Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Anarcho-capitalist runs for LPC in Grande Prairie

Libertarian candidate joins race | Daily Herald Tribune - Tom Bateman:

August 30, 2015 = "Twenty-two-year-old Dylan Thompson will appear on the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie ballot representing the Libertarian Party of Canada....

"Thompson was convinced to run while watching videos of Libertarian leader Tim Moen talk about the effect Ron Paul had on American politics.

"'He didn't get into power, into the helm of America, but what he did is converted a lot of people into libertarians,' said Thompson. 'I discovered they have the same view as me and I'm like, "I'm onboard, I've got to help you guys with this mission".'

"Included in the Libertarian Party of Canada's platform is a phasing out of government's control of the money supply, reducing federal income taxes to a maximum rate of 15%, reducing or eliminating organizations like the CRTC, CATSA and the Canadian Dairy Commission, repealing the Canada Health Act, making 'responsible gun possession' legal, legalizing sex work and decriminalizing the consumption and possession of drugs.

"'If I could ask people to read Henry Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson, I think that will probably give people a taste of where we're coming from more than anything else,' he added.

"Thompson is also a self-described 'anarcho-capitalist'.

"'It's basically, the private sector would handle things like the police, military and the court system. That's not the party position, which is more of a minarchist one - which is those three things are the absolute minimum that government has to survive,' he said....

"Thompson said the people he's spoken with in Grande Prairie, long known as a conservative stronghold, find his proposals interesting.

"'It's about making that cultural change and getting people to understand,' he said of his goals for the campaign."

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Purple PAC suspends Rand Paul campaign

Rand Paul 2016: One of his super PACs goes dark - POLITICO - Alex Isenstadt:

September 29, 2015 - "One of the three super PACs supporting Rand Paul’s presidential campaign has stopped raising money, dealing a damaging blow to an already cash-starved campaign.

"In a Tuesday telephone interview, Ed Crane, who oversees the group, PurplePAC, accused Paul of abandoning his libertarian views -- and suggested it was a primary reason the Kentucky senator had plummeted in the polls.

"'I have stopped raising money for him until I see the campaign correct its problems,' said Crane, who co-founded the Cato Institute think tank and serves as its president emeritus.... 'I don’t see the point in it right now,' he added.

"PurplePAC has been in existence for around two years, but over the summer Crane transformed it into a Paul-focused vehicle. It joined two other super PACs, America’s Liberty and Concerned American Voters, that were expressly designed to support Paul.

"In July, PurplePAC announced that it had raised around $1.2 million - the vast majority of it coming from Jeff Yass, a Philadelphia options trader.

"Crane said the organization currently had over $1 million cash on hand, but no longer wanted to ask for contributions.... The libertarian views that catapulted Paul to national prominence had 'disappeared,' Crane said....

"'I want to grab Rand by the lapels and say, "What are you doing?"' Crane said. 'I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. But whatever motivates his campaign, I don’t get it.'

"The decision comes at a perilous time for the Kentucky senator, who has fallen in polls and struggled to raise cash. Paul has raised just $13 million between his campaign and the three super PACs – a fraction of many of his rivals. There are also fresh questions about how much America’s Liberty will be able to raise going forward. Last month, Jesse Benton, a longtime Paul aide who helped to oversee the group, was indicted on charges that he concealed payments to an Iowa state senator while working for Paul’s father, Ron, on the 2012 presidential race....

"Sergio Gor, a Paul spokesman, noted that the two super PACs that were originally set up to help Rand Paul - America's Liberty and Concerned American Voters - “remain active and ongoing.”

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Damien Wilson runs for Libertarians in Ottawa South

Meet the Ottawa South Libertarian Party candidate: Damien Wilson - Erin McCracken, Ottawa Community News:

September 24, 2015 - "This may be Damien Wilson’s first attempt at seeking to represent the federal Ottawa South riding, but the 21-year-old says he has always had a mind for politics.

He hopes to offer a different choice to voters – from young people to military veterans – when they cast their ballots on Oct. 19....

"'Last election, I was doing some serious research of who I wanted to vote for and what party I wanted to join,' Wilson said. 'From there, I was really disappointed with my options. I decided I’m going to become that option'......

"While campaigning at the doors of Ottawa South residents, Wilson said some have expressed frustration over the current government.

“'Part of that is because the government hasn’t been delivering on the economy the way they projected that they would,' Wilson said, adding that the Libertarian Party is able to make the difficult decisions needed to implement positive change, for instance, not 'bailing out corporations to protect ‘x’ amount of jobs, because it’s not how things should be done'....

"Wilson also points to cuts to legal aid made by the Harper government as an issue affecting Ottawans.

"'You have a right to representation. We should be putting more money in the justice system to make sure it is a fair and accountable process,' Wilson said....

"Immigration has become a hot-button issue this election, said Wilson. 'As it stands, the Libertarian Party wants to make sure that it’s not a complicated process. The last thing we want stopping an asylum seeker, an immigrant or a refugee is the paperwork,' he said. 'Ultimately, we do encourage private sponsorship'.

"In the context of the economy, Wilson said his party does not stand for investing in any resources in any industry. 'Cut back on that corporate socialism so that businesses have to compete on their own level. That way we won’t be susceptible to these booms and these busts that we have,' he said.

"His party also wants to end food industry monopolies and open up competition to keep food prices down and ensure more people have access to basic necessities.

"'All industry should compete on a fair playing field,' Wilson said. 'What this means is you don’t give tax breaks to one industry.'

"On the foreign policy front, the party believes the government should get out of foreign conflicts and focus on creating a stronger nation in 'a clean-up your backyard kind of approach,' Wilson said.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Libertarian rapper Eric July has fans in Fox News

Dallas' Viral Libertarian Rapper Eric July Has Fans in Fox News and Glenn Beck | Dallas Observer - Jeff Gage:

September 15, 2015 - "Eric July's life changed forever when his friend was murdered in front of him.... One night at a club called JeRenee, someone opened fire with an AK-47 — and after the terror had ended, July's friend, 15-year-old Juanita Payne, lay dying on the ground....

"Now 25, July has long since come to see the light and taken to the pulpit for the Libertarian gospel. He posts regular web videos in which he rants about the economy, racism and police violence, many of which have gone viral. One recent video in which he accused Bernie Sanders of being an 'economic illiterate' earned him an appearance on Fox News, and Glenn Beck is such a big fan that July has been invited to speak on Beck's The Blaze on multiple occasions....

"'I've never been a guy to set out to convert people to being Libertarian,' he insists. 'I'm trying to get people thinking more critically about things, get your mind going and be able to see right through all of it.' And now, after moving back to Dallas from South Texas earlier this year, he's focused his efforts on spreading the same message through music with his rap-metal hybrid BackWordz."

His conversion to Libertarianism had everything to do with his desire to see the lives of his fellow African Americans get better. He suddenly found that he couldn't place his faith in the government, much less expect it to cure his problems or those of his community. 'As I learned more about [African American] history, I could see the connection with our oppression because the government and extensions of our government had facilitated it from day one,' he says."

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Daily Show host's Rand Paul bromance

‘The Daily Show’ Host Trevor Noah on Being ‘Sad’ For John Boehner and His Rand Paul ‘Romance’ - The Daily Beast - Asawin Suebsaeng:

September 25, 2015 - "Trevor Noah and The Daily Show cast and crew were taking questions [Friday] from an audience of reporters in front of their new set.... Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, is set to become only the third host in the show’s history, taking over (of course) for Jon Stewart (who took over for Craig Kilborn). Racial issues have figured into his comedy oeuvre quite heavily over the years.

