Saturday, April 30, 2016

What is a 'cultural libertarian'?

In Search of the Elusive Cultural Libertarian - Hit & Run : - Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

April 20, 2016 - 'What is a 'cultural libertarian?' While young conservatives claim the term originated in a 2015 Breitbart article, it's actually a term that's been thrown around by libertarians and conservatives in the media since at least 2001. But does the 'cultural libertarianism' debated in outlets such as Reason and the National Review back then share anything with the version espoused by the likes of Canadian activist Lauren Southern and Breitbart personality Milo Yiannopoulos these days? Yes and no.

"Today's 'cultural libertarians' claim to be concerned, first and foremost, with free speech and fending off the 'illiberal' or 'regressive left.' Where they succeed, from a libertarian-no-qualifier perspective, is in igniting the passions of young people toward the protection of civil liberties. Where they fail is by turning off more people in the process than they win over, delighting in the kinds of tactics and stunts that provoke but little else....

"Southern positions cultural libertarianism as a sub-branch of broader libertarian philosophy. 'Libertarians who are not Cultural Libertarians would argue that the only suppression of speech and expression that is unacceptable is suppression that is perpetrated by the state,' says Southern, making it sound like just another way of saying 'thick libertarian.' Thick libertarianism is a term used by liberty-movement types to describe libertarians who 'concern themselves with social commitments, practices, projects or movements that seek social outcomes beyond, or other than, the standard libertarian commitment to expanding the scope of freedom from government coercion'....

"Breitbart's Allum Bokhari defines cultural libertarians in opposition to cultural authoritarians.... cultural libertarians believe in open expression, viewing art as separate from its political overtones, and recognizing 'that efforts to police language and expression are not only counter-productive, but also fragile'.... Tellingly, Bokhari mentions the main goal of cultural libertarian to be 'needling their foes' on the Internet 'with waspish critiques and satire'.... When it comes down to it, the cultural libertarians of the Breitbart set just want to mock 'social justice warriors' while invoking natural rights.

"Yet at the very bottom of Bokhari's list, there is this: 'celebrating culture in all its forms' ... this idea is the closest that Cultural Libertarianism 2.0 comes to its 2001 counterpart. Let's look at that old debate for a moment. In a December 2001 National Review post, Jonah Goldberg decried the 'Chinese-menu culture' that 'basically says that whatever ideology, religion, cult, belief, creed, fad, hobby, or personal fantasy you like is just fine so long as you don’t impose it on anybody else, especially with the government'.... This attitude, embodied by the 'arrogant nihilism" of Nick Gillespie and former Reason editor Virginia Postrel, was 'rapidly replacing liberalism as the real threat to America, and the true opposition to conservatism,' warned Goldberg.

"According to cultural libertarianism ... we can pick from across the vast menu of human diversity — from all religions and cultures, real and imagined — until we find one that fits our own personal preferences. Virginia Postrel can write triumphantly that the market allows Americans to spend $8 billion on porn and $3 billion at Christian bookstores, because she isn’t willing to say that one is any better, or any worse, than the other."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 29, 2016

Petersen sees 'generational liberty movement'

Austin Petersen Wants You To Vote Libertarian In 2016 « CBS Philly - Rich Zeoli:

April 28, 2016 - "Austin Petersen, ... Libertarian candidate for President, attempted to make the case as to why you should forego voting for one of the two major political party candidates and consider him instead.

"Petersen, while speaking with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said libertarians believe in keeping the government out of your life as much as possible....

"He attempted to differentiate what his party stands for when comparing it to the Democrats or Republicans.

"'Libertarianism really just means you believe in maximum economic liberty. If you believe that you own your life, that you own your body and that you should be able to do as you please, provided that you harm no one else, then you might be a libertarian. The problem, of course, is that when you talk about conservatives vs liberalism, is that oftentimes conservatives tend to be a bit more hawkish. They tend to want to impose liberty on those overseas. Or they’re willing to sacrifice our liberty in our Fourth Amendment rights, with the issues of the NSA. Libertarians believe in privacy in those issues. Of course, Democrats will say you can have your personal privacy, but we want to have what’s in your wallet. The libertarian says you can have your personal liberty and your economic freedom. You can have both.'

"Petersen stated that casting your vote with him could go along way to giving the American people more options in choosing a President in the future.

"'If you care about the future of the country, voting for a Libertarian party candidate creates a generational liberty movement. Very briefly, here’s how. If you get a high enough percentage of the national vote to the Libertarian party, it solidifies, it cements the Libertarian party as a major national party, which does two things. One, it qualifies them for federal matching funds. Two, it provides them with ballot access.'"

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Republican Forum endorses Libertarian for Senate

El Paso County GOP group endorses a Libertarian for U.S. Senate | The Colorado Independent - Corey Hutchins:

April 28, 2016 - "A group of Colorado Springs Republicans Wednesday endorsed Lily Tang Williams, the Libertarian candidate running in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race.

"The nod from the El Paso County Republican Strategy Forum was the first time in its 13 years the group has endorsed a third-party candidate, says its chair Sheryl Glasgow.

"Williams spoke to the group Wednesday for more than an hour about her former life under Chairman Mao’s rule in Communist China, a place 'without any civil liberties, privacy, and economic freedom.' Her message resonated with the Republican group, which is neither affiliated with the El Paso County Republican Party nor the state GOP....

"Glasgow said her group has been disappointed with the large GOP field for U.S. Senate this year, especially after state Sen. Tim Neville was knocked out of the running at the Republican Party’s April 9 state convention.

"None of the other candidates for U.S. Senate have spoken to the group about their bids, she said.
'We all personally know Darryl Glenn, and I think he’s spoken to our group in the past'.... She declined to elaborate on Glenn, saying news that her group, which has the word 'Republican' in its name, endorsed a Libertarian would be 'explosive enough'.

"The only other Republican so far who has made the GOP ballot is former CSU athletic director Jack Graham, and the group is not fond of him, Glasgow said. The Libertarian Williams found herself on the group’s radar when one of its members heard her speaking elsewhere .... 'so he said, "Well, you guys ought to hear her," and we were all just in awe of her,' Glasgow said of Williams.

Williams, 51, hopes the recent endorsement will generate buzz around her third-party bid. 'I think some Republican officials aren’t going to be happy,' she told The Independent.

"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."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Turkish constitution to be based on libertarian secularism, says PM

Turkeys new constitution to be based on libertarian rather than authoritarian secularism, PM says - Daily Sabah:

April 26, 2016 - "Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Wednesday that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will start to draft a new constitution that includes secularism based on libertarian principles rather than authoritarian values.

"Speaking at the AK Party's Extended Provincial Chairmen meeting in Ankara, Davutoğlu said there have been comprehensive discussions with academics and opinion leaders within the party this month on a civil constitution that will also include a presidential system....

"He pledged that the AK Party's draft constitution would guarantee secularism and dismissed claims that it would not include secularism, saying it is out of the question to debate the nature of the Turkish state as anything other than a secular democracy with the rule of law.

"'We will propose a libertarian sense of secularism rather than an authoritarian one,' Davutoğlu said, and added that the party is aware that they are preparing Turkey's first civilian constitution and it emphasizes and respects human dignity.

"He said the draft constitution would guarantee religious freedoms while it would ensure that the state has equal distance from all religions and faiths....

"Senior AK Party officials voiced their support for secularism, arguing that the new draft constitution readied by the AK Party committee retained the principle of separation of state and religion to ensure Turkey enjoys the full benefits of a democratic system of government.

"The chairman of the AK Party's Constitution Commission in Parliament, AK Party Istanbul Deputy Mustafa Şentop, said Tuesday that the AK Party commission will maintain secularism in its draft constitution and excluding it is out of the question. AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan also said on Tuesday that the party's stance regarding secularism is 'quite clear'....

"Turkey is preparing to reform the current Constitution, which was drafted after the Sept. 12, 1980 coup and creates a variety of impediments to legislation."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fatal ODs fell 25% where medical marijuana legal

Overdoses Fell with Medical Marijuana Legalization - - Colleen Barry:

April 26, 2016 - "While opioid pain relievers offer critical benefits to certain patients, such as those with cancer-related pain, the rise of opioid prescriptions has had devastating public health consequences. The C.D.C. [Center for Disease control] recently urged physicians to be very cautious in prescribing these drugs.

"Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has expanded rapidly — 24 states and D.C. have legalized its broad medical use — and chronic or severe pain is the most common condition reported among those using it. On it's face, this might seem to mirror the rise in prescription opioid use.

"But using state-level death certificate data from 1999 to 2010, my colleagues and I found that the annual rate of opioid overdose deaths decreased substantially — by 25 percent on average — following the passage of medical marijuana laws, compared to states that still had bans.

"Could medical marijuana be a safer alternative to opioids for chronic pain management? If so, it would potentially reduce harms from opioid medicines.

"Our study opened the door to that possibility, but it did not establish the causal mechanisms by which marijuana might influence overdose deaths and was conducted before the massive surge in heroin use and related overdose deaths....

"Similarly, we don't know whether the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes will have an impact — positive or negative — on nonmedical use of opioids and heroin. Again, evidence is lacking and will likely depend on how recreational marijuana is regulated."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 25, 2016

Libertarian Rex Bell runs for Indiana governor

Libertarians choose Rex Bell to run for Indiana governor - Pam Tharp, Indianapolis Star:

April 25, 2016 - "A Wayne County man will be on Indiana’s gubernatorial ballot this fall.

"Rex Bell of Hagerstown was chosen as the Libertarian Party candidate for the office of governor over the weekend at the party's convention in Indianapolis.

"Bell said he won by a margin of about 2-1, defeating candidate Jim Wallace of Fishers.

"Karl Tagenhorst of Valparaiso is the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor.

"Bell credited his win to his lengthy experience as both a Libertarian and a candidate for office. Bell, the chairman of the Wayne County Libertarian Party, joined the party in 2000 and is making his eighth run for office. In the past, he has run unsuccessfully for county, state and federal offices.

"Bell's best showing was in 2010, when he received 21 percent of the vote in a three-way race for District 54 state representative.

"'That puts us 13 percent away from winning a three-way race, and we are seeing a lot more dissatisfaction with the incumbent governor than we did with the incumbent representative in 2010,' Bell said. 'People are upset with government overreach, and the Libertarian Party offers them a chance to vote for less government and more freedom'....

"Indiana has one of the largest and most active Libertarian organizations in the nation, LPIN Chairman Joe Hauptman said. The party’s slogan is 'Minimal Government, Maximum Freedom,' and its goal this year in Indiana is to have 120 candidates on ballots throughout the state this fall, Hauptman said in a statement."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Harriet Tubman to appear on U.S. $20 bill

Harriet Tubman From a Libertarian POV - Hit & Run : - Nick Gillespie:

April 21, 2016 - "Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) is going to be the new face of the $20 bill. Great choice.... Here are four ways that Tubman isn't just a great choice in general but a great choice from a specifically libertarian perspective.
  1. She chose to live free or die and articulated that message for all to understand. 'I had reasoned this out in my mind," she said, recalling the death of her master and the necessity of escape. "There was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.'
  2. She exemplified higher-law theory, which holds that laws violating basic human rights are null and void regardless of the repressive superstructures created to legitimate and maintain them, and risked her life freeing about 70 other slaves as the 'Moses' of the Underground Railroad.... At the same time, she didn't advocate violence in the mode of John Brown, whose goal of ending slavery she shared.
  3. She believed in armed self-defense, a radical-enough concept for poor whites, let alone renegade blacks. During her Underground Railroad missions, she carried a pistol both for protection against slave-catchers and, reportedly, to keep ambivalent "passengers" in line. To this day, blacks have a strong and yet routinely overlooked belief in the Second Amendment, leading one historian to argue that 'guns made the Civil Rights movement possible.' The desire of relatively powerless minorities to arm themselves can still be heard in pro-Second Amendment remarks made by rappers such as Ice-T.
  4. She was a suffragette who, after helping slaves escape and working as a spy and scout for the Union in the Civil War, committed herself to women being allowed to vote and have equality under the law. According to Wikipedia, when Tubman was asked whether she believed women deserved the vote, she replied, 'I suffered enough to believe it.'
"A year ago, when Tubman's name was first floated as a possible figure for a new $20 bill, a number of anti-capitalist commenters observed that Tubman of all people shouldn't be on money because, by their reckoning, slavery is the essence of capitalism. As Damon Root noted at the time, this is not just ahistorical in the extreme, it flies in the face of the explicit thought of leading former slaves.... [T]he abolitionists were extremely clear that slavery violated fundamental rights in a liberal order, one that shouldn't countenance slavery for exactly the same reason it should promote free labor. As Frederick Douglass, who corresponded with and thought extremely highly of Tubman, wrote in a scathing letter to his former owner, 'In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Marc Allan Feldman: Beyond white Libertarianism

Beyond White Libertarianism | Marc Allan Feldman | The Blogs | The Times of Israel:

November 3, 2015 - "I am an American, but I am not a Democrat  or a Republican.  I am a Libertarian, a member of the largest national third party in the US.  We are believers in liberty, individual freedom, and limited government.  We support marriage equality for same-sex couples, gun rights, and ending the drug wars.  We oppose international military and economic intervention and aid.  I am a strong supporter of Israel and I am a friend of the IDF.  I support Israel with my credit card and my checkbook, through trade, tourism, education, and philanthropy, but I believe the correct amount of U.S. government aid should be zero.  I am a Life Member of the Libertarian Party,  I serve on the Libertarian National Committee, and I am a candidate for the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States....

"It was in 2009 that I learned about the Libertarian Party, the party of principle. The center of the philosophy was the non-aggression principle or NAP, expressed in the Libertarian pledge: 'I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.' This is the message of fiscal responsibility, smaller government, lower taxes, and social tolerance, ending the drug wars and military interventions around the world, supporting the second amendment, and assuring marriage equality.

"Legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage have led people to ask if we are experiencing a 'Libertarian moment.' But the Libertarian Party remains very small, and Rand Paul, the most libertarian-ish of the Republicans, has gone from being 'the most interesting politician in America' to nearly an afterthought. I found it strange to go to Libertarian meetings and see a group nearly completely composed of idealistic white men. Why would a movement of freedom be composed of one of the least oppressed groups? This has always been a puzzle to me....

"The Libertarian Party must embrace, not only gay rights, but also women’s liberation, black civil rights, the Hispanic fight for quality education.... This will not happen by giving more power to government or giving more power to corporations that control our government. Laws do not empower the individual. Laws take power away from individuals and give it to government to enforce those laws. It must be through effective private, voluntary, action of empowered individuals.

"We must remain dedicated to the ethical principle of non-aggression. At the same time we need a new political principle, a pro-empowerment principle. 'Act to maximize the power of all individuals, (white, black, Latino, LGBTQ, Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, etc.) to make decisions to control themselves, their property, and their environment, as long as they are not infringing on the rights of others.' We cannot remain simply the party of Gays, Guns, and Ganja. We must also become the party of women’s liberation, Hispanic education, religious rights and civil rights, and #BlackLivesMatter.

"Call me an intersectional Libertarian populist, or just call me a New Libertarian."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sarvis endorses Gary Johnson for LP nomination

Robert Sarvis endorses Gary Johnson for president | Independent Political Report - Krzysztof Lesiak:

April 1, 2016 - "Robert Sarvis, the record-setting Libertarian statewide vote-getter today endorsed fmr. New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party’s (LP) presidential nomination. The endorsement was released via a post on Sarvis’ Facebook page.

"Sarvis earned record-setting mainstream media coverage and vote-totals for governor of Virginia, 2013’s nationally-watched statewide election. (Sarvis won 146,084 votes, or 6.52% .)

"The vote Gov. Johnson earned in 2012 as the LP’s presidential candidate also set a Libertarian Party record for the highest popular vote won in the party’s electoral history.

"In making his endorsement, Sarvis cited Johnson’s experience as a two-term fiscally responsible governor of New Mexico, and his ability to earn wide mainstream media coverage, through which he can reach and win the votes of libertarian-leaning Americans. Sarvis said....
"This year presents the LP with the rarest of opportunities — conditions are both favorable and grand. Presidential elections demand the utmost excellence in a nominee, because the scrutiny is withering and the stakes are so high.

