Sunday, April 29, 2018

Tommy Chong's long fight for legal cannabis

'Grandfather of Pot' Tommy Chong reflects on a lifetime of fighting to get weed legalized - Paul Haber, W5, CTV::

April 6, 2018 -  "Tommy Chong, best known as one half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, celebrated his 80th birthday this year and admits to W5 to smoking weed.... For most of his adult life, cannabis has been illegal, yet Chong has continued to smoke it openly and publicly.... In Chongs’s mind, weed has never been illegal, 'so I never even give it any thought,' he says....

"It was at the age of 17 when he smoked his first joint. Chong remembers it well. He tells W5, 'that changed my life. I smoked a little bit of the joint, got high, listened to Ornette Coleman, Lonely Woman for the first time, I remember it so well. And then, then about a week later, I ended up quitting school and I became a blues musician'....

"In the early 1960s, Chong moved to Vancouver where he ... continued to smoke marijuana even though local authorities were cracking down on drug use and arresting people en masse.... Chong managed to avoid arrest and kept smoking because, to him, weed was more than a psychedelic drug. He believed in the drug’s healing powers. He says he found cannabis helped him creatively with his music.

"It was in Vancouver where Chong met his future comedy partner Cheech Marin.... Their brand of comedy was considered counter-culture by many experts, as the pair focused mainly on drug use and the effects of weed on people’s behavior.... They reached the biggest audience yet in 1978 with the release of their first feature Hollywood film, Up in Smoke — a movie that many credit with establishing the ‘stoner’ comedy genre.

"It has been 40 years since Up in Smoke was released and Chong has maintained his advocacy for pot. He even claims cannabis has helped him beat cancer twice, though he admits he does not know how. 'Yeah, right now I’m cancer free,' Chong tells W5. 'I don’t know what it does, I think it affects the immune system.'

"Now, with cannabis legal in many parts of the U.S., Chong has gone into business with his son Paris selling branded marijuana products called “Chong’s Choice” in the United States.

"As the laws in Canada are being drafted to decriminalize cannabis, Chong has these words for the Canadian government: 'Now if they're smart and Canada’s smart, they will keep the taxes within reason.'"

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Kochs invest millions to reshape US foreign policy

Getting Realist: Charles Koch Ramps Up Efforts to Reshape U.S. Foreign Policy — Inside Philanthropy:

December 14, 2017 - "The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe reported recently that the Charles Koch Foundation is making 'major investments' in foreign policy programs at elite American universities, including a $3.7 million grant to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"That news comes on the heels of roughly $10 million in similar grants the Charles Koch Foundation has given in recent months to Notre Dame, Tufts University, Catholic University, and the University of California San Diego — with much more on the way.

The grants, according to Jaffe, are part of a 'larger effort to broaden the debate about an American foreign policy Koch and others at his foundation argue has become too militaristic, interventionist and expensive.' Longtime watchers of Koch philanthropy won't be surprised here; the Cato Institute, which the Kochs helped found in the 1970s, has long made these same arguments....

"Charles has never been aligned with Republicans on foreign policy. He was against the Vietnam war and more recently ... America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, as mentioned, Cato has long been among the leading voices challenging the globalist security dogma largely embraced by both political parties.

"To that end, according to Jaffe, the grants are 'aimed at generating new ideas about how America should use its military power and vast economic influence,' and adhere to a 'realist school' of foreign policy that is leery of humanitarian interventions, nation building, or other causes that are tangential to American interests.... The gifts will primarily pay for graduate-level and postdoctoral fellowships....

"Charles' expanding anti-interventionist grantmaking aims to intellectually bolster a strain of thinking that's lately gained steam on an increasingly populist right and has fans on the left, too. While Trump's crude America First rhetoric isn't very persuasive, the arguments made by realist scholars like Stephen Walt carry more heft. Walt, who's getting in on this new Koch funding, has lately emerged as a leading critic of a national security strategy that has America embroiled in multiple wars, with 200,000 U.S. troops stationed in 177 countries....

"The Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) and the Foundation Center recently found that conflict, national security, and peace ... funders have made an 'outsized impact'.... Such high-leverage giving goes back decades, but it's typically been supported by donors who embrace an expansive U.S. role in the world, and that's still largely the case.

"Now it's fair to say that such funders are going to have some competition. These success areas are precisely the kinds of foreign entanglements that Charles Koch, armed with an impressive Rolodex and billions in the bank, would like the U.S. to avoid."

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Ontario Libertarian runs to get the message out in Dufferin-Caledon

Libertarian seeking to represent region at Queen’s Park | Orangeville Citizen - Bill Rea:

April 3, 2018 - "Jeff Harris hopes the Libertarian message can be spread across Dufferin-Caledon and the rest of Ontario in the coming provincial election campaign. Mr. Harris will be the Libertarian candidate in this riding for the June 7 election....

"This is his first venture into the political arena. He said he was not pleased when the Progressive Conservatives under former leader Patrick Brown unveiled their platform with provisions for a carbon tax.

"'I wanted to find a party that held the same values that I do,' he remarked, adding that includes fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. 'The best of both worlds.'

"The 50-year-old married father of two said the party plans to have candidates in every riding in the province once the campaign starts.... Mr. Harris pointed out most people know about the major parties, and are looking for something else.

"'I think this is a good year for it,' he said, commenting there are a lot of Liberals who aren’t supporting Premier Kathleen Wynne, and many grass-roots Conservatives are not pleased with the party’s platform. Libertarians, he said, are 'in between the two,' which might be appealing for people who are looking for a place to put their votes.

"Mr. Harris was not under-estimating the work it will take to get elected in Dufferin-Caledon.... But he added if he can get the Libertarian message out, there could be a good response.

"Party Leader Allen Small has stated he believes people of Ontario should have greater control over their own lives, including more economic and personal freedom.

"'I’m confident this will lead to increased prosperity for themselves and their families,' he said. 'This can be achieved by reducing the emphasis and reliance on exclusively government-delivered programs and services. At the same time eliminating restrictions and fully allowing non-government delivered programs and services to be offered will give people unfettered access to programs and services without artificial rationing and government control. By supporting the Ontario Libertarian Party, you can help make this happen.'"

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Paul's Pompeo flipflop shows weakness of GOP "political libertarianism"

Rand Paul's Mike Pompeo Flip Flop: Don't Blame Him | National Review - Michael Brendan Dougherty:

April 25, 2018 - "Rand Paul’s vote was needed to confirm Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, and his refusal to give it was making some Republicans and conservatives upset.... For Paul and his most fervent supporters, ... Pompeo was far too hawkish. But on Monday, the junior senator from Kentucky relented. 'Rand Paul Caves' read one headline. 'Rand Paul’s Pompeo switch pleases Trump, angers libertarian base' said another.

"The focus, in other words, was squarely on Paul’s repeated failure to shift the Republican party’s foreign-policy orientation.... I agree with Paul’s project of calling the party to a less interventionist foreign policy. But doing so requires a very hard-headed acceptance of the limits of one senator’s power and of the political landscape.