"“I was born a crime,” Noah (who was born to a black mother and a white Swiss father) told CNN in 2013, explaining how interracial marriage and interracial sex were illegal in apartheid South Africa. 'My racial identity has been reclassified at least three times just in my lifetime, so it’s…very important to me,' he later added in an interview with Time Out London.

"As for his politics, Noah at least attempts to be more opaque. During Friday’s press breakfast, he emphasized that he is 'neither left nor right.' (His predecessor was always open about his liberalism, and used to identify as 'more of a socialist')....

"Funny enough, the American politician Noah is most enamored with at the moment is Republican senator and presidential contender Rand Paul.

"'There are certain issues that I’ve seen, let’s say, from Rand Paul where I go, "Yeah, I like that," and I think that we can move forward in that regard. When it comes to Social Security reform, and looking at different ways to adjust benefits for people, there’s definitely a conversation to be had there. Now, I’m not an expert in it…But I believe progression can come from both sides.'

"Noah says it was the senator’s two debate performances thus far that impressed him so much. 'He was saying things that were sane at the debates, he really was,' Noah said, referring, in part, to Paul’s less 'knee-jerk,' neoconservative, invasion-happy approach to foreign policy. 'He wasn’t gung-ho. He did seem thoughtful. And that is progression for me. And maybe that’s a tiny step in the right direction.'

"(When asked about Noah’s comments, Paul spokesman Sergio Gor told The Daily Beast simply that Paul is 'uniquely positioned to grow the GOP tent by attracting new voters and we welcome them all,' and that Paul would be open to appearing on the new latest incarnation of The Daily Show.)

"Noah then likened watching Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and other Republican candidates to 'walking through the streets of New York' and having crazy people scream at you.

"A Daily Show colleague sitting near Noah at Friday’s event chuckled, and warned him that soon the day will come when Paul does something to 'break your heart,' as all politicians are prone to do.

"'I don’t know all of Rand Paul, and that’s what is gonna be fun,' Noah replied. 'But at this point, the romance is real. And I will embrace it as such.'"

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Libertarians, Greens to sue debates commission

Libertarians, Greens ready lawsuit against Commission on Presidential Debates - Washington Post -  David Weigel:

September 24 - "The Libertarian Party and Green Party and their 2012 candidates for president are readying a legal complaint against the Commission on Presidential Debates, hoping that a new legal argument -- an anti-trust argument -- will break the 'duopoly' that's dominated the stage.

"The legal complaint, which was sent early to The Washington Post, argues that a 'cognizable political campaign market' is being corrupted by the commission's rules. The commission, a private entity set up after the League of Women Voters' 1992 debates allowed third party candidate Ross Perot to participate, has withstood yearly assaults from the likes of Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan, and former Congressman Bob Barr. None of them have gotten past a 1999 commission rule: No candidate gets onstage unless he or she is polling at 15 percent or better.

"Bruce Fein, the attorney for the new plaintiffs, argues over 43 pages that keeping them out of a 'multi-billion dollar' market violates 'antitrust laws, the First Amendment, and District of Columbia tort law.'

"'The unlawful agreement among Defendants has several illicit purposes,' writes Fein. 'The first is to acquire, maintain, and exercise duopoly control of the multi-million dollar market in organizing, promoting, sponsoring, and fundraising for holding national general election presidential and vice-presidential debates to artificially advantage the Democratic and Republican Party candidates... the second illicit purpose is to acquire, maintain, and exercise duopoly control over, and to exclude and severely undermine competition in, the multi-billion dollar market of organizing, promoting, fundraising for, and engaging in general presidential and vice-presidential election campaigns'....

"When the complaint is filed in the District of Columbia next week -- the precise date is pending -- Fein and his plaintiffs will join a crowd of people asking for lower debate thresholds. In March, with some fanfare, a few dozen old political hands launched a group called Change the Rule, asking for no real change to the commission beyond the softening of the 15 percent rule.

"Fein's group is going further, asking a court to rule that 'the fifteen percent criterion used by Defendants continues to violate the First Amendment' and for 'an order compelling the dissolution of the Commission and an injunction against any further boycott or other agreement in restraint of trade between the RNC and the DNC or any of their candidates or their agents.'"

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jewell running for Libertarians in Halton

Introducing Chris Jewell, Milton's Libertarian candidate - Julie Slack, Inside Halton:

September 16, 2015 - "Chris Jewell is running for the Libertarian Party in Halton and his promise is to speak for the people.

"The 30-year-old Milton resident says he chose the Libertarian Party because it has unique ideas.

"'People should be able to keep the money they earn,' said Jewell, who spent his childhood years in Simcoe. 'They should be responsible for their own decisions (good or bad) and their own actions.

"'They should be treated like adults,' he added. “Moreover we should live and let live, not try to force things on people with legislation.'

"If elected, he said he would be a public servant to the people of Milton.

"'I am not a whipped dog like every other politician belonging to the major parties,' he said. 'I will actually make myself available and vote the way the people want me to vote, not the way the party does.'

"He said he’d also work toward scrapping the graduated income tax system first by replacing it with a 15 per cent flat tax, then working to abolish income taxes entirely.

"'I will be a voice for the truth; the truth that our government and our allies have directly caused the refugee crisis by creating the radical Islamic threat and destabilizing the Middle East,' he said.

"Jewell spent his teen years in Bracebridge, before heading to Carleton University in Ottawa. Afterward, he lived in Vancouver and he has also worked in the U.S. and travelled to Europe and Asia, spending two years teaching in Korea, where he met his wife.

"He has worked on film and surveyor crews, taught English as a second language and works as a construction superintendent in Mississauga.

"He has always been politically active and ran as a Libertarian in the 2014 provincial election in the Mississsauga-Erindale riding."

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alberta Libertarians raffling semi-automatic rifle

Alberta Libertarian party association giving away semi-automatic gun for donation | Edmonton Journal - Chris Young, Canadian Press:

September 21, 2015 - "Make a donation to one Libertarian Party candidate in Alberta, and get a chance to win a semi-automatic rifle.

"The party’s association in Yellowhead, a mostly rural district in west-central Alberta, is giving away the rifle, valued at $1,200, after election day on Oct. 19.

"Candidate Cory Lystang told a radio show (Afternoons with Danielle Smith, CHQR) that he checked with Elections Canada before arranging the promotion.

"He says he was told it had never been done before, but it did not run afoul of any election rules....

"As long as the contributions are properly reported after the election, Elections Canada says, the giveaway complies with election law.

"The winner must be 18 years and older and have a restricted firearms licence in order to receive the prize."

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

DOJ warns states not to reform forfeiture laws

Department of Justice Threatens to Take Away Funds From States That Reform Asset Forfeiture Laws | High Times - Mike Adams:

September 18, 2015 - "While former Attorney General Eric Holder said at the beginning of 2015 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had taken measures to prevent state and local police departments from seizing money, cars and other personal property without first charging a drug suspect with criminal activity, newly released documents show this move was nothing more than lip service to temporarily appease the opposing forces of unchecked police authority....

"A series of documents obtained by the Institute for Justice reveals that the DOJ has teamed up with the Treasury Department to bribe state law enforcement groups to oppose any effort to change the way the civil asset forfeiture laws operate in their state. If they fail to comply, and the state does pass reforms to this system, the federal government indicates that it will strip away the federal funding the state has been receiving through the Equitable Sharing Program.

"The documents show that New Mexico, where Governor Susana Martinez put a stop to civil asset forfeitures earlier this year, has already suffered this castration.

"In the case of California’s recently-killed Senate Bill 443, which would have changed the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws to require a conviction before police could permanently hang on to seized property, several emails were exchanged that not only brought to the attention of lawmakers the tremendous revenue the bill would cause them to leave behind, but also suggested that it would hinder the DOJ from greasing the coffers of state law enforcement agencies. Basically, the federal government would be forced to cut them off because securing convictions takes too long.

