Monday, March 31, 2014

Libertarian Wyllie hires former Ron Paul marketer

Libertarian Adrian Wyllie brings on board a Ron Paul marketer | Sunshine State News - Kevin Derby:

March 31, 2014 - "Adrian Wyllie, the favorite for the Libertarian nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott, announced at the end of last week that he was bringing in a member of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s, R-Texas, team to help his campaign.

"'We are pleased to announce and welcome our new director of marketing Curt Schultz to Team Wyllie,' the Libertarian hopeful announced. 'Curt Schultz is part of the team that was behind and the Ron Paul Superbrochure. The Superbrochure was highlighted on the Ed Schultz show on MSNBC. This was the key component that got Ron Paul polling high in Iowa virtually overnight.

"'Curt has already been doing market tests on the Wyllie Superbrochure as well as polling in the race,” Wyllie added. 'He brings a level of professionalism, expertise and energy that will ensure we make history in November!"
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The first libertarians: the Levellers

England’s Levellers: The World’s First Libertarian Movement - Epoch Times - Roberta A. Modugno, Ludwig von Mises Institute:

March 27, 2014 - "The first-ever libertarians were the Levellers, an English political movement active in the seventeenth century. The Levellers contributed to the elaboration of the methodological and political paradigm of individualism, and they are at the origin of the radical strand of classical liberalism....

"Rothbard notes that '[i]n a series of notable debates within the Republican Army — notably between the Cromwellians and the Levellers — the Levellers led by John Lilburne, Richard Overton and William Walwyn, worked out a remarkably consistent libertarian doctrine, upholding the rights of self-ownership, private property, religious freedom for the individual, and minimal government interference in society. The rights of each individual to his person and property, furthermore, were natural, that is, they were derived from the nature of man'....

"Lilburne defended natural law as 'Nature and reason' and 'the grounds of all just laws' and that 'therefore against this Law, prescriptions, statutes, nor customs may not prevail. And if any be brought in against it, they be no prescriptions, statutes nor customs, but things void, and against justice'.

"Overton advocated religious tolerance, even for the much-reviled English Catholics, and also denounced the practice of impressing men into the army and navy as a form of enslavement.

"Moreover, the Levellers advocated property rights and the freedom to contract and trade, as against monopolies and privileges guaranteed by the state. They celebrated the benefits of economic freedom to society and opposed the government taxes, customs, excises, and regulations that inhibited competition." 

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Newsflash: Libertarians do not all think alike

Libertarians Can Disagree with Ron Paul; Try Not to Faint | - Shawn M. Griffiths:

March 25, 2014 - "The one mistake people can make when considering the libertarian movement is that all libertarians are alike. When some people think of libertarians, they think of college students who kneel at the alter of Ron Paul. This is a mistake. The conscience of a libertarian is not a collective conscience.

"Ron Paul is considered by many to be the godfather of the liberty movement, but not everyone who self-identifies as a libertarian, or is labeled as such, will agree with Paul 100 percent of the time. Not all libertarians are like the former Texas congressman. Not all libertarians are like former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Not all libertarians are like Students for Liberty president Alexander McCobin.

"So, it shouldn’t be treated as such a surprise when someone like McCobin disagrees with Paul.

After all, the liberty movement (or the libertarian movement) is not founded on a singular ideology. Most people who either self-identify under the contemporary identity of a libertarian or are labeled as a libertarian typically are fiscally conservative, but take a more liberal stance on social issues — because of course that is how we have to break it down.

"Throw foreign policy in there and I guarantee not even members of the same local Libertarian Party will agree on every issue or even any issue."

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Libertarian Rufus Craig running for Congress in Louisiana's 6th District

Libertarian Craig joins 6th District race for Congress | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA:

March 25, 2014 - "Libertarian Rufus Craig announced his candidacy for the Baton Rouge-based congressional 6th District seat.

"'If you are satisfied with the results of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, then by all means, keep them,' Craig said in [a] prepared statement. 'I am ready to bring real solutions to the people of Louisiana and America.'

"Craig is a Baton Rouge lawyer who has run for the congressional seat as a Libertarian Party candidate in 2004 and 2012.

"He said he is concerned that neither Democrats or Republicans seem willing to tackle what he calls 'out of control spending and the Byzantine tax code.

"'Without a profound shift in policy in Washington, our nation faces certain financial collapse. It is important to provide an alternative to the two major parties for people to know there are solutions which are not being addressed by either,' Craig stated."