"The Republican party and the conservative movement have shown a capacity to tolerate .... attention-getting 'stands' on principle ... only so long as such stands are not seen as aiding the Democrats in their drive to obstruct the Trump administration.... Trump seems to have the same qualified tolerance..... He lets others maintain their brands, so long as they don’t do so at the expense of his own. 'Rand Paul is a very special guy as far as I’m concerned,' he said when asked about the Pompeo fight. 'He’s never let me down.'

"The promises given to Paul don’t amount to much, but they do allow him to reconcile himself to Pompeo’s nomination while saving face. Paul can say he called the public’s and the White House’s attention back to Trump’s campaign promises and to the small but influential non-interventionist part of the president’s political base.

"It’s about as much as you can ask of a senator who constitutes a one-man faction. And it’s as much as you can expect of a senator on foreign policy, when Congress has ceded so much foreign- and military-policy authority to the executive branch.

"Ultimately, Paul is a 'political libertarian' in a way that we haven’t seen before.... But a 'political libertarian' is inevitably going to disappoint those of his supporters who want a politician to embody their beliefs in a way calculated not to change government policy and our political culture, but to perpetually and clearly condemn it.

"Realists, libertarians, and non-interventionists can continue to question whether the compromises Paul is making are worth it. But that he has to make them should be beyond dispute by now."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

U.S. Democrats hopping aboard cannabis train

Potential Democratic 2020 contenders are rushing to back marijuana legalization - CNNPolitics - Dan Merica:

April 20, 2018 - "In a significant political shift, several top Democrats considered to be possible contenders in the 2020 presidential race are backing legislation that would decriminalize marijuana....

"The latest signal came when Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2016 Democratic candidate who is widely considered a top contender for the nomination in 2020, signed onto The Marijuana Justice Act on Thursday. The bill, proposed by Sen. Cory Booker, himself a 2020 contender, would effectively end the federal crackdown on marijuana by removing the drug from the Controlled Substances Act. It was also backed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another possible 2020 hopeful....

"The shift comes amid recent movement by the Trump administration on the issue. President Donald Trump recently agreed to support protecting states that have legalized marijuana, after being pressured by Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican....

"Both Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, two other potential candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination, have defended the successful efforts to legalize marijuana in their respective states. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said earlier this year that she is planning to introduce legislation that protects states that have legalized marijuana from a possible crackdown. And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has already started to make trips out to early presidential primary and caucus states, helped implement the plan to legalize marijuana in California, making his city [the] largest in the United States selling legal pot.

"The political shift from Democratic leaders has tracked with polling, too. According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this year, 61% of Americans believe marijuana should be legal, more than double the 31% who supported legalization in 2000. The support from Democrats (69%) is even more overwhelming.

"Skyler McKinley, the founding deputy director of Hickenlooper's Office of Marijuana Coordination, said that while the Democratic shift is good policy, it is also good politics.

"'Especially on the Democratic side,' McKinley said, 'I don't think anyone who wants to continue the drug war on marijuana is going to be the nominee.'"

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

First Libertarian primary for governor in Michigan

Michigan's first-ever Libertarian gubernatorial primary has a new contender | News Hits - Lee DeVito, Metro-Times:

April 20, 2018 - "The race for Michigan's first-ever Libertarian gubernatorial primary is heating up.

"On Thursday, candidate John Tatar filed his campaign's petition signatures for the primary, becoming the second candidate to officially join the gubernatorial Libertarian race. It's the first time in Michigan's history that a party beyond the Democrats and Republicans will host a contested gubernatorial primary election. The Libertarian Party primary will be held alongside the Democrat and Republican primaries on Aug. 7.

"Tatar follows Grand Rapids businessman Bill Gelineau, who filed his petition signatures last month ahead of the April 24 deadline. According to a press release from the Libertarian Party of Michigan, Tatar filed 18,521 signatures to the Bureau of Elections, while Gelineau delivered 21,187 signatures. Candidates need 15,000 valid signatures to qualify....

"Tatar wants to end gerrymandering, which he says 'provide[s] an unfair advantage between the parties and [...] eliminates a true voice of the people.' He also calls for auto insurance reform, pledging to eliminate mandatory no-fault insurance and unlink auto insurance from credit reports and residence. One of Tatar's more interesting proposals calls for eliminating the Michigan Senate....

"Michigan will host a Libertarian primary this year because of the party's strong polling numbers in the 2016 presidential election, where Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson earned 172,136 votes, or 3.6 percent, surpassing the 154,040-vote threshold necessary for his party to participate in the 2018 primary."

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Oklahoma LP transgender exec makes history

Oklahoma Transgender Student Elected in Libertarian Party | Oklahoma News | US News - Joy Hampton, Norman Transcript, Associated Press:

April 23, 2018 - "University of Oklahoma student Traci Baker is only 20 years old, but she was recently elected as state secretary of the Libertarian Party ... the first transgender official of any party in state history, as well as the first transgender executive of a state party in the U.S.

 "Baker grew up in Edmond [Oklahoma] and was interested in politics early on. 'I was inspired by the Ron Paul campaign in 2012, and that's what got me into Libertarianism,' she said. 'I was in high school when I did debate, and then I was in Youth in Government in the YMCA program. That's also when I started doing my first campaign.'

"Baker graduated from Edmond Memorial High School in 2016 and moved to Norman to attend OU. 'I came out as transgender pretty much immediately upon moving to Norman," Baker said.... I'm on campus a lot, and campus is pretty supportive'....

 "With federal, state and county filings coming up, Baker has been busy with party responsibilities.

 "'We've got three great candidates for governor and a candidate for state auditor, which Democrats don't have. So, that's pretty cool,' she said. 'We have some candidates for House and Senate seats, as well as a few running for Congress'....

"'I will continue to be the candidate liaison for the party,' Baker said. 'I equip them with the resources that they need to run and interact with them to make sure they know how to file for office.'

"She also works with candidates on campaign finance ethics and filing regulations and other knowledge they need to know while running for office." "

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hip-hop star Cardi B gives libertarians a shoutout

Cardi B....for president? How the Hip-Hop artist became a Libertarian Icon - Zoe Zorka, The Source:

April 3 - "As the hype for Cardi B‘s upcoming album, Invasion of Privacy, builds up, the mega-hit rapper has gained a large following with the nation’s fastest-growing political group, the Libertarian Party, as members cheer on her socially liberal, fiscally conservative, voice of reason and independence.

"Cardi piqued the interest of Reason, a major Libertarian publication, with an Instagram post in which she noted that she is 'paying a 40 percent tax rate and not getting much for it. She asks for accountability, noting that "when you donate to a kid from a foreign country, they give you updates of what they doing with your donation." By contrast, B has no idea what Uncle Sam is doing with her "fucking tax money."' This drew the applause of numerous Libertarians ... in an hours-long Twitter storm.

