Thursday, January 31, 2013

Libertarian candidate Jim Berns running for Cincinnati mayor

Libertarian candidate Jim Berns running for Cincinnati mayor - News, Weather & Sports:

"January 30, 2013 - "CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Jim Berns announced Wednesday that he is officially running for Mayor of Cincinnati.

"Berns, a Libertarian candidate, received notification today from the Hamilton County Board of Elections that his petition efforts were successful. [He] will appear on the Sept. 10 Mayoral primary ballot.
Berns will be contacting the Hamilton County Libertarian Party, NAACP, Su Casa, Democratic and Republican Parties and other organizations and individuals to ask for their support of a charter amendment to replace the 'Top Two' primary with an open field of candidates for Mayor voted for at the regular November election."

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Government-Mandated Lunch Breaks are Somehow Libertarians’ Fault

The Nation: Gov't-Mandated Lunch Breaks are Somehow Libertarians’ Fault - Hit & Run : - Scott Shackford:

January 30, 2013 - "Rick Perlstein at The Nation has an odd, confounding story ostensibly about how a libertarian University of Chicago student’s experiences with reality turned him into a liberal.... Here are a couple of paragraphs that show some real confusion....

"'He sold books books at Borders in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It 'did kind of a 180 on me. Just in terms of the rigidity of a corporate structure! You know: they tell you you have to take your lunch break at 1:00. But at 12:58 a customer starts speaking to you. And if you speak to them until 1:02 the bosses at Borders would start yelling at you to take your break at one, and then if you got an extra minute to 1:31 it throws off the whole schedule but if you volunteer to go two minutes early they fear they might be fined!"

"'Call it the irrationality of the market.'

"Which of these fellows doesn’t realize that these restrictive lunch break policies are a direct result of government intervention over business policy? Did the word 'fine' not tip anybody off? Who would be fining them?

"Behold, Massachusetts’ mandatory meal break law. These laws are a result of progressives getting directly between the relationship between the employer and employee. Perlstein should be praising this 'corporate structure,' not using it as some sort of misguided attack on libertarians."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

School choice the only way to solve teachers' split loyalties - Chicago Libertarian

School choice the only way to solve teachers' split loyalties - Chicago Libertarian - Richard Lorenc:

January 28, 2013 - "This week is being celebrated as National School Choice Week from coast to coast. A whistle-stop tour that began on Friday in Los Angeles will arrive in Chicago's Union Station this evening before heading to its final destination in New York on Sunda

"The fact is the public schooling system today only serves students secondarily. As Chicagoans witnessed last fall, the system is rigged in such a way that a private organization called the Chicago Teachers Union must be appeased first before public schools will even begin to offer instruction to students. Merits of the CTU's demands aside, it was able to close nearly every school in Chicago singlehandedly.

"Far from being a broken institution, public schools across the country are working exactly as they have been designed: to meet the needs of the adults they employ."

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Monday, January 28, 2013

PA Libertarian Party doubles membership in 2012

Bucks County Libertarians Seek to Crash the Party - Upper Southampton, PA Patch - James Boyle:

January 28, 2012 - "If you believe that the government overtaxes its citizens and interferes with the free market, then you are probably a Republican. But wait, you also believe in the separation of church and state and that the government should not impose religious standards that limit individual freedoms, so that must mean you are a Democrat....

"Dr. Tom Stevens suggests that, if you generally follow the fiscally conservative/socially liberal philosophy, you are most likely a Libertarian. It's a realization that has expanded exponentially in the past, politically charged year. 'We doubled our registered members since April 2012,' said Dr. Stevens....

"As chairman of Pennsylvania's Libertarian Party, Dr. Stevens travels the state establishing county committees and adding to the party's membership....

"The party plans to keep building off its 2012 momentum in the 2013 off-year elections for state and local offices, where third party candidates historically have more success. Currently, there are 135 Libertarians holding elected office nationwide, with 27 in Pennsylvania, ranging from mayor and city council to town treasurer and constable."

