Friday, February 28, 2014

3 try to have Libertarians removed from Ohio ballot

Protestors against Libertarian candidates - Mark Kovac, Wooster Daily Record:

February 27, 2014 - "Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has set two hearings next week to consider challenges to primary petitions submitted by Libertarian candidates for governor and attorney general.

"Separate written protests were filed by two Columbus-area men and one Cleveland-area man – one said he's a member of the Libertarian Party, another said he sympathizes with the Libertarian position on issues and the last said he is not affiliated with any party.

"The trio contend gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Earl and his running mate, Sherry Clark, as well as attorney general candidate Steven Linnabary, did not follow state law in collecting signatures and should not appear on the May primary ballot.

"Libertarian Party spokesman Aaron Keith Harris said Tuesday afternoon that he had not yet heard about the challenges but was not surprised.

"'Plain and simple, they're scared to death because they know Kasich's a bad governor and we have a great candidate,' he said. 'That's all this is. We complied with the law every step of the way.'"

Read more: 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Future looks bright thanks to Students for Liberty

John Stossel: Future of libertarianism bright, thanks to Students for Liberty | New Hampshire Columns - Manchester Union Leader:

February 20, 2014 - "Recently, some 1,500 students from all over the world gathered to discuss freedom at the Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Economist Donald Boudreaux showed the students a department store catalog from 1958 to underscore how the free market, while contributing to income inequality, also dramatically improved the lives of the poor: 'The typical American worker back then had to work 30 hours to buy this vacuum cleaner. Today, a worker has to work only six hours to buy a much better vacuum cleaner. And that's true for clothing, food, all sorts of things.'

"That's how free markets work: quietly, gradually improving things....

"If there were a part of America for which the American students at this conference felt a special pride, it was the Constitution. 'The Constitution of the United States is a promise about how government power will be used, Timothy Sandefur, author of The Conscience of the Constitution, told them. 'A promise was left to us by a generation who lived under tyrannical government and decided they needed a framework that would preserve the blessings of liberty.'

"These students appreciated that inheritance, although they said the Constitution is rarely discussed at their schools."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thiel makes a libertarian case for minimum-wage hike

Uber-libertarian Peter Thiel praises minimum-wage hike | The Daily Caller - Neil Munro:

February 26, 2014 - "Uber-libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel suggested he may support a spike in the minimum wage to $12 an hour because it could roll back the welfare state.

"'I actually think that it’s a very out-of-the-box idea. … It’s something one should consider seriously, given all the other distorted [government-created economic] incentives that exist,' Thiel said in a video interview conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 21.

"Thiel is so much of a libertarian, he’s trying to create islands where people can work and live away from national laws. He’s used some of his $2 billion fortune to fund the libertarian Club for Growth PAC and spent almost $4 million to help Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul campaign for president in 2012....

"'“Given how low the minimum wage is, and how generous the welfare benefits are, you have a marginal tax rate that’s on the order of 100 percent, and people are actually trapped in this sort of welfare state,' Thiel told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Club for Growth gives Cruz & Lee perfect scores for 2013

Club for Growth gives Ted Cruz, Mike Lee perfect marks - Washington Times - :

February 24, 2014 - "The conservative Club For Growth released its annual scorecard for 2013 on Monday, bestowing two Republican U.S. senators — Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — and four GOP congressmen with 100 percent ratings for their voting records 'based on issues relating to limited government and economic growth.'

"The four congressmen with perfect ratings for 2013 are Republican Reps. Matt Salmon, Trent Franks and David Schweikert of Arizona and Tom McClintock of California. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan got a 99 percent rating in 2013 'but because of rounding has a 100 percent LifeScore,' the group said....

"The 2013 and lifetime scores of GOP Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Jim Risch of Idaho were good enough to qualify all seven, along with Mr. Cruz and Mr. Lee, for the “Defender of Economic Freedom” Award.

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, February 24, 2014

26 Libertarians on state ballot in Arkansas

Arkansas Libertarian Party Holds Nominating Convention | KUAR - Jacob Kauffman:

February 23, 2014 - "While the Democratic and Republican parties garner the vast majority of media attention, fund raising, and votes the Libertarian Party of Arkansas is busy organizing.

"The party held its nominating convention in Little Rock February 21-23. After extensive signature gathering efforts the party is on the ballot statewide. Party Chairman Jessica Paxton said a number of candidates were nominated Saturday.

