Saturday, January 31, 2015

Marijuana is fastest-growing industry in U.S.

Here's How Fast The Marijuana Industry Is Growing, In 5 Charts - Matt Ferner, Huffington Post:

January 29, 2015 - "The marijuana industry is booming, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down in the near future.

"Legal marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the United States, according to a new report from researchers at The ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment and research firm based in Oakland, California. In the next two years, a flurry of states are expected to consider the legalization of recreational marijuana. A majority of Americans continue to support full legalization, nationally, and by 2016, it's entirely possible that marijuana could be a wedge issue in the presidential election.

"'These are exciting times, and new millionaires and possibly billionaires are about to be made, while simultaneously society will become safer and freer,' Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group and publisher of the third edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets, said in the executive summary of the report. 'We believe that the development of a responsible, politically engaged, and profitable, legal cannabis industry will hasten the day when not a single adult in the world is punished for this plant.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, January 30, 2015

LP of Alabama announces ballot access coalition

Libertarian Party of Alabama calls for ballot access law reforms, announces issue coalition |

Janurary 6, 2015 - "The Libertarian Party of Alabama is pleased to announce our coalition with Alabama for Our America Initiative, Let Bama Vote, Alabama for Ballot Access Law Equality, and other partner organizations to lobby the legislature to ease ballot access barriers for candidates running outside the establishment parties. Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has confirmed that he intends to again introduce a bill to lower the number of signatures for newly-qualifying parties, from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote to 1.5%. The purpose of our coalition is to raise awareness of Alabama unfair ballot access laws and to encourage our supporters to contact their legislators to demand change....

"In 2014, Alabama was one (1) of only four (4) states that did not have candidates other than the two (2) traditional party candidates on the November ballot for statewide office. Additionally, Alabama was the only state with an entirely unopposed United States Senate race and four (4) unopposed statewide offices.

"In 2004, 2008, and 2012, Alabama was part of a small minority of states where the national minor party presidential campaigns, including the Libertarians and Greens, could only appear on the ballot as Independents. Alabama has had no Federal or Statewide independent or minor party candidates on the ballot since 2002....

"Even with the record low voter turnout in the November 2014 general election, ballot access would require the collection of approximately 36,000 valid signatures of registered voters statewide, around 5,000 valid signatures for a single Congressional race, and approximately 400 valid signatures in any one of the state's 105 House districts. This signature threshold is the second highest in the country for statewide office and among the highest for any political office."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Libertarian-Democratic civil rights alliance emerging

Rand Paul's Crazy Dream of a Libertarian-Democratic Alliance on Civil Rights Is Actually Happening - Bloomberg Politics - David Wiegel:

January 29, 2015 - "On the morning before attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch would face Congress, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul re-introduced a bill that would tie her hands. Paul and a crew of congressmen — Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, Michigan Representative Tim Walberg — had resurrected the Fifth Amendment Integrity Act. If passed, it would restrict the government’s ability, from the Department of Justice on down to local cops, to seize property from criminal suspects.

"'We’ve had protests across our country, and people think it’s about one or two instances,' Paul said from the rostrum. 'No. It’s one thing after another. Let’s say you’ve got a poor family in aneighborhood in a big city, and grandmother owns the house. The 15-year old son is selling marijuana. They catch him. They take the house! The house was the only stabilizing thing in a family that was having trouble.'

"Ellison, a black Democrat who was the first Muslim elected to Congress, stood by Paul as he summoned the ghosts of the Civil Rights movement.

"'Martin Luther King talked about there being two Americas, where one America was treated in a just fashion and one wasn't,' Paul said. 'At one point it was based on color, and it was awful. Now it’s not so much based on color on purpose, but there is an inadvertent sense to the war on drugs that has allowed people of color to be caught up in this.'

"This was Rand Paul, national figure and likely presidential candidate, and Democrats needed him. And this was still somewhat new to them. Paul had begun his Senate career in 2011 by slicing up red meat, introducing a doomed bill to ban abortions and a budget proposal that zeroed out foreign aid. He’d started the second Obama administration with a campaign of outreach to black students and black leaders, and a vocal campaign to restore the voting rights of felons. Democrats could say this and the media shrugged; Rand Paul said it, and the notebooks came out."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Libertarian think tank hires ex-Wikimedia counsel

Ex-Wikimedia Counsel Takes Libertarian Think Tank GC Job | Corporate Counsel - Andrew Ramonas:

January 23, 2015 - "Mike Godwin, a former top lawyer for Wikipedia operator Wikimedia Foundation Inc., will serve as the first general counsel and innovation policy director for the libertarian think tank R Street Institute, the Washington, D.C.-based group announced Thursday.

"Godwin will start work Monday. He most recently was a senior policy adviser at media training organization Internews.

"He said he has deep respect for R Street's work, noting the group's interest in protecting the Internet and its users. Last year, for example, R Street pushed Congress to approve legislation that would rein in the surveillance power of the National Security Agency....

