Monday, February 29, 2016

Johnson, Petersen spar over sharia in LP debate

First Libertarian presidential candidate debate for 2016 held in Mississippi | - Karl Dickey:

February 28, 2016 - "The third largest political party in the United States, the Libertarian Party, saw five of its 12 presidential candidates debate last night ...  Dr. Marc Allan Feldman, Gary Johnson, John McAfee, Darryl Perry, and Austin Petersen. This is the first debate ... before the political party's membership votes for their presidential nominee in May 2016 at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando, Florida.

"The debate started with Feldman explaining his campaign strategy of [limiting] his political contributions to $5 per donor ... 'struggling people who can scrape together $5 will be my largest campaign contributor and you always represent your largest campaign contributor.'

John McAfee answered the question as to why he felt he was a viable presidential candidate stating ... 'I have run multi-billion dollar businesses, I am an entrepreneur, I know what it means to have no money and have to meet a payroll which our government does not understand'....

"Johnson, who was the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee said, "I have been an entrepreneur my entire life, growing a business from one person to over 1,000 people. I am an adventurer... I'm a fierce competitor and doing this in 2012 I learned a lot'....

"Austin Petersen ... 'put a Libertarian TV show on Fox that brought more people to the Libertarian movement than you could ever imagine.' Petersen was formerly an associate producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano's show 'Freedom Watch', on the Fox Business Network.

"Darryl Perry opened with, 'What I promise you is not five percent of the vote, not winning the White House, not anything other than as often as possible, as boldly as possible, proclaiming the ideas of liberty'....

"Some fireworks erupted during the debate about Sharia Law between Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen. Though Johnson started with a line about religious freedom he drew the line when it came to Sharia stating, 'Sharia is a system of government, it is politics. We need to distinguish between freedom of religion and the politics of Sharia and all of the extremism is coming from the politics of Sharia.'

"Petersen countered with, 'I am surprised to hear this fear-mongering coming from the Governor because if he read the tenets of Sharia there are actually some very libertarian aspects such as private courts, private adjudication which many of us do agree with. Let's stop with the fear-mongering Governor'....

"Johnson then asked Petersen if he supported Sharia Law and he said he did not, but it seemed the two still have a fundamental difference on the subject which will likely be hashed out in future debates.... Johnson also found himself having to defend himself on his stance on Sharia with candidate Perry.

"According to a straw poll offered at last night's debate, found that Governor Gary Johnson had 38 percent of the vote, John McAfee 26 percent, Austin Petersen at 17 percent, Darryl Perry at 15 percent and Dr. Marc Feldman received 5 percent of the vote total....

"The first nationally televised debate of Libertarian Party presidential candidates will happen on the Fox Business Network in March 2016, date and time to be announced soon."

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Downtown Atlanta revitalized by private enterprise

How Policing Works in a Privatized City | Foundation for Economic Education - Jeffrey Tucker:

June 10, 2015 - "'All the common areas of Atlantic Station including the streets, sidewalks, parks, and alleys are private property.'

"Thus reads one line buried in the Rules of Conduct for Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia: a marvelous city within a city. But it’s this one line that makes the critical difference. It’s why this one-square mile in the heart of this great city has done more to model beauty, prosperity, diversity, and happy living than 50 years of 'urban renewal' and other government programs.

"The entire community was built on top of the old Atlanta Steel Mill, which opened in 1901 and closed in the 1970s, leaving desolation in its wake. Atlantic Station opened 10 years ago as a visionary entrepreneurial venture — the brainchild of The Jacoby Group, headed by Jim Jacoby — funded mostly with private money (the city helped with tax breaks and some infrastructure funding).

"It is not a gated community walled off from the public for only the elite. There is no charge to get in. Everything is public access, and subject to all the laws governing commercial property. The difference between the public and private city, however, is huge.

"You can tell when you have entered the space. Whereas many areas of Atlanta struggle, this area in the heart of the city is clean, bright, ebullient, bustling with enterprise and life.

"On an evening recently, on the way to the movies in the spectacular theater there, I sat outside on the patio of a Mexican food restaurant and watched adults and children playing games and having fun on the green space that serves as a mini-park in the middle of this urban experiment in capitalism. There were people from all races, classes, and ages. They listened to the live band and sang along....

"It was a typical evening, and it was all taking place in a place that was, only twenty years ago, a burned out, low-rent, disaster zone, the kind of place people flee. Now, the migration patterns have changed. Atlantic Station is a place where you want to live and work.

"I was walking along and a uniformed police office greeted me good evening. I responded with delight, and we had a nice conversation. She wanted to know if I was enjoying the evening, made a few bar recommendations, we chatted about the weather, and I went on. She was uniformed, yes, and probably armed, but in a non-threatening way. She looked sharp and helpful, as well as official.

"Then it struck me: the police in the community are privately employed by main stakeholders in the community, which are the merchants, apartment owners, and other service providers. (The streets are also private but public access.) For this reason, the police themselves have a deep investment in the well-being of the community and the general happiness of the consumers who shop there. They are employees of the free enterprise system. In particular, Atlantic Station owners contract with Chesley Brown for experienced service."

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

11 seek Libertarian presidential nomination (video)

America's Libertarians promise a wild, wide-ranging debate in Biloxi | Biloxi Sun Herald - Paul Hampton:

February 24, 2016 - "Voters who think the Republicans and Democrats have put up eclectic fields of candidates probably haven't been paying attention to the Libertarian presidential hopefuls.... The 11-person race ... will be on full display at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a debate at the Beau Rivage....

"John McAfee, who made a fortune with the Internet security company McAfee Associates, hasn't had much trouble getting press.... He was back in the news last week when he offered to decrypt an iPhone that had belonged to the San Bernardino terrorist killers after Apple refused to help the feds.... McAfee has said he ideas align with Libertarians, especially his belief government is too big and welfare is one of its biggest problems.

"Probably better known in political circles is Gary Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 and ran as a Libertarian for president in 2012. He receive a little less than 1 percent of the vote.

"Austin Peterson ... was ... a producer on Fox News and runs the news magazine Libertarian Republic. He adheres to standard Libertarian ideals, but also favors issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal, the long-abandoned practice of letting privateers fight a country's battles on the high seas.

"Steve Kerbel's campaign site describes him as a businessman [who] wrote Take 'Everyman' Down: A 12-Step Program to Servitude of the American Populace and Destruction of the American Dream. He would eliminate punishment for victimless crimes, do away with the Federal Reserve and end the income tax in favor of a 'procurement tax.'

"Darryl W. Perry of Birmingham, Ala., is the fellow who wants Bitcoin. He calls for voluntary funding of the government and abolishing the IRS and "all forms of coercive taxation."

"Cecil Ince ran for Missouri secretary of state in 2004 under the name Christopher Davis. He, too, wants to get rid of the IRS and 'the economic parasite' Federal Reserve and implement a free-market economy with limited federal restrictions. States would run Medicare and Social Security.

"Marc Allan Feldman, a native of Washington, D.C., was an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore. He would balance the budget, audit all federal agencies and laws, show the effectiveness of charitable organizations and exempt with a tax rebate all donations to 'certified effective charities.'

"Shawna 'Pastor Shawna' Sterling of Long Beach, Calif., wants to put ice cream back in schools because 'our founding fathers loved ice cream.' And she loves the 2nd Amendment.

"Derrick Reid of Laguna Beach, Calif., tells potential donors, 'If you cannot afford $2,500, please, keep it for yourself.' He wants to restore 'Americana Greatness' using the knowledge he's gleaned from reading financial and bullion market pundits for 15 years.

"Jack Robinson Jr. of Spartanburg, S.C., is the unity candidate. He says he blends the best ideas of all our political parties. He wants a political culture "that rewards solutions and shuns the divisive tactics of wedge-issue politicians." He would end poverty, provide universal health care, equalize income and end world hunger.