“'We nominated 26 candidates that will be on the ballot all over the state of Arkansas come November. We nominated candidates for US Senate, for all four congressional districts, for all seven constitutional offices – that's governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor and land commissioner. We also nominated candidates for several state house races, justice of the peace, constable, and county judge.' said Paxton....

"As with most third parties in Arkansas the contest for Governor is crucial. If their nominee Frank Gilbert garners three percent of the vote the party will automatically be placed on the ballot next election without facing the requirement of an extensive and expensive signature gathering effort."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Was John Galt modeled on Jesus?

Ayn Rand's Libertarian Hero John Galt Was Modeled on Jesus, Christian Panelist Argues:

"[A]t at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington D.C. Feb. 15, 2014 ...  Christian panelist, David Kotter, argued that Ayn Rand's libertarian hero John Galt was unconsciously modeled on Jesus Christ. A follower of Rand, William R. Thomas, agreed that Galt was modeled after Christ, but argued that Rand consciously intended to do so.

"Kotter, visiting scholar at The Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, insisted that Rand did base her character off of Jesus, although she likely did it unconsciously. .... 'Ayn Rand imbibed ideas from the character of Jesus," Kotter declared. He described Galt as 'the man who by perfect reason is the epitome of manhood, and is very similar to Jesus.'

"'In John Galt, Rand is trying to portray man as a god in an irreligious sense," Thomas, director of programs at The Atlas Society, declared.... Thomas added that 'I don't think she would have said she endorsed Jesus Christ.

"Mark Henderson, author of The Soul of Atlas: Ayn Rand, Christianity, a Quest for Common Ground, referenced Theologian John Piper to explain where Rand's philosophy can agree with Christianity. Henderson quoted ... Piper's essay 'Ayn Rand: An Appreciation and Critique,' where the theologian argued that 'all throughout scripture there are evidences of believers pursuing their own interest by pursuing God.'"

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The future belongs to libertarians

The End of Republicans and Democrats (And Your Libertarian Future) - The Daily Beast - Nick Gillespie:

February 20, 2014 - "The most interesting – and quite possibly the most important – discussion about the future of American politics took place just last week. And unless you subscribe to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV – of all places! - you probably missed it.

 "'I think Republicans will not win again in my lifetime ... unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party,' Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told the lachrymose former Fox News host who now runs his own online media empire. 'It has to be a transformation. Not just a little tweaking at the edges.' Not only that, says the Tea Party favorite and persistently popular 2016 presidential hopeful, the Democrats are overdue for an ideological overhaul too....

"In January, Gallup found a historically high number of Americans – 42 percent – self-identify as politically independent. The Republican brand is totally in the crapper, with just 25 percent copping to that affiliation, and the Democrats are flatter than a leaking bottle of SodaStream seltzer, pulling just 31 percent."

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Friday, February 21, 2014

T-shirt maker wins legal fight against NSA & DHS

Exclusive: Business Owner Sues The NSA & DHS and WINS! | Ben Swann Truth In Media - Ben Swann:

February 20, 2014 - "A small business owner and T-shirt maker who had his products forced off of internet marketplaces by the NSA [National Security Agency] has won his fight against the agency.

"Dan McCall is the owner of Liberty Maniacs which is a T-shirt company based out of Minnesota....

"The NSA has backed off its claim that McCall’s T-shirt 'The NSA' had infringed on their intellectual property rights.... Shortly after the NSA began getting McCall’s shirts pulled from online marketplaces like, DHS or the Department of Homeland Security began doing the same thing claiming that T-shirts that mocked their agency were also infringing on intellectual property.

"McCall’s lawyer recently contacted him saying that both agencies wanted to settle. This is a huge victory for those who believe in Liberty and are taking a stand against federal agencies that are bullying the public ... to be able to force the NSA and DHS to contact online marketplaces and admit that they were wrong to try to force his products off the marketplaces and that McCall does in fact have every right to create his parody shirts."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Libertarian declares for PA governor

Libertarian Ken Krawchuk to run for Pa. governor - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Associated Press:

February 20, 2014 - "A Libertarian Party activist is the first third-party candidate to enter the Pennsylvania governor’s race.