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

George Jonas: I'm an "old-fashioned liberal"

George Jonas: Don’t call me a libertarian | Full Comment | National Post:

January 16, 2013 - "I’m not a libertarian. Nor am I a libertine, in case you wondered. I’m just a liberal, an old-fashioned liberal, therefore often mistaken for a conservative. I’m committed to individual freedom, as liberals used to be in the 18th and 19th centuries. That was in the days when liberalism saw itself as a force for liberty, and liberty a value equal to life. “Give me Liberty or give me Death,” said Patrick Henry and presumably he meant it.

"Those days are long gone. By the time I was born in the mid-1930s, the state had staged a triumphant comeback. Even in western-style democracies, statism was the only game in town. People shopping for a non-statist choice in political philosophy were limited to anarchy and nihilism....

"I preferred to gnash my teeth as a 19th-century liberal rather than as a libertarian, anarcho-libertarian or nihilist. Why couldn’t I accommodate myself to statism? I’m allergic, I suppose, to what Shakespeare called 'the insolence of office,' a.k.a. the normal speaking voice of government.

"Perhaps what I resent in the state most is my own need for it. Government is like medicine, only more so. Anything strong enough to help is strong enough to harm, and government’s capacity to hurt is at least equal to its capacity to cure. Just like medicine, government is poison outside its therapeutic dosage, and it can be toxic even within therapeutic limits because of anticipated side effects poorly tolerated or unexpected side effects not tolerated at all."

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Organic farmers, Tea Party libertarians make common cause

Tea Party Libertarians and Small Organic Farmers Make Strange Political Bedfellows - US News and World Report:

January 24, 2013 - "In October 2011 [Laura Bledsoe] and her husband Monte decided they wanted to host what they called a "farm to fork" event in their ... farm 50 miles outside of Las Vegas. 'We advertised it as a zero mile footprint," she recalls.... 'we were advertising the fact that this was, for the most part, food prepared directly on our farm'....

"Trouble began two days before the event was to take place. They received a call from the Southern Nevada Health District Office, who wanted to know if the farmers had secured a health permit for the event.... Monte immediately dropped what he was doing and traveled 40 miles to Mesquite to apply for a permit. It was here he learned the process required an inspection to take place the day of the event....

"The health inspector arrived simultaneously with several of the event's guests.... "She literally came in and started looking for things she could find fault with,' Laura recalls. 'That just became apparent in her attitude and demeanor with how she handled things.'

"The health inspector raised several concerns, but chief among them was the meat the Bledsoes were preparing to serve. Because the event was advertised as a 'zero mile footprint,' the meat hadn't been sent through a USDA processing plant, as is required for any meat purchased at a grocery store or restaurant, so the inspector deemed it illegal to serve.

"'She immediately demanded that we send our guests home and cease the event, and if we didn't she would call the police and have them personally escorted off the property'.... In addition to being ordered to send their guests home, the farmers were also told they needed to pour bleach over all the meat to ensure it would never be served."

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Tea party groups, libertarian Super Pac vow to challenge McConnell re-election bid

Tea party groups, libertarian Super Pac vow to challenge McConnell re-election bid | Louisville:

January 23, 2013 - "LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- With speculation rising about actress Ashley Judd challenging U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) in the 2014 general election as a Democrat, Kentucky's senior senator is also hearing some footsteps from the right.

"The leader of a coalition of 14 Kentucky tea party groups, United Kentucky Tea Party,  said Wednesday he is considering mounting a primary challenge against McConnell.... Now, the libertarian Super Pac Liberty for All, which spent $700,000 of Texas college student John Ramsey's inheritance to help elect Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie last year, is also vowing to unseat McConnell.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ron Paul Supporter Challenging Reince Priebus For RNC Chairmanship

Ron Paul Supporter Challenging Reince Priebus For RNC Chairmanship: Will a Libertarian Ever Lead the GOP? - Frank Hagler:

January 24, 2012 - "Reince Priebus is being challenged by a libertarian for his position as national chairperson of the Republican National Committee. Priebus is a weak candidate but the libertarians are not expected to be able to muster enough support within the party in order to secure a nomination....

