Sunday, June 30, 2013

Joseph S. Diedrich interviews Scott Horton

Libertarian America: A Conversation with Scott Horton (Part 1) | Washington Times Communities - Joseph S. Diedrich:

June 16, 2013 - "Every once in awhile, you come across an individual with a seemingly endless stockpile of knowledge. Radio host Scott Horton is such an individual.

"From Austin, Texas, Horton shares his foreign policy expertise with the world. His interviews and commentary are played on numerous stations, including Los Angeles’s Pacifica Radio 90.7 FM, which broadcasts the Antiwar Radio show. All of Horton’s content is archived at his site

"Horton’s content is untainted by hearsay and nonsense. It’s just the bare facts delivered in a passionate way. Together with guests like Ron Paul, Gareth Porter, and Philip Giraldi, Horton has created a non-partisan haven for honest, intellectual discourse on foreign policy. "

Read more:

Part 2:
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rand Paul must balance Republican, libertarian values -

Rand Paul must balance Republican, libertarian values - - Gabrielle Levy:

June 28, 2013 - "Rand Paul shook off an awkward comment comparing same-sex marriage to [bestiality] and made a trip Friday to the early primary state South Carolina in the early stages of a potential presidential campaign.

"The Kentucky senator, reacting to a comment from Glenn Beck wondering if the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the bulk of the Defense of Marriage Act could lead to legalized polygamy,... extended Beck's logic.

"'This is a conundrum, and it gets back to what you were saying ... whether or not churches should decide this,' Paul said. 'And it is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?'

"His office later said the comment was not meant to be taken literally....

"Paul will have to carefully negotiate a balancing act between the conservative establishment of the Republican party and the libertarian activists who raised him to prominence.

"Many libertarians are supportive of the gay rights movement, as part of a general preference for fewer government restrictions in private life, while a June CNN poll found just 34 percent of Republicans overall favor allowing same-sex marriage."

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Southfield Township, Michigan, Trustee joins Libertarian Party

Koss joins Libertarian Party | Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies |

June 26, 2013 - "Southfield Township Trustee Rosanne Koss has joined the Libertarian Party.

"A longtime member of the Republican Party, Koss said she made the switch because she’s frustrated by the constant bickering between Democrats and Republicans at almost every level of government.... She announced the switch last Friday.

"'At some point in your life you have to be bold,” said Koss, who sat on the Beverly Hills Village Council for eight years before running for the township board in 2012. 'You have to be able to move with the times. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s change'....

"Mary Buzuma, chairwoman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan, said she’s not surprised by Koss’ decision. 'Like voters, many elected officials have had enough of being handcuffed by party politics, at all levels of government,' Buzuma said.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sarvis makes ballot in Virginia governor's race

Libertarian Candidate Sarvis Makes Ballot in Virginia Governor's Race - Newsplex:

June 26, 2013 - "Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for Governor of Virginia, has made it on the ballot.

"On Wednesday the Virginia State Board of Elections confirmed to Sarvis's campaign that he had at least 10,000 signatures from registered Virginia voters, and would be listed on ballots across the state during the elections this November.

"Sarvis supports marriage equality, universal school choice, ending various taxes like the car tax and occupational license tax, and drug law reform....

"Patrick Hagerty, Libertarian candidate for the 33rd district of the Virginia House of Delegates also made it on this years ballot."

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Virginia Libertarian, Democratic candidates hail DOMA ruling

Candidates for governor note differences on issue - Richmond Times Dispatch: Latest News:

June 26, 2013 - "The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act underscored the differences between Virginia's candidates for governor on same-sex marriage.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe hailed the ruling while Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee, underscored his support for maintaining the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman....

"Equality Virginia applauded the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA. 'Since 2006, Virginia has had a constitutional amendment that prohibits the legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples,' Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish said. 'While we continue working to lift the ban on marriage here at home, we can celebrate today’s decision from the Supreme Court, affirming that all loving and committed couples deserve equal respect and treatment.'