"Ken Krawchuk, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1998 and 2002, said Thursday he’ll seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination at its convention this weekend in Bethlehem....

"Mr. Krawchuk must gather more than 16,000 voters’ signatures between March 12 and Aug. 1 to be listed on the November ballot. Republican and Democratic candidates need only 2,000 signatures, but must win their party’s nominations in the May 20 primary in order to run in the general election."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rand Paul backs voting rights for ex-convicts in Kentucky

Rand Paul testifies on felon voting rights in Kentucky - Emma Roller, Weigel, Slate:

February 19, 2014 - "Sen. Rand Paul brought his national crusade against the war on drugs back to his home state, giving testimony before the Kentucky state senate in favor of an amendment to restore voting rights to felons after they get out of prison.

"The amendment, which state Republicans have forestalled for years, looks like it may finally pass. Today, only Kentucky and Virginia permanently strip felons of their voting rights. Most states require a probationary period before felons can vote again, but states like Iowa and Florida have such punitive laws that they may as well be permanent. Only Maine and Vermont have no restrictions on felons voting, including when they are still in prison."

"In his testimony, Paul gave a fact-based and level-headed critique of mandatory minimums, the war on drugs, and the American justice system writ large—it could have doubled as a David Simon blog post. A few samples:
* 'When you look at those who are being deprived of voting, I think it is disproportionately people of color.'

* 'Kids do make mistakes: white kids, black kids, brown kids. But when you look at the prison population, three-quarters are black or brown....

* "Not only is the incarceration unfair...but then they get out and their voting rights are impaired."
Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ontario LP pub nights expand to Simcoe

Libertarian candidate aims to get message out | Simcoe Reformer:

February 17, 2014 - "A rookie politician is hoping to pique interest in the Libertarian Party with local pub nights.

"Mark Burnison, the declared candidate for the Ontario Libertarian Party for Haldimand-Norfolk, is hoping to connect with local voters during meet and greet pub nights on the last Thursday of every month. The inaugural event was held in late January. The next event will be held at The Blue Elephant on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m..

"'It’s totally open,' said Burnison.

"He will go over the Libertarian Party’s platform which includes defending personal freedoms, creating more choices and limiting government.

"'We are one of the fastest growing movements in Canada, particularly among youth,' said Burnison, who noted the party offers an alternative to the 'big three', meaning Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats.

"As well, he will discuss some of the more specific issues of which he is concerned, such as amending the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act to prevent archaeologists from exhuming indigenous people’s remains."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wisconsin LP aims for a candidate in every District in 2014

Libertarian Party Launches Outreach For Candidates | WXPR - Ken Krall:

February 17, 2014 - "Paul Ehlers ran in 2012 for the state 12 District Senate seat. In the role as state Libertarian Party chair he says they're reaching out to many groups who have felt ... what he describes ... as the heavy hand of government ... called the 'Liberty Coalition'...

"'what we're trying to do is find people whose pursuit of happiness is being regulated, prohibited or restricted and get them to realize we have one thing in common'

"He mentions groups such as the raw milk producers, people active in the organization NORML, gun owners, people interested in renewable energy....

Ehlers says students are heavily in debt due to government changes in education financing ... 'students that maybe have massive student debt that are in default. They are not part of the problem. They are victims of the problem....'

"He says the Liberty Coalition goal is to have candidates in every major race in Wisconsin this year. "

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 16, 2014

5 libertarian valentines

5 Valentines For The Liberty-Lover - Cato Institute @ Buzzfeed:

February 11, 2014 - "Does your crush care more about free markets than flowers? These valentines are sure to sweep them off their feet."

See the others:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Paranoid libertarians vs. angry liberals

The paranoid libertarian and his enemy, the angry liberal - Eric Posner, University of Chigago Law School:

"In a recent essay, Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein identified an impulse he called 'paranoid libertarianism.' A paranoid libertarian is someone who distrusts the government to an unreasonable extent. Sunstein believes that many people who oppose gun control, health care reform, and progressive taxation fit the description. For example, a paranoid libertarian might not object to modest gun licensing requirements or background checks in principle but opposes these policies because he believes that the government will deny licenses to people who deserve them, or that a licensing rule will accustom people to gun control, paving the way to confiscation of all handguns.... Sunstein argues that these beliefs are unreasonable...."

