Thursday, May 31, 2018

Libertarians petition against dispensary ban in Collier co., Florida

Libertarian Party petitions for medical marijuana dispensaries in Collier County - Fox 4 Now WFTX Fort Myers/Cape Coral - Karl Fortier:

May 30, 2018 - "A political party frustrated with the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in one Southwest Florida county is fighting back. The Libertarian Party of Collier County has started [an] online petition that they hope will pressure county leaders to allow the dispensaries, after Florida voters said yes to legalizing medical marijuana.

"Rob Tolp, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Collier County ... believes that medical marijuana helps people with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

"'My son-in-law being one, who is 100% disabled from PTSD,' Tolp said. "I know from many of my friends, (medical marijuana) helps them greatly."

"Last week, Collier County commissioners voted to ban dispensaries for the controversial drug - at least for now.

"'It was almost a consensus that we would look at this again in 6 months, to see if the state has given us any additional information or guidance in this,' said commissioner Penny Taylor.

"The Collier Libertarian Party hopes their petition, on, will pressure the board of commissioners to take action sooner....

"Taylor said the county isn't denying access to medical marijuana completely, saying that it can still be delivered or purchased from dispensaries in neighboring Lee County....

"Alex Popoff, a veteran who claims medical marijuana helps him with shooting pain from his sciatic nerve, wants commissioners to listen to Florida voters - 71% of whom were in favor of allowing it in Florida. 'People made their voices heard, and we're going to continue to make them heard,' he said....

"As of Wednesday evening, over 600 people had signed the online petition on"

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Libertarian runs in Timmins Ont. to build support

Candidate hopes to build support for Libertarians | Timmins Press - Ron Grech:

"Jozef Bauer concedes one of his biggest challenges on the campaign trail is having to explain what the heck a Libertarian is and what the party stands for. Bauer, a resident of Iroquois Falls, is the Ontario Libertarian Party candidate running in Timmins riding.

"'Some people when they hear the party name, they stop listening and think, "Oh, so you’re with the Liberals," and I have to say, "No, we’re Libertarians."'

"Libertarians support free market policies and lowering taxes by reducing both the size and intervening powers of government.

"The party believes, among other things, government should have no authority to impose regulations affecting the production, distribution and sale of any product or service.

"Bauer said a key area of concern for Libertarians is health care. 'Last year, 26,000 people left Ontario and Canada to get health-care elsewhere. That’s jobs that weren’t created in the health-care system. That’s people who couldn’t get the health-care that they deserve here at home. That’s wrong.'

"Bauer said the Libertarian Party supports the idea of people being able to use their OHIP to access private health-care services....

"Another key area of concern to Libertarians is the high cost of electricity in Ontario. Bauer said a Libertarian government would cut individual hydro bills by reducing delivery costs charged to property owners.... Another measure Libertarians would take is removing the debt reconciliation charge on hydro bills.

"Bauer said the three main parties in the province – the Liberals, PC and NDP – encourage voters to maintain the status quo in Ontario [but] contrary to what those three parties claim, 'It’s not all good and it hasn’t been good for a while now. So things need to change. It was on that premise that I decided to run for the Libertarian Party, because we do need change.'"

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Paul and McCain oppose Trump's CIA pick

Rand’s rep as Senate rebel on the line - POLITICO - Burgess Everett:

May 14, 2018 - "Rand Paul is once again the talk of the Senate.... [W]ith the Senate preparing for a nail-biter on Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel, the chamber is abuzz over the latest will-he-or-won’t-he Rand guessing game. The libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator says he’s a hard 'no,' but Democrats and Republicans believe he may yet fold under pressure from Trump, as he did with Mike Pompeo for secretary of state.

""Paul had a simple answer when asked if he again can be persuaded by the president to support one of his crucial nominees: 'No.'

"'Someone who has been an active participant and enthusiast for torture is not someone who should represent America,' Paul said in an interview as he left the Senate for the week on Thursday.... In a POLITICO op-ed Friday, he criticized the CIA nominee for selectively releasing information about her record of harsh interrogation techniques on detainees and said 'that fact alone should be enough to cause the Senate [to] reject her nomination'....

"For Paul, it’s the latest test of his resolve in the face of enormous pressure from his party and the president to toe the party line....

"In February, Paul single-handedly caused a brief government shutdown by refusing to relent in his opposition to a budget deal, but then backed off before forcing a second one in March. In the case of Pompeo, he relented after being personally lobbied by the president....