"The Libertarian Party of Virginia also praised the ruling. Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian Party of Virginia candidate for governor, has said one of his goals in this year’s race is to lead the fight in Virginia towards recognizing same-sex marriage in Virginia."

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jewish Press: Ron Paul making sense on Syria

The Jewish Press » » Ron Paul Making Sense on Syria – Now We’re Really Done For:\ Yori Yanover:

June 24, 2013 - "I’m not arguing with all the true facts being raised by Congressman Ron Paul – of course he’s right. Every single thing he’s saying makes perfect sense and should be paid attention to by our policymakers – and that’s the source of my despair. Because no one ever listens to Ron Paul.

"What’s the point in upper class idiots like John Kerry repeating all the worst mistakes that upper class idiots like G.W. Bush have committed in the same region – just so Ron Paul would be proven right once again? It’s almost as if by opening his mouth and speaking the truth, he’s making it impossible for anyone in government to act rationally any more. After all, who wants to come across sounding like Ron Paul?

"But he’s right, alas, and he opened his mouth and now the U.S. is setting up training camps for the new mujahideen, just like good ol’ Ronny Reagan did in Afghanistan, and the countdown has already started to the moment these nice gentlemen with the head scarves will turn and bite the hand that trained them."
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Libertarian leads effort for same-sex marriage in Arizona

Libertarian Leads Effort for Gay Marriage Recognition in Arizona - Scott Shackford, Reason Hit and Run blog:

June 19, 2013 - "[A]s gay marriage recognition is seeing increasing public support, there’s a new effort in Arizona to modify the state’s definition to allow for same-sex couples, and this new effort is being led by a libertarian and a Republican. Equal Marriage Arizona, co-chaired by libertarian blogger and business owner Warren Meyer and Arizona Log Cabin Republican caucus chair Erin Ogletree Simpson, filed their petition Monday and have begun collecting signatures to bring it to a vote.

"The wording of the initiative is very simple: It changes the definition of recognized marriages in Arizona from a man and a woman to two people, gender neutral. An added section declares that religious organizations will not be obligated to solemnize or officiate at such ceremonies.

"Meyer ... worked with Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign and had gotten involved with the Our America Initiative, the pro-liberty group Johnson formed prior to his run for president. Meyer said the group contacted him to see if he would be interested in taking on leadership of an initiative effort in Arizona, and he agreed. Johnson, too, has declared his support for the effort and is listed as an honorary chairman for Equal Marriage Arizona."

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Big Hollywood interviews libertarian humorist Julie Borowski

BH Interview: Libertarian Humorist Julie Borowski Blends Comedy, Cogent Commentary: Part I - Tom Thurlow, Big Hollywood:

June 15, 2013 - "We all know the routine. You turn on the TV or radio to hear some comedy, and you might get a few laughs.  Then the comedian turns to recent political events, and ... the viewer gets the impression, backed up by mockery, laughs and applause, that it sure is un-cool to be conservative, and that it is only sensible, kind, neighborly and hip to be liberal.

"Only recently has there been any attempt by conservatives to use humor to fight back.... One such conservative, who says she is more of a libertarian than conservative, is Julie Borowski. Borowski’s blog-videos, entitled Token Libertarian Girl, can be found at YouTube and her personal blog....

"Many of her videos are just so funny you watch them just for the humor, no matter what the message is. And that is where she advances conservative and libertarian causes, because she keeps viewers engaged and entertained. And persuaded. The viewer can watch both the Comedy Channel and Julie Borowski’s videos, and come away much more informed and persuaded by Borowski’s videos."

Part I:
Part II:
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jonah Goldberg: Libertarian revolution still unfolding

Jonah Goldberg: Libertarian revolution still unfolding | - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News:

June 16, 2013 - "'Why are there no libertarian countries?'

"In a much-discussed essay for Salon magazine, Michael Lind asks: 'If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?'