"Godwin said he expects to spend a 'great majority' of his time working on innovation policy, focusing on privacy, intellectual property and free speech, among other issues. But he said he agreed to take the GC role to help ensure that R Street's legal needs are met....

"In addition to Wikimedia and Internews, Godwin has worked as a staff counsel for Internet-rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation and as a columnist for ALM Media, the parent company of and The National Law Journal.

"'I’ve admired Mike from afar for years and I’m delighted that he’s joining the team at R Street,' R Street President Eli Lehrer said in a statement. 'He’s the absolute best person we could possibly imagine for this job, and we are eager for him to bring his knowledge on board.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Clement is LP of Canada candidate in Oakville

Oakville’s Clement runs as Libertarian in new Oakville North-Burlington riding - Michael Gregory, Oakville Beaver:

January 18, 2015 - "Oakville’s David Clement has been nominated as the Libertarian Party of Canada’s candidate for the new Oakville North-Burlington riding in the upcoming federal election later this year.

"'I am extremely excited about the opportunity to represent the residents of Oakville and Burlington in Ottawa,' Clement said. 'I’m running for Parliament to give voters the option of voting for principled, small government again.'

"Clement is a native of Oakville and attended Wilfrid Laurier University, where he earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and a Masters in International Relations. "He grew up playing hockey for the Oakville Rangers and attended White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville.

"Clement has also volunteered for numerous local charities over the years....

"Clement said he now works locally in the consulting field and is looking forward to hopefully taking 'both fiscally prudent and socially liberal' policies to Ottawa.

"'The Conservatives have failed voters, and unfortunately the Liberals and NDP are not offering the type of change that will make a difference today or in the foreseeable future,' he said.

"'The Libertarian Party of Canada, on the other hand, is a renewed party that is eager and committed to bring accountability and honesty back to the table.'" 

Read more:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Liberals veto Jodie Emery as federal candidate

Liberals send a message by refusing to allow Jodie Emery to seek nomination in Vancouver East | Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly - Charlie Smith:

January 17, 2015 - "The news that came over Jodie Emery's Twitter feed was terse and direct.

"'At 3:58pm I received an email from the Liberal Green Light Committee informing me they are not recommending me to be a nomination candidate,' she wrote.

"Emery, wife of marijuana-legalization crusader Marc Emery, had hoped to become the Liberal candidate in Vancouver East.

"She went through the usual bureaucracy that comes with seeking a nod from a federal party.

"Emery demonstrated that she doesn't have a criminal record. She certainly has a long history of involvement in community issues. But apparently, that didn't satisfy party apparatchiks.

"So her opportunity to seek a nomination was nixed.

"The news was leaked late on a Friday afternoon to minimize media coverage.

"Despite the lack of respect shown Emery, she will still support the Liberals in the next election because they're the only major party promising legalization of marijuana."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Let jihadis leave the country; don't let them return

Modest libertarian proposal: Keep jihadis out - Ilana Mercer, World Net Daily:

January 22, 2015 - "In the waning months of 2014, Quebecer Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in the back, at Canada’s National War Memorial in Ottawa. Zehaf-Bibeau then stormed Parliament, but was dispatched by a sergeant-at-arms before he could do further harm.

"The mother of the martyr, Susan Bibeau, is a 'deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.' Mrs. Bibeau has done quite well as a Canadian bureaucrat, acquiring 'homes in Montreal and Ottawa.' Her errant son told mommy dearest of 'his desire to travel to Syria,' a fact she revealed only ... following Zehaf-Bibeau’s lone-wolf, wilding rampage on Parliament Hill.... In any event, it transpires that said authorities had been investigating Zehaf-Bibeau, but had yet to determine whether or not to confiscate his passport.

"Before Michael Zehaf-Bibeau came another Quebecer called Martin Couture-Rouleau. Like Bibeau, Rouleau went to war with his countrymen upon converting to Islam. He rammed his car into two Canadian Forces members near Montreal, one of whom died of his injuries.

"According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Couture-Rouleau was known to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS, and had been closely monitored. These authorities were confident that Couture-Rouleau and 90 other suspected extremists 'intended to join militants fighting abroad.'

"So what did the Canadian security apparatus do to forestall an attack on Canadian soil?.... The Mounties tried to 'talk Couture-Rouleau down'.... Convinced that the therapeutic intervention succeeded, the Mounties then stopped monitoring him. Oh, and they also took away Couture-Rouleau’s passport....

"The Canadian government continues to 'revoke passports from extremists so as to prevent them from traveling to-and-fro Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State (ISIS).' Oddly, the same government will often opt to charge jihad-minded men with 'attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity.'


"Revoking a home-based jihadist’s travel documents is worse than dumb; it is a dereliction of duty. It demonstrates that whatever it does, the state acts irrationally – and certainly against the interests of those whose safety it has been entrusted to protect.

