Thursday, March 31, 2016

Gary Johnson: most in U.S. have libertarian views

Gary Johnson Talks About Running For President | The Daily Caller - Alex Pappas:

March 23, 2016 - "As disaffected Republicans muse about the possibility of backing a third-party candidate instead of Donald Trump in a general election, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for president, says he sees a big opportunity.

"'If this isn’t an opportunity for the Libertarian nominee — and I hope to be the Libertarian nominee — there will never be an opportunity, in my opinion,' Johnson said in an interview with several reporters at The Daily Caller’s newsroom this week.

"Johnson briefly ran for president as a Republican in 2012 before leaving the party to become the Libertarian Party’s nominee, winning more than one million votes.... He’s now focused on winning the nomination again at the party’s Memorial Day weekend convention in Orlando and suing the Presidential Debate Commission so his party’s nominee will be included in the general election debates. 'There’s no way that a third party wins the presidency without being in the presidential debates,' Johnson said.....

"Johnson argues his views are in line with most Americans. 'I really believe that the majority of people in this country are libertarians, that we’re classically liberal at the end of the day, we’re fiscally conservative…but also we’re socially liberal. Who cares how you live your life as long as it doesn’t adversely affect mine?'....

"Johnson pointed out how he and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders have similar views on foreign policy.... 'Obviously, we’re 180 degrees when it comes to economics, but when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to crony capitalism, when it comes to Europe, a woman’s right to choose, marijuana, to me it spoke volumes as to why he is doing as well as he is,' Johnson said.

"Asked if he has spoken with some of the conservatives who say they are interested in supporting a third-party candidate if Trump becomes the Republican nominee, Johnson said: 'We’ve got a few of these meetings here, I’ve got a few of those meetings in the next few days'....

"With ballot access a timely and difficult thing for many third party candidates, Johnson said people looking for a third-party candidate should know his party will be on every state’s ballots.

"'What’s not being reported right now, and I think should be, is that the Libertarian Party is going to be on the ballot in all 50 states,' he said."

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Austin Petersen wants constitutional government

An Exclusive Interview with Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen - J.W. Holland, Good Men Project:

March 26, 2016 - "Libertarian Presidential candidate Austin Petersen wants you to know something — he wants to leave you alone. In fact, that is the theme of his surprisingly successful campaign to become the nominee for the Libertarian Party.

"I recently sat down for a phone interview with Mr. Petersen, the thirty-five-year-old owner of Stonegait LLC, a for-profit consulting company. Petersen’s resume also includes: former Director of Production for FreedomWorks, former associate producer for 'Freedom Watch' on Fox Business Channel that was hosted by Judge Andrew Napolitano, and he is also currently the head [of] the Libertarian Republic, one of the top Libertarian focused news sites on the internet.

"I asked Petersen his reasons for running, 'I am trying to advance the constitutional viewpoint. I am trying to advance the limited government viewpoint — the true fiscally conservative, socially tolerant viewpoint that Libertarians represent,' he said, noting that his reasons for running were held by very few that are currently in the race for President. He contrasts himself from a standard Republican candidate by saying, “Republicans tend to want limited government in terms of economics or fiscal matters, but tend to have issues with personal privacy.” He pointed to recent hot-button issues involving the NSA and Republicans willingness to, in his opinion, 'violate the fourth amendment'. He went on to say that Libertarians “Fight for all of the Bill of Rights” and while their stance on many fiscal issues was similar to the Republicans 'we tend to deviate on issues of privacy and national security.'

"Petersen is fully aware of the uphill battle that a third party candidate faces in winning the presidency. 'To win the presidency outright I need about 35 million dollars' and that for a Libertarian candidate is no small task. He continued: 'That would require a revolutionary movement across the entire United States, it would require some institutional support.' Petersen went on to express his goals if, financially, his campaign couldn’t garner that kind of monetary support: 'With 1.5 million dollars I will be trying to achieve a minimum of 5% of the national vote.' Petersen says that with his digital strategy expertise and far less money he can garner the 5% that would garner the Libertarian Party full ballot access and major party status. That accomplishment would make it far easier for future Libertarian candidates to compete on a national level with the other major parties."

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

John McAfee campaign focuses on cybersecurity

John McAfee: 'This is the year of the third party' - - Eli Watkins:

March 23, 2016 - "Libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee ... supports a total overhaul of the nation's counter-terror apparatus, one that focuses on patterns within global communications and not individual conversations....

"He said Democrat Hillary Clinton's call for increased surveillance was outdated and dismissed a recent controversy over whether private companies should help the government break encryption on terrorist's phones as irrelevant.

"He also dismissed the reactions of Donald Trump, who called for torture of terror suspects, and Ted Cruz, who called for law enforcement to 'patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.' McAfee said they, like the government, had 'missed the point' by focusing on monitoring individuals instead of foreign states with sophisticated cybersecurity systems.

"McAfee said his preferred system would detect terrorist plots before they can go into effect. 'If we had a coherent cybersecurity policy, we would've known about this the moment it was hatched,' McAfee said, advocating for what he called the Chinese approach to national security....

"McAfee originally launched his presidential bid under his own banner, as the nominee of the "Cyber Party," before declaring himself a Libertarian candidate in December. The Libertarian Party, he has pointed out, has ballot access in all 50 states. His Cyber Party did not....

 "McAfee said his more mainstream rivals like Clinton and Trump are not right to lead in the digital age and that 2016 is the year his party can break through. 'I believe this is the year of the third party,' he said....

"McAfee, who had few kind words for Trump, said the Republican front-runner's appeal came from populist anger with the government and the established political class. But he warned such anger came with serious risk.

"'An angry people cannot create anything that is not imbued with anger,' McAfee said. 'God, please let there be other options.'

"He stressed his own commitment to privacy and near-absolute personal freedom alongside his existential fear of cyberwar with China.

"'I know of no one in this country who does not believe we have had personal freedoms taken from us,' McAfee said.

"He criticized Transportation Security Administration checkpoints and the National Security Agency as examples of government overreach. 'I do not feel protected. I feel like the enemy,' McAfee said of airport security in a separate interview before the Brussels bombings.

"McAfee mocked both Trump and Clinton for a lack of technological bona fides and offered a grave assessment of the country's vulnerabilities to Chinese cyber-attacks.

"'I cannot conceive of how more than 1% of us could possibly survive a cyberwar,' McAfee said."

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Challenge to Colorado marijuana laws rejected

Our Recent Supreme Court Victory and What It Means | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform:

March 28, 2016 - "The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to refuse to hear a challenge to the Colorado marijuana legalization law was a significant victory for those who favor legalizing marijuana and a significant set-back for those who thought the federal courts might help them hold on to the increasingly unpopular policy of criminal prohibition. The name of the case was States of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. State of Colorado....

The Supreme Court ... has what is called 'original jurisdiction' to hear cases and controversies arising between the states. One state may petition the court to hear a suit against another state without having to start at the trial court level.... This is the procedure attempted when the state attorneys general from Oklahoma and Nebraska, in late 2014, filed suit against the state of Colorado, challenging the validity of the Colorado marijuana legalization law.

"Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, also a Republican, alleged that marijuana from Colorado was finding its way illegally to their states, causing their courts, law enforcement agencies and jails to be overburdened....

"'The state of Colorado authorizes, oversees, protects and profits from a sprawling $100-million-per-month marijuana growing, processing and retailing organization that exported thousands of pounds of marijuana to some 36 states in 2014,' they said. 'If this entity were based south of our border, the federal government would prosecute it as a drug cartel.'

"Attorneys for both the state of Colorado (Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican) and the Obama administration urged the Supreme Court not to accept the case, saying it was not a conflict between the states and thus not eligible for 'original jurisdiction.' They argued the case involved harm allegedly being caused by individual lawbreakers, not the state of Colorado....

