Monday, September 30, 2013

CrossFit openly exercises its libertarian views

CrossFit openly exercises its libertarian views | - Tim Mak:

September 25, 2013 - "'Why do you assume the labor market is inelastic?' read a recent tweet from the official account of CrossFit, the popular-but-controversial fitness regimen.

"The tweet was related to an article by the free-market Cato Institute, which the fitness company sent out to its 115,000-plus Twitter followers. The article argues that minimum wage regulations can drive up unemployment.

"It wasn’t a hack or some mistake. A deep libertarian ethos runs through the entire CrossFit organization, which has for some time been deliberately promoting polarizing articles and quotes.

"Earlier this month, CrossFit quoted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, questioning the wisdom of military strikes in Syria; before that, an article on drug decriminalization, a prominent topic in libertarian circles....

"CrossFit founder Greg Glassman is a 'rabid libertarian,' he told the similarly minded Reason magazine earlier this year. But it's not just him - its much of the group's senior staff.

“Our leadership is pretty avowedly libertarian,” said Greene.... 'We’ve got over 7,000 affiliated gyms.... Don’t you think it would be unnatural if these small businesses were lukewarm about free enterprise?'"

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Truckers Ride for the Constitution planning strike, DC protest October 11

EXCLUSIVE: Organizers Of Truckers’ March Reveal Plans For Massive Protest In DC | Ben Swann Truth In Media - Kristin Tate:

September 28, 2013 - "On October 11, the very people who keep America moving will use the day to stop traffic in the nation’s capital.... The “Truckers Ride For The Constitution” Facebook page says, 'The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a GENERAL STRIKE on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013!'

"I spoke with Zeeda Andrews, one of the protests’ chief organizers.... Andrews helped put together the initial Facebook page to support truckers and draw attention to 'regulations that are unconstitutional'.

"According to Andrews, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently pushing a law that would require every trucker to have a tracking device in his or her vehicle.... The DOT is also trying to enforce idling laws, which prohibit truckers from idling unless they keep a pet inside their vehicle. These laws can be enforced using the tracking devices mentioned above. Andrews points out that idling restrictions become a health hazard when it’s 10 below zero out....

"Obamacare is also having a drastic negative impact on truckers, according to Andrews. Many trucking companies are reducing workers’ hours to under 30 per week because they cannot afford to provide full health coverage (which, under Obamacare, will be mandatory for all full time employees)."

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cruz filibuster reflects increasing libertarian views in Republican Party

Ted Cruz Speech Nods to Increasing Libertarian Views within Republican Party | Cato @ Liberty - David Kirby:

September 26, 2013 - "During his Ironman 21-hour speech, Sen. Ted Cruz read excerpts from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, name-dropped 'libertarians' at least six times, and yielded to Sen. Rand Paul, who invoked Frederic Bastiat’s 'What is Seen and Unseen,' a favorite among libertarians.

"Ted Cruz, who retained remarkable composure over the long night, seems in all things deliberate. Political leaders seem to have become more comfortable talking about libertarians, even identifying themselves as such. Libertarians may have reached a tipping point within the Republican Party....

"Gallup has tracked 'libertarian' beliefs since 1993 using a combination of two questions on the role of government.... Gallup defines libertarians as those who think government is doing 'too many things' and should not 'promote traditional values'.... Gallup data show a 19 percentage point increase in libertarian views among Republicans and Republican leaning independents in the decade between 2002 and 2012. In 2002, libertarians represented 15 percent of Republicans; in 2012, 34 percent.

"Using American National Election Studies (ANES) data, a stalwart in political science, we duplicated Gallup’s methodology.... ANES data show a nine percentage point increase in libertarian views among Republicans and Republican leaning independents between 2000 and 2012. In 2000, libertarians represented 26 percent of Republicans; in 2012, 35 percent.

"Finally, we added similar questions to a national poll FreedomWorks commissioned in August to see what percentage of Republicans hold libertarian views today.... Using this method, FreedomWorks data show that 41 percent of Republicans and Republican leaning independents are libertarian today. 