"'I highly doubt our federal agencies can figure out whether a conviction occurred in any timely manner,' wrote Melissa Nasrah, legal counsel for the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture. '[It] seems the legislation, in effect, takes decision-making authority away from Treasury. Accordingly, I think I would still advise our policy officials here that it would be prudent to not share with CA agencies should this law be passed.'

"This was all it took for the California District Attorney’s Association to draft a letter to Senator Holly Mitchell, one of the authors of the asset forfeiture reform bill, which was CC’d to every member of the California legislature, ... to express concerns over the fact that if the law was passed, all federal forfeiture money would be 'subject to a criminal conviction' under the U.S. government’s statutory guidelines, potentially preventing the state from receiving funds from the Equitable Sharing Program.

"It should come as no surprise that the California State Legislature submitted to these scare tactics and allowed the reform bill to die last week on the Assembly floor. Reports show the current asset forfeiture law is responsible for generating nearly $85 million per year for the state. You would be hard pressed to find a group of bureaucrats willing to let go of that much cash just to protect those people associated with illegal drugs – even the innocent ones."

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Rand Paul wins Mackinac Conference straw poll

Straw poll: Rand Paul tops among Mich. GOP activists - Chad Livengood & Melissa Nann Burke, Detroit News:

September 19, 2015 - "Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won the presidential straw poll at this weekend’s Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, capturing 22 percent of the vote among a field of 16 candidates.

"Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina came in second with 15 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in third place with 13.8 percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in fourth with 13 percent in The Detroit News/MIRS presidential straw poll among the party activists.

"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush finished fifth in the straw poll with 9.7 percent of the 785 registered conference attendees who voted....

"'This is an organization test that indicates that (Paul) will over-perform in other organizational contests such as Iowa, Nevada, Minnesota and other caucus states that come before the March 8 Michigan primary,' said John Yob, Paul’s national political director and a Grand Rapids-based GOP consultant.

"The candidate said winning the straw poll — which he did in a similar vote on the island in 2013 — was an honor, 'as it is voted on by the most influential Michigan GOP members, grassroots leaders and party activists from throughout the country...'

"The top five presidential candidates in the straw poll each barnstormed Mackinac Island Friday and Saturday, engaging in retail politicking among 2,200 Michigan Republicans attending the state party’s 31st biennial leadership conference. The top two vote-getters, Paul and Fiorina, were the last candidates to speak Saturday night at the Grand Hotel....

"Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and billionaire Donald Trump, who skipped the conference, trailed behind Bush with 8.4 percent and and 6.8 percent, respectively. Neurosurgeon and Detroit native Dr. Ben Carson, who also skipped the conference, finished eighth at 5.5 percent."

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tucker arrested strip-searched for traffic violation

Captured, Cuffed, and Jailed: A Personal Story - Jeffrey Tucker -

August 23, 2015 - "From one minute to the next, I went from seemingly free to cuffed and captured. Anyone who has ever experienced such a thing knows exactly what I mean. If you haven’t experienced it, I hope you never do....

"By day’s end, it was over. Except not really. This one incident is over. But the reality that none of us really control our lives, that none of our property is really our own, that we all stand vulnerable to legal kidnapping at any moment: This is an ongoing reality for the whole population....

"Well, here’s how it happened to me. There’s a new traffic law in most states called the 'move over' rule. When the police are stopped on the right hand side of the road, you are to move over to the left lane. This makes the police feel safer. For my part, I had never heard of this law or never had it really tested in my driving behavior. The police had set up a trap, stopping there on the side just to test compliance. I moved over a bit but not enough.

"The lights flashed behind me, and I pulled over. I gave the officer my license. Another police car arrived. He returned and told me to step out of the car, and asked me why my license was suspended. I was shocked. Then I remembered I was one day late in paying a parking ticket. The lady at the counter told me there might be an issue with my license, so she gave me an official paper labelled 'Official Notice of Reinstatement of Driver’s License,' and put the official seal on it....

"I told the police that they could find this document in my car. They looked because at this point I was not allowed to move. They brought the paper back and stared at it. One policeman said it was clearly legitimate. The other said, no this was issued by the municipal court, not the Department of Motor Vehicles, so he couldn’t accept it....

"I was cuffed and led to the car. I protested that my computer, my phone, all my stuff was in the car. None of this mattered. They searched my car for drugs, guns, liquor, or whatever. They found an unlabelled bottle of pills (a blood thinner) and interrogated me about it, strongly implying that having an unmarked bottle of pills is illegal (is it? I don’t know).... My car would be towed to a wrecker lot, [they] explained. If I get out on bail, I could pay to get it back. Would the lot still be open by then? I asked. The policeman had no answer, no concern....

"The police car with me in it took off and within 15 minutes I was being strip searched. They dug deep into every pocket, looking for what? (I would learn later)....

"A Hispanic man was brought in after me, and I saw how other people are treated. He was cuffed in back, very tightly. They were much more rough on him during the search.

"Then something remarkable happened. They found what looked like small flakes of marijuana in his pocket, no more than ¼ of a teaspoon. They immediately changed his charge from 'failure to appear' — he missed a court date for a traffic violation — to a felony: bringing illegal substances into a correctional facility. Once this happened, the officer shouted to everyone with great glee: 'we’ve got a felon!!' They high-fived it all around....

"In other words, this is why they were searching me so thoroughly. They want to find any excuse, any small reason to intensify charges, to spread more misery and wreckage. One of the guards seemed less excited than the others, and I asked him how he can stand to watch this kind of thing happen all day, every day. He told me that you just get used to it.

"'Just doing my job.' I must have heard that phrase 15 times during my ordeal. The cops use it. The clerks use it. The guards use it. The whole system sees itself this way. It is just doing what it is supposed to do.... No single person is responsible for judging the morality or justice of it all. It is the system, and they work within it. They can’t change it. They cooperate with it. They live by the book. It’s the book itself that is the oppressor....

"This is a system of exploiters and the exploited, exactly as Marx himself had explained. But the difference is this: the law is the exploiter and the population is the exploited ... every law ends in the right of a tiny elite to capture you, pillage you, and, ultimately, kill you. Every addition to the law code intensifies the violence."

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

What is the libertarian way of riding a bicycle?

This Catholic Magazine Thinks There's a Libertarian Way to Ride a Bicycle. What? | Cato Institute - David Boaz:

September 15, 2015 - "Alan Wolfe is writing about libertarianism again. In June he complained that libertarianism was 'rigid' and obsessed with 'purity,' under the ridiculous headline 'Why libertarianism is closer to Stalinism than you think.' Now he’s claiming that 'libertarianism embodies Max Weber’s nightmare of an iron cage,' whatever that means. The article is obsessed with ideological infighting, and this time he actually does manage to accuse Ayn Rand of a 'Stalinesque purge' of Nathaniel Branden, her former lover and ideological partner. Thing is, she didn’t have Branden killed, which is pretty much the essence of Stalinesque purges....

"But let me look at what I take to be the main point of the article:
Libertarianism, however, is not just a set of policy prescriptions, but an ideology. It is, moreover, a total ideology, one that addresses every aspect of how people live. There is a libertarian way of riding a bicycle, of taking your medicine, finding a spouse, giving blood, and even calling a cab (can you say, “Uber?”).
"Is he kidding? In a world that has experienced Catholicism, fundamentalism, communism, national socialism, Islamic fundamentalism, and political correctness, he calls libertarianism 'a total ideology, one that addresses every aspect of how people live?' How does such nonsense get published?