"On March 21, the Supreme Court announced they would refuse to hear the case on a 6-2 vote (four votes are required for the court to agree to hear a case), with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in the minority.

"The decision to reject the case on original jurisdiction does not resolve the underlying substantive issues, but it means the two states, if they wish to pursue this line of reasoning further, must first file their suit at the trial court level and work through the court of appeals, before again asking the Supreme Court to rule. There will be no legal short cut for this challenge."

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

A newbie's guide to Uber and Lyft

What is Uber, What is Lyft, and Which Should You Use? - Jess Bolluyt, Gear & Style Cheat Sheet:

March 26, 2016 - "Whether you need a safe way to get home after a night out or are seeking a ride to the airport, there’s little reason to call a cab anymore. In most cities, the easiest way to get a ride is to fire up your smartphone, open an app like Uber or Lyft, and with a few taps, a car will be on its way to you. These services are generally cheaper than a taxi, and Uber specifically is continually cutting its rates — which can be great for users, but not so great for drivers — in order to create a service that’s cheaper and more convenient than actually owning a car.

"When you request a ride, your driver will automatically get directions to your destination, and you pay for your ride with the debit card or credit card you’ve saved in the app. These services are designed to offer a more convenient and connected version of taxis, which can be time-consuming or difficult to hail. Here’s what you need to know about the two leading ride-sharing apps, and how you can choose which one is best for you.

"Uber and Lyft are the two ride-sharing apps that dominate in most cities. You’ve probably heard about them in recent headlines, since they’re disrupting the traditional taxi industry and using tactics both innovative and aggressive to build workforces of independent drivers. Uber was founded in 2009, and Lyft was founded in 2012. Both services offer iOS and Android apps, and Uber offers an app for Windows phone users, too. While there are plenty of apps that enable you to hail a licensed taxi, Uber and Lyft are different, because each has its own drivers....

"Drivers for both Uber and Lyft offer different types of cars and services, and depending on how many people you have with you and what kind of vehicle you prefer, you can select what ride to request via the Uber or Lyft app. Lyft has fewer options than the many you can select from in Uber’s app, but its services cover everything that the average user will need when requesting a ride. A standard Lyft has room for you and up to three friends, while Lyft Plus is a higher-priced ride for up to six passengers. Both services also offer carpooling services, which give you a lower-cost ride if you share the car with another passenger; Uber’s is uberPool, and Lyft’s is Lyft Line.

"UberX is the company’s most affordable option, followed by uberXL, which is an inexpensive service for larger groups of people. UberSELECT is a service that takes “the next step toward luxury,” followed by UberBLACK, which gets you a ride with a professional chauffeur in a livery-registered black luxury car. Finally, UberSUV has the highest base fare, with a luxurious vehicle that has room for you and a bunch of friends. In some cities, Uber also offers UberLux, with higher-end cars, and UberAssist, for seniors and people with disabilities, who need extra assistance or a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair.

"Despite their differences, the services and their apps have similarities, too. To ride with Uber or Lyft, you’ll open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to hail a ride. Each app will show you a map of your current location and show you the available cars nearby.... When you enter your destination and request a ride — and optionally get an estimate of how much it’s going to cost — a nearby driver will accept the request.

"You’ll be able to see your driver’s profile, complete with his or her name, a headshot, information on the make and model of their car, a photo of said car, and an estimate of how many minutes it’ll take the driver to get to you. Some drivers will call or text you when they arrive, and when you spot the car, you can get in. On the ride to your destination, you’ll be able to sit back and relax as the driver navigates to your destination. (You can also check your route in the app.) At the end of the ride, you’ll be able to see the final cost, give your driver feedback, and if you’re using Lyft, add a tip. One thing that people love about Uber and Lyft is that they’ll never need to fumble with cash or a card, which makes it considerably more convenient than a traditional cab.

"Additionally, Uber and Lyft have the same requirements for their drivers, and while you should be as careful about your safety as you would when taking a cab, both background-check their drivers, and you can report any problems directly to the company — something that you can’t do as easily with a traditional taxi company."

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Decriminalize drug use & possession, medical experts urge in advance of UN session

Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further - The Washington Post - Christopher Ingraham:

March 24, 2016 - "A group of 22 medical experts convened by Johns Hopkins University and The Lancet have called today for the decriminalization of all nonviolent drug use and possession....

"Their report comes ahead of a special UN General Assembly Session on drugs to be held next month, where the world's countries will re-evaluate the past half-century of drug policy and, in the hope of many experts, chart a more public health-centered approach going forward.

"In a lengthy review of the state of global drug policy, the Hopkins-Lancet experts conclude that the prohibitionist anti-drug policies of the past 50 years 'directly and indirectly contribute to lethal violence, disease, discrimination, forced displacement, injustice and the undermining of people’s right to health.' They cite, among other things:
  • A 'striking increase' in homicide in Mexico since the government decided to militarize its response to the drug trade in 2006. The increase has been so great that experts have had to revise life expectancy downward in that country;
  • The 'excessive use' of incarceration as a drug control measure, which the experts identify as the "biggest contribution" to higher rates of HIV and Hepatitis C infection among drug users;
  • Stark racial disparities in drug law enforcement, particularly in the United States;
  • And human rights violations arising from excessively punitive drug control measures, including an increase in the torture and abuse of drug prisoners in places like Mexico.
"'The goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs is the basis of many of our national drug laws, but these policies are based on ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded,' said Commissioner Dr. Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in a statement.

"For instance, the last time the UN held a special session on drugs, in 1998, it set itself the goal of a 'drug-free world' by 2008.

"The Hopkins-Lancet commissioners also fault UN drug regulators for failing to distinguish between drug use and drug abuse. 'The idea that all drug use is dangerous and evil has led to enforcement-heavy policies and has made it difficult to see potentially dangerous drugs in the same light as potentially dangerous foods, tobacco and alcohol, for which the goal of social policy is to reduce potential harms,' they write."

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Johnson polls at 11% in Clinton-Trump matchup

Libertarian Gary Johnson in double digits in race against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump: poll - Washington Times - David Sherfinski:

March 24, 2016 - "Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson, possibly benefitting from dissatisfaction with the two major parties’ front-runners, is in double digits in a potential three-way race, according to a poll released Thursday.

"In a three-way contest, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was at 42 percent, GOP front-runner Donald Trump was at 34 percent, and Mr. Johnson, who is seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, was at 11 percent, according to the Monmouth University poll.

"More than three-quarters of respondents didn’t know enough about Mr. Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and 2012 presidential candidate, to have formed an opinion. Mr. Johnson received more than 1 million votes in 2012 — a record for a Libertarian candidate — which amounted to about 1 percent of the popular vote.

"But 40 percent of registered voters said they had a favorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton, compared to 51 percent with an unfavorable one.

"Mr. Trump fared even worse, with 30 percent reporting a favorable opinion of him and 60 percent viewing him unfavorably.

"'A vigorous third party campaign is a very real possibility this year, but it is not yet clear what the impact could be,' said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. 'Including Johnson’s name in our polling seems to be more of a placeholder for voters who are not particularly thrilled with either major party choice right now.'

"In a head-to-head match-up, Mrs. Clinton had a 10-point lead over Mr. Trump, 48 percent to 38 percent."
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mises Institute donor files for Ch.11 bankruptcy

End Coal | Arch Coal funded US ‘libertarian’ think tank and ALEC - Bob Burton:

March 2, 2016 - "Arch Coal, the second largest coal company in the US, has revealed that it has been a secret funder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a self-proclaimed 'libertarian' think tank which has been a part of the global echo chamber of groups opposing action on climate change.

"The filing also reveals the coal company was a behind-the-scenes funder of the American Legislative Exchange Commission (ALEC), a US-based group which drafts corporate-sponsored legislation and brokers its introduction via a network of conservative legislators.

