Monday, June 30, 2014

Warrantless cell phone searches unconstitutional, says SCOTUS

Cops Can’t Search Cell Phones Without a Warrant, Supreme Court Rules | Threat Level | WIRED - Andy Greenberg:

June 25, 2014 - "After years of legal debate, the Supreme Court has told the cops to keep their hands off Americans’ cell phones – at least until they get a search warrant.

"The court released a landmark decision Wednesday morning in the case of Riley vs. California, forbidding warrantless police searches of the contents of arrestees’ cell phones. The ruling opinion notes that cell phones have in fact become tiny computers in Americans’ pockets teeming with highly private data, and that gaining access to them is now fundamentally different from rifling through someone’s pockets or purse. 'A decade ago officers might have occasionally stumbled across a highly personal item such as a diary, but today many of the more than 90% of American adults who own cell phones keep on their person a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives,' the opinion reads....

"Two cases brought the issue of warrantless cell phone searches to the Supreme Court’s attention. In one, a California man was charged with assault and attempted murder in relation to a street gang in which he was allegedly a member. Cops searched his smartphone without a warrant and found videos and photos that prosecutors argued linked him to the 'Bloods' gang. In the second case, a Boston man had his cell phone searched when he was arrested after an apparent drug sale. By finding his home address on his flip phone, police were able search his home and find a larger stash of drugs. Both defendants argued that the warrantless searches violated the fourth amendment.

"Wednesday’s ruling sides with both defendants and declares the searches in their cases unconstitutional."

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Playboy interviews Gary Oldman: "I'm probably a libertarian"

Gary Oldman Slams Hollywood Political Correctness | Playboy - David Hochman:

June 25, 2014 - "OLDMAN: It’s our culture now, absolutely. At the Oscars, if you didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave you were a racist. You have to be very careful about what you say. I do have particular views and opinions that most of this town doesn’t share, but it’s not like I’m a fascist or a racist. There’s nothing like that in my history.

"PLAYBOY: How would you describe your politics?

"OLDMAN: I would say that I’m probably a libertarian if I had to put myself in any category. But you don’t come out and talk about these things, for obvious reasons.

"PLAYBOY: But there are a ton of conservatives in Hollywood, and libertarians too. Bill Maher has called himself a libertarian.

"OLDMAN: I think he would fail the test. Anyway, unlike Bill Maher, conservatives in Hollywood don’t have a podium.

"PLAYBOY: Fine. We’ll give you one. What would America look like under President Hillary Clinton?

"OLDMAN: What can I say? I feel we need some real leadership, and it’s nowhere in sight. Look at what’s happening right now. John Kerry going off to China to talk about North Korea? What’s that going to do? The ludicrousness of it. What a waste of money. You’re going to go to the puppeteer and say, 'Can you help me with the puppet?' As far as Hillary, I guess I feel like my character in The Contender, Shelly Runyon. He doesn’t want Joan Allen to become president; he just believes she isn’t the right person for the job. It’s nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman, but he uses a bit of dirt on her to bring her down."

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Libertarian parties provide "fresh air from the fringe"

MIchael Den Tandt: Libertarians have it in them to provide fresh air from the fringe |

June 26, 2014 - "This country increasingly could benefit from a libertarian option that is healthy, voluble and represented in all 338 federal ridings. What’s remarkable is that the movement hasn’t flowered more fully before now.

"Let’s consider, first, the Libertarian Party of Canada; probably as good a representative of 'pure' libertarianism as you will find. As fringe parties go, our Libertarians define the genre. They fielded just a handful of candidates in Ontario and British Columbia in the last election, and in no riding won more than a few hundred votes.

"That’s likely because their policies are extreme. They advocate personal property rights, privacy rights, the right to free speech, gun rights, and all other individual rights, to the nth degree. They would place severe limitations on taxation and the size of government. They would adopt a policy of strict non-involvement in world affairs. They would cancel the minimum wage, and Medicare, and the Canada Pension Plan, and welfare. They would, of course, sell off the CBC. Oh, and they would end taxation. And that’s just for starters. Ack.

"But now consider the flip side, through a less swivel-eyed lens. What would a more moderate version of libertarianism, call it classical liberalism, have to say about some of the more intractable problems we face today? Libertarians believe in personal freedom and equality for every individual under the law. What might that look like, translated into policy in Canada in 2014?...

"A national libertarian or classical liberal movement would create pressure for greater responsibility and caution from governments at all levels in imposing new taxes, in borrowing, and in spending.

"Classical liberals are of course free traders; given greater influence they’d increase pressure on government to scrap dairy supply management, which is a carbuncle of interventionist, regressive, consumer-unfriendly policy left over from a bygone age. Libertarians would not tolerate inter-provincial trade barriers; nor could they countenance state-owned monopolies such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, or the big-beer compact.

"A classical liberal wave would send an equally refreshing gust of common sense blasting through some of our more insoluble social problems."