"Let me just say that I’ve written books on libertarianism, and I’ve never used Uber, nor do I have any idea what the libertarian way of 'riding a bicycle, of taking your medicine,' or of 'finding a spouse' is supposed to be.

"There are of course philosophies that are totalist or address 'every aspect of how people live,' from peaceful but prescriptive religions to theocracies to 20th-century totalitarianisms.... A philosophy of 'do what you want to do, so long as you respect the equal rights of others' is something very different. But Wolfe just can’t see that. He also claims:
Indeed, the libertarian conception of human nature seems curiously, even paradoxically, machine-like. Seemingly free to make our own decisions, in the libertarian utopia we would in fact be little more than slaves of rules that conform our choices to the rigidities of marketplace rationality.... At a personal level, emotions such as envy, guilt, and sympathy would be forbidden us. Human nature, libertarians insist, is one thing and one thing only: the capacity to make choices based on the rational calculation of self-interest.
"That’s a striking distortion of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. It has, as far as I can see, no relationship at all to non-Randian libertarianism. I suppose it’s true that libertarians discourage envy as a guide to action. But guilt and sympathy 'forbidden ... at a personal level?' The point of libertarianism is to respect each person as an end, not just a means; to allow persons to think and act as they please, so long as they respect the rights of others; and thereby to encourage human flourishing. You won’t find much scope in that agenda for forbidding personal emotions.

"This is all very sad. You can tell that Alan Wolfe has read a lot of libertarian writings. Yet with all his reading, he has not got understanding; apparently his aversion to free-market economics blinds him to what libertarians are actually saying."

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Mom travels 3,000 km to get marijuana prescription for epileptic daughter

Alberta mom denied marijuana prescription for daughter turns to Ontario clinic - - Sheryl Ubelacker:

September 18, 2015 - "An Alberta mother whose daughter has severe epilepsy has travelled to Ontario for a medical marijuana prescription after the girl's doctor said he was no longer allowed to provide permission to purchase the product.

"In 2013, Sarah Wilkinson had started extracting cannabis oil from dried marijuana — purchased from a licensed grower with a prescription from a neurologist at Alberta Children's Hospital — to prevent life-threatening seizures in her eight-year-old daughter Mia. "

"But in July, the physician declined to renew the prescription because of a hospital policy based on the position of Alberta Health Services, the provincial health authority, which does not support the use of medical marijuana for pediatric patients with epilepsy.

"Wilkinson said the cannabis oil is the only therapy that has worked to stop Mia's seizures, caused by a rare type of epilepsy called Ohtahara syndrome.

"Despite taking 30 to 40 anti-convulsive pills daily, Mia would suffer up to 100 seizures a day, said her mother. But since starting daily doses of oral cannabis oil 19 months ago, she has not had a single seizure.

"On Monday, Mia was seen by a doctor at the Canadian Cannabis Clinic in St. Catharines, Ont., and left with a prescription for dried marijuana, which her mother can fill from a federally licensed producer after returning to their Airdrie, Alta., home.

"'It's a big relief. I don't have to worry about when I run out of her meds,' said her mother, who had been worried about her dwindling supply of medical-grade marijuana purchased with the initial prescription.

"Wilkinson said she turned to cannabis because nothing else was helping her child, ... adding that within 24 hours of the first dose, Mia's seizures had completely stopped....

"Without the treatment, 'we would have waited for the next big seizure and she would have died.... Now, we can all breathe.'

"For Mia, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, appears to be the ingredient in marijuana that controls her seizures, while others with different forms of epilepsy benefit from another component of the plant called cannabidiol, or CBD.

"Pharmacologist-toxicologist McIntyre Burnham, co-director of the Epilepsy Research Program of the Ontario Brain Institute in Toronto, said about 30 per cent of people with seizures don't respond to any anti-convulsive medications."

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rand Paul stresses libertarian themes in debate

Rand Paul returns to libertarian roots - Tom Loftus, Louisville Courier-Journal:

September 17, 2015 - "Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul emphasized the conservative libertarian themes that distinguish him from his rivals in Wednesday night's debate among leading Republicans seeking their party's 2016 presidential nomination.... Paul urged caution on military intervention in the Middle East, said the federal government should not override state laws on marijuana in states such as Colorado, and urged criminal justice reforms that emphasize rehabilitation over incarceration.

"'If you want boots on the ground, and you want them to be our sons and daughters, you’ve got 14 other choices,' Paul said referring to the rest of the GOP field. He said the prolonged American military engagement in Iraq has proven to be a mistake. 'And I’m not sending our sending our sons and our daughters back to Iraq.'

"Paul was among 11 candidates who took part in the prime time broadcast by CNN from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.... The themes emphasized by Paul are ones that mostly set him apart from the pack and ones he has not stressed in recent weeks as his standing in the polls has dropped.

"Wednesday night he made clear his opposition to military intervention without clear authority and a clear goal. 'I'm someone who believes in peace through strength,' he said in his closing statement. '...War is the last resort, not the first resort. And when we go to war, we go to war in a Constitutional way, which means that we have to vote on it, that war is initiated by Congress, not by the president. That we go to war reluctantly, but when we go to war we do not fight with one arm tied behind our back. We fight all-out to win.'

"Paul tangled with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on whether stronger federal laws on marijuana ought to be enforced over more liberal state laws in places like Colorado.

"'People going to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanic ...' Paul said. 'I personally think that this is a crime for which the only victim is the individual, and I think that America has to take a different attitude.' Paul said, 'I think the federal government has gone too far, I think the war on drugs has had a racial outcome and really has been something that’s really damaged our inner cities ... So I don’t think the federal government should override the states'....

"As expected, the debate saw a clash between Paul and frontrunner Donald Trump. What wasn’t anticipated was that Trump would throw the first punch.

"'Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage,' Trump said at the start of the debate, noting Paul's low standing in the polls. 'He’s number 11.'

"Actually Paul's latest ranking in Real Clear Politics' average of recent polls puts him in a tie for seventh place.

"Paul replied by questioning Trump's temperament - citing 'sophomoric' quips Trump has made about the physical appearance of his opponents. 'Would we not all be worried to have someone like that in charge of our nuclear arsenal?'

"Trump got in the last word in this exchange, however, saying he had never criticized Paul's looks, but 'believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter.'"

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Rand Paul Constitution Day moneybomb, September 17.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Most dangerous blogger in Canada" a libertarian

Robert Jago: The most dangerous blogger in Canada - - Aaron Hutchins:

September 16, 2015 -  "It’s not just — as Robert Jago calls it — 'some random political blog.' It could very well be the bane of  the Conservative campaign’s existence. Jago, a 39-year-old from Montreal who works for an education services firm, uses his spare time to dig into the social media history of Conservative candidates for the upcoming election—and there’s plenty to dig up. Earlier this month, he uncovered that Toronto–Danforth hopeful Tim Dutaud posted YouTube videos of himself making crank phone calls that make fun of those with disabilities. On Tuesday, Jago published that Blair Dale, a Tory running in the Newfoundland riding of Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, made controversial comments about women, abortion and racial minorities on social media. 

Q: That’s two Conservative candidates dropped within two weeks because of what came to light on your blog. 
A: Three....

Q: A lot of people are likely wondering: Who are you?
A: I’m some nobody, basically. I have no political aspirations. I’ve been volunteering in politics since I was a kid. My first election, when I was 19, I volunteered for an NDP minister of finance who lied for the entire campaign. After that, I volunteered with the Tories for a bit in 2006, 2008 and 2011, designing materials for them.