"Only Gary Johnson has the resume, the experience, and the credibility to combine with our party’s inspiring message of peace, prosperity, and freedom.

"He has a fundamentally libertarian outlook and a track record of furthering libertarian goals in office. He has a realistic and likeable approach to politics that attracts open-minded voters to a libertarian message. And he has the kind of credibility that cannot be bought or faked, that can only be earned through admirable personal and professional achievements.

"It has nothing to do with 92% v. 95% agreement on libertarian bona fides — all our candidates are pretty darned libertarian. But we Libertarians must pick our battles wisely. And our nominee must proselytize for freedom to non-Libertarians, speaking their language, not ours, and attracting them on their terms, not ours.

"When I look at the field of candidates seeking the Libertarian nomination, only one stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that’s Gary Johnson."
Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Liberland founder planning festival near border

Liberland: How one man plans to build a new libertarian paradise in Europe | Europe | News | The Independent - Adam Withnall:

April 17, 2016 - "When he plunged a flag into the banks of the Danube and declared the birth of the Free Republic of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka was dismissed by governments and media organisations as a joke.

"Yet one year and many diplomatic missions later, his vision of a libertarian paradise born on a patch of unwanted land has 400,000 would-be citizens, the backing of a range of political movements around the world and even its own national beer.

"Thanks to the efforts of the Croatian border police, Liberland has still technically not got a single inhabitant, and its 7 sq km of boggy wetlands boast just one dilapidated building, an abandoned hunting lodge.

"But speaking in an exclusive interview with The Independent, 'President' Jedlicka reveals that plans are nearly in place for a group of Liberlanders to break through that police blockade in such numbers 'there is nothing they can do to stop it'....

"Liberland lies on the Croatia-Serbia border, roughly halfway between Zagreb and Belgrade. A product of a border dispute between the two countries lasting a quarter of a century, it lies on a portion of territory which neither country is willing to claim."

"In the year since Liberland was founded – on 13 April, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday – Croatia has set up police patrols and arrested dozens of people for attempting to access the unexpectedly hotly-disputed territory....

 "That’s all about to change, however. This weekend Mr Liberland and his volunteer ministers held a conference to discuss Liberland’s future at a Croatian hotel just 5km from the border.

"And in the summer, he plans to stage a 'state celebration' in a field next to the disputed territory which, if all goes to plan, could snowball into something much more. 'It’s going to be a big media event,' he says. 'We would like to invite 5,000 people, with the best artists who support Liberland [attending], and we already have two or three major festival organisers in the area helping us.

"'That could be the time when we actually take over control of this territory,' he says, with a clear sense of anticipation. 'We are not pushing for it yet, but there is no way you can stop 5,000 people taking over control of Liberland'....

"Liberland will have just five laws, he says, with the state’s only responsibilities surrounding justice, security and diplomacy. Tax would be paid on a 'voluntary' basis, with people free to smoke marijuana, drive as fast as they like and own guns – all as long as they don’t hurt anyone else."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Four freedom-empowering technologies

Technology That Enables Liberties - The Libertarian Republic:

April 15, 2016 - "The FBI would have you believe otherwise, but technology empowers freedom for both Americans and people all over the world. The government agency recently clashed with Apple for access to a locked iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino massacre that killed 14 people in December 2015.... Driven by the fear of terrorism, the FBI assumed it would have the public’s support against Apple. But the FBI was wrong — America rallied behind Apple and the FBI quickly dropped its legal push to force Apple to unlock the iPhone.

"Technology, privacy and freedom are big topics in 2016, and the case of the FBI vs. Apple is only the most recent point in the long debate. The following pieces of technology, both present and in the future, give you freedom and privacy, despite what the government thinks about them.

"Smartphones & Encryption: The default text message technology used in iPhone-to-iPhone communication, iMessage, is encrypted to the point that even Apple doesn’t know what you’re sending.... WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging services in the world, recently turned on encrypted messaging for more than a billion users.... So now ... you can enjoy the same level of privacy.

"Tor & The Dark Net: While many people associate the dark net with the Silk Road, the online drug trafficking site that was shut down several years ago, it’s really nothing more than an encrypted version of the Internet. Tor uses several public IP addresses, so your activity can’t be tracked online, and you can build websites only accessible by Tor. So, yes, that sort of privacy did lead to the Silk Road, but it could also help someone organize a peaceful protest without a government prying in.

Bitcoin: Bitcoin is another technology that some people associate with illegal activity... However, it’s growing in popularity and available for more regular purchases. So how does Bitcoin empower your freedom? Imagine using it to support a non-establishment political candidate or to buy a controversial book.... The truth is, people can see what you buy with credit cards and bank accounts, but Bitcoin is a way to circumvent that.

3-D Printing: Also known as additive manufacturing, 3-D printing could be the most liberating technology next to encryption. While governments both in the United States and around the world regulate what you can and can’t buy or own, a 3-D printer puts the power back in your hands.... Now that small 3-D printers are more affordable, it’s realistic for Americans to own one."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Murdoch's 'libertarian' news site goes live

Rupert Murdoch’s New Libertarian Web Site Comes Out Swinging at Jane S | Vanity Fair - Emily Jane Fox:

"April 18, 2016 - "Rupert Murdoch has a new baby: the right-of-center libertarian news site Heat Street, which launched Monday.

"'Heat Street is not a safe space. For us, orthodoxy will be unorthodox. The pomposity of self-regarding, self-conscious, self-abusing journalists will be absent from our pages. We plan to break news, move the media and mock the mainstream,' Louise Mensch and Noah Kotch, the site’s leaders, wrote in a statement. 'It takes friction to generate heat. We will rub against the grain of convention.'

The first person to get tossed into the flames Monday morning was Jane Sanders, wife of the Democratic candidate.... The site went live with a splashy lead story on how Catholic parishioners in Vermont are calling for an investigation into how she obtained loans as president of Burlington College. Heat Street reported that the group of parishioners sent a letter to the U.S. attorney earlier this year, requesting that she be investigated for bank fraud....

"Earlier this year, News Corp.’s recently formed Dow Jones Media Group confirmed that Heat Street was staffing up, and would be led by Kotch, a veteran television producer, and Mensch, a former Conservative Party M.P. in the U.K. who once questioned Murdoch during the parliamentary hearings on the phone-hacking scandal in 2011.... Mensch was hired to work for the Murdoch-owned News Corp. to work on digital projects in 2014.

"Heat Street’s launch comes at an interesting time for conservative media organizations, which find themselves being pulled in different directions by pro- and anti-Trump factions. Mensch and Kotch said in their statement that they 'seek to engage an underserved audience,' though it is hard to see how the crowded field of Fox News, Drudge Report, Independent Journal Review, the Daily Caller, and even Glenn Beck’s the Blaze leave many libertarians content-less. Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, split with Heat Street parent News Corp. in 2013, so perhaps this is Murdoch’s play to bring News Corp. more built-in traffic, in a more brazen, digitally nimble way, than its Wall Street Journal is able. If there was space for 17 candidates in the G.O.P. race not so long ago, there seems to be room enough for another center-right news site to cover them, particularly one with deep pockets. There is more than enough circus coverage to go around."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 18, 2016

Virgin Is. AG subpoenas libertarian think tank

Competitive Enterprise Institute Subpoena: An Attack on Exxon & Us All - National Review:

April 18, 2016 - "The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank that has been a loud and trenchant critic of global-warming activism, is under subpoena by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, who demands that the organization produce a decade’s worth of communication on the subject of global warming....

"Exxon was, in the past, a substantial donor to CEI; presumably, communication with Exxon is no small part of what the subpoena hopes to uncover.

"On March 29, a group of mainly Democratic attorneys general announced at a press conference (with former vice president and green-energy profiteer Al Gore in attendance) that they would seek to transform U.S. policy on climate change by 'creatively' and 'aggressively' deploying their prosecutorial powers....

"Claude Earl Walker, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, ... shortly thereafter issued a subpoena to Exxon, demanding private communication and other internal information as part of an investigation into the firm. Walker has not come even close to describing any crime committed by Exxon, much less a crime committed by Exxon in his jurisdiction, the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Exxon does no business, holds no assets, maintains no employees, and has no physical presence....