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two libertarians in Australian Senate

Is Australia Friendlier to Libertarianism Than the U.S.? - Hit & Run :  - J.D. Tucille:

March 27, 2014 - "Libertarianism is a thing, the headlines tell us — and that seems to be true now that two libertarian-leaning lawmakers occupy seats in the Senate. Wait...two senators? Yes, two: Senator David Leyonhjelm from New South Wales and Senator Bob Day from South Australia. After their election, The Australian proclaimed them 'two home-grown Ron Pauls'.

"Leyonhjelm ... is the more overtly libertarian of the two, favoring marijuana legalization, lower taxes, same-sex marriage, and smaller government. He was elected as a candidate of the classical liberal/libertarian Liberal Democratic Party. A quote on his Facebook page boasts, 'But there are two guiding principles that determine our approach to legislation—we would never vote for an increase in taxes and we would never vote for a reduction in liberty.'

"Day has a long history of free-market activism and was a board member of the libertarian Centre for Independent Studies, but he was elected as the candidate (and chairman) of the populist/social conservative Family First Party. Even so, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 'Libertarianism appeals to the innate desire to be free, to be liberated; people essentially want to be left alone to enjoy the fruits of their labour.'

"That article quoting Day also noted that 'the former policy director of libertarian think tank The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has been appointed Human Rights Commissioner.' The IPA has been called out during parliamentary question time as a 'sinister' behind-the-scenes player in Australian policy making — specifically, in revising the Racial Discrimination Act to strengthen free speech protections — so it's apparently having an impact."

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Libertarians disagree over Crimea

Libertarian Group Comes Out Against Ron Paul on Russia - Rosie Gray, Buzzfeed:

March 24, 2014 - "A key young libertarian group is publicly opposing Ron Paul on Ukraine, saying that Paul is wrong to suggest that the United States is to blame for Russia’s actions.

"Alexander McCobin, a co-founder of the group Students for Liberty, put out a statement on Monday criticizing Paul, who has characterized Crimea’s largely unrecognized referendum as a secession and has called for the United States not to act against Russia in this crisis.

"In the statement, McCobin praises Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, for condemning Russia’s actions....

"Reached by phone, Students for Liberty spokesperson Frederik Roeder said that the group was not calling for U.S. intervention in Ukraine, but that 'we think that it’s important to condemn what Russia’s doing....

"'In the Ukrainian case it’s obviously not the U.S. government who is the aggressor but the Russian government who have invaded parts of a sovereign nation,' Roeder said. 'I think a lot of people got confused by this including Ron Paul and some libertarians who would say, "Oh, that’s secession," but we did not observe a secession from Crimea, but a military annexation.'

 "He added that Students for Liberty had organized a protest outside the Russian Embassy in Berlin last week."

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rand Paul cheered for anti-NSA message at Berkeley

Republican Rand Paul fires up a Berkeley crowd - SFGate - Carla Marinucci:

March 20, 2014 - "Cheered by a youthful audience in one of the country's most liberal enclaves, Sen. Rand Paul - one of the Republican Party's leading contenders for the White House in 2016 - delivered a scathing rebuke to the U.S. intelligence community Wednesday, calling it 'drunk with power.'

"'I don't know about you, but I'm worried,' the Kentucky senator told 400 people who filled a hall at UC Berkeley's International House. "If the CIA is spying on Congress, who exactly can or will stop them?'

"Paul's comments come one week after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of illegal computer searches intended to hinder her Intelligence Committee's probe of alleged U.S. torture of terrorism suspects.

"Paul said Feinstein's allegations had shaken Washington. 'I look into the eyes of senators and I think I see real fear,' he said. 'I think I perceive fear of an intelligence community drunk with power, unrepentant and uninclined to relinquish power.'"

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Monday, March 24, 2014

European Students for Liberty meeting in Berlin

Articles: A Populist Libertarian Youth Movement? - Brad Lips, American Thinker:

March 24, 2014 - "I am attending a conference of European Students for Liberty (ESFL), where some 570 libertarians -- all about half my age -- have come from 41 countries to celebrate their growing movement, and to strategize.   How will they grow from here?

"At the front of the room, Rasmus Brygger of the Danish Liberal Youth Alliance asserts that the socialists had their intellectual leaders, but didn’t expect everyone in their ranks to study them as nerdishly as libertarians do. (Case in point: later in the evening, young men in attendance will swoon as libertarian songstress Dorian Electra croons about the Austrian business cycle theory: 'Since these low interest rates, like you said, are lies/ Malinvestments come as no surprise.')

