Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ron Paul endorses the Republican for VA governor

Ron Paul endorses Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia governor - James Hohmann -

October 11, 2013 - "Ron Paul endorsed Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia governor Friday night, boosting the Republican’s push to woo voters who have bled to a third-party candidate.

"Libertarian Robert Sarvis could be a spoiler in next month’s off-year election, attracting what should be Republican voters concerned about the nominee’s strong opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

"The former Texas congressman, who retains a large following among libertarians after his presidential bid last year, does not mention Sarvis in his two-page letter of support for Cuccinelli....

"'Ken Cuccinelli has always stood for smaller government and limited government,' writes Paul. 'He has consistently and unapologetically worked with the Liberty movement in Virginia. His stand against ObamaCare shows he is willing to stand up to Washington’s continued abuses on our individual liberties'....

"A POLITICO poll this week found Sarvis getting 12 percent among likely voters, with Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by 9 points.

"Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has already offered support for Cuccinelli and appeared at a fundraiser for him in Nashville."

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frank Godon is Libertarian candidate in Manitoba by-election

Godon enters byelection as Libertarian - Brandon Sun:

October 29, 2013 - "Former United States marine and current Boissevain resident Frank Godon will be the Libertarian candidate in the upcoming Brandon-Souris byelection.

"Godon, 52, is of Metis heritage and was born and raised in the Turtle Mountain area. Godon said he decided to throw his hat back in the ring to 'give the people of Brandon-Souris another option.'

"In September, Godon declared his intention to seek the Liberal nomination, however withdrew from the race a few weeks later due to family concerns.

"The vision of the Libertarian Party of Canada is 'less government, lower taxes, more freedom.'
The Brandon-Souris byelection will take place Nov. 25."
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Poll: 22% of Americans lean libertarian

Poll: 22 percent of Americans lean libertarian - Aaron Blake, Post Politics, Washington Post:

October 29, 2013 - "A new poll shows nearly one-quarter of Americans qualify as libertarians or lean toward a libertarian political philosophy.

"The poll, from the Public Religion Research Institute, shows just 7 percent of Americans are "consistent" libertarians, but that another 15 percent sympathize with its general principles.
The poll also shows libertarians identify much more with the GOP (43 percent) than with the Democratic Party (5 percent), but half identify with neither party....

"About four in 10 identify as members of the tea party movement (39 percent), while 61 percent do not. More Republicans identify with the tea party (20 percent) than with libertarians (12 percent)."

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Monday, October 28, 2013 gets facelift, launches podcast

A New, a New Podcast, and 100 Excursions | Cato @ Liberty - Aaron Ross Powell:

October 22, 2013 - "Today’s kind of a big deal over at

"To start with, the Cato Institute’s resource on the theory and history of liberty unveiled a completely new look, one designed from the ground up to work great on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. And we created a new way to browse all of’s content from within a single, intuitive interface.

"We’ve also launched’s first podcast, 'Free Thoughts' ... a bi-weekly discussion show about libertarianism and the ideas that influence it. The first episode is on politics and community and the relationship between them. In the coming weeks, we’ll have episodes on money and political speech, commodication, Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, and much more....

"Finally, today we published the 100th Excursions essay from George H. Smith.... Every week for the last two years, has published a new essay from Smith."

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Libertarians, progressives team up against NSA surveillance

Libertarians And Progressives Team Up Against NSA Surveillance - Rosie Grey, Buzzfeed:

October 26, 2013 - "Progressives and libertarians came together in Washington on Saturday to protest widespread government surveillance, taking a tentative step towards creating a coalition that isn’t as awkward as the pairing might appear.

"Organized by the coalition Stop Watching Us, which includes dozens of groups ranging from Internet freedom advocates to Tea Party organizations, the rally attracted hundreds of people to the Capitol Reflecting Pool to protest the electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency revealed by Edward Snowden this year. The crowd included Occupy protesters, Ron Paul libertarians, and even strict constitutionalist Oathkeepers. Yet ...  attendees and speakers on both sides said they were happy to unite around a common enemy.

"A recent article in Salon by progressive journalist Tom Watson had ruffled feathers by calling on liberals to boycott the really because of its libertarian elements.... Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin rejected this premise in an interview with BuzzFeed next to the main speaker’s stage .

"'Left and right doesn’t mean anything anymore,' Benjamin said. Democrats and Republicans, she said, 'both like the status quo. Libertarians or leftists are people who want to defend the values of this country and not have party politics and I think we’ve started coming around together on many of these issues.'"