"In fact, the fear of government is far more serious than the fear of flying or the fear of nuclear power. If people trust the government, they may accept its assurances that flying or nuclear power is safe. They may absorb the messages of its educational programs. If they don’t trust the government, then no go. 'Don’t worry, you can trust us' is, after all, exactly what an evil government would say....

"The angry liberal has distinctive characteristics just like the paranoid libertarian. He is distressed by significant social ills and seeks someone to blame for them. The social ills — inequality, inadequate health care, bad schools — are large ones. But it makes little sense to get angry at rich people for causing them.... The huge level of inequality that currently exists is mostly the result of social trends, not the bad acts of identifiable rich people.... As a political emotion, anger is just as irrational as fear is....

"In our current political climate, paranoid libertarians oppose government action that they often wrongly believe will harm them, angering the liberals who believe that government action is needed to solve society’s problems. The liberals’ anger further fuels the libertarians’ paranoia, which hardens their obstructionism, which in turn sends liberals into flights of rage."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, February 14, 2014

Canadian taxmen auditing 7 green charities

7 environmental charities face Canada Revenue Agency audits - Politics - CBC News - Evan Solomon & Kristen Everson:

February 6, 2014 - "The Canada Revenue Agency is currently conducting extensive audits on some of Canada's most prominent environmental groups to determine if they comply with guidelines that restrict political advocacy, CBC News has learned.

"If the CRA rules that the groups exceeded those limits, their charitable status could be revoked, which would effectively shut them down.

"Many of the groups are among the Conservative government's fiercest critics. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty signalled clearly in his budget of 2012 that political activity of these groups would be closely monitored and he allocated $8 million to the effort. The environmental organizations believe they have been targeted with the goal of silencing their criticism....

"CBC has confirmed that at least one group, Environmental Defence, has received its report back from the CRA and they are appealing it. Sources said their report threatened to revoke their charitable status....

"Most groups on this list would not talk on the record, but sources say executive directors of these groups are meeting regularly by phone to discuss a united response to the government."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rand Paul, FreedomWorks sue NSA for 4th Amendment violations

Libertarian Paul sues Obama and his security chiefs for Fourth Amendment violations - Euronews:

February 12, 2014 - "Maverick US Republican senator Rand Paul is suing President Obama and the directors of National Intelligence, the NSA and the FBI for violating the Fourth Amendment.

"In the latest fallout from the Snowden leaks, which exposed illegal government snooping, Paul is joining with the Tea Party-aligned FreedomWorks group.

"'Good morning, on behalf of myself, FreedomWorks and everyone in America that has a phone, we are filing suit against the President of the United States, in defence of the Fourth Amendment. We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user all of the time, without limits, without individualisation,' he said.

"Paul, a libertarian, is confident the case will go all the way to the Supreme Court. The Fourth Amendment is designed to protect Americans from unreasonable searches, something Paul says Obama has publically refused to stop."

Read more:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

100,000 sign anti-surveillance petition; 50,000 e-mail Congress

Protesters rally for 'the day we fight back' against mass surveillance | World news | - Adam Gabbat, The Guardian:

February 11, 2014 - "Tens of thousands of people and organisations were participating in a protest against the NSA’s mass surveillance on Tuesday, bombarding members of Congress with phone calls and emails and holding demonstrations across the globe.

"Dubbed 'The day we fight back', the action saw scores of websites, including Reddit, BoingBoing and Mozilla host a widget inviting users to pressure elected officials.

"The online demonstration saw more than 18,000 calls placed and 50,000 emails sent to US congressmen and women by midday Tuesday. Physical protests were planned in 15 countries.

"'The goal of the day we fight back is to stop mass surveillance by intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency,' said Rainey Reitman, activism director at the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation, which helped organise the events....

Reitman told the Guardian that over 100,000 people had signed an international petition opposing mass surveillance within a few hours of its launch.

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Students for Liberty meet in D.C. February 14-16

Libertarian Conference Lands Pols, Conspiracy Theorists and Comics - Heard on the Hill - Warren Rojas, Roll Call:

February 10, 2014 - "The 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference is rolling into town for a weekend (Feb. 14-16) celebration of freedom, information-sharing and spirited discussion.

"The annual gathering attracts students from around the globe but typically features homegrown speakers and performers who share the same passion for living sans restrictions. House Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky are scheduled to address the youth-oriented gathering, as are Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, veteran newsman John Stossel and former Hill-staffer-turned-comedian Andrew Heaton.