"Arch Coal’s recent 579-page filing ... with the US Bankruptcy Court listed the Ludwig von Mises Institute as one of the company’s creditors which are owed money. However, no details are provided on how much Arch Coal has paid the libertarian think tank or when any payments were made.

"On its website, the Alabama-headquartered institute states it champions a 'free-market capitalist economy and a private-property order that rejects taxation, monetary debasement, and a coercive state monopoly of protective services.' The institute obliquely notes on its website it receives funding from businesses but provides no details on who they are.

"In 2014 the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s annual return to the US Internal Revenue Service revealed it had total revenue of US$3.8 million.... [T]he institute has been a part of the US conservative echo chamber railing [sic] against regulations to tackle climate change....

"Arch Coal operates 11 mines across seven states of the US. On January 11 Arch Coal filed for ‘Chapter 11’ bankruptcy protection in the US which allows the company to restructure its debt while continuing to trade. Arch Coal estimates that in 2015 it produced 118 million tonnes of coal for both the US and export markets."

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Libertarians make the ballot in Oklahoma

Libertarian Party Obtains Ballot Access in Okla. for First Time Since 2000 - Barry Donegan, Truth in Media:

March 21, 2016 - "Ballot Access News is reporting that the Oklahoma Election Board announced on Monday that it has verified the Libertarian Party’s petition to become a qualified party in the state, meaning that its presidential candidate will appear on the 2016 ballot and that its voters can register to vote as members of the party.

"Only Republican and Democratic candidates have appeared on the Oklahoma presidential ballot in every election ... since the year 2000. The only political party to gain recognized party status since that time, the Americans Elect party in 2011, did not place a candidate on the ballot after doing so....

"Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin had signed a bill into law in May of 2015 that reduced the number of signatures required for a third party to obtain qualified party status from 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election to 3 percent....

"According to The Associated Press, the Oklahoma Libertarian Party had submitted a petition with 42,000 signatures in February, above the 24,745 signatures required to meet the 3 percent rule.

"'We did it. Now we have to make it count,' said Oklahoma Libertarian Party vice chair Tina Kelly. She said that the party has a dozen in-state candidates that are planning to run for office, including two possible contenders for U.S. Senate."

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FBI search & seizure at Free Talk Live radio

FBI in Keene: Search, not raid at 'Free Talk Live' radio host's home | New Hampshire - Paul Feely, New Hampshire Union-Leader:

March 21, 2016 - "Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation removed items Sunday morning from the Keene residence of a radio talk show host.

"A video posted Sunday on the website appears to show a group of law enforcement officers taking electronic devices and boxes from a residence at 73 Leverett St. in Keene at 6 a.m. Sunday. The website states the residence is the home of Ian Freeman, host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show “Free Talk Live,” carried by more than 170 stations across the U.S.

"A search of online property records available at the Keene municipal website shows property at 73-75 Leverett St. owned by the Shire Free Church Monadnock organization....

"Kristen Setera, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston Division Office, confirmed in an email Sunday night that ''the FBI conducted court-authorized activity in connection with an ongoing federal investigation.... No arrests were made'....

"'Don Feith, Assistant U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire, in an email Sunday night, confirmed the FBI conducted a search of the home...  'It was not a raid,' Feith wrote.

"The video posted at, which runs about two minutes and 25 seconds, is titled 'FBI Warrant Execution' and shows people in green vests marked FBI and others in New Hampshire State Police vests carrying what appears to be computer towers with 'evidence' tape on them, along with brown bags from the Keene home.

"T.J. Park, who also lives at the residence, took to the airwaves Sunday night with co-host Mark Edge to discuss the FBI search on the radio talk show Free Talk Live.

"''I’m looking forward to the results of this investigation,' said Park. 'Whatever this is, I know Ian didn’t do it, I know Mark didn’t do it, and I sure as hell didn’t do it. I know we’re all innocent.'"

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Libertarian Dunlap running for Montana governor

Libertarian from Conner running for governor | Montana Politics | - Perry Backus, Helena Independent Record:

March 20, 2015 - "Along a slow-moving stretch of the East Fork of the Bitterroot, there’s a rock that Ted Dunlap likes quite a lot....  He calls it his thinking rock. Over the course of the next year, Dunlap plans to get to know this particular stone even better as he ponders the message he wants to spread as part of his campaign for the highest post in Montana politics.

"Dunlap filed as the Libertarian candidate for governor ... the third time he’s run for governor of a state. The first two tries came in Idaho, where he managed to spread the Libertarian message by participating in several debates broadcast statewide.

"'I didn’t win, of course, but I did influence the debate,' Dunlap said. 'The other candidates had to consider what I was saying. People told me later that what I said made sense.'

"When people ask Dunlap to define a Libertarian’s perspective on the world, he hearkens back to his years in junior high when someone told him: 'Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.' His wife prefers: 'Whatever floats your boat, as long as it doesn’t sink mine.'

'We don’t feel like anyone should have the right to tell you how to live your life,' Dunlap said.... “I grew up with a strong dislike for bullies,” he said. “I didn’t like seeing anyone get pushed around. In my mind, that’s what the Democrats and Republicans are. It’s their own way or the highway. They are bullies.... Who gave them the right to tell me how to use my money or how I should live my life?' ...

"Dunlap was living in California when he first realized that he didn’t fit. It was just after Dianne Feinstein was elected to the U.S. Senate.... So, he sold his mowing/hazardous fuels control business and moved to a small town just outside of Boise.... In Idaho, he went searching for members of the Libertarian Party.... 'I took over leadership, which required a bit of a battle at the time.'

"After putting on a convention that raised about $8,500 for the cause and creating some party unity, Dunlap spent the next few years adding his name to the ballot, twice for governor and once as sheriff.... 'It was the closest election the sheriff had ever suffered,' Dunlap said. 'He didn’t even see it coming. I didn’t really want the job of sheriff, but I would have done it better than him.

“'I feel the same way about the Montana governor’s job,' he said. 'I don’t really want the job, but I’ll do it, and do it better than what the governor has done.'

"Dunlap said he doesn’t really plan to travel much to campaign.... 'But I will do my best to spread the word about the Libertarian Party. Once you get involved in it, your mind will get stretched and it will never go back to its previous shape. We call it the party of principle.'

"Dunlap said he’s been heartened by the like minds that he’s found since moving northward.

"'I thought I would find more and more individualism if I went north,' he said. 'When I went to Idaho, it felt like there was about one in 10 people who thought like me. Here in Montana, it’s closer to 50/50. I’m making progress.'"

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Trump foresees riots if he isn't GOP nominee

Donald Trump Warns Supporters Could Riot if He Doesn't Get GOP Nomination - NBC News - Benjy Sarlin:

March 17, 2016 - "Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that his supporters would respond with riots if he fails to secure the nomination at July's convention in Cleveland. 'I think you'd have riots,' Trump told CNN on Wednesday. 'I think you'd have riots. I'm representing a tremendous many, many millions of people'....

"Trump's words come as escalating protests from left-wing activists, heated responses from his supporters, and increasing tensions within the GOP over his candidacy are raising fears that the convention could devolve into chaos. Cleveland is reportedly working to procure 2,000 sets of riot gear equipment for its officers.

"As Trump indicated, there is a very real possibility he might lose the nomination if he wins only a plurality of delegates thanks to party rules that allow delegates to support different candidates after the initial ballot.

"In that context, the message to Republicans was clear on Wednesday: Nice convention you got there, shame if something happened to it.

"'I think bad things would happen, I really do,' Trump said. 'I believe that. I wouldn't lead it but I think bad things would happen.'

"The same week Trump predicted a riot, he tweeted to his millions of followers that Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders needed to 'be careful' or Trump would direct supporters to disrupt Sanders events. That tweet came in response to an unsupported claim that the Vermont senator had personally sent his voters to protest Trump events....