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The case for progressive-libertarian cooperation

The Case for Progressive-Libertarian Cooperation | Mediaite - Clarke Ruper, Vice President, Students for Liberty:

October 24, 2013 - "This Saturday, October 26, privacy advocates from across the country will gather in Washington, DC for a Rally Against Mass Surveillance.... Students For Liberty, an international network of libertarian student groups, is proud to be a part of this coalition on such a critical issue.

"However, a recent Salon article by Tom Watson argues that libertarians ought not be allowed into this coalition because we are not progressives. While it is true that libertarians aren’t progressives, Watson does not provide a convincing argument for why that should prevent our working together. Libertarians and progressives share many core values, including tolerance, fairness, respect for human rights, and privacy, to name a few. We both envision a world of opportunity and justice, free from the abuses of power which have become far too common in the modern age.

"What Watson fails to realize is that libertarianism is not a philosophy of the right or left. We are actually a radically centrist coalition ourselves. Not beholden to any political party, from the center we can hold both sides accountable for their abuse of power. The past thirteen years of the Bush and Obama administrations have offered plenty of that to go around. Libertarians have been out in front on privacy issues, criticizing the Patriot Act from the beginning and pushing for reform ever since."

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Friday, October 25, 2013

NJ's Christie gives in on same sex marriage legalization

New Jersey Gay Marriage: Chris Christie Accepts What Every Libertarian Already Knew - PolicyMic - Lucy Steigerwald:

October 25, 2013 - "On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decided not to appeal the state Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in the Garden State. Christie gave no stirring statement proclaiming his commitment to the ideals of equality. Instead, between the court’s decision — based on the June 2013 Supreme Court decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act — and widespread public support, not to mention some high-profile Republicans who have yielded to the a-changing times, Christie gave in.

"Fourteen states now allow gay marriage. New Jersey is one of the most populous. Even among New Jersey Republicans, support for gay marriage is at nearly 50%. And though a little over half of all people nationwide support gays' right to get hitched, that number reaches 70% for those under 30....

"With all the talk of Democrats leading the charge on gay marriage (and they often do, to their credit), and some Republicans timidly following, most people forget about libertarians. But back in 1972, the Libertarian Party’s very first platform voiced support for repealing all laws against consensual crimes, including “laws on voluntary sexual relations.'....  A draft of the campaign platform for the 1976 presidential race had the party backing the 'repeal of legislation prohibiting unions between members of the same sex, and the extension to such unions of all legal rights and privileges presently enjoyed by partners in heterosexual marriages.'"

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Salon "libertarian-baits" anti-NSA coalition and rally

Libertarian-Baiting the Anti-NSA Movement by Justin Raimondo --

October 23, 2013 - "The intellectual and political degeneration of the 'progressive' wing of the Democratic party continues apace, as Tom Watson – a prominent spokesman for the movement – attacks the upcoming 'Stop Watching Us' rally, to be held in Washington this coming weekend (Saturday, October 26). Although he claims to support the goals of the rally ... he writes: 'Yet I cannot support this coalition or the rally. It is fatally compromised by the prominent leadership and participation of the Libertarian Party and other libertarian student groups'....

"Watson ... goes through the hate-on-libertarians mantra, so familiar to readers of, including our opposition to the welfare state, gun control, Obama-care, and, oddly – for an alleged progressive – he cites with horror the Libertarian Party platform which calls for 'unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types'"

"There’s more libertarian-baiting in Watson’s screed – the equivalent, for Salon readers, of progressive porn – in which he reels off supposedly horrifying examples of the libertarians’ transgressive politics.... Watson opines that by associating with these Very Bad People ... progressives 'convey legitimacy' to libertarians – as if Watson and his fellow progressives are the Final Arbiters of Legitimacy.

"It’s a weird conceit, but to be expected coming from those who see themselves as being in power, with Obama in the White House and the Democratic party in (temporary) ascendancy. And just for color, Watson throws in the argument that libertarians are really the political equivalent of child molesters: 'And [the progressives’] own argument for privacy is weakened by the pollution of an ideology that uses its few positive civil liberties positions as a predator uses candy with a child.' Nice."

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sarvis achieves 10% poll average, still excluded from final debate

Robert Sarvis: Libertarian candidate hits 10 percent in Virginia, won't be invited to debate - David Wiegel, Slate:

"The latest RealClearPolitics average of polling in Virginia's race for governor puts Democrat Terry McAuliffe at 46.4 percent, Republican Ken Cuccinelli at 36.8 percent, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis at 10 percent. All year, channel WDBJ7, the sponsor of the final debate (it's tomorrow), had said that any candidate polling at 10 percent or more would make it onstage.