"Paul does not serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will hold the first vote on Haspel’s nomination. Pompeo was first taken up by the Foreign Relations Committee, which Paul does sit on, and his opposition threatened an embarrassing 'unfavorable' vote by the panel.

"For now, Haspel is short of votes for confirmation. {Democratic Senators Joe] Manchin, an Intelligence Committee member, and [Joe] Donnelly support her. But other moderate Democrats ... are not yet behind her, and neither are Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

"Though he‘s unlikely to be present for the vote, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came out against Haspel last week over what he called her evasive responses to questions about the morality of torture, which he called 'disqualifying.' That marks one of the few times the hawkish McCain and libertarian-leaning Paul have agreed — McCain once called Paul 'wacko,' and Paul last year said McCain was 'unhinged' — on foreign policy."

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Ontario Libertarians run in all but 7 ridings

Ontario Election Party Profile: Libertarian Party - The Post Millennial - Mika Ryu:

May 26, 2018 - "The Ontario Libertarian Party, founded in 1975, are aiming to win their first ever seat in Queen’s Park. They are running far more candidates than in any previous Ontario general election. There are only 7 provincial ridings without a Libertarian candidate.

"Allen Small is fighting his second election as the leader of a party that has seen remarkable growth under his leadership. The party’s best showing in the last provincial election was 4th in Etobicoke North, getting more votes than the Greens in that riding.

"Government Spending - The Libertarian Party promises to balance the budget, and repay the provincial debt in 30 years. They want to do this by cutting grants and subsidies, including the dissolution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

"Previously, their platform stated they would sell all crown corporations, which would have included Hydro One. This year, their platform is markedly moderate, at least in tone and emphasis.

"Taxes - The Libertarian Party would scrap carbon pricing and any other government programs related to climate change. They would also eliminate the corporate tax and mandatory WSIB insurance. The Land Transfer Tax would be replaced with a flat fee (of $275).

"Environment & Hydro - The Libertarian Party claims that it will cut hydro rates 'in half'. They promise the repealing of the Green Energy Act, removal of subsidized power from the grid, termination of existing contracts for subsidized power generation, firing of all Liberal public appointees, and general deregulation measures.

"Healthcare - The Libertarian Party would allow non-government health insurance options, including for services already provided by OHIP. They would also allow healthcare professionals to practice for non-government healthcare providers."

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

SCOTUS OK's arbitration opt-out from NLRA

Neil Gorsuch and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Clash Over Federal Labor Law and the 'Specter' of Lochner v. New York - Hit & Run : - Damon Root:

May 21, 2018 - "'Should employees and employers be allowed to agree that any disputes between them will resolve through one-on-one arbitration? Or should employees always be permitted to bring their claims in class or collective actions, no matter what they agreed with their employers?'

"That's how Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch summarized the dispute at the heart of today's 5-4 ruling in Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis. Writing for a sharply divided Court, Gorsuch held that employees and employers have the legal right to make employment contracts that include one-on-one arbitration ... joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito....

"Under the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 (FAA), arbitration agreements made between employers and employees 'shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable' by the courts. Under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), employees have the right to form and join labor unions and 'to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.' In other words, if a labor contract that includes an individual arbitration agreement is valid under the FAA, does it become invalid when the NLRA is factored in?

"Justice Gorsuch thought not. 'In the Federal Arbitration Act, Congress has instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their terms — including terms providing for individualized proceedings,' he wrote. 'Nor can we agree with the employees' suggestion that the [NLRB] offers a conflicting command. It is this Court's duty to interpret Congress's statutes as a harmonious whole rather than at war with one another.'

"Writing in dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, offered a very different view. 'Enacted later in time, the NLRA should qualify as "an implied repeal" of the FAA, to the extent of any genuine conflict'....

"Ginsburg then accused Gorsuch of seeking to resurrect the Supreme Court's pre-New Deal 'Lochner-era contractual "liberty" decisions.' Lochner refers to Lochner v. New York, the 1905 Supreme Court ruling which invalidated a state economic regulation on the grounds that it served no legitimate public health or safety purpose.....

"In his majority opinion, Gorsuch responded directly to this critique. According to Ginsburg's dissent, he observed, 'today's decision ushers us back to the Lochner era when this Court regularly overrode legislative judgments.' Yet as Gorsuch retorted, 'instead of overriding Congress's policy judgments, today's decision seeks to honor them. This much the dissent surely knows.'"