Q: Is this a job of yours? Are you working for someone?
A: No. This is a project. I’m a busybody. I want the electoral system to change, because it’s terrible. What the Conservatives are doing with Natives and the environment is terrible. I’m not generally the kind of person who waits for somebody else to deal with it. If I don’t like the way something is, I change it.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish?
A: I hope to move a few thousand votes in the GTA and the 905, and a few thousand votes in the Lower Mainland. I want to move those votes from Conservative switchers in those regions—people who are soft Tories who gave them a chance with a majority and who are regretting that decision now. Hopefully, if I can [change] enough votes to move one or two seats with the election, we’ll end up with a different government and a government that supports electoral reform.

Q: Why are you targeting the Conservatives when other parties might have candidates with Twitter or social media scandals?
A: The Conservative party is the only party that doesn’t support electoral reform. The NDP, Liberals and Greens each say that if they’re elected, we’ll have proportional representation or have preferential ballots. Those things will go a long way to fixing our system.

Q: You were a Tory volunteer. Why did you change your allegiance?
A: I’m a libertarian, and Stephen Harper says he doesn’t want us in the party. He had some big Christmas gala and he made fun of libertarians. He went on to pass laws that put potheads in jail, and that restrict civil liberties through Bill C-51. This group does not have any time for libertarians....

Q: Between the Liberals and the NDP, is there a party you support?
A: I live in the riding with Gilles Duceppe, so I will be voting for anybody — including a Conservative— if they can beat Gilles Duceppe. I want electoral reform, but I want electoral reform in Canada."

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Brazil Supreme Court talks drug decriminalization

Brazilian Supreme Court Seriously Considering Decriminalizing Weed, All Illegal Drugs - Cedar Attanasio, Latin Times:

September 11, 2015 - "Do Brazilian citizens have the right to consume drugs? That’s the question being considered by the Brazil's highest court in a case that has challenged the constitutionality of laws punishing drug consumption.... In 2009, a man who was already in prison on a petty crime and an illegal firearms conviction was caught with a small quantity of marijuana, convicted and punished with an additional sentence....

"Arguments for the decriminalization of all drugs, not just marijuana were spearheaded this week by two of the 11 judges on the bench. In signaling his vote, judge Luís Roberto Barroso compared criminalization of personal drug use to a dictatorship. 'The state has every right to combat the use [of drugs], to mount media campaigns, to create warnings, but to punish [drug use] with imprisonment is a form of authoritarianism that prevents the individual from making individual choices,' Barroso said....

"If adopted as a majority opinion, Barroso’s ruling would decriminalize possession for personal use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. The government would still be allowed to punish possession related to drug trafficking.

"Barroso cited other countries that have experimented [with] the legalization of marijuana and other drugs in recent years, according to RedeBrazil. He explicitly cited the U.S., a leader in the global war on drugs that has not interfered with state-level efforts to legalize pot, as well as Brazil’s neighbor Uruguay and it’s colonial mother country Portugal -- where heroin use fell 50 percent after drugs were decriminalized.

"Judge Luiz Edson Fachin joined Barroso, voting to overturn the marijuana conviction. While he acknowledged the dangers of illegal drugs, Fachin argued that drug users were victims, not crimminals. 'Those dependant on drugs are victims and not the seed of the crime [and] should be received as sick people,' Fachin said, according to G1.

"Fachin also pointed out that the country’s existing attempts at prohibition had failed. 'To insist in a public policy that has not worked for so many decades is to close one’s eyes to reality,' he said....

"On Thursday, the judges decided to table their final verdict, citing the need for further discussion of how to define 'personal use.' Some have proposed specific quantities -- 25 grams of marijuana and 6 plants, for example -- while [others] argue that the legislature should determine what quantities."

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Monday, September 14, 2015

MS state senator's only opponent taken off ballot

Libertarian removed from Mississippi state Senate race | - Associated Press:

September 9, 2015 - "Republican state Sen. Chuck Younger of Columbus now has a clear path to re-election.

"The state Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday removed Younger's only opponent from the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

"They said they were unable to establish whether Jake Reeves, a Libertarian, met a residency requirement. A Senate candidate must live in the state at least four years and in the district at least two years before the election.

"Reeves was not at the election commission meeting, and he has not filed any campaign finance reports. A phone number was not immediately available for him....

"Younger was first elected in 2014."
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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fast Company profiles Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

What Makes Uber Run | Fast Company | Business + Innovation - Max Chafkin:

September 8, 2015 - "Jordan Kretchmer remembers what Travis Kalanick was like before Uber was Uber.... He was in his early thirties, an engineer who talked like a sales guy, smart as hell and high on life. He wore a cowboy hat and referred to himself as the Wolf, after the cold-blooded, coolly rational fixer played by Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction. He was tireless — always on the move, always thirsty....

"Although Kalanick had been a startup guy since high school, he was a grinder, not a mogul. He had made enough on his last one, RedSwoosh, to buy a house and do a bit of angel investing. Uber, the on-demand transportation app that he cofounded with Garrett Camp in 2009, was still more or less a toy, a personal limo service for the founders and their friends in San Francisco. When Camp, who’d bought back his old company StumbleUpon at about the same time, asked Kalanick to run Uber full-time, Kalanick [initially] said no....

"In five years, Uber, which dispatches low-cost taxis and limousines operated by independent drivers, is likely the fastest-growing startup in history. It has more than 1 million active ­drivers — meaning they did at least one trip in the past week — operating in 330 cities (as of mid-August) and a valuation of $51 billion, which is roughly equivalent to the market capitalization of General Motors. It is a global phenomenon that is redesigning urbanites’ relationship with the world around them, transforming their smartphones into control pads for their harried lives. Uber — the first company since Google with a service so popular that its name is in regular use as both a noun and a verb — has spawned an entire category of business known as the one-tap economy: Millions of people now routinely open an app to enlist a distributed workforce to deliver groceries, hot meals, and their clean laundry on demand.

"But no other one-tap-economy company has changed society like Uber has. The availability of cheap and reliable transportation has helped spur a real estate surge in San Francisco and a nightlife boom in downtown Los Angeles while also (at least according to some studies) reducing drunk driving. Uber’s classification of its drivers as independent contractors has sparked a national conversation about the changing nature of employment and has made Uber a litmus test on jobs for the 2016 presidential candidates. Elsewhere, Uber has been seen as a stand-in for the excesses of global capitalism, prompting violent protests in Paris and Mexico City.

"All of this influence has come at the price of Kalanick’s reputation. The 39-year-old has been presented in an almost cartoonish light, coming off as either a Randian Superman, a Snidely Whiplash–style mustache-twirling villain, or both. And yet Kalanick has wooed some of the most august financiers in the world to give him, essentially, a blank check. Key staff members from some of the world’s best-run organizations, including Facebook’s head of security, President Barack Obama’s campaign manager, and a good-size chunk of Carnegie Mellon’s driverless-car research division, have gone to work for him."

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rand Paul student group now over 300 chapters

Rand Paul sees students as his ticket to White House - - Tal Kopan:

September 12, 2015 - "Trying to find a path to the Republican presidential nomination, Rand Paul is going back to school.

"The Kentucky senator is looking to build on his father's strong finish in the 2012 Iowa caucuses this presidential cycle -- and he's hoping Iowa's large student population can be his secret weapon.

"The organizing has already begun. Friday night, Paul [was] at Iowa State University for a Stand with Rand student rally -- where he announced that his campaign had more than surpassed its goal to open 300 new Students for Rand chapters in 30 days.

"The effort was announced in August, and on Friday, Paul announced that his campaign has 339 student chapters nationwide, days ahead of schedule.

"In Iowa, the campaign has 16 college chapters, including its inaugural chapter at University of Iowa and other units at Iowa State, University of Northern Iowa and Drake University....