"Such is the philosophical poverty of liberalism today that this stands as a profound question....

"It’s true, no ideal libertarian state has ever existed outside a table for one. And no such state will ever exist. But here’s an important caveat: No ideal state of any other kind will be created either. America’s great, but it ain’t perfect. Sweden’s social democracy is all right, but if it were perfect, I suspect fewer cars would be on fire there.

"Ideals are called ideals for a reason: They’re goals, aspirations, abstract straight rules we use as measuring sticks against the crooked timber of humanity."

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Friday, June 21, 2013

GOP changes election laws to keep Libertarians, Greens off ballot in Arizona

Election-law change aims to block Libertarian, Green Party candidates - Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services, Arizona Star:

"Contending one and maybe two congressional races were stolen from them, Republican legislators have approved and Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a measure to finesse election laws to keep out the Libertarians who they say are taking votes from their candidates.

"The change, tucked into a much larger set of revisions to election laws, would sharply increase the number of signatures that Libertarian and Green Party candidates need to get on the ballot for their own legislative and congressional primaries.

"Barry Hess, the Libertarian Party's former candidate for governor, said in most cases the number of signatures required is far more than the number of people actually registered in most districts. He said unless these minor parties could find independents willing to help them get on the ballot, it would create an 'insurmountable obstacle' to any minor party candidate getting nominated, much less being on the general election ballot.

"But Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, admitted publicly that's precisely the purpose of the change. And the real goal is creating an easier path for GOP candidates to win."

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Libertarians plan toy gun march in D.C. July 3

Libertarians Plan Toy Gun March to Protest "Dangerous Gun Free Zones" - Amanda Schallert, Opposing Views:

June 19, 2013 - "Libertarian gun proponents plan to march in Washington, D.C., on July 3 bearing toy water guns in protest of ongoing efforts to increase gun control, according to Politico.

"The libertarian activists initially organized the march to counter a separate march with members bearing real guns that would serve as an act of “civil disobedience” and occur on July 4, according to USA Today.

"The Independence Day protest march was canceled, but the “Toy Gun March” is still set to commence at 9 a.m. and span from the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the National Mall.

"The "Toy Gun March" is both a protest and a charity event for Toys for Tots. Event organizers intend to raise $1,000 for the charity and have currently reached more than half of their monetary goal. "

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Justin Amash calls for National Intelligence Director's resignation

Libertarian Congressman Calls On National Intelligence Director To Resign - Rosie Grey, BuzzFeed:

 June 12, 2013 - "Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash called on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to resign on Wednesday after a week of revelations surrounding the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance of Americans.

"'It now appears clear that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied under oath to Congress and the American people,' Amash wrote on his Facebook. 'Members of Congress can’t make informed decisions on intelligence issues when the head of the intelligence community willfully makes false statements. Perjury is a serious crime. Mr. Clapper should resign immediately.'

"Clapper’s testimony before Congress in March has led to questions over whether he may have flatly lied about the NSA’s data-mining programs. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat, asked Clapper if the NSA 'collects any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?' Clapper answered, 'No sir…not wittingly.'

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Graham: libertarian youth biggest threat to national security

"Libertarian" youths face the wrath of Republicans - Times Of India- Chidinand Rhajgatta:

June 13, 2013 - "According to one account, South Carolina's Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the biggest threat US intelligence these days isn't so much Russian spies, but disaffected young men like [Edward] Snowden; Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of being behind Wikileaks; and Aaron Swartz, the activist founder of social news site Reddit who committed suicide earlier this year after the government brought charges of wire and computer fraud for illegally downloading millions of documents on him.

"'I think that there's a group of people, younger people who are not fighting the war, who are libertarians mostly, who feel like the government is the problem,' Time's national security blog quoted Graham as saying, while maintaining that, 'those who are trained to defend us are a bigger threat than those who are trying to attack us.' Graham not only wanted Snowden to be brought to justice and punished severely so that 'the next 29-year-old who thinks that they're going to be some cult figure will think twice,' but he also recommended a government unit of 'watchers watching the watchers.'"