"Rhett Smith of Eastland County, Texas, is the relative newcomer to the Libertarians. He has been a candidate for office since 2004 and has taken 'a pro-peace movement approach but it has been marginally effective.'"

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Vermont Senate approves marijuana legalization

Legal recreational marijuana clears final Vermont Senate hurdle | Local News - WPTZ 5 - Stewart Ledbetter:

February 26, 2016 - "The Vermont Senate gave final approval Thursday to a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, starting in 2018.... The final vote was 17-12....

"Under the legislation, Vermont regulators would begin issuing growing licenses in late 2017. Retail sales could begin as early as Jan. 2, 2018.

"Vermont residents 21 and older would be able to purchase up to half an ounce of marijuana for personal use. Non-residents would be able to purchase a fourth of an ounce.  It would be legal to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

"The Senate rejected amendments Thursday to delay legalization implementation to 2019, but approved adding health warnings to marijuana packaging that would be similar to the warnings on cigarettes.

"Home-grown marijuana and edible marijuana products would remain illegal under the current bill.

"S.241 now moves to the House of Representatives where the Judiciary Committee is expected to begin its review the week of March 14.

"House Speaker Shap Smith said he generally favors moving to a tightly regulated system of marijuana sales but is not sure how many House members agree and he is making no predictions....

"Backers say S. 241 will drive illicit drug dealers out of the state because state-licensed and tested marijuana will be available legally to adults at a lower price.

"Revenue from the 25 percent sales tax of recreational marijuana would be used for drug treatment centers and hiring additional law enforcement officers for highway patrols. .

"The Senate bill would likely generate $30-40 million in new tax revenue annually, Sen. Dick Sears said Thursday.

"A survey found 80,000 Vermonters now regularly use recreational marijuana, much of it purchased from black market drug dealers who often peddle harder drugs, too.

"Gov. Peter Shumlin said he supports legalization and calls the Senate reform bill  'a much smarter approach.'"

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Scottish Libertarian Party runs 8 for Holyrood

Pro-indy Scottish Libertarian party names first Holyrood election candidates | Politics | The National - Kathleen Nutt:

February 23, 2016 - "Scotland's newest pro-independence political party is planning to put forward candidates in all eight regions at May’s Holyrood elections.

"Property businessman Alan Findlay will stand in the west of Scotland for the Scottish Libertarian Party (SLP), while Derek Scott, who works for a sub-sea oil and gas contractor, has been named as its candidate in the north east. Tammy Edgar, a former retail manager and now a student, is their lead candidate for south of Scotland. The party will reveal the names of its candidates for the remaining regions over the coming weeks.

"Scott said his party offers 'a completely different agenda' from the existing mainstream parties.... Scott said the party will campaign against state subsidies to business and state involvement in family life. 'We want to end the scandal of the poor being taxed to increase the profits of private enterprises like T in the Park and Amazon,' he said.

"As well as being pro-independence, the SLP supports low taxation and public spending and low regulation for businesses. It is also strongly in favour of an EU exit.

"It was inspired by the work of US politician Ron Paul, a former Republican congressman and the Libertarian Party nominee in the 1988 US presidential election.

"The SLP is also in favour of the abolition of the Scottish Government’s scheme to give every child in Scotland a named 'guardian' to oversee their welfare.

"It is preparing to publish its manifesto which it says will offer cuts to corporation tax and a raft of promises on reforming criminal justice issues, including the decriminalisation of cannabis use and sex work. The party also supports scrapping Trident.

Findlay, who is the SLP’s leader, said: 'We need to stop punishing people for crimes where there is no victim. When there is no victim, there is no crime. We are the only party that genuinely wants to reduce the tax burden, promote enterprise and reduce welfare dependency. Freedom of speech and association are fundamental to a civilised society.'"

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

With Paul out, Justin Amash endorses Ted Cruz

Why I Trust Ted Cruz - Juarin Amash, Independent Journal:

February 23, 2016 - "As a libertarian Republican, I have spent several months promoting the candidacy of my friend Senator Rand Paul... Since his departure from the presidential race, I’ve been asked many times: what now? It’s easy to withdraw from politics when the positions and priorities of the candidates do not precisely mirror our own. But we owe it to our beliefs to find constitutional conservative political allies who not only respect our philosophy but also fight for our views to be heard.

"We have found such an ally in Senator Ted Cruz.

"Ted is not a libertarian and doesn’t claim to be. But he is a principled defender of the Constitution, a brilliant strategist and debater who can defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election, and the only remaining candidate I trust to take on what he correctly calls the Washington Cartel....

"The recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia reminds us of the importance of electing a president committed to nominating justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law.... In this regard, history has given us a uniquely qualified candidate — Ted Cruz served as a Supreme Court clerk (an extraordinarily selective job held each year by fewer than 40 lawyers who work directly with the justices to shape the Court’s opinions) and has the rare distinction of having argued many cases before the Supreme Court....

"Ted has consistently led the fight in the Senate against the Washington Cartel’s trillion-dollar omnibus spending bills.... Ted Cruz recognizes that we grow the Republican Party by embracing new approaches that genuinely reflect our support for limited, constitutional government....

"Unlike his competitors, Ted understands that when we allow the government to pick winners and losers, the American people lose. He isn’t afraid to challenge the rampant corruption in Washington, and he isn’t afraid to champion economic freedom. Ted won the Iowa caucuses with a principled stand against subsidies, even though pundits warned that no one could win the state without pandering to the ethanol lobby.

"On civil liberties and foreign policy, Ted ... was one of only ten Republican senators to stand up for our rights by supporting Rand Paul’s amendment to kill the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 — also known as CISA — a cyberspying bill that violates the privacy of all Americans. And Ted has been a stalwart defender of our Fifth Amendment right to due process, strongly opposing the government’s asserted power to indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial.

"Like me, Ted ... stands with our troops and will not put them in harm’s way unless necessary to protect our country. Unlike some other Republican candidates, Ted opposed intervening in Libya and voted against arming Syrian rebels, and he will not use our Armed Forces to engage in nation building.

"To defend liberty, we must defend our Constitution. I’m supporting Ted because, knowing him personally and having served with him in Congress over the past few years, I trust him as a conservative ally who consistently listens to my perspective and stands firm for what he believes is right."

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

42K sign to put Libertarians on Oklahoma ballot

Libertarians file signatures to get on ballot | News OK - Rick Green, The Oklahoman: 

February 22, 2016 - "When Oklahomans go to the polls in the June 28 statewide primary, there's a good chance there will be Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

"Officials of the party, which favors free markets, personal freedom and peace, filed thousands of voter signatures with the state Election Board on Monday.

"They needed 24,745 signatures to get their candidates on the ballot.  Oklahoma Libertarian Party Vice Chair Tina Kelly said a total of 42,000 signatures were gathered.

"'I have been overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm of Oklahomans who do not feel represented by the two parties currently in power and want more choices,' she said....

"The state Election Board will go through a verification process for the signatures. Barring major problems, Libertarian candidates would appear on the Oklahoma ballot for the first time in 16 years.

"'Candidates from all levels of government are reaching out to us with their intentions to seek office as Libertarians," [Kelly] said. 'The other parties have made a mess of things and it's very exciting to know that this year for the first time in a long time, there's potential to see real political change in our state.'

"Assuming it makes the ballot in this year's election cycle, the party would need to receive 10 percent of the vote in the presidential race. If it doesn't reach that threshold, another round of signature gathering would be required to qualify the party for the 2018 general election....

"Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, said the party wants to ensure that 'every American has a Libertarian option on their ballot.'"

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Marijuana legalization efforts across New England

New England 2016 is a Marijuana Legalization Hotbed [FEATURE] | - P.S. Smith:

February 17, 2016 - "No state east of the Mississippi has legalized marijuana, but that's very likely to change this year, and New England will be leading the way. Two of the six New England states will likely let the voters make the call in November, while the others all have legalization bills pending.

