Friday, November 30, 2018

Canadian govt. budgets $600M to subsidize press

Andrew Coyne: Liberals’ $600M aid package for news media will irrevocably politicize the press | National Post:

November 23, 2018 - "[Newspaper] publishers have long been leading the charge for federal aid... The publishers’ association even went so far as to suggest a model of how the money might be delivered, complete with promises of what sort of coverage they would provide in exchange.

"This week all that effort paid off: a $600-million aid package, tucked in the middle of Wednesday’s economic statement.... In an election year, ... the Liberal government has agreed to supply the nation’s news media with pots of cash....

"[A]n 'independent panel' of journalists will determine who is eligible to receive the government’s cash.... [T]hey will be scrupulously non-partisan, of unimpeachable respectability, and dependably progressive.

"At least, they will until the Tories are elected. At that point, the new government will be presented with a familiar choice: keep on the Liberal appointees, and be congratulated for their statesmanlike impartiality, or replace them with others of a more right-wing hue, and suddenly arouse those hitherto-dormant fears about the freedom of the press....

"Until now, politicians have had to suffer journalists’ lectures to the effect that taking campaign donations from corporations and other vested interests might influence their judgment.... We will have to shut up about that now, as we will have to shut up about bailouts of other industries, and handouts to interest groups. We will simply have no standing to object to any of it.

"In time, it will no longer occur to us. The money the government is giving us is not going to solve our problems. It is only going to ensure we put off confronting them. Before long we will be back for more — after the same mutual dance of veiled threat and implicit promise.

"Perhaps some news organizations will refuse the government lolly. They will find themselves at a substantial competitive disadvantage to those who don’t. As of course will all those who are refused ... because they are not “professional” enough. Perhaps they will be deemed too 'ideological' by our panel of progressive worthies? Or perhaps they will be too small, too unusual, scrappy startups practicing journalism in a form unrecognizable to the sorts of people likely to fill such a committee.

"To hell with it. To hell with all of it. No newspaper publisher should have anything to do with this plan. And no journalist worthy of the name should go anywhere near that accursed panel."

Read more: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/andrew-coyne-liberals-600m-aid-package-for-news-media-will-irrevocably-politicize-the-press
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

8th Amendment forfeiture case goes to SCOTUS

Supreme Court could limit the travesty of civil asset forfeiture - Tiana Low, Washington Examiner:

November 28, 2018 - "At long last, the Supreme Court may take action to limit civil forfeiture, if the questioning by various justices in today's case — including Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch — is any indication. Although one can only learn so much from the questions justices ask, today's oral arguments strongly indicate that justices will apply the Excessive Fines Clause of the Bill of Rights to cities and states, ending some of the worst abuses of civil asset forfeiture....

"The state of Indiana required Tyson Timbs, a man convicted on minor drug charges, to forfeit his car, a 2012 Land Rover, which he had purchased for $42,000 from the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Indiana law dictates that the maximum fine for the crime, selling heroin to undercover officers, is $10,000, just a quarter of the value of the car.

"Justice Clarence Thomas summed up the awful practice of civil asset forfeiture best when he cited a book entitled Policing for Profit....

"SCOTUS's impending ruling is frankly overdue. As Gorsuch noted in his questioning today, 'Most of the incorporation cases took place in like the 1940s. And here we are in 2018 still litigating incorporation of the Bill of Rights.'

"If the court finally forces the states' hands, it will end the worst excesses of civil asset forfeiture. Over 100 years ago, SCOTUS ruled that excessive fines are those 'so grossly excessive as to amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law'....

"After Indiana's solicitor general tried to argue that the Excessive Fines Clause doesn't apply to the states, 'Gorsuch then told the Indiana SG that he was going to lose, and if he kept arguing the merits, he’d lose even worse,' according to Slate's Mark Joseph Stern."

Read more: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-supreme-court-could-limit-the-travesty-of-civil-asset-forfeiture
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Congressman-elect a "libertarian populist"

Libertarian Populism is Still Relevant in the Age of Trump | The American Conservative - Kevin Boyd:

November 19, 2018 - "The conventional wisdom says that libertarian politics is irrelevant in the age of Donald Trump.... Yet while there was some bad news for libertarians in the midterms, there was also plenty of good news.... .

"But it is the unexpectedly strong victory of Denver Riggleman of Bigfoot erotica fame in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District that shows how libertarian populism can still be a force in American politics. Riggleman is described by National Review’s Jibran Khan as 'a libertarian outsider with a knack for free-market populism.' Riggleman, who owns a whiskey distillery, ran a positive, policy-focused race against crony capitalism and for reforms in the H2A guest worker program in order help farmers get the labor they need....

"Riggleman, with the support of younger voters, won a contentious nominating convention against a leading social conservative. His victory shows that a libertarian populist message can still resonate, even in a battleground district.

"Why is libertarian populism still relevant? The latest answer is Amazon’s decision to place its HQ2 facility in Arlington, Virginia, and New York City (along with another project in Nashville). Amazon collected over $2.2 billion in government subsidies from the three states. The only congressional opposition to this act of blatant cronyism came from libertarians and [a] self-described socialist Congresswoman-elect....

"Libertarian populists ... are skeptical of both big business and big government. They are strong supporters of free speech whether the threat comes from the state or from private industry. They are unapologetically anti-globalist while at the same championing free trade and a realist foreign policy. They champion both environmental conservation and limited government. They understand that a limited social safety net is necessary. They support both streamlined legal immigration and border security.

"Do they have a chance in Trump’s Republican Party? Yes, because the efforts to build a Trumpism without Trump took a beating in the midterms. Corey Stewart was soundly defeated in his bid for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat.... Lou Barletta ... was defeated for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat. Kris Kobach was beaten in his bid to become Kansas’s governor. There is little love for Trumpism among suburbanites and young people, two demographics that the Republican Party must do better among if it hopes to win in the future.

"Trump himself seems to understand this to a point. He recently endorsed criminal justice reform legislation that is working its way through the U.S. Senate. He has hinted at supporting the legalization of marijuana at the federal level. One of his most important unofficial advisors is none other than Senator Rand Paul....

"The political movement of the foreseeable future is going to be populist, not centrist. Why shouldn’t the championing of human liberty be one of the causes that the people take up?"

Read more: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/libertarian-populism-is-still-relevant-in-the-age-of-trump/

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Georgia Libertarian voting Democrat in runoff

Libertarian Candidate Offers Support - But No Endorsement - in Georgia PSC Runoff to 'Combat Cronyism' - AllOnGeorgia - Ryan Graham:

November 26, 2018 - "As a candidate for state office in Georgia this fall, I heard from thousands of voters feeling left behind by Georgia politics. Those voices of dissent and discontent voted for libertarian candidates.... They rejected the status quo and corrupt bureaucrats. Many of those voters, myself included, will be faced with that status quo again in December 4 run-offs.

"I campaigned against the outrageously disingenuous incumbent failing to represent District 3 on the Public Service Commission (PSC). His campaign was overwhelmingly funded by companies he is elected to regulate, most notably Georgia Power, Southern Company. Donations are disguised through lobbyists and law firms who represent those special interests.

"The PSC’s duty is to advocate for consumers against state-appointed monopolies. When competition is illegal, prices rise and quality falls.... Monopoly power companies are not only charging Georgians higher prices and special fees, they’ve successfully convinced incumbent politicians to allow them to profit from power they haven’t produced. The $28 Billion boondoggle in Waynesboro guarantees Georgia Power ... $5 Billion in profits without a single kilowatt generated.....

"I’ve fielded many calls and emails this month asking if my campaign – 100,000+ voters strong – would endorse either the sitting Republican or the challenging Democrat. I will not. Were either candidate on the right side of enough issues to earn my endorsement, my own campaign would not have been necessary. But I will cast a vote in this run-off: I will vote for Lindy Miller....