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Rand Paul, Cheney publicly feuding over Iraq

Rand Paul: Republicans Are "Too Eager for War" | Mother Jones - David Corn, Washington bureau:

June 27, 2014 - "On the Sunday morning television shows this past weekend — against the backdrop of an Iraq in flames — former Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued their ongoing feud and the battle for the (national security) soul of the Republican Party. In recent months, as Mother Jones has reported that Paul in 2009 accused Cheney of using 9/11 as an excuse to launch the Iraq invasion to benefit Halliburton (the corporation Cheney once led) and called on the GOP to disassociate itself with the former vice president, Cheney's allies have slammed the senator for expressing reckless positions. During a private speech in March, without mentioning Paul by name, Cheney contended that Paul's skepticism about US intervention abroad would endanger the United States. On ABC News' This Week on Sunday, Cheney explicitly assailed Paul as 'basically an isolationist' — a term of profound derision in the neocon wing of the GOP. Meanwhile, on Meet the Press, Paul was asked if Cheney could be considered a credible critic of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, and Paul, without saying Cheney's name, replied, 'The same questions could be asked of those who supported the Iraq war. You know, were they right in their predictions? Were there weapons of mass destruction there? That's what the war was sold on. Was democracy easily achievable?...They didn't really, I think, understand the civil war that would break out.' This was obviously a jab at the former vice president....

"In his recent dueling with Cheney and the neocons, Paul has eschewed his sharper critiques of the GOP. As he tries to broaden his political appeal — perhaps in preparation for a presidential bid — Paul has sheathed the harsher accusations and rhetoric. But as 2016 approaches and the battle for the GOP heats up, two questions remain: will Paul be able to continue practicing restraint and not share the full disgust with the Cheney/neocon crowd he formerly expressed, and will the neocons, hawks, and Cheneyites let Republicans forget what Paul has previously said?

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sarvis on Senate ballot, excluded from 1st debate

Va. Libertarian makes Senate ballot but blocked from debate - Bill Bartel, Virginian-Pilot:

June 26, 2014 - "Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis has earned a spot on the U.S. Senate ballot this fall, but organizers of the first debate said he’s not invited to join the two major party contenders when they face off next month.

"A Virginia State Board of Elections official said Thursday that Sarvis has been certified to be on the Nov. 4 ballot along with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Ed Gillespie.

"However, the Virginia Bar Association, which is hosting the first debate July 26 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., has determined that only Warner and Gillespie will be permitted to participate....

"Sarvis, 37, encountered similar debate exclusions last year when he ran unsuccessfully for governor. He garnered 146,084 votes - 6.5 percent of those cast - compared to 47.7 percent for the winner, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and 45.2 percent for Republican challenger Ken Cuccinelli.

"Sarvis, a Fairfax County native, has been a software engineer, mobile-ap developer and lawyer. He holds degrees from Harvard University, George Mason University and NYU law school."

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Libertarian national convention begins June 26 in Columbus, Ohio

Libertarian Party to build on record increases in support at national convention - Westmoreland Times:

June 25, 2014 - "Even as Republicans and Democrats are suffering sharp declines in voters who identify with them, the Libertarian Party is gearing up for their biennial national convention to build on record growth in the last two years.

"More than 500 Libertarians from all 50 states and around the world are convening in Columbus, Ohio, from Thursday, June 26, to Sunday, June 29, for the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention.

"'Libertarian Party voter registration in the United States has grown 11.4 percent since late 2012,' said LP Political Director Carla Howell, citing research by national ballot access expert Richard Winger.

"'Our members and candidates from across the country are excited to get together to network, to share success stories, and to continue building the only nationally organized political party that’s growing,' Howell said.

"According to Winger, the most recent figures available from state governments show that there were 368,561 registered Libertarians in March 2014, compared to 330,811 in November 2012."

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Libertarian changes dynamic of NH Senate race

Math gets dicey for Scott Brown with Libertarian in the equation | Boston Herald - David Paleologos:

June 20, 2014 - "Something big changed between our March and June Suffolk University/Boston Herald polls for the New Hampshire Senate race: Libertarian Gardner Goldsmith is now on the ballot.

"'A small leak can sink a great ship,' Benjamin Franklin once said. In politics a campaign can’t afford to leak votes away to other candidates, but that’s what’s happening to former Bay State Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign.

"Recent public polls that showed the Brown vs. Jeanne Shaheen race closer than her current 10-point lead in our poll did not list Goldsmith as a candidate. And if you don’t think third-party candidates mean anything in New Hampshire, think again....

"Goldsmith also got 4 percent of independents versus his 2 percent overall, which means the Libertarian is siphoning a greater share of independent voters away from Brown. Also, Goldsmith drew no registered Democrats, but 2 percent of registered Republicans, which comes off Brown’s tally, too.

"Part of winning is finding your slice of the pie while your opponents split the remainder. If you look at this three-way race as incumbent vs. challengers, the advantage goes to the Democrat because there are now two anti-Shaheen options. With the surge of women elected in the Granite State over the past few cycles, the gender advantage goes to Shaheen."

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Hess beats GOP challenge to make Arizona ballot

Arizona Republicans lose court challenge to keep Libertarian off ballot - West Palm Beach Libertarian | - Karl Dickey:

June 20, 2014 -  "Yesterday, June 19, 2014, Arizona Republican Kevin McNeill lost his court case against Libertarian Party Gubernatorial candidate Barry Hess to keep Hess off the November, 2014 ballot. Hess said yesterday of the lawsuit, 'it's just another Republican attempt to try to win by exclusion'....