"In recent days, Trump suggested he may pay legal bills for the man arrested in North Carolina, who also threatened to murder the protester he struck, sending a clear message to Trump backers that the behavior was fair game. In doing so, he made good on a call for supporters to 'knock the crap out of [protesters]" at a February event while promising to cover their legal costs....

"He has argued that police aren't hard enough on protesters and lamented the lack of 'consequences' for interrupting his events, even telling an audiences that in old times protesters were 'carried out on a stretcher.'

"'Riots aren't necessarily a bad thing if it means it's because it's sitting there and fighting the fact that our establishment Republican party has gone corrupt and decided to ignore the voice of the people,' Trump supporter Scottie Neil Hughes told CNN Wednesday afternoon. She [said] later in the interview that Trump backers wouldn't 'resort to violence,' but would make sure they 'can't be ignored.'

"At his Tuesday night press conference in Miami, Trump made a point to praise campaign manager Corey Lewandoski, who currently faces a criminal complaint from reporter Michelle Fields, who accuses him of manhandling her after she asked Trump a question.... Lewandoski has called Fields 'delusional.'

"A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment on Hughes' interview, and asking for further clarification on whether Trump would discourage supporters from rioting in response to a convention loss."

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Revisiting the 'Libertarian Moment' at Cato

The 'Libertarian Moment,' Revisited – InsideSources - Graham Vyse:

March 18, 2016 - "Nearly two years since the New York Times asked, “Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?,” the answer appears to be a resounding 'no.'

"First, libertarian-leaning Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul failed to take off in the Republican presidential race.... Now presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is frequently called an authoritarian, embracing an activist, indeed muscular, role for the federal government on issues ranging from publicly funded healthcare to rounding up and deporting undocumented immigrants.

"And yet for libertarianism’s biggest devotees, accepting defeat isn’t an option.

"Earlier this month, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson was pitching his Libertarian presidential campaign through the halls of the Conservative Political Action Conference, when InsideSources asked whether talk of a 'moment' for his movement was overblown. He was quick to say that Paul never called himself a pure libertarian, so the senator doesn’t prove any conclusive case against the cause.

"'They’re social conservatives,' Johnson said of Paul and his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who ran as a Republican in the 2012 White House race. The former governor argued that Americans should try a true believer — someone like him.

"Conor Friedersdorf isn’t so sure. The Atlantic writer got laughs Wednesday at the Cato Institute, libertarians’ flagship think tank in Washington, when he joked during a panel discussion about Johnson’s charisma — or lack thereof.... At the same time, Friedersdorf ... stands by 'a belief that libertarianism is just fine, that it’s won some big victories in the very recent past, and I expect it to win more.'

"'Conservatives and progressives are widely judged with the understanding that most political change happens gradually and on the margins,' he said, 'but especially in the press, antagonists and champions alike often act as if libertarian success would mean a radical shift toward an ideologically pure, uncompromising, small government utopia — or distopia, depending on who you ask.

"'In reality,' Friedersdorf continued, 'libertarian ideas will only ever be implemented incompletely, gradually, in the system of checks and balances that we have, and the question [is] whether future voters will support policies that enhance liberty compared to the status quo. If that’s what we mean by a libertarian moment, I think we’re coming off several. We can expect many more.'

"Another panelist, Reason Magazine editor Matt Welch, also argued libertarians should keep their chins up. Compared to 2008, prior to President Barack Obama’s election, he said the liberty movement is strong. 'We didn’t have Rand Paul in the Senate back then,' he said. 'We didn’t have Republicans who said, "Let’s actually cut military spending’ year over year. … California tried to legalize recreational pot in 2010 and got smacked down, right? … Now we have legal weed as a thing that happens.'

"Enactment of gay marriage and nationwide criminal justice reforms were also cited as libertarian victories, but not everyone in the Cato discussion was as upbeat. Ramesh Ponnuru, an editor at the conservative National Review, said flatly that there never was a libertarian moment, and 'libertarians shouldn’t kid themselves about the appeal of their philosophy.'

"Ponnuru added that some trends in American culture appear to be headed in an overtly anti-libertarian direction, including the public’s answer to the question, 'Do you think that people should be allowed to say things that are offensive?' 'With that question, it seems to me, the trend lines are going in the wrong direction, particularly among young people,' he said.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Bernier planning Conservative leadership bid

Maxime Bernier Preparing Bid For Conservative Party Leadership - Althia Raj, Huffington Post:

December 18, 2015 - "Maxime Bernier is testing the waters. The Conservative MP, and former foreign affairs and industry minister under Stephen Harper, is trying to get a team ready to plan his leadership bid to replace his former boss, he told The Huffington Post Canada in a year-end interview....

"Bernier was asked to resign as foreign affairs minister after he left his ministerial documents at then-girlfriend Julie Couillard's house — a woman with former ties to the Hells Angels. While he spent time in the political doghouse — as a junior minister for small business — Bernier criss-crossed the country giving speeches about small government and lower taxes.

"He developed quite a following at Conservative gatherings such as the Manning Networking Conference. After the election on Oct. 19, Bernier said he received calls from people across the country asking him to think seriously about becoming the Conservative Party of Canada's second leader. He even has caucus support outside of Quebec, he said....

"Bernier proudly noted that Quebec is the only province that saw Conservative gains.... 'We ran a beautiful campaign, we focused our message on Conservative values — lower taxes, respect for the Constitution, and we were present in the regions of Quebec, and it worked'....

"Bernier defends the Tories' focus on banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies — saying he still believes giving the oath of citizenship should be taken with an exposed face. Quebecers, and Canadians, he said, didn't reject the Conservatives' program.

"'Perhaps they rejected the perception of the personality of the prime minister, but they did not reject the program of the party: lower taxes, respect for the Constitution, promises not to run deficits.' Those are Conservative values Bernier wants to champion if he runs.

"A self-described libertarian, he said he'll focus his platform on a more decentralized federalism, a smaller government less involved in Canadians' day-to-day lives, as well as more personal freedoms.

"He might champion a flat tax — he wrote a book on the subject, he noted. He'll certainly call for balanced-budgets legislation — just like the one the Liberals plan to repeal. Since the election, he has already called for an end to corporate subsidies — fully aware of the paradox, since he dished them out as industry minister."

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

#NeverTrump advised to hijack Libertarians

If NeverTrump Wants To Matter, Look To The Libertarians - Ben Domenech, The Federalist:

March 17 - "So there is a clear movement underway to challenge Donald Trump via a third party vehicle, a movement featuring a group of #NeverTrump figures including radio host Erick Erickson, lobbyist Bill Wichterman, and businessman Bob Fischer. They are agitating for a third party candidate who could potentially appeal to the host of Americans who seem to be with them in opposing Trump to the last, even as a nominee – exit polls from Tuesday suggested plenty of appetite for a third-party alternative to Donald Trump, with 37 percent of the Republican electorate in Ohio or Florida saying they would consider a third party given a Trump-Hillary nomination pair.

"That’s a far more significant number than we’ve seen under prior candidacies, and it’s certainly possible that a portion of that will actually bolt. If just a third of the Republican primary voters who say they would vote third party over Trump end up sticking to their word, that’s 12 or 13 percent – enough to swing the election to Hillary Clinton absent a major uptick in Independent voters to offset the loss.

"Of course, as Independent candidacies go, the Libertarian Party is a far more appealing vehicle than mounting a bid unattached to any party, as Philip Bump notes.
A more likely scenario would be finding a candidate who could run on a party line that’s already likely to qualify for the ballot in enough states to make a difference.... the Libertarian Party will likely hit that mark – meaning that conservatives could find themselves in the unusual position of encouraging Republicans to avoid the Republican candidate for president and vote for the Libertarian, at least this once. If they find a candidate. And if everything else falls into line.
"Here you have to make a real decision about what you want to achieve with a third party candidacy. Is it merely an expression of rage against the dying of the light, an opportunity to throw your vote away on a true believer or someone who can give voice to the case for free markets, free hearts, free foreheads? Or is the intention to actually undo the nominations by both parties by sending the nomination to the House of Representatives?...