"Democrats usually count on the support of unions and ‘organized labor’ in exchange for make-work projects at public expense. Miller has not received those endorsements, and that’s a good sign. Unions see she’ll question cost overruns and wasted dollars – exactly what the PSC should be doing but hasn’t....

"The PSC, designated to represent your interests and stand up to its own crony donors, has 5 commissioners all of whom are big government, tax-and-spend Republicans. Lindy Miller will challenge discussions that routinely end in 5-0 or 0-5 decisions. The strength of Miller’s campaign is her fierce advocacy for consumers and apparent willingness to fight the status quo.

"Customers forced to do business with just one power provider need a champion bulldog, not a corporate lapdog. We need someone on the PSC asking the hard questions. I genuinely hoped it could be me, and I thank the tens of thousands of you who joined me in voting for that vision. At least one candidate has endorsed consumer choice, because your concerns tipped an election."

Read more: https://www.allongeorgia.com/georgia-column-politics/opinion-libertarian-candidate-offers-support-but-no-endorsement-in-georgia-psc-runoff/
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Monday, November 26, 2018

Cannabis prohibition defeated in 3 more states

The Growing Consensus for Legalizing Marijuana - Reason.com - Steve Chapman:

November 9, 2018 - "The United States remains starkly divided between red and blue, with Republicans and Democrats each registering some gains and some setbacks in the elections. But on one important issue, a national consensus is emerging....

"On Tuesday, Michigan became the 10th state, along with the District of Columbia, to decide to legalize marijuana for purely recreational use. A quarter of Americans will live in states that let them get stoned.... Then there are the states that allow marijuana to be used for medical needs. On Tuesday, Missouri and Utah  ... voted to join the club. That brings the total number of states that allow pot to be legally consumed in some circumstances to 32, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, plus D.C....

"Illinois elected a governor, J.B. Pritzker, who favors allowing recreational cannabis. So did Connecticut (Ned Lamont), Maine (Janet Mills), Minnesota (Tim Walz), and New Mexico (Michelle Lujan Grisham)....

"Cannabis has already run away with the contest for public favor. In 2000, according to the Pew Research Center, only 31 percent of Americans supported legalizing recreational pot. Today, 62 percent do.

"But even in states where cannabis is legal, it isn't. Federal law still bans weed, with penalties that include prison time even for mere users. Sick people smoking it to relieve chronic pain, muscular dystrophy, or epilepsy, in faithful compliance with their state laws, are not exempt from prosecution.... Under Barack Obama, the Justice Department adopted a hands-off policy...  But ... die-hard prohibitionist Jeff Sessions reversed course [and] ordered prosecutors to fully enforce federal laws....

"This ought to be an issue on which the two parties can come together — not on whether marijuana should be legal but on whether states should be allowed to make the ... choices. Last year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined with Democratic colleagues Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York to propose ending the federal prohibition on medical cannabis....

"Republicans might gain politically from eliminating the federal role. Taking a more moderate position on a matter that millions of people regard as no business of politicians could soften their image among independent voters. Passing an important measure with bipartisan support would demonstrate that the 2018 election results didn't prevent our lawmakers from getting anything useful done."

Read more: https://reason.com/archives/2018/11/09/the-growing-consensus-for-legalizing-mar
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

The wackadoo libertarianism of Demolition Man

On ‘Demolition Man,’ Libertarian Action, and the 3 Seashells - Abraham Riesman, Vulture:

October 9, 2018 - "I’m a lover of dystopias, but I’ve always found Brave New World irksome.... But there’s a movie that makes me wonder whether my real problem with Brave New World was simply that it didn’t have enough car chases and zingy one-liners. That film is Marco Brambilla’s 1993 epic Demolition Man, which  ... presents a bizarrely compelling philosophical argument, ultimately becoming a libertarian screed that’s as wackadoo as it is persuasive.

"In it, Sylvester Stallone portrays the titular gent, ... the phallically named LAPD hero John Spartan, whom we meet in the then-future of 1996, patrolling a hellish Los Angeles [in] battle with a crime lord who has an even better name: Simon Phoenix, played by Wesley Snipes.... Phoenix ... prompts Spartan to blow up the building they’re in [and] Spartan and Phoenix are both sentenced to a curious form of imprisonment: cryogenic freezing....

"We’re transported to the year 2032, where everything is … pretty great, actually. Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego have merged into a cheery megalopolis called San Angeles, where everyone and everything is chill as heck.... Phoenix is woken up for parole and mysteriously able to break free, killing a warden and a few guards in ... the first murders committed in decades. Baffled and unqualified for dealing with a killer, the cops ... retrieve the legendary Spartan.... Obviously, Spartan will catch Phoenix.... The real magic of the movie lies in its world-building and its message. This is, believe it or not, less a movie of plot or spectacle than it is a movie of ideas.

"The elaboration of San Angeles is a wonder to behold, veering back and forth smoothly between satire and sheer invention.... There are also completely bizarre ideas.... Spartan uses the bathroom at the precinct and informs the cops that they’re out of toilet paper. Everyone giggles and he’s told that no one uses TP anymore — instead, they use 'the three seashells'.... At no point, however, is there any explanation of how one can use three seashells to take care of one’s fecal matter....

"But ultimately, the non sequiturs are overpowered by the commentary. It becomes clear as things progress that Demolition Man is intended to be a libertarian manifesto. Nowhere is that clearer than in the words of the leader of the utopia-rejecting underground, Edgar Friendly [who] delivers a stunning monologue....
See, according to Cocteau’s plan, I’m the enemy. ‘Cause I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I’m the kind if guy who wants to sit in a greasy spoon and think, Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries? I want high cholesterol. I want to eat bacon, butter, and buckets of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in a non-smoking section. I wanna run through the streets naked with green Jello all over my body reading Playboy magazine.... You wanna live on top, you gotta live Cocteau’s way: what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. Your other choice: come down here, maybe starve to death.
"Has there ever been a rawer, more perfect argument against the nanny state in mainstream cinema?"

Read more: https://www.vulture.com/2018/10/on-demolition-man-libertarian-action-and-the-3-seashells.html
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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Reed retires after 10 years as FEE president

Giving Thanks for Ten Years of Growth and Progress at FEE - Foundation for Economic Education - Lawrence W. Reed:

November 21, 2018 - "The holidays and final weeks of the year are upon us. It’s a time to count blessings.... I’m thankful for more than anybody has time to read about, but right now I am spending a lot of time appreciating the wonderful opportunity I’ve had to lead FEE for more than ten years as its president. Last June, I announced that when our board of trustees chooses a successor, I will step into an active president emeritus role. That will hopefully allow me more time to write and lecture. The search process is on track and will likely culminate with the announcement of a new president sometime in the first half of 2019....

"My 10+ years represent by far the longest and most consequential of any FEE presidency since that of our founder, Leonard Read. For the benefit of our readers and especially our thousands of financial supporters, I’d like to recap some of our accomplishments since 2008.

"Big and tough decisions were made. One was to move from ... Irvington, New York to Atlanta, Georgia. Many of us felt a deep and long-held attachment to the old mansion on the Hudson.... But the numbers made the case for moving. We chose Atlanta, cut our operating costs in half, avoided a small fortune in future upkeep of a 140-year-old building, and now have an office that fits our needs and mission perfectly. Good stewardship of donor dollars demands their most efficient and effective use in everything an organization does....

"Another big, tough decision was to re-focus and re-staff the editorial/content team. The wisdom of that decision was proven quickly. Our readership had been flat or declining for 15 years but it’s risen dramatically every year since that decision.

"Reflecting where our targeted audience goes to read content, we ended the costly print edition of our venerable monthly magazine, The Freeman. We now publish online every three days the equivalent of an entire issue of The Freeman. And instead of a readership in the thousands, we approach a million unique visitors to FEE.org most months of the year.

"We also do a lot less preaching to the choir these days.... FEE is now focused, laser-like, on young newcomers to liberty of high school and college age....