"More Western states will likely legalize it this year, including the nation's most populous, California, as well as Arizona and Nevada.... Another possible legalization state this year is Michigan.... But it's Yankee country that will see the most concentrated regional push toward marijuana legalization.... Initiatives that make the ballot will go before New England populations that are showing majority support for legalization [and] the region also appears poised to produce the first state to free the weed through the legislature....

 "Connecticut. Earlier this month, Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) introduced House Bill 5209, which would allow adults to use, grow, and sell marijuana. Candelaria introduced a similar bill last year that went nowhere....

"Maine. The legalization initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has not yet officially qualified for the ballot, but is poised to. On February 1, the campaign turned in more than 103,000 raw signatures from its petition drive. It only needs 61,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.... The most recent of Mainers' attitudes toward marijuana legalization, from the spring of 2015, had support at 65%.

 "Massachusetts. The legalization initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already qualified for the ballot, but under Massachusetts law, the legislature must first take up the issue. If, as expected, it fails to adopt legalization, the campaign must then collect another 10,000 signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot. It should be able to do that easily ... a 2014 poll had support at 53% and a Boston Globe poll from last year had a dead heat, with 48% in favor, 47% opposed....

"New Hampshire. The House actually passed a legalization bill in 2014, only to see it die in the Senate. This year ... legalization bill, House Bill 1610, is currently before the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Even if the bill were to pass the House, it faces a tough battle in the Senate....

"Rhode Island. Rep. Scott Slater (D-Providence) said he will file a marijuana legalization bill in the General Assembly last week, and Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) will file companion legislation in the Senate.... The Senate bill has 17 cosponsors (out of 38 senators), and the House bill has more than 30 cosponsors....

"Vermont. The Green Mountain State is the most likely to actually pass a legalization bill this year. Senate Bill 241, backed by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), has already passed the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees and is moving toward a Senate floor vote. But the committees have amended the bill to kill home cultivation and to reduce the legalized amount from an ounce to a half ounce. And if and when the bill gets out of the Senate, it still faces a tough battle in the House."

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Where Charles Koch & Bernie Sanders agree

Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right - The Washington Post:

February 18, 2016 - "Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) often sounds like he’s running as much against me as he is the other candidates.... I see benefits in searching for common ground and greater civility during this overly negative campaign season. That’s why, in spite of the fact that he often misrepresents where I stand on issues, the senator should know that we do agree on at least one....

"The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.

"I agree with him.

"Democrats and Republicans have too often favored policies and regulations that pick winners and losers. This helps perpetuate a cycle of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty in the United States.... Large portions of the business community have actively pushed for these policies.

"Consider the regulations, handouts, mandates, subsidies and other forms of largesse our elected officials dole out to the wealthy and well-connected. The tax code alone contains $1.5 trillion in exemptions and special-interest carve-outs. Anti-competitive regulations cost businesses an additional $1.9 trillion every year. Perversely, this regulatory burden falls hardest on small companies, innovators and the poor, while benefitting many large companies like ours. This unfairly benefits established firms and penalizes new entrants, contributing to a two-tiered society.

"Whenever we allow government to pick winners and losers, we impede progress and move further away from a society of mutual benefit. This pits individuals and groups against each other and corrupts the business community, which inevitably becomes less focused on creating value for customers. That’s why Koch Industries opposes all forms of corporate welfare — even those that benefit us. (The government’s ethanol mandate is a good example. We oppose that mandate, even though we are the fifth-largest ethanol producer in the United States)....

"I applaud the senator for giving a voice to many Americans struggling to get ahead in a system too often stacked in favor of the haves, but I disagree with his desire to expand the federal government’s control over people’s lives. This is what built so many barriers to opportunity in the first place.

"Consider America’s War on Poverty. Since its launch under President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, we have spent roughly $22 trillion, yet our poverty rate remains at 14.8 percent. Instead of preventing, curing and relieving the causes and symptoms of poverty (the goals of the program when it began), too many communities have been torn apart and remain in peril while even more tax dollars pour into this broken system.

"It is results, not intentions, that matter. History has proven that a bigger, more controlling, more complex and costlier federal government leaves the disadvantaged less likely to improve their lives....

"When it comes to electing our next president, we should reward those candidates, Democrat or Republican, most committed to the principles of a free society. Those principles start with the right to live your life as you see fit as long as you don’t infringe on the ability of others to do the same. They include equality before the law, free speech and free markets and treating people with dignity, respect and tolerance. In a society governed by such principles, people succeed by helping others improve their lives."

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Conservatism losing due to sacrifice of principles

The Right Needs Principle, Not Unity | Tim Moen - Huffington Post:

February 19, 2016 - "There was a time when conservatism was synonymous with small accountable government, protection of property rights, frugal government spending, a society organized around Burke's little platoons (family, business, charity, community, the church), fierce advocacy of free market capitalism, minding one's business, and an aversion to taxation. Those days are long past. Now the term conservatism is synonymous with a hawkish foreign policy influenced by Trotskyism, Christian fundamentalism, a fixation on muslims, a surveillance state, closed borders, a command and control economy, and dogmatic opposition to social freedoms.

"Once upon a time you could accuse a conservative of being principled. Newly elected party leader Maggie Thatcher said 'that's what we believe" and smacked down a moderate with Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty in response to his pleas for caution. Now conservatism is nothing more than a constellation of feelings and platitudes shifting with the zeitgeist of a left leaning culture. Conservatism has become an aesthetic in opposition to 'the left' rather than an ethos anchored in philosophical bedrock. Conservatives have traded away their soul and now we are all paying the price....

"What explains Stephen Harper's Keynesian apologetics and auto industry bailouts? What explains Brad Wall recently calling for federal money to employ oil and gas workers? How does Preston Manning explain his advocacy for taxing the primary energy source protecting us from a hostile climate in the name of 'climate action'?

"On what principle would Mr. Harper oppose a subsidy to Bombardier, or Mr. Wall oppose government green energy projects, or Mr. Manning oppose uniting all the parties under one giant feel-good umbrella? How does a conservative that loves socialized healthcare oppose socialized food production and distribution? How is a social conservative who rallies vociferously to get the state involved in marriage (ie to prohibit gay marriage) going to oppose a state agenda on marriage imposed on their church? How does a conservative who supports invasion of privacy vis-a-vis Bill C-51 and C-13 oppose a surveillance state interested in quashing conservative dissidents? What principle will a cannabis prohibitionist use to oppose banning sugary soft drinks?...

"I posit that the fall of conservatism in the West is because key leaders in the movement have sacrificed principle in order to win. In fact the problem is that their definition of winning is entirely misguided. The metric of success shouldn't be whether one wins a popularity contest or not. If you have to be Trotskyist on foreign policy, Marxist on healthcare and supply management, Keynesian in economic and monetary policy in order to get the win, well you haven't won anything worthwhile have you? The metric of success should be a society and government aligned with the enlightenment principles that undergird western civilization....

"We are in trouble not because of particular politicians but because of a culture devoid of an ethical compass, driven by base fears, that views government as a wish-fulfilling committee of virtue rather than a necessary evil to be restricted.

"The only thing that will turn this around is a shift in culture. To win an election you must reflect and reinforce status quo culture, but to create the kind of government conservatives want requires a cultural shift. Government emerges from culture. Do you want a conservative government or a conservative in charge of a socialist government?"

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Cruz: give Nevada federal land to state (video)

Cruz hits Nevada airwaves with a libertarian land-rights pitch - Washington Post - David Weigel:

February 18, 2015 -"Sen. Ted Cruz is gearing up for the sleepy, overshadowed Nevada caucuses with a campaign tour and a new TV spot — one that demonstrates how he's trying to own the 'liberty lane' of the primaries now that Sen. Rand Paul is out of the Republican presidential race.

"In 'Nevada Land,' Cruz (R-Tex.) pledges to give 'full control' of Nevada land to the state, putting him in league with hard-line conservatives and libertarians from the grass roots to the American Legislative Exchange Council.