"From there, it didn’t take long for newfound Libertarian fans to praise her existing and upcoming work and point out how it aligns with their ideals.

"According to their official platform, in addition to limiting wasteful government spending, Libertarians 'want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner.' Sounds pretty much like 'making money moves.'

Party members also 'advocate individual privacy and government transparency' and 'are committed to ending government’s practice of spying on everyone.' With an album that is literally titled Invasion of Privacy, Cardi might as well be Ayn Rand reincarnated.

"As the Washington Examiner points out  ... 'Cardi B might not get into the weeds about liberty or how we need to protect our privacy from big government on her album. But the themes are there, and her millions of fans will begin to recognize these important issues sooner rather than later.'”

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Libertarians the most analytic voters, study finds

Study of Politics and Analytical Thinking Puts Libertarians on Top - Bloomberg - Tyler Cown:

March 28, 2018 - "You might think being 'analytical' is a good thing. We associate 'analysis' with people who are smart, well-informed and relatively dispassionate in their assessments.

"You might think that politics is an area where being analytical is especially useful. If you do, well, I have news for you: Libertarians measure as being the most analytical political group. That’s according to something called the cognitive reflection test, which is designed to measure whether an individual will override his or her immediate emotional responses and give a question further consideration. So if you aren’t a libertarian, maybe you ought to give that philosophy another look. It’s a relatively exclusive club, replete with people who are politically engaged, able to handle abstract arguments and capable of deeper reflection.

"What else can we learn from this new study of political and analytical tendencies, conducted by Gordon Pennycook and David G. Rand of Yale University?

"For the 2016 election, one group that measured as especially nonanalytical was Democrats who crossed party lines and voted for Donald Trump. There is a stereotype of a less well-educated voter, perhaps both white and male, who reacts negatively and emotionally to Hillary Clinton... For all the dangers of stereotyping, the study’s data are consistent with that picture.

"Both nonvoters and independents do poorly on the analytic dimension. There is a myth of a reasonable, rational politically independent America, sitting in the middle of the spectrum, weighing arguments carefully and seeing which candidate or party has the better ideas and platform. In reality, that group measures as relatively impulsive and prone to less informed judgments.

"If you are a Democrat, you might take some cheer in the fact that Democrats/liberals measure as somewhat more analytical than Republicans/conservatives. But ... individuals who are conservative along economic dimensions measure as more analytical than those who are not, again on average.... The opposite is true for social conservatives, by the way: They are less analytical on average.

"Do these results, combined with the presumption that being analytical is good, mean you really ought to be a libertarian? Well, no ... First, any test has biases, and this test was conducted online, as was earlier and broadly compatible work by other researchers. Maybe it is only the internet-savvy libertarians who have greater analytical skills.... Second, being very analytical in some ways puts you out of touch with the American citizenry.... Extremely analytical leaders might be best for managing an organization of predominantly analytical people, but that doesn’t mean they will be good national politicians. "

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Provincial trade barriers OK'd by Canada's Supreme Court

Supreme Court upholds law prohibiting Canadians, wherever they live, from buying beer wherever they want | The Star - Tonda MacCharles:

April 19, 2018 - ""Gerard Comeau wasn’t the only one shaking his head when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday there is no 'constitutional guarantee of free trade' within Canada.

"'Money’s more important than liberties, I guess,' said the 64-year-old retired linesman.... Comeau’s bid to strike down the [New Brunswick] Liquor Control Act’s limits on cross-border beer shopping failed, but he became the champion of free-traders across Canada.

"Now some of his supporters hope all the attention his case, and the social media campaign dubbed #freethebeer, brought to the issue will galvanize provincial and federal leaders to drop barriers they say add $50 billion to $130 billion in extra costs to goods and services that cross provincial borders....

"The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the 1867 constitution did not impose 'an absolute free trade regime within Canada' ... [and] any decision to knock down interprovincial trade barriers would be a political one.... It cited the 'need to maintain balance' ... as long as the law’s primary purpose is not aimed at blocking trade across provincial borders.

"Any other interpretation, warned the court, could lead to a whole slew of laws being invalidated: environmental or public health regulations, agricultural controls on the production and distribution of eggs, dairy or poultry, for example, and 'innumerable' other exercises of provincial jurisdiction."

"Lawyer Howard Anglin, of the Canadian Constitutional Foundation, which intervened at the high court in support of Comeau’s arguments, ... believes the ruling actually provides an opportunity for a federal government or federal party leader to push to lower trade barriers, using the federal power to regulate trade and commerce....

"Freer trade between provinces could be a windfall for the provinces, said Anglin, who pointed to a senate committee report that accepted findings by Trevor Tombe and Lukas Albrecht. They say interprovincial barriers cost each Canadian household about $7,500 a year."

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

22 Libertarians running for governor in Tennessee

Tennessee Libertarians Run 22 Candidates for Governor — - Joshua Eakle:

April 9, 2018 - "Members of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee (LPTN) are taking drastic measures to show the public the absurdity of ballot access laws in the state. With 25 signatures required to run as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, and 33,844 required to run as a 3rd Party, Libertarians across the state have decided to seek the office of governor running on a shared platform: make elections free and equal.

"'In Article 1, Section 5, the Tennessee state constitution declares that elections should be free and equal. Yet, only two parties have access to the ballot and rely on state-funded primaries for their nomination process. In order to be recognized on the ballot, the Libertarian Party is up against a threshold of 2.5% of the voters in the previous governor’s race, or 33,844 signatures.

"Cole Ebel, Chairman of the LPTN made this comment, 'We attempted to have that number lowered to 5000 through legislation, to make the ballots more free and equal. We even made a commitment to rely on privately funded caucuses, not state-funded primaries, to nominate our candidates. That effort was killed by legislative committee.'

"With the prospect of a legislative fix unlikely before the midterms, LPTN members have turned to alternative means to inform the public of the absurdity of Tennessee state law. With free and equal ballot access as their primary platform, 22 Tennessee Libertarians (pending signature approval) have announced their independent candidacy for governor."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Albuquerque to comply with NM forfeiture ban

Three Years After New Mexico Banned Civil Forfeiture, Albuquerque Finally Ends It - Hit & Run :

April 12, 2018 - "Albuquerque resident Arlene Harjo's case started out like thousands of others: a seized car, claims of unfairness, and indifference from city officials. But two years later, ... Albuquerque announced this week that it will end the program following a federal judge's recent decision to allow Harjo's lawsuit against the city to proceed. 'Given changes in state law and recent court rulings, it's time to update the city's policy on vehicle seizures,' Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement....

"Under typical civil asset forfeiture laws, police can seize property they claim is connected to criminal activity, whether or not the owner is charged with a crime, and keep some or all of the proceeds..... Bipartisan concern about those issues led New Mexico to essentially ban civil asset forfeiture in 2015. The law, unanimously approved by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Susan Martinez, allows forfeiture only when there is an accompanying criminal conviction.