"But no, Sarvis won't be there. The cutoff for inclusion in the debate was Oct. 10, two weeks before the event (as if anything could change a campaign in two weeks). On that date, Sarvis was polling at an average of 9 percent, so he was out.

"'We all know what happened here,' said Sarvis after the decision came down. 'As the goalposts kept changing over the past couple weeks, it became clear that the decision would be made on the basis of measures that have the patina of objectivity, but in fact are designed to exclude.' The last poll before the deadline, a Politico/PPP survey gave Sarvis 12 percent, so the network ran with the average that added in older, lower numbers."

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Texas Libertarians oppose Proposition for $2 billion "slush fund"

Libertarians warn Texans to Nix Prop 6 - Dallas Libertarian | Garry Reed:

October 22, 2013 - "Heather Fazio, who serves both as Executive Director at Texans for Accountable Government and Membership Coordinator for the Libertarian Party of Texas alerted Dallas Libertarian Examiner to what's transpiring in Austin at the Texas Water Development Board.

"Essentially, Proposition 6 will divert $2 billion from the Texas Rainy Day Fund into what's being called a 'slush fund' consisting of a 'grab bag' of 526 different water projects statewide.

"The Water Board will then get to choose which projects get the money.

"Opponents contend there is a strong incentive for board members to fund only those projects in which they have vested interests, typically meaning where their own power, money and egos are involved.

"The Nix Prop 6 Facebook page asks whether most of the funds will go for un-sexy and non-moneymaking conservation projects or for wasteful and massively expensive developments – 'real estate interests just love that lake front property' – and for moving groundwater to 'growth corridors' which would harm "

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Libertarian Party of South Africa founded

The launch of SA's Libertarian Party: herding cats in time for 2014 | Daily Maverick - Ivo Vegter:

October 20, 2013 - "Those who believe in individual freedom on economic and social matters, also known as libertarians, are notoriously hard to organise. A new political party in South Africa aims to unite and focus the political opposition to authoritarianism and government waste, but the signs at its launch were not auspicious.

"On 20 October 2013, a sunny Sunday morning, a new political party was formed in the small Karoo town of Prince Albert. The Libertarian Party of South Africa (LiPSA) had, at its formation, a membership of 17 people....

"At the time of writing, the party had collected 150 out of 500 signatures required on its Deed of Foundation to form a party eligible to contest national elections, but the founders were not sure by what date the registration process had to be complete.

"LiPSA espouses the principles of individual freedom, as set against what its manifesto calls “the omnipotent state.... The party hopes to exploit the opportunity of a national election to focus the activities of various groupings that espouse principles of political and economic freedom, and views itself as a counterweight to what it considers the increasingly authoritarian and corrupt policies of the political establishment."

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gold Report interviews Doug Casey on Ron Paul & the price of freedom

Born Libertarian: Doug Casey on Ron Paul and the Price of Freedom - The Gold Report,

October 14, 2013 - "The Gold Report (TGR): Doug, we are at your conference in Tucson, Arizona, the day after former Congressman and presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul gave the keynote speech to a sold-out crowd. How did you two first meet?

"Doug Casey: It was about 30 years ago. Ron used to attend my Eris Society — named after the Greek goddess of discord — meetings in Aspen, Colorado. Everyone from Sonny Barger of the Hells Angels motorcycle club to Burt Rutan, inventor of SpaceShipOne, would meet to discuss ideas.

"TGR: In those 30 years, have Ron Paul's ideas changed much? DC: Ron believes he was born a libertarian. He's right.... Ron and I, and many others, have moved beyond gut libertarianism to a structured, intellectual libertarianism....

TGR: One of the things Ron Paul mentioned last night is that a true libertarian advocates for the freedom of everyone to do what he or she wants as long as it's not hurting someone else. This includes people who don't agree with your views.

"DC: Exactly. As opposed to busybodies who want to tell everybody else what to do. They think they know best and are perfectly willing to put a gun to your head to make sure that you do what they think is right."