"'Eighty-five percent of Nevada is owned and regulated by the federal government,' Cruz says in the ad. "And Donald Trump wants to keep big government in charge. That's ridiculous'....

"Pulling back land rights from Washington has been a cause for Western Republicans for a generation, epitomized by the high-profile crusades of the Bundy family to claim land rights over territory claimed by the feds. Cruz and Paul (R-Ky.) suggested that Cliven Bundy's 2014 standoff with federal agents came from a legitimate anger....

"Cruz's endorsers in Nevada include Republican state Rep. Michele Fiore, an ally of the Bundys who became a mediator when Ammon Bundy led a temporary takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge. And the movement to give lands back to the states is supported by some of the most powerful and deep-pocketed libertarian donors in America.

"It's unclear whether that can boost Cruz in Nevada. A CNN-ORC poll this week found Trump 28 points ahead of Cruz in that state. Local Republicans say that the Texan and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are much better organized than Trump in the state, with local offices and a canvassing team trying to turn out voters for the easily forgotten caucuses. A Cruz surprise might depend on the sort of rural libertarian voters who gave GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul strong finishes in 2008 and 2012."

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Inside the FBI's encryption battle with Apple

Inside the FBI's encryption battle with Apple | Technology | The Guardian - Danny Yadron, Spencer Ackerman and Sam Thielman:

February 18, 2016 -"Two weeks ago, the FBI called Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, with a jarring message: the agency wanted Apple to help them hack an iPhone. Apple refused.... 16 February ... a federal magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock a single iPhone – the phone belonging to one of the killers in the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple again refused.

"But this carefully planned legal battle has been months in the making, ... as the government and Apple try to settle whether national security can dictate how Silicon Valley writes computer code....

"On 2 December a husband and wife opened fire on a local government office building in southern California.... One of the suspects, Syed Farook, had worked for the county, which meant the government owned his iPhone 5C. With a search warrant, Apple provided the FBI data from weekly backups Farook made with Apple’s iCloud service. But those backups stopped on 19 October, according to a federal search warrant request.

"FBI investigators believed there was more data about Farook’s motives in the phone but couldn’t get to it without unlocking the device. The phone’s contents were encrypted and Apple didn’t have the four-digit passcode. Modern iPhones also have an optional feature that will erase all data on the phone with 10 incorrect passcode entries. FBI agents weren’t willing to take the risk....

"In the 16 February court order, Apple was told to build software that, when combined with the unique identification number, would allow the FBI to guess Farook’s password as many times as it wanted. The court also ordered Apple to disable a feature that added a delay after multiple incorrect passcode entries. And since a four-digit passcode has only about 10,000 possible combinations, a powerful computer could plow through guesses fairly quickly, a technology executive said.

 "US officials on Wednesday stressed that their request for Apple is only limited to Farook’s phone. 'The judge’s order and our request in this case do not require Apple to redesign its products, to disable encryption or to open content on the phone,' the Justice Department said in a statement on 17 February.

"But Apple said that it would be impossible to limit the technology to this case. Once Apple built such an investigative tool, any iPhone’s security system – even the most modern ones – could be weakened by it, an Apple executive said.... Additionally, Apple’s lawyers are concerned that if a judge validates the FBI’s use of the All Writs Act in this case, it will give the government sweeping authority to dictate how Silicon Valley builds products in the future....

"To Justice Department officials, San Bernardino is a long-awaited test case. In October 2014, the FBI’s James Comey first told a Washington audience that encryption on mobile devices effectively left law enforcement 'dark' to emerging threats. Ever since, officials believed it was only a matter of time until they came upon a case like the San Bernardino shootings: a device from a terrorist whose lock screen they couldn’t bypass by guesswork to get at the data held on the phone, and not in Apple’s iCloud....

"Senior law enforcement officials were briefed on the decision to go after Apple in such a high-profile way, sources said. The FBI also appears to have been preparing its press strategy for the search warrant for weeks."

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Illinois Libertarians beat 'full slate' law

"Insurmountable Burden" Law For Third Parties Stricken, Paving The Way For Libertarian Candidates - Amanda Vinickey, National Public Radio - WUIS:

February 15, 2016 - "A just-issued court order does away with a law that third-party candidates say makes it difficult to run for certain offices in Illinois.

"The lawsuit dates back to 2012, when Libertarian Party candidates challenged a trio of state election requirements, including the full slate law.

"'If the Libertarian party, or the Green Party, or the Constitution Party, or any other new party would want to run for governor, they would also have to find a qualified candidates for Attorney General, and a candidate for Secretary of State, Comptroller, etc.,' Libertarian Party Chair Lex Green explains.

"The same requirement applies for county-wide offices -- but only for non-qualified parties. Democrats and Republicans need not run a whole slate; they're free to run candidates for single statewide or county offices and have no one run for others....

"Green says recruiting and running a full slate is a 'nearly insurmountable burden' for new parties.

"He says defenders of the law use 'high-minded language, to say "We're trying to keep whackos and nut jobs from getting on the ballot"....

"I would argue that just because they have an R or D after their name doesn't mean they're any more sane or less so than the Libertarians,' he says. 'To me you can say whatever you want but it hides a political agenda. Because if you make the burden of getting on the ballot higher for somebody than for somebody else, then this is obviously unequal treatment under the law, which in my book is wrong ... I personally think that it is all political maneuvering to keep the Democrats and Republicans in power in Illinois.'

"The order issued Friday by Judge Andrea R. Wood of the Northern District U.S. Court finds the full slate law unconstitutional. Her reasoning isn't yet known; a decision hasn't been published."

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Vermont marijuana bill clears second committee

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Second Committee - Thomas H. Clarke, Daily Chronic:

February 12, 2016 - "A widely supported bill that could make Vermont the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana through the state legislature received approval from a second Senate committee on Friday.

"The Vermont Senate Committee on Finance voted 6 to 1 to approve Senate Bill 241, which would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older in Vermont to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill would also establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores.

"Before voting on the bill, the Finance Committee adopted a 25% tax rate that would be applied to retail marijuana sales.  The 25% sales is similar to taxes imposed in Oregon and Colorado, and is significantly less than Washington state’s 37% tax rate.

"Under the proposal, home cultivation and sales of edible marijuana products would not be allowed initially.  The bill would create a study commission to explore those issues at a later time.

"Senate Bill 241, which can be read in full here, next moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration before being sent to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

"A vote on the bill by the full Senate is expected within the next couple weeks.  The bill is expected to pass, although it remains a work in progress and could see additional amendments prior to final passage.

"Last month, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) called upon the state legislature to pass the 'right bill' to legalize marijuana in Vermont, and making it a top priority of the legislature. Shumlin outlined five specific requirements any marijuana legalization bill should contain before he signs it....

"Legalizing marijuana in Vermont has strong support among Vermont voters, with recent polls showing 57% support.  A study released in 2015 by the Rand Corporation found that Vermont could generate upwards of  $75 million per year in taxes from legalizing marijuana.

"If approved, the new law would not take effect until January 2018."

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Kasich named in 'conspiracy' to get LP off ballot

Kasich Court Docs Reveal “Civil Conspiracy” Behind Take Down Of Libertarian Gov Candidate In 2014 - John Michael Spinnelli, Plunderbund:

February 14, 2016 - "Gov. John Kasich was one of six Republican candidates on stage in South Carolina Saturday night at the debate sponsored by CBS News ... but CBS moderators didn’t know enough, apparently, to ask him about the toxic stew of campaign tricks he’s alleged to have participated in two years ago.

"According to court documents, Kasich successfully derailed his Libertarian Party competitor for governor in 2014 in order to clear his path of obstacles so he could win without worry, then launch his second bid for president.

