Thursday, April 30, 2015

Libertarian Party UK running at local level only

Election 2015: Meet the Libertarian Party UK, which wants to turn Britain into Switzerland - Shane Croucher, International Business Times:

April 29, 2015 - "Libertarianism is on the rise among young people in the UK. Luckily for them, there's a libertarian party standing in the May elections. As part of a series profiling minor parties, IBTimes UK speaks to the Libertarian Party UK....

"What is the Libertarian Party UK?
"A registered political party founded in 2008 that is classically liberal, small state, low tax.

"We are founder members of the IALP, the International Association of Libertarian Parties. The founding conference was held in Bournemouth, with members from American, Czech, French, German, Russian, Canadian, South African, Belgian, Dutch, Swiss, Italian and Spanish parties in attendance in March 2015.

"What are the party's top three priorities?
"A written constitution, electoral reform, reduction of the state.

"How many candidates have you got standing and where?
"We have 15 candidates standing at local level from Tyneside to the south coast. We stood for parliament in 2010 but under first-past-the-post, this is a waste of time and funds."

"What sort of impact are you hoping to have at the election?
"We have had a number of councillors successfully elected and we would like to increase those numbers

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

$1.3 billion in aid to Afghanistan unaccounted for, internal study finds

WASHINGTON: Pentagon can’t account for $1 billion in Afghan reconstruction aid | National Security & Defense | McClatchy DC - James Rosen:

April 13, 2015 - "The Defense Department can’t account for $1.3 billion that was shipped to force commanders in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2014 for critical reconstruction projects, 60 percent of all such spending under an emergency program, an internal report released Thursday concludes.

"The missing money was part of the relatively small amount of Afghanistan spending that was routed directly to military officers in a bid to bypass bureaucracy and rush the construction of urgently needed roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and other essential infrastructure. About 70 percent of the $100 billion the United States has spent to rebuild Afghanistan during more than 13 years of war went through the Pentagon, with the rest distributed by the U.S. Agency for International Development and other civilian departments.

"A yearlong investigation by John F. Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction [SIGAR], found that the Pentagon couldn’t – or wouldn’t – provide basic information about what happened to 6 in 10 dollars of $2.26 billion it had spent over the course of a decade on the Commander’s Emergency Response Program.

"'In reviewing this data, SIGAR found that the Department of Defense could only provide financial information relating to the disbursement of funds for CERP projects totaling $890 million (40 percent) of the approximately $2.2 billion in obligated funds at that time,' Sopko’s report says...

"U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Afghanistan and 19 other countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, suggested that some of the money was redirected from reconstruction aid to more direct war needs.... The comment didn’t explain why money set aside for reconstruction needs would need to be used to pay for counterinsurgency, which has been a core part of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan.... The bulk of the Afghanistan war’s $800 billion price tag for the United States has gone to battlefield needs."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

First legal marijuana planted in Jamaica

Jamaica has planted its first legal marijuana plant - Americas - World - The Independent - Christopher Hooton:

April 28, 2015 - "Jamaica's Justice Minister firmed a cannabis plant into the soil at the University of the West Indies Mona campus on Monday, in a ceremonial planting.

"It was the first ganja seedling to be legally planted in the country, following the passage of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which legalises the production of medical marijuana.

"The university has been granted permission by the government to cultivate the drug for research and to 'set the pace for the development of a legal cannabis industry'....

"Jamaica's University of Technology will also begin growing marijuana and carrying out research.

"'Now that they can actually cultivate for research purposes, we can expect that the outcomes of the endeavours will be more profound, and with the economic opportunities that this will bring, we see this as part of what, I hope, will be a transformational industry for Jamaica,' Justice Minister Mark Golding said.

"Jamaica's legislative changes also include partial decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of the drug."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tech groups want NSA data collection curbed

Tech Groups Pressure Congress To End NSA Bulk Data Collection - BuzzFeed News - Hamza Shaban:

April 16, 2015 - "A host of technology trade groups are lobbying Congress to end the government’s controversial metadata collection program that was brought to public prominence by Edward Snowden almost two years ago. In a letter sent to intelligence and judiciary leadership yesterday, groups representing a vast array of tech firms, including Google, IBM, Facebook, and Apple, expressed support for fundamental surveillance reform.

"The groups take specific issue with Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which federal agencies claim gives authority to collect American phone records without a warrant. The six groups that sent the letter, including TechNet, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the Information Industry Association, also appealed for increased government transparency. Their primary concern was that the current state of affairs is leading to a worldwide erosion of trust.

"'U.S. technology providers continue to face concerns from global customers regarding the safety and security of their offerings,' the groups wrote. 'In fact, foreign competitors and foreign governments regularly seize on this opportunity to challenge U.S. technological leadership by raising questions about our nation’s surveillance regime'....

"Key spying provisions of the Patriot Act, Section 215 among them, are set to expire on June 1.... While the provision has been reauthorized in the past, this will be the first time it’s been voted on since Snowden revealed the NSA’s phone-monitoring program of U.S. citizens."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 26, 2015

5 top libertarian-themed video games

Top 10 Libertarian Video Games - Ryan Carillo, The Libertarian Republic:

"Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry. The games of today are nothing like the games of old. Today’s games are often designed for adult audiences and come rife with complex themes, characters, politics, and mechanics.  Many games today are open world, meaning that the player has much greater control over how to play the game....

"The following list are what I believe to be the best games with libertarian themes in them....

"Fallout 3 is a role-playing game set in the post-apocalyptic world of future Washington D.C., known as the Capitol Wasteland.... Fallout is packed with libertarian themes and ideas.  The “bad guys” are those who use force to coerce the remaining survivors.  There are no governments to speak of, only loosely associated groups of people who came together voluntarily to survive, with the only exceptions being the enemies trying to re-establish a state through force....

"Bioshock is a first person shooter game with elements of role-playing.... The Chicago Sun-Times reviewed the game saying 'I never once thought anyone would be able to create an engaging and entertaining video game around the fiction and philosophy of Ayn Rand, but that is essentially what 2K Games has done … the rare, mature video game that succeeds in making you think while you play'.

"Red Dead Redemption is an open world Western.  This game is one of the most anti-government pieces of entertainment you can play.  It’s a character driven story, where you play as John Marston, a former outlaw forced to work for the U.S. government because they’ve kidnapped his family....