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Billions spent on schooling show dismal results, U.S. National Assessment finds

Regressive Education | Liberty Unbound - Wayland Hunter:

May 22, 2018 - "Amid the current idolization of teenagers’ political activity, it may be interesting to consider the latest report on American students’ intellectual proficiency. It’s the results of tests conducted on the reading and math skills of eighth graders for the National Assessment of Educational Progress in the US Department of Education....

"[T]he dismal results of these tests have received little attention since they were announced on April 10.... One useful summary appears in an item on the conservative news site CNS. There’s no conservative spin in the story; there doesn’t need to be. The fact is as simple as CNS puts it: 'Sixty-five percent of the eighth graders in American public schools in 2017 were not proficient in reading and 67 percent were not proficient in mathematics'....

"But what does reading proficiency mean? In terms used by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, 'Eighth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to provide relevant information and summarize main ideas and themes. They should be able to make and support inferences about a text, connect parts of a text, and analyze text features. Students performing at this level should also be able to fully substantiate judgments about content and presentation of content'....

"Even the Voice of America’s bland presentation ... indicates that proficiency tends to decline with schooling: 'About 40 percent of 4th graders were found to be proficient in reading and math. The report found just 25 percent of 12th grade students had math proficiency, while 37 percent reached that level in reading. In science, 38 percent of 4th graders were rated proficient, while about 34 percent of 8th graders demonstrated proficiency.'

"It costs something to promote this ignorance. The NCES data show that California (to cite one example) spends $70.5 billion on its public schools, or about $11,300 for each student. The result is that only 32% of its eighth graders are proficient in reading, and only 29% are proficient in math....

"Maybe the students are smarter than their elders, after all. The elders pay their useless taxes without demur, but I doubt that even the student leaders would be willing to plunk down 11 grand a year for the education that fits them for their public roles."

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Burlington Libertarian frustrated with other parties

Burlington's Libertarian candidate wants to reduce debt, increase access to health care | - Tim Whitnell, Burlington Post:

May 15, 2018 - "He’s pretty much voted for the spectrum of parties in various provincial and federal elections over the years but for Jim Gilchrist, none of them ever met his expectations.

"A downtown resident since 1989, Gilchrist now sides with the Libertarian party and has opted to run for it in the Burlington riding for the June 7 provincial election.

The married father of two grown sons owned and operated Career Advancement Employment Services Inc. for more than 20 years. Gilchrist is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a joint honours bachelors of environmental studies and political science degree....

"Gilchrist says the Ontario Libertarian Party’s principles and platform, focusing on the protection of individual rights and limiting the role and scope of government, most closely represent his views.

"His website profile states,
  • “When trying to decide between political candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality, and I found that most seemed more interested in getting a job than having a real impact once they were ‘hired’.
  • “ … None of them seemed to be interested in fiscal responsibility, lowering taxpayer burden, increasing government efficiency, reducing bureaucracy and providing more effective service to the people of Ontario …
  • “ … While we were once the ‘economic engine’ of Canada, we have now become an unattractive business environment with a substantial debt that will hinder us for years to come.
  • “ … We can expect that future important services for Ontarians will decline, simply because we will no longer be able to afford them …”
"Other issues important to Gilchrist include: encouraging more political awareness and involvement, especially in young Ontarians; reducing the provincial debt; stimulating business growth, investment and job creation; reasonable energy costs for families and businesses; and more choice and greater access to health care."

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Des Moines paper endorses in Libertarian primary

The Register endorses Jake Porter in Libertarian primary for governor - Des Moine Register, editorial:

May 23, 2018 = "The Libertarian Party of Iowa gained major-party status under Iowa law two years ago by winning more than 2 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential race. Being a major party ... means Iowa voters, when they vote early or head to the polls on June 5, can choose to vote in the Libertarian Party primary.

"There are also significant disadvantages, especially a struggle for exposure. That’s one reason why the Des Moines Register editorial board decided to make an endorsement in the Libertarian primary race.