"'The ideas that Rand stands for are what get youth excited, and we are going to build this infrastructure in a way that we can take that excitement and build it into actual votes so Rand can win this nomination,' said Cliff Maloney, the national youth director for Paul's presidential campaign.... 'If we get 10,000 students to caucus for Rand, we're going to be in a very good position," Maloney said, declining to predict a finishing place.

"But his strategy could pay off big, said Alex Smith, national chairwoman of the College Republican National Committee.

"'There is a huge, huge opportunity for young people to be reached by these campaigns, because altering those (Iowa) numbers even just slightly, especially when you're talking about the difference between first and second or second and third, you could alter the whole balance of the election by just tinkering with those few votes,' Smith said. And, she noted, she's seen some of the right moves from the Paul campaign.

"'You can't send direct mail or advertising to an 18-24 year old on a college campus, that's just not going to work,' Smith said, emphasizing the importance of tailored, personal outreach. "But if you look at Rand Paul, he was one of the first candidates to be on SnapChat ... he often visits college campuses, which not many candidates do, and those are two examples of where he's taking his message, again a relevant message to this generation, directly to them.'"

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Libertarian Morgan running for privacy and property rights

Libertarian candidate joins campaign trail | High River Times - Kevin Rushworth:

September 10, 2015 - "A reduction to the size and responsibilities of government lies at the heart of the Libertarian Party of Canada’s platform, but for Foothills candidate Cory Morgan, his campaign will focus on speaking up for vital privacy and property rights.

"In an interview with the High River Times, Morgan, who calls Priddis home, said his election campaign would bring issues to light, those of which that wouldn’t otherwise be addressed.

"'Whereas I used to be supportive of the Harper government, after eight consecutive deficits, I’m not seeing a small government model here, nor any indication that it’s going to be coming,' he said.

"In the Foothills riding itself, it was the RCMP search and seizure of firearms in High River during the flood recovery which stirred him to run for federal office.

"'As a libertarian, I find that reprehensible,' he noted, referring to what he called the gross violation of people’s property rights. 'I do want to make sure people don’t forget what happened down there.'

"Just as the events of 2013 inspired him, Morgan campaigns for small, responsible government. The Libertarian Party of Canada operates in a laissez-faire government 'hands-off' approach....

"Morgan, who operates Water’s Edge Pub, noted his campaign will only be part time because the party is smaller and only has a limited budget. More literature and signs will appear in weeks to come, he said....

"'Giving it a little time, I think the small government values resonate with a great deal of people,' he added, noting that the Libertarian Party is currently in a growth period.

"Morgan is no stranger to the political process and previously ran as a Wildrose Party candidate for the Calgary-Mountainview constituency in the Alberta provincial election in 2008."

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ohio's controversial marijuana legalization initiative

Marijuana Legalization 2015: Ohio’s Push To Legalize Pot Creates Rifts Within Pro-Pot Movement - Joel Warner, International Business Times:

September 10, 2015 - "Ohio, which is among the 27 states that do not allow for medical marijuana, has become an unexpected hot spot in the national marijuana policy debate by placing a legalization initiative on its off-year election ballot. The specifics of that initiative, spearheaded by a organization called ResponsibleOhio, has given marijuana proponents pause: If passed as written, the amendment would limit cultivation and extraction of medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio to 10 land parcels in the state – parcels owned by 10 investment groups that have together funded ResponsibleOhio’s $20 million campaign. In other words, those bankrolling marijuana legalization in Ohio would have exclusive rights to control the economic backbone of what’s estimated to be a $1 billion-plus state industry....

"The amendment that Ohioans will vote on in November has a lot going for it, say some cannabis experts. For starters, says marijuana law professor Sam Kamin at the University of Denver, by legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana at the same time, Ohio could avoid regulatory headaches.... Legalization in Ohio also could come with criminal justice reform; if it passes, ResponsibleOhio plans to push for a “Fresh Start Act” in 2016 that would expunge Ohio convictions for marijuana offenses that are no longer illegal.

"Then there’s the idea of limiting statewide cultivation to 10 sites: On the surface, that’s not an outrageous idea.... The problem rests with who gets to own those 10 sites in Ohio.... ResponsibleOhio’s game plan has been compared to gambling initiatives funded by corporations that are first in line to operate the resulting casinos....

"Ohioans to End Prohibition has hundreds of people throughout the state working to collect the 306,000 signatures it needs by next July 1 to get their legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot. But [Sri] Kavuru, the head of the operation, spends the majority of his time fighting ResponsibleOhio's initiative.... In phone calls with voters, media interviews and political meetings at the capitol, he repeats his central argument: 'When everyone who wants to be in the legal marijuana industry is able to do so, it has the biggest impact on the black market. It is better for consumers and better for patients when there is free-market competition dictating the parameters of the marketplace'....

"'We support ending marijuana prohibition and this system would do that, but it’s up to voters to look at this system and decide whether it’s what they want,” says Mason Tvert, the usually bold and decisive communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. 'It’s not our responsibility, it’s not our issue. There’s not much else we can say about it.'

"Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), is more forthcoming on the matter. 'There is something fundamentally wrong with writing into a state constitution an oligarchy over wholesale production of an agricultural product,' he says. But so far, DPA hasn’t taken a formal position on the amendment.

"At Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Executive Director Betty Aldworth is especially impassioned over the initiative. 'It is the hairiest, stickiest mess that I have seen in all of marijuana policy reform to date,' she says. But even SSDP hasn’t officially come out against the ballot measure.

"The issue has become so fraught that it’s causing upheaval in some marijuana groups. In June, Rob Ryan, the president of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, was ousted after he came out in support of ResponsibleOhio....

"While the ballot measure divided Ohio’s NORML chapter, NORML’s national office looks to be the first major cannabis organization to embrace ResponsibleOhio. 'We hemmed and hawed for a while but decided fairly quickly that any initiative that stops the prosecution of marijuana smokers and establishes a legal market where consumers can buy marijuana in a safe and secure setting is one that national NORML is going to support,' says Keith Stroup, NORML’s founder. 'Even though it doesn’t feel quite right to me, the reality is it’s just a question of who gets rich off of marijuana. Someone gets rich off it in every state, including medical marijuana states.'"

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kootenay Libertarian Christina Yahn interviewed

Libertarian Party candidate will run in Kootenay Columbia - Nelson Star - Bill Metcalfe:

August 17, 2015 - "Kootenay Columbia has a fifth candidate in the upcoming federal election­ — Christina Yahn of the Libertarian Party.

"Yahn has been a resident of Nelson and the Slocan Valley for 12 years and her main activity has been as an apiarist and a developer of new ways of beekeeping. She runs the Queens Bees Project as well as a small business that develops and sells bee-related body products and candles.

The Libertarian Party, under its leader Tim Moen of Calgary, is running 85 candidates across the country. Its policies promote private property rights, the free market, individual liberty, and the withdrawal of government from many spheres of public life.

The following is an edited and condensed version of the Star’s interview with Christina Yahn last week.

Why did you decide to run?

"The main reason is my involvement in farming and small diversified agriculture, and over the last 14 years, time and time again politics comes into play, and so my interest in politics is driven by that, to the point where I feel like stepping up. I don’t feel the representation is there for that arena.

"I would like to localize the food security issue. A lot of current regulations stifle our farmers and stop them from bringing food to market at a competitive price or at all. The bureaucracy around having chickens and bees in the city is absurd and it is a basic right to feed yourself and your family including to pollinate your crops. We need community gardens, community greenhouses, and we would be more than willing to work with city councils to make a realistic plan about this....