"Final Fantasy 6 ... is a role-playing game where you play as multiple different characters at once.  You begin the game as a mind-controlled slave, working for an evil, imperialistic empire.  You are eventually freed by a resistance group and begin a journey to discover who you are.  As the game progresses you meet other characters that join you in your fight against the tyrannical government. ....

"Metal Gear Solid 4 is a tactical espionage game.... The theme ... is the individual versus the collective.  In MGS 4 the world is gripped by the wartime economy.  The economies of countries are based on always being at war.... Needless to say, your job as the main character is to end this horrible dystopian system through the power of individualism."

Read more:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rand Paul's balancing act in Iowa

Rand Paul tries to balance Iowa's libertarian, evangelical ideals - Washington Times - Ralph Z. Hallow:

April 9, 2015 - "In the coalition-building exercise that occurs every four years during a Republican presidential race, libertarians and evangelicals have always been wary of each other. Nowhere has that been more obvious than the first-in-the-nation contest state of Iowa, which has given surprising lifts to evangelical favorites such as Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee over the years.

"That history would suggest that Rand Paul, the iconic libertarian in the 2016 race, might have much to worry about Feb. 2 when the Iowa caucuses are held.

"But the senator from Kentucky has spent much time and effort over the past two years building essential bridges to evangelical leaders who have automatic affinity for rivals such as Mr. Huckabee and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He has traveled to Israel to show his support there, met with pastors and talked openly about his own Christian faith....

"Paul might be making progress. A poll released Thursday showed him leading Hillary Rodham Clinton in a hypothetical general election matchup and outperforming many of his Republican rivals....

"'Rand Paul is uniquely positioned to win right now,' Iowa pastor Mark Doland told the Washington Times. 'If you handicap the 2012 caucuses and apply the narrative, he wins. There are multiple establishment candidates and evangelical candidates that will split that vote many ways.'

"As if to make the point about Mr. Paul’s competitiveness in Iowa, the Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed him performing better against Mrs. Clinton in Iowa and Colorado, both swing states, than did Mr. Huckabee, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 24, 2015

250,000 applications for Liberland citizenship

250,000 people have requested citizenship in a country that might not exist - Washington Post - Adam Taylor:

April 22, 2015 - "About 250,000 people have applied for citizenship in Liberland in less than two weeks, Vit Jedlicka, president of Liberland, told the Czech news agency CTK on Tuesday.

"However, some of these potential Liberlanders may be in for a shock. For one thing, it's unclear at the time of writing whether the country they are applying for citizenship in really exists at all.

"If it does, it would be Europe's newest nation. Jedlicka proclaimed the Free Republic of Liberland a sovereign state April 13. The Czech politician – known for his Eurosceptic, libertarian views – claimed a disputed area between Croatia and Serbia to make up the state.

"Realizing that the land was claimed by no one, Jedlicka claimed the approximately 3 square miles by the Danube river. He set up a Web site, created a flag, a coat of arms, a motto ('To live and let live') and drew up laws and a constitution....

"The proposed country would be a libertarian paradise. Taxes would be optional in Liberland and government power severely restricted, Jedlicka told the international press. On the Web site, anyone could apply to be a citizen – providing they do not have a criminal record or a 'communist, Nazi or other extremist past'.

"This idea seems to have captured people's imagination. Liberland and Jedlicka have become an international news story and 110,000 people have liked a Facebook page devoted to the new country....

"Exactly how serious Liberland is is unclear right now. When one group of journalists tried to visit the new country last week, they were turned away by Croatian border police. They were told that a Liberland flag that had been planted at the site has been removed.

"And so far, no other state has recognized Liberland. Croatia and Serbia have made no public announcements about their new neighbor. Politicians from further afield don't seem to be taking it seriously."

Read more: 'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ayn Rand’s enduring influence

Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness has a deep influence on the mindset of the right - Gene H. Bell-Villad, The Raw Story:

April 22, 2015 - "Ayn Rand (1904-82) has arisen from the dead. Over the last decade the pop philosopher and propaganda fictionist extraordinaire has moved steadily from the cultish margins to the mainstream of US conservatism....

"In a larger sense, though, Rand had never died. Sales of her books remained steadily in the six figures in the years following her demise, their underground influence an unacknowledged-if-discomforting fact of American life. A couple of reader surveys carried out in the 1990s by Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, and by the Modern Library imprint, showed Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead near the top of the polling results, according to author Brian Doherty. And, in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, sales of her works tripled.

"Randianism, what she called Objectivism, now exists as a mass phenomenon, a grass-roots presence, a kind of folklore. 'Who Is John Galt?', her recurring slogan from Atlas Shrugged, can be seen on placards at Tea Party rallies, on leaflets casually affixed to telephone poles or on the shopping bags of Lululemon Athletics, the Canadian sports apparel company. The firm’s CEO, Chip Wilson, is an avowed Rand fan. So are the current corporate chiefs at Exxon, Sears, the BB & T Bank in North Carolina and the funky Whole Foods chain...."

"Randthought, which I discuss in my book, On Nabokov, Ayn Rand and the Libertarian Mind, serves as a major doctrinal component within the mindset of the libertarian, the latter being the most significant American ideological development of the last 35 years....

"Rand did not invent libertarianism. The thinking, sans the name, had been around since at least the 1920s. And her contemporaries, economists such as Milton Friedman and the so-called Austrian School, gave the set of ideas academic standing and respectability. In Rand’s truculent fiction, however, an abstract theory effectively took on flesh via dashing heroes and unabashed hero worship, vivid myths and technological magic, page-turning suspense and torrid, violent sex. For every studious reader of economist Friedrich von Hayek, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of eager devourers of Rand....

"In many respects, America is becoming — in echo of the title of a book by journalist Gary Weiss — an 'Ayn Rand Nation'."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Highway litter bugs Mississippi Libertarians

All About that Trash: Lafayette Country Libertarian Party Regularly Picks up Litter on Hwy. 6 |

April 15, 2015 - "Picking up highway trash may not seem like a political statement, but for the Lafayette County Libertarians, it is a way to demonstrate the principles of their party.

"The local group regularly cleans up their adopted section of the Highway Six bypass. Their most recent pick-up day was April 11.

