops caging people for consensual sex.

"'We assert the right of consenting adults to provide sexual services to clients for compensation, and the right of clients to purchase sexual services from consenting sex workers,' reads the new language, adopted ... at the Libertarian National Convention in New Orleans.... After some debate Monday morning, delegates adopted the decriminalization amendment as Plank 2.8 of the party's platform. The previous platform made no mention of sex work or prostitution. The language of the new amendment was drafted by sex workers, and L.P. delegates rejected a similar amendment in order to approve the sex-worker-penned version.

"The L.P.'s move comes the same week America's other most popular third party, the Greens, explicitly rejected a platform that protects sex worker rights.... In voting that ended July 1, Green Party delegates rejected a proposed platform amendment that would add the decriminalization to the party's official platform.....

"The Democratic platform makes no mention of prostitution or sex work, though it does contain at least a dozen references to sexual orientation. The Republican platform also avoids commentary on prostitution, though it does claim that 'Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions.'"

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/02/libertarians-call-for-sex-work-decrim
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Sarwark re-elected Libertarian chair in landslide

Libertarian Party Rebuffs Mises Uprising - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Matt Welch:

July 4, 2018 - "The Libertarian Party on Monday afternoon re-elected in a surprising first-ballot landslide incumbent Chair Nicholas Sarwark to an unprecedented third consecutive two-year term. In doing so, the nation's third-largest political party swatted down what was supposed to be the most contentious challenge at its biannual national convention — to a leadership that was considered by various critics to be too operationally incremental, too ideologically tepid, and too (in the words of Ludwig von Mises Institute Senior Fellow and popular podcaster Tom Woods at a nearby New Orleans rally Saturday) 'SJW-friendly.'

"Sarwark's main opponent, the Mises Caucus-endorsed Joshua Smith, stumbled badly in a defensive debate performance at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency Sunday night, and ended up Monday on the business end of a 65 percent-22 percent rout. In the vice chair race, two-term incumbent Arvin Vohra, who has become a lightning rod over the past year-plus for intentionally provocative public comments such as 'Bad Idea: School Shootings. Good Idea: School Board Shootings,' was resoundingly drummed out of office, never receiving more than 11 percent of the vote in three rounds of balloting that ended Tuesday with a positivity-exuding 33-year-old finance/tech/consulting guy named Alex Merced squeaking past the 50 percent finish line.

"'What I think the race shows is that if you want to change the direction of the Libertarian Party, if you have new ideas about how we can grow and reach new members, the election of Merced to vice chair shows that the delegates want that kind of change,' Sarwark told me Tuesday afternoon. 'If your campaign is seen, or has themes of trying to kick people out, of trying to attack people like Gov. Weld, or... basically anyone — if your campaign was seen as trying to drive people out of the party, the delegates soundly rejected that. And I think that that is the biggest takeaway from the convention.'

"Weld, the controversial-within-the-party 2016 vice presidential nominee and former moderate Republican Massachusetts governor who is laying the groundwork for a possible 2020 presidential run (and was everywhere to be seen at the convention, amiably taking on all skeptical comers), played a pivotal role in the decisive debate. Candidates had the opportunity to ask their opponents one question, and when it was Smith's turn, a delegate in the audience shouted out, 'What do you think about Bill Weld?!' (Weld-heckling was a sporadic feature throughout the three-day event.) Smith decided to make that his question.

"'What I think about Bill Weld," Sarwark started slowly, building into a feisty crescendo, 'is that he is still in the Libertarian Party, while many of his opponents are not. [He's been] raising money for and endorsing Libertarian candidates. He is fundraising for us. And the exposure of Bill Weld to the Libertarian Party has not made the Libertarian Party more like an establishment Republican, but has made Bill Weld a lot more like a Libertarian....He knows something about winning public office, and [we need to] learn how to do that from anybody who will help us, anybody who will join us. And we should not PUSH PEOPLE OUT who are willing to help!'

"As New York gubernatorial candidate and popular party organizer Larry Sharpe, who had backed Smith, commented later, after that exchange it was 'game over'."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/04/libertarian-party-rebuffs-mises-uprising
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

AZ GOP gets Libertarian gov. candidate off ballot

Is the Arizona GOP at War with the Libertarian Party? - IVN.us - Shawn M. Griffiths:

June 29, 2018 - "Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Kevin McCormick is officially off his party’s primary ballot. He was the only libertarian candidate still in the race, until Arizona GOP Chair Jonathan Lines challenged the legitimacy of over 90 percent of his ballot signatures.

"McCormick ... said he found out 15 minutes before his hearing that he would be kicked off the ballot. The one hold up was Maricopa County. He said that because the county recorder’s office went beyond what was legally required, the recorder’s report had him 942 signatures short of what he needed. [Update: Kevin McCormick says his campaign has identified over 500 valid signatures as of Friday morning that were tossed by Maricopa County.]....

"Lines challenged the registration status of many of the voters, as well as the lack of city/town information on addresses. The most detrimental challenge to McCormick, though, targeted the party affiliation of many of the signers. McCormick ... was ... able to get signatures from hundreds of Republicans and Democrats. Because of this, though, the Arizona GOP was able to successfully kick him out of the gubernatorial race....