"'The Kasich Campaign, Borges, Schrimpf, Damschroder, the Governor’s staff and Casey from the very beginning were in constant contact about the protest,' wrote plaintiff attorneys for Libertarian Party of Ohio (LPO) candidate Charlie Earl in court documents. According to filings from Mark Brown and Mark G. Kafantaris, co-counsels for Charlie Earl: 'They shared a common objective — to keep Earl off the ballot. Their minds had met; they acted together.' Filed nearly three months ago, [the documents] 'concisely collect the evidence showing that the Kasich Campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, Casey, Borges and officials in Husted’s office were all involved in removing Earl'...

"Matt Borges, who in spite of a prior conviction for public influence peddling became chairman for the state party when Gov. Kasich orchestrated a take over of the party shortly after winning election, testified at his deposition that he 'did not recall' communicating with Casey in February and March of 2014, according to court documents.... 'Borges was obviously attempting to hide ORP’s involvement. Borges is not credible. ORP was involved from the beginning,' Brown and Kafantaris wrote.

"The Ohio Republican Party, under Borges’ direction, began making payments to the Zeiger firm on Casey’s behalf on November 19, 2014. The first payment was $100,000 on November 19, 2014. The second payment for $100,000 was made on December 22, 2014. The third payment, $50,000, was made on December 29, 2014. The fourth payment, $50,000, was made on February 24, 2015. The four total $300,000, though more may have been made,' the co-counsels wrote. Casey on November 11, 2014 hand-delivered his November 10, 2014 invoice reflecting a $552,305.26 bill....

"Terry Casey, for his part, has stated that his objective was a political one. 'The documentary evidence proves that Casey’s animus was shared by others in the conspiracy — notably members of the Kasich Campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, and even in the Secretary’s Office,' co-counsels wrote....

"'Regarding the first question, the evidence leaves little doubt; even the Defendants appear to concede (after eighteen months of denials and several discovery violations) that Casey acted together with either the Kasich Campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, or both.'

"On the second question, plaintiff attorneys argue that Terry Casey was a state officer engaged in state action, as was Matt Damschroder, a state agent engaged in state action. Each was also involved with Ohio Republican Party and the Kasich Campaign."

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Meet the musical, libertarian d'Oudney family

Interviewing Astra: International libertarian, musician, thinker, activist | - Garry Reed:

February 10, 2016 - "If music is an international language it also seems that American-style 'Non-Aggression Principle' libertarianism has also gone global as well, at least in the form of one hot bilingual musician named Astra F. d'Oudney and her musical parents Kenn and Joanna d'Oudney.

"Astra, born in England but living in France, defines herself as 'Chanteuse, Guitarist, Musician, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter' on her Facebook page. She does all of the vocals, lead and backup, on her albums but has also performed 450 live concerts in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Her music includes rock, pop, ballads and mood music.

"Astra's parents have played over 1000 concerts throughout Western Europe themselves and founded Scorpio Recording Company Ltd in London in 1983. They're not only a family of musicians but advocate rights and principles familiar to American libertarians.

"Together Kenn and Joanna d'Oudney have written Cannabis: The facts, human rights and the law: The report that includes a Foreword by Milton Friedman. While most Americans want cannabis decriminalized so they can smoke pot without getting arrested The Report, as they condense its title, is much broader and deeper in its scope. According to Astra's own summary 'The Report collates empirical evidence and the findings of fact of official clinical studies which exonerate cannabis and vindicate all cultivation, trade, possession and use. The Report establishes massive ulterior money-motive and perjury behind prohibition; and indicts government. The Report presents irrefutable legal grounds for restoration, relegalisation, amnesty and restitution.'

"Together the three d'Oudneys also run the Democracy Defined Campaign that advocates, among other issues, 'adoption of the genuine Trial by Jury.' By 'genuine' they mean the right and duty of jury nullification. Astra, in short, is not your typical pop diva. To learn more Libertarian News Examiner engaged Astra in this short interview.

Libertarian News Examiner: Do you consider yourself a libertarian in the American 'non-aggression principle' sense?
Astra: We are libertarians who champion individual rights – never impinging upon the rights of others – and 'regulation' of the role of government by jurors through Trial by Jury, as explicitly advocated by co-author of the US Constitution, James Madison; see "James Madison: The Publius Fallacy of Number Ten" in Democracy Defined: The Manifesto by Kenn d’Oudney. The campaign is all-inclusive and we avoid attaching any party-political labels to it....

LNE: You're clearly a second generation libertarian but what else attracted you to libertarianism besides your parents?
Astra: Issues of justice and liberty attracted me to non-party-political support for the constitutional laws which uphold universal secular human values. Without them we lose everything which makes life worthwhile and meaningful."

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Post-Paul presidential politics

Rand Paul Is Out — But Libertarianism Is Finally Mainstream - - Matt Kibbe:

February 10, 2016 -  "As someone who left a perfectly respectable day job last year to help elect Rand Paul president, I need to find the upside. I have finally emerged from my post-Iowa fetal position to offer some observations on what liberty voters, and libertarians generally, should make of it all.

"First off, I endorse the view, ably represented by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, that Rand’s failure to win the Republican nomination in no way signals the end of the 'libertarian moment.' Politics is a lagging indicator of social change, and the measure of a social movement is better taken upstream from voter turnout.

"As for Iowa, let’s at least hat tip the effort. Rand Paul bested four establishment Republican Governors including Jeb Bush, placing a respectable fifth place with 4.5 percent of the vote.... Paul beat them all after being excluded from the Fox Business debate just a few weeks earlier. I’m going to call that a comeback—one small step for mankind, another bigger step for the future of liberty.

"Why? Because Rand has seeded another generation of liberty-minded young people, much like his father did in 2008 and 2012. When I was a kid, there was no broad social movement for liberty like we see today. Rand juiced the build-out of this community simply by being on the presidential stage, by offering a compelling alternative to the establishment’s failed foreign policies, and by speaking about civil liberties and the failures of mass incarceration to new audiences that few Republicans have been willing to engage with....

"I spent time on the ground talking to voters at events across Iowa.... It was clear to me before a single vote was cast that Trump had poached key parts of the broader Ron Paul coalition of 2012. More disconcerting, a number of Rand’s student activists were telling me stories about young people, energized by Rand’s 'libertarianish' message at university campus rallies, ultimately caucusing for Bernie Sanders.

"It’s good to be fundamentally skeptical of Washington insiders, to have a deep distrust of politicians and their motives. Say what you will about it, a self-avowed crony capitalist and a white male septuagenarian career politician have best tapped into this ethos....

"All of this rage against the machine is a healthy awakening against the injustices of 'the system'.... But being anti-establishment isn’t nearly good enough. Trump’s self-absorbed vision of untethered presidential power is not a step up from Barack Obama. And socialism, even of the 'democratic' variety, is still all about concentrating power (and the implied threat of violence) with Washington elites.

"We are in the midst of a fundamental paradigm shift that has broken the singular power of the two-party duopoly.... Libertarians are now mainstream, no longer relegated to basement book club arguments about the moral failings of 'minarchism.' Our values offer a serious alternative to both right wing and left wing statism....

"People, particularly young people, now live in a radically disintermediated world where we curate virtually everything for ourselves; new music, news sources, better ideas, and even spontaneously-emerging communities built on free association and shared values. Top-down political institutions, like almost everything else in our post-internet society, are bleeding power and control. Information, knowledge and power are shifting back to the end user. This disruption is an opportunity, a window to connect with a burgeoning generation of freer people who take self-determination as a given. We no longer accept authority as is—we Google it, using information and facts to challenge the status quo. Empowered consumers have broken the backs of record company moguls, mainstream media monopolists, taxi medallion hoarders, and even the Bush Family dynasty.

"The hearts and minds of young, socially connected Americans are very much up for grabs. Registered independents have become the fastest growing political block, making up a larger plurality than either Democrats or Republicans in 44 out of 50 states. Talk about a libertarian moment. The individuals that comprise this Á La Carte Generation are environmentally programmed from birth to curate their very own reality, one that is more personal, and more free."