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Joseph S. Diedrich interviews Austin Petersen

Libertarian America: A Conversation with Austin Petersen | Washington Times Communities - Joseph S. Diedrich:

June 9, 2013 - "Austin Petersen, the Director of Production at FreedomWorks ... harnesses his artistic talent and libertarian zeal to produce videos, commercials, and event photography. He is also hard at work preparing the FreedomWorks University courses that will be debuting in the near future. Among others, the courses will feature Peter Schiff, Jeffrey Tucker, Steve Horwitz, and Judge Andrew Napolitano....

"Petersen produced Judge Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch on Fox Business. He also operates Stonegait Pictures, an LLC under which he does portrait photography, media training, public lectures, and video interviews for private clients.

"Petersen is also the executive producer of Alongside Night, a film based on the novel of the same name by J. Neil Schulman. Steeped in themes of agorism, the plot tells the story of what can happen when government destroys a currency and outlaws the use of gold. It premieres this month."

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rand Paul is now "one of the most important political figures in the U.S."

NSA Revelations and Immigration Bill Place Rand Paul Center Stage - The Daily Beast - Bill Jacobs, Daily Beast:

June 12, 2013 - "A man who was an obscure ophthalmologist only four years ago reinforced his role as one of the important political figures in the United States during a short speech on immigration reform before a gathering of conservative Latinos ... on Wednesday morning....

"But Rand Paul isn’t just grabbing headlines on immigration reform. With issues coming to the fore involving privacy, technology, and the surveillance state long touted by his father, former congressman Ron Paul, the Kentucky senator is uniquely positioned in the current debate. His 12-hour filibuster on the use of drones on American soil captured the public’s imagination and his strident opposition to the NSA’s surveillance program, as revealed last week by leaker Edward Snowden, has even included a threat to launch a class-action suit in federal court....

"Paul’s place in the spotlight is already drawing fire from Democrats. On Tuesday night ... Vice President Joe Biden slammed Paul as a sinister power in the modern Republican Party. Biden told attendees that the GOP had become 'beholden' to Paul as well as Ted Cruz. He said that many Republican senators had told him that they had not supported gun-control measures like Toomey-Manchin in the wake of the Newtown massacre because 'I don’t want to take on Rand Paul.'"

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I haven't been writing much on the so-called "Rob Ford video scandal". Originally, I wanted to see the alleged video before commenting. With every day, though, it looks less and less likely that any of us are ever going to see it.

In addition, the Star's coverage this week of the "Project Traveller" drug raids was too much to ignore. It's bad enough that they headlined their story of the drug raids "Ford scandal deepens ..." - even though the only connection between Ford and the drug raids is that the police didn't deny (or affirm) that there is one - but what's worse is their constant bashing of the Bassos, for no other apparent reason than that the family wouldn't talk to Robyn Doolittle, Star Reporter. At least, Basso-bashing is what this looks like to me; try as I might, I can't see any other reason for these two paragraphs to be included in the "Project Traveller" story:

"Not included in Thursday’s raids was a home on Windsor Rd. near the Dixon apartment complex, a suspected crack house where the photograph was taken. It does not appear that any of the four residents of that home, Elena Johnson and Fabio, Lina and Mario Basso, were arrested.

"At least two of those living at the address have a criminal history. Johnson was convicted of trafficking cocaine in 2011 and Fabio Basso was convicted of possessing a prohibited weapon in 2005."

Jennifer Pagliaro, "Ford scandal deepens with Toronto raids targeting gangs, guns and drugs", Toronto Star, June 13, 2013.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Libertarians see potential gains in NSA debacle

Libertarians See Political Gains in NSA Leak Debacle - John Gizzi, Newsmax:

June 11, 2013 - : "Gary Johnson, the 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee, and Libertarian Party Executive Director Carla Howell both voiced confidence in interviews with Newsmax on Monday that the ongoing story about the agency's Prism program would boost a political party that champions individual freedoms.