"Two separate data sources, Gallup and ANES, show the same trend: that libertarian views are at the highest point in a decade. And three point estimates for libertarians in 2012 and 2013 — Gallup, ANES, and FreedomWorks — find a similar level of libertarian views between 34 and 41 percent. Of course ... not all these libertarians self-identify as such and many don’t know the word. But even that seems to be changing.... According to FreedomWorks’ poll, only 10 percent of Republicans 'don’t know' the word libertarian, compared to 27 percent nationally.

"The data confirm that libertarian views may well have reached a tipping point in the Republican Party."

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Libertarian Kurt Evans entering Senate race in SD

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.: Libertarian candidate entering Senate race in SD | National Politics | - Associated Press:

September 19, 2013 - "A Libertarian candidate who some say was a big factor in a 2002 U.S. Senate race in South Dakota could be a factor again next year. Kurt Evans will seek the Senate seat held by Democrat Tim Johnson, who isn't seeking re-election....

"'Every time you've got a third-party candidate running in the general election, the question always is, who's he going to take votes from?" said Ken Blanchard, a political science professor at Northern State University.... If a Libertarian runs, you expect him to take votes mostly from Republicans.'

"Some people think that's what happened in 2002, when Republican John Thune lost to Johnson by just 524 votes — with Evans getting 3,070 votes.

"Thune, who was elected to the Senate in 2004, said last year that he thinks Evans cost him the race in 2002."

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Robert Sarvis runs first campaign ad during debate

Libertarian Crashes the Party on Virginia's Debate Night - - Sarah Mimms, National Journal:

September 25, 2013 - "Halfway through Wednesday evening's contentious gubernatorial debate in Virginia, a female voice asked a question that was likely going through the minds of many voters: 'Can't vote for either of these guys?'

"Libertarian Robert Sarvis, who has been gaining in recent polling thanks to voters' dissatisfaction with both of the main party candidates, ran his first 30-second television ad during the debate, touting himself as another option. Coming on the heels of more than 30 minutes of heated debate -- in which Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe accused his Republican rival, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, of supporting a social agenda that is bad for women while Cuccinelli accused McAuliffe of wanting to sell Virginia to the highest bidder -- Sarvis criticized both candidates, offering Virginians a third choice....

"Sarvis has begun to see an uptick among voters clearly dissatisfied with both of their options. [A Washington Post] poll showed him with 10 percent support among Virginia voters in a three-way contest, while a WRC-TV/NBC News/Marist poll conducted around the same time showed him with 8 percent support.

"Sarvis was not invited to participate in the debate, which was produced by WRC-TV in Washington and aired on NBC affiliates throughout the commonwealth."

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Seasteading Institute raises $54K via Indiegogo & Thiel Foundation

Soon You May Be Able to Live on Crazy Libertarian Billionaire Island - Nitasha Tiku, Gawker:

September 23, 2013 - "On Friday, the Seasteading Institute — a non-profit group cofounded by Peter Thiel and Patri Friedman (grandson to Ronald Reagan advisor Milton Friedman) — successfully closed its Indiegogo campaign to design “the world’s first floating city” for “pioneers who wish to demonstrate new ways of living together.

"The campaign exceeded its $20,000 goal, raising $27,082 in tax deductible funds from 291 donors: a sum that will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the Thiel Foundation....

"Back in 2008, Friedman himself estimated that it could cost hundreds of millions to build a seastead for just a few thousand people. Now, seven years later, the proceeds from amateur investors who backed this crowdfunded campaign are going towards a white paper exploring 'feasibility' of the idea — with any leftovers allocated toward 'diplomacy' with countries that might 'consider hosting a seastead within their territorial waters, while still granting the city substantial autonomy.'

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book review: America’s Way Back

Book review: America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition, and Constitution - Herbert W. Stupp, Human Events:

September 19, 2013 - "In America’s Way Back, Don Devine draws upon his first-hand knowledge of government’s failures and successes to lay out a plan for a leaner, more effective and democratically-based state ... in line with the Framers, citing Locke, Madison and others that he rightly admires.