"Albuquerque ignored the reforms, however, arguing that its forfeiture ordinance was not pre-empted by the new law. At the time, the city was seizing about 1,000 cars a year from residents....One of those residents was Harjo, whose car was seized after her son drove it while drunk. In 2016, with help from the Institute for Justice, she filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the city's lucrative vehicle seizure program conflicted with state law and was ... in violation of her 14th Amendment due process rights....

"Albuquerque returned her car in 2016 in an attempt to render her lawsuit moot and keep its program intact. But in a March 30 opinion, U.S. District Judge James Browning allowed the case to proceed, warning the city that Harjo had raised plausible claims that the city's profit incentive in seizing cars and its hearing process violated her constitutional rights.

"Browning said Albuquerque's ordinance unconstitutionally forced owners to prove themselves innocent. 'The Court concludes that the Forfeiture Ordinance's innocent owner defense violates due process,' he wrote, ... 'and there is a significant risk of erroneous deprivation flowing from placing the burden of proof on innocent owners.' Browning also concluded that New Mexico's reforms pre-empted Albuquerque's ordinance but dismissed that claim to allow state courts to sort the issue out."

"Robert Everett Johnson, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, which is representing Harjo, says the mayor's announcement "is a welcome change in the city's position."

"'For years Albuquerque refused to abide by state law,' he continued. 'Now we have to see if the city council will walk the walk and fully embrace the New Mexico Forfeiture Reform Act, including getting rid of policing for profit altogether. We're going to keep on fighting to vindicate not only Arlene's rights, but the constitutional rights of everyone in Albuquerque and New Mexico.'"

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Libertarian driver enters Ontario election race in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Darcy Neal Donnelly is driving to be the first Libertarian MPP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. - The

April 16, 2018 - "Allen Small, Leader of the Ontario Libertarian Party, is pleased to accept Darcy Neal Donnelly as the candidate in Glengarry Prescott Russell for the provincial election on June 7, 2018.... Donnelly, 57, a truck driver .... is married [with]three children ... and they have owned their home in Fournier since 2000. He enjoys driving trucks because it gives him a 'feeling of being free in an unfree world'”. He drove into politics as a protest....

''It was the during the economic crisis of 2008 that he became politically irritated by all the corporate bailouts at taxpayers expense.  Donnelly doesn’t believe people’s taxes should fund special interest corporate welfare programs. During the 2011 federal election, Donnelly discovered the Libertarian Party of Canada through the internet. He agreed with its stated principles and policies and he contacted the federal Libertarian candidate.... The next day, he asked how to become a candidate in order to help create a greater awareness of the Libertarian Party.

"Donnelly was the first Libertarian candidate in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry ... one of 14 Libertarians in Ontario.... Donnelly ran again in the 2011 provincial and there were 51 Libertarian candidates across Ontario. In the 2014 election, he ran as the Libertarian candidate in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell and there were 73 Libertarians. Today, according to the party’s website (, the Ontario Libertarian Party has 124 individuals (full slate) assigned as candidates for the June 7 provincial election, including Darcy Neal Donnelly for Glengarry Prescott Russell.

"The Ontario Libertarian Party (Gold) offers to increase your individual control over your own life, including greater personal and economic freedoms compared to the BORG (Blue, Orange, Red, Green) party’s offerings of greater government controls over you. Libertarians seek to increase non-government delivery of services to help reduce the cost of living and working in Ontario. The party’s 2018 Platform is available here:"

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Vohra bashed for 'School Board shootings' line

Libertarian Party Vice Chair Jokes About Shooting Up a School Board; Party's National Committee Declines to Suspend Him - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

April 13, 2018 - "Arvin Vohra, vice chair of the Libertarian Party's National Committee (LNC), prides himself on being rhetorically uncompromising in staking out the most radical and potentially outrageous outer frontiers of libertarian thought. His past comments on the age of consent (he says it isn't the government's business) and the proper moral attitude toward members of the U.S. military (he says they're hired killers) caused the party's New York gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe (singled out by Politico as a 'rarity...a serious Libertarian candidate') to quit his position on the National Committee after it failed to suspend Vohra back in February.

"Since then, the rhetorical outrages have continued. In a post last month on the social network site MeWe, Vohra wrote: 'Bad Idea: School Shootings. Good Idea: School Board Shootings.'

"Vohra insists that was not a serious threat but a joke in 'poor taste.' But he also has tried to use it as a teaching moment over the question of when violent resistance might be justified.... [A]s he wrote on Facebook, 'I've routinely argued against any violence against the state, since I consider it unlikely to work. But for all the hardcore gun supporters who wear taxation is theft t-shirts: what is the level of tyranny that would be great enough to morally justify using violence in self defense?'

"He has 'no plans to ever advocate violence against the state,' but only for pragmatic reasons. 'I consider it unnecessary,' not wrong. 'I believe that Dr. King and Gandhi have showed that violence is not needed to fight the state. I consider it unlikely to work.' He absolutely believes in the right to use violence to defend yourself against state actions.

"Many LNC members found the seeming threat of school board shootings to violate a pledge [the non-aggression pledge - gd] party members take to 'certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.' Vohra seems to doubt that striking at agents of the state with violence is initiating such violence, but even he wrote off the school board shooting line as a joke.

"At the end of March, some LNC members publicly asked Vohra to resign, which he opted not to do. Another motion to suspend Vohra was introduced on April 3, and last night it failed. The vote was 11–6 in favor of suspending him, but the party's rules require a two-thirds vote of the total body for suspension, so it fell a vote short....

 "LNC Chair Nicholas Sarwark voted against booting Vohra.... Sarwark stood on the principle that, since Vohra was elected by the body of the members, the decision to get him out of his job should be left up to that body when it votes for the next vice chair at the party's convention in New Orleans this summer."

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Legal US resident arrested for wrongful conviction

Man freed after wrongful conviction, only to be taken into custody by immigration authorities - Chicago Tribune - Gregory Pratt & Megan Crepeau:

March 30, 2018 - "In the two decades since Ricardo Rodriguez was convicted of murder, he has maintained his innocence. This week, the Cook County state’s attorney agreed to drop the case against him amid allegations that a discredited police detective manipulated witnesses. But instead of walking out of prison a free man Wednesday, Rodriguez was taken into custody by federal immigration authorities....

"Before he was sent to prison for a 1995 murder, Rodriguez was a lawful permanent resident. His status was revoked when he was convicted, his attorneys said. Now he faces the possibility of being deported despite being freed....

"'A case with a conviction and then vacating a murder conviction, I haven’t heard of that,' said Erin Cobb, a vice chair on the American Immigration Lawyers Association Chicago chapter’s board....

"According to data compiled by the National Registry of Exonerations, a wrongful conviction database maintained by the University of Michigan, at least 159 people have been freed from prison after being convicted in Cook County — a staggering sum that ranks Cook County higher than almost every state for exonerations. That figure doesn’t include Rodriguez’s case....