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Libertarians pioneer private space travel, NASA loses another $1 billion

NASA's $1.2 Billion Mistake Proves Something Every Libertarian Knows - PolicyMic - Christopher Blakely:

October 15, 2013 - "At a loss of $1.2 billion, NASA has officially shelved the massively expensive J-2X engine program. Development testing wraps up next year, but the problem is that there is currently no use for these super powered rockets. It is one thing to shoot for the stars, but aspirations without an actionable plan are nothing but a dream. There have been many advancements in the private sector that are making space travel far more practical and effective....

"Fortunately, we live in an age where space travel is no longer limited to the government. Entrepreneurs and scientists like Elon Musk and Richard Branson, both “small ‘l’ libertarians,” have been pioneering space travel in the private sector. Their advances are making it something that the whole human race can potentially experience. Musk’s SpaceX was one of the first companies selected with a contract from NASA for private space travel.... SpaceX has done so well that it has pushed policy towards private human space flight via the Augustine Commission, or The Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee.

"In the more commercial arena, the billionaire owner of the Virgin brand, Richard Branson, trademarked “Virgin Galactic” 10 years ago and now is now using it the moniker for passenger flights to space. While tickets are expensive, they are available for purchase to anyone with an internet connection. In a short time, these individuals have created amazing technologies with less capital backing than NASA."

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Libertarian groups organizing on campus

Libertarian groups form on campus | Emerald Media - Jennifer Hernandez:

October 14, 2013 - "Bryn Dennehy says that it’s tough to come out of the closet as a conservative on the University of Oregon campus. The school’s reputation as a liberal haven and the abundance of left-minded groups on campus paints a negative stereotype of right-wing individuals.

"That’s why Dennehy is heading up one of two new student political groups on campus that aim to give students with conservative views a forum for discussion. Both Young Americans for Liberty and College Libertarians are hoping to give students an alternative  outside the two-party system.

"'We believe that the size and scope of the government should be reduced,' said Dennehy, president of Young Americans for Liberty. 'So it only serves its most basic functions, which is to protect people’s life, liberty and property.'

"A recent Gallup poll showed that 60 percent of Americans support a need for a third political party with 26 percent believing the government is doing an adequate job at representing their views. "

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ohio Libertarians may be shoved off ballot by new election law

Ohio Libertarians Sure Feel Like They’re Being Shoved Off the Ballot | - Becket Adams:

October 17, 2013 - "The Ohio state Senate last week passed a bill that has many Libertarian and Green Party members upset.

"The bill, sponsored by Cincinnati Republican Sen. Bill Seitz, would require minor parties to gather petition signatures from at least 1 percent of the total votes cast in the most recent election for governor or president."

"That’s more than 56,000 signatures using last year’s election numbers. To remain a qualified political party, groups must get 3 percent of the total votes cast in the following gubernatorial or presidential election.

"No third-party candidate in the most recent elections has reached those numbers.

"Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, for example, garnered only 0.9 percent, or 49,493 votes, in the 2012 presidential election. In the 2010 gubernatorial race, Libertarian candidate Ken Matesz got 2.4 percent of the vote, while Green Party candidate Dennis Spisak won 1.5 percent.

"And considering the fact that Libertarian and Green Party candidates rarely come close to scoring the kind of numbers the bill would require, the new proposal may very well bar third party candidates from participating in future elections.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Libertarians collect 16,000 signatures to be on Arkansas ballot in 2014

Libertarians to be on the ballot in Arkansas for 2014 elections - West Palm Beach Libertarian | - Karl Dickey:

October 16, 2013 - "Yesterday, officials with the Libertarian Party of Arkansas (LPAR) traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas to submit over 16,000 petition signatures to the Secretary of State in order to qualify for ballot access in 2014. Unlike the Republican and Democratic parties in Arkansas, Libertarians must go through this process which costs the state party human and financial resources that could be used for debates, advertising campaigns and other activities to get qualified candidates in front of the public.

"The state requires 10,000 signatures of registered voters in Arkansas in order to grant them 'New Political Party”\' status. Once the signatures are turned over, the Secretary of State has 30 days to verify that 10,000 of the 16,000 are valid. Upon verification, the LPAR will be a recognized political party in Arkansas and will therefore be able to run candidates in the 2014 elections....

"According to Richard Winger of the Ballot Access News, 'The ballot access barriers for Republicans and Democrats are nothing compared to the hurdles faced by other candidates. The ballot access laws for new and minor parties to get on the ballot for Congress are so tough, that not since 1920 has any third party been able to place candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives on the ballot in even half of the districts.'"