"Exxon was not served the Virgin Islands subpoena by the authorities of the Virgin Islands, but by a private, Washington-based law firm, Cohen Milstein.... Cohen Milstein has a very large interest — millions and millions of dollars — in separate litigation being pursued against Exxon ... [and] received a $15 million contingency-fee payment from Walker’s office in another matter....

"The case has unmistakable parallels to the shakedown of Chevron, in which a cabal of U.S.-based lawyers ... working in conjunction with corrupt judges and officials in Ecuador attempted to extort billions of dollars from the energy giant ... until a federal judge threw it out as fraudulent.... For Democrats, these cases represent a potential double dip: There is the possibility of winning a policy change by engaging in the political suppression of a hated adversary; short of that, there’s the possibility of ... a very large settlement from Exxon....

"Using prosecutions to sort out policy differences is undiluted authoritarianism; delegating prosecutorial powers to a private law firm with a financial interest in seeing the target of a prosecution suffer is a gross violation of due process and legal norms; attempting to prosecute a firm for violations of Virgin Islands law when that firm does no business in the Virgin Islands and has no presence there is an obvious and indefensible abuse of office."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Non-Aggression and Self-Refutation

Non-Aggression and Self-Refutation - George J. Dance, Nolan Chart:

"J.H. Bennett argues that the Non-Aggression Principle, used as a basis for law, is self-refuting, and believers in it must therefore be pacifists. How sound is his argument? 

April 13, 2016 -  "The Non-Aggression Principle, or NAP — the principle that it is morally wrong, and should be legally prohibited, for any person or group to initiate force against any other person or group — has long been central to libertarian political thought. As the Libertarian Party was founded as a political vehicle for libertarian ideas, it is not surprising that NAP also plays a central role in the party’s basic documents.....

"As libertarianism and the Libertarian Party have grown over the years, so has the opposition to both. It is not surprising, then, to find more non-libertarians and anti-libertarians challenging NAP. What is surprising is to find libertarians, and Libertarian Party members, challenging NAP. At least I was surprised to recently read an interview in which Austin Petersen — not merely a Libertarian Party member, but one running for the Party’s presidential nomination — did just that....

"Where did Petersen get such a strange (to my mind) idea of NAP? Fortunately he has a website, The Libertarian Republic; going there, I was able to find an article there by him with the promising title, “The Non Aggression Principle (NAP) Is Pacifist Anarchism, and Should be Scrapped”.... [That]  brought me to a 25-page scholarly article, by J.H. Bennett of Canada’s Simon Fraser University, that indeed argues that “that for adherents of the non-aggression principle, the only consistent position is strict pacifism.”

"Given Petersen’s unqualified endorsement, we must assume that this is his argument as well. So, while the following are Bennett’s arguments rather than Petersen’s, one has to treat them as the same. If Bennett’s argument succeeds, Petersen’s succeeds; and if Bennett’s argument fails, Petersen’s fails."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ron Paul coalition fragments in 2016

Where are all the Ron 'Paulite' libertarians in 2016? - Daniel Libit, CNBC:

April 14, 2016 - "Last month, Walter Block, a libertarian professor of economics and long-time acolyte of Ron Paul, pinched his nose and co-launched a group, Libertarians for Trump.... While he finds much of Trump's domestic agenda odious, Block very much likes Trump's noninterventionist foreign policy positions.

"Still, Block insists his group ... advocates only for Trump as the Republican nominee, and it intends to promptly disband after the primary. Then, Block said, even his vote is up for grabs. 'If it was Bernie [Sanders] versus Donald, I would vote for the Libertarian [Party candidate] for sure," he told 'If it was Donald versus Hillary [Clinton], I would have a much harder time. I would have trouble deciding.'

"His conundrum is not unique among his kind. Four years after its political awakening, and in the absence of an obvious rallying point, the Ron Paul coalition finds itself in a diffuse, conflicted and confused diaspora. Paul's devotees .. are now erratically strewn across the political spectrum of the 2016 election, ... attaching themselves to Trump's populism, Ted Cruz's conservatism and even Sanders' socialism....

"The current state of the Paul coalition ... suggests ... its support had much more to do with Paul's outsiderism, than his libertarianism. It is this reality that dawned too late on the presidential campaign of his son, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who thought he could expand on his father's base of support by appealing to establishment Republicans as well as true libertarians ... the campaign's internal polls found that of Iowa voters who said they supported Ron Paul in 2012, only about a third identified generally as having libertarian leanings....

"Paul commits his time to leading the Campaign for Liberty and the Ron Paul Institute, a foreign policy nonprofit.... But perhaps Paul's greatest political legacy is Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian student organization that Paul is not formally affiliated with, but which grew out of his 2008 presidential campaign. It currently counts 600 college chapters and 200,000-plus members....

"Cruz, despite Paul's withering criticisms, has arguably made the most consistent effort to attract his former supporters, even name-checking libertarians in his Iowa Caucus victory speech. Prior to Rand Paul dropping out of the race, Cruz had already snatched the support of Iowa state Sen. Jason Schultz, who endorsed Ron Paul in 2012, and Joel Kurtinitis, an activist who served as Paul's regional director. Cruz also won the endorsement of former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr, who has gotten crosswise with Paul in the past....

"But at least one political organization sees a unique opportunity this election — the national Libertarian Party. 'This is a year where things are so uncertain, and where the two parties are split among themselves, that it could be a very big opportunity,' said Wes Benedict, the Libertarian Party's executive director. Past nominee Gary Johnson's 1,275,871 votes in 2012 represented a high-water mark for the party in its 44-year history....

"During the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race, Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis ended with almost 7 percent of the vote, the most a third-party candidate has netted in the South since 1970.

"Immediately after Rand Paul's exit from this year's nominating contest, the Libertarian Party saw notable spikes in new donors, according to figures provided to The party is on the ballot in 32 states (and Washington, D.C.) — the most of any third-party — and Benedict says he's confident it will be on all states' ballots for November."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 15, 2016

Maine SoS to re-examine cannabis initiative sigs

State declines appeal, raising ballot hopes for legal pot in Maine — Politics — Bangor Daily News - Michael Shepherd:

April 14, 2016 - "Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap won’t appeal a judge’s ruling overturning his decision to invalidate a marijuana legalization referendum, potentially clearing it for the November ballot.

"His office will now review thousands of signatures that it threw out in March....

"Referendum proponents, led by the national Marijuana Policy Project, submitted 99,000 signatures to the state in February, well over the minimum of 61,123 valid signatures needed. But Dunlap threw out nearly half for a variety of problems, and proponents appealed....

"In a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon, Dunlap said his decision not to appeal was 'grounded entirely in the goal of this office to insure that initiative questions that appear on the ballot carry with them the public integrity of a legitimate effort.'

"Now, he said, his office will conduct a further review of invalidated signatures in the effort to see if it qualifies for the statewide ballot and issue a new determination 'as expeditiously as possible.'”

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stossel: The Libertarians deserve another look

Here's why the Libertarian Party might get more votes in 2016 | Fox News - John Stossel:

April 13, 2016 - "Before the primaries, Time Magazine, frequent pusher of trends that do not exist, put Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) on its cover and called him the 'most interesting man in politics.' Then Paul fizzled, and pundits said the 'libertarian moment,' if there ever was one, had ended....

"But now that, according to, the presidential race will be a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Americans may give libertarianism a second look.

"My TV show recently held a debate between the Libertarian Party's three leading presidential candidates. Compared to the Republican and Democratic contenders, the Libertarians sounded so reasonable to me. Take immigration.

"While Democrats pretend they will carefully vet refugees from Muslim parts of the world, Republicans talk about deporting 11 million people. By contrast, the Libertarians on my show talked about reducing border problems by simplifying our complicated immigration laws.

"'Incentivize legal  immigration so that we can cut down on illegal immigration,' said Libertarian candidate Austin Petersen.... 'people will not break the law, if they know that there's a chance that they can come here [legally]'.... Petersen asked, 'If you were living in a Third World country and your family was starving to death, who would not cross that wall?"....

"Trump shouts about bad effects of global trade, but his destructive bans and tariffs would do much more harm.... Gary Johnson asked during the debate, 'Who benefits from free trade but you and I as consumers? If China wants to subsidize goods and services that they send to the United States, who benefits? We do!'