"Rodriguez’s conviction stems from a drive-by in Humboldt Park, his attorneys said. A homeless man, Rodney Kemppainen, who did neighborhood jobs for people in exchange for sleeping in garages, was killed in the shooting.... Rodriguez did not confess to the killing, and there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime, the attorneys said.

"One of the witnesses who testified against Rodriguez claimed he was manipulated by Guevara, according to the attorneys.... [T]he Exoneration Project found another witness who said Rodriguez was not the shooter."

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Canadian governments abuse civil forfeiture

National | Abusing civil forfeiture in Canada - Justin Ling:

January 10, 2017 - "Ontario’s civil forfeiture laws have created a system that is broad in scope and power, light on defence and relief....That’s a reality that Margaret and Terry Reilly have learned the hard way over the past decade, as the government has aggressively pursued two of their properties, seizing their buildings and selling them off.....

"The Reillys have found allies in the Canada Constitution Foundation (CCF), who are helping in the legal fight against the forfeiture order.

"The case dates back to 2008, when the couple had two of their rental properties in Orillia seized. As a Crown attorney told the local paper in Orillia, where the Reillys live, the properties had essentially become drug dens.... But the police didn’t pursue charges against the Reillys’ tenants.... Instead, they went after the houses themselves and, in turn, their owners....

"The properties were taken into the possession of Ontario’s Director of Asset Management in 2008, while the two sides battled it out in court, and filed to permanently take control of the properties in 2012 and sell them. The move was, according to the CCF, 'on the grounds that some of the tenants’ rents may have been paid, in part, with the proceeds of their drug

“This case is a particularly chilling example,” said Shawna Fattal, a criminal lawyer who represents the Reillys, speaking at the CCF’s [2017] annual Law & Freedom Conference....

"In a 2016 report from the CCF, they gave Ontario an 'F' on its civil forfeiture law. They note that 'the province routinely uses its power to forfeit property in circumstances where there is insufficient evidence to merit criminal charges.' Also, the province 'uses its power to pursue the property of third parties not suspected of any wrongdoing.'"

"Fattal shared the stage with Justin Safayeni, a litigator at Stockwoods with a practice in constitutional matters. 'We have very broad seizure powers, very weak statutory defences...and we have a Crown that is using this legislation is quite aggressively,' Safayeni told the crowd.... he and Fattal agreed that the fight against overbroad forfeiture laws — something endemic to almost every province, according to the CCF — is ultimately a fight that may have to go province-by-province.

 "One big variable will be how the Hell’s Angels fare in British Columbia, where they are currently launching a constitutional challenge to fight the seizure of a clubhouse on the basis that, the Attorney General says, the location could be used for crime in the future."

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Ebke unveils model licensing reform bill

Libertarian State Senator Wants to Make it Easier for People With Criminal Records (And Everyone Else) to Work - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

April 6, 2018 - "Laura Ebke of Nebraska is the Libertarian Party's only sitting state senator. A bill she introduced to reform her state's occupational licensing regime got an enthusiastic and lengthy write-up this week in The Wall Street Journal.... The Occupational Board Reform Act (L.B. 299) would change the incentive structure and process by which Nebraska decides the most rational and least restrictive way to ensure consumer safety without unduly harming people's ability to work.

"The state has been interested in 'chipping away at occupational licenses one by one' for a while, Ebke said.... Then last year she 'was approached by the Institute for Justice to see if I would be interested in carrying some model legislation they had put together, and I was very interested.'

"One of the more colorful case studies, described in the Journal story, involves massaging horses, which leaves you open in Nebraska to a possible four years in jail and a $35,000 fine if you do it unlicensed.... Ebke saw it as a teachable moment: 'Does it make sense,' she asked her colleagues, 'to demand a license to give a rubdown to a 1,200-pound creature?'

"The final vote on the measure is expected next week, and Ebke is confident it will make it to the governor's desk and be signed. One of her main allies in the process is a Nebraska-based free market think tank, the Platte Institute, founded by the sitting governor Pete Ricketts.

"Being a Libertarian, Ebke says, has likely helped the bill's so-far positive prospects. 'Most of the co-sponsors are Republicans,' she says, but 'the fact that I'm not a Republican allows some of the more liberal members of the body to come and talk to me." She says she's found such members willing to work on getting the bill into a shape that they can support, 'and their willingness to do so speaks to the fact that a lot of times I have been with them' on issues where Republicans were not.

"Ebke is also proud that the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has been an enthusiastic proponent of the bill, largely because of how it deals with how difficult current occupational licensing laws can make it for those with criminal records to find meaningful work.... As the Journal notes, 'Recidivism rates are lower in states where former criminals can find gainful employment.'

"In arguing for the bill, Ebke has found that some citizens are 'very protectionist and want to protect their [existing] licenses,' but many Nebraskans are excited for a chance to do meaningful productive work without jumping through unnecessary and expensive hoops."

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

MA cannabis rules allow cafes, craft cultivation

Massachusetts Is The New Testbed For Cannabis Legalization - Kris Kane, Forbes:

April 10, 2018 - "Massachusetts, whose residents voted in 2016 to legalize cannabis for adult use, is on the cusp of implementing experimental, never-before-seen rules that will be closely watched by both the cannabis industry and regulators around the country.

"Last month, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, the regulatory agency tasked with overseeing the rollout and implementation of Massachusetts’ new adult-use cannabis industry, released the final rules that will govern the market.... Many of the rules have been seen before (child-resistant packaging requirements; separate licenses for cultivators, producers, and retailers; etc.) What’s noteworthy about Massachusetts’ new rules, though, are the ones that have never been tried before and could serve as a blueprint for other states....

"Massachusetts is seeking to ... rectify ... some of the social injustices that have been a result of marijuana prohibition.... Nearly 80% of people in federal prison for drug offences and almost 60% in state prison are black or latino.... And yet, for the most part, people of color and people who have convictions for non-violent cannabis offenses have so far been largely excluded from meaningful participation in the new cannabis economy....

"[T]he state has eliminated the vertical-integration requirement of the medical program, which mandated that all businesses must produce the products sold in their dispensaries.... The commission decided to not only split these into separate cultivation, production, and dispensary licenses, but also to create sub-licenses for cultivation facilities of different sizes. Under these rules, an entrepreneur wanting to open a smaller cultivation/production facility will have to pay some of the lowest registration fees in the country.... The commission will also allow these small 'craft' cultivators to cultivate collectively, meaning that they can pool resources to achieve economies of scale....

"It is important to note that these provisions ... did not happen in a vacuum. Commissioner Shaleen Title, one of the five commissioners ... is a veteran drug policy reformer. Shaleen founded a chapter of NORML/Students for Sensible Drug Policy as an undergrad in college in the early 2000s, worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (now Law Enforcement Action Partners), and ... went on to form a staffing company, THC Staffing.... It goes to show how important it is that people who have spent their careers advocating for sensible marijuana policies have a seat at the table as regulators, and not have these positions left solely to lifelong bureaucrats, attorneys, and businesspeople....