"Mark Willis, a self-described member of the liberty movement, is not expected to be able to gain enough votes to have his name nominated for the position. In order to be nominated for chairperson a candidate has to receive the majority of RNC member votes in three states....

"Priebus should be easy pickings. In his two years as chairperson he has done nothing to further the party’s goal.... Instead under his leadership, the party lost seats in the House, the Senate and, of course, the White House. His strategy was a total failure, everything from his effort to suppress voter turnout to his decision to alienate the libertarian wing of the party at the national convention have been met with disappointment and a failure to produce tangible results."

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ron Paul's Republican Legacy Growing In Caucus States Like Iowa And Nevada

Ron Paul's Republican Legacy Growing In Caucus States Like Iowa And Nevada - Thomas Beaumont, Huffington Post:

January 15, 2013 - "Ron Paul is exiting the political stage, but his legions of followers insist they are only getting started. Libertarian-leaning loyalists of the two-time Republican presidential candidate have quietly taken over key-state GOP organizations....

"Iowa's state Republican governing body this month voted to re-elect as chairman and vice chairman two of Paul's top 2012 Iowa caucus campaign aides. Last year, Nevada Republicans similarly elected top Paul suppoporters to its two spots on the Republican National Committee....Paul backers also have made inroads into Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, in part vestiges of his 2012 presidential campaign....

"And while Paul retired from Congress this month, his disciples picked up House seats in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas last year."

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

B.C. woman can keep orphan deer she raised - Canadian Press

B.C. woman to keep her deer friend - Kevin Drewes, Canadian Press, Vancouver Sun:

January 22, 2013 - "Janet Schwartz and her domesticated deer, Bimbo, are returning to their normal lives.

"The law - represented by men and women in uniforms and carrying guns - is no longer threatening to forcibly separate Schwartz and Bimbo, freeing the 10-year-old doe potentially to the fates of the surrounding rainforest and its hungry wolves and black bears....

"For four days last week, Schwartz's life turned as rocky and pitted as the undulating logging road that connects her life to the outside world.... Conservation officers had arrived at the property beneath snow-capped mountains and at the bottom of a remote valley near Ucluelet, with orders to release Bimbo.... Schwartz was told she wasn't allowed to touch Bimbo anymore....

"There were news stories and Face-book pages and, by Friday, the government had changed its mind."

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Kim Dotcom re-enacts raid, arrest for launch of new Mega site

Kim Dotcom re-enacts raid, arrest for launch of new Mega site - Globe and Mail - Naomi Tajitsu:

January 21, 2013 - "Kim Dotcom, founder of outlawed file-sharing website Megaupload, said his new “cyberlocker” was not revenge on U.S. authorities who planned a raid on his home, closed Megaupload and charged him with online piracy for which he faces jail if found guilty.

"Mr. Dotcom said his new offering,, which launched on Sunday evening as he and three colleagues await extradition from New Zealand to the United States, complied with the law and warned that attempts to take it down would be futile....

"Associated Press reported the launch party featured a tongue-in-cheek re-enactment of the dramatic raid on his home a year earlier, when New Zealand police swooped down in helicopters onto the mansion grounds and nabbed him in a safe room where he was hiding....

"Bravado aside, interest in the site was certainly high. Mr. Dotcom said half a million users registered for Mega in its first 14 hours....

"Mr. Dotcom said Mega was a different beast to Megaupload, as the new site enables users to control exactly which users can access uploaded files, in contrast to its predecessor, which allowed users to search files, some of which contained copyrighted content allegedly without permission.

"A sophisticated encryption system will allow users to encode their files before they upload them on to the site’s servers.... Each file will then be issued a unique, sophisticated decryption key which only the file holder will control, allowing them to share the file as they choose. 