"There are three primary themes that recur throughout Devine’s book:

"First, that the political philosophy of 'progressivism' has corrupted both major parties over the years. Dr. Devine points to Woodrow Wilson’s writings, where decades before his presidency, he argued for centralized 'scientific' management of government by 'experts' who need pay little heed to elections and the will of the people....

"Second, the author documents how overreach by the Federal government has not only been expensive, but that Federal programs and intervention have largely been counterproductive. One persuasive example developed by Devine relates to the response to economic depressions and recessions. Presidents Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt and Obama all opted for expensive 'stimulus' programs, resulting in lots of spending, yet only more misery for the American people....

"Thirdly, the author argues for a renewed appreciation of 'fusionism' as the philosophy to transport us to the responsive, limited, properly-ordered government we want and need.... Devine capsulizes the fusionist philosophy as '... a synthesis of traditional Western values and the need for individual human freedom to achieve them'.”

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Monday, September 23, 2013

NC Libertarians a sponsor of Nullify Now conference Oct. 19

Libertarians support Nullify Now conference - Raleigh Libertarian | - Brian Irving:

September 23, 2013 - "Nullification is ... about the fundamental principles of the American republic, said J.J. Summerell, chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. The Libertarian Party is one of the sponsors of the Nullify Now conference scheduled for the Raleigh Convention Center Oct. 19.

"The Tenth Amendment Center has been hosting events around the country to educate and activate people on the topic of Nullification since September 2012. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., an historian and best-selling author of the book Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, will give the keynote speech [at] the event.

"'Libertarians believe the American system of government is founded on three basic and fundamental principles,' Summerell said. These principles are: that the states formed the federal government, not the other way around; that the people are sovereign, not the states, nor the federal government, and; that all government power is granted only by the 'consent of the people.'"

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The classified briefing that most of Congress missed, and why

The Hidden Classified Briefing Most of Congress Missed - Garance Franke-Ruta - The Atlantic:

September 20, 2013 - "Inside the House of Representatives, there is an internal communications system designed specifically for members and their staffs.... The 'e-Dear Colleague' system has existed since 2008 as an intranet database of messages ... and as a kind of listserv on official doings for the 435 representatives' offices. With so many people on the opt-in subscription service, the volume of email is high, which is why when there's an important intelligence briefing for members of Congress, staffers are formally notified directly by their party leaders in the House.

"Except in August, according to Rep. Justin Amash, when something extraordinary happened. An important national-security document the libertarian Michigan Republican and some of his colleagues on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence had been trying to see for some time was made available to all members on less than 24 hours' notice by the Intelligence Committee chair, with a viewing scheduled for when they were supposed to be voting, and on the very day Congress was set to begin its five-week summer recess. And the email went out through the 'e-Dear Colleague' system, where it was buried."

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rand Paul’s strategy to win the White House

Rand Paul’s strategy to win White House - Garth Kant, World Net Daily:

September 21, 2013 - "Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has spelled out his strategy for the GOP to retake the White House.

"If Paul runs for president, as is widely expected, he will likely try to attract new voters to the GOP side – particularly young voters – with his libertarian values.

"'You can see the whole, entire youth vote could switch, if we know what we’re doing,' the senator confided to a gathering of the Liberty Political Action Conference. He then proceeded to explain how the GOP could capture the prized demographic.

"Paul acknowledged Obama had the youth vote. But he said the president is losing it, and one big reason is the issue of privacy.

"'If we want to get the youth vote, it’s not like we have to change our message. They don’t care so much about taxes or regulations – they don’t have much money to care about – but they’ve all got a cell phone. They’re all on the Internet, and they do care about whether the government should be looking at their every search on the Internet or listening to their phone calls or recording their phone records....

"'If we want a transformational election where the Republicans become the dominant party, we could become the right to privacy party, the party that doesn’t believe in big government surveillance.'"

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Friday, September 20, 2013

FL Libertarian arrested for wearing sign and handing out flyers without permit

Orlando Sentinel - Local man arrested while protesting red light cameras - Adrienne Cutway:

September 18, 2013 - "66-year-old Mark Schmidter was arrested Saturday in Apopka after an officer spotted him wearing a 'Ban the Cams' sign around his neck and handing out flyers to drivers at the intersection of U.S. 441 and Park Avenue.... Officer Robert Campbell approached Schmidter for violating Florida's statute on obstructing public streets and protesting without a permit.