"He's absolutely right. Cheaper goods from abroad mean Americans have more money to spend on other things, and cheaper ingredients for products we manufacture. Yes, some Americans lose jobs, but more gain work, and better work, because free trade helps Americans expand businesses -- in America.

"Republicans and Democrats also engage in foolish talk about 'creating jobs'.... That's why Johnson was so refreshing in the debate. He said that in eight years as New Mexico's governor, 'I didn't create a single job! Government doesn't create jobs. The private sector does'....

"Right. But government sure can get in the way. 'To start a business, I have to fill out a thousand forms and report to OSHA,' the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said candidate John McAfee during the debate.... 'If we remove these barriers, industry will take care of itself and jobs will improve.'

"The Libertarian candidates were also skeptical about government imposition on drug users, on cellphone owners who don't want their phones hacked into, and on people trying to accomplish things without first begging for approval from bureaucrats.

"I liked how McAfee put it: 'Some fundamental principles are all that we need to live together in a sane and harmonious fashion. We cannot hit one another. We cannot take each other's stuff. We must keep our word, our agreements and our contracts.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Shouting match at Texas Libertarian debate

by George J. Dance

April 11, 2016 - The April 8 Libertarian Party of Texas presidential candidates' debate briefly turned into a shouting match, after Libertarian Republic website owner Austin Petersen called former Governor Gary Johnson a "defeatist" and warned the delegates: "Do not nominate this man."

Petersen, Johnson, and the other candidates were responding to a question about the nationally televised presidential debates in the fall, which the Republicans and Democrats monopolize through their bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

Petersen used his reply to assail the Libertarian Party of Colorado, which had refused to officially invite him to its debate due to his opposition to the party's Statement of Principles: "When the state of Colorado decided that they would not invite me to their forum, specifically because they were afraid of what I had to say in their forum, we drove 18 hours that night, straight to Colorado, to give them a piece of our mind, to tell them about liberty and free speech, and to say what that really means.

"So, if you think that, when the presidential debates come around, that I'm going to slink away, even if they don't invite us, even if we don't make the high percentage, you've got another think coming: I will be there. I will be there," he added, to applause.

Petersen went on to say: "Governor Johnson has stated that there is no way a Libertarian wins the White House unless they get into the debates. What kind of attitude is that?" Johnson interrupted, "It's true!", but Petersen continued: "We've got to be champions. Listen: Why not drop out if you don't get into the debates? Because they're not going to let you in, Governor! You need a champion. I'm the Freedom Ninja, and I will fight for liberty, just like I have every day for ten years!"

After more applause, Petersen summed up: "This is a defeatist attitude: He is a defeatist. Do not nominate this man. Nominate the man who will fight for you till the very end.... Do not give in to defeatism: Fight! Do not give in!"

Next up was Johnson, who responded: "No one works harder than I have, having run for Governor twice and having been the Libertarian nominee in 2012. I will tell you, though, that what experience brings to the table, is: I don't do the things that don't work. I still work as hard, but I don't do the things that didn't work, and that was something that I learned through experience. There is no way that a third party wins if they're not in the presidential debates. I am suing the Presidential Debate Commission to bring that about." That earned a 15-second ovation

"And last week I polled at 11% in a national poll," Johnson continued. "That has never happened before, that my name has been included in this. Now, let me tell you: When it comes to the presidential debates, as the rules now stand, you have to be at 15% to be in the presidential debates. Do you think they're going to state that 'You can't be in the presidential debates' tomorrow, and I'm going to give up? Hell, no! They're going to state that maybe two, three weeks before the election. So this is a No-Give-Up the whole time. And if you think I'm going to give up, then vote for Austin!" More applause.

Petersen began replying, "Let me tell you something–," but was cut off by the moderators, who wished to move on to the next candidate, Shawna Sterling. Several minutes of confusion ensued, with moderator Jax Finkel insisting, "Mr. Petersen, you had your say; thank you very much," Petersen yelling, "No! No! No, no, no!", "Wait a minute, guys!", and "I was pressed! I was addressed!", and Finkel responding, "That's not in our debate rules; thank you." Petersen invoked Ronald Reagan's famous line: "I paid for this microphone." Other candidates then jumped in, with John McAfee telling the moderators, "He was addressed," and Marc Feldman telling Petersen to "show some respect and put down the microphone, and let Shawna speak."

When Sterling finally got to speak, she related her own experience of being excluded from a televised debate in Kentucky and suing, concluding that "the only way to beat them is to beat them in court. Johnson is doing the right thing.... Let them know: we're not going to stop, we're going to fight you, we're not going to let you put us down, and we're going to get ourselves into the debate, however and whatever it's going to take."

Petersen later wrote, on Facebook, that he had wanted to "ask Gary" whether the 2012 nominee would drop out if he were excluded from the debate, or "will you continue to fundraise for your lost cause."

Petersen has been attacking Johnson repeatedly through the state Libertarian debates, accusing the former Governor of "fear-mongering" about Sharia Law, berating him for not standing up for the right of the seriously mentally ill to bear arms, and successfully reframing one debate answer by Johnson, about whether businesses could refuse to serve gays, into a statement that Jewish bakers should be forced to bake Nazi cakes.

Audio only:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Maxime Bernier declares for Conservative leader

Maxime Bernier makes Conservative party leadership bid official -

April 7, 2016 - "Quebec MP Maxime Bernier became the second official contender for the permanent leadership of the Conservative party Thursday, saying while there may be more than a year to go until the winner is chosen, he’s ready now.

"'It’s time for our conservative movement to have a leader who speaks openly, with passion and conviction, what it is to be a conservative and that’s what I want to do,' Bernier said as he arrived at Conservative headquarters in Ottawa to file his nomination forms.

Bernier, 53, may end up with the distinction of being the lone contender from Quebec, the only province where the Tories actually increased their seat count in the last election.

"He was drawn into federal politics in 2006 in an effort by the Tories to reverse their failure to win any seats at all Quebec in 2004. He captured his riding of Beauce with 67 per cent of the vote that year and has easily won re-election every time since.

"He said he expects he’ll have a strong campaign in Quebec but that he’s running to represent all Canadians.....

"Bernier has long been a champion of supply management in his province, an economic philosophy seemingly out of step with his other more libertarian views about removing government involvement from the private sector.

"He said Canadians should stay tuned for more discussion of those and other policies....

"While Bernier says he’s running now because he’s ready, there are other factors at play for him, as well as anyone else deciding when to officially enter the race.

"Annual limits on donations to leadership campaigns mean anyone who signs up in 2016 can get people to donate the maximum twice – this year and next. Conservatives will vote for a new leader on May 27, 2017.

"Selling memberships is another key goal. Members who want to vote in the race must have been signed up prior to March 28, 2017.... The party is reimbursing candidates $5 for every member they sign up between now and the end of October."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 11, 2016

Maine judge revives cannabis legalization initiative

Judge overturns Maine marijuana ballot question denial — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine - Christopher Cousins:

April 8, 2016 - "A Superior Court judge has overturned Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s ruling that a citizen petition for a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine was invalid.

"Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy made the decision in a 26-page ruling issued Friday. She ruled that Dunlap 'committed an error of law by applying a vague, subjective and/or unduly burdensome interpretation' of the law.

"She wrote that variations in signatures are understandable, given how citizen petitions are conducted.... 'It involves standing in streets, shopping malls, public places and town halls, in both foul and fair weather, and asking for the voters’ support,' Murphy wrote. 'Notaries are often asked to administer an oath in the midst of these less than ideal circumstances. The court finds that requiring a notary to perfectly reproduce his or her commission signature in light of these realities is unduly burdensome to this absolute constitutional right to initiative.'

"Dunlap said he is studying the decision and what it means. Under law, he has three days to decide how to proceed....

"The appeal was filed shortly after the secretary of state’s office invalidated the citizen petition in early March. Petitioners for An Act to Legalize Marijuana turned in more than 99,000 signatures, but only 51,543 could be verified — far short of the statutory threshold of 61,123 valid signatures of registered Maine voters....