"Brygger notes that the hippie generation of the 1960s captured the culture for the Socialist Left; and earlier in the century, its principles were advanced en masse by workers’ unions. Could libertarians make similar advances in coming years? "

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nine extremely successful libertarians

Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

9 Extremely Successful People You Never Knew Were Libertarian - Robert Taylor, PolicyMic:

March 7, 2014 - "[Thanks to the] success of former Congressman Ron Paul's presidential runs and the availability of so much free and cheap literature, communities, and activism that the Internet now affords us, libertarianism is experiencing a renaissance that Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises could have never dreamed of.

"More and more people do not identify as Republicans or Democrats, oppose the surveillance state and U.S. interventions abroad and are attracted to the consistent defense of individual liberty that libertarians offer than ever before. Over and over again, libertarians are vindicated in their warnings against the dangers of centralized power, bailouts, stimuluses, foreign wars and the boom-and-bust economy created by the Federal Reserve system.

"While millennials make up the largest percentage of those that call themselves libertarian, here are 9 incredibly successful people that you probably didn't know are also libertarians."

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Libertarianism "is suddenly a political force to be reckoned with" - The Observer

Rand Paul and Berkeley: libertarian and leftwing hotbed find common cause | World news | The Observer
- Paul Lewis:

"The rise of Paul and his libertarian brand of politics, one of the few intellectual movements with appeal across the spectrum, is turning old political assumptions on their head. Paul, the son of libertarian guru and former congressman Ron Paul, was the star of last week's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) – an annual litmus test for the Republican base. For the second year running, Paul won the straw poll of likely Republican 2016 presidential contenders, trouncing fellow senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as well as scandal-hit New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

"For decades, libertarianism has hovered on the fringe of the Republican party, associated with Ayn Rand novels, anarchists and tax refuseniks. Now it is suddenly a political force to be reckoned with, disrupting the political establishment by sparking unusual alliances between Republicans and Democrats."

"Nowhere has that dynamic been more evident than in the fallout over Edward Snowden's disclosures about widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. Reform of the NSA is the issue Paul has claimed as his own, even to the extent of filing a lawsuit, naming himself as co-plaintiff, to challenge the agency's mass surveillance of domestic phone records....

"It used to be centrists who crossed the aisle to reach compromise. Today, it is those on the libertarian right, like Paul...

"The election is more than two years away, and already the Bush and Clinton dynasties have an air of inevitability about them. But there is something zeitgeist-like about the Paul brand: a sense that its moment may have arrived."

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Tonie Nathan, first woman to receive an electoral vote, dead at 91

Libertarian Tonie Nathan dies - Jeff Wright, Eugene Register-Guard:

March 21, 2014 - "Tonie Nathan of Eugene, the first woman to win an electoral vote in a presidential election, died early Thursday at age 91, family members confirmed....

"Tonie Nathan had lived in Eugene since 1968. She was a University of Oregon graduate with a degree in journalism, and she produced and occasionally hosted a talk show on KVAL TV.

"Paul Nathan, who lives in Palm Springs, Calif., recalled that he was 21 when he gave his mother some writings by Ayn Rand, the noted philosopher and novelist. That helped spur his mother’s political views of freedom, free markets and individuality, and prompted her to switch her political allegiance from the Democratic to Libertarian party, he said.

"Tonie Nathan attended the first national Libertarian Party convention in 1972 in Colorado as an interested observer and freelance writer, Paul Nathan said. Much to her astonishment, she ultimately was asked to join the party’s national ticket as presidential candidate John Hospers’ running mate.

"Hospers and Nathan each received the electoral vote of Roger MacBride, a renegade elector from Virginia."

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Judge says Ohio GOP behind plot to keep LP off ballot

Judge Says Ohio GOP Orchestrated Plot Against Libertarian Party Candidate - Hit & Run : - Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

March 20, 2014 - "A ruling from a District Court in Ohio significantly diminishes the chances of getting a Libertarian Party candidate on the ballot for the 2014 governor's race. Interestingly, however, District Judge Michael H. Watson ... wrote that it was 'obvious' that the 'dupe' who challenged Earl's petitions had been used by 'operatives or supporters of the Ohio Republican Party'....