"Overall revenues, at $6 million last year, are three times what they were in 2008. Moreover, the million-dollar deficit we faced at that time was erased within two years. Every year for the past eight, our bottom line has been in the black and big. We’ve rebuilt our reserves and put FEE on its soundest financial footing in decades. Our auditors give us the highest marks and Charity Navigator ranks us in its top category for nonprofit soundness and management....

"FEE’s many accomplishments would not be possible without our generous supporters. As we continue to advance the ideas and principles of free markets and individual liberty among the rising generation, I ask that you please consider supporting FEE in this endeavor.... Thank you, FEE supporters, for all that you’ve done for us to make FEE the vibrant and productive organization it is today!"

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Friday, November 23, 2018

U.S. support for Yemen war raises opposition

Lawmakers alarmed by U.S. support for bombing campaign in Yemen - Deirdre Shesgreen, USA Today:

September 12, 2018 - "Lawmakers in both parties are increasingly alarmed by America’s support for a bombing campaign in Yemen that has left thousands of civilians dead – including 40 children who were killed [in August] when an airstrike hit a school bus....

“'It is as clear as day that the Saudi-led coalition is recklessly – and likely intentionally – killing innocent civilians and children, and they’re doing it with U.S. bombs and so-called targeting assistance,' said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee....

"In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said ... the U.S. is working to ensure that Saudi Arabia and the UAE support efforts to end the war, and in the meantime, that the coalition allows humanitarian support to reach those in need and mitigates the impact of the conflict on civilians and civilian infrastructure. But others said the civilian casualties and a severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen is getting worse, not better.

"'The civil war in Yemen has been raging for more than three years and has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,' Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Todd Young, R-Ind., wrote in a joint op-ed published [in September] by The Washington Post. They noted that three-quarters of Yemen’s population – about 22 million people – need humanitarian assistance. Of those, 8 million are on the brink of starvation, and 400,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition.

"'A major contributor to the devastation and chaos is the indiscriminate bombing campaign led by a coalition made up of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which receives refueling, intelligence and targeting support from the United States,' the two senators wrote.

"A Sept. 5 report by the United Nation’s human rights office found that since March 2015, at least 5,144 civilians have been killed in Yemen and more than 8,749 injured. Children accounted for 1,184 of those killed and 1,592 of the injured.... 'Coalition airstrikes continued to be the leading cause of child casualties as well as overall civilian casualties,' the U.N. concluded....

"The Yemeni conflict is essentially a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as they compete for power and influence in the region. The civil war began three years ago when Houthi Shiite rebels, backed by Iran, overthrew President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government. A Saudi-led coalition, backed by the U.S., launched a military campaign against the Houthis soon after. Iran is an arch-rival of Saudi Arabia, which has a Sunni majority."

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/09/12/lawmakers-alarmed-u-s-support-bombing-campaign-yemen/1283798002/
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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Iowa Libertarians lost major party status in 2018

Libertarians to refocus after losing major party status in Iowa - Barbara Rodriguez, Des Moines Register:

November 21, 2018 - "A lackluster performance in Iowa's midterms has cost Libertarians the major party status they earned for the first time after the 2016 general election.... Jake Porter, the Libertarian candidate for governor, received 1.6 percent of the vote ...  — less than the 2 percent that Iowa law requires to retain major party status....

"The setback comes despite a period of growth for Iowa Libertarians. They have new party registrations, more candidates on the ballot and more people voting for those candidates.

"The 2 percent threshold, required in either a governor's race or a presidential race, allowed Libertarians to participate in this year’s state primary.... Instead, heading into the 2020 presidential election, Libertarians once again will be categorized in Iowa as a non-party political organization, and candidates will need to circulate nominating petitions to qualify to appear on the ballot. Party leaders predict they'll bounce back and regain their status in two years....

"A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll in September showed 7 percent of Iowans said they supported Porter. Another Iowa Poll days before the election showed Porter's support had dropped to 2 percent.

"That's despite a surge in registered Libertarians — from about 9,000 in early 2017 to more than 13,000 as of November. Porter ultimately received 21,426 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast in the governor's race....

"There were 27 Libertarian candidates running for congressional, statewide and legislative races in Iowa this year [which] surpasses the 2016 record of 24. But some of those candidates posted little, if any, information about themselves, and some had no website or social media presence. More importantly, ... campaign filing data show the four Libertarian congressional candidates raised no money....

"Nationally, Election Day produced mixed results for the Libertarian Party. Libertarians running for governor in Oklahoma and New York cleared the voting thresholds needed to maintain ballot access. In the governor’s race in New Hampshire, the Libertarian candidate failed to secure enough votes. Libertarians in Ohio are considering legal action over any attempt by that state to take away their newly acquired party status."

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Trump backs criminal justice reform bill

Bipartisan criminal-justice reform could happen soon — if the 1990s wing of the GOP gets out of the way - Los Angeles Times:

November 19, 2018 - "A federal criminal-justice reform bill designed to make sentencing more rational and inmates’ return to society more successful has bipartisan support and last week won the backing of President Trump.... The bill, known as the First Step Act, would move federal sentencing laws and reentry programs ever so slightly in the direction of reforms already adopted in many deep blue states such as California and many bright red ones such as Georgia.

"Congress has already reduced sentences for crack convictions to bring them more in line with similar offenses involving powder cocaine, but the changes apply only to convictions handed down in 2010 or later. This bill would finally make those changes retroactive and would thus affect thousands of imprisoned, mostly African American men sentenced under the unfair drug laws adopted in the crime panic of the 1990s. It also would eliminate mandatory life-without-parole for repeat drug offenders and would reduce mandatory sentences for other drug offenses by a few years. It would reduce mandatory minimums for gun crimes ([but] does not eliminate the availability of much longer sentences). And it would enforce laws and regulations that are already on the books but are not always followed — for example, applying good-conduct credits ... and providing rehabilitative services and education.

"These changes are overdue. Long sentences keep thousands of Americans locked up well after the punitive or rehabilitative value of the incarceration has been exhausted. The bill returns some discretion to judges to make the sentence fit the crime....

"The bill is modest in the extreme.... For all its modesty, though, it’s a good bill, and if they are smart, Democrats and Republicans, the House and the Senate, will join and adopt it during the lame-duck session....

"Many conservatives have come to question tough sentencing laws, seeing them as contrary to bedrock values of small government, fiscal discipline, personal responsibility and family preservation. The 'Right on Crime' movement has worked to recapture from liberals the moral leadership on criminal-justice reform. At the same time, tough-on-crime Republicans like [Sen. Tom] Cotton (and recently departed Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions) remain influential....

"Trump ... campaigned as a traditional tough-on-crime conservative and backed Sessions.... Earlier this year, he called for the death penalty for drug dealers.... But the bill has been strongly pushed by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the president has now signed on. Most of the signals are good. Congress would be wise to act quickly, before the notoriously mercurial president changes his mind."

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-step-act-20181119-story.html
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Canada's cannabis regulations lead to shortages

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn | CTV News - Aly Thomson, Canadian Press:

November 14, 2018 - "The supply shortages that have plagued many provinces in the first month of legal cannabis will likely persist for years, industry insiders say.

"Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have all reported varying degrees of shortages. New Brunswick was forced to temporarily close more than half its stores, while the Quebec Cannabis Corporation has reduced its store opening hours to four days a week. Labrador's only legal cannabis store said it was forced to temporarily close after being without any product for nearly two weeks.

"Khurram Malik, CEO of the Toronto-based cannabis company Biome Grow Inc., said the lack of supply is due in part to the tough regulations imposed by Health Canada on the country's 132 licensed producers, and the time required by companies to develop a quality and compliant product. He said the federal department also took too long to approve licences....

"'The rules here are so difficult to grow cannabis -- quite frankly more difficult than anywhere else in the world -- that if you're a new licence holder and you've never done this before, it's going to take you a year, year-and-a-half, or two years to get any decent, consistent quality product out the door in any predictable volumes,' said Malik, adding it's much easier and cheaper to grow in jurisdictions such as California....