"As a result, the site’s operators would have no access to the files, which they say would strip them from any possible liability for knowingly enabling users to distribute copyright-infringing content, which Washington says is illegal....

"Mr. Dotcom said Mega would comply with orders from copyright holders to remove infringing material, which will afford it the 'safe harbour' legal provision, which minimizes liability on the condition that a party acted in good faith to comply."

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vaclav Klaus to join U.S. Cato Institute | Prague Monitor

Klaus to join U.S. Cato Institute in spring | Prague Monitor:

January 17, 2013 - "Prague, Jan 16 (CTK) - Outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus will cooperate with the U.S. ... think-tank Cato Institute as from March, when his second and last five-year term expires, the Presidential Office announced on Klaus's web page yesterday.... Klaus's cooperation with the Cato Institute was also mentioned by the double issue of Cato Policy Report at the end of last year.

"Klaus attended several conferences organised by the think-tank in the past.... In 2009, he spoke at a Washington conference on the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in central and east Europe....

"In 2008, Klaus mentioned the institute among the organisations that share his critical stand on the theories according to which man is behind global warming."

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Confirmed: Big Boi really is libertarian

Confirmed: Big Boi really is libertarian, you know · Hammer of Truth:

January 14, 2013 - "Last month Antwan Andre Patton, aka Big Boi of the Outkast crew, left radio hosts shocked and speechless after telling them he voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson during a segment on racism. Now, in an interview with the Huffington Post (LIVE!), Patton not only confirmed that “hey ya” he’s a libertarian voter… but went even further and stood up as an ardent supporter of libertarian views....

"MINKOVSKI: Did you vote for Gary Johnson?

"PATTON: Yes, I’m a Libertarian. I’m liberty, justice for all, liberty for all. I’m really pro-people, pro-freedom, and, you know, this is all about positivity. Like, you know, I have nothing against the president at all, you know, he’s a nice guy, but, it’s just, you know, the things that they’re standing on right now just didn’t agree with me. Anything that benefits the public and not just big banking, that’s what I’m with."

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Libertarian enters Florida Governor’s race

Libertarian enters Governor’s race | | Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander:

January 18, 2013 - "PALM HARBOR: America's third-largest political party will be fielding a challenge to Governor Rick Scott and presumptive Democrat nominee Charlie Crist in the 2014 election. Florida Libertarian Party Chairman Adrian Wyllie officially announced his candidacy for Governor last week.

"Following the trail blazed by Presidential candidates Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in 2012, Wyllie has a platform focused on economic freedom, individual liberty, and the Constitution. In one of his first campaign stops at the Lake City Tea Party last Thursday, Wyllie took a strong stand against what he sees as an overreaching federal government.

"'I promise that, if elected, I will defend all Floridians from any unconstitutional Congressional act, executive order or United Nations mandate,' said Wyllie. He also blamed Gov. Rick Scott for 'rolling over' to the Obama administration on federal health care mandates and federal gun control."

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whole Foods Founder John Mackey: ObamaCare is Like Fascism: NPR

Whole Foods Founder John Mackey On Fascism And 'Conscious Capitalism' : The Salt : NPR - April Fulton:

January 16, 2013 - "Whole Foods has played a key role in propelling organic foods into the mainstream.... But [founder and CEO John] Mackey is not the crunchy granola liberal one might conjure.... He's a self-styled libertarian: a vegan who sells sustainably raised meat, a man who compares the government's health care overhaul to 'fascism' but wants to improve American diets....

"What he doesn't think is right is President Obama's health overhaul and the new costs that coverage requirements will place on businesses.

"When Inskeep asks him if he still thinks the health law is a form of socialism, as he's said before, Mackey responds:

"'Technically speaking, it's more like fascism. Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it — and that's what's happening with our health care programs and these reforms.'"

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Deer living in BC home must go, officials demand

Deer living in B.C. home has to go, officials demand - British Columbia - CBC News:

January 16, 2013 - "The B.C. owner of a domesticated deer that likes to eat cookies, watch TV and dance to rock and roll says provincial officials are once again demanding she turn the animal loose.