"Though Judge Watson found Earl's dismissal from the ballot legally sound, he didn't buy that the state GOP had nothing to do with it. Confirming what LPO Communication Director Aaron Harris told me about Gregory Felsoci, the 'clueless' Akron man challenging Earl's petition, Judge Watson called him a 'guileless dupe' whose testimony showed he had no idea what he was doing.
'His testimony demonstrates that he lacks even a basic understanding of the nature of the protest he agreed to sign. Felsoci repeatedly referred to the misdeed that motivated him to protest (Earl's) petitions as the LPO's gathering of "votes" without disclosing those who gathered them were being paid to do so. His decision to act as a protester came about after a Republican friend, John Musca, showed him an unidentified document which Musca claimed to have found at a local coffee shop. Felsoci could not as much as accurately describe the nature of the document Musca showed him and was at an utter loss to explain why he believed the truth of the assertions the document contained. He said he believed it because he read it.'....
"The LPO is making an emergency appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for the temporary injunction. 'While we respect Judge Watson's decision to deny our request for a temporary restraining order against Husted’s decision, we feel that he may be wrong in this instance,' said LPO attorney Mark Brown in a statement."

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Police seize millions from motorists never charged with crimes

Cops Use Traffic Stops To Seize Millions From Drivers Never Charged With A Crime - Nick Sibilla, Institute for Justice, Forbes:

March 12, 2014 - "A deputy for the Humboldt County’s Sheriff Office in rural Nevada has been accused of confiscating over $60,000 from drivers who were never charged with a crime.  These cash seizures are now the subject of two federal lawsuits and are the latest to spotlight a little-known police practice called civil forfeiture.

"Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property (including cash and cars) without having to prove the owners are guilty. Last September, Tan Nguyen was pulled over for driving three miles over the speed limit, according to a suit he filed.  Deputy Lee Dove asked to search the car but Nguyen said he declined.  Dove claimed he smelled marijuana but couldn’t find any drugs.  The deputy then searched the car and found a briefcase containing $50,000 in cash and cashier’s checks, which he promptly seized.... Nguyen was not arrested or charged with a crime — not even a traffic citation....

"Unsurprisingly, seizing cash from traffic stops can earn millions for law enforcement.... Bob Vogel ... seized $6.5 million in cash from cars going southbound on I-95 in Volusia County, Florida. But usually the cars that smuggled drugs went northbound. Plus, part of the 'drug courier' profile for Sheriff Vogel 'was that cars obeying the speed limit were suspect — their desire to avoid being stopped made them stand out.' The Orlando Sentinel later found that in three out of every four cases, no charges were filed."

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gary Johnson calls for eliminating IRS

Libertarian Gary Johnson calls for eliminating IRS | The Daily News Journal | - Scott Broden:

March 15, 2014 - "The country should eliminate all income, corporate and payroll taxes and replace them with a consumption tax, Libertarian Party 2012 presidential nominee Gary Johnson told an audience today.

"'I believe that our lives would be changed for the better,' Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, said during his keynote address before the Libertarian Party of Tennessee State Convention....

"When it comes to the consumption tax, Johnson said he’d like to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and told the audience that he agrees with the current proposed Fair Tax as a way to get started. The process would include getting rid of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution that allows income taxes and replacing them with a Fair Tax that would act like a 28 percent tax on all sales.

"The idea is revenue neutral, so there would still be a need to cut spending, said Johnson, noting that 165 members of Congress support the Fair Tax.

"The country should balance its budgets as a top priority and reform Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Johnson said."

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Ohio LP back in federal court seeking ballot access

Ohio GOP chairman denies party involvement in challenges to Libertarian Charlie Earl's candidacy |

March 17, 2014 - "Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges denied in federal court on Monday that his party was behind challenges to Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl.

"Borges’ testimony came as part of a last-ditch attempt by Ohio Libertarians to restore Earl’s name to the party’s primary ballot this May."

"Secretary of State Jon Husted disqualified Earl from the primary last week on the grounds that people paid to collect petition signatures for him didn’t properly disclose that the Libertarian Party of Ohio had employed them.

"Libertarians suspect that the Ohio Republican Party covertly helped the two challengers to Earl’s petitions, Gregory A. Felsoci and Tyler King....

"But Borges, testifying in U.S. District Court in Columbus, denied that the Ohio Republican Party sought out Felsoci and King. He also said that the party did not pay any money to fund the pair’s cases..... Borges also said he misspoke when he initially told reporters late last month that the Ohio GOP did have a role in the challenges."

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ghostbusters: the most libertarian Hollywood blockbuster of all time

Why 'Ghostbusters' is the most libertarian Hollywood blockbuster of all time | - Philip Klein:

February 24, 2014 - "After learning the sad news that comedy actor and filmmaker Harold Ramis had died, I remarked on Twitter that the 1984 classic Ghostbusters (which he co-wrote and co-starred in) was the most libertarian Hollywood blockbuster ever made.... To me, it's quite obvious. In Ghostbusters, paranormal activity is becoming a growing problem in New York City. Government doesn't do anything to stop the problem, so private entrepreneurs set up a small business that successfully captures and stores ghosts — for a fee.