Because Schmidter hadn't been driving, he didn't have his license with him but he refused to give the officer his name.... Schmidter was placed under arrest, which caused other protesters across the street to 'heckle' the arresting officer....

"Once at the Apopka Police Department, Schmidter still refused to give his name, telling Campbell that he wanted legal counsel and asked to see the law that requires people to identify themselves during a police investigation.... He was charged with obstructing an officer without violence and was given a citation for obstructing public streets."

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ron Paul encourages families to homeschool

Ron Paul Encourages Families to Homeschool Children, Teach Libertarian Values - Morgan Lee, Christian Post:

September 19, 2013 - "Former presidential candidate and devout libertarian Ron Paul has encouraged American families to homeschool their children today on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

"'I want people to homeschool their children. Not everybody. This is designed to pick out the leaders that want to and maybe 20 percent might be interested in doing this,' said Paul, who appeared on the show to promote his new book, New School Manifesto: A Libertarian Look at American Education.

"Paul explained that homeschooling a new generation of leaders and students "would be taught different economics; they would have a different perspective on history"....

Paul went on to suggest that while most American students had been taught that Woodrow Wilson was one of the greatest presidents, in reality 'he violently abused our civil liberties, he was the one that told us we had to march around the world and he was the one that changed our foreign policy.'"

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Libertarian Sarvis holds 7% support in VA governor's race

Quinnipiac: McAuliffe 44, Cuccinelli 41, Sarvis 7 | Bearing Drift: Virginia's Conservative Voice - Norman Leahy:

September 18, 2013 - "Virginia pressies were salivating over the release of this most recent poll of likely voters from Quinnipiac. But the numbers confound the building narrative that Ken Cuccinelli isn’t just beaten but thoroughly cooked. He’s within the poll’s 3.1 percent margin of error.

So instead, Quinnipiac chooses to say the race comes down to the Libertarian:
With 7 percent of likely voters, Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate in the too-close-to call Virginia governor’s race, could hold the key to victory for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who has 44 percent of likely voters, or Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
"Democrat McAuliffe gets a split 38 – 38 percent favorability rating, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds, compared to Republican Cuccinelli’s negative 34 – 51 percent rating. For Sarvis, 85 percent don’t know enough about him to form an opinion."

"Virginia voters have traditionally ignored third-party candidates when it actually comes time to vote.... Could this time be different? Neither major party candidate is liked and Ken Cuccinelli is actually disliked by a majority of the poll’s respondents. Sarvis could, theoretically, benefit in November simply because he isn’t either of those other guys."

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rand Paul backs restoring ex-felons' voting rights

Rand Paul Backs Restoring Felons' Voting Rights - Mollie Reilly, Huffington Post:

September 17, 2013 - "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) supports restoring voting rights for convicted felons who have completed their sentences.... Speaking at Louisville's Plymouth Community Renewal Center, Paul said he would push for changes to legislation to make it easier for felons to restore their right to vote and own firearms upon completing their sentences. Under current Kentucky law, felons must petition the governor in order to regain these rights.

"'I am in favor of letting people get their rights back, the right to vote ... Second Amendment rights, all your rights to come back,' Paul said. 'I know of one man who 30-some-odd years ago had pot plants in his closet in college, got a felony conviction in college, still can’t vote, and it’s plagued him his whole life trying to get work.'

"Paul linked felon voting rights to the problem of disenfranchisement in African-American communities. 'One in three young black males has been convicted of a felony and they’ve lost their voting rights. I think it dwarfs all other (election-related) issues,' Paul said....

"Paul said he plans to reach out to state legislators on the matter, particularly Republicans who have opposed such legislation in the past."

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Former state rep. Charlie Earl is Ohio's Libertarian candidate for governor

Charlie Earl, Ohio's libertarian candidate for governor, saddles up for his 'last rodeo' | - Henry J. Gomez, Northeast Ohio Media Group:

"The libertarian candidate for governor in 2014, whom conservative Tea-Party types may rally around to spite Republican incumbent John Kasich, is a retired college instructor who also has worked in TV and radio.... [Charlie] Earl also is a former Republican state representative. He served from 1981 through 1984.