"The lawsuit centered around McNeill's allegation that Hess did not have enough valid petitions signatures to qualify him to be on the ballot. Yesterday, the court dismissed McNeill's case because it found the signatures in dispute were valid. Had McNeill been victorious in his anti-free market of ideas effort, Hess would have been short by five signatures to qualify for the ballot.

"This is not the first attempt by Republicans to show their true anti-free market colors. Last year, the Republican-led Arizona legislature passed HB 2305 which would have made it a near impossibility for the Libertarian Party candidate to get on the state's ballot.

"In September of last year, Hess led the largest and most diverse coalition in Arizona history to send HB2305 to the ballot, instead–by Citizen’s Referendum. It was the first successful such effort in almost 30 years, with almost as many attempts.

"Republicans were set back on their heels and scrambled to repeal their own legislation in an effort to hide the issue from the Voters in November."

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Microstates with own governments goal of Seasteading Institute

US seasteading group plans floating 'microcountries' with 'start-up governments' | ABC Radio Australia:

June 10, 2014 - "A US organisation is hoping a plan to create cities which float on the ocean will see them not only produce their own food but establish their own governments.

"The Seasteading Institute says it hopes the floating microcountries will allow for experimentation with new ideas which current governments are too large to try.

"Seasteading communication director Joe Quirk says the floating cities create room for 'start-up governments'.

"'When you consider that nearly half the world's surface is a blank slate, unclaimed by existing governments, you see the potential in creating a thousand start-up governments in the sea,' he said....

"'We're creating, literally, a platform for anyone to try whatever kind of nation they want.'

"The Seasteading Institute says the first prototype city, made up of modular square or pentagon shaped platforms, could be built by 2020 and house about 225 people.

"Mr Quirk says they are looking for a nation to host the city in its shallow territorial waters and provide it with substantial political autonomy.

"'We hope that if we can set an example, provide some jobs and create some eco-cities that float in the shallow territorial waters, we'll set an example and show people that seasteads can be of benefit to the world,' he said."

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rand Paul is the target of Cheney's new org.

Dick Cheney’s new group is all about Rand Paul - Washington Post - Philip Bump, "The Fix":

June 18, 2014 - "The op-ed penned by former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday is probably what you'd expect from the Cheneys. It argues that President Obama's administration has weakened America's global standing; Obama, they write, 'seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch'....

"It should be apparent, though, that the Cheneys' target audience wasn't really America at large, and almost certainly wasn't liberals who are unlikely to reconsider their existing opinions of the former VP. Instead, the audience is Republicans. More specifically, Republicans inclined to support a 2016 candidacy by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

"The Journal essay is part of a PR push for the Cheneys' new group, Alliance for a Stronger America. The Cheneys also released a video explaining the rationale for the organization....

"Rand Paul is not a Dick Cheney Republican. The libertarian-leaning Paul has been widely described as isolationist, though his allies prefer 'non-interventionist.' He recently caused a stir when he suggested that he didn't support military action against a nuclear-armed Iran (though he later gave a more nuanced answer to that question).

"What's more, Paul has repeatedly been critical of Cheney personally, largely for Cheney's role in the Iraq War. And Cheney has been critical of Paul, attacking the senator last year over government surveillance.

"But in most recent polling, including by The Post, Paul leads (or is near the top of) the Republican field for 2016. The Republican that has most strongly opposed Dick Cheney is currently the most likely Republican to earn the party's nomination for president."

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Free State Project testing ground for freedom-enhancing technology

The Free State Project: A Libertarian Testing Ground For Bitcoin, 3D Printers, and Drones - Kashmir Hill, Forbes:

June 12, 2014 - "Long before billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel dreamed up the idea of a floating libertarian island nation, a 24-year-old Yale grad student named Jason Sorens proposed a far more down-to-earth experiment for those who wanted to live the limited government lifestyle: that a critical mass of 'freedom-loving people… establish residence in a small state and take over the state government.'

"The 'Free State Project' call to action was in 2001. By 2003, five thousand people agreed to take part and they held a vote to decide which low-population state would be the staging ground for the libertarianvasion, which would be triggered when 20,000 people signed on. New Hampshire (population: 1.3 million) won ... and early movers began trickling in to help the state fully realize its 'Live Free or Die' motto....

"Thirteen years later, there are over 2,000 Free Staters scattered around New Hampshire and the petition is now 4,000 signatures short of triggering the full move....

"I was invited to snowy New Hampshire this February ... because Free Staters were interested in two things I write about: Bitcoin and corporate privacy practices. I discovered that this isolated group has fully adopted Bitcoin, and that it’s extremely enthusiastic about other 'freedom-enhancing' technologies such as 3D-printers and encryption. Everyone I met in the Project owned Bitcoin and was willing to accept it for goods and services. Of the couple thousand people living there, at least seven own 3D-printers. Though the idea originally was to get a critical mass to influence the political process, many in the movement now feel that the freedoms they want may be better realized through technology that routes around the government rather than engaging it directly."

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Georgia LP nominee offers different approach as governor

Georgia Libertarian nominee offers a different approach as governor | Online Athens - Walter C. Jones, Morris News Service:

June 14, 2014 - "Andrew Hunt is as experienced in working wonders with small things as anyone.

"He earned 50 patents and two decades ago founded a 20-person nano-technology company that provides films, powders and other products for manufacturers. This newspaper page is 100,000 nanometers thick, and he’s accustomed to producing films only 10 nanometers thick. So, he may feel right at home in a campaign for governor that appears just as small.