"We conducted a joint interview with the two candidates:
  • Marco Battaglia is a Des Moines native who studied communications at the University of Northern Iowa. He’s a musician who has worked as a journalist as well as in insurance, banking and home mortgage businesses.
  • Jake Porter is a business consultant from Council Bluffs and a former retail manager. He has an associate degree and bachelor's degree in business from AIB College of Business.  He said he’s been a member of the Libertarian Party since he was 16 years old and helped establish the party in Iowa.
"We were pleased to hear the two candidates adopt many priorities that we support.... However, both candidates also take positions that we consider untenable. Battaglia says he wants to phase out the income tax.... Porter ... says he eventually would like to see the state sales tax phased out.... We can’t envision endorsing any candidate in the general election who wants to severely narrow the options for funding priorities like schools and health care.

"But we do think one of these candidates is a better spokesman for the Libertarian Party of Iowa and stands a better chance of helping maintain major-party status than the other. For that reason, the Register endorses Jake Porter....

"Battaglia should be commended for his interest in public service and the civility he’s shown on the campaign trail. But his rambling speaking style and occasional inability to articulate details of his priority proposals would put him at a severe disadvantage compared with major-party candidates.

"Porter’s experience and clearer articulation of his positions make him better able to make a case for his party in the fall. He is the better choice for Iowa Libertarians who hope to maintain their major-party status."

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Niagara Ontario Libertarian runs for more choices

Libertarian candidate for Niagara Centre pushing for small government | -
Dave Johnson, Welland Tribune:

May 22, 2018 - "Patrick Pietruszko said he's tired of the government expanding while the average person's life is getting harder. That's why he's running as the Niagara Centre candidate for the Libertarian Party in June's provincial election.

"'It is the only party that is offering people of Ontario something different.... It is the only party fighting for more choices when it comes to health care and education,' said the married father of three who owns a landscaping business.

"He said unlike the other parties that take money from people and then dangle it back as election gifts during election time, Libertarians think it is best if people keep as much of their own money in their own pockets.

"'The Libertarian party will allow non-government insurance options in addition to OHIP. People are leaving Ontario all the time to get treatment in other countries.'

"Education is another area, he said, where the party would allow non-government options and more choice. 'A one-sized school system does not fit all children. Some children thrive better if they learn at home or at a private school'

"He urged people who do not vote because they are tired of big government to ... 'vote for the party that will bring real change by shrinking the size and scope of government. The Libertarian Party is fighting against big government so that you can have more choices and more freedom in this province."

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Student group Turning Point comes to Canada

Canadian offshoot of U.S. libertarian campus group says it provides needed counterpoint to liberal bias | CBC News - Raffy Boudjikanian:

May 22, 2018 - "Some U.S. academics are warning their Canadian counterparts to be wary of a U.S. libertarian group that has recently set up a chapter on the campus of Simon Fraser University, but its proponents say it provides a much-needed counterpoint to the increasingly liberal bias of academia.

"Turning Point USA describes itself as a 'student movement for free markets and limited government' whose mission it is to educate students through 'non-partisan debate, dialogue, and discussion.'

"But it has courted controversy in the U.S. on account of some of its tactics. These include disseminating a "professor watch list" of university teachers whom the group considers to be spreading "leftist propaganda" in the classroom; staging provocative stunts mocking campus "safe spaces" and free speech zones; and hosting polarizing figures of the far right, such as Milo Yiannopoulos.

"'They will videotape you. They will perhaps have people in your classroom to take a class to ask certain questions, to get a video clip that they can send to ... their own news website,' said Matthew Boedy, assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of North Georgia....

"Those who started the Canadian offshoot say it takes no cues from its American counterpart. 'They have not told us what do. They just kind of let us do as we please,' said Wayd Miller, the national chair.... Miller said Turning Point Canada receives no money from its U.S. counterpart and is entirely self-funded.

"For now, Turning Point Canada is registered as a club at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., but Miller said the group has plans to expand to several Ontario campuses in the fall, including McMaster University in Hamilton and Ryerson University in Toronto.... Miller said each campus chapter of Turning Point Canada will be free to do as it pleases....

"Turning Point Canada appears to have a tangential connection to the federal Conservative Party by way of one of its co-founders, Charlie Beldman, who currently works as a member's assistant at the Ottawa office of Tory Leader Andrew Scheer.... When asked about Beldman's involvement, Miller said, "Charlie hasn't had anything to do with us since he started his job with the Conservatives [last summer]'....

"The president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers ... said the arrival of Turning Point in Canada caught his attention primarily because of the professor watch list in the U.S. 'That's an attack on academic freedom," he said of the watch list.... We don't have a problem with controversial speakers.... That's how the academy grows, with vigorous debate.'"