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heritage Action CEO: GOP must embrace a ‘libertarian, populist’ identity

Heritage Action CEO charts ‘libertarian, populist’ path to GOP victory - The Hill's Ballot Box - Cameron Joseph:

October 9, 2013 - "Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham, an influential conservative thought leader, said Wednesday the GOP must sheds its reputation as the party of big business and embrace a more libertarian, populist' identity.

"Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Needham argued the GOP needs to 'take on cronyism and the way K Street runs this town' if it hopes to broaden its appeal with voters.

"'Becoming a party that more authentically stands up for the working class, becoming a party that more authentically stands up to a culture of cronyism in this town … is a more realistic path toward electoral victory,' Needham said.

"Needham’s prescription for the GOP comes amid a raging internal debate within the Republican Party over what went wrong in the 2012 elections."

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Veterans tear down Memorial barricades, drop them at White House

Vets Tear Down Memorial Barricades, Drop them in Front of White House | Ben Swann Truth In Media - Ben Swann & Sonya Savage:

October 13, 2013 - "Sunday morning, 2,000- 3,000 veterans, family members and citizens gathered at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.  There, the veterans took apart the barricades set up by Park Police to keep visitors out of the WWII Memorial, placed the barricades on their shoulders and carried them away.

"The protestors, who included veterans of the Korean, Vietnam, WWII, Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars,  took those barricades and carried them about 3/4ths of a mile to a sidewalk in front of White House and piled the barricades there.

"The protest had several facets to it, but began as a push back against the closure of open-air memorials in Washington D.C. as a result of the government shutdown. As we have reported, these veterans are furious, saying that these memorials are being closed down in order to inflict pain on veterans and their families."

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Sarvis excluded from final VA gubernatorial debate

Libertarian excluded from Virginia gubernatorial debate - James Hohmann -

October 10, 2013 - "The Libertarian candidate will not be invited to participate in the final debate of the Virginia governor’s race, a break for Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

"WDBJ7, the CBS affiliate organizing the Oct. 24 debate on the campus of Virginia Tech, announced late Thursday that Robert Sarvis has fallen just short of the 10 percent threshold for a third candidate to get on stage.

"'As of this date, the third party candidate is polling at 9.0% based on the averages on and would, therefore, not meet the guidelines agreed upon by the campaigns,' emailed Kelly Zuber, the station’s news director....

"With both major candidates viewed more unfavorably than favorably, the libertarian option has fared well among voters who don’t want to pick between 'the lesser of two evils.' Sarvis received 12 percent in a three-way POLITICO poll conducted over the weekend of likely voters, while Democrat Terry McAuliffe was at 44 percent and Cuccinelli 35 percent.

"Cuccinelli’s campaign has warned that Sarvis could be a spoiler."

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Joseph S. Diedrich interviews Anthony Gregory

Libertarian America: A conversation with Anthony Gregory | Washington Times Communities - Joseph S. Diedrich, The Business of Living:

September 29, 2013 -­ "By day, he writes about habeas corpus. By night, he plays in a rock band and cooks up a mean paella.

"UC-Berkley grad Anthony Gregory is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in California. Focusing on civil liberties and libertarian theory, he recently released a book entitled The Power of Habeas Corpus in America.

"In addition to research and writing, Gregory coordinates the student programs at the Institute, which include internships and summer seminars."

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Libertarian view: The government (non) shutdown

Libertarian view: The government (non) shutdown Tad DeHaven, Constitution Daily -

October 4, 2013 - "It's looking like it will take a week or more for Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement to 'reopen' the federal government. Regardless, with each passing hour a resolution necessarily becomes closer at hand because a so-called 'government shutdown' effectively means that a budgetary impasse in our two-party dominated system has reached the end stage.

"I say 'so-called' government shutdown because most federal activities will continue and most federal employees will continue to work. If you had plans to visit Yellowstone National Park, you’re out of luck until the government reopens. However, the NSA will continue to track our private conversations, the military will continue to expend blood and treasure protecting the interests of wealthy allies, and the federal entitlement system that’s the source of our future fiscal imbalances will continue to pump out the checks.

"So while it is true that some of the federal leviathan’s tentacles will take a brief respite, its reach into practically every facet of our lives will continue largely uninterrupted....

"The good news for those of us who want less government is that Democrats ... are willing to fund those portions of the government that require annual appropriations at $986 billion ... essentially the same figure that the House GOP proposed. On the downside, ... that figure originally proposed by the GOP would still be above that which the still-in-effect sequestration would allow for the new fiscal year."