"Bees are the foundation of our food security, so I have been doing advocacy work speaking on behalf of bees and the dire state of food security with the decline in pollinators. In the Kootenays we import about 85 per cent of our food, mostly from California, which is on fire and under drought, so my work with bees spans out to the entire food system.

Why the Libertarian Party?

"The Libertarian Party speaks for me because it is the only one that refuses to use aggression to enforce its own ideology. In this election there is the 'anyone but Harper' movement, and I can relate in certain aspects, but in the long run, all the other parties use an authoritarian mandate to put their agenda in place. The Libertarian Party puts individual freedoms first.

"Both the Greens and the NDP have aspects that are appealing, especially the Green Party, but they also have a lot of policies that would impinge on personal freedom and rights, and the NDP has a lot of policies that infringe on personal choices as to what you would put into your own body and so on.

What other issues interest you?

"Foreign policy has become a passion of mine. We used to be known as a peaceful nation and we do not have that reputation any more. I want us to pursue a more non-interventionist policy....

"We would end the treaties that were put in place [with First Nations people] hundreds of years ago but do not reflect current realities. Often they were signed under duress. Some groups would like to become sovereign, and so we would end those treaties and those obligations. If they were to become sovereign nations they could protect their private property rights on their territories. There would be negotiations on what the boundaries would be, and it would end all the controversies about pipelines and mining projects. It would immediately give the power back to the First Nations to have proper consultation so they can protect their lands.

"Also community forest management — Harrop Procter is an example of how successful this would be. We are seeing our forests being leased out to foreign companies without accountability. It is not land they own or are held accountable for. We would like to see localized forest management in our area managed by the people affected.

"With drug policies, we should not be locking people away for non-violent crimes. Drug abuse is a public health issue, not a criminal issue."

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kentucky teen's game hidden in Rand Paul app

Northern Kentucky Teen Creates Hidden Component in Rand Paul's Campaign App | River City News:

September 7, 2015 - "A Northern Kentucky teen played a role in the development of Senator Rand Paul's presidential campaign app.

"That app was developed by Covington-based digital agency CanDo and within it is a so-called "Easter egg", a feature of an app not expressly visible by users. In the Rand Paul app, the hidden feature is a "Space Invaders"-like game created by Villa Madonna High School junior David Blincoe while interning at CanDo over the past summer. CanDo founder Rob Ratterman works closely with the Paul campaign....

"'I kind of like to call it Rand Invader,' Blincoe said of his game. 'It was (Ratterman's) idea and I worked on it. The day before vacation, he told me about it. I worked on it all through vacation and then I really didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t really know that it would be an Easter Egg in the app, but then I was told about a week ago that it was going into the app, so it surprised me, but it was awesome.'

"The game allows users to use Paul’s campaign torch to blast other presidential campaign slogans. The app was featured in a New York Times article that stated, 'It tries to offer a blend of digital mischief and communication that has come to be the hallmark of Mr. Paul’s online campaign.' Vocativ also got a kick out of the game, writing an article about finding the game inside the app.

"Blincoe put in a lot of time developing the Rand Invader.

"'It was probably around four weeks, for an average of three hours a day,' he said. 'This is actually the first time I’ve ever created anything like this, but I’ve done a lot of work with other program languages and have done some work on Java Script, but nothing this intensive so I had to learn a lot....
"'So far the feedback has been great. I’ve been praised around here at the school. People walk up to me and say that they downloaded it and that it’s so cool. I haven’t really gotten a huge response outside of Villa yet, but as far as I can tell, the overall review on the IoS and its Play Store are pretty good,' Blincoe said. 'I have not heard from (Paul), but it would be really cool if I did.'"

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Download app here:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Corbyn wants choice on taxes funding military

Corbyn is secretly a libertarian anarchist. Who knew? - Telegraph - Lucy Denyer:

September 7, 2015 - "Imagine the scenario: January 31st is fast approaching, so you log on to HMRC’s website to complete your tax return. This year, there’s a new step to complete: the box you can tick to opt out of funding the Armed Forces. You check it. You’re a pacifist after all. Why should your hard-earned cash go towards funding war and bloodshed?

"It might sound a bit mental, but if Jeremy Corbyn has his way, it could soon be a reality. The Bearded One’s latest publicity wheeze is the announcement that, in his opinion, taxpayers should have the option to decline to fund the Armed Forces with their contributions.

"In theory, such a step sounds fairly reasonable. After all, lots of people don’t agree with war. So why should they have to fund the people that fight it?

"Except, our military does a lot more than just fight wars. Leaving aside our overseas commitments that don’t relate to combat: helping with crises such as Ebola in the developing world, fighting the international drugs trade, there are the domestic issues that, time and time again, our Armed Forces step in to help with....

 "Carry Corbyn’s 'stark staring bonkers' theory to its extreme, and things get even more ridiculous. If you don’t have children, for example, or don’t intend to have them, then why should you have to pay for state-funded education, or child tax credits? What about if you shun the NHS and use BUPA instead? Surely you should be mitigated from having to pay for the health service, if you don’t use it.

"The list is potentially endless: transport (don’t agree with cars; nasty polluting things, everybody should ride bicycles instead); prisons (locking people up doesn’t work); immigration and border control (we should let them all in; migrants are good for the economy)."

"In fact, once you start thinking it through, it could be argued that Corbyn’s statement is actually support for an entirely privatised system of society, with government services bought a la carte like phone contracts or TV bundles: a tax-lite avoidance setup worthy of the most bloated of payment-avoiding plutocrats. Corbyn, it turns out, is secretly a libertarian anarchist. Who knew?"

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Can a Catholic be anything but a Libertarian?

What The Question Isn’t: Can A Catholic Be A Libertarian? - The Global Dispatch - John D. Pierce:

September 1, 2015 -  "Can someone be an unapologetic member of the Catholic Church and a proud member of the Libertarian Party at the same time?.... There are, after all, many who say these two philosophies are contradictory, that it is impossible to be both, that to do so borders on scandal. See, for example, the Washington Post column "Can you be Catholic and Libertarian?", as well as the National Catholic Report piece on "Catholicism and Libertarianism Clash Over Property and the Common Good" and "Catholics Divided on Libertarianism as ‘Heresy’" on the Blaze site.....

"The problem with many of these, though, is that they are answering a flawed question. The real question is not can you be a Catholic and a Libertarian, the real question is how can a Catholic be anything else?....
Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed. Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility.

A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.

Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Part 3, Sec. 1, Ch. 2, Art. 2.
"America is of course dominated politically by the two old parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, and those parties’ positions are simply an odd collection of policy statements—stances on issues that really have no rhyme or reason, that don’t match up to overarching philosophies, consistent principles, natural law, divine law or any other explicable standard....

"With just one step back the inconsistencies become all too obvious. How can all of this cognitive dissonance exist within our old political parties? It’s quite simple: Because the two old parties have no consistent principles. How can a Catholic, Protestant or Hindu try to align their deeply held religious beliefs to political parties that do not, and cannot, match them because they have no consistent principles of their own?

"Why would Libertarianism be an exception to this? Because it is a party of principle. It is consistently for liberty, for smaller government which makes for more freedom. On the social issues, it is for freedom. On the economic issues, it is for freedom. On any issue you can dream up, simply consider which side requires less government force against the individual, and there you will find the Libertarians. That leaves all the room in the world for your religious beliefs to be paramount in your life and in your political speech. You simply decide the moral issues for yourself and allow others the same privilege. While it is possible that this does not match the dictates of the Catechism word for word, it plainly matches it more clearly than the accumulated positions of the old parties."