"But then, the villain -- a regulator from the Environmental Protection Agency -- decides to interfere with the private business by cutting off their power, thereby releasing all of the captured ghosts.... The EPA agent orders the shut down of the ghost containment unit over the protests of Ramis' character, Dr. Egon Spengler, who says: 'Excuse me, this is private property!'

"The movie's heroes are taken into police custody after the release of the ghosts. Once the assault by the ghosts causes apocalyptic chaos in New York City and the government is completely helpless in solving the problem, the mayor releases the small-business owners who once again save the day."

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The rise of the libertarians - Washington Post

The rise of the libertarians — and what it means for politics: - Jaime Fuller, The Fix, Washington Post blogs:

March 10, 2014 - "During the 2012 Republican primaries, young Ron Paul supporters received national attention that far outweighed their influence on the party's eventual presidential pick. NPR quoted a Georgetown graduate student who said about millennials, 'This is the most libertarian generation that has ever existed. I just think it's taking a little bit longer for people to realize ... but in 10 or 20 years, once our age group starts to have more of an influence in society, we're going to see very significant shifts in what's happening.'

"We're only two years removed from his prediction, but it's clear that libertarians are becoming a vocal faction within Republican ranks. In the annual straw poll that takes place at the Conservative Political Action Committee [CPAC], Rand Paul took first place, winning 31 percent of the vote despite the fact there were 24 other people on the ballot. Paul also won the straw poll in 2013....

"As Molly Ball pointed out in her CPAC recap, 'CPAC ... is increasingly dominated by libertarians, a combined result of their passionate engagement in movement politics and the discount rates the conference offers to college students.' Republicans may be subsidizing their young libertarian members, but they aren't quite listening to them yet.

"But, as that grad student said in 2012, 10 or 20 years from now, libertarians will likely be the Republicans to watch if current trends hold. Here are a few ways to look at the libertarian crowd in 2014, as the group tries to expand their influence within the Republican Party."

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Friday, March 14, 2014

NSA impersonated Facebook to hack, infect computers

Leaked Documents show NSA Impersonated Facebook to Infect Millions of Computers | Ben Swann Truth In Media:- Joshua Cook:

March 14, 2014 - "With the intention to infect millions of computers with malware, the National Security Agency impersonated popular social networking site Facebook.

"According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the clandestine initiative enabled the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.

"Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher reported in The Intercept: 'In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.'"

"The Facebook exploit was called QUANTUMHAND and was first used on a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps.

"After that, the NSA planned to spread it to millions of computers around the globe using an automated system known internally as TURBINE. TURBINE gave members of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit the ability to tap into, or destroy, computers on a massive scale, documents show."

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LP of Georgia nominates candidate for open Senate seat

Hall County woman gets Libertarian Senate bid | AccessNorthGa:

March 14, 2014 - "Former Flowery Branch City Council member Amanda Swafford has been nominated by the Libertarian Party of Georgia for the open Senate seat being created by the retirement of Senator Saxby Chambliss.

"Swafford garnered the nomination at her party's March 8th convention in Marietta....

"She is a 1998 graduate of Agnes Scott College and works as a paralegal. She also attends 12 Stone Church.

"Prior to her term on the Flowery Branch City Council she was an elected Libertarian in Sacramento County, California.

"Those interested in finding out more about Ms. Swafford and her campaign can visit her website"

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jamaica to decriminalize ganja in 2014

Jamaica Pushes Forward With Decriminalizing Marijuana by End of Year - Atlanta Black Star:

February 24, 2014 - "Jamaica will this year join a virtual tidal wave of countries across the globe in decriminalizing ganja, the forerunner to the establishment of a medicinal marijuana industry estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

"The undertaking was given to the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task force by Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Phillip Paulwell, according to one of the main task force leaders, Delano Seiveright.

"In a press statement yesterday, Seiveright said Paulwell, who is also the minister of science, technology, energy and mining, told members of the task force at a meeting last Thursday that 'ganja will be decriminalized in Jamaica this year and emphasized that Jamaica cannot be allowed to be left behind on the issue'....

"If Paulwell’s promise becomes reality — a strong possibility because of bipartisan support in the Parliament — Jamaica could be the first English-speaking Caribbean country to decriminalize ganja and usher in a new era, allowing Jamaicans to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes under State regulation."