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Edward Snowden wins Sam Adams Award

Snowden Accepts Whistleblower Award by Ray McGovern --

October 11, 2013 - "National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, from his asylum in Russia, accepted an award on Wednesday from a group of former US intelligence officials expressing support for his decision to divulge secrets about the NSA’s electronic surveillance of Americans and people around the globe.

"The award, named in honor of the late CIA analyst Sam Adams, was presented to Snowden at a ceremony in Moscow by previous recipients of the award bestowed by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII). The presenters included former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, former NSA official Thomas Drake, and former Justice Department official Jesselyn Radack, now with the Government Accountability Project. (Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern also took part)....

"Coleen Rowley, the first winner of the Sam Adams Award (2002), cited some little-known history to remind Snowden that he is in good company.... She noted that in 1773, Benjamin Franklin leaked confidential information by releasing letters written by then-Lt. Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Hutchinson to Thomas Whatley, an assistant to the British Prime Minister.

"The letters suggested that it was impossible for the colonists to enjoy the same rights as subjects living in England and that 'an abridgment of what are called English liberties' might be necessary. The content of the letters was so damaging to the British government that Benjamin Franklin was dismissed as colonial Postmaster General...."

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

More than 4 in 10 Republicans identify with Tea Party, AP reports

AP Buries the lede as Obama approval plunges to 37% - Mainstream ignores - Robert Laurie, Canada Free Press:

October 9, 2013 - "This morning, the Associate Press released the results of a new round of polling. The data focuses on the impact of Harry Reid’s fiasco, as the headline proudly proclaims that 'GOP gets the blame in shutdown.' Look a little deeper, however, and you find that they’ve buried the most interesting numbers....

"First, the study shows that the Tea Party is much larger than the left would like you to believe. 'The poll found that the tea party is ... a sizable — and divisive — force among Republicans. More than 4 in 10 Republicans identified with the tea party and were more apt than other Republicans to insist that their leaders hold firm in the standoff over reopening government'....

"Further down in their story, near the bottom, the AP buries the red meat: President Obama’s self-inflicted damage. 'Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it'....

"An approval rating of 37% is only one point higher than the approval of George W. Bush at the same point in his presidency.... Bush’s 36% rating was considered by the mainstream media to be an indictment of a failed President whose administration was completely unraveling.... So far, they’re completely ignoring the fact that Obama is now in exactly the same predicament."

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Anti-Obamacare representatives urged to hold firm by Tea Party

Anti-Obamacare Lawmakers Urged to Hold Firm by Tea Party - Bloomberg - Toluse Olorunnipa & Greg Giroux:

October 9, 2013 - "The stalemate over federal government funding that consumes Washington is little more than an afterthought in Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District....

"U.S. Representative John Fleming, the district’s congressman, is among the House Republicans pushing to change the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, as a condition to reopening the government – a standoff with President Barack Obama that caused the shutdown. The focus these Republicans have on dismantling the health-care law has been fueled by Tea Party activists, and Fleming’s district embodies that movement’s small-government, anti-Obamacare views, reinforcing his position.

"They don’t seem to be that riled about the shutdown, to be honest with you,' Fleming said of his constituents in an interview in the U.S. Capitol. Voters sent him to Congress, he added, to 'annihilate Obamacare'....

"The messages to Tea Party-backed House members – from states including Louisiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania – run counter to the notion of negotiations. These lawmakers are being cheered for holding ground, a dynamic that makes resolving the showdown a major political challenge for House Speaker John Boehner."

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

War on drugs a failure, international report suggests

BBC News - War on illegal drugs failing, medical researchers warn:

October 1, 2013 - "Illegal drugs are now cheaper and purer globally than at any time over the last 20 years, a report has warned.

"The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy said its report suggested the war on drugs had failed.

"The report, published in the British Medical Journal Open, looked at data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems. The seven drug surveillance systems the study looked at had at least 10 years of information on the price and purity of cannabis, cocaine and opiates, including heroin.

"The report said street prices of drugs had fallen in real terms between 1990 and 2010, while their purity and potency had increased....

"It concluded: 'These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing.'"

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Ron Paul finds shutdown squabble 'annoying'

Ron Paul Isn't Thrilled By 'Rather Annoying' Shutdown Debate - US News and World Report - Steven Nelson:

October 1, 2013 - "Libertarian fans of former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, may expect the former presidential candidate to be pleased with the partial government shutdown that began Tuesday, forcing federal agencies to furlough workers as Republicans seek a one-year reprieve for citizens subject to the individual health insurance mandate beginning Jan. 1.