"The state will also be closely watched as one of the first in the country to roll out 'social consumption' licenses for businesses to allow customers to consume marijuana on-site.... Within a few years cannabis consumers will not only be able to indulge at their favorite dispensary, but could be able to enjoy cannabis at a cafe, movie theater, or yoga studio."

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ont. Libertarian runs in Haliburton to grow party

Libertarian candidate hopes to grow party - Chad Ingram, Minden Times:

April 12, 2018 - "Gene Balfour is well aware his chances of becoming the next MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock are less than slim. 'I know I’m not going to Queen’s Park,' says Balfour, the Ontario Libertarian Party’s candidate for the riding.

"A recently retired professional recruiter, Balfour, a longtime Thornhill resident, now resides in Fenelon Falls with his wife, a retired school principal.

"Balfour was first introduced to the Ontario Libertarian Party more than a decade ago, when he crashed one of the party’s meetings.... He found that he agreed with the party’s ideals, and has now run half a dozen elections under its banner and is party chairman. Balfour is eager to share the Libertarian philosophy with residents of HKLB.

"The pillars of the Libertarian platform are personal freedoms, fewer regulations, less taxation and smaller government.

"'Libertarians defend and protect each individual person – that’s body, mind and efforts – and his or her property – that’s anything of value – from unwanted and intentional aggression or harm inflicted by others, including those in government,' Balfour says....

"Balfour says the mainstream parties are all the same, enticing voters with promises to fix the province’s problems, but never doing so, and in the meantime growing the size of government and racking up debt....

"Balfour points to the province’s myriad regulations, of which he says there are some 380,000, and stresses all of these regulations need to be enforced, meaning more and more people need to be hired... 'That’s doubled in the last 25 years,' he says of the number of regulations....

"What’s more, Balfour says many of those policies are in place to give the province a monopoly, not just over the sale of alcohol and soon, marijuana, but everything from education to health care. 'We have to eliminate regulations that provide power for government to run monopolies,' he says....

"To learn more about the Ontario Libertarian Party and its platform, visit"

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

U.S. registered Liberarians up 92% from 2008

Inside the Beltway: New Libertarian motto: 'Don't tread on me' - Washington Times - Jennifer Harper:

April 9, 2018 - "The national Libertarian Party appears pretty cheerful these days. The organization is busy planning its four-day national convention in New Orleans in late June, where the event theme is 'I’m that Libertarian!'....

"Libertarian leadership has news for members, undecided voters, the news media and the major-party competitors. The number of U.S. voters registered as Libertarian has surged by 92 percent since 2008 according to Ballot Access News, which tracks such trends. Interest in the Republican and Democratic parties is down according to the same source — thus making Libertarians the "fastest growing" political party in the nation, their leaders reason....

"There are currently 619 Libertarian candidates on state and local ballots this year, and the party has attained all-important ballot access in 39 sates. There are Libertarians who already hold elective office — 158 to be exact.

"'The grassroots energy we are seeing in 2018 is amazing,' observes Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark, who is running for mayor of Phoenix himself and warns that both major political parties spend too much, and voters are anxious about the national debt, foreign civil wars and other issues.

"'Democrats and Republicans are in denial that we have a problem. Libertarians recognize both the problems and the necessary solutions, and have the courage to ask the American people to let our candidates for public office help restore freedom and sanity,' says Mr. Sarwark.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

No 2nd amendment right to own assault weapon, U.S. judge rules

Second Amendment Does Not Apply to 'Assault Weapons,' Says U.S. District Judge - Hit & Run : - Brian Doherty:

April 6, 2016 - "Relying on certain stated or implied limitations on the weapons to which the Second Amendment applied in Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in D.C. v. Heller (2008), U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young this week granted summary judgment to Massachusetts in a lawsuit challenging a 1998 state law that emulated the federal government's 1994 ban on certain weapons it characterized as "assault weapons." The federal ban expired in 2004 but the Massachusetts version remained in effect....

"David Worman et al argued that a 1998 Massachusetts state law that banned certain types of semi-automatic rifles and certain sized magazines violated their Second Amendment rights (and that a later attempt to apply the ban to other weapons not specifically listed originally but now considered to be illegitimate "copies or duplicates" constituted a 14th Amendment violation of due process)

"In his decision in Worman v. Baker, Judge Young declared that 'assault weapons and LCMs [large capacity magazines] are not within the scope of the personal right to "bear arms" under the Second Amendment'....

"Scalia said in Heller that some weapons of primarily military use would not necessarily be covered by the Second Amendment.... Young believes that qualities of the weapons and magazines covered by the challenged law mark them as of primarily military use....

"Young grants that 'assault weapons' under the Massachusetts regulations certainly are commonly used in America; nonetheless, such 'present day popularity is not constitutionally material'.... [Yet] Scalia wrote elsewhere in Heller, while attempting to reconcile his opinion with the 1939 Miller precedent, that:
We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns. That accords with the historical understanding of the scope of the right.
"That statement — though no more 'the words of our constitution' than Scalia's aside about the ability to ban guns 'most useful in military service' — gives weight to the plaintiffs' belief that a weapon like the AR-15, for example, which is very much 'typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purpose' and is not in weapon terms especially 'dangerous and unusual' should be protected, despite Judge Young's interpretation."

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Joseph Brodsky's idea of free poetry

by George J. Dance

I have no problems with people immigrating here to escape bad stuff in their native countries; but a sore point with me is the few who try to bring some of that bad stuff with them. That sore got poked this weekend while I was working on my poetry wiki, formatting the article on Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky.

Brodsky was born and grew up in Leningrad in the then Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). At age 15 he began writing and translating poetry, which he would circulate in samizdat ("self-published") manuscripts or typescripts among his friends. He would also join other poets in giving free, impromptu streetcorner readings, further adding to his reputation.

However, Brodsky was not able to have his work published. From 1955 to 1972 (when he was exiled from the U.S.S.R.) he had just a handful of poems appear in Soviet anthologies. He had no poetry collections published in the country. Nor did he ever appear at any organized poetry performances. Why not? Because the government controlled all of the book publishing, and all of the performance events, and the government did not want his work read or heard. Brodsky could not get around that prohibition by taking his work to a competitor, because there were no competitors.

Brodsky was not the only poet frozen out by the state; Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Osip's wife Nadezhda, all had their careers warped in the same way. For Brodsky, though, the Soviets found a way to compound the injury: because he was not being published, he was arrested, tried, and briefly imprisoned in a labor camp for "parasitism".

Fortunately for Brodsky, enough of his work had been smuggled out to the capitalist west that his books were being published there; so that when he was forced into exile, he found a reputation and funds waiting for him. He quickly got a professorship in the United States, where he settled, eventually becoming U.S. Poet Laureate in 1991.