"'I look around,' Earl said this week in a telephone interview.... 'The governor served with me. The attorney general [Mike DeWine] served with me. Our U.S. senator, Sherrod Brown, served with me. The current speaker of the [Ohio] House of Representatives, Bill Batchelder, served with me.

"'And I'm thinking,' Earl deadpanned, 'in 30 years, things haven't gotten better.'

"Tom Zawistowski, a Tea Party leader from Portage County, said conservative activists like him are sizing up Earl as their best option to make a statement against Kasich in 2014 – even if that means tipping the election to Democrat Ed FitzGerald."

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Libertarian principles for national security

Four Principles for a Libertarian National Security State - The Daily Beast - Nick Gillespie:

September 14, 2013 - "Like hits for Katy Perry, the scandals for the National Security Agency just keep coming. In the wake of revelations that the NSA has been tracking virtually every phone call ever made and sifting through Internet data like a crazed prospector panning for gold at Sutter’s Mill, there’s yet more disturbing news with every passing day....

"But a dozen years after the 9/11 attacks ushered in the global war on terror, there’s no reason that we should have to live in fear of our government’s efforts to keep us safe and warm. Here are four basic principles that should inform what might be called a libertarian national security state. That is, one that helps to protects us without routinely transgressing constitutional guarantees to privacy, due process, freedom from illegal searches, and the right to be left alone."

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

The GOP's growing "big-tent libertarian" base

GOP's "Big-Tent Libertarian" Base Home For Small-Government Advocates - - Matt Kibbe, Investors Business Daily:

September 13, 2013 - "New polling shows that policymakers with an authentic commitment to personal freedom and non-intrusive government will thrive in the Republican Party's growing 'big-tent libertarian' base, while the big-government Old Guard will follow its own trend and disappear into political obscurity.

"FreedomWorks' national poll of 1,000 registered voters found that while the Republican Party fumbles to rehabilitate its damaged political brand, favorable opinions towards big-tent libertarian values are at the highest level in a decade. The economy, health care and jobs take top priority across the voter base, early evidence that political dynamics in 2014 will resemble the 2010 midterm elections.

"There is a realignment happening in the GOP, a return to the domestic economic policy priorities that fueled the last Republican midterm sweep. It's 2009 all over again, only this time combined with a growing distrust of an executive branch plagued with IRS targeting and NSA surveillance scandals, and selective ObamaCare enforcement.

"The perfect storm is brewing for a referendum on the unchecked authority and arrogance of big government, and Republican incumbents ignore these trends at their own peril."

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Friday, September 13, 2013

British government to privatize the Royal Mail

September 12, 2013 - "The government has confirmed it will sell off Royal Mail in 'the coming weeks' in the most contentious privatisation since the sale of the railways two decades ago.

"Vince Cable, the business secretary, on Thursday formally fired the starting gun on the £3bn sale by filing a formal 'intention to float' on the stock exchange within six weeks. At least half of the company will be floated and the size will be increased if there is sufficient demand from investors.

 "The sell-off of the 497-year-old postal service is forcefully opposed by the union, who are planning strike action timed to coincide with the sale....

"Margaret Thatcher, who privatised British Gas, British Airways, British Telecom and dozens of other state-owned institutions in the 1980s, famously refused to countenance a sale of Royal Mail, saying she was 'not prepared to have the Queen's head privatised'.

 "Lord Heseltine and Lord Mandelson both subsequently tried but failed to sell the company, in the face of intense opposition from MPs. The sale of Royal Mail was approved by parliament in the 2011 Postal Services Act."

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Poll: Republicans embracing libertarian priorities

September 11, 2013 - "FreedomWorks commissioned a national survey of registered voters last month, shared first with POLITICO, that finds 78 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

"It’s not that Republicans are suddenly self-identifying as “libertarians” and devouring Ayn Rand novels, but more that they seem to be embracing underlying libertarian priorities and views about the role of government.