"The black-tailed deer has been living inside Janet Schwartz's home in the Vancouver Island town of Ucluelet since it was a fawn, and Schwartz is refusing to force the 10-year-old animal out.

"In 2009, officials with the B.C. Ministry of Environment ordered Schwartz to set the deer free or take it to a rehabilitation centre, saying wild animals should not be kept as pets.

"Schwartz said she and the deer, which she’s named Bimbo, have been living happily since provincial officials backed off when the story first hit the media."
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Libertarian Party doubling in size before our eyes - National Independent |

Libertarian Party doubling in size before our eyes - National Independent | - Mark Wachtler::

January 14, 2013 -  "Libertarian Party Executive Director Carla Howell is still smiling these days. And she has plenty of reason to. The Party tracks the number of citizens who contact the LP each year to get more information about possibly running for elective office on the Libertarian ticket. Since the November election, they’ve received 370 candidate inquiries. According to Howell, that’s more than double the number the party received in either 2008 or 2010. Added to the hundreds of party members that are recurring candidates every election, and it creates quite a slate of potential elected officials.

Considering the Libertarian Party ran 580 candidates nationwide last year, that forecasts to over 1,100 Libertarian Party candidates on the General Election ballot in 2014, possibly more. For the record, out of those 580 Libertarian candidates in 2012, 7 received over 1 million votes each. That’s not bad if you remember that the Republicans and Democrats outspent the Libertarian Party $666 to $1 in the last election cycle - $2 billion to $3 million."

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Gun Control Agenda: GOP Senator Rand Paul Slams “KING” Obama Over Executive Order Threat | Market Daily News

Gun Control Agenda: GOP Senator Rand Paul Slams “KING” Obama Over Executive Order Threat | Market Daily News - Paul Joseph Watson:

"January 14, 2013 - "As Barack Obama signaled that he would use executive orders to help carry out his gun control agenda, Senator Rand Paul slammed the president for acting like a 'king,' usurping the Constitution, and running roughshod over Congress.

"Paul remarked, 'I’m against having a king. I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress — that’s someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch.'

"Adding that he had consistently opposed executive orders even under Republican administrations, the Kentucky Senator vowed to 'fight tooth and nail' to derail Obama’s gun grab.

"'And I promise you, there’ll be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the Constitution, running roughshod over Congress,' asserted Paul. 'And you will see one heck of a debate if he decides to try to do this.'"

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Glenn Beck, The Citadel Announce Plans for a Libertarian Commune

Glenn Beck vs. The Citadel: Who Announced Plans for a Libertarian Commune Better? Mallory Ortberg, Gawker:

January 13, 2013 - "This week saw not one but two announcements about the development of intentional living communities dedicated to the principles of libertarianism: one from Glenn Beck (Independence, USA, a 'city-theme park hybrid" that will marry "media, live events, small business stores, educational projects, charity, entertainment, news, information, and technology R&D') and the other from a group of like-minded citizens looking to build a rifleman's paradise in the mountains of Idaho (The Citadel, which boasts 'No credit check. No background check. Zero down payment. Zero interest. Zero property taxes.')."

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ron Paul Blasts NRA, Liberals Over Gun Issue - U.S. News & World Report

Ron Paul Blasts NRA, Liberals Over Gun Issue - Ken Walsh's Washington ( - Kenneth T. Walsh, U.S. News & World Report:

December 26, 2012 - "Rep. Ron Paul, not one to shy away from controversy, has blasted the National Rifle Association for proposing that every school hire armed guards to protect against mass shootings, and has also condemned liberals for promoting more government control of guns.

"Referring to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., Paul said, 'Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control. This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government "do something" to protect us in the wake of national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned. Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented. But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don't obey laws. The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence. If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we're told, would-be school shooters would be dissuaded or stopped. While I certainly agree that more guns equals less crime and that private gun ownership prevents many shootings. I don't agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence.'"