Group members were appalled at the huge amount of trash they picked up along just one mile that day. The Mississippi Department of Transportation spends a reported $ 3.2 million yearly on litter.

"'Highway litter is a huge problem in our state and our local areas that costs a great deal of money to clean up,' said Richard Gaines, Lafayette County Libertarian chair. 'But our volunteers collect not a penny of taxpayer money'....

"In his blog about the reasons for the trash pick-up, Gaines wrote, 'By voluntarily cleaning up a part of Oxford, we’re showing that such things can be done without the government demanding that they be done or penalizing those who don’t take part. It’s a small gesture on our part, but a small group of volunteers can make a lot of progress.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Canadian Conservatives For Legal Marijuana begin billboard advertising

Canadian Conservatives For Legal Marijuana Raise Ruckus In Time For 4/20 - Zian Lum, Huffington Post:

April 17, 2015 - "'Real Conservatives support legal marijuana,' former MP Inky Mark said in a news release on behalf of a newly-minted group called Canadian Conservatives for Legal Marijuana. 'Stephen Harper has lost his way with his big government campaign against marijuana users,' he said. Mark added 'real Conservatives' are ones who stand for values including small government and lower taxes.

"'His personal crusade against marijuana users is just another expensive, big government intervention, wasting tax dollars and treating Canadians like children.'

"The ex-Manitoba Reform/Conservative MP notes 'many prominent' Tories are withholding their public support for marijuana legalization because 'they don’t want to get in trouble for defying Harper.'

"The group’s website includes legalization endorsements from Conservative MPs Scott Reid, Patrick Brown, and Gerald Keddy.

"Legalization-related quotations from former prime ministers Joe Clark and Kim Campbell, ex-newspaper baron Conrad Black, and the National Post editorial board are also counted in its supporters section.

"The release called the government marijuana prohibition a failure, and emphasized it’s time for a 'new approach' that satisfies 'real Conservative values.'

"'I don’t even consider Harper a conservative,” Mark told the Ottawa Citizen. 'He’s just Harper. The man basically wanted to jail 40,000 people who were using medical marijuana and growing it themselves. That should tell you a lot about him right there'....

"The group has paid for two billboards blocks away from Parliament Hill."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 20, 2015

Walter Block endorses Rand Paul for president

Mr. Libertarian Walter Block Endorses Rand Paul - Fergus Hodgson, The Canal, PanAm Post:

April 19, 2015 - "Whether he wanted it or not, US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) now has the backing of one of libertarianism’s most strident and prominent academics as he campaigns for the presidency.

"Walter Block, the longtime anarcho-libertarian and Austrian-school economist, released a 1,400-word comment via Facebook this Saturday evening, entitled “The Libertarian Case for Rand Paul.”

"'I stand with Rand,' he wrote, 'and I urge my fellow libertarians, particularly those who have been most dismissive of him, to reconsider their position on this man.'

"Block, a tenured professor at Loyola University New Orleans, believes that his own 'libertarian credentials are about as good, among the living, as anyone else’s on the planet.' Lew Rockwell, founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, has dubbed him Mr. Libertarian, and commitment is not a matter of debate for the author of Defending the Undefendable (1976). Block’s uncompromising and combative style has earned him the sarcastic moniker of 'the moderate'.

"A long-time supporter of Rand’s father, Block also wrote Ron Paul for President in 2012, and he laments that 'The acorn has fallen too far from the tree in this case.' However, when it comes to electoral politics, Block is willing to acknowledge that “The perfect is the enemy of the good ...[and] It cannot be denied that Rand is pretty darned good from a libertarian point of view – compared with the realistic alternatives.'

"This announcement comes even after Rand Paul has distanced himself from Block. A 2014 New York Times article sought to sully the younger Paul with comments from Block taken out of context, and Rand countered that Block was just “some guy who I’ve never met."

"A final challenge to Rand among this potential voting block comes from former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who ran on the Libertarian ticket in 2012.... Block acknowledges that Johnson is slightly more in line with libertarian ideology, but he has little interest in a third-party candidate.

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Herbert Spencer's view of charity

"Charity Is in Its Nature Essentially Civilizing": In Defense of Herbert Spencer | Cato @ Liberty - Trevor Burrus:

April 17, 2015 - "Spencer writes with the peculiar verve of a 19th-century British intellectual, coming from the same milieu as anthropologists who would blithely discuss the 'savage and uncivilized mongoloid and negroid races.' Similarly, Spencer would insouciantly attack the lazy, shiftless, and incompetent.

"Post-modern relativism makes us balk at these absolute terms. In modern politics we tend to think more about the conditions into which people are born rather than their personal responsibility. Discussions of the 'deserving poor' and 'undeserving poor' are now largely uncouth.

"But to Spencer, as to most 19th-century political and social theorists, the distinction mattered. Like many modern libertarians and conservatives, Spencer was very concerned that profligate and indiscriminate assistance for the poor would incentivize bad behavior. Although many on the left loathe the idea that welfare can create bad behavior, most people understand that concern. To anyone who’s ever had to cut off ne’er-do-well friends or family from further charity in order to help them out, those concerns make sense.

"Viewing society as something like an organism, Spencer thought broadly about how laws and policies could either encourage or discourage certain behaviors. As a Lamarckian – someone who believes acquired traits are heritable – he was concerned that those bad behaviors would be transmitted down through the generations. His end goal was an affluent society based on voluntary interaction in which sympathy for fellow men thrived. If the government did too much to encourage certain types of harmful behavior, then Spencer feared that, in the long run, the pain and suffering would be greater.

"What types of harmful behavior? Spencer was surely against the cronyistic businessman who prefers to use government to extract from taxpayers rather than building an honest business that adds to the sum total of wealth in society. In a system that cultivated such people, the doctrine of 'survival of the fittest' would mean that 'the fittest' were cronies rather than honest businessmen. Under his view of social evolution, the cumulative effect of such crony-supporting policies would be a society in which innovative entrepreneurs are replaced by cronies who lack creativity and pluck and do business with an army of lobbyists. Laws that perpetuate such cronyism would be 'acts of parliament to save silly people,' to use a Spencer quote cited by Millhiser.