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our America raises $14K to sue Commission on Presidential Debates

Gary Johnson continues quest to get third party in debates - Karl Dickey, West Palm Beach Libertarian Examiner:

March 5, 2014 - "Gary Johnson's Our America Initiative campaign to litigate against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) continues its success raising nearly $14,000 as of today to pay for the costs of litigation. Johnson's campaign goal is to raise $30,000 by March 15, 2014 before the time to litigate has expired. Johnson was the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee who was purposefully excluded from the presidential debates. He met all the criteria to be included in the debates except the one that required him to show at least 15% results in at least 5 presidential polls - the only issue was his name was not included in those polls....

"42% of Americans identify themselves as political independents. Only 25% consider themselves Republicans, and 31% Democrats.... Yet, in 2012 and the past several presidential elections, when it came time for nationally televised presidential debates, only the Republican and Democrat candidates were on the stage....

"It’s not surprising because, despite its official-sounding name, the ... organization that controls the debates was created by the Republican and Democratic national committees -- for the mutually beneficial purpose of creating the impression that their candidates are the only real choices for President of the United States."

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Free Staters ruffle local feathers in Grafton, NH

Libertarians Move In To Make A Small N.H. Town Even Smaller - Jack Rodolico, NPR:

March 9, 2014 - "Maureen O'Reilly beams with pride as she shows a visitor around Grafton, N.H., a town so small it doesn't even have a traffic light.

"'Have a look at this,' O'Reilly says, pointing to a postcard view of hilly rural New England. 'How beautiful is this? It's really pretty in the fall, really, really pretty.'

"But behind the beautiful view, locals are dividing into opposing camps. About 50 Libertarians have moved into Grafton from around the country, splitting the town over their push to shrink its government....

"About 15 years ago, a prominent Libertarian hatched the idea of moving Libertarians to New Hampshire, with the hope of having a big impact in a small state. They called it the Free State Project, and a handful of Free Staters settled in Grafton.

"O'Reilly was surprised by how quickly Free Staters started pushing their agenda.

"'Almost seems as if they walked in the door and started running for office and hold positions,' she says. 'It's not the typical way someone who's a New Englander does things.'

"Free Staters say Grafton should withdraw from the school district, cut the $1 million budget by 30 percent over three years, and carve Grafton out as a 'U.N.-free zone'....

"Even though Grafton has always had a Libertarian streak, Free Staters are a minority and locals have mostly blocked their agenda. Still, Free Stater Jeremy Olson is confident they could shift the balance if they reach out to locals."

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Tim Moen campaign generating online buzz

Federal byelection candidate gets online buzz with libertarian memes | Canada Politics - Yahoo News Canada - Andy Radia, Political Points:

March 6, 2014 - "If elections were won based on creativity, then this guy would be the next MP for Fort McMurray - Athabasca.

"Libertarian candidate Tim Moen — who is running in a federal byelection which has yet to be called — is getting a lot of attention for his social media memes which explain libertarianism.

"In an interview with Yahoo Canada News on Thursday, Moen talked about his platform. 'A libertarian is someone who espouses the philosophies of classical liberalism ;ndash; the idea that a person owns himself and is a product of his or her labour and that people ought not initiate force against other people to try and get their way,' he said.

"He continued, explaining how a libertarian government might tackle taxes. 'We see taxes as an initiation of force because the end-product of not paying your taxes or not complying is that you get thrown in the jail. And we don't think that people have the right to demand money or else you'll be thrown in a cage,... We understand that there are things that people want ... roads and healthcare and maybe national defence ... so we're for finding ways of connecting people with those services that don't involve initiating force.'"

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Creative Loafing interviews FL Libertarian Lucas Overby

Third Party Lines: An Interview with Lucas Overby | Political Animal | Creative Loafing Tampa - Mitch Perry:

March 6, 2014 - "While David Jolly and Alex Sink continue to bash each other in incessant television ads, Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby has been trying to win over voters by showing up anywhere that will have him throughout [Florida Congressional] District 13.

"Although some Republicans accused him of being a 'plant' to siphon off GOP votes and aid Sink, the fact of the matter is that Overby declared even before Bill Young announced his intentions to run for re-election in 2013.

"At a Clearwater Starbucks on Gulf-to-Bay, I sat down with Overby to talk about the issues. Here are some excerpts:"

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Rand Paul: We must defend the rights of all

Rand Paul’s Starkly Libertarian CPAC Speech: We Must Defend the Rights of All | Mediaite - Andrew Kirell:

March 7, 2014 - "In his address before the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took a decidedly libertarian stance on issues of surveillance, the Fourth Amendment, executive overreach, and wrongful imprisonment.