"He’s up against the sitting governor, Republican Nathan Deal, who has already raised more than $8 million ...  and Jason Carter, the grandson of a U.S. president who’s already garnered more than $1 million.... Hunt hopes to raise $300,000, which would be more than 10 times what the last Libertarian raised....

"Hunt has some innovative proposals. He wants to save money on prisons by no longer locking up people convicted of “victimless crimes” like possession of marijuana. He would also effectively do away with the Department of Economic Development because he feels it’s wrong to give more attention, tax breaks, employee training or other benefits to any one company over another.

"Instead, to boost job creation he proposes having the state reimburse all employers for the employment taxes they pay because of federal laws, such as social security and unemployment insurance.... He stops short at picking up their penalty for not providing health insurance even though he acknowledges the Supreme Court ruled it was a tax."

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hair braiders sue three states over licensing laws

Libertarian-backed hair braiders sue three states over license requirements | Fashion | - Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian:

June 18, 2014 - "Hair braiders in three US states filed lawsuits this week calling cosmetology licensing regulations unconstitutional, in part because the licensing process does not require certificants to learn hair braiding techniques.

"With help from the libertarian Institute for Justice, plaintiffs in Washington, Missouri and Arkansas said the licensing process puts an unnecessary burden on braiders who would have to pay for and attend cosmetology or vocational school to obtain a license.

"'I think that it might reflect a lack of awareness of the nuances of black hairstyles by the people that are focused on establishing these type of regulations,' said Adia Harvey Wingfield, an associate professor at Georgia State University.

"Hair braiding is a natural technique that does not require chemicals or technical equipment and relies on specific, centuries-old processes that can take several hours to complete.

"But hair braiders in 24 states must still adhere to cosmetology regulations, even if they do not offer hair cutting, dying or other services that alter the structure of hair.

"After a similar lawsuit in 2005, Washington said it would not require hair braiders to obtain such licenses because braiding doesn’t include processes that alter hair structure in the way that haircuts and coloring services do. However, Salamata Sylla, the owner of a hair braiding salon and plaintiff in the new Washington suit, was told she could only continue braiding if she got a state license – which would require 1,600 hours of training and two examinations on services she does not offer, like beard-trimming."

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LP candidate for VT Governor promises mofongo

A Libertarian Latino Is Running For Vermont Governor, Would Celebrate With Mofongo | Fox News Latino - Elizabeth Llorente:

June 16, 2014 - "One of Vermont’s gubernatorial candidates says, jokingly, that if he wins, he will give out 'mofongo' to celebrate – that’s Spanish for a Puerto Rican mashed fried plantain dish.

"Dan Feliciano is the Libertarian Party nominee who is running on a platform that is, in a way, a mofongo of Republican and Democrat positions on various issues.

"The New York-born business consultant cites as priorities cutting taxes, bringing down spending, retaining businesses, and legalizing marijuana, among other things.

"'My platform is 80 percent of the Democratic platform and 80 percent of the Republican platform,' Feliciano said to Fox News Latino.

"His campaign website says he strongly believes 'that the government should not interfere with our personal freedoms … People should be empowered AND accountable to live the lives they chose.'"

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Libertarian solo show opens in LA

Maximum Verbosity Presents INDEFINITE ARTICLES: A LIBERTARIAN RAGE, 6/14-6/27 - Broadway World:

June 14, 2014 - "Maximum Verbosity is proud to present Indefinite Articles: A Libertarian Rage. Featuring playwright, actor and director Phillip Andrew Bennett Low, this political satire will fill the room with maximum verbosity, rage and comedy. The solo show will Open June 14th at Theatre Asylum's Elephant Studio. Tickets are $10.00.

"It's a midterm election year -- just the time for a collection of classic jokes, stories, and rants by libertarian activist and internationally touring storyteller Phillip Andrew Bennett Low! Pull up a chair, down some whiskey*, laugh, get angry, and tip your servers....

"Warning: This show contains profanity, graphic language, and other reckless exploitation of the First Amendment....

"Indefinite Articles: A Libertarian Rage Opens June 14th and runs through June 27th, 2014. The Venue is Theatre Asylum's Elephant Studio located at 1078 Lillian Way (Just south of Santa Monica & Lillian Way), Los Angeles, CA. 90038."

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vice-Pope puts case against libertarianism

Can you be Catholic and libertarian? - The Washington Post - Melinda Henneberger:

June 6, 2014 - "For years, American Catholics have been under pressure to vote Republican.... Now, though, the red papal loafer may be on the other foot, with economic conservatives being called out.

"In Washington this week, the cardinal some consider the pontiff’s 'vice-pope' mocked them outright at a conference called Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case against Libertarianism. The Religion News Service story on the smackdown of trickle-down ran under the headline, 'Catholic and libertarian? Pope’s top adviser says they’re incompatible.'

"That adviser, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was introduced by AFL-CIO president Richard L. Trumka, and preached against deregulation and 'worshipping idols, even if that idol is called "market economy".'  Rodríguez also called trickle-down economics a 'deception,' and said the 'invisible hand' of the market steals from and strangles the poor: 'We are no longer to trust the blind forces and the invisible hand of the market. This economy kills. This is what the pope is saying.'