"Similarly, Spencer would also oppose the person who resides on the dole without working, the kind of person the British press, in particular, loves to highlight. Spencer believed, not irrationally, that facilitating such behavior will only breed more of it. Most importantly, in the long run there will be great suffering in societies that massively facilitate such behavior, whether it is cronyism or welfare dependency.

"Does this mean that Spencer wrote seemingly hard-hearted things like 'widows and orphans should be left to struggle for life and death?' Yes. To Spencer, the laws that categorically try to prevent such suffering would only result in long-term suffering. For those who refuse to help themselves, and for those who persist in patterns of bad, self-destructive behavior, it is true that he thought many should be allowed to die. Again, however, this belief is not as radical as it sounds. Both law and charity can only do so much, and human beneficence can only be stretched so far for those who are unwilling to change their behavior. Ask a social worker how much patience he has for the clients who don’t even seem to be trying, whether they are heroin users or morbidly obese diabetic smokers. 'I can only do so much,' the social worker would probably say. But for those willing to change their behavior, or at least to try, Spencer had great sympathy.

"He also believed that laws that try to solve suffering merely reorganize the goods of society without solving the underlying problem, namely, the conditions that produce and exacerbate poverty. As he wrote, 'If it gives enough to some who else would not have enough, it must inevitably reduce certain others to the condition of not having enough. And thus, to the extent that a poor-law mitigates distress in one place, it unavoidably produces distress in another.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 18, 2015

People's Cube's Rand Paul denouncement page

People's Official Rand Paul Denouncement Thread - Commissarka Pinkie, People's Blog, People's Cube:

April 17, 2015 - "Welcome to the People’s Official Rand Paul Denouncement Thread™, where comrades are cordially invited to smear, trash, bash, revile, excoriate, and otherwise assassinate the character of GOP Presidential Candidate Rand Paul. We want you to have fun, and all we ask is that you do not say anything nice about him, mainly because there is nothing nice to say.

"Bad. Dangerous. Evil. Stupid. Liar. Bloodthirsty. Vile. Hypocrite. Villain. Scum. Monster. Traitor. Tyrant.... I refer, of course, to Rand Paul, who wants to steal the 2016 election. I hate Rand Paul, and you should, too. Everyone should hate him....

"Rand Paul will destroy society, civilization, and all of humanity forever. George W. Bush only destroyed everything till the end of time. But Rand Paul will take the mass destruction into infinity and beyond, and laugh the whole time he’s doing it.

"Mass starvation, homelessness, joblessness, death and disease will be everywhere. Everyone will be thrown out of their homes and onto the streets, forced to take shelter in cardboard 'Paulvilles'....

"Rand Paul is also guilty of treason because he’s one of the 47 Republicans who signed that sick, seditious letter to Iran. This already disqualifies him from the presidency. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon and uses it, you can blame Rand Paul — unless, of course, they drop it on Israel, in which case — well, you can still blame Rand Paul. No one should give Rand Paul credit for anything.

"Rand Paul hates women, which should come as no surprise since he hates everyone and everything except his own lust for power.... Why, the only reason Rand Paul is running for president is to stop Hillary, and why? Yep, you guessed it — because she’s a woman. And Rand Paul hates women. Hates them, hates them, HATES THEM!"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 17, 2015

Libertarian microstate founded in Europe

Meet the Man Who Claims He Just Founded a New Country in Europe | TIME - Noah Rayman:

April 16, 2015 - "Vit Jedlicka, a member of the conservative Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic, is the self-appointed president of Liberland, which he says sits on unclaimed terra nullius territory wedged between Serbia and Croatia. The 3 sq. mi. 'country,' where taxes are optional and a military is nonexistent, does not “interfere with the territory' of the two states, according to Liberland’s website.

"'The objective of the founders of the new state is to build a country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by governments making their lives unpleasant through the burden of unnecessary restrictions and taxes,' reads a statement announcing the creation of the new country this week. The country’s motto is: 'To live and let live'....

"The project has already received roughly 20,000 applications for citizenship, according to Jedlicka, who estimated that the country will receive as many as 100,000 applications by the end of next week (Liberland’s website has details of how to apply for citizenship, including sending an email of introduction—a C.V. is optional). Jedlicka added that some people already have plans to relocate....

"Liberland is a 'peaceful' country and will have no standing army. If neighbors Croatia or Serbia were to oppose, he said he would put up only 'passive defense.'

"'We will move, but we will keep our claim to the country,' he said. So far he’s still awaiting a diplomatic response from the country’s neighbors."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 16, 2015

No, Herbert Spencer did not advocate genocide

Will the Real Herbert Spencer Please Stand Up? | Cato @ Liberty - Trevor Burrus:

April 13, 2015 - "In a hit piece on Rand Paul posted on ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser has taken guilt by association to new heights, and, in the process, fundamentally misrepresented the views of Herbert Spencer.

"In 'Rand Paul’s Favorite Philosophers Think Poor People Are "Parasites,"' Millhiser attempts to connect Rand Paul to 19th-century classical liberal philosopher Herbert Spencer.... Millhiser offers no direct evidence that Rand Paul himself is a fan of Herbert Spencer.... Despite this bit of journalistic malfeasance, Millhiser marches bravely forward with further misrepresentations about Spencer’s ideas.... Millhiser is joining a long, if not admirable, tradition of people misrepresenting Herbert Spencer’s ideas in order to attack proponents of capitalism. As usual, those critics are wrong about what Spencer himself actually wrote and believed.

"Modern misrepresentations of Spencer can be largely traced back to Richard Hofstadter, famed historian and dogged opponent of capitalism.... In Social Darwinism in American Thought, Hofstadter, a one time member of the Communist Party, uses a type of warmed-over Marxism to argue that Americans embraced the idea of 'survival of the fittest' because 'dominant groups' were 'able to dramatize this vision of competition as a thing good in itself.' Herbert Spencer, Hofstadter argues, was at the heart of this transformation. Fast-forward seventy years and through countless misrepresentations by people like Millhiser, and Spencer is now nearly synonymous with the idea of 'social Darwinism,' that is, the idea that social programs and government actions to help the worst off should be rolled back in order to cleanse the race of undesirables....