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Libertarian presidential candidates debate Feb 27 | Mississippi and Alabama Libertarian Parties host presidential debate - Zac Carlisle:

February 12, 2016 - "On February 27, 2016, between 10:00 AM and 2:30 PM, the Libertarian Parties of Alabama and Mississippi will host the Gulf Coast Business and Entrepreneurship Seminar in the Magnolia Ballroom at the Beau Rivage Casino & Resort ... with keynote speakers Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico and John McAfee, creator of McAfee Virus Scan.

"Tickets to the Seminar will be available at the door for only $5.00.

"At 7:30 PM, eleven candidates for President will take the stage to lay out their campaign platform and why they would be the best option for President. Candidates will include John McAfee, Gary Johnson, Austin Petersen, Steve Kerbel, Darryl Perry, Cecil Ince, Marc Allan Feldman, Derrick Reid, Jack Robinson, Jr., Rhett Smith, and Shawna Starling.

"Debate tickets only are $25.00 and are available online as well as at the door.

"The Libertarian Parties of Alabama and Mississippi welcome everyone to attend to learn more about what the Libertarian Party stands for and what are our plans for the future.

"Tickets and more information are available online at"

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gallup: libertarians make up 27% of U.S. voters

Gallup Finds More Libertarians in the Electorate | Cato @ Liberty - David Boaz:

February 10, 2016 - "The Gallup Poll has a new estimate of the number of libertarians in the American electorate. In their 2015 Governance survey they find that 27 percent of respondents can be characterized as libertarians, the highest number it has ever found. The latest results also make libertarians the largest group in the electorate, as compared to 26 percent conservative, 23 percent liberal, and 15 percent populist.

"For more than a dozen years now, the Gallup Poll has been using two questions to categorize respondents by ideology:
  • Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
  • Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?
"Combining the responses to those two questions, ... Gallup consistently finds about 20 percent of respondents to be libertarian, and the number has been rising.

"Two years ago David Kirby found that libertarians made up an even larger portion of the Republican party.

"The word 'libertarian' isn’t well known, so pollsters don’t find many people claiming to be libertarian. And usually they don’t ask. But a large portion of Americans hold generally libertarian views – views that might be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

"David Brooks wrote recently that the swing voters in 2016 will be people who don’t think big government is the path to economic growth and don’t know why a presidential candidate would open his campaign at Jerry Falwell’s university. Those are the voters who push American politics in a libertarian direction. David Bier and Daniel Bier wrote last summer about how many policy issues show a libertarian trend over the past 30 years....

"Politics is often frustrating for libertarians, never more so than during this presidential election when the leading presidential candidates seem to be a protectionist nationalist with a penchant for insult, a self-proclaimed socialist, and a woman who proudly calls herself a 'government junkie.' But polls show libertarian instincts in the electorate, just waiting for candidates who can speak to them."

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trump vs Sanders best scenario for Libertarians says Johnson

Gary Johnson's 2016 presidential plans - Business Insider - Colin Campbell:

February 5, 2016 - "Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson thinks Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump could be his ticket to having a significant effect on the 2016 race.

"'If the Libertarian candidate for president ever — ever! — has a chance of getting elected or getting prominence on the national stage to actually profess what is to be a Libertarian, it would be Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump,' Johnson told Business Insider in a recent interview....

"Johnson ran for president as a Republican in 2012 before changing teams and running as the Libertarian Party's nominee. He dropped by Business Insider's office at the end of last month to pitch his second campaign for the White House.

"'I don't want to be tilting at windmills, right? There are better things to do,' Johnson said. 'But in this case, I think that at the end of the day, I will end up being the voice of reason in all of this'....

"Johnson argued that either of the top-two Democratic presidential candidates — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — would contrast well with a Libertarian contender if real-estate mogul Donald Trump were the Republican nominee.

"'None of this may transpire, right. But if Trump is the nominee, and if Hillary is the nominee — and I think there is certainty about Hillary, unless there's an assassination, and I'm not wishing that upon her — I think people are going to look to: "Well, what is the other choice?"' he predicted.

"'Keep in mind, too, that the biggest political affiliation in the United States is independent,' he added. 'Well, who is the third party? Well, the Libertarians are the third party. The Libertarians are going to be on the ballot in all 50 states.'

"Johnson also said he was suing to get into the general-election debates.... He said a prominent constitutional lawyer, Bruce Fein, had already filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates based on 'the notion that they are a business and that they collude with one another to exclude everyone else.'

"Johnson added: 'Our contention is that if you're on the ballot on enough states to be mathematically elected, then shouldn't you be included in the presidential debates?'"

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Limiting party use of donations unconstitutional, Libertarians claim in U.S. federal suit

Libertarian National Committee alleges Federal Election Commission violates Constitution | Legal News Line - Robbie Hargett:

February 6, 2016 - "The national committee of the Libertarian Party is suing the Federal Election Commission over claims its restrictions on donation usage are unconstitutional. The Libertarian National Committee filed a lawsuit Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia....

"Joseph Shaber bequeathed $235,575.20, without restrictions, to the Libertarian National Committee. However, according to the suit, the Federal Election Commission applies annual contribution limits, currently $33,400, to political party committees.

"The suit claims that the party limit applies only where a contribution might be used for general communication and party-building, but it claims the government would allow the party committee to accept up to $100,200 per year from a particular contribution if the money were used for each of three government-approved purposes: a national convention, attorneys or a headquarters building.

"The suit states applying these content-based restrictions on use of funds is unconstitutional by infringing upon the speech rights of donors and donees."

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Monday, February 8, 2016

200% tax bill on Newton's Super Bowl earnings

For Cam Newton, Adding Super Tax Insult to Super Bowl Injury | Cato @ Liberty - Daniel J. Mitchell:

February 8, 2016 - "Today, let’s focus on the importance of low tax rates and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is going to be our poster child....

"Writing for Forbes, a Certified Public Accountant explains why the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers lost twice at the Super Bowl.
Remember when Peyton Manning paid New Jersey nearly $47,000 in taxes two years ago on his Super Bowl earnings of $46,000? …Newton is looking at a tax bill more than twice as much, which will swallow up his entire Super Bowl paycheck, win or lose, thanks to California’s tops-in-the-nation tax rate of 13.3%.
"You may be wondering why California is pillaging Cam Newton since he plays for a team from North Carolina, but there is a legitimate 'nexus' for tax since the Super Bowl was played in California....

"More specifically, the tax-addicted California politicians impose taxes on out-of-state athletes based on how many days they spend in the Golden State.... States tax a player based on their calendar-year income. They apply a duty day calculation which takes the ratio of duty days within the state over total duty days for the year.

"Now let’s look at the tax implication for Cam Newton.
If the Panthers [won] the Super Bowl, Newton [would have earned] another $102,000 in playoff bonuses, but if they [lost] he [would] only net another $51,000. The Panthers will have about 206 total duty days during 2016, including the playoffs, preseason, regular season and organized team activities (OTAs).... Seven of those duty days will be in California for the Super Bowl.... To determine what Newton will pay California on his Super Bowl winnings alone, looking at the seven days Newton will spend in California this week for Super Bowl 50, he will pay the state $101,600 on $102,000 of income should the Panthers be victorious or $101,360 on $51,000 should they lose.
"So what was Cam’s marginal tax rate for playing yesterday?
Losing means his effective tax rate will be a whopping 198.8%. Oh yeah, he will also pay the IRS 40.5% on his earnings.
"[H]e’ll be paying about $101,000 of extra tax simply because the game took place in California. However, if the Super Bowl was in a city like Dallas and Miami, there would have been no additional tax.

"The good news, at least for football fans, is that Cam Newton has a contract that prevented him from staying home and skipping the game. So he didn’t have any ability to respond to the confiscatory tax rate.