"'The NSA revelations will be a good thing' for the Libertarian cause, predicted Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico who drew 1.3 million votes — 1 percent of the total — as the Libertarian nominee for president last November.

"'We will have what we have never had before, a national debate over what the checks and balances are and where the due process is,' Johnson said.

"Pointing to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court that authorizes the electronic surveillance, ... Johnson told Newsmax: 'All of those who are libertarian-leaning will want a discussion and scrutiny of the government surveillance. That will bring greater focus on what it means to be a libertarian and that, in turn, should benefit the Libertarian Party.'" 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Libertarianism is in vogue. Again. - Washington Post

Libertarianism is in vogue. Again. - Washington Post - Chris Cilizza:

June 9, 2013 - "Looking for the hot new(ish) thing in American politics? Try libertarianism.

"Yes, that long-dismissed political philosophy that eschews government intervention in favor of individual liberty is again coming into vogue, particularly among young voters.

"Two issues highlight the growing libertarian strain in the country.

"The first is legalizing marijuana. For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the subject, a Pew Research Center survey found in April that a majority of Americans (52 percent) favored legalizing it. Among millennials — those born after 1980 — the numbers were significantly higher, with 65 percent supporting legalization.

"The second is same-sex marriage. In a March Washington Post-ABC News poll, 58 percent of all respondents said that gay marriage should be legal, including a whopping 81 percent of those ages 18 to 29.

"Polls aside, an analysis of actual votes in the 2012 presidential election also suggests that libertarianism is on the rise. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s 2012 presidential nominee and the former Republican governor of New Mexico, received nearly 1.3 million votes on Election Day — the first time the party’s nominee had ever taken more than a million votes. "

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Turkish protesters are young, libertarian, and furious at PM, says survey

LOCAL - Protesters are young, libertarian and furious at Turkish PM, says survey - Hurriyet Daily News, Istanbul:

June 5, 2013 - "A majority of the Taksim Gezi Park protesters do not feel close to any political party and have said the prime minister’s authoritarian attitude caused the ongoing protests across the country, according to a recent online survey conducted among the protesters....

"A majority of the protesters demanded respect of liberties and an end to police violence while rejecting a military coup against the government. The rate of those who demanded 'an end to police violence' was 96.7 percent, while 96.1 percent demanded 'respect of liberties from now on.' Only 37 percent demanded a new political party be established....

"A majority of the protesters defined themselves as libertarian and did not vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to the survey. A majority of the protesters who completed the survey, 81.2 percent, defined themselves as 'libertarian.' A total of 64.5 percent of the respondents defined themselves as 'secular.' Those who did not define themselves as 'conservative' totaled 75 percent, while those who did not 'vote for the AKP' made 92.1 percent. More than half of the respondents denied being apolitical. Out of 3,000 respondents, 75.8 percent said they had joined the recent protests in Turkey by going out to the streets."

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Massachusetts teen jailed for Facebook post freed

Massachusetts teen accused of Facebook terror post freed - Yahoo! Finance - Richard Valdmanis, Reuters:

June 7, 2013 - A Massachusetts teenager jailed a month ago for a Facebook (FB.O) post ... was released, a court official said on Friday, after a grand jury refused to indict him.

"Cameron D'Ambrosio was arrested on May 1 and accused of 'communicating a terrorist threat'.... The case sparked a viral online effort by rights activists to have him freed, and demonstrated the growing tension between law enforcement and free speech proponents after a spate of terror and school-violence incidents across the country.

"Lawrence District Court Judge Lynn Rooney issued an order on Thursday to release D'Ambrosio after a grand jury chose not to indict, the court clerk's office said. An official at the county prosecutor's office was not available to comment.