"Millhiser calls Spencer’s philosophy 'genocidal libertarianism'.... Spencer’s most notorious statement, that if someone is 'not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best they should die' is dutifully trotted out by Millhiser as an example of Spencer’s monstrous beliefs. As with most critics of Spencer, he ignores the opening sentence of the next paragraph: 'Of course, in so far as the severity of this process is mitigated by the spontaneous sympathy of men for each other, it is proper that it should be mitigated.'

"Like most libertarians, Spencer was a big believer in private charity. As George H. Smith wrote over at Cato’s
Spencer opposed coercive, state-enforced charity, but he favored charity that is voluntarily bestowed. As a matter of justice, one should not be forced to help others; but as a matter of personal or religious ethics, one may be obligated to help others ...  he observed that it was becoming more common for the rich to contribute money and time to the poor, and he praised this trend as “the latest and most hopeful fact in human history”....

One must read Spencer’s extensive treatments of poverty and the poor to appreciate fully the outrageous misrepresentations of his critics. That Spencer was offended by such lies is dramatically illustrated by the fact that he broke off a close friendship of some forty years with Thomas Henry Huxley (“Darwin’s Bulldog”), after Huxley had written that, according to the Spencerian individualist, a poor man should be left to starve because charity interferes with “survival of the fittest.”

In reply to this accusation of “reasoned savagery,” Spencer wrote: “For nearly fifty years I have contended that the pains attendant on the struggle for existence may fitly be qualified by the aid which private sympathy prompts.”
"Spencer also believed that beneficence was an essential element of an advanced and evolved society.... '[T]he highest form of life, individual and social,' he wrote, 'is not achievable under a reign of justice only; but … there must be joined with it a reign of beneficence.' To this end, he devoted large parts of his Principles of Ethics to arguing that a fully evolved society would need more than merely the 'avoidance of direct and indirect injuries to others,' it would need 'spontaneous efforts to further the welfare of others.'"

"This little post is only the latest attempt to correct the record on Herbert Spencer."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mandatory minimum sentencing struck down by Canada's top court

Supreme Court strikes at mandatory-minimum sentences | Ottawa Citizen - Ian MacLeod:

April 14, 2015 - "The Conservative government reaffirmed its tough-on-crime commitment Tuesday, trying to appear undeterred by yet another Supreme Court of Canada decision striking down as unconstitutional a showcase statute in its signature anti-crime agenda.

"The government’s mandatory-minimum sentencing regime for illegal possession of a firearm, introduced in 2008 as part of the Tackling Violent Crime Act, violates Section 12 of the Charter of Rights because it has the potential to be cruel and unusual punishment, the court ruled in a 6-3 decision.

"The judgment is the seventh major defeat for the government and its policies and arguments at the hands of the Supreme Court since 2011.

"Its anti-crime agenda in particular has now suffered three stinging blows. High-court rulings struck down as unconstitutional Conservative statutes limiting inmates’ credit for pre-trial time spent in custody, and changes to parole eligibility....

"The now-impugned law increased the minimum sentence for some gun-related crimes, including possession of a loaded firearm – from one year to three years for a first offence, and from one year to five years for a second. It also imposed a five-year minimum sentence on those previously convicted of serious, weapons-related crimes....

"Tuesday’s judgment striking down the law was not unanimous. The majority on the court found that imposing stiff new penitentiary sentences for weapons-related offences will not, in most cases, violate the Charter. In fact, in the two specific weapons-related cases being heard on appeal, it found the sentencing regime was appropriate in each and upheld them." 

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Majority of Americans want less government, YouGov poll finds

'Libertarian-ish' is more popular than you think - Sam Rolley, Personal Liberty Digest:

April 13, 2015 - "According to a new poll from YouGov, a majority of Americans (51 percent) want to shrink the size of government. And a solid one-fifth of likely millennial voters identify as libertarians.

"The poll found that 20 percent of Americans ages 18-29 embrace the term 'libertarian' when describing their political views, while 39 percent reject the label. Forty-two percent said they are unsure whether they have libertarian views.

"Young Americans were more likely than any other group to accept libertarian values. Just 17 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds, 15 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds and 9 percent of those 65 and older said that their values aligned with libertarian principles.

"The libertarian Reason magazine said the polling results are a good sign for the future of libertarianism. 'Millennials, it seems, are increasingly willing to reconsider the awkward and inconsistent political pairings of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. That’s why libertarianism has virtually replaced conservatism as the alternative to leftism for college students involved in political advocacy.'

"Americans who do have libertarian leaning are split almost equally between the Democratic (12 percent) and Republican (13 percent) parties. Independents were the most likely to self-identify as libertarian, with 19 percent embracing the characterization."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 13, 2015

Gary Johnson preparing to run again in 2016

Libertarian reacts to Rand Paul's entrance into the race too | The Daily Caller - Alex Pappas:

April 8, 2015 -  "Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president in 2012, tells The Daily Caller he is gearing up to run for the White House again.

"'Unless something catastrophic happens in my life, I hope to do that,' Johnson said in an interview at The Daily Caller’s newsroom in Washington on Wednesday.

"Johnson ... said 'there’s no real rush' to announce though he is actively preparing for a campaign.

"Asked about the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s entrance into the race this week, Johnson said: 'I like the fact that he’s running. I mean of all the Republicans, he’s the closest to my ideology. The things that we differ are immigration, marriage equality, women’s right to choose, drug policy and military intervention.'

"But Johnson ... also disputed the characterization that Rand Paul is a libertarian. 'Out of his own mouth, he in no way would describe himself as a libertarian,' Johnson said. 'Because that is something he is running from right now to get the Republican nomination.'

"Johnson, who is now CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., which sells medical marijuana, said he’d welcome Jesse Ventura, the former Minnesota governor into the race for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president.... 'If that happened, that would be terrific because that potentially could be a televised-kind-of-a-debate situation,'  Johnson said of a matchup with Ventura."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eight great libertarian apps (video)

8 Great Libertarian Apps! - - Nick Gillespie & Joshua Swain:

April 9, 2015 - "Here are 8 great  apps that make your world a little freer—and a whole lot easier to navigate.

Waze is a real-time, crowd-sourced map that not only tells you about traffic jams and finds the cheapest nearby gas station for you but also warns you of speed traps, police checkpoints, and ticket cams....

Open WhisperSystem’s Red Phone and Text Secure provide easy end-to-end encryption for phone calls, text messages, and chats. If you’re on Apple iOS, check out Signal.