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Perth-Wellington Libertarian wants less regulation

Scott Marshall running on the Libertarian ticket | Stratford Beacon Herald - Galen Simmons:

May 18, 2018 - "As the Ontario Libertarian Party’s campaign director and an independent business consultant, Scott Marshall knows a thing or two about rooting out the waste in an organization.

"Using only about a third of the budget of the other major parties, Marshall – who is also running as his party’s candidate in Perth Wellington – and his staff have managed to fund election campaigns in 117 of the province’s 124 electoral districts.

"And as a candidate, the Wellington County resident and inventor of the board game “Hitchiker” wants to bring the notion of cutting wasteful spending to government.

"'Big government is a problem, not necessarily the solution,' Marshall said. 'We’ve got 360, 380 thousand regulations in Ontario and every single one of those regulations have a cost involved, whether it be establishing them, policing them, overseeing them. It adds cost to everything we do.'

"As a business consultant, Marshall has seen first-hand how these regulations have made owning and operating a small business costly and confusing. Marshall said he wants to make it easier for those willing to take the risk of opening a small business to pursue their dreams.

"Yet ... Marshall said the Libertarians’ plans are less about cutting and more about streamlining....

"Citing health care as an example, Marshall said that despite a $61.3 billion budget for 2018-2019, more than half of that money is spent in bureaucracy and administration, while floors in hospitals across the province remain closed because there aren’t enough nurses to staff them.

"'Meanwhile, there are multiple levels of administration and bureaucracy overseeing everything,' he said. 'You talk to a nurse in an ER, and they will tell you in an eight-hour shift, they will end up doing three hours of paperwork, when they should be looking after patients, to satisfy the administrative and bureaucratic requirements of government.'"

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Bitcoin and climate change (I)

Devourer of Worlds: Bitcoin’s energy use got studied, and you libertarian nerds look even worse than usual | Grist - Eric Holthaus:

May 17, 2018 - "Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since ... six months ago. It’s expected to double again by the end of the year, according to a new peer-reviewed study out Wednesday. And if that happens, bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity, about as much as the Netherlands.

"That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy....

"Beyond its tentative success ... bitcoin has an increasingly real-world cost. The process of 'mining' for coins requires a globally distributed computer network racing to solve math problems — and also helps keep any individual transaction confidential and tamper-proof. That, in turn, requires an ever-escalating arms race of computing power — and electricity use — which, at the moment, has no end in sight. A single bitcoin transaction is so energy intensive that it could power the average U.S. household for a month.

"A fluctuating bitcoin price, along with increases in computer efficiency, has slowed the cryptocurrency’s energy footprint growth rate to 'just' 20 percent per month so far in this year. If that keeps up, bitcoin would consume all the world’s electricity by January 2021.

"That simply won’t happen — government regulators would surely come to their senses by then — but it is a sign of bitcoin’s disastrous growth rate....

"It’s a telling social phenomenon of late capitalism that we are willing to construct elaborate computer networks to conduct secure transactions with each other — and in the process torpedoing our hopes at a clean energy future."

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Also read: Bitcoin and climate change (II)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bitcoin and climate change (II)

No, Bitcoin Won't Boil the Oceans - Bloomberg - Elaine Ou:
Concerns about the cryptocurrency's energy use are overblown.

December 7, 2017 - "While much of the world marvels at bitcoin’s meteoric rise, another part is focused on an environmental byproduct: The sheer amount of electricity that crypto-currencies use. By some estimates, bitcoin’s consumption alone exceeds -- or will exceed -- that of Ireland, Denmark, Japan or even the entire world....

"Digital currency is wasteful by design. Bitcoin 'miners,' who process transactions in return for new currency, must race to solve extremely difficult cryptographic puzzles. This computational burden helps keep the transaction record secure -- by raising the bar for anyone who would want to tamper with it –- but also requires miners to build giant farms of servers that consume vast amounts of energy. The more valuable bitcoin becomes, the more miners are willing to spend on equipment and electricity.

"Still, it’s important to put things in perspective. A recent report suggests that at current prices, Bitcoin miners will consume an estimated 8.27 terawatt-hours per year. That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually less than an eighth of what U.S. data centers use.... It also compares favorably to the currencies and commodities that bitcoin could help replace: Global production of cash and coins consumes an estimated 11 terawatt-hours per year, while gold mining burns the equivalent of 132 terawatt-hours. And that doesn’t include armored trucks, bank vaults, security systems and such....