"Heaton, who made light of the congressional grind as bumbling Chief of Staff Elliot Clarice in the satirical Web series 'Cap South,' has been tapped to do standup on Saturday night.

“The federal government is a large, slow-moving target, much like a solitary buffalo on opioids. I’ll be whacking at that some,” he told HOH of his plans for the gathering. But Heaton noted that his material is much broader than what’s typically wrong with Capitol Hill."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 11 is "The Day We Fight Back"

Press Release - The Day We Fight Back: "On Anniversary of Aaron Swartz's Tragic Passing, Leading Internet Groups and Online Platforms Announce Day of Activism Against NSA Surveillance
Mobilization, dubbed "The Day We Fight Back" to Honor Swartz & Celebrate Anniversary of SOPA Blackout

Contact: Blair FitzGibbon, 202-503-6141

February 10, 2014 - "A broad coalition of activist groups, companies, and online platforms will hold a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA's mass spying regime on February 11th. Dubbed "The Day We Fight Back", the day of activism was announced on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic passing of activist and technologist Aaron Swartz. The protest is both in his honor and in celebration of the victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago this month, which he helped spur.

"Participants including Access, Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, BoingBoing, Reddit, Mozilla, ThoughtWorks, and more to come, will join potentially millions of Internet users to pressure lawmakers to end mass surveillance -- of both Americans and the citizens of the whole world....

On the day of action, the coalition and the activists it represents make calls and drive emails to lawmakers. Owners of websites will install banners to encourage their visitors to fight back against surveillance, and employees of technology companies will demand that their organizations do the same. Internet users are being asked to develop memes and change their social media avatars to reflect their demands.

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Libertarians dispute Pope's economic pontifications

Libertarians become vocal critics of Evangelii Gaudium | National Catholic Reporter - Michael Sean Winters:

January 30, 2014 - "The most interesting criticisms of Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, have come from libertarians who are closest to the economic views the pope denounced.

"In this document, Francis ... condemned 'trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world'.... He warned against laissez-faire adherents who 'reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control'.... The pope chastised 'the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.'

"'Speaking for libertarians, my objection to what the pope wrote derives from two things,' the Cato Institute's Marian Tupy said in an interview with NCR. 'First, there is the factual statement. The pope says the world is becoming worse, but that can be measured. In almost 200 pages, he never cites a single study, a single number, to support his claim. Tupy, who wrote an article encapsulating his objections in The Atlantic, cites a host of statistics to support his claim that 'capitalism, compared to other systems, does very well at bringing people out of poverty'....

"A similar critique of Evangelii Gaudium came from the pro-market Acton Institute, which is run by a Catholic priest, Fr. Robert Sirico. In a video discussing Evangelii Gaudium, Sirico posed a series of questions: 'Where are these unhampered markets?' he asked. 'Where is the market absolutely autonomous?' Sirico seems to be suggesting that the pope was creating straw men and attacking them, and expresses the hope that future exhortations will confront the economic questions Sirico poses."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rand Paul seizes the "Libertarian Moment"

This Is Rand Paul's Moment - - Matt Berman:

January 29, 2014 - "The United States is having a libertarian moment. And Rand Paul is getting ready to capture it by himself.

"The Kentucky Republican delivered his own response to President Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday night via YouTube. But the rebuttal wasn't so much about what Obama said Tuesday as much as it was an opening salvo for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, the bulk of it coming as a directed argument against big government."

"'Government doesn't create jobs very well,' Paul said. 'Government is inherently bad at picking winners and losers.... It's not that government's inherently stupid, although it's a debatable point,' Paul said. 'It's that government doesn't get the same signals'....

"In his Tuesday speech, Paul slammed the 'politics of envy' and suggested that if you 'punish' the successful, their companies will flee overseas.... Paul made policy proposals of his own, including those for economic freedom zones that would be set up around the U.S. and have, among other things, a flat 5 percent income and business tax. 'I believe in an America where people are free to make their own decisions,' he said.

"It's an early 2016 campaign shot, and it's not off base, either. Government was mentioned as the most important problem in the U.S. across all party IDs in a recent Gallup Poll."

Read more:
 'via Blog this'

Friday, February 7, 2014

Are libertarians paranoid?