Meerkat and Periscope allow you to livestream everything from your kids’ soccer games to police stops directly to Twitter....

The Peacekeeper Emergency Response System app cultivates 'benevolence' and independence in communities by allowing you to create your own personal emergency response network so that friends, family, and others can come to your aid at a moment’s notice—and you can come to theirs.

And then of course there’s Uber, the ride-sharing app that almost singlehandedly undermined taxi cab cartels all over the world....
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The teenager behind the Free Brazil Movement

Teen libertarian is face of Brazil's young free-market right - Yahoo News - Adriana Gomez Licon:

March 30, 2015 - "Microphone in hand and standing atop the sound truck, the raspy-voiced protest leader jabbed his finger into the air shouting for the ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, igniting wild cheers from the crowd below him.

"'What Lula and Dilma have done shouldn't just result in their being banned from politics. It should result in them being in jail!' Kim Kataguiri yelled, denouncing Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"The March 15 demonstration was the largest Sao Paulo had seen in more than three decades...  But more surprising than the crowd of more than 200,000, according to the Datafolha polling and statistics agency, was the fact it was being led by Kataguiri, a skinny, 19-year-old college dropout, and other young Brazilian activists inspired by libertarianism and conservative free-market ideals.

"The grandson of Japanese immigrants, Kataguiri is a social media star whose quirky videos skewer Rousseff and the ruling party's social welfare policies.... Today, he is the public face of the Free Brazil Movement, a ... right-leaning movement clearly channeled against Rousseff and her Workers' Party....

"Kataguiri says he had a political awakening two years ago.... He began posting satiric videos to YouTube, which gained a following. He joined two digital media collectives and produced more clips. Along the way, Kataguiri read the works of free-market economists Milton Friedman and Ludwig Von Mises....

"Today, Kataguiri and the Free Brazil Movement team work from an office that has a tech-startup feel, with two brown leather couches and a clothes rack holding costumes used in their videos. Tequila and mescal bottles sit along a bookshelf holding Rand Paul's The Tea Party Goes to Washington and Russell Kirk's The Politics of Prudence."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 10, 2015

War Republicans roll out Rand Paul attack ads

The Hawkish Campaign Against Paul Begins | The American Conservative - Daniel Larison:

April 7, 2015 - "A hawkish non-profit group is launching a new attack ad to coincide with Rand Paul’s presidential announcement....
The Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America, a 501(c)(4) group led by veteran Republican operative Rick Reed, will go live with its campaign against Paul on Tuesday.... The group will begin airing ads on broadcast TV, cable and the Web in several early primary states accusing Paul of being weak on Iran and tying him to the Barack Obama administration’s Iran policy, which polls show is deeply unpopular among Republican voters.
"While reports have emphasized Reed’s role in the attacks on [John] Kerry during the 2004 election, the group has its roots in pro-McCain advocacy from the 2008 election cycle and Reed has been a longtime McCain supporter. It’s hardly surprising that a group originally aligned so closely with McCain would make a point of attacking Paul at the formal start of his presidential campaign, but the attack could have the unintended effect of reminding some disillusioned would-be Paul supporters what they used to like about the senator. Given a choice between McCain’s reckless and aggressive approach to foreign policy and almost anyone else’s, there are many Republican voters that will be only too glad to back the alternative....

"The ad itself is run-of-the-mill fear-mongering complete with an image of a nuclear explosion at the end. Paul is specifically attacked for not supporting new Iran sanctions during the negotiations, but the main purpose of the ad is to identify Paul with Obama. Those attacks should be easy enough to answer, but after Paul’s odd maneuvers on Iran over the last few months he is bound to have fewer defenders than he once did....

"The focused attacks on Paul confirm that there was never any use in trying to placate and win over hard-liners. They were always going to come after Paul because of what they think he represents, so there was no point in trying to curry favor with this faction the party. All that this did was muddle Paul’s foreign policy message, alienate likely supporters, and undercut the rationale for Paul’s candidacy."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Who will Peter Thiel back for POTUS in 2016?

Which 2016 Republican Is Libertarian Billionaire Peter Thiel Going To Back - BuzzFeed News:

March 28, 2015 - "The question of [Peter] Thiel’s loyalties looms large in the Republicans’ heated 2016 fundraising race. The gay, libertarian tech tycoon has funneled millions of dollars in recent years to a diverse array of causes and campaigns, from marriage equality advocacy groups to insurgent Tea Party candidates. In an era when a single motivated billionaire can prop up a presidential candidate all on his own, Thiel’s endorsement would be a major coup for any campaign. But only two contenders in the emerging GOP field can claim an inside track to the billionaire’s cash: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Thiel’s ties to Paul ... are well established. During the 2012 election, Thiel gave $2.6 million to a super PAC supporting Rand’s father, Ron Paul — an eccentric libertarian protest candidate with a narrow but devoted grassroots following. And since then, he has reportedly been an ally and adviser to the younger Paul, opening doors for the senator in Silicon Valley, connecting him with donors and tech operatives, and meeting privately with him as recently as last summer....

"Last year, when a New York Times story described Paul’s political and fundraising infrastructure as feeble and unimpressive, his advisers fired back by giving the Washington Post an exclusive on its 50-state political network. The Post story described Thiel as a 'looming figure in Paul’s constellation of friends, advisers, and possible bundlers,' and 'one of his top West Coast allies'.

"Less well known, however, is Thiel’s longtime support for Cruz.... In 2009, Thiel contributed $251,000 to support the star litigator’s bid for Texas attorney general. Cruz eventually aborted the campaign, but the billionaire’s donations made up one-fifth of his entire campaign war chest. When he then ran for Senate in 2012, Thiel plowed $1 million into Club for Growth, the conservative pressure group that heavily funded Cruz’s primary bid.

"Asked about Cruz last September, Thiel told The Daily Caller, 'Well I think he’s very smart. I think one of the challenges we have in the Republican Party is … our representatives, our senators, are somewhat lower IQ than the people on the other side. So, I think there is something to be said for getting some really smart people in there'....