"'We won’t trade our liberty for security,' Paul said, setting the overarching theme of the speech: 'Not now, not ever.'

He railed against the National Security Agency’s controversial phone metadata collection, telling the crowd: 'If you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business.'

"'There is a great battle going on, it’s for the heart and soul of America,' he urged to the crowd. 'The Fourth Amendment is equally as important as the Second Amendment, and conservatives cannot forget this.

"At another point, Sen. Paul quoted Pink Floyd’s 'Wish You Were Here' to attack President Obama‘s equivocating on civil liberties issues.

"He also emphasized to the audience that any minority of thought, color, creed, [or] religion should presume that government would attempt to imprison them wrongfully."

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Libertarians removed from Ohio primary ballot

Husted Orders Libertarian Candidates Off Primary Ballot | WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio:

March 7, 2014 - "Secretary of State Jon Husted decided late Friday to remove Charlie Earl, the Libertarian candidate for governor, off the May primary ballot.

"That decision effectively removes the possibility of a Libertarian name being on the November ballot.

"Husted said he is following the recommendation of a hearing officer who concluded Earl and Steve Linnabary, the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General, do not have enough valid signatures on petitions.

"The decision is being hailed as a victory for state Republicans.... Republican governor John Kasich narrowly defeated then-Democratic governor Ted Strickland in 2010 by a 49 to 47 percent margin.

"'Kasich and his allies have moved heaven and earth to keep Charlie Earl off the ballot, they know he would take votes from Kasich," said Dale Butland of Innovation Ohio. "But you have to give Republicans credit because when it comes to voter suppression they don't discriminate. Whether you're black or you're white, unless you plan to vote for Kasich, they don't want you at the polls."

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Generation Opportunity uses social media to promote liberty

Libertarian Activists Just Upped Their Web Game | Motherboard - Meghan Neal:

March 5, 2014 - "In 2012, the Obama campaign's unprecedented use of social media encouraged 600,000 activists to contact 5 million people asking them to get involved, with an impressive 20 percent success rate....

"'It was amazing. It was innovative. It was exciting,' Evan Feinberg, president of the conservative political advocacy group Generation Opportunity told me over the phone.

"'We've learned from that.'

"Based in DC, GenOpp is technically a nonpartisan organization, but is funded by the Koch brothers and lobbies for typically right wing, libertarian policies like small government and lower taxes. The group gave Motherboard a first look at its newly launched advocacy website Free the Future, an action-oriented platform boasting all the webby, supposedly Gen Y-friendly functionality that helped carry the president to the White House.

"All the usual players are there: personalized content, targeted social sharing, a mobile-friendly responsive design, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ integration, and language trying too hard to be hip (to comment, users click on 'drop some knowledge'). Coming up in V2 is gamification and user-generated content."

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

First Libertarian candidate in Fort McMurray, Alberta

First Libertarian candidate to run | Fort McMurray Today - Vincent McDermott:

March 4, 2014 - "Libertarian party candidate Tim Moen wants gay married couples to have the right to protect their personal marijuana plants with guns.

"That’s one of the many slogans Moen, a captain with the Fort McMurray Fire Department and freelance videographer, is posting online as a federal byelection in the region approaches.

"'To me, that meme is the message of classical liberalism and the philosophy of liberty,' he says. 'People should be allowed to marry whoever they want, put what they want into their bodies as long as no one is hurt, and protect themselves and their property.'

"Moen is the first federal Libertarian candidate to run in the Fort McMurray-Athabasca riding.

"The party advocates a platform of no government interference in Canada’s internal social and economic affairs, on the grounds that doing so violates personal liberties and freedoms."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

GOP may be behind challenge to keep Earl off Ohio ballot

Challenge to Libertarian Charlie Earl's candidacy will determine whether he appears on the gubernatorial ballot | - Robert Higgs, Northeast Ohio Media Group:

March 4, 2014 - "A challenge filed against Charlie Earl, a former state legislator, and his running mate Sherry Clark, alleges that signatures collected on their candidacy petitions were improperly gathered.

"The challenge was filed with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted by Gregory Felsoci of Rocky River, who is a registered as a Libertarian....

"Republicans, meanwhile, may have had a hand in filing the contest. Party Chairman Matt Borges acknowledge[d] the party had a role in a media interview, although he quickly backtracked and said it was the Libertarians who made the challenge....