Cass Sunstein on “paranoid libertarianism” - Ilya Somin, Volokh Conspiracy, Washington Post:

February 6, 2014 - "Famed Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein’s recent op ed attacking 'paranoid libertarianism' makes some reasonable points against crude libertarian arguments. But it is also in part confusing and in part overstated.

"The piece is confusing because it is easily misinterpreted as an attack on libertarianism more generally, even though Sunstein himself draws a distinction between the two. In addition, Sunstein seems to be focusing on paranoid fear of any type of government power.... Sunstein might have done better to choose some other label for the phenomenon he seeks to criticize.

"Semantic confusion aside, each of the five 'defining characteristics' Sunstein attributes to 'paranoid libertarianism' is readily found in crude versions of most other ideologies, including left-liberalism. In addition, each of the five is actually quite defensible if put in less extreme terms.

"The first item on Sunstein’s list is 'a wildly exaggerated sense of risks — a belief that if government is engaging in certain action (such as surveillance or gun control), it will inevitably use its authority so as to jeopardize civil liberties and perhaps democracy itself.' The key word here is 'inevitably.' It is indeed absurd to think that anything government does inevitably endangers liberty or democracy. On the other hand, there are good reasons to believe that many government activities create serious risks to freedom, in part because widespread political ignorance compromises the ability of voters to effectively monitor government’s misdeeds. Libertarians are far from the only ones who worry that the combination of extensive regulation and voter ignorance can lead to a variety of harmful restrictions on liberty. Cass Sunstein himself has published an insightful book highlighting this danger (though his proposed solutions for it are very different from those offered by libertarians)."

Read more:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New York Times race-baits Rand Paul

NYT Smears Rand Paul with Claims of Racism, Religious Fanaticism - Joe Wolverton II, New American:

February 1, 2014 - "In a recent article entitled 'Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance,' the New York Times, the oldest of the establishment’s mouthpieces, slammed Paul ... and took shots at The John Birch Society, the Tea Party, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and Lew Rockwell for good measure. (The article was posted online January 25, and a version of the article appeared the following day on page A1 of the Sunday print edition.)

"Accusing Paul of being 'steeped in a narrow, rightward strain' of libertarianism, the New York Times begins the race-baiting in the seventh paragraph.

"Paul and those like him, the article claims, 'have formulated provocative theories on race, class and American history, and routinely voice beliefs that go far beyond the antiwar, anti-big-government, pro-civil-liberties message' of the larger libertarian movement.

"Then, speaking of the Mises Institute, the Times makes sure readers realize that not only are libertarians such as Paul possessed of questionable racial biases, but they’re religious nuts, too."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sarvis plans to run for Senate seat in Virginia

Sarvis plans to challenge Warner for Senate seat - Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia News - Markus E. Schmidt:

January 30, 2014 - "Robert Sarvis, the 2013 Libertarian candidate for governor, said Wednesday that he wants to run for U.S. Senate, challenging Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va.

"'I finally got the go-ahead from my wife and told the Libertarian Party folks that I am going to run,' Sarvis said in an interview.

"In 2013, Sarvis was vastly outspent by the two major-party candidates but managed to get 6.5 percent of the vote.

"Libertarians will nominate their candidate at a party convention in Richmond on Feb. 8. So far, Sarvis, a former software engineer, teacher, lawyer and new media entrepreneur from Northern Virginia, is the only Libertarian who has announced a Senate bid.

"Sarvis said he will run on a similar platform as last year, including small government, a reduction of spending, legalization of marijuana and allowing same-sex couples to marry."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

California legalizes sale of home-made food

California Legalized Selling Food Made At Home And Created Over A Thousand Local Businesses - Forbes - Adam Ozimek, Institute for Justice:

January 29, 2014 - "A government official appears at a man’s door. The man has been breaking the law: He has sold bread baked at home.

"This isn’t a page from Kafka — it happened to Mark Stambler in Los Angeles.

"For decades, Stambler has followed traditional methods to bake loaves of French bread.... Stambler’s loaves came in first place at the Los Angeles County Fair and the California State Fair.... Soon after that, Stambler got the idea to expand his hobby into a home business, which became Pagnol Boulanger.... In June 2011,  the Los Angeles Times profiled Stambler and his bread in a full-page feature.