"Malik said he suspects some companies did stockpile cannabis leading up to Oct. 17, but logistics such as packaging and shipping have held up distribution as producers navigate the red tape of a brand new sector....

"Health Canada said it has taken steps to improve the licensing and capacity of producers.... The department declined a request for an interview. But a statement from spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau acknowledged that product shortages would likely continue 'in the months ahead'....

"Brenda and Trevor Tobin, the mother-and-son owners of Labrador City's High North, said ... [t]he shop sold all of its cannabis in the first three hours on legalization day, and in the weeks following, products dried up for almost two weeks.... Brenda Tobin said ... that has prompted some of her customers to buy cannabis illegally."

"'A lot of them have said, "Well I guess it's back to the black market",' said Tobin. 'We hate to hear that, but I'm assuming if they want their product, they're going to get it one way or the other.'"

Read more: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/expect-no-quick-end-to-canada-wide-cannabis-shortages-producers-warn-1.4177015
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Monday, November 19, 2018

WY Libertarian loses statehouse race by 53 votes

Libertarian Bethany Baldes Gets Within 60 Votes of Victory in Wyoming State House Race Against Incumbent GOP Majority Leader - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Bryan Doherty:

November 7, 2018 - "Bethany Baldes, a Libertarian Party state House candidate in Wyoming's District 55, got so close to defeating incumbent Republican David Miller, who is the House majority leader and has held the seat ever since 2000, that until the absentee ballots were counted local news outlet County 10 was reporting a 54–46 percent win for her....

"Alas, after the absentee votes were counted, what had been a raw vote total of 1,306 to 1,112 for Baldes became a 1,645-1,592 win for incumbent Miller.

"The near-win was the fruit of a strategy pushed by Apollo Pazell, a campaign adviser with the national Libertarian Party. 'We need to create a narrative of wins,' he said in a phone interview last month. To begin that narrative, he thought the L.P. should find races where the total number of votes needed to win was small and there was only one major party opponent, then find a good candidate with strong local roots, and dig in with retail campaigning.

"'Baldes, a fifth-generation Wyoming woman, was someone who was 'part of the day-to-day life of this small town, and they didn't ever see David Miller,' Pazell said. Miller didn't even spend all year in the state, Pazell said, and returned only late in the game to do any campaigning.

"Pazell led a team of six volunteers working full-time for four weeks to hit each and every door in her district, centered on the city of Riverton, three times. Baldes sought and received endorsements from the majority of the Riverton City Council, the county attorney, and more than one former mayor.....

"While Pazell says they did not necessarily fly the Libertarian label all the time, neither did they shy away from it.... Pazell says it was often a benefit in this race, as having been a Democrat might have gotten doors slammed in their face in the current political climate. Hearing Baldes was a Libertarian was actually 'often incredibly disarming' to voters, Pazell says....

"Pazell detailed in last month's phone interview a multi-layered campaign starting with overall voter data, followed by a generic first round of door-knocks to learn more about specific voters' concerns and attitudes. That resulted in six separate mailers for six distinct groups and get out the vote reminders. The campaign raised around $6,000, which is a big deal for a Wyoming state race, he says."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/07/libertarian-bethany-baldes-in-wyoming-st
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Ontario LP leader Rob Ferguson interviewed

Interview with the Leader of the Libertarian Party of Ontario · 71 Republic - Brennan Dube:

November 11, 2018 - "The Libertarian Party of Ontario has seen impressive growth over the past several years.... The party only fielded 5 libertarians in the 2003 election..... In the 2011 race, the libertarians fielded 51 candidates out of a possible 107 and garnered 0.45% of the popular vote.... 2014, ... the libertarians ran 74 out of a possible 107 and scored 0.81% of the vote. [This year the] Ontario libertarians were able to field 117 candidates (94.3%).... Even though the party only got 0.75% of the popular vote, they nonetheless picked up a record high of 42,918 voters....

"I had the privilege of interviewing former deputy leader and now current leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party, Rob Ferguson....

"Ferguson: 'I grew up in a Conservative family and ... I can even remember our families home was turned into a campaign HQ on some occasions. As I grew up I decided to become a member of the New Democratic Party.... My stint with the party lasted less than a year.... I found myself then exploring the Family Coalition Party.... During the time leading up to the provincial election in 2011, ... I left the party and just hours later found myself in contact with some executive members of the Ontario Libertarian Party. I ended up coordinating and training 12 candidates in the 2011 provincial race, and I ran myself as well. I have always been about family values and the party’s positions on individual liberties, property rights and personal responsibility fit me perfectly....

"'From a philosophical standpoint, libertarianism is so unique and when you start to apply the basic principles of libertarianism to issues we see brought up every election you see that yes, this makes sense. The notion of personal responsibility and property rights are key points within the libertarian ideology. One of my biggest influences is former Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier. He is a prime exemplar of classical liberalism in Canadian politics. I also find myself often quoting Margaret Thatcher. One quote of hers I often find myself repeating is, "The problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other people’s money."

"'Allen Small did a ton for this party as its leader, and he has left us in a very good place going forward ... he was always on top of things and he put a ton into his job. Now that I have taken the mantle from him I think that the number one priority should be to amend our party’s constitution and make it more coherent with the digital age....

"'[I]t’s refreshing to see more and more liberty minded people putting their names out there.... However, I am skeptical of the [People's Party], what I say is simple, you can either join a new party that may or may not last or you can stick with a movement that’s been growing for 40 years and is seeing its absolute best growth now. I welcome Bernier and his new party to the table but ... as for me, I’m sticking with the Libertarian Party.

"'We’ve seen incredible growth; over the last few elections we’ve seen votes go up, membership go up and candidates go up. To maintain our growth, we need to continue to aim towards running full slates. By updating our party constitution and by-laws and fixing internal policy we can ... modernize the party. A few of the ridings that we weren’t able to fill candidates in were up in Northern Ontario and by targeting those areas in 2022 and continuing to run full slates we can continue to see solid growth and work towards winning seats in the next few election cycles....

"'In the age now of social media when you spread the message to a few it can reach many so just getting out and speaking to as many people as possible is truly the way to best engage voters. Here in Brantford I think I have succeeded in that, just recently I was out at a store and an individual turned to me and said, "hey, aren’t you Rob Ferguson?" and I laugh because my wife says it seems like we can’t go out anymore without people coming up to me or recognizing me.'"

Read more: https://71republic.com/2018/11/11/interview-libertarian-party-ontario-rob-ferguson/
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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Why libertarians like Bitcoin

The Libertarian Case for Bitcoin | Hacked: Hacking Finance - William Bartlett:

August 23, 2018 - "From the outside looking in, Bitcoin seems to have a cult-like following.... However, as you get to understand crypto a little better, it becomes clear that there are many different factions.... There are the technologists who think technology is king, [the] contrarians who believe that the US dollar and all fiat currencies are overvalued, and then there are the libertarians who want to have as much freedom from the government as possible.

 "At its core, libertarianism is a political philosophy that gives individuals rights to acquire, keep, and exchange their holdings. It is a very 'American' point-of-view, and has gained a lot of support in recent times, due to the rising fiscal deficit, among other things.... To libertarians, the ideal is to have minimum intervention from the state.

"This also involves locking middlemen and intermediaries out of the equation. Oligopolies such as the one the big banks currently hold end up giving them a 'government-level' of control over the funds of customers. Bitcoin disintermediates these banks and creates a natural market for all who wish to do commerce online.

"An auxiliary point would be the somewhat excessive intervention in the money markets by the Fed. Denationalization of currency is a position most libertarians take as another way of protecting their money from purposeful inflation.

"What is especially beautiful about Bitcoin is the fact that it is censorship resistant. Not only is there economic freedom, but also the ability to fund whatever you would like, but without worrying about being stopped. This is true 'freedom of expression' (another libertarian ideal). Obviously there are cases where this goes too far (e.g. terrorism) and this is where the debate about Bitcoin’s place in society heats up.