"The smart thing for both the #NeverTrump folks and for the Libertarian Party – assuming that neither faction would ever come around to supporting Trump as the nominee – would be to nominate someone with regional political appeal and the capacity to win a handful of key states, enough to prevent either Clinton or Trump from achieving an electoral college majority. At that stage, the House votes based on state delegation for any of the top three vote getters....

"The Libertarians have their convention at the end of May, and the current likely candidate is Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, climber, and generally nice oddball. But he’s pro-choice and has never shown appeal beyond the normal Libertarian ranks.

"If the #NeverTrump people want a protest vote, their best path is a Libertarian takeover, with someone who is Libertarianish on some issues – pot, prostitution, marriage – and yet pro-life and pro-religion enough to win over the votes of the holdouts to the Trump machine.... Whoever the #NeverTrump folks settle on, they’d be wiser to choose someone with the ability to win a few key states, not just to make a generalized protest vote case against Clintonism and Trumpism."

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Walter Block forms Libertarians for Trump

Libertarians for Trump - LewRockwell - Walter Block:

March 15, 2016 - "Dr. Donald Miller ( and I ( are starting up a new group to be called Libertarians for Trump.

"LFT has its work cut out for it in mobilizing massive support for Donald Trump within the libertarian community.... There are several issues upon which libertarians do not and cannot support Donald Trump. For example, protectionism. But, typically, regarding the issues where Mr. Trump deviates from libertarianism, so do the other candidates.

"And, also, we readily admit that the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party (unless they nominate someone like, ugh, Bob Barr) will very likely have views much closer to ours than those of Mr. Trump.

"But, the perfect is the enemy of the good. It is our goal to throw our weight behind the candidate who has a reasonable chance of actually becoming President of the United States whose views are CLOSEST to libertarianism.

"When put in this way, it is clear that The Donald is the most congruent with our perspective. This is true, mainly because of foreign policy. And, of the three, foreign policy, economic policy and person liberties, the former is the most important. As Murray Rothbard and Bob Higgs have demonstrated over and over again, US foreign policy determines what occurs in economics and in the field of personal liberties. Foreign policy is the dog that wags the other two tails.

"We readily concede Mr. Donald Trump is no Ron Paul on foreign policy or anything else for that matter. However, compared to his Republican alternatives, the Donald stands head and shoulders above them. He has said, time and time again, things like 'Look at what we did in Iraq. It’s a mess. Look at what we did in Libya. It’s a mess there too. And we’re going to repeat our mistakes in Syria? Not on my watch.' Would Cruz or Rubio ever say anything like that? To ask this question is to answer it. And, very importantly, who is the one candidate who went out of his way so as to not antagonize Russia and Premier Putin? It is the Donald, that is who. Do we really want to fight World War III with Russia? With Mr. Trump at the helm, we minimize the chances of this catastrophe occurring... Yes, future President Trump wants a strong military, but with only a few exceptions, fewer than the other Republican candidates, only to defend our country

"Please consider joining our new group, LFT. There are no dues or fees. All you need to do is give me your name, email address (which we will not use) and affiliation (professional and/or just mention the city and state you live in). We will release the list of names of LFT members once we reach 100 participants. I ask that you do this not because in this way we may have some effect on a Trump Administration although there is an outside chance we might (he is now beset upon from so many sides, and so unfairly, that he might well appreciate the relatively small support we can give him). I ask you to do this, rather, because it is the right thing to do; he is, of all the major candidates for the office of President of the United States, the one most closely, albeit very far from perfectly, aligned with our beloved libertarian philosophy. If you know of other essays written in support of Mr. Trump, either by a libertarian, or, emphasizing the fact that his views are more aligned with our own than those of other major candidates, send them to us so that we can add them to our bibliography of such literature."
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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

99,000 signatures for Maine marijuana legalization, but government tosses half

Court to decide fate of Maine marijuana legalization question — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine - Michael Shepherd:

March 10, 2016 - "Backers of a marijuana legalization effort disqualified last week by the Maine secretary of state’s office sued the state on Thursday, saying the decision should be overturned.

"The dispute centers on more than 17,000 signatures that were tossed out by Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and notarized by Stavros Mendros, the president of Olympic Consulting, a Lewiston signature-gathering firm....

"Those signatures were among the nearly 48,000 of more than 99,000 signatures collected by referendum proponents that were invalidated by Dunlap’s office last week. Just over 61,000 signatures were needed to get the question on the ballot.

"The lawsuit on behalf of a group of petition signers was filed in Kennebec County Superior Court on Thursday afternoon. It says that Dunlap’s office acted outside its authority and asks the court to reverse the office’s decision to toss out nearly 27,000 signatures notarized by Mendros.

"David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the national group that managed the campaign effort, said of those, at least 17,000 are valid signatures. However, he said Dunlap’s office tossed them all.

"The lawsuit says that violated the office’s rules — which direct staff to use notary signature issues as a secondary reason to invalidate signatures — and that the office didn’t contact notaries before invalidating signatures....

"Mendros is a key, controversial figure in Maine’s signature-gathering industry: He worked on a much-criticized referendum proposal for a York County casino, which also was invalidated by Dunlap’s office last week."

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Colorado Libertarians choose Williams for Senate

Libertarians nominate Lily Williams for U.S. Senate in Colorado | The Colorado Independent:

March 12, 2016 - "Gambling tables, booze, and attendees sporting 1920s speakeasy-themed attire were the backdrop to this year’s state nominating convention of the Colorado Libertarian Party.... Men in white suits, hats and bow ties mingled with women in flapper-wear. A three-piece band playing in the background competed with the sound of gambling chips bouncing off felt tables around the room. There was a silent auction for a 1922 phonograph machine....

"Nationally, the Libertarians are the third largest political party, and that’s also true in Colorado. There are about 25,000 active members in the Centennial State. (For comparison, the Green Party has about 7,000.) And while their ranks in government here include posts on local water and sanitation boards, no Libertarian holds a state or federal office in Colorado....

"[T]wo Libertarians gave speeches, stumping for their party’s nomination in the big Colorado U.S. Senate race.... Lily Tang Williams, an immigrant and real estate investor from Parker, Colorado, ... gave an impassioned speech to the crowd in which she called herself a former 'slave' from Communist China who will turn Washington upside down.... Williams, 51, was running for the nomination against Gaylon Kent, 50, a humorist writer from California who lives near Steamboat Springs.... In 2014 he got a record 2.6 percent of the vote in the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Cory Gardner....

"Williams received more support than Kent, who later chose to run successfully for the nomination as the Libertarian Party’s choice for the 3rd Congressional District. Williams was considered again for U.S. Senate, and received unanimous support, so she’ll be on the ballot in the fall.

"In an interview with The Colorado Independent, Williams said what she meant by being a slave is that when she came to America at 24 she realized that’s what she’d been while in China.  'I did not know I was a slave,' she said. In China she couldn’t vote, and couldn’t own guns or private property. When she first came to America, she said, if she’d taken a political quiz she would likely have identified with being a statist.

"'When you are brainwashed all your life you do not know the difference,' she said. 'You don’t know how to think out of the box.'

"Then she met her husband, a Libertarian. It took him 20 years to 'really reverse my indoctrination,' she said. She became a Republican, but left the party after the Bush years and came into the Libertarian fold. She’s running for U.S. Senate because she opposes big government, the Common Core educational standards, corporate welfare, and the nation’s surveillance programs. Coming from China, she says she’ll have no problem calling out her Senate colleagues as communists if she has to. She’d limit herself to two terms.