"More than 17,000 of the invalid signatures were rejected because the signature of a single notary, Stavros Mendros of Lewiston, did not match the signature the state has on file. Mendros has said he signed the documents....

"The citizens initiative seeks to legalize the possession, purchase, growth and sale of marijuana for Mainers 21 years old or older....

"David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said he was 'extremely pleased with the court’s decision'.... Boyer said that since the Legislature is still in session and the November ballot is still under development, there should be 'plenty of time' to get the question decided by voters this year."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 10, 2016

What the U.S. Libertarian Party 'pledge' means

"To validate my membership, I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals." – Libertarian Party membership pledge
I pledge allegiance ... to what? | KN@PPSTER - Tom Knapp:

February 25, 2006 - "Often, when debating the meaning of 'the pledge,' Libertarians cite David F. Nolan, the 'founder' (with a few others, but generally recognized as the prime mover in the founding) of the Libertarian Party, to the effect that 'the pledge' was simply intended to let the FBI know that the members of this new political party weren't bomb-throwing revolutionists who would shortly be assaulting the Nixon White House with molotov cocktails.... [see video below - editor]....

"I've stated the content of the pledge. In every form I've seen, it includes the very specific phrase 'initiation of force.' That's important. That phrase has a history which pre-dates the formation of the LP by at least a decade-and-a-half and possibly longer. It is a phrase which carried great weight among the adherents of two particular schools of libertarian thought throughout the 1960s: The Objectivists and the Misesian "anarcho-capitalists" (i.e. the disciples/compatriots, respectively, of Ayn Rand and of Murray N. Rothbard).

"Nolan – or at least those who cite him – expect the rest of us to believe that the occurrence of the phrase in the LP's membership pledge was a mere coincidence: That it did not arise from the ubiquitous use of that phrase within the movement from which the party emerged. Even at first blush, that assertion looks pretty untenable.... In the very first paragraph of the article which he wrote in 1971, promoting the formation of the Libertarian Party ... Nolan describes the movement to which he belongs, and which he hopes to form into a party, as a coalition of 'Randists, Miseists (sic), and elements of the old "radical right"'....

"Nolan's biography at the Advocates for Self-Government site specifically lists Ayn Rand as a writer who 'cemented his innate libertarianism.' Is it possible that someone who regarded Rand in such terms, and whose libertarianism took the form of political action, would entirely miss the core principle of the political branch of her philosophy?
'Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate -- do you hear me? No man may start -- the use of physical force against others.' -- from Galt's Speech in Atlas Shrugged (1957), and For the New Intellectual (1961), by Ayn Rand....
"Next let's look at Rothbard -- leader of the second faction which Nolan wanted to form a party around....
'The fundamental axiom of libertarian theory is that no one may threaten or commit violence ("aggress") against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor. Here is the fundamental rule from which can be deduced the entire corpus of libertarian theory.' --- from "War, Peace and the State" (1963), by Murray N. Rothbard
"The actual phrase 'initiation of force' seems to have crept into Rothbard's personal vocabulary later rather than sooner....
'The libertarian creed rests upon one central axiom: that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else. This may be called the 'nonaggression axiom.' 'Aggression' is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else.' – from For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (1973), by Murray N. Rothbard....
"Taken in its obvious historical context, the pledge clearly derives from a Randian and/or Rothbardian worldview and therefore – at a bare minimum – clearly and indisputably binds its takers to a no-coercive-taxes approach (which even the 'Randian minarchists' held to), and less clearly and less indisputably (but still arguably) to Rothbardian anarchism.

"The only way to get around that conclusion is to assert that the framers of the pledge were a bunch of drooling morons who in some strange trance state spontaneously and collectively forgot the entire content of the ideas they stood for, while simultaneously functioning efficiently enough to put together an organization to politically support said ideas ... and who just happened to randomly pick words out of the dictionary which were identical to nearly two decades of predominant phraseology relating to those ideas, for the purpose of saying something entirely different."

Read more:  'via Blog this'
Published under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Libertarians can make their ideas matter in 2016

Stossel Debate Offers Libertarians a Way to Make Their Ideas Matter - Hit & Run : - Ed Krajewski:

April 8, 2016 - "There are at least a dozen candidates running for the Libertarian party [presidential nomination], but only [Gary] Johnson has any prior political experience.

"In an election season defined largely by 'anti-establishment' feeling and where Donald Trump is the Republican front runner, that's not necessarily as much of a bonus as it might have been previously. Yet Johnson rejected the Republican Party an entire presidential election cycle before it found itself in its current mess, something that ought to earn him some credibility.

"Johnson is, to say the least, an imperfect candidate in an imperfect Libertarian field.... And yet the field nonetheless offers something refreshing this election cycle. That's because libertarianism, capital-L or not, isn't about individual politicians but individual liberties.

"Libertarians can offer a compelling narrative to an electorate on the verge of facing two major party candidates — Trump and Hillary Clinton — who both have unfavorable ratings north of 50 percent. The unlikeability of the Democratic and Republican nominee could make voters, and maybe even millions of horrified non-voters, more receptive to looking to third parties for articulate ideas and not just cults of personality.

"From police and criminal justice reform to education, immigration, and foreign policy, libertarian ideas offer a path outside of often intractable, and always insufferable, partisan scuffles. Trump and Clinton represent the culmination of a years-long atrophy of both parties, fueled by cronyism, an aversion to critical thinking and, above all, an unquestioning belief that government can work given the correct agenda and helmed by the correct people, even as the outcomes tend to expose the ridiculousness of that belief.

"So libertarians have a chance this election cycle to make their ideas matter. It's unfortunate that there aren't more high profile Libertarian politicians, but also unsurprising. After all, the ideology is averse to government as a desirable career path. If the candidates focus on educating voters about the ideas behind libertarianism and the role government plays in the social ills driving their fears, rather than triangulating (or incoherently rambling) on issues like gay wedding cakes and Sharia law or creating a cult of personality-like sideshow, perhaps they can be successful in contributing to the momentum of libertarian ideas on the policy and cultural front even absent electoral success."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Friday, April 8, 2016

Part 2 of Fox's Libertarian debate airs April 8

Libertarian Debate Was Little-Noticed Breath Of Fresh Air - Lucy Steigerwald, The Federalist:

April 4, 2014 - "In an election season starring two historically loathed frontrunners, the third-most-popular party in the United States got a televised debate for the very first time.... It’s not as if even the libertarian-tolerant FBN was going to give the contenders much to work with. Friday’s debate was pre-taped, and only part one of the two-hour show (part two is on Friday!). Still, it was a debate not starring the usual suspects, right or left, and man does that look good for a change.

"The LP’s presidential choice this year will be likely be a repeat, as it should be. However, competition is libertarian, so joining [Gary] Johnson, 63, on stage were 35-year-old website founder [Austin] Petersen and 70-year-old former antivirus pioneer [John] McAfee, there to explain their positions on issues from abortion to war to Social Security and the social safety net. Even if the results of the experiment were open only to those with cable access, they were also more charming, warm, and spontaneous than anything the major parties can drum up.

"Each candidate supports caution and constitutionality in warfare. Each disavows the war on drugs and the death penalty. McAfee suggested Social Security and foreign aid were promises made, and therefore they can’t be reneged on. Johnson and Petersen argued otherwise.

"On abortion, Petersen said he was pro-life. Johnson and McAfee believe the matter is up to the woman. Petersen, who has spent some time scorning antiwar libertarians on his clickbaity website, appears to have decided on a new tactic that might be called Ron Paul lite. He comes off as a kid in his dad’s suit who just discovered French economist Frederic Bastiat — and not just because he’s the youngest, or '12 years old,' as Stossel put it. However, he delivered good lines, such as “if the American people have to balance their checkbook, so should Congress'.... Perhaps Sen. Ted Cruz supporters might find Petersen appealing, especially if they’re frustrated by Cruz’ recent soul-selling mainstream successes, or his likely loss in the race for the GOP nomination.