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Libertarian legal ideas going mainsteam

The Rehabilitationists: The Libertarian Movement to Undo the New Deal | The New Republic - Brian Beutler:

August 30, 2015 - "In November 2013, a who’s who of America’s conservative legal establishment descended on the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., for an annual meeting of the Federalist Society, the most influential conservative legal organization in the country. Current presidential candidates Scott Walker and Ted Cruz each made appearances.... Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was a featured speaker.... One of the biggest stars of the conference, however, was neither a Senate-confirmed official nor an elected politician, but a libertarian law professor at Georgetown named Randy Barnett....

"'The younger people, the people in law school, they seem to be gravitating toward people like Randy,' said attendee Josh Blackman, an associate law professor at the South Texas College of Law and a close friend of Barnett’s. 'When he gets off the stage he’s mobbed. ... There’s a crowd of people five or six feet deep surrounding him'....

"Barnett and his compatriots represent the vanguard of a lasting shift toward greater libertarian influence over our law schools and, increasingly, throughout our legal system. They’re building networks for students and young lawyers and laying the foundation for a more free-market cast of federal judges in the next presidential administration. Their goal is to fundamentally reshape the courts in ways that will have profound effects on society....

"Barnett believes the Constitution exists to secure inalienable property and contract rights for individuals. This may sound like a bland and inconsequential opinion, but if widely adopted by our courts and political systems it would prohibit or call into question basic governmental protections—minimum wages, food-safety regulations, child-labor laws—that most of us take for granted. For nearly a century now, a legal counterculture has insisted that the whole New Deal project was a big, unconstitutional error, and Barnett is a big part of that movement today....

"All libertarians want to fight federal regulations in Congress and the executive branch. But Barnett and his allies think courts should be empowered to throw regulations out even if political majorities support them. These ... professors have established beachheads at law schools across the country. In 2002, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh founded a blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, as a hub for libertarian ideas, including Lochner revisionism. Today, it has become the most prominent academic legal blog in the country and now publishes under the auspices of The Washington Post. It boasts nearly two dozen contributing professors and mainlines detailed and informed libertarian legal arguments to thousands of the nation’s top lawyers, law students, clerks, judges, and opinion-makers every day.

"The contributors to The Volokh Conspiracy teach at the University of Minnesota, Northwestern, Emory, Duke, and elsewhere. Several hold positions at George Mason University’s law school, which is famous for its conservative faculty and, in 36 short years, has rocketed to prominence as one of the 50 best law schools in the country....

"In 1991, two former members of the Reagan administration, Chip Mellor and Clint Bolick, founded the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm now based in Arlington, Virginia, with $350,000 a year in seed money from the oil and gas magnate Charles Koch. They’ve challenged state licensing laws on behalf of hair braiders, florists, and other tradespeople across the country, but have also undertaken loftier crusades, including a doomed effort to overturn the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that contractors pay their employees competitive wages on government-funded projects....

"With five offices around the country, a legal clinic training students at the University of Chicago Law School, and a staff of nearly 100, the Institute for Justice has become a proving ground for aspiring, ideologically committed lawyers. Every year, the group sends lawyers to law schools around the country to give presentations on public-interest law and recruit students into its ranks."

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Friday, September 4, 2015

LibertyFest NYC registers

Would President Kanye Be a Libertarian? - The Daily Beast - Olivia Nuzzi:

August 31, 2015 - "At the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, while accepting the Video Vanguard Award, West joked, 'and yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.'

"Internet vultures wasted no time capitalizing on West’s announcement.

"At 10:54 p.m., Ian Cioffi, a libertarian activist, took to Facebook, where he describes his political views as 'Not boxed in,' to announce that he is now the 'Proud owner of'

"Follow the link to the site, and you’re redirected to, the website for LibertyFest NYC, 'a yearly event that brings together speakers from many different political backgrounds. From Republicans, to Democrats, to Libertarians & even Anarchists.'

"This year’s speakers include former New Mexico governor, presidential candidate and marijuana evangelist Gary Johnson, and Jimmy McMillan, who ran for president in 2012 as the self-appointed leader of 'The Rent Is Too Damn High' party.

"'I knew it would be a traffic generator,' Cioffi told me via Facebook chat. His goal, he said, was to bring attention to Liberty Fest."

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Student groups form united Alumni for Liberty (video)

Student Libertarian Groups Join Forces to Form "Alumni for Liberty" - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

August 26, 2015 - "As someone whose college-age libertarian activism in a long-past century was supported by no organization larger than the Libertarian Party (and very mildly at that), it's been bracing and exciting watching the rise of two different big and active organizations dedicated to libertarian thought and activism for the college crowd, Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty.

"Today the two officially announce they are partnering to form a group to keep the activism a-flowing for their associates who leave the Elysian fields of academe, Alumni for Liberty, dedicated to organizing continued support for student programs, as well as adult and professional networking and continuing education on matters of liberty.

"A video announcement from YAF and SFL chieftains Jeff Frazee and Alexander McCobin:"
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Marijuana lowers transplant rejection, USC study finds

Marijuana delays organ rejection in mice transplant recipients - Yahoo News UK - Hannah Osborne, International Business Times:

September 2, 2015 - "The active ingredient in marijuana has been found to delay organ rejection in mice. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) appears to have 'decreased early stage rejection' of organs and could one day be a useful anti-rejection therapy for transplant patients, scientists believe.

"Researchers from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine published their findings in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Mitzi Nagarkatti said: 'We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing immune response in the recipient. This opens up a new area of research that would lead to better approaches to prevent transplant rejection as well as to treat other inflammatory diseases.'

"The team used two groups of genetically different mice and transplanted skin from one group to the other – meaning all of the mice received incompatible skin so rejection was inevitable. One group was given a placebo while the other was given THC.

"They note that previous research has shown the activation of cannabinoid receptors on immune cells triggers potent immunosuppression – but the role of cannabinoids in transplantation to prevent rejection has not been investigated. 'In the current study, we tested the effect of THC on the suppression of HvGD (Graft-Versus-Host Disease) as well as rejection of skin allografts.'

"Findings showed THC treatment significantly reduced T-cell proliferation and decreased early stage rejection-indicator cytokines. It also increased the skin graft survival. 'Together, our research shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that targeting cannabinoid receptors may provide a novel treatment modality to attenuate HvGD and prevent allograft rejection.'"

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Libertarian candidate in Northwest Territories

"I'm not a throwaway vote": NWT Libertarian candidate - Mike Gibbins, My Yellowknife Now:

August 31, 2015 - "[A] Yellowknife man wants to become the first Libertarian MP for the Northwest Territories.

"Bob Stewart, 31, says he wants residents to throw away any preconceived notions they may have of the party and cast a vote for him ahead of the October 19th federal election....

"Stewart told Moose FM Libertarians are primarily concerned with 'reducing the tax burden on citizens and reducing the size and reach of the federal government' to bring legislation closer to the people.'

"Born and raised in Yellowknife, Stewart says the territory has a real opportunity to send a strong voice to Ottawa.

"'It doesn’t matter who you’re going to send to Parliament if you’re sending someone that’s a small member in a big party because then you’re sending someone to wear a jersey and raise their hand when they’re told.

"'The Northwest Territories has a chance to send someone who can be that strong voice for big things like foreign policy and domestic policy when it comes to law enforcement and issues like that.

"'I’m the only person who’s basically got that free reign to be a strong voice and speak truth to power.

"'To me, every other vote is a throwaway vote. I don’t understand why someone would vote just to put another backbencher on the bench when you have someone out there who can speak truth to power.'

"Nationally, Stewart says the party would also work to repeal Bill C-51, which he says strips away inalienable constitutional rights.

"Stewart, who also owns the newly-opened Kilt and Castle on 49th Street, previously worked as a financial planner and budget analyst with the GNWT."

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