Besides his ceremonial duties, the U.S. Poet Laureate traditionally creates his own public project. What was Brodsky's? "During his term as the Poet Laureate, Brodsky promoted the idea of bringing the Anglo-American poetic heritage to a wider American audience by distributing free poetry anthologies to the public through a government-sponsored program." That program never materialized; but what if it had?

Poetry, as Brodsky noted, is not widely read in the U.S. Few if any poetry anthologies turn a profit on sales to the public. What makes them profitable to publishers is the sales to educational institutions that assign them to their students. Now imagine that the government enters the field with an anthology that it gives away free; whether one it prints itself, or a privately published one that it selects, makes no difference. How many schools and universites, faced with the choice of buying 100's of expensive books or getting similar ones for free, would choose the first option? Very few; but that would be the only market left for every competitor to the program. Even sales to the public would be cut for those competitors, if readers could simply pick up a free anthology instead. The result would be the government anthology monopolizing the market.

Anthologies are a way for readers to read a poet's work before buying, and therefore for new poets to reach and build an audience. Under Brodsky's plan, only those selected by the government program would have that opportunity; the rest would have their careers shut down, just as his was shut down by his native government's control of the means of publication.

Of course Brodsky would never be excluded from the government anthology today. Who would? Well, that is the problem: we would never know. Those prevented from publishing, due to the government monopoly, might be free to launch limited careers; but many of them would simply not be heard at all: and we would have no way to even know who they were.

I find it amazing that someone like Brodsky, victimized for years because of a state-monopolized press, would propose taking even the tiniest step to instantiating a similar monopoly in his adopted country.

Reference: "Joseph Brodsky," Penny's Poetry Pages, April 8, 2018. Web, April 8, 2018.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

John Bright, 19th-century voice for liberty

John Bright Was the Voice of Victorian Liberalism - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world - Nicholas Elliott:

April 5, 2018 - "John Bright did more than anyone else to bring about the great advances for liberty in 19th-century Britain. A leading orator and agitator, he was considered by many to be the best political speaker of the century. His voice contained a quiet passion which captivated fellow members of Parliament and roused the many thousands he addressed at public meetings."

"Bright is most famous for his part in the successful campaign for the repeal of the corn laws. During the Napoleonic War, English landowners had enjoyed a monopoly in the production of food. At the end of the war, they instituted the corn laws — a form of import control — to protect their domestic monopoly from competition. The laws kept the price of grain high, and since bread was the primary sustenance for most families, the laws created particular hardship for the poor. The issue had been brewing for some time. Charles Villiers had proposed corn law repeal in Parliament every year, and the Anti-Corn Law League was formed in Manchester in 1839. Richard Cobden and John Bright were instrumental in its founding....

"The League developed into a highly efficient political machine with mass support. They distributed millions of leaflets, held gatherings up and down the country, and published their own newspaper.... Leading Whigs and Tories were convinced of the need for repeal, and on June 25, 1846, a bill for repeal was carried. The elimination of other import duties followed, and a 70-year era of British free trade began; in the popular mind, free trade now signified cheap bread....

"In his activity in support of free trade, Bright was motivated above all by a concern for the plight of ordinary people. From the same motive, he opposed all the legislation which regulated working conditions in factories. The Factory Act of 1847 was in part a retaliation by the landowners for the corn law repeal: regulation of factories was a means of penalizing manufacturers. Bright was certain that it would make people worse off by reducing the number of hours in which they could earn money....

"For Bright, Cobden, and other leaders of the 'Manchester School,' free trade was inseparable from a pacific foreign policy.... They rejected the argument that foreign alliances were needed to enforce a “balance of power” in Europe, and warned that such alliances would drag Britain into future conflicts. The only people who would benefit from war were the 'tax-eating' class — government bureaucrats. Common people would suffer from the burden of taxes to fund foreign adventures....

"In the 1860s, Bright led a vigorous campaign for full manhood suffrage, secret ballots, and equal representation for industrial cities like Birmingham and Manchester.... He was somewhat naive in supposing that a mass franchise would lead to low taxes, free trade, and a non-interventionist foreign policy....

"Bright lived from 1811 to 1889, and when looking at the political events during those years, the advance of liberal principles is quite momentous. In 1819, when demonstrators protested against the corn laws and the lack of parliamentary representation, they were cut down by a cavalry charge. As late as 1859, Queen Victoria expressed her concern to Lord Palmerston that John Bright was attempting to undermine British institutions. Yet by 1868, when Bright became the first Nonconformist to hold a cabinet post, he was respected, as were the principles he enunciated.

"In the campaign against the corn laws, he helped to establish free trade as a popular principle which no politician would dare to interfere with for years to come. His stand with Cobden against the Crimean War inspired a later generation of liberals to follow the idea of non-intervention. Opening up Parliament to the scrutiny of ordinary people marked an end to the high-handed government of earlier times. In these, as in many other issues, John Bright, as a consistent and principled defender of individual liberty, imparted a widespread and lasting acceptance of liberal politics."

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Atlantic mag fires pro-life columnist for tweet

By Firing Kevin Williamson,The Atlantic Shows It Can't Handle Real Ideological Diversity - Hit & Run : - :

April 5, 2018 - "Kevin Williamson has been fired from The Atlantic. Since leaving National Review in March, the conservative writer has managed to produce just one column at his new perch, in which he declared the death of the libertarian moment.

"But the thing that cost him the gig was a remark he made on a podcast well before his firing and in a tweet (since deleted [UPDATE: Williamson notes that his account is deactivated, not that this specific tweet was deleted]): 'And someone challenged me on my views on abortion, saying, "If you really thought it was a crime, you would support things like life in prison, no parole, for treating it as a homicide." And I do support that. In fact, as I wrote, what I had in mind was hanging.'

"Williamson expressed the view that abortion is murder and should be punished to the full extent of the law (although he also later indicated that he has mixed feelings about capital punishment). I do not share his view. But by declaring Williamson to be outside the Overton window of acceptable political discourse because he believes strongly that abortion is a serious, punishable crime, The Atlantic is essentially declaring that it cannot stomach real, mainstream conservatism as it actually exists in 21st century America.

"Williamson uses colorful and sometimes rash language. He didn't have to detail the grisly form of punishment he would inflict on women who decide to terminate their pregnancies. He chose to do so because he enjoys provoking a reaction. But The Atlantic knew that about him before it hired him.

"Editor Jeffrey Goldberg says he decided to fire Williamson only after learning that the tweet and podcast quote 'represented his carefully considered views.' But the underlying logic of Williamson's pro-life position is a view shared by roughly half or at least 40 percent of Americans.

"It is, of course, the perfect right of The Atlantic's editors to publish whomever they wish. Reason staffers are all libertarian, under a big-tent understanding of that term (not to brag, but we are repping the pro-life view). That's written into our mission as a magazine. But if The Atlantic purports to capture a broad spectrum of American political views, Williamson's firing is a sign that it hasn't yet figured out how to do so. And the reader outcry against him ... is a sign of a market that has grown increasingly squeamish about a genuinely inclusive journalistic vision."