"What’s more, bitcoin’s consumption won’t necessarily keep rising as it has. Data centers, for example, have gotten a lot better. Not long ago, the Department of Energy was predicting that their electricity use would double every five years.... In recent years, though, the centers’ total electricity use has flattened even as their number has kept growing ... better cooling and power management technology improved efficiency. Bitcoin miners are no less motivated by profit, so it stands to reason that they will seek to become more efficient....

"It’s easy to criticize bitcoin for being wasteful. But so are many things in life, including airplanes, commuting to work and Sunday Night Football. A return to subsistence farming could drastically reduce our carbon footprint, but sometimes using energy to improve our quality of life is worthwhile....

"How much is sound money worth? How about the ability to send money freely across borders?... Or to own an asset that can’t be seized? People in the U.S. and other developed countries might take these things for granted, but people in places like Zimbabwe and Venezuela are turning to bitcoin for survival. So perhaps all those computations aren’t wasteful: Maybe the miners are simply transforming the energy into something more valuable."

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Also read: Bitcoin and climate change (I)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Ontario Libertarians run full slate in northeast

Liberals, NDP, PC, Green and Libertarians run candidates in all northeast ridings | CBC News - Eric White:

May 18, 2018 - "The ballots are now off to the printer for the June 7th Ontario election. There are 60 candidates running in the nine ridings of the northeast....

"Five parties are fielding a candidate in all nine ridings. The Liberals, New Democrats, Progressive Conservatives and Greens have done that for years, but this is the first time the Libertarian Party has a would-be MPP in every riding in the region.

"'First you have to make the people aware that you're there,' says Jozef Bauer, who lives in Iroquois Falls but is running for the Libertarians in Timmins.

"'You have to show them a sensible plan and you have to be passionate about it. Right now, there's a huge disconnect between big government and the people of Ontario.'

"Sudbury Libertarian candidate James Wendler says running a full slate of candidates and being organized is the best way for the party to shake [its] 'fringe' label.

"'Almost every person that I end up explaining Libertarianism to ends up being a Libertarian. That's why we're no longer considered fringe,' he says."

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

McAfee no fan of regulating cryptocurrencies

A libertarian - John McAfee is not sure of the need for regulations - AMBCrypto - Stuthie Murthy

May 15, 2018 - "John McAfee, the world’s leading security expert and a great online influencer sat down for an interview with Ovenized Oscillator from Crypto world news where he spoke about the current state of cryptocurrencies in terms of regulations and other things.

Is a regulation necessary or beneficial?
'Keep in mind politically I am libertarian so, I do not hold any regulations - as individuals we are required to be self-regulated,' began McAfee.... 'Life is not a safe affair, it has never been. There are risks, it’s far more life-supporting to accept those risks than to delegate your safety to some outside agency which really cannot protect you.'

Can regulations help in some ways at least a little bit?
"I am not sure, said John, as he explained ... according to him, the SEC continues to insist that coins are securities, they are not. 'By definition, ... if I own 1% of a company, I own 1% of everything in the company. If I buy Bitcoin, does Satoshi owe me something or is there a company behind that you owe to? No, I would say it is a look-alike. Do these things need to be regulated? It’s one-way and I am not sure which type of regulation makes any sense.'

What can people possibly do to jump a group of horrible ICO scam projects?
"According to ... John, the Internet is the greatest tool that was ever created ... with the blogs, chat rooms, etc. If one is interested in an ICO, he suggests they go and read about them. 'There are a lot of channels and groups available where anybody can see what people are [saying] about it, analyze it regarding the founders, creators, open-source project, experience in the past, and it is all basically huge common sense. The best way is to join the community and talk with others before jumping into any conclusion.'

"D-Tech Analytics, a YouTuber commented:
'Great interview. I totally agree with Mr. McAfee’s view on regulations. Regulations didn’t stop those scammed by Madoff, Bernard Ebbers or Kenneth Lay all multi-billion-dollar scams. If the same regulations that are applied to stocks get applied to crypto, the majority of the US crypto traders couldn’t continue to day trade due to the Pattern Trader Regulations. Be careful what you wish for.'"

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Libertarian Ebke makes general election ballot

Ebke runs second in District 32 race where governor's pick is ousted | Local Government | - JoAnne Young, Lincoln Journal-Star:

May 15, 2018 - "Incumbent Sen. Laura Ebke ran second in her District 32 bid to return to the Nebraska Legislature. She said Tuesday night she expects a tussle in the next few months leading up to the general election.