"'While today is a major victory for Cam, the chilling effect that this case has already had on free speech cannot be undone,' said Evan Greer, of Boston's Center for Rights and Fight For The Future, which organized an online petition supporting D'Ambrosio that gathered 90,000 signatures."

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Monday, June 10, 2013

To win Millennials, the GOP needs to embrace its inner libertarian

To Win Millennials, the GOP Needs to Embrace Its Inner Libertarian - The Daily Beast - Nick Gillespie:

June 4, 2013 - "[A] new report from the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) strongly suggests that ... [t]he GOP should embrace its small, youthful, and increasingly influential libertarian caucus that focuses on cutting government spending — even or especially on old-age entitlements — and quit fretting over gay marriage or the need to invade and occupy foreign countries....

"'Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation' observes that it was the youth vote that largely consigned Mitt Romney to the ranks of presidential losers. Romney pulled 2 million more votes than Barack Obama among voters over 30, but the incumbent won a whopping 5 million more votes than the former Massachusetts governor from so-called Millennials....

"What do young voters want? More than anything, a shot at working and thriving in a growing economy. Yet even though only 22 percent of Millennials thought “Obama’s policies had made it easier for young people to get a job” and 'only 29 percent thought they were better off as a result of the stimulus package ... Democrats held a 16-point advantage over the Republican Party among young voters on handling of the economy and jobs (chosen as the top issue by 37 percent of respondents).'

"That’s because young voters are turned off by the GOP’s emphasis on tax cuts über alles and habit of embracing big businesses rather than scrappy entrepreneurs. They are equally turned off by the GOP’s constant thumping on gay marriage, which more than any other social issue has emerged as a “deal breaker,” or an issue that will cause a voter who agrees on everything else with a candidate to vote for his or her opponent. Abortion, immigration, even health care are less important in this regard, according to the CRNC."

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA revelations

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations | World news | - Glenn Greenwald, Ewan MacAskill, and Laura Poitras:

June 9, 2013 -"The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency [NSA] for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell....

"From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. 'I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,' he said....

"In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: 'I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.'

"Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. 'I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.'

"He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. 'I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.'"

"Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA."

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The New GOP; libertarian fusionism in Virginia

The New Republican Party: Libertarian Fusionism in Virginia | United Liberty | Free Market - Individual Liberty - Limited Government - Matthew Hurtt:

June 3, 2013 - "The rise of the so-called “liberty movement,” which sprang out of the early days of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, and of the tea party movement, which was a reaction to the one-party Democrat rule in Washington after the 2008 elections (with Obama’s victory being the likely spark) has forced the Republican Party to wrestle with warring factions in an attempt to establish a winning coalition.

"Those in the media love to paint the GOP’s internal struggle as evidence of a party in the throes of extinction; as a party out-of-touch with mainstream America. But I think the 'growing pains' the GOP are experiencing could potentially strengthen the Republican Party....

Few candidates have won major office in recent history under the banner of any party other than the Republican or Democrat parties.... It is with that understanding that many within the “liberty movement” in Virginia have begun working within the Republican Party to move it in a more (small-L) libertarian direction.... As the GOP looks for a path forward, it should look to the way the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) has embraced liberty activists.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The libertarian populist agenda

The Libertarian Populist Agenda | RealClearPolitics - Ben Domenech:

June 5, 2013 - "For all this talk of late regarding conservative reform, the most successful conservative reform project of the post-Reagan era was not from the top down, but the bottom up. The Tea Party joined those who favored limited government together regardless of their priorities, and they were successful in a not insignificant part because they were running with the tides of American sentiment as opposed to against them – with a rising skepticism for institutions, particularly those of great size.

"They wanted to reform the party, but they did not want the party to just be satisfied with a reform message. Where the traditional trends of Thomas Dewey tend Republicanism toward fixing the institutions of government and society, this new strand had more in common with Charles Murray, whose What It Means to Be a Libertarian makes the case not for fixing the departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, but for eliminating them and replacing them with, and I quote, 'Nothing.'"