“'I think I’m a mainstream American who cares about freedom,' she says. 'If I have a chance and the press treats me fairly about my race, reports about my race, if they invite me to the debates, I think I can win because my message is universal.'”

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Bourgeois Revaluation: Ideas that changed the world

Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital, Enriched the World - Deirdre McCloskey, Legatum Institute:

September 16, 2015 - "Why are we so rich? Who are 'we'? Have our riches corrupted us?

"There is a long answer to this question that can be found in my trilogy, The Bourgeois Era. In this trilogy, I explain three things.

"Firstly, how the commercial bourgeoisie — the middle class of traders, dealers, inventors, and managers — is good, not bad.

"Secondly, that the modern world was not made by the usual material causes, all of which have been widespread in other cultures and at other times. It was caused by both technical and institutional ideas among a uniquely revalued bourgeoisie, at first peculiar to northwestern Europe.

"Thirdly, that a new way of looking at the virtues and bettering ideas in this area sprang from a novel liberty and dignity enjoyed by all commoners, and from a startling revaluation by society as a whole of the trading and betterment in which the bourgeoisie specialized.

"The revaluation, called ‘liberalism’, in turn derived, not from some ancient superiority of the Europeans, but from egalitarian accidents in their politics. What mattered were two levels of ideas: the ideas in the heads of entrepreneurs for the betterments themselves (the electric motor, the airplane, the stock market); and the ideas in society at large about the business people and their betterments (this liberalism). What were not causal were the conventional factors of accumulated capital and institutional change. They happened, but they were largely dependent on betterment and liberalism.

"The upshot since 1800 has been a gigantic improvement for the poor, yielding equality of real comfort in health and housing, such as for many of your ancestors and mine; a promise now being fulfilled with the same result worldwide — a Great Enrichment for even the poorest among us.

"These are controversial claims. They are, you see, optimistic....

"For reasons I do not entirely understand, the clerisy after 1848 turned towards nationalism and socialism, and against liberalism. It came also to delight in an ever-expanding list of pessimisms about the way we live now in our approximately liberal societies: from the lack of temperance among the poor to an excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Anti-liberal utopias believed to offset these pessimisms have been popular among the clerisy. Its pessimistic and utopian books have sold millions.

"But the twentieth-century experiments of nationalism and socialism; of syndicalism in factories and central planning for investment, of proliferating regulation for imagined but not factually documented imperfections in the market, did not work. Most of the pessimisms about how we live now have proven to be mistaken. It is a puzzle. Perhaps you yourself still believe in nationalism or socialism or proliferating regulation. Perhaps you are in the grip of pessimism about growth or consumerism or the environment or inequality.

"Please, for the good of the wretched of the earth, reconsider."

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

3 Libertarian POTUS candidates in Fox forum (videos)

What You Need To Know For The Upcoming Libertarian Party Forum | - Elias J. Atienza:

March 9, 2016 - "April 1 will be a historic day for the Libertarian Party.

"The first Libertarian Party forum will air live on national television. Three candidates were invited... Each of them brings unique attributes to the forum.

Gary Johnson
"Johnson ... was the Libertarian Party nominee in 2012, getting 1 million votes or close to 1 percent of the total vote....  As the two-term governor of New Mexico, he was able to cut taxes, strongly advocated for marijuana legalization, and vetoed countless bills. Johnson is the former CEO of Cannabis Sativa, which sells marijuana products in states where it is legal.... His positions include replacing the U.S taxation system with one tax, called a consumption tax or a Fair Tax, ending the war on drugs, and reforming the immigration system to make legal immigration easier.

John McAfee
"McAfee is the most eccentric of the three candidates. McAfee is the founder of McAfee Anti-Virus Software, though he left the company over 15 years ago.... His main issue is cybersecurity. He garnered media attention when he claimed that he could hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist.... He’s been on Apple’s side the entire time.... He’s appeared on CNBC, CNN, and has been featured heavily in Business Insider ... specifically for his defense of Apple.

Austin Petersen
"Petersen ... famous for rejecting the Non-Aggression Principle ... is the founder of The Libertarian Republic, the second-most popular libertarian news site.... He ... is pro-life. However, he doesn’t advocate for abortion to be outlawed. He also advocates for a flat tax instead of the fair tax. He also has made reaching out to disaffected conservatives and independents a major part of his campaign; a big tent party like the Democrats and Republicans.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Nationally televised Libertarian debate April 1

Good News! Libertarian debate on TV, moderated by Stossel | Libertarian Party - Wes Benedict:

March 3, 2016 - "There will be a debate of Libertarian presidential candidates on TV this year!

"Many thanks to John Stossel and FOX Business Network for making this happen. A nationally televised debate is long overdue and we are delighted that it is finally happening...

"So please help us spread the word about the upcoming debate on FOX Business Network.

"It will be filmed on March 29 and aired on April 1.

"We'll update you on key details such as the time it airs as these details become available.

"A limited number of free tickets are available. To request them, email"

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Stossel: What are libertarians doing wrong? | Fox News - John Stossel:

March 9, 2016 - "The Stossel TV show on the Fox Business Network will host a Libertarian presidential forum. Three leading Libertarian presidential candidates -- 'leading' because they placed top three in a poll done by the Libertarian Party -- will debate. They are former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, software entrepreneur John McAfee and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen.

"The forum will air, unfortunately, on April 1. But this is no April Fools' Day joke. Our future is a stake."

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

West Virginia OKs permitless concealed carry

West Virginia legalizes concealed carry without a permit | Fox News - Stephen Gutowski:

March 8, 2016 - "The West Virginia legislature successfully overturned ... Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto on Saturday in a bipartisan effort to enact permitless gun carry in the state.

"Beginning June 5, anyone over age 21 who can legally possess a firearm will be allowed to carry it concealed on their person without having to obtain a permit. West Virginia has long allowed permitless open carry but, like most states, required a permit to carry a concealed firearm. With the new law the state will become the eighth in the nation to implement what gun rights activists call 'constitutional carry.'

"The law also creates a provisional permitting process for those between the ages of 18 and 20 who wish to carry a concealed firearm within the state. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 had previously been excluded from the permitting process altogether.

" West Virginia’s move to permitless carry marks the continuation of a national trend that began in 2003. Before then, only Vermont allowed law-abiding adults to carry concealed firearms without a permit. The pace accelerated over the last five years, with seven states adopting the policy.

"Concealed carry laws vary from state to state, but most adhere to one of three basic structures. The most popular, which is in effect in 34 states, is commonly referred to as a 'shall-issue' structure, where applicants must be issued a permit if they pass a background check along with whatever training and identification requirements are set by the state."

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Canadian forfeiture programs get failing grades

B.C., Ontario civil-forfeiture programs get failing grades, report says - The Globe and Mail - Sunny Dhillon:

"Civil-forfeiture programs have trampled on the rights of Canadians, seized property from innocent people and are neither transparent nor accountable, a new report says....

"Marni Soupcoff, executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a Calgary-based non-profit that aims to protect constitutional freedoms, said its report shows innocent people have been hurt by the use of civil forfeiture.

"'The part that I don’t think people currently know is you could lose your property in a process that treats you more harshly than a criminal gets treated, even if you’re not suspected of having done anything wrong,' she said in an interview Monday.

"The 58-page report examines the rise of civil-forfeiture programs in Canada, starting with their inception in Ontario in the early 2000s and leading to today, when eight provinces have such offices.

"The report says the offices were originally intended to deter crime and compensate victims but 'rarely accomplish these stated goals.' It said revenue generated through successful forfeiture proceedings is instead more likely to be returned to the provincial government involved, or to law enforcement agencies.

"The report went on to say that because civil-forfeiture cases are tried in civil court, with a lower standard of proof than criminal court, the provinces can 'choose to initiate civil-forfeiture proceedings against individuals in circumstances where there is not enough evidence to merit criminal charges, let alone result in a conviction.'