"The poll asked Republican voters what they are most interested in: 40 percent said 'individual freedom through lower taxes and reducing the size and scope of government,' 27 percent picked 'traditional values' and 18 percent chose a 'strong national defense.'

 "Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who ran the poll, said she’s seeing a spike in voters who feel the government is too expensive, invasive and expansive.

"'The perfect storm is being created between the NSA, the IRS, the implementation of Obamacare and now Syria,' she said. 'People are looking at the government more suspiciously. They’re looking with deeper scrutiny and reasonable suspicion'....

"One-quarter of Republicans self-identified as “libertarian” or “lean libertarian.” Of Republicans, 42 percent view the term “libertarian” favorably and 10 percent don’t know it.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beware Warrior Cops - John Stossel

Beware Warrior Cops - John Stossel -

August 21, 2013 - "We need police to catch murderers, thieves and con men, and so we give them special power – the power to use force on others. Sadly, today's police use that power to invade people's homes over accusations of trivial, nonviolent offenses – and often do it with tanks, battering rams and armor you'd expect on battlefields.

"In his book Rise of the Warrior Cop, Radley Balko recounts the rise of police SWAT teams (SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics) armed with heavy military equipment. SWAT raids began as rarely used methods of dealing with violent situations, like hostage-takings.

"But government always grows.... What began as a few specialized groups of police trained to address genuine threats to safety has degenerated into small armies descending on organic farms where farmers sell unpasteurized milk and legal medical marijuana dispensaries getting raided as if they were heavily armed threats."

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wisconsin Libertarians endorse Clean Energy Choice Initiative

Wisconsin Libertarian Party surprises observers with endorsement of solar proposal: pv-magazine - Ian Clover:

September 9, 2013 - "'Most of us don't trust the environmental movement because they've cried wolf forever and ever,' Wisconsin Libertarian Party chair Paul Ehlers told a surprised local media over the weekend. 'There are all kinds of philosophical disagreements, but at the end of the day this was pretty much a no-brainer.'

"Ehlers was discussing his party's endorsement of a proposal by local clean energy group RENEW to enable the state’s electricity customers to lease solar panels and other domestic-size renewable energy generators.... RENEW Wisconsin spearhead The Clean Energy Choice Initiative, which argues that most energy customers in the state cannot afford to install solar panels, and is calling for third-parties to pay for their installations and sell the energy produced to the customer.

"In a state where the government is Republican-controlled, the backing of the Libertarians could help such a green proposal gain traction. 'What we’re proposing doesn’t involve a new mandate or an extension of existing mandates,' said RENEW Wisconsin’s program and policy director, Michael Vickerman. 'It’s not in any way related to existing or future subsidies. It’s not an intrusion in the marketplace. It’s actually a liberation of the marketplace. So we felt this issue should fit in their wheelhouse.'"

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Liberal Democrat elected to Australian Senate

Libertarian David Leyonhjlem supports some Coalition polices but not others | The Australian:

September 9, 2013 - "A pro-gun candidate set to be elected to the Senate believes allowing members of the public to carry weapons for self-defence could help curb violent crime.

"Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm admits people might have voted for him in the mistaken belief he was a Liberal Party candidate, or because he was first on the ballot paper. He gained 8.9 per cent of the vote in NSW.

"His party, which believes in social libertarianism, a free market economy and small government, joins a group of minor party and independent senators that look set to hold the balance of power after July next year....

"Mr Leyonhjelm said he also left the Liberals because of John Howard's crackdown on guns following the Port Arthur Massacre, describing it as 'a disgraceful attack on law-abiding citizens'....

He supports removing the carbon and mining taxes.... He also opposes Mr Abbott's paid parental leave scheme.... Other Liberal Democrat policies include the decriminalisation of drugs and assisted suicide and the legalisation of gay marriage."

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

U.S. government will not enforce marijuana prohibition on states

Feds won't sue to stop marijuana use in 2 states - Yahoo! News - Pete Yost & Gene Johnson, Associated Press:

August 29, 2013 - "Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it — as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.

"In a sweeping new policy statement prompted by pot legalization votes in Washington and Colorado last fall, the department gave the green light to states to adopt tight regulatory schemes to oversee the medical and recreational marijuana industries burgeoning across the country.