"Many successful taxpayers, by contrast, do have flexibility and they are the job creators and investors who help decide whether states grow faster and stagnate. So while California has the ability to pillage Cam Newton, the state is basically following a suicidal fiscal policy because other people can choose to stay away."

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Should/can libertarians support Cruz? (1) No

Ted Cruz Doesn't Deserve Libertarian Support - J. Wilson, A Libertarian Future:

March 23, 2015 - "Unfortunately, fighting against Obama’s agenda is about all the small government that Ted Cruz is interested in. While he has made the stand against ethanol subsidies, a precarious move in Iowa, there are few other mainstream GOP positions he doesn’t hold. Like most conservative Tea Party Republicans, Ted Cruz is about half way there when it comes to liberty.

"Let’s start with the good.... Cruz is for a flat tax, eliminating the IRS, and auditing the Fed. He’s for fully repealing Obamacare, and for passing a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget. He’s for auditing and eliminating federal agencies. He’s against the TSA, and the NDAA. He’s even against raising the minimum wage, and for privatizing Social Security. Those are all fiscally conservative positions that libertarians already support....

"Then we have the issues where Ted Cruz is in the middle. He’s for military interventionism abroad, but he’s against sending U.S. ground troops. He rightfully opposes new net neutrality regulation, and the internet sales tax, but doesn’t seem concerned about the NSA. He’s almost there, but not quite. These issues show, however, that Ted Cruz is for government in some areas, a dangerous precedent.

"That leads to the reasons why Ted Cruz doesn’t deserve libertarian support. First and foremost, Ted Cruz is for the drug war.... How can Ted Cruz believe in states’ rights, if he’s for violating them so brutally with the unconstitutional war on drugs? After all, it’s Cruz’s belief in states’ rights that lead him to propose legislation that would allow states to set their own marriage laws, i.e. ban gay marriage within their borders....

"Furthermore, as previously mentioned, Ted Cruz hasn’t done anything to reign in the NSA, or privacy rights. In fact, Ted Cruz co-sponsored a bill for the extension of the Patriot Act, that speaks volumes. In addition, Cruz hasn’t spoken about protecting our civil liberties regarding civil asset forfeiture. He seems to be turning a blind eye to social issues, which libertarians know are just as important as fiscal issues....

"Cruz is a conservative Republican that has not shown enough interest in applying liberty to important issues that libertarians care about. Therefore, Ted Cruz does not deserve libertarian support."

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Should/can libertarians support Cruz? (2) Yes

The Libertarian Moment Lives With Ted Cruz | Liberty Conservatives - Remso W. Martinez:

February 7, 2016 - "There is [no] pretending that Ted Cruz is a libertarian, he is as conservative as they come, in the traditional sense.... Cruz never pretended to be something he wasn’t, he has much adoration for libertarians, and has stated time and time again that when certain challenges come about, there is a need for a coalition.

"Cruz has been consistent from the beginning, and has shown he shares more common ground with libertarians than virtually any other person in Washington. His record alone shows:
  1. He is against senseless undeclared and unconstitutional wars and nation-building halfway around the world.
  2. He championed and co-sponsored Audit the Fed, making it a central point in his plan for the new Senate majority.
  3. He is pro gold standard.
  4. He opposes the Patriot Act and opposed the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, and authored an amendment to it requiring a DoD audit of bases, to identify waste and prioritize base expenditures in an effort to ‘reduce our overseas footprint’
  5. He believes that the internet should be free and open.
"If nothing else, a simple look at his Five for Freedom plan should be convincing enough. In the preamble Cruz states 'During my first year, I will fight to abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To do that, I will press Congress relentlessly. And I will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose central charge will be to lead the effort to wind them down and determine whether any programs need to be preserved elsewhere because they fall within the proper purview of the federal government. I do not anticipate lists to be long.' The structure of the pan includes:
  • Five for Freedom – abolish 4 unnecessary cabinet agencies and the IRS.
  • 25 Federal “ABCs” – eliminate 25 Agencies, Bureaus, Commissions, and other programs.
  • Grace Commission 2.0 – reinstitute President Reagan’s Panel on Cost Control (“The Grace Commission”) to identify waste and inefficiency.
  • Congressional accountability – amend the Constitution to require Congress and the President to balance the budget, and enact the REINS Act.
  • Federal hiring freeze and reform – institute a freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees across the executive branch, and reform automatic worker raises.
"The opportunity to keep the Liberty Movement within the GOP is still alive thanks to Cruz, the last 'Yahoo for Uncle Milton' on stage who can break the Washington Cartel."

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Team Cruz 'ready to pounce' on Paul's base

Ted Cruz, born-again libertarian - Katie Glueck, Politico:

February 3, 2016 - "Bill O'Brien knew exactly what to do when Rand Paul officially dropped out of the 2016 race. He went on a dialing spree.

"O'Brien, one of Ted Cruz's New Hampshire co-chairs and a former state House Speaker, had tried '15 to 20' state reps by noon, looking to pull Paul supporters over to team Cruz.

"Former U.S. Senator Bob Smith, another co-chair for Cruz here, did much the same when he heard the news in the midst of an MSNBC appearance. Back on the Cruz campaign bus, he too was calling Paul-aligned activists and lawmakers, and even members of Paul's leadership team.

"It's not a coincidence that Cruz's co-chairs had an identical game plan: they've been courting Paul's supporters for months, hoping to siphon support away from a campaign on its last legs. Now those legs have given out, and Team Cruz is ready to pounce....

"'We respect and admire Sen. Paul’s defense of liberty over the many, many years, as well as his dad’s, and we would welcome his support because we think we have many likeminded views, especially on liberty, freedom and the Constitution,' Smith said when asked to sum up the messaging.

"Smith and O’Brien declined to say how many Paul supporters had already come on board as of late Wednesday morning, but Smith said the number was 'significant'...

"Tuesday night, Cruz was already telegraphing his plans to pitch to libertarians. 'Part of the reason we are more competitive in New Hampshire than the typical conservative is, we’ve got enough support on the libertarian side that it backfills,' Cruz told reporters.... 'Iowa you’ve got more evangelicals, New Hampshire you’ve got more libertarians,' Cruz continued....

"He recalibrated his stump speech early in the day, focusing more on themes of economic freedom and defending the constitution, cracking jokes about government phone tapping and name-checking the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments.... He also downplayed some of the social issues that he had emphasized in his bid to court Iowa's evangelicals."

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Free State Project reaches goal of 20,000 pledging to move to New Hampshire

Free State Project reaches milestone - News - - Portsmouth, NH - Brian Early:

February 3, 2016 - "The Free State Project, the political migration organization that seeks liberty-minded people to relocate to New Hampshire, reached its goal Tuesday of gathering 20,000 signers who pledge to move to the state within five years of reaching the 20,000 milestone.

"Free State Project President Carla Gericke announced the 20,000th signer at a press conference at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester Wednesday morning, as many Free Staters traveled to the city to celebrate the event, which is to 'trigger the move.'

"The pledge that 20,000 people have signed states, 'I hereby state my solemn intent to move to New Hampshire within five years of the Free State Project reaching 20,000 participants. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals' rights to life, liberty and property.'

"Gericke said in an impromptu speech Tuesday evening at an FSP moving party, “We believe in peace, we believe in prosperity, we believe in making everyone’s lives better, we just don’t agree with the way it’s being done.' Moving parties are among the various support networks FSP participants have created to assist others with moving into the state. It serves as a sort of welcome wagon to new participants into a new community....

"About 10 percent of the FSP pledges have already moved into the state, according to the FSP website, and many have already made changes in the state, including a federal first-amendment case involving Gericke.

"In 2010, Gericke was arrested for illegal wiretapping after she tried to film a traffic stop in Weare that involved her friends. While the charges were dropped prior to trial, Gericke sued the town, the police and the officers involved in her arrest in U.S. District Court. In 2014, the court affirmed the public’s right to record police performing public duties.