"The Canadian Constitution Foundation also accused civil-forfeiture programs of a lack of transparency. It said none of the eight offices is required to release information on how much money has been collected and paid out. It said none of the offices has been reviewed by a provincial auditor-general and, when faced with criticism, the offices have sometimes tried to shield themselves by pointing to grants given to charities – a tactic referred to as a “charity wash.”

"The foundation made five recommendations in all, including calls for each office to report its finances annually. It also said civil forfeiture should only be used after a property owner has been convicted of a provincial offence.

"Micheal Vonn, policy director at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which has long raised concerns about the use of civil forfeiture in Canada, said the new report is 'most welcome.'

"'The most important thing that they really highlight, that I think is the part that virtually everyone in the public can understand, is that part of the danger of this is that there’s no accountability,' she said in an interview."

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Wyoming governor signs forfeiture reform bill

Wyoming’s New Asset Forfeiture Law Could Set A Game-Changing Precedent | The Daily Caller - Casey Harper:

March 6, 2016 - "Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed a new civil asset forfeiture bill into law Feb. 29.... Civil asset forfeiture is a practice in which police can seize property and keep it even if they don’t convict or charge the owner with a crime. Then, the owner must go through the legally arduous, and often unsuccessful process to recoup their property – whether it’s a vehicle, cash or home – from the police....

"In 2015, Wyoming’s legislature passed a civil asset forfeiture reform bill [but] Gov. Matt Mead vetoed the bill.... But the legislature has now passed a bill that met Mead’s muster. Under the law, police would still be able to forfeit property without a criminal conviction, but they must have a judge review the case within 30 days to determine if the officers had probable cause to seize the property. If the judge rules that police did not have probable cause, the property must be returned. The distinction is important because, as it is, judges rarely review seizures.

"'If an officer of the law wants to seize some assets, he has to contact the attorney general,' Wyoming State Rep. Kendell Kroeker told TheDCNF. “The attorney general determines if there is probable cause. If the AG determines there is probable cause, the officer may proceed with the seizure'....  From there, the case must go before a judge within 30 days. Under the bill, people are still not provided an attorney if they can’t afford one, since it is in civil court.

"'The judge holds a hearing to review the probable cause standard,” Kroeker told TheDCNF. 'If the judge determines there was not probable cause, the assets are returned immediately. If the judge determines there was probable cause, a trial is scheduled [and] then the state must prove in court that there is 'clear and convincing' evidence that the property was a part of criminal activity. The burden of proof is now on the state, not the individual.

"If the person is innocent, they can sue to recover attorney fees as well as damages.... 'This is a big incentive for the state to not bring frivolous seizure cases,' Kroeker told TheDCNF. The bill also protects innocent owners against seizure, that the amount seized must be in proportion to the crime....

"'For example, if someone was coming back from Colorado with a small amount of marijuana, it would not be appropriate to seize his vehicle,' Kroeker told TheDCNF. 'There is also innocent owner protection.  This would apply if someone borrowed your car and used it to transport drugs and you had no knowledge of it.  They can’t take your car since you were not involved in the crime.'

"From 2008 to 2012, Wyoming authorities seized $2,841,522 and refunded $1,041,577, according to a report from Wyoming Liberty Group using data from the attorney general. That number is a little skewed, though. Of the $1,041,577 returned, a majority was from a single $774,506 seizure that was refunded. Meanwhile, dozens of smaller amounts did not get returned."

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Libertarians holding debate and primary in NC

N.C. Libertarian Party to hold presidential debate - Winston-Salem Journal: Local News - Melissa Hall:

"The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will host a presidential debate at 9 p.m. Monday in Raleigh. It will be webcast on Google Hangouts On Air.

"The debate will feature five of the 11 Libertarian candidates who will appear on the March 15 North Carolina primary ballot. The participants will be chosen in an online poll. To vote in the poll visit,

"The moderator of the debate will be Barry Smith, the associate editor of the Carolina Journal. The candidates will take part from locations across the country.

"To watch the debate, visit

"The candidates listed on the primary ballot are: Marc Feldman of Ohio; John Hale of Kentucky; Cecil Ince of Missouri, Gary Johnson of New Mexico; Steven Kerbel of Colorado; Darryl W. Perry of New Hampshire; Austin Petersen of Missouri, Derrick Reid of California; Jack Robinson of South Carolina; Rhett Smith of Texas, and; Joy Waymire of California.

"Presidential and vice presidential candidates will be chosen by delegates to the party's national convention scheduled for May 27 to 30 in Orlando, Fla."
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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jane's Addiction guitarist Navarro a libertarian

Dave Navarro: "I Consider Myself Libertarian" - Hit & Run : - Anthony L. Fisher:

March 3, 2016 - "Tattoo afficiandos and 90s alternative rock enthusiasts rejoice, Jane's Addiction's enigmatic guitarist Dave Navarro has gone on the record, self-identifying as a Libertarian (he used the capital L) in a tweet earlier today.

"Navarro, who is also the host of the Spike TV show Ink Master, has rarely engaged directly in politics, and when he has it has been...confusing. For instance, he performed at the 2012 Republican National Convention.... Yet, less than three months later, Navarro tweeted on Election Day that he voted for President Obama.

"Navarro once told HuffPost Live that his favorite TV newser is Bill O'Reilly, whom he credited with helping him get a 'broader, more well-rounded viewpoint' but added that much of the appeal was that 'it’s just a lot of fun to watch him get mad.'

"Reason Senior Editor and die-hard Jane's Addiction fan Brian Doherty wrote back in 2011 of ... the band's 'interestingly sophisticated libertarian rock tune' titled '1%.' Watch video of the band perfoming 1%" below:"

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Randy Barnett calls for new U.S. 'third party'

As Trump rises, consider a 3rd party: Column - Randy Barnett, USA Today: 

March 1, 2016 - "Is it time for a new third party? Not yet. But if Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination, then a new third party will be an imperative — and the time for organizing it is now.

"I have long vocally opposed third parties as irrational in our two-party system. They inevitably drain votes away from the major party closest to them, thereby benefiting the major party that is even worse. But strategies must adjust to circumstances. If Trump wins the GOP nominations, one of two things will happen, either of which would be disastrous for the Constitution and for the country.

"If Trump wins, he’s made clear he cares nothing for the constitutional constraints on the president, or on government generally.... For this reason, millions of patriotic Americans who would ordinarily vote GOP — including most conservatives and all constitutionalists — will never vote for him. Yet were he somehow to win without them — say by moving to the left of Hillary Clinton to capture the Sanders vote — a Trump presidency would doom America as an exceptional nation.

"Far more likely, however, once the Republican nomination is in his grasp, the media who have been irresponsibly reaping the ratings whirlwind will lay waste to Donald Trump in conjunction with the Democrats. His presidential campaign will be reduced to a few million die-hard Trumpies and little more. Down-ticket Republican candidates will flee him like poison....

"Here is where a new third party comes in: as a lifeboat for anyone aboard the sinking GOP ship — first and foremost patriotic voters, but also GOP candidates and office holders throughout the nation. They will desperately need another vessel they can support in good conscience....

"What the nation needs is a new party that is expressly dedicated to upholding the Constitution of the United States, however it may cut politically — a party that can attract principled conservatives, but also any American who is tired of crony capitalism, runaway government and rule by an out-of-touch political class.

"Should such a party split the GOP vote and throw the election to Hillary, this beats a Trump presidency, which would inevitably remake the Republican Party in the Donald's own image. And, if Republicans hold onto Congress, divided government under Hillary beats one-man rule by a demagogue and his party."

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Libertarian surge, or hostile takeover attempt?