"Naturally, no individual should be arrested for harboring wicked thoughts or hanging with wicked people. But when he leaves the Occident with the intent to train to wage war on his neighbors – this jihadi must be stopped from re-entering the good country."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 24, 2015

How Rand Paul is helping to reinvent the GOP

How Rand Paul Is Helping To Reinvent Republicans - Emily Cadei, OZY, Huffington Post:

January 22, 2015 - "It’s true that the Republican Party remains a lot older, whiter and male-er than the American population as a whole. But that doesn’t mean the party isn’t changing — it’s just not changing in a way that’s always visible to the naked eye. In fact, the GOP is undergoing a kind of evolution as it figures out how to maintain unity among its pro-business, social conservative and libertarian factions. Those dividing lines are going to be on sharp display as the 2016 presidential campaigns gear up.

"Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is, of course, the poster child for the libertarian movement within the party, but he’s not the only one embracing a more laissez-faire attitude on certain issues, such as drugs and gay marriage, that social conservatives abhor. More mainstream Republicans, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also offer some crossover appeal on social issues. Paul lines up with the pro-business side in supporting President Barack Obama’s recent moves to ease the long-standing embargo on Cuba. Where they diverge is on spending, particularly on government programs that benefit the business community. There, the right wing and the libertarian movement are on the same page, happy to whack away at spending even at the expense of businesses.

"And that’s not the only new breed of Republican trying to shake up the party. Outside Washington, OZY has found some young conservatives eager to bring a fresh voice to a political brand not known for being terribly plugged into the cadences of youth. Marilinda Garcia of New Hampshire, a harpist in her early 30s, didn’t win her election to Congress this fall, but she proved a far more formidable candidate than most people expected. Another 30-something, San Jose policeman Scott Erickson, is also making waves with his outspoken conservative stances on policing, privacy and counterterrorism. But they’re both veterans compared to 12-year-old Coreco Pearson Jr., who’s campaigning to lower Georgia’s age requirement for running for office."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vermont Libertarian candidate joins Republicans

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Dan Feliciano joins Republican Party - VTDigger - Tom Brown:

January 14, 2015 -"The third-place finisher in the race for Vermont governor is switching parties.

"Dan Feliciano, who received 8,428 votes (4.4 percent) in November, is leaving the Libertarian Party to become a Republican, he said Wednesday.

"Feliciano, 51, said he has much in common with the Vermont GOP and said its larger base would give him a better chance to win in 2016.

"Feliciano, who was vice chairman of the state Libertarian Party, said he was interested in another run for governor but might consider vying for a lower statewide office....

"Feliciano brought media attention to the Vermont Libertarian Party by seeking the Republican nomination via a write-in campaign in the August primary. That bid fell short as Scott Milne easily won the GOP spot on the November ballot.

"The move caused friction among Libertarians, some of whom bristled at Feliciano’s attempt to run on both tickets. Some Republicans also criticized his attempt while others embraced his candidacy as an alternative to Milne....

"During his campaign, Feliciano was a strong opponent of Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin’s plan for publicly financed health care at a time when Milne was wavering on the issue. That resonated with many Republican voters who share Libertarian views on small government and fiscal restraint."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Libertarian response to State of the Union (video)

Watch the Libertarian Party’s Response to Obama: ‘We Need to Massively Downsize and Defund the Federal Government’ | - Pete Kasperowich:

January 21, 2015 - "Arvin Vohra, vice chair of the National Libertarian Committee, said Obama’s solutions on education, minimum wage, taxes, Internet privacy and healthcare were all aimed at increasing the size of the federal government. Vohra said those ideas, and even those being advanced by many Republicans, are all about letting the government take more control over people’s lives.

"'We need to massively downsize and defund the federal government,' he said. 'But Republican and Democratic politicians only want to make it bigger.'

"Vohra said Obama’s speech, and the GOP reaction to it, show that only Libertarians have any interest in reducing the size of the federal government.

"'When you vote for a Democrat or Republican, it tells them, "Keep doing what you’re doing",' Vohra said. “But when you vote for a Libertarian, it tells them, in no uncertain terms, "You have neither my approval nor my permission to grow or sustain Big Government. Shrink it now."'

"For example, Obama on Tuesday night formally proposed a federal program to make community college 'free,' a plan that would cost an estimated $60 billion over ten years. But Vohra said college would be more affordable if government got out of the business of subsidizing it.

"'Without subsidies and costly mandates, competition will force colleges to decrease their tuition or go out of business,' he said. 'Massive student debt would be a thing of the past.'

"He also said the Department of Education needs to be abolished, along with the Common Core program....

"Vohra said he agrees with Obama’s claim to want an Internet that protects people’s privacy, but said Obama’s words don’t match his actions.

"'You have funded and enabled the surveillance state,' Vohra said. 'To protect privacy, Libertarian candidates have pledged to defund the NSA’s mass surveillance program, repeal the Patriot Act, and massively downsize and consolidate redundant spy agencies.'