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Rich Paul is appealing his 81-year prison sentence for selling marijuana

Rich Paul Is Appealing His 81-Year Prison Sentence for Selling Pot | VICE United States - Harry Cheadle:

May 29, 2013 - "Rich Paul, a pro-marijuana activist in Keene, New Hampshire, who was facing 81 years in prison for selling marijuana ... refused plea-bargain deals (including one that would have let him walk away with no jail time) because he wanted to stand up for his principles — weed is basically harmless and you should be allowed to smoke it and sell it to your friends. 'Somebody had to stand up and say that this is wrong, and I thought I might well be that guy,' Rich emailed me. 'I took the risk and now we'll find out whether I bet my life well.'

Two days after he wrote that, the jury found Rich guilty, sending him to prison for a long, long time for a nonviolent crime.... 'I wasn’t shocked,' Rich admitted to me in a video recorded from jail. 'Jury nullification is a long shot.' Even so, he’s planning on appealing to the New Hampshire Supreme Court on the grounds that the judge misled the jury on what nullification is.

"Last year, New Hampshire adopted a law that allows defense attorneys to speak directly to juries and tell them that they have the right to judge the application of the law, not just the facts; that is, they can decide the law shouldn’t be applied in particular cases."

If his appeal is successful, it’ll set a precedent in New Hampshire that juries have to be informed that nullification is both possible and legal, which would presumably make a huge difference — one of the big hurdles for nullification advocates has historically been educating people about it. In order to make his appeal, Rich has to hire a lawyer, and his supporters have started a fundraising campaign to make that possible."

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gary Johnson supports Save our Shotguns initiative in Colorado

Libertarians enter the gun control debate - Washington Times - Jennifer Harper:

May 31, 2013 - "Former Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson has entered the gun rights arena, taking on a new Colorado law that places strict limits on the size of ammunition magazines. He is now honorary chairman of Save Our Shotguns, a nonpartisan group circulating a referendum petition to place Colorado’s HB 1224 on the statewide ballot in 2014.

"'Despite what some, including the Colorado legislature and Gov. John Hickenlooper would have us believe, the Second Amendment is crystal clear. Placing an arbitrary limit on the capacity of a gun magazine is an unacceptable restriction on the rights of gun owners, manufacturers and sellers,' Mr. Johnson says.

"'Restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens does not make anyone safer. It simply empowers those who have no regard for the law and who wish to do us harm.'"

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rand Paul hopes Silicon Valley can embrace libertarian Republicanism

Libertarian Senator Rand Paul Hopes Silicon Valley Can Love Some Republicans | TechCrunch - Gregory Ferenstein:

May 31, 2013 -  "'My general impressions of Silicon Valley and California, in general, is that Libertarian-style Republicans would do better out here, and that Bush Republicans haven’t been doing well out here in a long time,' the Senate’s uber-Libertarian, Rand Paul tells me, during his check-cashing good-will tour to Silicon Valley.

"Republicans desperately want better relations with Silicon Valley’s big-pocketed donors and top-tier programmers; the Senator’s solution is to show them that they can, in fact, love the small-government strain of conservatism....

"In fairness to Paul, I’ve been outspoken about dispelling the myth of the luddite Republican: in the House of Representatives, conservatives are more savvy on social media, trailblazers in open government, and designed the most innovative tools in online direct participation.

"Moreover, I think we can be sympathetic to Paul’s position of having to both appeal to the liberal bastion of San Francisco without alienating his base. As far as small-goverment conservatives eyeing the presidency go, Paul is as [geninuely] libertarian as one can be and still be a viable candidate.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Britain’s libertarian generation

Children of Thatcher: Britain’s Libertarian Generation - Hit & Run : Emily Ekins:

Jue 3, 2013 - "The Economist recently reviewed the long-running British Social Attitudes survey (BSA), among other surveys, finding that:
Young Britons are classical liberals: as well as prizing social freedom, they believe in low taxes, limited welfare and personal responsibility. In America they would be called libertarians....
"While two-thirds of Britons born before 1938 “consider the welfare state ‘one of Britain’s proudest achievements’.” Less than one-third of millennial Britons agree.