"But Paul told U.S. News the shutdown isn't as significant as some say and he finds the ongoing squabble between party leaders 'rather annoying.'

"'It's less of an event than everyone's claiming it to be,' he said. 'The closedown doesn't close down people who want stuff, it didn't close down [the National Security Agency] and all the other things the government may be doing to us. The government marches on.'

"Paul believes President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law, which forces Americans to buy private health insurance, is 'an outrage' that the U.S. Supreme Court should have declared unconstitutional, but he doubts Republican leaders truly believe in individual choice, the purported cause of the current impasse."

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Canadian military takes 85-year-old farmer's home and land

Farmer loses land battle, though military grants him one last harvest - Canada, Editor's Picks - - Michael Priscolanti:

October 1, 2013 - "Since the Harper Conservatives were first elected in 2006, they have proclaimed their plans to bring a specialized army unit to CFB Trenton, the country’s largest and busiest air force base.... The move is the highlight of a massive base expansion project that will inject millions of dollars into the local economy....

"But ... the plan didn’t sit well with a few local landowners, whose properties — unbeknownst to them — had been selected for JTF 2’s new 400-hectare home. 'Our world has been crushed,' one owner said at the time.... 'They drew a red line around these pieces of property, and ever since then everybody in there has been screwed.'

"When the government officially filed expropriation papers in February 2012, the Meyers family hired a lawyer and launched their only available appeal: an objection in front of an independent hearings officer. Their central argument was that the military had more than enough land to extend the base, and the Meyers’ 90 hectares weren’t necessary to complete the project. They also trumpeted the historical significance of the farm: the direct descendant of Capt. John Walden Meyers, a Loyalist war hero and founder of nearby Belleville, Ont., Frank Meyers farmed a portion of the very same plot of land King George III awarded to his legendary forefather for his service during the American Revolution. As Frank Meyers has said many times: 'This property didn’t come from the Canadian government, it came from the British government. So if the Queen wants it, let her come and see me.'"

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See "Save Frank & Marjorie Meyers Farm" page on Facebook.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Reason interviews Robert Sarvis, Libertarian candidate for VA governor

Robert Sarvis: Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Virginia with Double-Digit Poll Numbers - - Brian Doherty:

October 2, 2013 - "Robert Sarvis is the Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor in Virginia this year, and is so far doing surprisingly well in the polls for that party, coming in recently at 10 percent in a Washington Post poll.

"With a law degree from New York University, a master’s in economics from George Mason University, and a Google Grand Prize in the company's Android Development challenge in his past, this married 37-year-old father of two is trying to appeal across the libertarian spectrum of 'leave us alone' with a slogan of 'Virginia: open minded and open for business'....

"Senior Editor Brian Doherty interviewed Sarvis by phone yesterday about the joys and travails of a surprisingly lively third party campaigner."

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Libertarian economics behind Silk Road website

Libertarian economics underpinned Silk Road Bitcoin drug website - - John Aglionby:

October 3, 2013 - "The goods and services traded on the semi-secretive website Silk Road since February 2011 with the virtual currency Bitcoins were so varied that the Federal Bureau of Investigation described it as 'the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the internet today'.

"Its philosophical underpinnings, however, were ... according to the FBI complaint published on Wednesday after the site was shut down, 'Austrian economic theory' and the works of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, economists closely associated with the Mises Institute, in the US state of Alabama.

"The libertarian institute’s website says it 'seeks to advance the Misesian tradition of thought through the defence of the market economy, private property, sound money and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention as economically and socially destructive'.

"Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s alleged founder who was arrested on Wednesday and allegedly made millions of dollars from running the trading site, had a user profile on the Mises Institute site and linked to the website, and cited the economists’ work in Silk Road forum postings, the FBI complaint said."

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Friday, October 4, 2013

FBI arrests alleged Silk Road webmaster

How the feds took down the Dread Pirate Roberts - Nate Anderson and Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica:

October 3, 2013 - "The Dread Pirate Roberts, head of the most brazen drug trafficking site in the world, was a walking contradiction. Though the government says he raked in $80 million in commissions from running Silk Road, he allegedly lived under a false name in one bedroom of a San Francisco home that he shared with two other guys and for which he paid $1,000 a month in cash. Though his alleged alter ego penned manifestos about ending "violence, coercion, and all forms of force," the FBI claims that he tried to arrange a hit on someone who had blackmailed him. And though he ran a site widely assumed to be under investigation by some of the most powerful agencies in the US government, the Dread Pirate Robert appears to have been remarkably sloppy — so sloppy that the government finally put a name to the peg leg: Ross William Ulbricht.