"The action, welcomed by supporters of legalization, could set the stage for more states to legalize marijuana. Alaska could vote on the question next year, and a few other states plan similar votes in 2016."

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Libertarian awakening - Washington Times

Inside the Beltway: The Libertarian awakening - Washington Times - Jennifer Harper:

September 5, 2013 - "'We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world,' states the Libertarian Party in its bedrock platform statement. 'Syria is not threatening our country. We have no national interest in intervening there. There are no reasons for the U.S. to support either the Assad dictatorship or the opposition warlords,' declares Chairman Geoffrey Neale.

"Such thinking has begun to resonate with voters and elected officials who are skeptical of President Obama’s proposal for a military strike. The party has been presented with an opportunity to clearly define itself on the political landscape, particularly as 'libertarian leaning conservatives,' such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, take center stage in the noisy debate.

"The Libertarians are ready to rumble."

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Libertarian / progressive alliance against Syrian intervention

Alliance of Tea Party libertarians and anti-war Dems looks like the real thing - Greg Sargent, 'The Plum Line,' Washington Post:

September 6, 2013 -"How real are the prospects for a genuine alliance against action in Syria between progressive anti-war Democrats and isolationist Tea Party libertarians?...

"I compared the current whip count of Members of Congress who are firm or leaning No votes on Syria right now, with the Members who voted Yes on the recent amendment to end bulk NSA surveillance that corralled a surprising amount of bipartisan support. The vote on that amendment — which was sponsored by GOP Rep. Justin Amash and Dem Rep. John Conyers — was perhaps the clearest demonstration of such a developing alliance we’ve seen.... I count nearly four dozen Representatives — from both parties — that are on both lists....

"On the Republican side, they are ... Tea Partyers who buck the neocon line on intervention abroad and whose support for limited government translates into real concern for civil liberties, at least in some areas. These are Republicans you might find in the Liberty Caucus. On the Democratic side, you have lawmakers who are more anti-war than liberal internationalist, and care about privacy issues — not because of an embrace of limited government, but because they embrace civil liberties from the left. They are willing to ally with these Republicans because their anti-war views mesh to some degree with the former group’s anti-interventionist streak; and because there is some civil libertarian overlap.

"In both cases — on Syria, and on the amendment to end NSA surveillance — this loose alliance of lawmakers is allied against the leadership of their own parties. And in both cases, they represent a genuine threat to the outcome."

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

ND Libertarian Party qualifies for 2014 primary ballot

Libertarian Party ballot approval - Nick Smith, Bismarck Tribune:

August 30, 2013 - "The North Dakota Libertarian Party was formally granted eligibility Friday to place candidates on the June 2014 primary ballot.

"Under North Dakota Century Code organizations seeking to place candidates on the primary ballot must provide at least 7,000 valid signatures prior to 4 p.m. on the 64th day prior to a primary or special election.

"Secretary of State Al Jaeger issued a release Friday morning stating that his office had received petitions with the more than 7,000 necessary signatures....

"In 2012 the Libertarian Party had candidates on the general election ballot for Congress and the Public Service Commission. The party’s gubernatorial candidate was disqualified from the ballot due to improperly filing paperwork and later gained ballot access as an Independent."

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Libertarian candidate enters Kentucky Senate race

Libertarian candidate enters Senate race in Ky. - Associated Press - WHAS-TV:

August 26, 2013 - "Libertarian David Patterson has announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

"A 42-year-old Harrodsburg police officer, Patterson said in a statement that he's making a bid to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell because voters are looking for an alternative.

"Ken Moellman, chairman of the Libertarian Party's state executive committee, said he's pleased Patterson wanted to get into the race. Patterson will seek the party's nomination in an internal primary on March 1.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NJ Libertarian state Senate candidate arrested again at NORML rally

Libertarian state Senate candidate from East Windsor arrested again at marijuana legalization rally | - Mike Davis, Trenton Times:

September 3, 2013 - "The Libertarian candidate for state Senate in the 14th District was arrested on marijuana possession charges in Philadelphia on Saturday, his second pot arrest in four months.