"Some libertarians have described the pope’s economic views as naive and uninformed — and Rodríguez returned the favor. 'Many of these libertarianists do not read the social doctrine of the church, but now they are trembling before the book of Piketty,' he said, referring to French economist Thomas Piketty’s best-seller, “Capital in the Twenty-first Century, on the wealth disparities that have us headed into a new Gilded Age."

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What's behind the new crusade against capitalism

Catholics Against Capitalism | National Review Online - Kevin Williamson:

June 10, 2014 - "The errors of the Catholic hierarchy regarding the economy are the product of errors in its thinking regarding the state. Catholic thinking about the role of the state has evolved precious little since 'render unto Caesar,' even though there is, especially in the Christian world, a blessed shortage of Caesars just now, and has been for some time. The Catholic clergy still operate under the Romans 13 assumption that 'the powers that be are ordained of God'.... From the old royalist Right to the redistributionist Left, there is an implicit and sometimes explicit belief that the state is a channel for moral expression, whether that expression takes the form of entrenching traditional ideals about family life or of collaborating with the state in the seizure and redistribution of wealth....

"This is true even among the so-called conservatives. Consider John Paul II writing on the 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum:
If Pope Leo XIII calls upon the State to remedy the condition of the poor in accordance with justice, he does so because of his timely awareness that the State has the duty of watching over the common good and of ensuring that every sector of social life, not excluding the economic one, contributes to achieving that good, while respecting the rightful autonomy of each sector....
"But the state in fact has no way of knowing to any practical effect what the common good even is or how its policies might affect priorities relating to it.... Meanwhile, he also expects the state to determine just wages and union work rules, to administer unemployment insurance, to calculate the economic consequences of immigration, and a hundred other things that the state has no capacity for doing. Like Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga and others, he assumes that the state will act in the cause of justice for the poor rather than being the most ruthless and pitiless exploiter of the poor, as history, including the history of this country, very strongly suggests that it will be....

"'The case against libertarianism'? As usual, the most important part of the question goes unstated and unanswered: 'Compared with what?'"

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Saturday, June 14, 2014 reports "outrage" over Ontario LP ad

Thunder Bay election ad by Libertarian Party regarding First Nations sparks outrage | - Krystalline Kraus:

June 12, 2014 - "Ontario Libertarian Party candidate, Tamara Johnson, published a full page ad in Tuesday's Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal raising issue with First Nations communities and its treaty rights. For example:

 "The ad speaks to Voters and asks [sic]:
  • No group of people are above the law
  • No group of people can legally block our roads and rail lines
  • No group of people are entitled to handouts
"And speaks to Tax Payers and asks [sic]:
  • Help me stop this doctrine of entitlement 
  • Help me stop the inequality 
  • Help me stop the injustice 
"At the end of the ad, she asks Thunder Bay residents to vote 'for their future'....

"While the Libertarian Party of Ontario stand behind their right to freedom of speech, Anishinabek Nation communications director, Maurice Switzer, feels differently. In an CBC interview, he said the ad, "falsely paints First Nations people as lawbreakers by using terms like 'illegal' blockades and 'no group of people are above the laws of Ontario'"....

In a Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) press release dated the day after the original Libertarian Party ad was published, NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno stated, "The statements made by Libertarian candidate Tamara Johnson are outrageous and disparaging against First Nations and our Treaty rights. All citizens have the right to express their opinions, but we strongly disagree with the dissemination of information that is factually incorrect and appears to be racially motivated."

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Montana Libertarians in 1st congressional debates

Libertarian candidate to join Montana U.S. Senate debate - Mike Dennison:

June 13, 2014 - "Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Roger Roots will be on the stage Saturday in the race’s first general-election debate – and the campaign of Republican Steve Daines is none too happy about it.

"'You can’t do an Internet search on Roger Roots without coming across a racist or offensive comment that he has made,' said Brock Lowrance, Daines' campaign manager. 'There is no room for racism in civil dialogue, and it does not reflect who we are as Montanans.'

Yet Democratic U.S. Sen. John Walsh, the third candidate in the race, is not objecting – and, in fact, has made it a point to invite Roots to take part in future debates among the three U.S. Senate candidates....

"Roots, who now disavows his racist past and said 'I haven’t uttered a racist remark in 15 years,' will join Daines and Walsh at a televised debate Saturday in Butte, sponsored by the Montana Newspaper Association.

"Mike Fellows of Missoula, the Libertarian running for the U.S. House, also will appear Saturday at the same event, joining fellow House candidates Democrat John Lewis and Republican Ryan Zinke at their own, separate debate....

"Roots said he knows some Republicans think Libertarians are to blame for the GOP losing close races for the U.S. Senate and governor in 2012, when Libertarians polled well and the Democrat won with less than 50 percent of the vote. But he believes Libertarians draw votes away from both Democrats and Republicans.

"'(Republicans) have no one to blame but themselves if they think their libertarian voters are going to vote Libertarian,' he said, noting that Montana Republicans have supported big-government, anti-libertarian stands on many issues, like opposing medical marijuana and supporting restrictions on abortion."

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Right-to-die bill passed in Quebec

Quebec first province to adopt right-to-die legislation - The Globe and Mail - Rheal Seguin, Quebec City:

June 5, 2014 - "In a historic vote in the National Assembly, Quebec has become the first province to legalize doctor-assisted death as part of comprehensive end-of-life legislation.

"Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, received broad support on Thursday from nearly 80 per cent of MNAs. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard allowed his caucus to vote according to their conscience. The 22 MNAs who voted against were all Liberals, including 10 cabinet ministers....

"The controversial issue is being widely discussed across the country.

"The Supreme Court of Canada is taking another look at whether Criminal Code provisions against assisted dying violate the rights of the gravely ill. It is expected to rule in the fall.

"The B.C. Civil Liberties Association brought that case after the federal government successfully appealed a lower court ruling that those rights were indeed being transgressed and gave Parliament a year to rewrite the law.

"Meanwhile, Conservative [Party of Canada] MP Steven Fletcher has introduced two private members bills that, together, would allow doctors to help people die in a restricted set of circumstances."

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brat beats Cantor in Virginia GOP primary

Who Is David Brat? A Look At The Economics Professor Who Toppled Eric Cantor - Thomas Barrabi, Mother Jones:

June 11, 2004 - "The Republican Party is reeling Wednesday after David Brat, a little-known economics professor at Randolph-Macon College and devout Roman Catholic, dealt House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., a stunning loss in Tuesday’s congressional primary.

"At the moment, political pundits on both sides of the aisle are fixated on Brat, but the 52-year-old academic remains something of an enigma. Through support from some elements within the Tea Party and a grassroots campaign that espoused greater fiscal responsibility, a crackdown on illegal immigration and the repeal of Obamacare, Brat managed to overcome Cantor’s vast advantages in campaign funding and name recognition....

"Brat's faith played a role in shaping his career as a scholar; he earned a master’s degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. It also informs his political beliefs — a deep conviction that the GOP, and Cantor in particular, has gone astray, and must return to its original mandate: 'Free markets, equal protection under the law, fiscal responsibility, constitutional restraint, strong military and belief in God,' he said, according to NPR.

"In addition, the self-described 'free-market, Milton Friedman economist' has served as the chairman of the department of economics and business at Randolph-Macon College -- a small liberal arts school in Ashland, Virginia -- since 2005....

"Though not an avowed libertarian, Brat has ties to the Cato Institute, the leading libertarian think tank in Washington. He heads BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism program at Randolph-Macon, which is funded by John Allison, president of Cato. He’s also studied Ayn Rand at length; in 2010, he co-authored a paper titled “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations of Ayn Rand.”

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ontario Libertarian candidate campaigns on Tinder

Trinity-Spadina Ontario Libertarian candidate woos voters on Tinder | Toronto Star - Graham Slaughter:

June 10, 2014 - "Much like love, wooing voters sometimes requires dabbling in the art of seduction.

"That’s how MPP hopeful Andrew Echevarria sees it. The Ontario Libertarian Party candidate for Trinity-Spadina is using Tinder to connect with young people in the downtown riding, hoping to score votes the same way others score dates.

"'I catch their eye,' said Echevarria, who joined the online dating app recently. 'Tinder is a great moment to catch someone when they’re just hanging out.' Toronto Tinder users may recognize the dark-haired, well-suited Echevarria... He set his search limit to the scope of the riding and has already been inundated with love connections....

"'Tired of dating the same old politicians who lie just to get your ballot? Hook up with Liberty!' he teases, listing his age as 24....

"While it might sound like a gimmick, the neuroscience grad from the University of Toronto said he genuinely believes Tinder is an effective way of enticing students and young professionals who are unfamiliar with libertarian politics, which he says are defined by 'the protection of individual rights and freedoms.'

"'The smallest minority in the world is the individual,' said Echevarria, quoting novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. He said he supports small businesses, advocates for market competition and says affordable post-secondary education is a top priority.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

19-year-old running for Ontario Libertarians

Wright running for Libertarian Party | Woodstock Sentinel Review - Tara Bowie:

May 28, 2014 - "His vision for Ontario includes the government being held to the same standards as citizens.

"Devin Wright has put his name in the political ring and is running for the Libertarian Party in this year’s provincial election.

"'I am the 19-year-old Libertarian candidate for Oxford County, and I am here because I have a passion. That passion is to bring liberty and choice back to Ontario,' he wrote in an email to the Sentinel-Review....

"'I don't want to sit around and let Ontario be thrown in the gutter in the name of socialism. I chose to run for the Libertarian Party of Ontario because I am a firm believer in the free market, non-aggression principle, and strong individual rights....

"'“The Libertarian party stands apart from the big 3 because instead of only advocating for social or economic freedom, we advocate for the maximum of both....

"'No one else is Wright for Oxford, so choose freedom and vote Wright!' he said."

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Libertarians shaking up 3 southern U.S. races

Southern-Fried Freedom Lovers Propel Libertarian Candidates - The Daily Beast - Patricia Murphy:

June 5, 2014 - "Drawing surprisingly high support, a trio of Libertarian candidates has the potential to disrupt already tight races in the Deep South, where Democrats and Republicans are waging epic battles for Florida governor, Georgia governor, and one of North Carolina’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

"In Georgia, nanotechnologist Andrew Hunt is polling at 9 percent in the governor’s race, which is otherwise a dead heat between incumbent Republican Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter. In North Carolina, the headlines have focused on the Thom Tillis-Sen. Kay Hagan face-off in November, but quietly amassing 11 percent in the contest is Sean Haugh, the Libertarian candidate running on an anti-war agenda. And in Florida, Adrian Wyllie will be on the November ballot with Gov. Rick Scott and former governor Charlie Crist. Although Wyllie is polling at 4 percent, he’s at 10 percent with Florida’s all-important independent voters and will be on the same November ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana....