"And on healthcare, Vohra said neither Republicans nor Democrats have found the will to repeal Obamacare, and said the Libertarian Party has pledged to repeal that law and make other changes to promote lower costs and higher quality."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

U.S. government limits asset forfeiture - a little

Why Eric Holder's civil forfeiture reforms can't keep police from taking your stuff - Vox - German Lopez:

Januray 20, 2015 - "On Friday, the federal government announced a substantial change to a program that allows police to keep cash, cars and property without charging anyone with a crime. Initial reports were enthusiastic and exaggerated the scope of the change, suggesting Attorney General Eric Holder was preventing local and state cops from seizing property entirely. Now, activists are pushing back.

"What the Department of Justice actually announced on Friday was a set of new restrictions on the federal Equitable Sharing Program, which transfers proceeds from seized property to the local and state police departments who made the seizure. The change may affect less than 15 percent of the revenue local and state police departments get from the federal program. While that could have a major impact on some of the worst abuses by police, it falls far short of ending the program altogether — and many of the exploits it enables....

"The federal Equitable Sharing Program, expanded through the war on drugs in the 1980s, allows local and state police departments to seize private property allegedly used for criminal purposes, even without evidence of a crime, and share the proceeds with federal agencies.... Critics of civil asset forfeitures say the federal program creates a profit incentive for police, since the seizures can be used by cops to fund their own departments. A previous Washington Post investigation found police routinely seized property without any evidence of wrongdoing. And police used the proceeds to buy things many critics view as excessive, the Post found — from armored cars and military weapons to $600 coffeemakers and party clowns....

"Holder's order only curtails 'adoptions' that are requested through the federal program by a local or state police department working on its own. It still allows local and state police to seize and keep assets when working with federal authorities on an investigation.... The exemption for joint investigations with the feds could leave more than 80 percent of the money captured by local and state police through the federal program untouched."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Libertarians set record in ten 2014 Senate races

Libertarians Notch Record-Setting Cycle in 2014 US Senate Elections - Smart Politics - Eric Ostermeier:

January 16, 2015 - "Nominees from the nation's largest third party set records in 10 states last cycle for the largest support ever recorded in a U.S. Senate election....

"A Smart Politics analysis finds the Libertarian Party set records for the best showing in a U.S. Senate race in 10 of the 20 states in which it fielded a candidate in 2014.

"Overall, voters had the option of voting for a Libertarian candidate in 20 of the 36 general and special elections held last November.

"These 20 candidates averaged 2.5 percent of the vote with a high water mark of 4.3 percent by Randall Batson in Kansas in the high profile race between Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and independent Greg Orman.

"While Batson's mark was not a record in the Sunflower State (it was second best), 10 other U.S. Senate Libertarian nominees did set party records in their respective states.

"Libertarians made history in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas....

"Of the 10 ... performances were particularly impressive in North Carolina, Colorado, and Alaska.... Although these states hosted three of the four most competitive U.S. Senate races in the country (decided by 1.6, 1.9, and 2.1 percentage points respectively), Libertarian nominees were still able to draw support from the electorate in record numbers.

"(In the nation's most closely decided race for the office, Virginia (0.8 points), nominee Robert Sarvis won a respectable 2.4 percent)."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ferguson gets LP of Canada nod for Brantford

Ferguson making first federal foray - Sean Allen, Brant News:

January 6, 2015 - "At least one additional candidate will be throwing his hat into the ring for the 2015 federal election in Brantford-Brant.

"In addition to candidates from the Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green political parties, Brantford’s Rob Ferguson will stand on the ballot as the local candidate for the Libertarian Party of Canada.

"Ferguson and the Libertarian party are becoming synonymous in Brant, with Ferguson standing as the provincial candidate during the past two campaigns.

"He said the federal party executive was happy to name him the candidate when he put his name forward.

"'I’m excited for my first federal election,' Ferguson said.

"He has run in the municipal election twice and as a provincial candidate three times – once for the Family Coalition party.

"'It’s getting to the point where I have some name recognition and people will occasionally stop me because they know who I am and want to talk politics,' Ferguson said.

"As a staunch advocate for the Libertarian platform and regional co-ordinator for the provincial party, Ferguson said a lot more people like the ideals of the party than those who mark his name on the ballot at election time.

"'People are supportive,' he said. 'Everyone can get behind the bottom line mantra we have of "do no harm".’

"Although he collected fewer than one per cent of the vote during his past two provincial campaigns, Ferguson is pleased with the outcome of his efforts.

"'It’s not always about winning,' he said. 'It’s about making sure the alternative viewpoint is out there for people to consider.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 18, 2015

UK celebrating 800th anniversary of Magna Carta

Magna Carta's 800th anniversary celebration | Toronto Star - Henry Stancu:

January 15, 2015 - "The Magna Carta turns 800 this June and England has invited the world to take part in a series of birthday celebrations throughout most of the year....

"Essentially a peace treaty between England’s King John (1166-1216) and a group of rebellious barons at odds with the unpopular ruler’s fiscal policies, the 'Great Charter' is considered the foundation of modern democracy and the cornerstone of western justice and liberty....

"The Magna Carta made everyone, including royalty, subject to the law. The bulk of the 63 clauses dealt with the series of grievances about ownership of land and taxation raised by irate barons and the English church against King John, but it was the 39th clause that granted all 'free men' the right to fair treatment and justice.