"McAfee is the oddest duck, a fascinating contrast between Petersen’s straining efforts at radical constitutionalism and Gary Johnson’s dispassionate moderate (for the LP) manner. McAfee’s early life included a great deal of drug use. His more recent history includes fleeing from Belize because he was a “person of interest” in his neighbor’s murder in 2012.... Maybe his gun-toting hippie with gravitas thing could leech votes away from Sen. Bernie Sanders, or his thoughtful weirdo thing could steal Trump votes.... Strangely, his stances on entitlements and foreign aid is a bit too timid for a libertarian audience, while his paranoia about cyber war and offer to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’ phone for the FBI makes him come across as less than pure on Fourth Amendment issues.

"The choice is Gary Johnson. Even if there’s something a little uninspiring about him.... With two terms as the governor of New Mexico, Johnson lies in the sweet spot between overly Republican Bob Barr (LP nominee in 2008) and doesn’t-believe-in-drivers-licenses Michael Badnarik (2004). Johnson seems like a human being, both on television and in real life. He is a moderate anti-interventionist, and is pro marijuana, not denying the fact that he indulges in the substance, and even serving as the CEO of a medical marijuana company. His utter lack of apology for using marijuana, combined with his crazy-fit personal life (he’s climbed the seven summits!) may actually make pot users look better, as opposed to making Johnson look worse."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

U.S. POTUS candidate has Muslim running mate

Libertarian Presidential candidate Darryl W. Perry selects Muslim running mate | Free Keene:

April 6, 2016 - "The Libertarian Party, which made history in 1972 when Tonie Nathan became the first woman to receive an Electoral College vote, is notorious for breaking barriers on race, gender and sexual orientation decades before their mainstream counterparts do. In another groundbreaking move for the Libertarian Party, and American politics in general, Libertarian Presidential candidate Darryl W. Perry announced Wednesday that his running mate will be the first Muslim Vice Presidential candidate in American history.

"Perry’s running mate is a Muslim academic and thought leader, dedicated family man, and entrepreneur, and has gained name recognition with the Liberty Movement for his work as the National Director of Muslims for Liberty (M4L) – an organization that works to advance the cause of liberty from a principled and Islamic perspective.

"The Darryl W. Perry 2016 campaign welcomes Vice Presidential candidate Will Coley to the campaign.

"During his tenure, Coley has amassed a considerable following by preaching a message that simultaneously discourages violence while encouraging open-mindedness towards Muslims....

"Perry, a long-time Libertarian activist and media personality on Free Talk Live, chose Coley as his running mate because 'he has intimate knowledge and insight both of the religion, and the cultures of the countries [the US military] has been actively bombing or occupying.'"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Latin Americans embracing economic freedom

The Libertarian Moment Is Unfolding in Latin America, Not the US - Nelson Albino, Jr., Pan Am Post:

April 4, 2016 - "Over the last few years, the so-called libertarian moment has been given much to talk in the United States — especially after the rise of former Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 and 2012 elections. His message reached the masses and generated great expectations ... but Donald Trump changed everything.... Trump’s arrival did so much damage to the Republican libertarian movement that Reason Magazine and Cato Institute held a series of debates on whether the libertarian moment was 'dead.'

"Regardless of its downfall or not in the United States, it is certainly alive and well in Latin America.... Latin Americans have grown tired of years of populism and socialism and have begun to demand changes in their respective countries.

"Argentina is the best example right now. The victory of Mauricio Macri in last year’s presidential elections ends years of leftist government.... The new president wasted no time and immediately started implementing pro-market measures, reducing taxes, eliminating currency controls, naming a new president for the Central Bank and negotiating foreign debt payments....

"Last December and for the first time in 17 years, on the election with higher voter turnout, Venezuelans chose an opposition-controlled National Assembly, removing the Socialist Party control of the legislative branch.... The Chavistas still control the executive and judicial branches, but this year Venezuelan opposition will activate constitutional mechanisms to exit President Maduro, ending 17 years of socialist tyranny....

"Millions of angry Brazilians have taken to the streets in recent months demanding the resignation of President Dilma Rousseff.... Brazil’s main topic is the scandal at the state oil company Petrobras, which involves President Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Both Rousseff and Lula da Silva are part of the socialist bloc that has ruled in South America for the past decade-and-a-half.

"Another example is Bolivia, where President Evo Morales, who has spent 10 years running the country, ... was defeated in a referendum where the Bolivian people did not approve of Morales running for a fourth presidential term, forcing him to end his mandate as soon as it expires in 2020.

"Though reforms are still at an early stage, the fact that pro-market ideas and economic liberalism are starting to be seen as real, strong crisis alternatives, both economically and socially, is a big step — especially when historically solvent countries like the United States continue to debate whether they should tilt to the left."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jennifer Grossman is new CEO of Atlas Society

The Atlas Society Welcomes Jennifer Anju Grossman as its New CEO, Effective March 1st - Sherrie Gossett, Atlas Society:

March 3, 2016 - "On March 1st, The Atlas Society welcomed Jennifer Anju Grossman as its new CEO.... Grossman is a former senior vice president at Dole Food Company....

"David Kelley, founder and acting CEO of the Atlas Society, said: 'Jennifer brings our team a powerful combination of executive management, public policy, and digital media expertise. Her creativity, charisma and commitment to Objectivism will help take our efforts, and the liberty movement, to the next level.'

"Grossman has spent decades helping people to live freer, healthier lives. She launched the Dole Nutrition Institute — a research and education organization — at the behest of Dole Chairman David H. Murdock. She continued this agenda as Health Editor of Laura Ingraham's new lifestyle site, LifeZette.

"Previously Grossman served as Director of Education at the Cato Institute, and worked closely with the late philanthropist Theodore J. Forstmann to launch the Children's Scholarship Fund. A speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush, Grossman has written for both national and local publications.

"Said Grossman: 'The principles of Objectivism, the philosophy rooted in reality, reason, and individualism, has never been more needed — nor more neglected.This is the perfect moment to help the public rediscover the moral vision of Ayn Rand."

"For twenty-five years, The Atlas Society has promoted the core values of Objectivism — reason, achievement, and ethical self-interest. These values are the moral foundation for political liberty and for personal happiness.

"'At the Atlas Society,' said Jay Lapeyre, Chairman of the Board of the Atlas Society, 'we don't preach to the converted. We hired Jennifer to lead our team in bringing Ayn Rand's revolutionary vision to fresh eyes, in unconventional ways'....

"Objectivism is the philosophy founded by Ayn Rand (1905-1982), the author of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, The Virtue of Selfishness, and other works.

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pennsylvania Libertarians elect new leadership

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania elects new leader - News - Republican Herald - Mark Gilger Jr.:

March 31, 2016 - "The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has elected new leadership last weekend at its annual convention in Philadelphia.

"The new team will continue to advance the LPPA’s mission of smaller government and lower taxes as the commonwealth, and the nation, look to the November presidential election, according to the party’s March 21 announcement.

"Shawn Patrick House, Lancaster County, will serve as chairman of the LPPA while Daniel Richardson, Northampton County, will serve as the party’s eastern vice chairman. Bill Sloan, Cumberland County, Karla Felty, Schuylkill County, and Richard Schwarz, Philadelphia County, were re-elected as western vice chairman, secretary, and treasurer, respectively.

"Shawn Felty, a Cressona borough councilman, had previously served as chairman....

"'Pennsylvania will matter on the national stage, perhaps more than ever, in the 2016 election,' Felty said.... 'I’m excited to see how Shawn’s energy and enthusiasm will help take the LPPA to the next level as he continues our mission to shrink government and respect everyone’s freedoms, all of the time. I’m also particularly pleased to welcome Dan Richardson to the party’s leadership team'....

"The convention held a debate among multiple candidates vying for the nomination of the national Libertarian Party for president. Candidates included former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s 2012 nominee for president, Marc A. Feldman, Darryl W. Perry and Derrick M. Reid. The event was also broadcast live over the Internet for the first time.

"Newly elected chairman House is a candidate for office in the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.

'What an exceptional weekend for liberty in the city where our nation was born,” House said....  'The time for change is now. The time for smaller government, lower taxes, and a return to individual liberty is now. Libertarian candidates, such as those who will be running for office across Pennsylvania this fall, aren’t just another choice, they are the choice.'