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Libertarians get rep on MT co. election committee

Libertarian Party, college student to get seat on Missoula County's Election Advisory Committee ~ Missoula Current - Martin Kidston:

April 4, 2018 - "Missoula County commissioners approved changes to the by-laws governing the Election Advisory Committee on Wednesday, though the newly created positions will have to wait for a vacancy.

"The seven-member committee, currently comprised of several at-large members and one representative from both the Democratic and Republican parties, will be joined by a member of the Libertarian Party and a student representative from higher education.....

"The EAC is comprised of seven citizen volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to study the efficiency and effectiveness of the electoral process. The stated goals include advocating for fair and open elections and increased public participation.

"The committee has included one member from both the Democratic and Republican parties, though they’ll be joined by the Libertarian Party when a vacancy opens.

"'They (EAC) felt a party that has a central committee should have a seat,' [Dori] Brownlow, [director of the county’s development district], said. 'The number of members on the EAC will stay the same. When they have a vacancy, they’ll ensure it’s filled by those new members.'"

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

NS wants $25K fine for cannabis dispensaries under "legalization"

Province sets fines for recreational cannabis legalization -

April 3, 2018 - "The province has introduced its outline for how recreational cannabis will be regulated once legalized by the federal government later this year.

"The bill outlines the sale, distribution, purchase, possession, cultivation, propagation and harvesting of pot.

"Nova Scotians 19 and over will only be allowed to buy the product from the NSLC, can possess 30 grams in public, and grow up to 4 plants at home.

"There are proposed fines of up to $10,000 for illegal sales or distribution to those under 19.

"The punishment is even more severe for illegal dispensaries with fines of up to $25,000, and Justice minister Mark Furey pointed out they are just as illegal today as they will be when the act passes.

"'I believe now our law enforcement community will be able to act with confidence and take progressive steps to address the illicit or illegal dispensaries,' he said.

"Those under 19 in possession of less than five grams would be fined no more than $150 and have the cannabis seized.

"A focus of the legislation is on driving high - much of the enforcement will rely on field sobriety testing, with blood tests possible as well.

"The fine for consumption of cannabis in a vehicle, including motorized boats, could be fined up to $2,000."

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Oxford gains Ontario Libertarian candidate

Libertarian's announce Oxford candidate | Tillsonburg News - Chris Funton, Woodstock Sentinel-Review:

March 29, 2018 - "The Libertarian Party of Ontario has announced that Woodstock's Chris Swift will represent them in Oxford in June's provincial election.

"Swift is a full-time parent of two children with experience in the auto manufacturing, retail, service and entertainment industries. He currently serves as the Secretary on the Executive Committee for the Ontario Libertarian Party....

"'I believe that the status quo no longer has any interest in serving the people that help to elect them,' said Swift. 'One thing I keep hearing from people in Oxford is that they can not in good conscience, or faith, continue to vote for swollen government or status quo policies and wasteful spending.'

"To change that he, along with the Libertarian Party, look to offer more freedom of choice, individual and property rights and liberty. Long-time platforms of the party include seeing all individuals and businesses keep more of the money they earn along with having more private options to compete with government run entities....

"There are three main concerns coming into the June 7 election that Swift hopes to change: hydro rates, healthcare and jobs.

"To help improve hydro rates, Libertarians look to repeal the Green Energy Act, eliminate time-of-use billing, remove subsidized power from the grid and end, what Swift says are,
'discriminatory delivery charges which are currently crushing rural residents.'

"For jobs, Swift says he would also repeal 'the job-killing' carbon tax, end corporate taxation outright save for HST and end corporate welfare by eliminating subsidized grants and loans for corporations.

"Libertarians also seek to have more private healthcare options to compete along side government entities. With offering more choice, they believe that this would bring costs and waiting times down while strengthen the economy. They would also offer an average per-person healthcare funding, which is attached to the individual and not OHIP, while giving people the freedom of choice to switch between the two by giving OHIP 90-days notice."

"The Libertarians are hosting a pub night at Charles Dickens in Woodstock ... on April 10 7-10 p.m. ... and those interested or who have any questions are welcome to attend." To view the Libertarian Party of Ontario's full platform or for more information on Oxford candidate Chris Swift, visit"

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Utah lets children walk to school by themselves

Utah Gives Parents the Right to Parent | Intellectual Takeout - Kerry Macdonald:

March 29, 2018 - "For parents in Utah, it is now legal for their children to walk or bike to and from school without an accompanying adult. They can also let their kids play outside unsupervised, and be allowed to stay at home unattended.

"These newfound freedoms are the result of the 'Free-Range Parenting Bill,' unanimously passed by the Utah legislature and recently signed into law by Utah governor, Gary R. Herbert. Utah’s law is said to be the first of its kind in the nation.

"State officials and lawmakers told the Washington Post that authorities in Utah were 'not in the business' of arresting parents who allowed their children to roam freely, but lawmakers felt compelled to pass the legislation after Child Protective Service in other states opened criminal cases against parents who did....

"We likely walked to school on our own, played outside in our neighborhoods without adults watching, and stayed at home from time to time while our parents were away.... Increasingly, these parenting practices are considered suspect, and even criminalized. The high-profile 2015 case of the Meitiv family in Maryland brought national attention to this issue when the parents were indicted by Child Protective Services for allowing their children to walk home together from a park without an adult. They were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, but the incident revealed just how much has changed....

"Parents increasingly get caught up in a government dragnet of child protective services for exercising standard parental judgment.It’s a sad commentary on American childhood when we need laws to protect parents from persecution for letting their kids walk, play, or stay unsupervised. But if that’s what it takes, then call your legislators."

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Publisher redoes Atlas Shrugged for kids

There's now a kids' version of Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged" for your libertarian third grader — Quartzy - Oliver Staley:

November 30, 2017 - "If you feel fiction for middle schoolers is altogether lacking in its celebration of free-market principles, there’s a solution: a kid’s version of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s monumental novel of Objectivist philosophy.

"In The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas, a frustrated strong man leaves a circus beset by socialism, and the plucky Tuttle twins learn important lessons about production and consumption. The antagonist is a lazy clown named Kroogie, named for liberal economist Paul Krugman.

"If it sounds a bit heavy handed, its publisher, the Utah-based Libertas Institute think tank, makes no apologies about its intent to produce ideologically suitable content for kids. 'Each year, hundreds of millions of children are spoon-fed false history, bad economics, and logical fallacies. Your child is not immune,' according to the book’s website.

"The Search for Atlas was written by Connor Boyack, Libertas’s founder, and a home-schooling father of two, who says on the site he was frustrated by his inability to find material 'that teaches young children about the principles of freedom. There was nothing!' (Boyack is fan of  italics). Boyack has written six other similarly themed Tuttle Twin books, including The Road to Surfdom, a surfing-inspired riff on The Road to Serfdom, by Austrian economist F.A. Hayek."

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