"'I think it’s more of a positive identification with Libertarian ideas more than just a willingness to try something different,' Haugh said of his race this time around. 'The word is not new anymore. They know it’s out there and they know what it means.'

"All three Libertarian campaigns said they see the rest of the country coming around to longtime Libertarian positions on federal spending, gay marriage, the war on drugs, privacy, and ending wars overseas. But it is the disgust with both major parties that seems to be animating many of their new voters."

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

NY Times front-pages 1980 Libertarian campaign

Quixotic ’80 Campaign Gave Birth to Kochs’ Powerful Network - - Nicholas Confessiore, Sunday New York Times, A1:

May 17, 2014 - ""He backed the full legalization of abortion and the repeal of laws that criminalized drug use, prostitution and homosexuality. He attacked campaign donation limits and assailed the Republican star Ronald Reagan as a hypocrite who represented 'no change whatsoever' from Jimmy Carter and the Democrats.

"It was 1980, and the candidate was David H. Koch, a 40-year-old bachelor living in a rent-[controlled] apartment in New York City. Mr. Koch, the vice-presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, and his older brother Charles, one of the party’s leading funders, were mounting a long-shot assault on the fracturing American political establishment.

"The Kochs had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the burgeoning libertarian movement.... By the end of 1974, [Charles] Koch had helped found what would become the Cato Institute, today one of the country’s leading libertarian research institutions. He was joined in that effort by Ed Crane, chairman of the three-year-old Libertarian Party. The two men believed that libertarian ideas had to be more accessible to the average person if they were to change the country. Over dinners at Charles Koch’s house in Wichita, Kan., and in correspondence with both brothers and their mother, Mr. Crane worked to persuade the family that a vibrant party organization was critical to advancing that goal.

"The family would become the Libertarian Party’s most important donors....

"The Supreme Court handed the Kochs an important weapon in a 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo. The court opened two loopholes in a two-year-old campaign finance law that had placed tight controls on what candidates, parties, and private individuals could spend on campaigns: A candidate could spend an unlimited amount of his or her money running for office, and an individual was free to spend an unlimited amount of money promoting candidates so long as the spending was not coordinated with them.

The next three years witnessed the birth of the Koch political apparatus. Charles Koch sought to recruit like-minded businessmen who would invest in the libertarian cause, an embryonic version of the Koch-supervised donor club that poured $400 million into the 2012 campaign."

“'Charles was giving as much to the Libertarians as he was paying out in dividends,' William [Koch] told The Times in a 1986 interview. 'Pretty soon we would get the reputation that the company and the Kochs were crazy'... William Koch tried to seize control of the company in a boardroom coup. He accused Charles of mismanaging the firm and set in motion a bitter legal battle....

"Within a few years, a new faction won control of the Libertarian Party, and Charles and David Koch gradually withdrew."

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Libertarian leader condemns Moncton shootings

Libertarian leader in northern Alberta condemns Moncton shootings - Edmonton Journal:

June 5, 2014 - "Recently nominated federal Libertarian Party [of Canada] leader Tim Moen, a fire captain in Fort McMurray, was stunned Thursday to learn a man sought in the shooting deaths of three Mounties has shared a link on Facebook to one of his campaign ads.

"The subject of a manhunt in Moncton, N.B., Justin Bourque shared an image on March 19 of Moen beside an ad in which he stated: 'I saw a movie once where only the police and the military had guns. It was called Schindler’s List'....

"Describing himself as feeling sick to his stomach over the Moncton violence, Moen said, 'As an emergency services worker myself, I am heartbroken and feel like the wind has been knocked out of me by what happened to these individuals who put themselves in harm’s way and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"'I’d like to take this opportunity to strongly condemn the shooter’s actions and those of anyone who seeks to needlessly harm and threaten the lives of the brave men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line protecting our communities every day.'

"Moen, who was working at his job as a firefighter on Thursday, also said that Bourque was not a member, nor had he ever donated money to the Libertarian Party.

"'Consideration for life and safety is the No. 1 principle of both responsible gun ownership and libertarianism as an ideology,' Moen said."

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Federal court dismisses Ohio LP's ballot appeal

Federal court won’t rehear Libertarian Earl’s case | Columbus Dispatch: - Julie Carr Smith:

June 4, 2014 - "A Libertarian candidate for Ohio governor had his hopes dashed today, when a federal appeals court in Cincinnati declined to rehear his appeal seeking access to the state ballot.

"The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the last stop for candidate Charlie Earl.

"Ohio’s elections chief disqualified Earl from the primary election after his nominating petitions were challenged. Secretary of State Jon Husted agreed with a hearing officer who found that two Earl petitioners failed to properly disclose their employers.

"Libertarians sought to reinstate Earl’s ballot status, arguing Husted’s decision was unconstitutional and conflicted with prior rulings of the office allowing them to submit signatures without declaring an employer.