 "Yesterday, Ulbricht left his apartment to visit the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library in the southern part of the city. Library staff did not recognize him as a regular library patron, but they thought nothing of his visit as he set up his laptop in the science fiction section of the stacks. Then, at 3:15pm, staffers heard a "crashing sound" from the sci-fi collection and went to investigate, worried that a patron had fallen. Instead, library Communications Director Michelle Jeffers tells us that the staff came upon 'six to eight' FBI agents arresting Ulbricht and seizing his laptop. The agents had tailed him, waiting for the 29-year-old to open his computer and enter his passwords before swooping in."

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Libertarian Kathie Glass declares for Texas Governor

Libertarian Kathie Glass Announces Bid for Governor | The Texas Tribune:

October 2, 2013 - "Saying that the current federal government shutdown and tensions between Republicans and Democrats have made Texans ready for a change in leadership, Libertarian Kathie Glass on Wednesday officially announced her candidacy in the 2014 governor’s race....

"'This shutdown is just a glimpse of what might happen,' Glass said at her Austin news conference, at which several other Texas Libertarian hopefuls also announced their candidacies. 'Voters know that what they want they are not going to get from the two other parties, so we are looking forward to offering them this alternative from the Libertarian Party.'

"Glass said her campaign would focus on the idea of nullification, a legal theory that a state can invalidate federal laws it finds unconstitutional. She said that if she doesn't win, she hopes her election will instill that idea into the public and the winning candidate.

She said she would nullify the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and federal regulations on companies that lead them to ship jobs overseas to nations with laxer regulations.

"'In the current environment, if we keep doing what we have always done, voting within the two-party system, we won't be able to keep what we have got,' Glass said. 'We have got to chart a new course.'"

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Johnson rips Washington on federal shutdown

Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson rips Washington on fed shutdown | Sunshine State News:

September 27, 2013 - "Former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 2012, compared politics to a 'reality show -- except that the actors are completely out of touch with reality' in an email sent out to supporters on Thursday.

"'While the rest of us are trying to make a living in the face of unsustainable government debt, ever-increasing regulations, and abuses of our freedoms, our elected senators and representatives are playing games,' Johnson wrote. “For months, everyone has known that the last budget deal President Obama and Congress cut [would] expire Monday. Unless they come up with a new deal or pass something to kick the can down the road for a few more days, we [would] see the silly exercise of a government "shutdown." Here we are ... and they are just now getting serious'....

"'What business, what organization, what family would operate that way -- if they expected to survive?' Johnson continued. 'Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) defunded. In fact, I’d like to see a lot of government programs and entire departments "defunded." But the reality is that it isn’t going to happen in the next four days. What IS going to happen is that the politicians on both sides are going to cut another deal. And when we get a chance to see that deal, it will do nothing to stop the government from spending hundreds of billions of dollars that it will either have to borrow or print.'"

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Libertarians: Make government slowdown permanent (and defund Obamacare) - Libertarian Party calls for permanent government spending slowdown, defunding Obamacare - : Contact: Media Coordinator, Molly Schwoppe • (202) 333-0008 •

September 28 2013 - "There is no impending government shutdown — only a government slowdown. The threat of a 'shutdown' is designed to scare voters while avoiding scrutiny of reckless government overspending.

"If federal lawmakers do not pass a budget or a 'continuing resolution (CR) by Oct. 1, a government spending slowdown will take effect. This could halt almost $1 trillion in annualized spending that the CR would authorize, which is the size of the current federal deficit. If made permanent, this would cut annual federal spending by approximately 27 percent to $2.7 trillion — the current level of revenues coming in.

In other words, a federal slowdown — if allowed to take full effect — would balance the federal budget....

"Do politicians properly prioritize spending cuts when a slowdown takes effect? Yes and no. Functions that affect life or property generally remain funded, but many needed cuts — such as lucrative government perks, Obamacare, and large volumes of waste marbled throughout government spending — remain intact.

"Furthermore, lawmakers have made numerous exceptions to the slowdown. Only a portion of the $1 trillion that would be authorized by a CR will be blocked if a slowdown takes effect.

"While the particulars of the impending slowdown are far from perfect, any serious spending cuts are a welcome change from wildly irresponsible government overspending and growing government debt.

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