"Of course, only about 10 per cent of England’s population was considered 'free' under the feudal system of the time.

"Translated from Latin, the clause reads: 'No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.'

"It wasn’t even considered a prominent clause at the time, but its interpretation by future generations has made it the monumental declaration it is today.

"Those principles would later inspire the drawing up of constitutional documents around the globe, such as the U.S. Bill of Rights in 1791, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950.

"The famous decree had a rocky ride for a year as King John, who felt cornered into approving it, got Pope Innocent III to issue a papal bull declaring it null and void, but the king’s son and successor, Henry III, approved a series of revisions over the next decade as the monarchy continued to be at odds with the Church and the rebellious barons until the charter was accepted onto parliament’s roll of statutes in 1297.

"The revisions cut away about a third of the document’s clauses, but the 39th survived intact."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Holes in the Charlie Hebdo story

The Charlie Hebdo Attack: Characteristics of a False Flag Operation? | Global Research - Paul Craig Roberts:

January 14, 2015 - "The Charlie Hebdo affair has many of the characteristics of a false flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists’ office was a disciplined professional attack of the kind associated with highly trained special forces; yet the suspects who were later corralled and killed seemed bumbling and unprofessional. It is like two different sets of people.

"Usually Muslim terrorists are prepared to die in the attack; yet the two professionals who hit Charlie Hebdo were determined to escape and succeeded, an amazing feat. Their identity was allegedly established by the claim that they conveniently left for the authorities their ID in the getaway car. Such a mistake is inconsistent with the professionalism of the attack and reminds me of the undamaged passport found miraculously among the ruins of the two WTC towers that served to establish the identity of the alleged 9/11 hijackers.

"It is a plausible inference that the ID left behind in the getaway car was the ID of the two Kouachi brothers, convenient patsies, later killed by police, and from whom we will never hear anything, and not the ID of the professionals who attacked Charlie Hebdo. An important fact that supports this inference is the report that the third suspect in the attack, Hamyd Mourad, the alleged driver of the getaway car, when seeing his name circulating on social media as a suspect realized the danger he was in and quickly turned himself in to the police for protection against being murdered by security forces as a terrorist.

"Hamyd Mourad says he has an iron-clad alibi. If so, this makes him the despoiler of a false flag attack. Authorities will have to say that despite being wrong about Mourad, they were right about the Kouachi brothers. Alternatively, Mourad could be coerced or tortured into some sort of confession that supports the official story.... The American and European media have ignored the fact that Mourad turned himself in for protection from being killed as a terrorist as he has an alibi....

"Another puzzle in the official story that remains unreported ... is the alleged suicide of a high ranking member of the French Judicial Police who had an important role in the Charlie Hebdo investigation. For unknown reasons, Helric Fredou, a police official involved in the most important investigation of a lifetime, decided to kill himself in his police office on January 7 or January 8 (both dates are reported in the foreign media) in the middle of the night while writing his report on his investigation. A google search as of 6pm EST January 13 turns up no mainstream US media report of this event. The alternative media reports it, as do some UK newspapers, but without suspicion or mention whether his report has disappeared."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, January 16, 2015

Former news publisher to run for NC governor

Former Denver newspaper publisher announces bid for governor as Libertarian | Lincoln Times-News:

January 5, 2015 - "An East Lincoln resident has announced plans to run as a Libertarian candidate in North Carolina’s 2016 gubernatorial race.

"Ken Fortenberry, former publisher of the weekly news@norman newspaper, informed media outlets of his decision to run in a press release Tuesday afternoon. His political platform includes calling for a significant decrease in state income taxes, lowering the state’s legal drinking age and ceasing legislative and legal efforts in the War on Drugs.

"If elected, he plans to reduce North Carolina personal income taxes by 50 percent over the span of five years, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the tax entirely. 'If Tennessee, Texas, Florida and six other states can operate without a personal income tax, surely we can do half of that in North Carolina,' Fortenberry wrote.

"In his eyes, returning the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 is long overdue. 'If a person is old enough to go to war and possibly die for this country, that person is old enough to buy a beer…. North Carolina should lead the nation in telling the federal government to mind its own business in issues such as this,' he said.

"Although Fortenberry wrote that he has never consumed an illegal drug, he believes that the time has come to accept the War on Drugs has served as a “costly failure that has ruined millions of lives by labeling otherwise law-abiding citizens as criminals.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2Chainz makes libertarian case for legal pot (video)

2Chainz Scores Libertarian Points in Legal Pot Debate with Nancy Grace - Hit & Run :

January 14, 2015 - "Rapper 2Chainz debated the subjects of marijuana legalization and drug culture with Nancy Grace on her show last night. He dressed his argument for legal pot in the language of personal responsibility, leading The Atlantic's David Graham to semi-jokingly hail him as a 'conservative icon.' But conservatives should back off; it's the libertarians who have a claim on this provocative hip hop artist.