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Friday, January 11, 2013

FreedomWorks @ 4 million - Libertarian non-profit continues soaring up social media rankings

Charity News: SOCIAL MEDIA: Freedom Works 4 million - Libertarian non-profit continues soaring up social media rankings but still way to go to surpass Lady Gaga - Alan Cole, Charity News Xperedon:

January 8, 2013 - "The libertarian non-profit FreedomWorks, that opposes authoritarian controls and celebrates community values, has reached over 4 million likes on Facebook this week, the main social media network.... It currently has 4,051,287 likes....

"The non-profit has been encouraging taxpayers to sign a petition to reject tax hikes.

"President of FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe, recently commented that: 'Washington has a spending problem, not a tax shortage...'

"The non-profit’s social media campaigning has been partly successful due to its large grass-roots following, but also its clear communications and direct appeals via the web to an ever wider supporter base....

"Around the New Year the non-profit made a peak of about 6,000 new likes a day."

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Glenn Beck Relaunching 'The Blaze' as Global Libertarian Network

Glenn Beck Relaunching 'The Blaze' as Global Libertarian Network - Sandy Fitzgerald, Newsmax:

January 9, 2013 - "Glenn Beck plans to lean libertarian with his news operation, The Blaze, refocusing the network and opening three foreign bureaus, [launching] a nightly news magazine show and relocating his offices.

"During his online program Tuesday, Beck ... said cable news is either far left or far right, and 'we're not gonna play in that crazy space as a network'. He said he considers himself a libertarian who is a lot closer to Penn Jillette than I am to Chuck Hagel'.

"Beck said The Blaze’s new foreign bureaus will be in cities important to America, and the New York staff’s new offices are going to a building that will send a clear message to everyone in New York."

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Libertarian men make "terrific relationship material"

The Problem With Libertarian Women is Not Libertarian Men - The Daily Beast - Megan McArdle, Asymmetrical Information:

January 8,, 2013 - "I have dated a bunch of libertarian guys . . . and a bunch of liberal guys . . . and a few social conservatives for good measure. And I'm here to report that libertarians make terrific relationship material....

"Full disclosure: I am biased.  Some of my best friends are libertarian men, and I even married one.  Nonetheless, I'd like to issue a memo to pundits: the personal is not political.  Even if we accept the absurd notion that it is the blackest sort of selfishness to oppose taxing away someone else's money in order to give it to a third party, that belief wouldn't tell you anything about their personal behavior....

My personal empirical research indicates that in fact, libertarians make great boyfriends and husbands (though my sample size on the latter is pretty small).  The ones I've dated have actually been super considerate, and very concerned with pulling their own weight, though I couldn't say whether this is random chance, or the natural outgrowth of a value system that emphasizes voluntary, mutually beneficial cooperation.  I will say that it is unusually easy to divide chores with someone who favors simple, rules-based systems for cooperation.  "

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Florida Libertarians to hold annual convention in Naples

Florida libertarians to hold annual convention in Naples, Florida - West Palm Beach Libertarian | - Karl Dickey:

January 4, 2013 - "Yesterday, the Libertarian Party of Collier County, an affiliate of the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF), announced detailed plans to host the libertarian's state convention in Naples, Florida....

"The convention will consist of the state party's annual business meeting and special speaking engagements from both local and nationally known speakers, including former Reagan aide Roger Stone, Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, Chairman of the National Libertarian Party Geoffrey Neale, and Nikolai Wenzel, Assistant Professor of Economics at Florida Gulf Coast University. The full schedule for the convention events can be found online at the official convention website:

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Maine residents’ fight for unregulated food draws crackdown

Raw deal: Maine residents’ fight for unregulated food draws crackdown | Grist - David Gumpert:

June 29, 2012 - "The residents in eight small Maine towns have all voted to declare 'food sovereignty' — and they won’t be forgetting the issue any time soon. In other words, they’ve passed ordinances that explicitly allow local farmers and ranchers to sell their food — meat, eggs, unpasteurized milk, honey, veggies — directly to consumers within town borders, without state or federal licenses, permits, or regulations.