"He was busted the very next day. As he described it, the health department 'descended like a ton of bricks on the two stores that were selling my bread…they could no longer sell my bread'.... An inspector from the health department even showed up at his doorstep to make sure 'no bread baking was taking place'.... That’s when he 'became an activist,' Stambler said."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, February 3, 2014

Edward Snowden interview blacked out in U.S.

Recent Interview With Edward Snowden Blacked-Out by Major Media Outlets - College News:

January 31, 2014 - "German Television network [NDR] recently conducted an interview with the world famous (some may say infamous) whistleblower, Edward Snowden, which has been intentionally blacked-out by all corporate media outlets in the U.S., and virtually ignored by other broadcast networks. The video has even been removed from YouTube almost immediately after each time it’s been uploaded....

"In the interview, conducted this past Sunday evening, Mr. Snowden explains succinctly how these domestic surveillance programs undermine, subvert, or otherwise erode our democratic freedoms, as well as the most fundamental tenets of the Bill of Rights. The interview is about 30 minutes long and contains vitally important information within every sentence. Snowden stated that, '[My] breaking point was seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress. There’s no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and to the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions.' He goes on to say with reference to blowing the whistle, 'Beyond that, it was the creeping realization that no one else was going to do this. The public had a right to know about these programs. The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public.'"

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Transcript of blacked-out Snowden interview

Snowden-Interview: Transcript | - Ratgeber - Netzwelt - Hubert Siepel:

January 26, 2014 - Whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked the documents about US mass surveillance. He spoke about his disclosures and his life to NDR journalist Seipel in Moscow. 

"Mr Snowden did you sleep well the last couple of nights because I was reading that you asked for a kind of police protection. Are there any threats?"  
"There are significant threats but I sleep very well. There was an article that came out in an online outlet called Buzz Feed where they interviewed officials from the Pentagon, from the National Security Agency and they gave them anonymity to be able to say what they want and what they told the reporter was that they wanted to murder me. These individuals - and these are acting government officials. They said they would be happy, they would love to put a bullet in my head, to poison me as I was returning from the grocery store and have me die in the shower."

"But fortunately you are still alive with us." 
"Right but I'm still alive and I don't lose sleep because I’ve done what I feel I needed to do. It was the right thing to do and I’m not going to be afraid."

"'The greatest fear I have,' and I quote you, 'regarding the disclosures is nothing will change.' That was one of your greatest concerns at the time but in the meantime there is a vivid discussion about the situation with the NSA; not only in America but also in Germany and in Brazil and President Obama was forced to go public and to justify what the NSA was doing on legal grounds."
"What we saw initially in response to the revelations was sort of a circling of the wagons of government around the National Security Agency. Instead of circling around the public and protecting their rights the political class circled around the security state and protected their rights. What’s interesting is though that was the [initial] response, since then we’ve seen a softening. We’ve seen the President acknowledge that when he first said 'we’ve drawn the right balance, there are no abuses,' we’ve seen him and his officials admit that there have been abuses. There have been thousands of violations [by] the National Security Agency and other agencies and authorities every single year."

Read more:
 'via Blog this'

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Libertarian response to 2014 State of the Union address

Libertarian Party response to 2014 State of the Union address - Your Houston News: Opinion:

January 30, 2014 - "Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:

"'Thanks to unprecedented levels of government interference and government coercion, Americans’ rights are violated like never before. We are harmed by taxes, regulations, prohibitions, and shocking privacy intrusions.

"'Unfortunately, most of the harm and injustice of government occurs because too many Americans support existing government policies. We’re suffering under a tyranny of the majority. Our Libertarian hope is that we can convince enough Americans to change their minds. We hope voters will come to understand that government is force, and force is unjust.

"Here are some of the problems we see.

"The government debt situation is atrocious. Government debt is a terrible thing, because it forces future generations to pay off debts they never agreed to incur. From 2001 to 2008, George W. Bush doubled the debt, mostly with the support of a Republican Congress.... Since 2009, Barack Obama and the Democrats (and Republicans) have nearly doubled it again. "

"'Thanks to the work of Republicans and Democrats, America has declined in the Economic Freedom Index. We’ve been sliding for years, and now we’re down to #12. We’re below Australia, Canada, and Denmark. Libertarian policies would get us back to #1."

Read more:
'via Blog this'