2Chainz's performances are indeed laden with drug imagery, and he appears to smoke pot in his music videos. To Grace's slight credit, she didn't accuse 2Chainz of being personally irresponsible with drugs or putting his own children in danger. Rather, her argument was that his promotion of drug culture would lead other people to abuse drugs and hurt themselves and their families.

But right off the bad, 2Chainz tossed that argument out in awesome libertarian fashion:
I don't think you could put an umbrella on the whole community [of drug users]... I just feel like everybody should basically take care of their own... so it's about governing your own household, it's about taking care of your own property, it's about having some kind of structure.
"Like a true libertarian, he also went after the drug war, criticizing marijuana prohibition as a costly failure with many ill social effects.... 2Chainz also fretted that drug investigations were a waste of taxpayer dollars—something he knows from personal experience."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Think before going to war, says Clint Eastwood

Think before you shoot, Clint Eastwood says of war: interview | Toronto Star - Peter Howell:

January 13, 2015 - "Clint Eastwood is angry.

"'I think that’s a stupid analysis,' the American Sniper director growls from New York, when asked about the buckshot his new movie is taking, from critics who believe he’s celebrating war, killing and jingoism.

"David Edelstein of New York Magazine calls the film, opening Friday in Toronto, 'a Republican platform movie' even as he praises it as 'a crackerjack piece of filmmaking.' Lindy West of the Guardian newspaper bemoans 'simplistic patriots' who applaud Eastwood’s portrait of Navy SEAL shooting ace Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper.

"'Pardon me for sounding defensive, but it certainly has nothing to do with any (political) parties or anything,' Eastwood, 84, tells the Star.

“These fellows who are professional soldiers, Navy personnel or what have you, go in for a certain reason. Their commander-in-chief (U.S. President Barack Obama) is a Democrat and the administration is, and there’s no political aspect there other than the fact that a lot of things happen in war zones'....

"Eastwood insists he’s not the warmonger or right-wing poster boy he’s often made out to be.... He points out that even though he’s directed several war-themed movies and appeared as an actor in others, he’s more dove than hawk: a pragmatic libertarian rather than a red-meat Republican. Eastwood opposed both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, because he’s seen enough conflict in his life.

"'I was a child growing up during World War II. That was supposed to be the one to end all wars. And four years later, I was standing at the draft board being drafted during the Korean conflict, and then after that there was Vietnam, and it goes on and on forever ....

"'I just wonder ... does this ever stop? And no, it doesn’t. So each time we get in these conflicts, it deserves a lot of thought before we go wading in or wading out. Going in or coming out. It needs a better thought process, I think.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Utah legislators unveil "Right to Try" drug bill

Bill would allow terminally ill to use experimental drugs - Beaumont Enterprise - Michelle Price, Associated Press:

January 13, 2015 - "A handful of Utah lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled a proposal that would make Utah the latest state to let terminally-ill patients obtain experimental drugs that have not been federally approved.

"So-called 'Right to Try' legislation has been pushed by those who say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval process takes too long.

"Huntsville Republican Rep. Gage Froerer held a press conference at Utah's Capitol on Tuesday to announce the bill he'll sponsor in the upcoming legislative session.

Not all patients can qualify for experimental drug trials through the FDA, and this will allow patients and doctors to cut through red tape, Froerer said....

"The Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Arizona, is pushing the issue in Utah and other states. 'Right to Try' laws have already been approved in five states: Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri and Michigan. Lawmakers in Kansas and Wyoming are considering similar provisions this year."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, January 12, 2015

LP challenge to NH ballot-access law OK'd

Judge allows Libertarians' court challenge in New Hampshire to proceed | Fox News - Associated Press:

January 1, 2015 - "A federal judge has ruled that the Libertarian Party can proceed with its challenge to a New Hampshire law it claims could prevent its candidates from getting on the ballot.

"A third party can have its nominees placed on the New Hampshire general election ballot by winning at least 4 percent of the vote for either governor or U.S. senator in the most recent election or by collecting signatures equal to 3 percent of the total votes cast during the prior election. Under a law that took effect in July, parties can't begin gathering those signatures until Jan. 1 of the election year.

"The state argues that the change ensures that signatures on nomination papers are valid, but the Libertarian Party sued, arguing that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the party to petition its way onto the ballot.

"The state asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, but U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro refused. In a ruling this week, he noted that the right to vote must be balanced against the state's interest in conducting orderly elections, but said whether or not the new restrictions are reasonable depends on factors that have yet to be explored....

"'This signature-collection process is like a marathon that's hard enough just to finish, and now the state is essentially demanding that the Libertarian Party run the marathon in less than two hours. This is unfair and unconstitutional,' said attorney William Christie, co-counsel on the case along with the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

"Attorneys for the party argue that the time limit also effectively prevents the party from meaningfully participating in the general election because it would have to use its limited resources collecting signatures instead of on campaigning and fundraising."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Immigration and American first principles

The Immigration Debate and American First Principles | Washington Free Beacon - Bill McMorris:

"When Americans were busy in the 18th century figuring out what the first principles of their new nation would be, intellectuals and politicians used to produce ‘broadsides’—brief fliers meant to influence readers before getting tossed into the garbage.