"Towns in Massachusetts, Vermont, and California have all replicated these experiments.... These votes are the result of work by activists in the food sovereignty moment, who see the ordinances as a response to an ever more intensely regulated food system....

"Just months after the first six towns passed the ordinances, the state filed a lawsuit against a farmer named Dan Brown of Blue Hill, Maine, for selling unpasteurized milk without a state permit. While there’s no mention of the food sovereignty ordinances in the suit, and state officials have denied a connection, Brown’s defense lawyers obtained email correspondence that suggest otherwise. For instance, a Maine Dept. of Agriculture program manager sent an email in June 2011 — two months after Blue Hill’s food sovereignty ordinance was enacted — about Brown.... 'Sounds like we have our first test case,' he wrote."

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Hampshire Jury Acquits Pot-Growing Rastafarian

New Hampshire Jury Acquits Pot-Growing Rastafarian - Hit & Run : - Jacob Sullum:

September 24, 2012 - "A few months ago, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed a bill declaring that 'in all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.' Although the new law does not take effect until ... January [2013], a case decided ... in Belknap County illustrates the importance of the nullification power it recognizes. A jury unanimously acquitted Doug Darrell, a 59-year-old Rastafarian charged with marijuana cultivation, after his lawyer, Mark Sisti, argued that a conviction would be unjust in light of the fact that Darrell was growing cannabis for his own religious and medicinal use. More remarkably, Judge James O'Neill instructed the jury that 'even if you find that the State has proven each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you may still find the defendant not guilty if you have a conscientious feeling that a not guilty verdict would be a fair result in this case.'"

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Dick Armey Sticks His FreedomWorks Payback to Glenn Beck - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

Dick Armey Sticks His FreedomWorks Payback to Glenn Beck - Politics - The Atlantic Wire - Elspeth Reeve:

January 4, 2013 - "Former FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey revealed that the Tea Party group paid Glenn Beck about $1 million to say "nice things" about the group on his radio show, and that it got a negative return on that investment, in an interview Friday — with the liberal group Media Matters, of all places. It's the latest strange revelation in the FreedomWorks civil war. Armey reportedly tried to stage an armed coup last fall, but his reign didn't last long, and donor Richard J. Stephenson agreed to pay Armey $400,000 a year for 20 years to go away....

"'The arrangement was simply FreedomWorks paid Glenn Beck money and Glenn Beck said nice things about FreedomWorks on the air,' Armey said, adding that, initially, Beck's kind words were only supposed to cost $250,000 a year. 'Once that was approved by the trustees, it then took on a life of its own, it got bigger than we understood it to be. All of a sudden it was we are paying Limbaugh as well as Beck.'"

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Will Billionaire's Intimidation Attempt Win? | Santa Monica Mirror

Will Billionaire's Intimidation Attempt Win? | Santa Monica Mirror - Tom Elias:

Dec. 29, 2012 - "No one spent more money trying to influence California politics during this year’s election season than the billionaire Munger siblings, Molly and Charles Jr....But Charles Munger Jr. was also active on the intimidation front....

"It stemmed from Munger’s 2010 investment in Proposition 14, which established the “top two” primary election system.... Top two cost minor parties like the Libertarians, Greens, American Independent and Peace and Freedom their usual spots on the November ballot [so] they and their supporters sued the state. Enter Munger, as an intervenor. He contended state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Debra Bowen were not equipped to defend Proposition 14 on their own.... Munger, as usual, spent big, hiring a prominent, politically-connected law firm with offices in Sacramento and Marin County to make his case.

"When the plaintiffs, led by 69-year-old minor-party advocate Richard Winger, longtime publisher of the Ballot Access News blog, lost the case, Munger insisted they be dunned for his legal fees. A San Francisco Superior Court judge assessed Winger and his fellow plaintiffs $243,000, of which Winger is liable for one-fifth as things now stand. He says paying that sum would just about break him and likely put his blog out of business."