"Last year, Free Stater Rep. Amanda Bouldin, D-Manchester, filed the bill that became law, which made it easier to obtain Narcan, the opiate antidote. Bouldin is also credited for starting the private charity Shire Sharing. Gericke said the charity started with feeding 52 families and has grown to feed 1,000 families last Thanksgiving. Other participants have worked to pass the medical cannabis law and jury nullification law that affirms the rights of juries to judge the application of the law in relationship to the facts in controversy....

"While there are those who have moved from other states to New Hampshire, there are also about 2,600 residents known as Friends of the FSP. One of those is Dover native Kelly Halldorson, who now lives in Rye.

"'I didn’t sign the pledge, because I already lived here,' she said. 'I’m thrilled to have more people come that are liberty oriented. The idea that so many more will be coming is wonderful.' Halldorson home-schooled her children and cited the work of Free State legislators who have helped to either roll back or fight legislation that would further restrict home-schoolers."

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Connecticut LP beats non-state petitioner ban

CT News Junkie | Libertarian Party Wins Right to Hire Out-of-State Signature Gatherers:

January 27, 2016 - "The Libertarian Party won a legal victory Wednesday that allows them to hire out-of-state contractors to collect signatures for candidates petitioning their way onto the ballot.

"Currently, only Connecticut residents are permitted to collect signatures. Professional circulators from out-of-state firms, which are often hired by candidates, must be accompanied by a Connecticut resident.

"The lawsuit filed in December by Stanley Twardy of Day Pitney on behalf of the Libertarian Party says that the restriction is unconstitutional and increases the cost of collecting signatures.

"U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction Wednesday that stops Secretary of the State’s office from enforcing the law in this year’s elections....  Hall concluded that circulating a petition is 'core political speech' and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill would be infringing on the Libertarian Party’s First Amendment rights by impeding it.

"'This decision is good news for free speech,' Dan Barrett, the ACLU of Connecticut’s legal director and a cooperating attorney, said. 'The Libertarian Party deserves the chance to deliver its message by hiring signature-gatherers based on their qualifications, not their zip codes.' The decision, according to Barrett, aligns with other federal court rulings across the country....

"Libertarian Party candidates have run in every election cycle in Connecticut from 2010 to 2014, and the national Libertarian Party candidate has appeared on the Connecticut ballot for President and Vice President of the United States in six of the seven past presidential election cycles."

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rand Paul suspends presidential campaign

GOP Race Loses Rand Paul's Tech, Privacy Cred - US News - Tom Risen:

February 3, 2016 - "The Republican presidential campaign lost its biggest privacy advocate on Wednesday when Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky dropped out of the race, leaving doubt about whether the remaining candidates can resonate with the tech community or voters concerned about government surveillance.

"Taking a libertarian stance on Internet issues including encryption and the National Security Agency's snooping has been a key part of Paul's campaign effort to attract tech savvy younger voters, while other Republican candidates make hawkish statements in favor of mass surveillance.

"Tech policy generates less excitement from voters in presidential elections than issues like national security or the economy, however, which in part explains how Paul struggled below 10 percent in most election polls this past year....

"Paul's stance in favor of encryption and limits on government surveillance reflected the positions of numerous companies like Facebook, Apple and Google, and promised to attract funding if his campaign gained traction.

"Paul sparred during debates with candidates including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the issue of warrantless surveillance, countering his argument for an expansion of the NSA's spying powers. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and the state's former governor, Jeb Bush, have also supported expanding the NSA's powers.

"The Kentucky senator has called for more accountability and limits to the spying powers of the NSA , but he opposed USA Freedom Act in protest because he and other privacy advocates argued that it did not go far enough to restrict surveillance....

"Less vocal critics of surveillance in the Republican race remain, however, and now have an opportunity to appeal to Paul's libertarian base by speaking more about privacy rights. These include Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who ... voted for the Freedom Act, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has spoken in favor of requiring security agencies to collect data using court orders."

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cruz wins Iowa caucus, Rand Paul 5th

Rand Paul Campaign, SuperPAC Speak on Iowa and What's Next - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

February 2, 2016 - "Rand Paul's vote in the Iowa caucus tonight could have been roughly predicted from the most recent polling. It was discouraging for those who hoped for a last-minute surge to third driven by student turnout and over a million voter I.D. and GOTV [get out the vote] calls.

"Paul's campaign issued a statement tonight trying to spin the results positively, which read in part:
Rand Paul had a strong top-five finish by placing ahead of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and the last two Iowa Caucus winners tonight. The voters spoke for the first time, and they showed that they believe everyone in our country should have the liberty to make the most of their lives, not just the well-connected and the political establishment.Whether the issue is constitutional government, a balanced budget, a rational foreign policy, or preserving the entire Bill of Rights for all citizens, Rand Paul is the only one standing up for conservatives and liberty-loving Americans.
Tonight's vote reveals that the race for the White House is wide open. Dr. Rand Paul believes his voice is important to the debate, and calls on ABC and the RNC to make sure he is on the stage next weekend in New Hampshire. The results today demand it.... 
"Matt Kibbe, formerly of Tea Party-identified liberty activist group FreedomWorks and now with the Paul-supporting unaffiliated SuperPAC Concerned American Voters [CAV], ... worked on GOTV for Paul in Iowa.

"While 'we wanted Rand to do better, given where he has been it was a credible showing. I do think that Cruz and Donald Trump and even oddly enough Bernie Sanders were eating away at Rand's potential voting bloc,' Kibbe says. 'It heightens the now obvious divide between the liberty vote and the anti-establishment populist vote'....

"Kibbe is not as viscerally turned off by Cruz as many libertarians are. 'If you look at Ted Cruz' background, his training as a classical liberal is impressive," Kibbe says. 'He's read Mises and Hayek, he's read all the books [libertarians] have read and I believe he deeply understands those ideas'."

"Kibbe admits that 'I'm more ambivalent today because he has flip flopped on criminal justice and he's flip flopped on surveillance and most worrisome is, what is his foreign policy?...'

"Cruz or no, Kibbe says that 'there is still momentum to move forward [with Paul], it was a very credible performance tonight and we [CAV] will be in it as long as Rand is in it.' They are currently involved in social networking efforts in New Hampshire and ground work in Nevada....

"Kibbe says that even voters who are never going to embrace the full vision of movement libertarianism in an intellectual, bookish manner are still capturable by libertarian-leaning politicians."

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Ron & Rand Paul campaign together caucus eve

Ron Paul spreads message of liberty for son Rand - Kim Norvell, Des Moines Register:

February 1, 2016 "Twenty-four hours before the first-in-the-nation vote, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul made a final push for liberty, saying it’s the only thing that 'can bring people together.'

"The three-time presidential candidate appeared in front of one of his son’s larger crowds in Iowa. He encouraged voters to ignore the polls and 'send a message' on Monday that an 'irate minority' can make a difference....

"Other Republican candidates argue for bigger government, but Rand Paul will 'work toward a freer society' that gives Americans back their basic rights and 'the fruits of their labor,' Ron Paul said. Rand Paul's message of free market economics, criminal justice reform and a “sensible” foreign policy will work to bring the country together, he said.

"Ron Paul spoke for about 20 minutes at the University of Iowa before introducing his son to the campaign-estimated crowd of about 1,500. Rand Paul spoke in front of two teleprompters, an unusual move for the Kentucky senator, who typically stays unscripted on the trail.

"Paul tailored his message to those students he calls 'the leave-me-alone generation.' His liberty-themed speech focused on the ideas of a small government that does not collect phone records, reduces the number of laws and regulations and honors the entire Bill of Rights.

"Paul said Democrats and Republicans 'infringe on civil liberties' and 'assault' the Bill of Rights: the left on the right to bear arms and the right on the right to privacy....

"In October, the campaign announced it had set out to get 10,000 Iowa students to caucus for Rand Paul on Monday. Cliff Maloney, the national youth director, said Sunday it has reached that goal."

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