"Jefferson County farmer Tom Brandt led the pack of three candidates in that district by a good margin and will challenge Ebke in November....

"Gov. Pete Ricketts' pick, Al Riskowski, finished last and will not advance. He felt good about running a clean race, he said, even though all three District 32 candidates said they had to contend with negative ads, some of them funded by out-of-state groups, with messages that had nothing to do with the election.

"Brandt, who said he's a rural Republican, a centrist and independent thinker, has been active in community improvement in his hometown of Plymouth. He said voters ... are fed up with what's going on in the Legislature, the growing partisanship and nothing of substance getting done....

"Ebke, a Libertarian who is from Crete, stressed her four years of experience in the Legislature.

"'I think that the hit pieces had a real weakening effect on me,' she said.

"She lost some of the rural vote she needed, she said. 'Now it's up to me to go and get them back.'"

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mississauga Libertarian talks affordable housing

Ontario Libertarian party candidate Mississauga-Lakeshore Jay Ward | - Chris Clay:

May 11, 2018 - "Age: 60. Occupation: Owner of a small business for five years after a successful business career in management and senior management in various president and CEO positions....

"Where do you live and how long:

"I have been part of the Lakeview community of Mississauga-Lakeshore with my wife and son for 34 years. We love it here and I have been active in the community....

"With average home prices in the city north of $600,000, affordable housing is not exclusively a problem for low-income families. What is your party’s strategy to address rising housing prices and increase the affordable housing stock? 

"Affordable housing is an issue that has not been properly addressed by the main political parties. A good start to making housing more affordable is to replace the land transfer tax with a flat rate instead of a percentage which escalates as the cost of the home increases. The Libertarian party proposes a flat rate of $275.

"The biggest expense to an average family is taxes. Taxes are much more than the cost of their home. A home can be made more affordable by reducing taxes, [letting] people keep their earnings to invest in a home. The Libertarian party would cancel the carbon tax which directly increases the cost of heating your home and makes everything more expensive including building new houses.

"The Libertarian party would also cut hydro rates in half which will give people more money for housing. (see for detailed explanation.) The Libertarian party would reduce the 'Size and Scope of Government' which translates into lower taxes leaving more disposal income, greatly helping to make home ownership more affordable.'"

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Monday, May 14, 2018

US opioid deaths rise as gov'ts cut prescriptions

The Lethal Success of Pain Pill Restrictions - Jacob Sullum, Reason Hit and Run:

May 9, 2016 - "In a speech on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is striving to 'bring down' both 'opioid prescriptions' and 'overdose deaths.' A study published the following day suggests those two goals may be at odds with each other, highlighting the potentially perverse consequences of trying to stop people from getting the drugs they want.

"Columbia University epidemiologist David Fink and his colleagues systematically reviewed research on the impact of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), which all 50 states have established.... Fink et al. say the evidence that PDMPs reduce deaths involving prescription opioids is 'largely insufficient,' adding that 'implementation of PDMPs may have unintended negative outcomes — namely, increased rates of heroin-related overdose'....

"The picture looks worse when you take into account deaths involving illegally produced drugs, which now account for a large majority of opioid-related fatalities.... To the extent that PDMPs succeed in making pain pills harder to obtain, they encourage nonmedical users to seek black-market substitutes. 'Changes to either the supply or cost of prescription opioids after a PDMP is instituted,' Fink et al. observe, 'might reasonably drive opioid-dependent persons to substitute their preferred prescription opioid with heroin or nonpharmaceutical fentanyl'....

"If the aim is preventing drug-related deaths, this shift is counterproductive, to say the least. Because their purity and potency are inconsistent and unpredictable, illegally produced opioids are much more dangerous than pain pills.

"A report published last month by the health care consulting firm IQVIA shows that the total volume of opioids prescribed in the United States fell by 29 percent between 2011 and 2017, from 240 billion to 171 billion morphine milligram equivalents. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths involving pain pills nevertheless rose by 24 percent from 2011 to 2016, while total deaths involving opioids rose by 85 percent.

"That trend includes a 252 percent increase in heroin-related deaths and an astonishing 628 percent increase in deaths involving the opioid category that consists mainly of fentanyl and its analogues. Final CDC figures for 2017 are not available yet, but the provisional numbers indicate there will be more increases....