"Bitcoin also goes in direct conflict with the government’s desire to track the flow of money for taxation and regulatory purposes. It is very difficult for governments to track the flow of Bitcoin funds, and even though it’s possible to match up public addresses, anonymity is generally ensured. And for those looking for a more robust solution, other privacy coins like zCash and Monero have popped up.

"Aside from Bitcoin, you have numerous new 'markets' popping up where there used to be inefficient markets with minimal innovation. Utility coins are putting a value on what used to be deadweight loss in the markets. This connects to Bitcoin with the idea of 'economic liberty', where they have property rights and fully privatized free markets."

Read more: https://hacked.com/the-libertarian-case-for-bitcoin/
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Friday, November 16, 2018

Niskanen Center abandons libertarian label

The libertarian think tank Niskanen Center is abandoning libertarianism — Quartz - Michael J. Coren:

October 31, 2018 - "For millions of people, ideology is the lighthouse in a dark sea of politics. An uncompromising vision of how the world is supposed to work, and how to fix it, is just too alluring for partisans to ignore. Political parties’ most frenzied supporters are demanding ideological purity from their candidates as they push out moderates [and] ever fewer temperate souls are left to hold the middle ground in politics.

"Yet the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center in Washington, DC, argues the moderate middle is the future. Niskanen president Jerry Taylor wrote in an Oct. 29 essay that he is dropping the libertarian banner.... In a 3,595-word farewell to the libertarian world, he says libertarianism, and ideology itself, is a dead end. 'I have abandoned that libertarian project…because I have come to abandon ideology,' writes Taylor.... The future of American politics, he argues, is principled compromise....

"Trump’s authoritarian takeover of the Republican Party was Taylor’s breaking point ('I would have thought libertarians would have been on the ramparts, and they are not,' he said), but his disillusionment began years ago after working as a paid climate skeptic for the Cato Institute. He eventually came to see opposing action on climate change as both scientifically misguided, and wrong. After failing to get his libertarian colleagues to even engage with the argument, he slowly began to see how ideological fervor had engulfed a range of political issues, no matter what evidence pointed to the contrary.

"Taylor argues Americans need to give up on perfection in politics, the logical endpoint of which is fanaticism. As the head of a think tank aimed at lawmakers, not the US public, Taylor’s move is a politically opportunistic bet as much as a principled stand in defense of a pluralistic society.....

"The libertarian vision of 'night-watchman state' with a society dominated by the market is as distant a dream as ever. But a few libertarian causes have flourished in national politics of late.

"From legalizing marijuana to deregulating telecom to striking down sodomy laws, libertarian policy wins have come after being co-opted by the major political parties (and even by winning a few local elections). Taylor’s rejection of the libertarian label may be a gift to his (former) fellow travelers. Libertarians’ greatest impact may be felt most when they aren’t espousing an ideology at all."

Read more: https://qz.com/1443787/a-libertarian-think-tank-just-gave-up-on-libertarianism/
'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ohio Libertarians dispute loss of ballot status

Ohio Libertarians may sue to keep ballot access | cleveland.com - Jeremy Pelzer:

November 13, 2018 - "Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office says that the Libertarians, along with the Ohio Green Party, lost their ballot access because their respective candidates for governor in the Nov. 6 midterm election didn’t get the 3 percent of the vote required under state law to remain a recognized minor party. The Libertarians’ gubernatorial nominee, Columbus activist and filmmaker Travis Irvine, got 1.8 percent of the vote, according to unofficial totals.

"But Ohio Libertarians point to a part of the law (specifically, section 3501.01(F)(2)(b) of the Ohio Revised Code) stating that the '3-percent' requirement is only for minor parties that have been recognized for at least a year before the election. The Libertarian Party of Ohio regained state recognition in July for the first time since 2014, a year after the GOP-controlled legislature passed new ballot-access rules (which the Libertarians tried unsuccessfully to fight in a lengthy court battle).

"Secretary of state spokesman Sam Rossi disputed the Libertarians’ assertion that the '3-percent' requirement doesn’t apply to them.... Rossi also noted that the Libertarian Party of Ohio’s chair, Harold Thomas, claimed the day before the 2018 midterms that Irvine needed 3 percent of the vote to 'automatically achieve 2020 ballot access....

"Rossi declined to comment further, saying the Libertarians are likely to file suit over the matter against Husted’s successor, Republican Frank LaRose.... Indeed, that’s exactly what Libertarian Party of Ohio spokesman David Jackson said his party would do, if they are notified by Husted’s office that they are de-certified as a minor party."

Read more: https://www.cleveland.com/politics/2018/11/ohio-libertarians-may-sue-to-keep-ballot-access.html
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WA Supreme Court strikes down death penalty

Washington state Supreme Court strikes down the death penalty | News | The Pacific Northwest Inlander | News, Politics, Music, Calendar, Events in Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and the Inland Northwest - Wilson Criscione:

October 18, 2018 - "The Washington Supreme Court unanimously struck down the death penalty last week, ruling that it is 'imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.' In doing so, Washington becomes the 20th state to end capital punishment. The ruling commuted the sentences of eight men currently on death row to life in prison.

"'The death penalty, as administered in our state, fails to serve any legitimate penological goal,' the ruling states.

"It's the third time the court has declared the state's death penalty laws unconstitutional — the prior rulings taking place in 1972 and 1979. None of those, including last week's decision, hold capital punishment as inherently unconstitutional. The court left open the option that the state Legislature could enact a statute for capital punishment, as long is it doesn't create a system that offends constitutional rights....

"Fifteen states have abandoned the death penalty through court order or legislative act in the last 15 years. Washington has not executed anyone since 2010, and in 2014, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — a one-time supporter of capital punishment — imposed a moratorium on the death penalty. He said last week in a news conference that he would veto any bill that would reinstate the death penalty. "'Today's decision by the state Supreme Court thankfully ends the death penalty in Washington,' Inslee says in a statement....

"Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who introduced legislation in 2017 to abolish the death penalty, says in a statement he will try again to remove capital punishment from state law, 'once and for all.'  'Next session, I will again propose legislation repealing the death penalty, replacing it with life in prison without the possibility of parole,' Ferguson says."

Read more: https://www.inlander.com/spokane/washington-state-supreme-court-strikes-down-the-death-penalty/Content?oid=13540743
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sharpe achieves ballot status for NY Libertarians

Libertarian Party of New York Achieves Ballot Access - Binghamton Homepage:

November 7, 2018 - "Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe made history today by tallying 90,739 votes in the New York State Gubernatorial election. New York is now one step closer to changing the two party partnership in Albany that enjoys the political benefits of offering favors with our tax dollars. Mr. Sharpe made inroads with disenchanted Republicans and Democrats, Independents and new voters by offering a message of hope rather than employing the fear factor tactics of the old parties.

"By surpassing the 50,000 vote threshold, the Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY) secures New York State ballot access for the next four years. Recruiting principled libertarian candidates to challenge big government incumbents in local elections begins now. We enthusiastically welcome those who defend the rights of the individual and want to challenge Albany’s use of force to achieve political and social goals to join us.

"LPNY Chairman Jim Rosenbeck said “\'We view today’s results as much more than the snapshot of a single election.  Today’s outcome portends a larger political revolution in New York State. The LPNY will build on this momentum. Those who came to us for a great candidate in Larry Sharpe are encouraged to stay and work together to promote the only political ideology that consistently defends your right to pursue happiness with minimal interference from the state.'"

Read more: https://www.binghamtonhomepage.com/news/up-to-the-minute/libertarian-party-of-new-york-achieves-ballot-access/1579495921
'via Blog this'

Monday, November 12, 2018

People's Party organizing in Saskatchewan

Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada gaining support in Sask. | CBC News - Chelsea Laskowski:

October 25, 2018 - "Maxime Bernier's Saskatchewan supporters say they're well on the way to hitting their leader's big goal for 2018.