"Thiel has not yet announced his support for any presidential candidate, and through a spokesman, he declined to comment.... Advisers to both Paul and Cruz also declined comment, but people in both camps said they are courting the billionaire."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

GOP wants to intervene in NH ballot access case

Ballot Access News - Republican National Committee Seeks to Intervene in New Hampshire Libertarian Party Ballot Access Case - Richard Winger:

March 31, 2015 - "On March 20, the Republican National Committee asked a U.S. District Court to intervene in Libertarian Party of New Hampshire v Gardner, 1:!4cv-322. The issue in the lawsuit is the 2013 change to the New Hampshire election law that it made it illegal for a newly-qualifying party to circulate a party petition during an odd year....

"As far as is known, this is the first time any major party national committee has intervened in a constitutional ballot access lawsuit at a time remote from a presidential general election. The Democratic National Committee intervened in some lawsuits involving independent presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy in 1976, John B. Anderson in 1980, and Ralph Nader in 2004. But those interventions were on how certain ballot access laws should be interpreted, not over their constitutionality.

"This action is a clue that the Republican National Committee will be seeking to intervene in court in many states during 2016 to try to prevent the Libertarian Party, and possibly other minor parties or independent candidates, from getting on the ballot. It also might be connected to the actions of Republican legislators in South Dakota and Arizona, who during March have solidly voted in favor of bills making ballot access laws for minor parties more difficult."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rand Paul launches 2016 presidential campaign

Rand Paul launches 2016 bid with attack on GOP - Alex Isenstadt and Katie Glueck - POLITICO:

April 7, 2015 - "Rand Paul took aim at Washington and his fellow Republicans as he formally launched his presidential bid on Tuesday, railing against his party for catering to special interests and framing himself as an anti-establishment figure with broad voter appeal.

"The first-term Kentucky senator and ophthalmologist sought to set himself apart from both his father Ron Paul — an uncompromising libertarian figure who made three unsuccessful runs for the White House — and the rest of the Republican field.

"'Too often, when Republicans have won, we’ve squandered our victory by becoming part of the Washington machine,' Paul said during a rousing rally with chants of 'President Paul' from the packed crowd at the Galt House Hotel. 'If we nominate a candidate who is simply Democrat-light, why bother? What’s the point?'

"Paul laid out a staunchly conservative vision that he said was also inclusive, aimed at empowering poorer Americans through greater education and economic opportunities....

"Paul, 52, hit on some of the same themes associated with his father, who departed Congress in 2013 but continues to deliver speeches and write doom-and-gloom columns about the dangers posed by the federal government.

"'Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration and is now tripling under Barack Obama’s watch,' Paul said, in an apparent jab at former President George W. Bush whose brother Jeb is a 2016 contender. 'We’ve come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank'....

"Paul also addressed foreign policy, an issue that has exposed him to attacks from rivals who say he’s too dovish and too like his father. On Tuesday, Paul — who has previously articulated a non-interventionist approach and has called for cuts to Pentagon spending — struck a delicate balance.

"'We need a national defense robust enough to defend against all attack, modern enough to deter all enemies, and nimble enough to defend our vital interests,' he said. 'But we also need a foreign policy that protects American interests and encourages stability — not chaos.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 6, 2015

Some CIA officers convinced Arar was innocent, says Kiriakou

Ex-spy: CIA officers protested Arar arrest - Peace Arch News - Canadian Press:

April 5, 2015 - "A former spy has described the debate within the CIA over the arrest, rendition and torture of Canadian Maher Arar, saying multiple colleagues warned against it because they were convinced they were punishing an innocent man.

"The account from former CIA officer John Kiriakou sheds new light on decade-old events that caused a public inquiry in Canada, a $10 million payout from the federal government, and unsuccessful lawsuits in the U.S....

 "It came during an interview at the ex-spy's Virginia home, where he described how he went from being the head of counterterrorism operations in Pakistan after 9-11, to becoming the first CIA employee to publicly question the use of torture, to eventually spending two years in jail for leaking agency secrets....

"Kiriakou expressed disgust with his country's role in sending the engineer to be tortured in his native Syria, and with its continuing failure to issue an apology like Canada has.

"He described a dynamic within the agency in which one mid-to-high-level officer ignored repeated objections from her subordinates, and insisted on pushing ahead.

"'I can tell you that a lot of people inside the CIA objected to this,' Kiriakou said. '(They said), "This is the wrong guy. He hasn't done anything."'

"Arar was grabbed during a New York airport layover and flown to a notorious Syrian prison. He has described a year-long ordeal that included being beaten and stuffed into a body-sized slot in a windowless dungeon. Arar likened it to being buried alive."

Read more: 
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The total libertarianism of the Eastwoods

Clint Eastwood's Ridiculously Hot Son Scott Has A Message For His Gay Fans|The Gaily Grind - Adrian Garcia:

March 31, 2015 - "Scott Eastwood, the wickedly hot son of four-time Oscar winner Clint Eastwood, revealed his personal thoughts on marriage equality and even had a special message for his gay fans during a recent interview with Pride Source.

"The 29-year-old actor and model ,,, was asked, 'At this point in your career, how aware are you that gay men enjoy you?' Scott replied:
Now I am – you’re bringing it to my attention! I love it. I don’t discriminate against any fans. Fans are fans, and gay men are great. I support gay marriage and the whole bit. I think everybody should be able to be with who they want to be with. My dad is the same way. He’s a total Libertarian – everyone leave everyone alone. Everyone live their own private life. And why does everyone gotta be all up in arms about it?
"He was then asked about the time his famous dad spoke about gay marriage. Clint was quoted as saying: 'I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?!'

"'I’d give the same fucking quote – that’s perfect,' Scott replied. 'I’m a firm believer that everyone’s human. We’re only on this planet for a short period of time, and we should all just be as kind as we can to other people because, in life, all you really have is how you affect people, in a negative way or a positive way.'”

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The growing problem of 'regulatory crimes'

You are probably breaking the law right now - Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today:

March 29, 2015 - "Ignorance of the law, we are often told, is no excuse. 'Every man is presumed to know the law,' says a long-established legal aphorism.... But not everybody favors this state of affairs. While a century or two ago nearly all crime was traditional common-law crime — rape, murder, theft and other things that pretty much everyone should know are bad — nowadays we face all sorts of 'regulatory crimes' in which intuitions of right and wrong play no role, but for which the penalties are high.