"The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania is the state affiliate of the third largest political party in the United States and advocates a return to a limited government that respects the rights of all individuals, all of the time. For more information about the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania and a list of party candidates, visit the organization’s website at"

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hundreds smoke cannabis outside White House

Hundreds Inhale Pot at Surreal White House Protest - US News - Steven Nelson:

April 2, 2016 - "When the smoke cleared, nobody was arrested for participating in a large and blatantly illegal marijuana smoke-in outside the White House.

"Attendees of the Saturday event, billed as 'Reschedule 420' by the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, urged President Barack Obama to take action in his remaining months in office to reschedule marijuana -- to allow greater research into its medicinal value -- and to pardon jailed pot offenders.

"Though many were willing to get arrested, it appeared that just two people, seemingly chosen at random from a smoke-filled crowd, were detained by police.  One of them ...  said both received $25 public consumption tickets.

"A light-handed approach to protesters is characteristic of police in the nation’s capital, but Saturday’s restraint surprised attendees well-aware that nearly one million Americans are arrested every year for marijuana....

"Residents of the nation’s capital voted overwhelming in 2014 to legalize personal possession of marijuana under local law, but public consumption remains an arrestable offense. And federal law enforcement officers can arrest people anywhere in the city on federal charges.

"Earlier in the afternoon, the fate of demonstrators appeared uncertain. Many wrote numbers for a legal aid hotline on their arms.

"The first test of officers’ intentions came when protesters, about a half hour before the designated smoking time of 4:20 p.m., ignored Secret Service demands that a giant 51-foot inflatable 'joint' not be filled with air near the White House. Protesters unfurled what essentially was a long plastic bag and flipped on a portable cattle fan to loud cheers as dozens of people paraded the painted prop through Lafayette Park north to H St. NW.

"The inflated joint caused many law enforcement officers to chase after the defiant splinter procession, and left the main event less thoroughly policed ahead of mass public smoking at 4:20 p.m.

"Many seasoned cannabis reformers spoke ahead of the main draw, along with minor party political candidates and members of Rhode Island’s Healing Church, which claims the First Amendment protects their right to consume cannabis – a matter not legally settled.... Some members of the marijuana reform movement ... had expressed unease with plans to smoke marijuana, and no major national cannabis reform group endorsed the protest.

"Though dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people smoked marijuana in public, there did not appear to be complaints about unwitting tourists or children inhaling the smoke.... To anyone nearby, large marijuana-leaf flags and signs on stakes made clear the nature of the event, which swelled with young adults as the time to smoke approached."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Libertarians square off in 1st presidential debate

Libertarian Party presidential debate was last night, follow up next week | - Karl Dickey:

April 2, 2016 - "Last night, April 1, 2016, three of the top Libertarian Party presidential candidates ... discussed the issues of the day on the Fox Business Network with John Stossel. Another segment of the taped 'Libertarian Presidential Forum will air next Friday via John Stossel's show on Fox Business. The three candidates who were invited to the debate are Gary Johnson, John McAfee and Austin Petersen....

"Many topics were tackled including abortion, foreign aid, same-sex marriage, the death penalty and many others. While Petersen was pro-life, Johnson and McAfee said they are pro-choice. All the candidates said they would eliminate foreign aid especially when it came to its misuse. All of the candidates were against intervention [into any] other country's domestic affairs.

"Stossel asked the candidates when is the right time to go to war. Johnson answered simply, "When attacked.' McAfee turned the question around by saying, 'My question is why do we have war. I mean we are operating under the assumption that war is a necessity. I don't buy that.' Petersen stated ... 'Only if the Congress declares war Constitutionally is it right. If we have a significant threat there are circumstances when the United States may go to war but can only do so with due process'....

"Petersen promoted his Penny Plan in an effort to get to a federally balanced budget.... Petersen is suggesting an across the board cut of one percent of all federal programs. For those programs Congress would not want to cut, that one percent would need to come from another program equally and correspondingly....

"Johnson said, 'I want to support those who are truly in need. I think the biggest issue facing this country right now the fact that government is too big, it spends too much money, it taxes too much. I would be proposing a balanced budget to Congress which would be a 20 percent reduction in federal spending, and to do that, you've got to include Medicaid, Medicare, military spending and to do that you could devolve Medicaid and Medicare to the states'....

"McAfee responded, 'let's look at the Social Security Administration. It is the second largest drain on the federal budget, over $700 billion and yet everyone on Social Security paid money that they worked hard to earn into a system that the government promised would pay them back when they were older. Now, that is a commitment that we made as a government and as Libertarians do we not meet our commitments?'

"Stossel challenged each of their candidates to defend themselves where the general public may take issue. For Johnson, Stossel said that Johnson was too 'low key' and that Johnson admits to occasionally smoking marijuana. Johnson responded, "Well, I'm one of over 130 million people in that category'....

"Stossel challenged McAfee that he 'sounds a little flaky' and how ... he was famously suspected of murdering his neighbor in Belize which prompted him to escape to Guatemala. McAfee said, 'I was never charged with murder.... I did indeed escape into Guatemala.... I was asked for a $2 million 'donation' for the ruling government. I said 'no' and exactly one week later my property was raided by 42 armed soldiers who shot my dog in front of my eyes, tortured me and destroyed half my property.'

"Petersen was ... asked about his young age. Petersen responded by saying ... "On July 4, 1776 Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old, James Madison was 25 years old, Marquis de Lafayette was 18 and Alexander Hamilton was 18. It was young men who founded this country and young people will restore it. Young people will take our country back'....

"The Libertarian Party will select its presidential nominee late next month at their national 'Legalize Freedom' convention in Orlando, Florida."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Political change happens on the margins

The Enduring Libertarian Moment - The Atlantic - Conor Friedersdorf:

March 31, 2016 - "Back in 2014, when everyone was debating whether or not America was experiencing a libertarian moment, I urged against judging the matter using the standard that much of the press reserves for libertarians, where conservatives and progressives are judged with the understanding that political change happens on the margins, whereas with libertarians, antagonists and sympathizers alike act as if success means a radical shift toward an ideologically pure, uncompromising libertarian utopia.

"In reality, libertarian ideas will only ever be implemented partially, in a system of checks and balances, where even modest reforms are difficult to achieve. The real question is whether future electorates will support policies that enhance liberty compared to the status quo. If that's what is meant by a 'libertarian moment,' we're arguably coming off several important ones, and can expect more in years to come.

"In recent memory, whole states have legalized marijuana and millions of gays have won the freedom to marry a person of their choosing. Technology continues to be both a blessing and a curse to liberty-loving people. Libertarians face a long, hard fight on surveillance, for example, and there's no guarantee of victory. At the same time, the rise of ubiquitous video had an unexpected benefit: So far, instead of bringing Orwellian dystopia, it has allowed citizens to capture unprecedented footage of police officers, proving a degree of brutality and abuse that libertarians have long known about but that most other Americans had to see in order to believe.

"Police killings and overzealous incarceration are horrific infringements on individual liberty. The prospects for reforming both seem relatively bright. The fact that criminal-justice reform and drug-war reform now have conservatives and progressives behind them underscores a larger truth: A lot of libertarian victories aren't going to coincide with political success for libertarian politicians, because as libertarian ideas become electorally viable, they get co-opted by establishment politicians....

"Some libertarian gains won't even be grounded in libertarian philosophy. The failure of the Iraq War turned Americans away from neoconservatism and liberal interventionism more than any newly embraced principle.... Now, both major parties are willing to elevate presidential candidates who argue for noninterventionism.... Bernie Sanders is frankly anti-war. The only heartening thing about Trump's rise is seeing someone stand on a Republican debate stage, declare the Iraq War utterly idiotic, and then win GOP primaries even in the most jingoistic states in the union....

"We're a big, sprawling, complicated nation that faces an array of complex policy challenges. Libertarians don't have all the answers any more than any other ideological faction. But they do have one advantage over their more mainstream competitors.

"It springs from the law of diminishing returns: We've tried the most popular conservative and progressive ideas. Where libertarians have a realistic chance of winning over their fellow citizens — standing for strong encryption, eliminating inane professional licensing laws, insisting on due process, avoiding wars of choice, ending the war on drugs, reducing the prison population, reforming police — 'libertarian moments' would bring America huge benefits. That's why they'll be embraced by majorities who aren't yet sold on the entire libertarian philosophy."

Read more:
'via Blog this'