"When Bernier filed the Elections Canada paperwork seeking official party status for his new People's Party of Canada in early October, he told reporters he wants to set up associations for his new People's Party of Canada in all of the country's 338 federal ridings. It was a big ask for a party that just got its name in September, only a month after Bernier shocked conservatives across Canada by announcing he'd be leaving the party to create his own....

"Saskatchewan already has nine out of 14 set up, including one in each of the six combined ridings in Saskatoon and Regina. Efforts are underway [in] all of the remaining ridings. Rural areas are lagging behind, according to Ethan Erkiletian, who has been key in forming PPC riding associations in the province. All ridings are pending registration under Elections Canada.

"The party claims to have signed up more than 22,477 members nationally but told CBC it won't be sharing regional membership statistics until November at the earliest. South Saskatchewan PPC field organizer Nigel Sharp said Regina's biggest riding association has nearly 100 members right now.

"With Bernier's headquarters in Gatineau, QC housing only four paid PPC staffers, the heavy lifting — and credit for membership growth — lands on the shoulders of Bernier's loyal supporters, most of whom supported his failed Conservative leadership bid....

"For now, Saskatoon-University remains the core. 'That's where our groundswell of support is up here. All of this, remember, is quite spontaneous and quite self-actualized. So as we've seen support spring up it's really just completely self-motivated,' Erkiletian said....

"Bernier would like to drop immigration levels down to Harper era numbers, around 90,000 less than current projections for 2020.... Erkiletian said people online have called him everything from xenophobe to a white supremacist. 'When you do draw yourself into the public debate people will resort to these tactics, especially if you are part of a movement such as Maxime Bernier's which is trying to speak openly and honestly about issues of contention,' he said....

"Erkiletian said he's just received a letter from Elections Canada to confirm that he is a party member. It takes 250 confirmed members to officially be declared a party. For now, members are willingly taking on expenses like booking meeting rooms and travel with no promise of being reimbursed until the party is official."

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/sask-peoples-party-canada-bernier-1.4877562
'via Blog this'

Sunday, November 11, 2018

U.S. military spending endangers American liberty

The Military Industrial Complex’s Assault on Liberty | The American Conservative - Michael Shumer:

June 22, 2018 - "Last week, the House Appropriations Committee advanced a lavish $674.6 billion Pentagon spending bill for fiscal year 2019. That means Congress is preparing to spend even more on defense, which isn’t at all shocking. To even marginally decrease defense spending, according to its champions, would be disastrous....

"America’s military has over 800 bases worldwide, more than any other nation or empire in history. In order to staff, equip, and maintain this body, the U.S. spends more on defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, and France combined—to great effect. According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute, the strength of the American military exceeds that of all other countries, based on factors that include its quantities of soldiers, tanks, and aircraft. If any nation is prepared to brave the whirlwind of geopolitics, it is the United States. Yet legislators still claim that the military is experiencing a 'readiness crisis,' which necessitates further fattening of the defense budget.

"This 'crisis' is often exaggerated or confused by its proponents because 'readiness' is an ambiguous term that hints at urgency without ever specifying a threat. In that vein, arguments often focus on the health of particular programs while failing to contextualize them within clearly defined geopolitical aims. Whether a certain squadron of pilots is getting enough flight hours is a very different question than whether the U.S. is ready to maintain its current commitments abroad or hold its ground in a world war. Emotion, not genuine geopolitical insight, drives popular support for inflated defense spending, and, in the words of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, 'the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.'

"When World War II ended, defense spending fell significantly. President Truman was left wondering how to persuade Congress to fund various geopolitical projects.... Senator Arthur Vandenberg forthrightly advised him to 'scare the hell out of the American people,' and so he did with great success. Later presidents followed suit throughout the Cold War and, together, they funded an extravagant arms race that lasted until the Soviet Union fell....

"Shortly, however, new demons were conjured up from the Middle Eastern sands and the defense budget has been distended ever since. If this cycle of inflated spending and fearsome rhetoric were some sort of perverse exercise towards geopolitical predictability, perhaps it would be pardonable. But it isn’t. In addition to our scruples, it costs us our liberty.

"In his famous 'Cross of Iron' speech, President Eisenhower said, 'Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed.' Even worse, excessive defense spending is an assault on liberty. In the words of American political philosopher Lysander Spooner, 'the only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in their keeping their money in their own pockets, until they have assurances…that it will be used as they wish it to be used, for their benefit, and not for their injury.'

"In a capitalist economy such as ours, money is the fuel of freedom. To take so much of it away from taxpayers to fund military bloat, which is neither necessary nor beneficial, is to not only deprive them of some good or service, but to deprive them of their choice, which is the essence of liberty."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Third libertarian Republican elected to U.S. House

Libertarian Republicans excelled in the midterm elections - Jack Hunter, Washington Examiner:

November 7, 2018 - "On Tuesday night, Democrats took the House and Republicans kept the Senate. Expect to hear opinions and analysis of what this might mean for President Trump and the 2020 election in the weeks and months to come. But how did the small but enduring libertarian faction within the Republican Party do?...

"The most high-profile libertarian Republican in Congress, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, was not up for re-election. The next-most high-profile libertarian Republicans in Congress, Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, both won re-election by double-digits.

"Amash, who represents a purple district, has been openly critical of Trump, and his independent streak appeared to pay off for him Tuesday. Massie represents a deep-red district, hasn’t hesitated to criticize the president, yet simultaneously has been more sympathetic. Massie predictably defeated his Democratic opponent in a blowout.

"Republican novice Denver Riggleman won his race for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. 'Riggleman, a newcomer to politics, ran a positive campaign based on libertarian ideas,' reported National Review's Jibran Khan. But Khan also noted what the libertarian-leaning Riggleman was not: 'His victory, which came on the heels of Corey Stewart’s failed run for the Senate, should be a message for the Virginia GOP'....

"The soundly defeated Corey Stewart represented not only some of the worst aspects of today’s Right in his racist appeal, however intentional or unintentional those appeals were, but his competitive GOP primary opponent Virginia House member Nick Freitas was a libertarian Republican....  Even if he wouldn’t have beaten Democrat Tim Kaine, it is easy to see the libertarian Freitas having significantly more appeal to a larger swath of voters than Stewart. Hopefully this is a lesson Virginia Republicans remember.

"A similar message was sent in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, where Republican Katie Arrington was defeated by Democrat Joe Cunningham. Arrington defeated incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford in the Republican primary by touting her pro-Trump credentials.... [A] Democrat hadn’t won [there] in 40 years.... Arrington’s defeat shows that there are limits to merely hanging your hat on Trump, even in red South Carolina. It goes without saying that the libertarian Sanford would have had far more appeal.

"Another libertarian victory of sorts actually came from the Democratic side, where Colorado’s Jared Polis became the first openly gay governor. Polis is the sole Democratic member of the House Liberty Caucus founded by Justin Amash.... This is not to say that the new Democratic governor will always act along liberty lines, but the one Democrat arguably most sympathetic to libertarian ideas and issues got a big win Tuesday.

"The biggest losses for libertarian Republicans were the defeat of Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th District, and Eric Brakey, with a failed Senate challenge to Maine’s incumbent Angus King, an independent who overwhelming votes with Democrats. Brat, also a member of the House Liberty Caucus, made waves when he defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014 — and his loss Tuesday was razor-thin. Brakey, a popular two-term Maine state senator, is only 30 years old, a thorough libertarian Republican in the mold of Rand Paul, and hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from him.

"Overall, Tuesday showed ... that libertarian Republicanism not only endures, but prevails, and could be the brand best positioned for future GOP victories."

Read more: https://gdspoliticalanimal.blogspot.com/2018/11/third-libertarian-republican-elected-to.html
'via Blog this'

Friday, November 9, 2018

Texas Libertarians receive record votes

Tippetts Sets Libertarian Vote Record in Governor Race — The Amarillo Pioneer:

November 8, 2018 - "On Tuesday night, [Mark] Tippetts won 140,015 votes, making for the largest vote total for a Libertarian candidate for Texas governor in history. While Tippetts won around 2 percent of the vote, the number marks a significant move forward for Libertarian voters in Texas.