"Britons aged 18-24 are more likely to say social problems are the responsibility of individuals rather than the state, prioritize deficit reduction, support privatization of utilities, and more likely to reject bans on cigarette branding. They care about the environment, but also commerce and are more likely to have set up their own businesses than their peers in any other large EU country. "Young Britons are also more socially tolerant, and have a more relaxed approach toward alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana than other young people in the European Union. The Economist concludes libertarianism is growing especially among Britain’s young, politically engaged minority, and views'“this trend among the politically active as the visible tip of an iceberg of passive libertarian sentiment among the disengaged.'”

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Libertarian, anti-war groups march for Bradley Manning

Libertarian, anti-war, gay rights groups march for Bradley Manning - National Libertarian news | - Garry Reed:

May 31, 2013 - "Bradley Manning's court martial begins on June 3 at Ft. Meade, Maryland and his supporters will be there on June 1 through June 8 demanding his freedom.

"Manning, a then 25-year-old Army private, released a US government video of a 'wise-cracking' American helicopter gunship crew slaughtering innocent Iraqis, which Wikileaks subsequently released to the world. In the words of Justin Raimondo at, 'The warlords of Washington have been out to get Manning – and Wikileaks – ever since.'

"Manning has already been tried and convicted by one of those 'Washington Warlords,' President Obama, who said in 2011 'He broke the law,' even though Manning hadn't even been tried yet....

"'s Director of Operations Angela Keaton has announced that her group is "organizing a virtual parade for Bradley Manning in the form of a series of torch-lighting ceremonies" and freedom rallies in major cities across the country starting in San Francisco.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rand Paul bolsters libertarian bona fides, delays decision on presidential run

Rand Paul Bolsters Libertarian Bona Fides, Delays Decision on 2016 - Joe Wolverton II, The New American:

May 27, 2013 - "Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has ... told reporters that his decision to seek a second term in the Senate was certain, adding that any decision on a presidential run would 'come later.' Paul echoed these remarks in an interview with The New American, saying that the call on his presidential candidacy wouldn’t come before 2014.

"In the meantime, however, Paul admitted to The New American that he would continue visiting primary states, feeling out the popularity among Republicans of his libertarian-leaning policy positions....

"On May 22, Paul introduced the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013. This measure protects an individual's right to privacy against unwarranted drone surveillance....

"'The use of drone surveillance may work on the battlefields overseas, but it isn't well-suited for unrestrained use on the streets in the United States. Congress must be vigilant in providing oversight to the use of this technology and protection for rights of the American people. I will continue the fight to protect and uphold our Fourth Amendment,' Senator Paul said.

"Paul continued his attempt to prevent federal government violations of the Fourth Amendment, introducing the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act of 2013. This bill would require government agencies to obtain specific warrants from a judge before snooping into the electronic communications of citizens.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gary Johnson interview/profile in Forbes

Six Months Later: Gary Johnson In A Candid Conversation On Post Campaign Life - Forbes - Alex Kantrowicz:

May 28, 2013 -  "Immediately after Gary Johnson took his seat outside of Jake’s Saloon, a pub in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, the former Libertarian presidential nominee made it clear how he felt once his campaign ended. 'On election day,' he told me. 'It was kind of like being let out of prison.'

"Welcome to the life of a losing presidential candidate. Like many of those who come up short in the race for the nation’s highest office, Johnson, in the months following his defeat, is working to make sense of what happened. He is analyzing the mistakes made, considering running again in 2016, looking to keep his voice relevant despite no longer having ‘nominee’ attached to his name and, indeed, blowing off a little steam.

"Of campaign mistakes, Johnson said there were many, perhaps even one hundred. Instead of listing them all, he honed in on two, fundraising and time management."

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