"Gaining ballot access is not easy for independent and third party candidates in Arizona.... The Republican-controlled state legislature also made things more difficult for Libertarian candidates in 2015 when they passed a ballot access law that raised the signature requirement to qualify for the Libertarian primary ballot.

"Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News and nationally-recognized expert on the subject, explained to me that the 2015 law based the party’s new signature requirement on total registered voters in the state, rather than the total number of registered libertarians. Winger noted that the law only hurt Libertarians.

"The Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit challenging the law. It failed in district court. However, the party is now asking the Ninth Circuit to overturn the law.

"In 2018, McCormick had to get 3,152 signatures versus the 133 required before the 2015 law. To put that in perspective, the new signature requirement is a little over 10 percent of the total number of registered libertarians in Arizona."

Read more: https://ivn.us/2018/06/29/arizona-gop-war-libertarian-party/
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Monday, July 2, 2018

Bernier booted from Conservative shadow cabinet

Kicked out of shadow cabinet, Maxime Bernier raises $30,000 - iPolitics - Kyle Duggan:

June 15, 2018 - "Just a few days after being booted from his role as innovation critic after he re-circulated a controversial promo-chapter from his shelved book project, Maxime Bernier raised a cool $30,000 in one day.

"In an email sent to supporters with the subject line 'Are you still with me?' on Thursday (Bernier was booted from shadow cabinet late Tuesday), he asks his followers to contribute $5 or “any other amount you can afford today” so they can 'show the country how much you care for the perspective I bring to our national political debates'....

"'I just wanted to tell you that I’m as committed as ever to defending our conservative principles of freedom and small government. And I will continue to fight for them in whatever position I find myself,' it said.

"'Do you still want me to champion these principles in Ottawa, at a time when it is so important for our country’s future? If so, please help me pay down what remains [of] the debt from my leadership campaign, and fund my team’s work and my travels across the country to reach as many Canadians as possible'....

"Friday morning, he sent out another email announcing fundraising succes.... 'I am flabbergasted by the results,' Bernier announced. 'In just 24 hours, we raised $30,000!!! That’s several times more than the previous record of the past year. You can be assured [that] the response was received loud and clear!'

"On Wednesday, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer told reporters he wouldn’t discuss internal caucus matters when asked about ejecting Bernier from his industry critic role, although Scheer did strongly hint at the reason. 'When a member of our shadow cabinet makes a commitment to the rest of the caucus, then that commitment must be respected,' Scheer said....

"Back in April, Bernier canned his book project after releasing a chapter that railed against the supply management system – a position he’s long held and ran on during his leadership bid. It suggested Scheer won party leadership with the help of 'fake Conservatives,' a sort of astroturfing-to-victory aided by the dairy lobby.

"It was reported that earlier this month, Bernier reposted the chapter to his website – news that came as U.S. President Donald Trump ramped up his attacks on Canada’s dairy sector amid a Canada-U.S. trade dispute, and as parliamentarians throw their support behind Canada’s trade efforts."

Read more: https://ipolitics.ca/2018/06/15/kicked-out-of-shadow-cabinet-maxime-bernier-raises-30000/
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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Libertarian ideas get co-opted, and that's good

Forum: The Libertarian Party: Bringing good ideas to America since 1971 - New Haven Register - Thomas L. Knapp:

June 25, 2018 - "‘"Abolish ICE!" [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] is the new rallying cry for progressive Democrats,' reports NBC News’s Alex Seitz-Wald. It’s 'a radical idea and one that was confined to the fringes just months ago,' but one that 'left-wing insurgents can use to differentiate themselves from more established rivals in Democratic primaries.”

"Good idea. So good, in fact, that I wrote a column advocating exactly that three months ago. Welcome to the right side, Democrats.

"Like most Libertarians, I’m amused when our ideological opponents see a parade forming around one of our ideas and try to hustle their way to the front to 'lead' it. Unlike some Libertarians, I don’t follow up amusement with getting down in the mouth about being 'co-opted.' I’m just happy to see good ideas gain steam from any source.

"The Libertarian Party has supported same-sex marriage rights since its founding in 1971. Hillary Clinton finally joined us on that one in 2013.....

"We began calling for elimination of the federal income tax decades before the (even worse) 'Fair Tax' idea embedded itself in the Republican Party....

"Marijuana legalization? That was us too, fighting both old party establishments to get medical, then recreational, cannabis off the list of victimless 'crimes' from the early 1970s on....

"We beat the Democrats to putting abolition of the death penalty in our platform by mere weeks in 2016. It should have been there since 1971.

"The perceived gold standard for a political party’s success is winning elections, and I wish Libertarians won more of them. But a better standard is successfully pushing our values, ideas, and proposals into the public conversation and seeing them adopted. I’d like to see that happen more often as well, but I’m glad when it happens at least occasionally."

Read more: https://www.nhregister.com/opinion/article/Forum-The-Libertarian-Party-Bringing-good-ideas-13024456.php
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