"Tippetts was not the only record setter among Libertarians Tuesday. Court of Criminal Appeals candidate Mark Ash set the record for largest vote total ever received for a Texas Libertarian, earning 1.6 million votes. Richard Carpenter and Matt Pina also set records for best vote totals for Libertarians in their respective statewide races.

"With Ash’s showing on Tuesday, Libertarians also earned ballot access through 2020.

"For information on the Libertarian Party, please visit www.lptexas.org."

Read more: https://www.amarillopioneer.com/blog/2018/11/8/tippetts-sets-libertarian-vote-record-in-governor-race
'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Libertarian state reps defeated in NH, Nebraska

Libertarian State Sen. Laura Ebke of Nebraska Loses Re-Election Bid - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Brian Doherty:

November 7, 2018 - "Nebraska state Sen. Laura Ebke won office in 2014 as a Republican, but switched parties to Libertarian in 2016 because of her dislike for lockstep discipline in a party that she didn't think hewed to consistent small government principles. After coming in second in a three-way nonpartisan primary in May, with 33 percent for Ebke and 44 for Republican Tom Brandt, she lost to him tonight, 57-43.

Ebke was extraordinarily well-funded for a state legislative race in Nebraska. Due largely to big-money contributions from out-of-state libertarians, she raised nearly a quarter million, huge by Nebraska standards and more than twice Brandt's take....

"The Libertarian Party didn't put a lot of effort or time into Ebke's race, which seems fine with her. She wasn't stressing the party connection much in her campaigning or messaging; unless a voter directly asked her, she wasn't apt to bring it up.... Her campaign manager, Asa Bryant, agreed in an interview last month that trying to sell a voter on the entire L.P. package was less useful to them in a local campaign than just trying to sell the candidate. So he advised Ebke not to stress the party label and not to use the term libertarian in her promotional material."
Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/07/libertarian-state-sen-laura-ebke-of-nebr

Party-Switching N.H. State Rep. Brandon Phinney Gets Slaughtered as a Libertarian - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Matt Welch

November 6, 2018 - "Brandon Phinney was a model for one genre of elected Libertarian: The party-switcher. The New Hampshire state representative, elected to the 400-member body in 2016 as a Republican, switched to Libertarian in June 2017 after watching the machinery of allegedly small-government Republicanism up close.... He targeted archaic laws to be stricken from the books, helped effectively legalize visiting bands drinking beer on stage, and prepped for his first election wearing the 'L' right there on his sweater....

"He got trounced.... 'After two years of voting to protect personal freedom, control spending, provide transparency and after two years of proposing legislation to do the same (with two bills as a prime sponsor signed into law),' Phinney wrote on his Facebook page, 'my district rewarded me with 377 votes.... The Democratic candidate, who barely campaigned, received 1,548 votes. The Republican, who did NOTHING but put out yard signs, received 1,720 votes'....

"In another post, Phinney complained that 'voters care more about party than literally anything else and that's the biggest problem in this country.'" "
Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/06/party-switching-nh-state-rep-brandon-phi

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

71% vote to keep Bolick on AZ Supreme Court

Clint Bolick, Arizona’s Libertarian Supreme Court Justice, Wins Judicial Retention Election - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Damon Root:

November 7, 2018 - "The Arizona electorate has voted overwhelmingly in favor of letting a libertarian jurist keep his seat on the state's highest court. As the Arizona Republic reports, state Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick handily won his judicial retention election yesterday by a lopsided margin of 71 percent to 29 percent.

"Bolick, a pioneering libertarian lawyer and co-founder of the Institute for Justice, was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2016 by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Under the terms of the Arizona constitution, a state Supreme Court justice must stand in a judicial retention election two years after being appointed to the bench, and then stand again every six years after that.

"It's worth noting that Bolick prevailed in yesterday's vote despite the best efforts of the liberal National Education Association, which funded anti-Bolick activities in an attempt at payback over Bolick's vote in a case that the Arizona Capitol Times has described as 'a ruling that knocked a tax hike for education off the ballot.' Unfortunately for these liberal activists, they have now lost soundly in both the courtroom and in the court of public opinion.

"Bolick has already amassed an impressive record on the Arizona Supreme Court in the past two years and will no doubt continue to build upon it in the years to come."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/07/clint-bolick-arizonas-libertarian-suprem
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A libertarian case for voting

The Libertarian Case for Voting - Reason.com - Ed Krayewski:

November 30, 2014 - "Tomorrow I'll be voting in my 39th consecutive election. When I vote for candidates, they rarely win. The ones that do have without exception disappointed. Many elections don't have any candidates I want to vote for. So I spoil my ballot.

"There are a lot of [bad] reasons to vote.... Ultimately your vote matters very little. It's almost certainly never going to tip an election. Many elections (think 2012) don't really have a plausible conclusion that doesn't suck for the American people. Nevertheless voting is important, because in a democratic system the absence of a vote enforces the illusion of the consent of the governed.

"Most people don't vote. The U.S. population is about 316 million. About 235 million are adults.... About 130 million Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election, nearly 66 million for President Obama.... Almost all of the 49 percent of voting Americans who didn't vote for Obama voted for the Republican, Mitt Romney. That still leaves at least 78 million Americans eligible to vote who didn't vote for Obama or Romney, more than the vote total either major party candidate received....

"It's impossible to say how many of those 78 million Americans, pressed to vote, would vote Democrat or Republican..... Millions of Americans ... may never vote precisely because they don't like Democrats or Republicans. A lot of people don't know they're libertarians. A lot of libertarians don't believe in voting. And not every Libertarian candidate will appeal to all libertarians. Certainly not every adult eligible to vote will have a candidate that matches up even imperfectly with their own views....

"No one person's decision to purchase or not purchase an Apple phone over an Android phone will make or break Apple.... Yet, in the aggregate, market participants set prices. Even the non-participants, those who decide not to buy, help set the price.... Not purchasing a smartphone deprives no one of anything but you of a smartphone....

"In politics, on the other hand, not voting becomes part of the illusion of consent. After all, non-voters aren't starting insurgencies or calling for revolutions.... The consent required for government to exert more control over you is far less robust than, say, the consent demanded of college students in California, or, actually, in any other situation where consent is required.

"Voting is a right, not a privilege. It's also not something you have to exercise. Not voting doesn't diminish anyone's credibility in criticizing the system, because voting doesn't ensure a specific result. But the regularity of not-voting helps promote the idea that the system is acceptable, just as much as the regularity of voting for the major parties does. Breaking that cycle can help break politics' control over us."

Read more: https://reason.com/archives/2014/11/03/the-libertarian-case-for-voting
'via Blog this'

Monday, November 5, 2018

Indiana Dems urge conservatives: vote Libertarian

Trump tweet about Donnelly 'trying to steal' election wrong, Indiana Democrats say -  Kaitlin Lange and Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star:

November 3, 2018 - "In a Saturday afternoon tweet, President Donald Trump accused Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., of 'trying to steal the election' by paying for Facebook ads for Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton.... Donnelly is locked in a tight race with Republican Mike Braun, who Trump stumped for Friday at a rally in Southport....

"A spokesman for the Donnelly campaign said the ads were paid for by the Indiana Democratic Party, which earlier paid for a mailer urging fiscally conservative voters that Brenton is a better choice than Braun. He referred questions to the party.

"Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody released the following statement in response to President Trump’s tweet:
The ads highlighting how Lucy Brenton is the true conservative in the Indiana Senate race are paid for by the Indiana Democratic Party. They are perfectly legal, factual, and accurately represent Lucy Brenton's anti-tax record. These ads draw attention to Rep. Braun’s record of voting to raise taxes on Hoosiers dozens of times as a State Representative while writing legislation to give himself tax breaks.
"Original story, October  29, 2018 - The Indiana Democratic Party sent out a mailer last week telling fiscally conservative Hoosiers there is a better Senate candidate than Republican Mike Braun. But in an unconventional move, .... the mailer praised Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton.