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The story behind the 'Bath Salts' drug panic

Why People Thought 'Bath Salts' Made Rudy Eugene Eat Ronald Poppo's Face - Hit & Run : - Jacob Sullum:

December 24, 2012 - "In a well-informed and revealing Playboy article, Frank Owen analyzes 'a classic drug panic,' explaining how and why Rudy Eugene's grisly assault on Ronald Poppo in Miami last May came to be blamed on 'bath salts,' a group of quasi-legal stimulants that Eugene, a.k.a. the Causeway Cannibal and the Miami Zombie, had not in fact consumed....

"Armando Aguilar, president of the local police union ... decided to bury the racial angle by feeding local reporters an alternative narrative.... Reporters didn’t seem to care that Aguilar had no expertise in the pharmacological action of drugs on the human brain or that he didn’t provide a scintilla of credible evidence that bath salts were involved....

"To this day, even after toxicological tests on Eugene's body revealed no drug but marijuana, Aguilar insists 'there was something else in Rudy Eugene’s system other than marijuana that the medical examiner didn’t detect,' possibly 'a new form of bath salts or maybe even a completely new compound that we don't yet know about'."

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fiscal-Cliff Antics | The Future of Freedom Foundation

Fiscal-Cliff Antics | The Future of Freedom Foundation - Jacob Hornberger:

January 2, 2013 - "The fiscal-cliff deal shouldn’t surprise anyone. A sufficient number of Republicans caved, enabling President Obama to bask in the glory of causing Republicans to vote for a massive tax increase.

"What did the Republicans get in return with respect to federal spending?

"Not one darned thing. On the contrary, they agreed that the 'cuts' in federal spending that were going to go into effect as part of the 'fiscal cliff' would be suspended for at least the next two months.

"Why do I place 'cuts' in quotation marks? Because under the so-called fiscal cliff, there really isn’t any reduction in federal spending at all. That’s what the statists, including the mainstream media, never point out. The fiscal-cliff 'cut' is actually an increase in federal spending.

"Why do they call it a 'cut'? Because the increase in federal spending is not as much as federal officials had hoped for and planned for. That’s what a 'cut' in federal spending means in Washington and within the mainstream statist press.

"That’s what the Republicans got for their cave in — they gave the welfare-warfare bureaucrats the full increase in federal spending they had hoped for, at least for the next two months, after which they will undoubtedly cave again."

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Presumed guilty in the name of fighting terrorism

Presumed Guilty in the Name of Fighting Terrorism | The Moral Liberal - Bob Barr::

Jan. 1, 2013 - "The legal principle placing the burden of proof on accusers rather than the accused can be traced back to Second and Third Century Roman jurist, Julius Paulus Prudentissimus. Yet, this ancient concept, which forms the legal and moral cornerstone of the American judicial system, is quickly being undermined in the name of 'national security.' "In August 2004, President George W. Bush created the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) via Executive Order 13354.... The primary purpose of this secretive government agency is to serve as a clearinghouse for information related to terrorism, at home and abroad.... However, in a classic example of mission creep, over the last eight years the scope and power of the NCTC have slowly expanded....

"In 2012, the operating guidelines for the NCTC were updated to include previously prohibited activities; prohibitions intelligence officials claimed had inhibited their ability to find and disseminate terror threats.... According to the Wall Street Journal, whose Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests unearthed much of the internal debate behind the changes to the guidelines, the chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security called these new powers 'a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public.' In a word, it is simply unconstitutional.

"The change in the standards by which the NCTC now is able to troll data means every action a person takes that is logged into a government database, is subject to scrutiny for criminal behavior. Probable cause or reasonable suspicion – constitutional standards for invading a person’s privacy by government snooping — are irrelevant in such a scenario. We are all presumed guilty of engaging in potential terrorist acts."

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