"If you walk down the sidewalk, pick up a pretty feather, and take it home, you could be a felon — if it happens to be a bald eagle feather. Bald eagles are plentiful now, and were taken off the endangered species list years ago, but the federal law making possession of them a crime for most people is still on the books, and federal agents are even infiltrating some Native-American powwows in order to find and arrest people.... Other examples abound, from getting lost in a storm and snowmobiling on the wrong bit of federal land, to diverting storm sewer water around a building....

"Michael Cottone, in a just-published Tennessee Law Review article, suggests that maybe the old presumption that individuals know the law is outdated, unfair and maybe even unconstitutional. 'Tellingly,' he writes, 'no exact count of the number of federal statutes that impose criminal sanctions has ever been given, but estimates from the last 15 years range from 3,600 to approximately 4,500.' Meanwhile, according to recent congressional testimony, the number of federal regulations (enacted by administrative agencies under loose authority from Congress) carrying criminal penalties may be as many as 300,000....

"To solve this problem we need for judges to abandon the presumption that people know the law, at least where regulatory crimes are concerned, and require some proof that the accused knew or should reasonably have known that his conduct was illegal. Alternatively, Congress should adopt legislation requiring such proof. (And I would favor allowing defendants in any action brought by the federal government — civil or criminal — to have the option of arguing to the jury that the government's action against them is unfair or biased, with the charges dropped and legal fees being charged to the government if the jury agrees.)"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 3, 2015

Progressives libel libertarians over discrimination laws

Explaining the libertarian position on antidiscrimination laws - The Washington Post - David Bernstein:

April 2, 2015 - "With the recent and continuing hulabaloo over conflicts between antidiscrimination laws and freedom of religion, the charge inevitably arises that anyone who is opposed to, or even skeptical of, antidiscrimination laws that apply to private parties – which means most people who identify themselves as libertarians – is effectively not pro-liberty, but pro-discrimination.

"The most serious charge has been that libertarian skepticism of antidiscrimination laws that apply to private entities reflects, at best, insensitivity to race discrimination.  One blogger, reflecting a significant swath of progressive sentiment, argued that no matter how committed to racial egalitarianism any individual libertarian claims to be, 'Libertarianism is a racist philosophy. Libertarians are racists.'

"This is a rather odd criticism. For both philosophical and utilitarian reasons, libertarians are presumptively strongly opposed to any government regulation of the private sector.  It naturally follows that libertarians presumptively oppose restrictions on private sector discrimination.  It’s hardly an indication of racial animus, or even insensitivity, for libertarians to enunciate the exact same position on antidiscrimination laws that they take in all other contexts.

"The progressive libel of libertarians as racial troglodytes for their consistent defense of private-sector autonomy is ironic, given that similar illogic has so frequently been used against modern liberals.  When liberals defended Communists’ free speech and employment rights in the 1950s, their critics accused them of being Communist sympathizers, if not outright Communists.  More recently, progressives have been accused of being American-hating jihadist sympathizers when they stood up for the rights of terrorism suspects.  Critics have even charged civil libertarians with abetting racism for opposing hate speech laws.....

"While minorities can generally find productive economic niches in even highly prejudiced but market-oriented societies, there is no safe haven for minorities if racist ideas dominate politics and lead to harsh discriminatory legislation.

"Also, a free economic market protects minorities from discrimination to some degree because businesspeople have an economic incentive to hire the most productive workers and to obtain the most customers. By contrast, individual voters and political activists have no corresponding incentive to overlook or overcome their personal prejudices. Concern for the financial bottom line mitigates the temptation of economic entrepreneurs to discriminate; concern for the electoral bottom line, meanwhile, often leads politicians to stir up resentment against minorities."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Freedom of association victim of new Indiana law

Freedom of Association Is Burned at the Stake in Indiana - Deroy Murdock,  National Review:

April 1, 2015 - "The only identifiable victim of Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the First Amendment’s Freedom of Association clause. Like Joan of Arc, it has been burned at the stake.... In the name of nondiscrimination, Republican governor Mike Pence has surrendered to the angry mobs....

"Despite RFRA’s similarity to a 22-year-old federal statute and laws in 18 other states, liberal activists and journalists have distorted Indiana’s measure into an alleged anti-gay hit list.

"It never helps that laws like this one focus solely on the rights of religious people. As vital as religious liberty is, what about the rights of the 25 percent of Americans who have no faith?... The sorts of freedoms shielded by Indiana’s new law — and nearly identical pieces of legislation heralded by the ACLU, signed by President Clinton, and supported by Obama in the Illinois state senate — should be protected for all Americans, be they religious, agnostic, atheist, confused, or otherwise. Freedom of Association belongs to all Americans, via the First Amendment, not only those who happen to be religious....

"In the public sector, the government must administer equal justice under the law and treat all Americans equally. Thus, the anti-gay discrimination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell deserved to end. Likewise, ... government should not discriminate against gay couples when handing out marriage licenses....

"The private sector, such as it is, is something different. Private individuals on private property should be free to associate with whom and without whom they wish. Just because someone runs a business or is part of a private group or organization does not mean that she surrenders her rights or becomes a mere appendage of government."

Read more at:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Southern running for LP of Canada in BC riding

Libertarians nominate Lauren Southern for Langley-Aldergrove - Aldergrove Star

April 1, 2015 - "The Libertarian Party of Canada has nominated Lauren Southern for the federal riding of Langley-Aldergrove.

"Lauren Southern was born and raised in Surrey and is currently living [in] Langley. Lauren became an advocate of Libertarian values when she began discovering the works of Libertarian philosophers at a young age. She adopted the belief that the government does not know how to spend an individual’s money better than they do. Nor should the government have the right to instruct people on how to live their lives when their way of life is causing no harm to those around them.

"She is currently studying political sciences at the University of the Fraser Valley ... where she provides a strong voice for liberty on the campus. She previously hosted the radio show Liberty Now from the university broadcast station where she discussed current affairs from a libertarian viewpoint. Since then, she has moved on to more studies and volunteering, and is now looking for more opportunities to promote Libertarian ideals in any way she can.

"Lauren plans on running a strong campaign in order to spread the libertarian message, as well as move power away from the government and back to the people. She feels strongly about issues such as corporate welfare, criminalization of victimless crimes and taxation. In promoting liberty, Lauren hopes to create a better, freer Canada for current and future Canadians."

Read more:
'via Blog this'