"The words 'Looking for a candidate who will really lower your taxes?' appear on the front of the flier. On the back, the mailer says that Brenton 'is an anti-tax conservative' while Braun 'raised Indiana taxes 159 times.' Donnelly isn't mentioned....

"Brenton said she was shocked that the Democrats used this tactic, but called the mailer 'accurate.' 'I am grateful for the free publicity highlighting my tax stance, but think it will backfire,' Brenton said. 'Many Democrats are Constitution loving, fiscally conservative voters and my message resonates with them, too. Ultimately, how well they targeted the addresses will determine which voters learn that they have a choice in this race that demands all of their freedoms, all of the time.'

"The Indiana Republican Party said the mailer was a 'desperate, late-game campaign tactic'."

Read more: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/10/29/indiana-senate-race-democrats-mail-flyer-praising-lucy-brenton/1805722002/
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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ohio Libertarians begin modest TV ad buy (video)

Libertarian candidate for governor unveils TV ads in Toledo - Toledo Blade - Liz Skalka:

November 1, 2018 - "Libertarian governor candidate Travis Irvine launched his first television ads in Toledo and Cincinnati less than a week from Election Day.... The buy is for a modest $2,000 worth of airtime on Fox News and CNBC, campaign manager Ken Moellman said....

"Irvine, whose campaign has already invested in radio ads, said the TV ads are ones already featured online and are produced by Mr. Irvine himself. The 35-year-old from Columbus runs his own media company and also dabbles in comedy. 'I guarantee I’m the only candidate to edit his own ads,' he said....

"Irvine reported raising more than $5,000 from Oct. 1 through Oct. 17 and spending $7,300. [Republican Mike] DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray have raised more than $44 million....

"Irvine said he would campaign in Lucas, Geauga, and Butler counties, where he said he has the support of some conservative Republicans who have balked from backing Mr. DeWine."

Read more: https://www.toledoblade.com/local/politics/2018/11/01/libertarian-candidate-for-governor-tv-ads-Toledo-travis-irvine/stories/20181031155
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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Reason magazine celebrates 50 years in print

America’s Premier Libertarian Magazine Celebrates Its 50th Year - Troy Warden, Daily Signal:

November 2, 2018 - "Reason magazine, the print and online publication of Reason Foundation, will celebrate its 50th anniversary Saturday with well-known figures in the libertarian movement at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Los Angeles. Reason bills itself as 'the planet’s largest source of news, culture, policy, and ideas from a principled libertarian perspective.'

'Larry Friedlander, a Boston University student, founded Reason magazine in the summer of 1968. The magazine was considered unlike many magazines of the time because of its clean graphic design and clear ethos. Freidlander, who died in 2011 at age 63, painstakingly designed the magazine’s aesthetics and content from scratch at his mother’s house, Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor in chief, told The Daily Signal in an email....

"Libertarianism is a political philosophy that emphasizes individual freedom and limits on the coercive behavior of the state. Libertarians typically favor strong property rights, civil liberties, and drug decriminalization.

"According to Mike Alissi, the publisher of Reason, the website receives 4 million web visitors a month and 3.5 million monthly video views of at least 30 seconds in length. Monthly circulation is 47,000....

"A luncheon followed by a gala Saturday night will feature conversations on and remembrances of Reason’s 50-year history of 'fighting for "Free Minds and Free Markets" via award-winning journalism and cutting-edge policy work powered by principled, pragmatic, and visionary libertarian ideals,' and what plans the magazine and foundation have in store for the next five decades....

"Fox Business Network host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery — professionally known as Kennedy — will host the evening program, which will feature remarks from Vernon Smith, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, a two-term governor of Indiana....

 "Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason magazine along with public policy research, will give its Savas Award for Privatization to Frank Baxter, former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay ... 'for his role in co-founding Los Angeles’ largest and most successful charter school network, the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools,' Leonard Gilroy, director of government reform at Reason Foundation, said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal....

"Despite the passage of 50 years, Mangu-Ward said, “the early issues of Reason feel astonishingly relevant today'.... 'In the early days of Reason, libertarians and conservatives made common cause against the rising tide of socialism and communism,' she told The Daily Signal. 'Unfortunately, that alliance may once again be relevant.'”

Read more: https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/11/02/americas-premier-libertarian-magazine-celebrates-its-50th-year/
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Friday, November 2, 2018

Close to 50 Libertarians running in North Carolina

Libertarian candidates swell ranks - Rocky Mount Telegram - Lindell John Kay:

September 23, 2018 - "Two local candidates for state office this year are part of a growing trend of more Libertarians appearing on North Carolina ballots.

"'I’m fortunate to be the first Libertarian to run for the North Carolina House in our area,' said Nick Taylor, 30, of Nashville, who is running for the state House District 25 seat, which represents most of Nash County including Rocky Mount. Jesse Shearin, 77, of Scotland Neck, is running for for the state Senate District 4 seat....

"North Carolina is second only to Texas this year in having the largest number of Libertarian candidates — and with nearly 50 Libertarians running this year, it's one of the largest slates of Libertarian candidates ever, according to information from the N.C. Libertarian Party.

"Libertarians believe government stifles innovation through regulation, subverts compassion through bureaucracy and suppresses achievement through economic manipulation, according to the preamble of the party's platform....

"Lack of jobs is one of the biggest challenges facing Nash County and the state, Taylor said.... 'I would like to make it easier for businesses to open up in Nash County and our state,' he said. 'Therefore reducing the unnecessary steps and run-around that citizens have to take to create a business'....

 "The most important issue facing District 4 — and all other districts — is the tendency to rely upon government to solve all problems, Shearin said....

"The Libertarian platform calls for the legalization of marijuana, the end of immigration laws, gun ownership without regulation, repeal of any restrictive marriage laws, outlawing government collection of information on people, a free market, abolishing the execution of prisoners, school choice, privately owned roads and more."

Read more: http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/News/2018/09/23/Libertarian-candidates-swell-ranks.html
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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Pakistani Christian on death row for blasphemy freed by Supreme Court

Pakistan acquits Christian woman sentenced to die for blasphemy - John Bacon, USA Today:

October 31, 2018 - "Pakistan's highest court on Wednesday ordered the release of a poor, illiterate Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy, setting off a wave of demonstrations by hard-line Islamists nationwide but drawing praise from human rights activists.

"The Supreme Court overturned the conviction against Asia Bibi, accused in 2009 of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a case that sparked violent protests in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation of 200 million people. Two Pakistani government officials were murdered in 2011 in crimes linked to their support of Bibi....

"Chief Justice Saqib noted that tolerance is the 'basic principle' of Islam. Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sherry Rehman cheered the verdict on Twitter.... But the future of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is far from settled. The laws remain popular in Pakistan, and Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed support for them during the recent election campaign.

"After the decision on Bibi was announced, the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik said Saqib and the other judges deserve death under Islamic law. That drew a sharp rebuke from Khan. 'The state will fulfill its responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of people and take strict action against violators,' he said in a speech broadcast across the country....

"Bibi's case stemmed from a simple act among poor farmhands in rural Pakistan.... Muslim women working with Bibi complained when she dipped her cup into the water bucket, saying a non-Muslim was unclean. The women quarreled, and her co-workers accused her of insulting the prophet three times. She was later beaten, and the women complained to a local religious leader who pressed for the blasphemy charge. Insulting Islam's prophet is considered blasphemy [and] carries a death sentence under Pakistani law....

"The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom hailed the decision and urged Pakistan officials to take steps to ensure her safety. The group also called for release of the estimated 40 people who remain on death row for blasphemy convictions. Blasphemy laws protect entire religions rather than the rights of individuals, falling short of international human rights standards, commission chairman Tenzin Dorjee said.

"Amnesty International called the decision a 'landmark verdict' for religious tolerance. 'Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are overbroad, vague and coercive,' the group said in a statement."

Read more: https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/1830129002
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