"Brad Smith, a law professor at Capital University and a former member of the Federal Elections Commission, will hear testimony today and prepare a recommendation for Husted, who will ultimately decide if Clark remains on the ballot. There is no fixed timetable for that decision."

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Libertarian Lucas Overby hits 12% in Florida poll

Alex Sink leading David Jolly by 9 percent in St. Leo Poll of CD 13 | Sunshine State News - Kevin Derby:

February 13, 2014 - "The polls keep coming in the special congressional election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla.

"St. Leo University released a poll on Thursday which shows former state CFO Alex Sink, the Democrat in the race, takes 46 percent while Republican David Jolly takes 37 percent and Libertarian Lucas Overby garners 12 percent. The Tampa Bay Times released a poll on Wednesday night showing Sink with a smaller lead and St. Pete Polls and St. PetersBlog unveiled a poll on Thursday which had Jolly up by a small margin. Both of the other polls found Overby polling in single digits.

"'Ms. Sink’s advantage is being driven by solid favorability ratings coupled with issue positions that seem to be more closely aligned with voter preferences than are Jolly’s,” said Frank Orlando who teaches political science at Saint Leo.... 'The fact that a Libertarian candidate has robust support levels in the double digits seems to be contributing to the size of Sink’s lead.

"'Jolly is not only leaking Republican voters to Alex Sink, but also to ... Overby,” added Orlando. 'Traditionally, Libertarian candidates have siphoned off more support from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, and this is the case here. Despite being outspent and advertised, Overby’s presence in the televised debate has increased his visibility, but it remains to be seen if he can maintain this support to Election Day.'"

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

The libertarian populism of The Lego Movie

The Libertarian Populism of The Lego Movie | The American Spectator -  Michael Turk:

February 27, 2014 - "As the parent of small kids, it was inevitable that I would see The Lego Movie, but I was totally unprepared for the reaction I had ... at best, I expected a typical kids movie. At worst, I expected more liberal indoctrination in the form of children's entertainment.

"Instead, I found a classroom lesson in the ideals of populist libertarianism.

"For those who are unfamiliar, and hopefully without revealing any spoilers, the movie tells the story of an unexceptional construction worker living and working in Bricksburg, a megatropolis that mirrors our own reality, with interchangeable pop bands, overpriced franchise coffee bars, and TV shows that appeal to the lowest possible denominator. Emmet, our reluctant blue hero, falls down a hole, discovers the 'Piece of Resistance,' and finds himself anointed 'The Special' — the citizen who will fulfill a prophecy to bring down Lord/President Business.

"Now, much has been written by conservative thinkers about the producers' choice to make 'business' the villain of the film. Focusing on that single aspect is a mistake if you want to get the real meaning. As the movie progresses, we see that Lord/President Business has used nearly every facet of popular culture to subdue the masses and stifle their creativity. Everything must conform to specific instructions. These instructions are Bricksburg's regulations and are strictly enforced by government in the form of Scribble-Face Bad Cop.... Creating outside those regulations is not allowed."

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why social conservatives should embrace libertarianism

Rand Paul Is Right. Social Conservatives Should Embrace Libertarianism David Harsany, The Federalist:

February 25, 2014 - "At Robert P. George’s The American Principles Project last week, [Rand] Paul argued that a dose of libertarianism would not only help the GOP broaden its base, but that it was philosophically compatible with social conservative values. 'Libertarian and liberty doesn’t mean libertine,' he explained. Paul might have added that libertarianism isn’t synonymous with 'uncharitable' or 'selfish' or a 'Social Darwinist,' either. He might have argued that libertarianism would do a lot more than just help orthodox Christians politically. It may even be the most conducive political philosophy for them to thrive."

"Should social conservatives 'commit themselves' to a political philosophy that not only strives for gay equality, but one that seeks to impel others to participate in these new norms despite religious objections? Should they commit to a philosophy that impels them to fund contraception coverage and abortions — either through direct funding or fungible dollars? A philosophy that continues to force them to send their kids to crappy public educational systems that often undermine their faith-based beliefs? A philosophy that attacks parents who seek alternative means of education, like homeschooling? Or should they be more interested in wedding themselves to a political philosophy that downgrades the importance of politics in everyday life and allows citizens to work together to structure their communities without interference?

"The growing state, after all, not the atheist, is religion’s biggest rival. And, intentionally or not, government is crowding out parts of community life that have traditionally been taken care of by civil society. It’s draining resources once used by communities to implement services and take care of their own. And even more destructive, perhaps, is that government is becoming a source of moral authority for so many."

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