"Encounter Books resurrected the form in 2009 and its 41st edition proves to be a rarity, and something well worth retaining after the first read: The publisher manages to hold an immigration debate free of any accusations of racism or hatred for America’s working poor.

"That isn’t to say the debate between CATO Institute scholar Alex Nowrasteh and Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian is not spirited. Krikorian opens his chapter with 'For the past five decades, America’s immigration policy has been based on poetry. It needs, instead, to be based on prose,' before laying out the case that America is a buyers market when it comes to newcomers and should craft policy with the interests of its citizens—especially those at the lower rung of society—in mind.

"To which Nowrasteh replies, 'restrictive immigration policies are government tools of social, demographic, and economic engineering that are unacceptably intrusive and contrary to … principles of liberty.'

"Both authors have given deep consideration to his respective case and analysis of the social, economic, and political effects of open immigration. Readers are free to choose their starting point as Encounter published the white papers in reversible format. There is no indication that either scholar received advanced copies of one another’s paper, but both know this issue well enough to understand the opposition and head him off at the rhetorical pass."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kelley Paul touring to promote upcoming book

Book tour puts Rand Paul's 'secret' weapon on national stage - Eric Schelvig & Steve Peoples, Associated Press:

January 9, 2015 -  "Once described as her husband's secret weapon, Kelley Paul won't be a secret much longer.

"Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's wife of 24 years is stepping onto the national stage as part of a book tour launching at roughly the same time her husband is expected to enter the 2016 presidential race. It's a big step for the mother of three who has long played a significant behind-the-scenes role in Paul's political operation, but soon will be thrust into a far more public role on the political world's brightest stage.

"Rand Paul has made much of his wife being a hard sell on a presidential bid, yet Kelley Paul hinted Thursday that she's ready for the pressures of a national campaign and its impact on her family....

"On Tuesday she kicked off a six-stop speaking tour to Republican women's clubs in her home town of Russellville, where she fondly recalled riding in the annual tobacco festival parade and cheering at high school football games. Her 20-minute speech focusing on her Irish immigrant grandmother moved her audiences throughout Kentucky to tears.

"This spring, she has media events and speeches planned for Washington, New York and Memphis, Tennessee, before publisher Hachette releases her book, True and Constant Friends, in April.

"Her book traces the paths of six women she met the first week of her freshman year at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Paul said the women have reunited almost every year since they graduated in 1985 despite living throughout the country....

"At the book's center is the story of Kelley Paul's own grandmother, Julia O'Toole, who left an impoverished life in Ireland in 1929 to work as a maid for affluent New York families.

"She describes the timing of the book as a coincidence not tied to her husband's potential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Yet she speaks openly about the prospect of a White House bid when asked." 

Read more:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Silk Road trial sparks jury-rights campaign in NYC

Jury rights activists rally in NYC around Silk Road trial - National Libertarian news | - Garry Read:

January 3, 2015 - "The trial of Ross Ulbricht, accused by the federal government of running the Silk Road 'dark web' site on the Internet, kicks off on Monday, January 5, in New York City. Libertarians see the trial as yet another unjust victimless crime prosecution.

"Jury rights activist James Babb issued a press release Friday announcing a month-long jury nullification campaign in the area around the US courthouse in Manhattan to coincide with the Ulbricht trial. The protest will feature large phone kiosk advertising posters in the area while an army of activists distribute nullification pamphlets in an effort to educate people about their rights and responsibilities as jurors.

"A grassroots Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launched in December and scheduled to run through February 5 has already raised more than their target goal. 'Early support has come from libertarians and redditors,' George Donnelly of the Jury Rights Project/NYC explained on the Indiegogo site. Because of that six kiosk jury nullification posters are already prominently posted, ringing the area around the courthouse.

"While the immediate goal is to support Ulbricht the long range objective is to end victimless crimes prosecutions in the city in 2015. Many Libertarian News Examiner readers will remember that former Penn State professor Dr. Julian Heicklen was repeatedly arrested and sent to jail or to psychiatric hospitals for distributing Fully Informed Jury Association outreach pamphlets at this same Manhattan courthouse.

"The 30-year-old Ross Ulbricht faces life in prison as the alleged creator and operator of 'Silk Road,' an 'illicit online marketplace' that was shut down by the feds in 2013. Silk Road, according to the libertarian Reason Magazine, was a secretive 'darknet' site operated as an online commerce website like Amazon or Yelp where people around the world could anonymously buy and sell non-legal drugs and have them delivered to their door by their country's postal service."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Political gridlock and economic recovery

Thank Gridlock for Economic Turnaround - - David Harsanyi:

January 2, 2015 - "The Obama Boom is finally here. Gross domestic product grew by a healthy 5 percent in the third quarter, the strongest growth we've seen since 2003. Consumer spending looks as if it's going to be strong in 2015. Unemployment numbers have looked good. Buying power is up. And the stock market closed at 18,000 for the first time ever. All good things. So what happened?.... What policy did Barack Obama enact to initiate this astonishing turnaround? We should definitely replicate it.