GOP Elites Mounting Third Party Takeover To Stop Trump - Shane Cory, Liberty News Now:

March 3, 2016 - "If you’re going to mount an independent or third party run, the easiest way to do it is by stealing the ballot access of the Libertarian Party.... The LP is the third largest political party and is on track to have their presidential candidate on the ballots of 48 to 50 states in November.

"Last week, anti-Trump GOP donors commissioned a study on the requirements for an independent run. The Florida firm who conducted the study, Data Targeting, had a memo leak that concluded, 'it is possible to mount an independent candidacy but [it] will require immediate action on the part of this core of key funding and strategic players'.... An independent candidate would need over 450,000 signatures of voters just to be on the ballot in 11 states....

"With the permission of the LP, data experts dove into their anonymous Web site traffic to find that, within the last week, visitors have been searching for 'Libertarian Party,' hitting, and signing up as members.... The party has received more sustained traffic in the last week than it had seen since October of 2012.

"The party has also confirmed that they have had more new members join the party within the last seven days than at any time since 2008....  Unlike the Republican and Democrat parties, the LP requires a minimum donation of $25 to become a member of the party. New members must also sign a pledge tied to the principles of the party.... There are no active, new member acquisition campaigns under way by the LP, and the existing presidential candidates have driven few visitors to the site.....

"The Libertarians hold their presidential nominating convention on May 27th in Orlando, Florida.... While 1,047 delegates may attend the convention and choose their nominee, historically, only 600 or so Libertarians show up to vote . . . and few are registered to attend right now....

"To become a delegate, you have to raise your hand and be selected by a state party to attend . . . you don’t even have to be a member of the national party, but most don’t realize that..... Prospective delegates can even show up at the convention, request to be included in a delegation and be voted in by a state....

"In previous discussions of bylaws changes, party officials considered adding in a 'takeover' provision that would require delegates to be members for a period of time, but the change was shot down due to its lack of inclusiveness.

"The GOP Establishment, which has openly discussed a 'third party option', could reasonably take over the Libertarian Party . . . and destroy it in one fell swoop."

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Canadian court voids medical marijuana grow ban

Ban on medical marijuana patients growing own pot struck down by Federal Court - British Columbia - CBC News - Mike Laanela:

February 24, 2016 - "A Federal Court judge has struck down federal regulations restricting the rights of medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis and given the Liberal government six months to come up with new rules.

"Judge Michael Phelan ruled Wednesday in Vancouver that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations were an infringement on charter rights and declared they have no force and effect.

"But the judge also suspended his declaration for six months to give the federal government time to come up with new rules.

"The judge was careful to point out that the ruling does not change other laws that make it illegal for Canadians to use marijuana recreationally.

"The judge also ordered that an earlier injunction remains in effect, allowing thousands of Canadians with prior authorization to use medical marijuana to continue to grow it at home.

"Lawyer John Conroy, who co-represented the plaintiffs in the case, noted the ruling did not automatically include all medical marijuana users. He said the ruling applied only to about 28,000 Canadians who had the proper licences in place at the time of the injunction....

"'We will be heading back to court to fine-tune that injunction,' said Conroy on Wednesday afternoon in Vancouver.... He also cautioned users who have possession licences to make sure they are updated.

"'Hopefully within six months we'll have a reasonably regulated system in place that solves the problems for everyone,' he said."

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2000 attend International S4L conference in DC

Libertarians will tough it out for 2016 election | Newsday - Cathy Young:

March 1, 2016 - "About 2,000 people, most of them young, gathered at a Washington, D.C., hotel over the weekend for a conference where Bernie Sanders fans rubbed elbows with Ted Cruz supporters — even though the main political choice from the current field of candidates was 'none of the above.'

"For International Students for Liberty, a libertarian group founded in 2008 and the host of the conference, the main issue was promoting freedom — a value that, despite much lip service, neither major party honors in practice. (Disclosure: I am affiliated with two conference sponsors, Reason magazine and the Cato Institute.)....

"Libertarianism in pure form — which rejects social welfare programs, government regulations, foreign involvements, and restrictions on personal behavior including hard drug use — is not a popular philosophy. Luckily, libertarian groups tend to have a big-tent approach that focuses on expanding personal, political, and economic freedoms, not on ideological purity....

"The panel on “Why the World Is Actually Getting More Libertarian,” featuring Reason editors Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie and syndicated columnist George F. Will, often sounded like a refutation of its title: Gillespie asked whether the 'libertarian moment' was over and whether we should be concerned about 'the authoritarian moment'..... Will agreed, observing that 'the current front-runner in the party that has a libertarian wing' — Donald Trump — wants to daily deport thousands of immigrants here illegally and to make it easier to sue journalists for libel.

"On the optimistic side, Welch pointed out that a record 27 percent of Americans in a recent poll could be classified as at least mild libertarians (defined by agreeing that government should do less to regulate the economy and should not promote traditional morality). Yet Will noted that Americans often 'talk the Jeffersonian talk' while voting for politicians who promise that the state will take care of them....

"As the Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow argued on another panel, 'Government has a tendency to grow and take over everything.' Even those who agree on the need for a social safety net and for some governmental restrictions in the economic and personal realms can agree that, in Bandow’s words, 'We should err on the side of liberty' against 'the expansive state'...

"The solution to anti-freedom trends, most agreed, is conversation and education. In an inspiring session titled 'Why We Fight,' Tom Palmer, who has spent decades advocating for freedom around the world as an activist with the libertarian Atlas Network, noted that this fight is “a long-term effort,” in everything from the fall of communism to the legalization of marijuana. "

"As for the depressing election? At the conference’s keynote dinner, Students for Liberty president Alexander McCorbin reminded the gathering that the good thing about this election cycle is that it’s a cycle. It will pass; the call for liberty will endure."

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Libertarian political movement rising in Mexico

Libertarianism Is Rising in Mexico As A New Political Movement - PanAm Post - Elena Toledo (translated by Rebecca Morla):

February 3, 2016 - "Libertarian Project is an organization which works to spread the message of free enterprise and individual liberty in Mexico. Its president, Rafael Ruiz, spoke to the PanAm Post about how Mexican society has reacted to classical liberalism, and what Libertarian Project is doing....

What are the challenges for libertarianism in Mexico?
"A challenge we are facing in Mexico, as in the rest of Latin America, is that schools teach people that the state is necessary for our welfare. They also teach us to embrace patriotic values ​​that, at the end of the day, are generating a culture of dependence on the state. This is all very difficult to fight against.

"There are some initiatives aiming to change this, but we believe that these are misguided, since they offer to replace state intervention, which they deem to be simply 'wrong,' with anarchy and confrontation.... I think it is our responsibility to spread the libertarian message properly.... It is a lifestyle that seeks to magnify the qualities of of each human being in all their splendor, so that each individual can have a full, independent life, and develop personally.

Do you believe in getting involved in politics? 
"Yes, it is necessary for us as classical liberals or libertarians to engage in politics. As an organization, it is not our goal in the short or medium term, but we do believe that libertarian ideas must have an echo in politics. This is a gradual process, and we have to realize that, currently, political reality is far from what we really want. So entering politics is necessary.

"On the other hand, it is important to integrate young people from different political parties to the ideas of liberty, regardless of their ideology or even if they do not subscribe to a particular ideology. When they reach public office, they will understand the importance of economic, individual, and social freedom....

What projects does the Libertarian Project carry out in Mexico?
"In this initial stage, we are promoting clear, tolerant messages in social networks. We also have our website,, where we have young contributors from countries like Argentina, Spain, Venezuela and, of course, Mexico. The interesting thing is that they write about what is happening in their countries from a young and libertarian perspective, so we disseminate the ideas of liberty from an academic discussion.

"For the second phase, we plan to carry out field work in several states. We want to educate other young people about the meaning and importance of freedom. Everyone will not adopt the classical liberal or libertarian doctrine, but at least more people will have material to think about this new option in Mexican politics."

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