"East Windsor resident Don DeZarn, 46, was arrested at SmokeDown Prohibition VIII, a monthly marijuana legalization rally organized by the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. DeZarn, who was previously arrested on possession charges at a NORML rally in May, described both incidents as acts of civil disobedience.

"'The theme of my campaign is "Legalize Freedom." I’m big on a less intrusive government,' DeZarn said toay. 'Marijuana legalization ties into the whole message I’m trying to get out to voters, that our government is too big. We’ve got way more important problems we should be dealing with than worrying about a group of 67 people, 10 of which are firing up a joint'....

"DeZarn has pleaded guilty to the May charge and paid a $150 fine, but said he will 'mount a vigorous defense' against the new charge.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

The Non-Aggression Principle

''The Non-Aggression Principle"
by George J. Dance
Nolan Chart, September 1, 2013

"Where libertarians are united is in the realm of ethics: that is, of interpersonal morality, or how we treat one another. What unites them is agreement on a single deontic moral rule, or principle, called the Non-Aggression Principle:
The non-aggression principle (or NAP ...) is a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate.... Aggression, for the purposes of NAP, is defined as the initiation or threatening of violence against a person or legitimately owned property of another.
"Or in the classic formulation given by atheist libertarian Ayn Rand in her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged:
Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate — do you hear me? no man may start — the use of physical force against others.
"Libertarians use that principle axiomatically, to derive the ethical rules (or maxims) that restrain their conduct: Don’t kill. Don’t hurt. Don'r rape. Don’t enslave. Don’t steal. Don’t lie or cheat. From such maxims derive the notion of human rights. If it is wrong (for any person A) to kill a another person (B), then B has a right to life (with respect to A). If it is wrong for A to enslave B, then B has a right to liberty against A. If it is wrong for A to steal from B, then B has property rights against A....

"NAP-based rules can be found in other systems of ethics, both religious and secular.... Indeed, if Rand and other libertarian philosophers (such as Herbert Spencer) are correct, no human society could have arisen without widespread ethical understanding and acceptance of many of the implications of NAP.

"Does that mean that all those who believe in any of those ethical systems are libertarians? Almost, but not quite — only to the extent their ethics were based on NAP — and historical moral systems have always been NAP-based not only imperfectly, but also inconsistently. As promulgated by kings, lords, or priests, they always built in exceptions for the kings, lords, or priests themselves....

"Much if not all ... chaos can be laid at the door of states and other groups of people who have traditionally been exempted (usually by themselves) from following NAP. Libertarians propose an ethical system that consistently applies NAP; they would like to see everyone obliged to follow that principle without exception. That constitutes the one fundamental difference between libertarianism and earlier forms of NAP-based ethics." Read more:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Interview with a digital drug lord - Forbes

An Interview With A Digital Drug Lord: The Silk Road's Dread Pirate Roberts (Q&A) - Andy Greenberg, Forbes:

August 14, 2013 - "Most black market drug lords don’t give interviews. But the Dread Pirate Roberts isn’t most drug lords. His website, the Silk Road, is designed to allow anyone to buy and sell drugs with the crypto-currency Bitcoin, using the anonymity software Tor to protect their identity. And those same anonymity protections have made Roberts confident enough in his security that he’s been willing to write about his illicit business under his pseudonym on Silk Road’s user forums and even give short comments to reporters in the past.

"Now he’s gone much further. For a magazine profile in the current issue, Roberts engaged Forbes in his first ever extended interview. Over the course of five hours on July 4th, the Dread Pirate answered my questions – all routed through Tor and the Silk Road’s messaging system – on topics ranging from the Silk Road’s history to the site’s business model to his own personal details and motivations. Though [the] dark web entrepreneur was unsurprisingly tightlipped on any information that might even remotely help law enforcement identify him, he did offer a few new revelations: The fact that he’s not actually the founder of the Silk Road, the possibility that the Silk Road may re-introduce weapon sales to the site, and his only-half-joking asking price to acquire the business. (Don’t insult him with bids less than a billion dollars.)

"Here’s the full, slightly edited transcript of our conversation.

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