"A federal judge ruled against the party.... A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit upheld that decision.... The Libertarian Party of Ohio appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case.

"The party’s latest request sought a review by the full 6th Circuit.

"Earl’s candidacy had the potential to draw votes from Republican Gov. John Kasich as he faces Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald.... It’s expected to be among closely watched races around the country this fall."

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Libertarian Overby in 2-person race in Florida CD

Democrats' blunders open door to Libertarian facing David Jolly - John Romano, Tampa Bay Times:

May 31, 2014 - "Lucas Overby should blow kisses to local Democrats. They not only did a spectacular job of bungling the Congressional District 13 race for themselves, but they opened the door for Overby, who hadn't planned on running....

"Because their party honchos failed to act with any A) urgency B) vision C) strategy D) brain activity whatsoever, there will be no Democrat on the ballot in the fall....

"Overby, 27, ... points out that the Libertarian platform is broader than those of the two major parties, and it allows for right-leaning and left-leaning candidates. For instance, Overby ... is prochoice, supports LGBT issues and favors the federal legalization of medical marijuana.

"His progressive streak led him to work with the Rev. Manuel Sykes on his campaign in April before Democratic leaders bullied Sykes into dropping out. Within a week, Overby had decided to re-enter the race....

"Overby also hopes to pick off mainstream Republicans who disagree with some of Jolly's hard-right stances. Voting for a Libertarian will carry little risk for Republicans in this race because there is no Democrat to benefit from the split vote....

"Overby got roughly 5 percent of the vote in March with Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink on the ballot. His numbers will increase with no Democrat around."

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Snowden: U.S. had info needed to detect 9/11 plot

NBC Censors Snowden’s Critical 9/11 Comments From Prime Time Audience | Global Research - Mikael Thalen, Centre for Research on Globalization:

May 30, 2014 - "Statements made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden regarding the 9/11 terror attacks were edited out of his NBC Nightly News interview with Brian Williams Wednesday in what appears to be an attempt to bolster legitimacy for the agency’s controversial surveillance programs....

"'You know this is a key question that the 9/11 commission considered, and what they found in the postmortem when they looked at all the classified intelligence from all the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States, to detect this plot,' Snowden said.

"'The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.'

"NBC’s decision to bury Snowden’s comments are unsurprising given the fact that the 9/11 attacks are exhaustively used by the federal government as the prime justification for surveilling millions of innocent Americans.

"Snowden remarked on the government’s prior knowledge of the accused Boston bombers as well, also cut from the prime time interview. ''If we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass-surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world, didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country or are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life,' Snowden said."

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Sell Ontario Northland under right conditions, says Libertarian

Sell the ONTC says Libertarian candidate...maybe! - Jeff Turl, BayToday:

June 2, 2014 - "Derek Elliott, Libertarian Candidate For Nipissing MPP, knows that's not a popular view, but says there is no bigger issue in this riding right now than the ONTC [Ontario Northland Transportation Commission] divestment.

"'We are for people having diverse, affordable and available transportation options. We are for the free market being allowed to provide options that people want. The Ontario Libertarian Party and I are against tax dollars funding any corporation whether it be public or private.'

"That said, Elliott believes the goal is to be saving tax payer dollars.

"'And if selling ONTC will result in more expenses than it occurs now it would be ridiculous to sell it off. We definitely want an end goal with the organization to eventually get it off government books. I personally believe we have the best skilled and hardest working people in that industry right here in North Bay and if we can create an environment that would allow a private organization to step in and operate so these skilled workers can keep the long tradition of rail work in this city myself and the Ontario Libertarian Party will do just that.

"'I am aware there will be some that will not like that position but I will always give an honest answer on the issue and not play politics with these people['s] livelihoods,' Elliott continued."

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Democrats run against 1980 Libertarian platform

The Next Level Of The Anti-Koch Campaign: Treat David Koch Like A Candidate For Office - Evan Morris-Santoro, Buzzfeed:

April 1, 2014 - "In 1980, David Koch ran in and funded a presidential campaign that called Social Security 'The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme' and promised to abolish and replace it.

"In 2014, Democrats are hoping to use that fact to tar the Republicans he and his brother Charles are bankrolling in 2014. Welcome to the next phase of the Democrats’ anti-Koch strategy this year: Treat the Kochs like a candidate for office and try to make Republicans answer for the Kochs’ libertarian ideology.

"Democrats have already painted the Kochs as a shadowy pair pouring millions into the political process for their own ends. In recent months Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made almost a daily point of invoking their names, calling them 'moles'... In North Carolina, supporters of Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan ... say Republicans benefitting from Koch spending need to say whether or not they agree with statements like the one about Social Security in 1980.

"David Koch didn’t actually write the book that called for the abolition of Social Security, but he was the main driver of the presidential campaign that pushed for it in 1980. Koch ran as vice president on the Libertarian ticket helmed by Ed Clark, but according to a 1980 New York magazine report on the race was selected by Libertarian party leaders as VP candidate before Clark was selected to run for president, mostly because of his ability to give their campaign effort more money than it had ever seen before....

"And so, using a copy of Clark’s 1980 campaign book A New Beginning as a jump-off point, Hagan’s supporters are beginning to vet Koch as a candidate for office, shopping around the kind of opposition research campaigns usually send out on their opponents."

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