"Because those who've been paying attention these past few years may have noticed that the predominant agenda of Washington has been to do nothing. It was only when the tinkering and superfluous stimulus spending wound down that fortunes began to turn around. So it's perplexing how the same pundits who cautioned us about gridlock's traumatizing effects now ignore its existence....

"[S]pending in current dollars has remained steady since 2010, and spending as a percentage of GDP has gone down. In 2009, 125 bills were enacted into law. In 2010, 258. After that, Congress, year by year, became one of the least productive in history. And the more unproductive Washington became the more the economy began to improve....

"'People often don't realize that a political system is sometimes effective when it does not do certain things,' Pietro Nivola, a senior fellow in governance studies at The Brookings Institution, argued in 2012. 'You can't just measure the things it does, the actions it takes; you also have to measure the actions it does not take.' Nivola was impressed by how gridlock has the ability to stop the Republican House from cutting spending too abruptly for the economy.

"And perhaps he's right. Gridlock has caused an odd but pervasive stability in Washington. Spending has been static. No jarring reforms have passed — no cap and trade, which would have artificially spiked energy prices and undercut the growth we're now experiencing. The inadvertent but reigning policy over the past four years has been 'do no harm'."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bitcoin Foundation dismisses policy counsel

Bitcoin Foundation Parts Ways With Its Global Policy Counsel - - Sydney Ember:

January 2, 2015 - "Jim Harper, whose appointment as the Bitcoin Foundation’s global policy counsel last March was viewed as a sign that the advocacy group was taking digital currency regulation seriously, has been dismissed from the foundation.

"Mr. Harper’s last day was Wednesday, though he received notice of the foundation’s decision shortly after Thanksgiving.

"Mr. Harper’s dismissal comes as the Bitcoin Foundation is shifting its focus, from policy advocacy to Bitcoin technology and infrastructure development.

"'We’re changing direction a little bit here,' said Patrick Murck, the foundation’s executive director. 'The policy aspect was more of a distraction and a drain on resources that we could handle at the moment,' he added. 'Without having that work to be done, there really wasn’t a huge role for Jim to do.'

"Before joining the Bitcoin Foundation, Mr. Harper served as director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research group. He will remain at Cato as a senior fellow, a reduced role he took when he moved to the Bitcoin Foundation.

"For his part, Mr. Harper said he wasn’t quite ready to cut all ties to the Bitcoin Foundation, despite a difference of opinion on the foundation’s direction. In an interview, Mr. Harper said he was still running for a position on the foundation’s board.... The board election will take place in mid-February.

"'My experience at the foundation was that it wasn’t an organization that had a lot of focus and direction,' Mr. Harper said in an interview. 'Part of the reason I’m running for the board is because, whether I work there or not, I think the Bitcoin Foundation should have solid leadership and management from the top all the way down.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Republicans to push criminal justice reform in 2015

The Growing Republican Divide on Criminal Justice Reform | TIME - Alex Altman:

December 29, 2014 - "Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and Republican Party donor, says he will make criminal justice reform a major cause in 2015. 'Over the next year, we are going to be pushing the issues key to this, which need a lot of work in this country,' Koch said in an interview with the Wichita Eagle.

"Koch is a big spender — and something of a bogeyman among many liberals — so this made news. The 'conservative mega-donor,' a Politico story blared, 'is opening his wallet on an unexpected issue.'

"Except it shouldn’t be unexpected. Koch is a libertarian, and libertarians have a history of opposing policies, such as mandatory minimum sentencing, that have made the U.S. incarceration rate the highest in the world. What’s perhaps more surprising is how Republican politicians from other parts of the spectrum are beginning to embrace criminal justice reform as well.

"Virtually all of the likely 2016 Republican field supports some element of criminal-justice reform. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is the most visible and least surprising proponent; as a libertarian-leaning conservative, he has staked his candidacy on the idea that the GOP must adjust its policies as the composition of the electorate changes. But Paul is hardly the only 2016 hopeful to plant a flag on the issue. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, has called for an end to the 'failed war on drugs' and signed legislation that sent some offenders to rehab instead of prison.

"Rick Perry, the conservative governor of Texas, has been among the nation’s top prison reformers, even winning a national award for his support of drug courts as an alternative to incarceration. Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, another Republican governor eyeing a 2016 bid, pushed legislation that would boost the state’s drug rehab program and make some nonviolent offenders eligible for early release.

"Conservatives in Congress also have an appetite for reform. Paul Ryan produced a white paper on poverty that includes proposals like giving judges sentencing flexibility for nonviolent offenders and letting some inmates earn time off their prison stays for successful participation in programs. Mike Lee, a Republican senator from Utah and a Tea Party favorite, was one of the original sponsors, with liberal senators Dick Durbin and Pat Leahy, of a bill called the Smarter Sentencing Act, which attempts to curtail the draconian sentencing that has left some 2.2 million Americans behind bars. Among the Republicans who have since signed on: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another presidential hopeful."

Read more:
'via Blog this'