"Since the current strategy is manifestly not working, drug warriors are, as usual, redoubling their efforts. The Drug Enforcement Administration, which sets annual quotas for opioid production, reduced the limit by 25 percent in 2017 and 20 percent this year."

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Nebraska GOP targets Libertarian Ebke

Nebraska GOP Targets Former Ally Who Switched to Libertarian | Nebraska News | US News - Grant Schulte:

May 13, 2018 - "A Nebraska lawmaker who left the Republican Party to become one of the nation's few Libertarian state legislators is facing the political fight of her life against two Republicans challengers, including one backed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. The showdown began after state Sen. Laura Ebke switched parties in 2016....

"The race is one of the most closely watched in a Tuesday primary that will eliminate one of the three candidates for the seat and also determine party nominees for governor, U.S. Senate and Nebraska's three U.S. House seats.

"GOP officials have unleashed a wave of negative mail and radio ads against Ebke, of Crete, turning the small-town primary into one of the most hotly contested races in Nebraska. Ricketts, a multimillionaire, has donated $5,000 to one of her opponents, Al Riskowski, a longtime ally.

"Ebke said she expected party officials to target her in the election and acknowledged they might succeed. Incumbents have traditionally fared well in Nebraska legislative races, but in 2016, three moderate Republican senators lost their seats after the governor endorsed and contributed to more conservative challengers.... 'I am fully aware that I'm in a precarious position here, especially when you have the financial power of the governor,' Ebke said.

"Another Republican hopeful, Tom Brandt, ... said he was surprised the race has turned so nasty and drawn so much attention from outside the district....

"The two top vote-getters in Tuesday's primary will advance to the November general election, regardless of their party affiliation....

"Since Jan. 1, Ebke hasn't received a single individual donation from her district ... according to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission.... Ebke said she was forced to rely on out-of-state contributions because Nebraska GOP officials threatened to remove local party leaders from their positions if they donate to her campaign. The Nebraska Republican Party denied the allegation.

"Ebke's party switch made her the first Libertarian state lawmaker in Nebraska history, and she's one of four now serving nationwide. The other three are in the New Hampshire House of Representatives."

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Jordan Peterson and the alt.right

Jordan B. Peterson Is the Furthest Thing from the Alt-Right - Foundation for Economic Education - Dan Sanchez:

January 22, 2018 - "Psychologist and scholar Jordan B. Peterson recently had another surge in media attention.... His ideological critics have reacted defensively by, among other tactics, trying to cast Peterson as an 'alt-right' figure. Having listened to all of the lectures and interviews included in his 37-episode podcast, I can attest that that is a gross mischaracterization.

"For example, ... during the Q&A period following one of his lectures ...  Peterson noted that: 'the identity politics that has been practiced so assiduously and so devastatingly by the left has been co-opted by the right'.... Specifically, he warned against reacting to the identity politics of the left by descending into a white racial identity politics of the right ... 'where we’re making your group identity the most important thing about you. I think that’s reprehensible. I think it’s devastating. I think it’s genocidal in its ultimate expression. I think it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it'.....

"Genocide is one of Peterson’s many scholarly interests.... He has made a deep study of the pathologies that result in genocidal states like the Nazi regime. And he is keen on stressing the much-neglected fact that the Soviet regime was quite as enslaving and murderous as the Nazis. As those regimes demonstrated, Peterson’s claim that identity politics is 'genocidal in its ultimate expression' is no exaggeration....

"Not only is Peterson adamantly opposed to identity politics, but his project is decidedly non-political in nature.... As Peterson said in his response: 'You know, I’ve thought for a long time about a political career, really forever.... And I’ve always decided against it, because it seemed to me that the proper level of analysis with regards to the solution of the problem that we’re facing isn’t political. And that’s why I think it’s a mistake when what I’m doing gets politicized either by me or others.'

"Instead, Dr. Peterson’s prescription for 'how to change the world properly,' as he says, is for each individual to focus on self-improvement: to concentrate, not on political crusades, but on his or her own Hero’s Journey. (Peterson is also an expert exponent of the Jungian psychological interpretation of heroic mythology.) As he put it: 'The way forward through the ideological mess … is to place the individual at the place of paramount importance'....

"Alt-right commenters have accused Peterson of being naive about this. Self-improvement is all well and good, they say, but how is cleaning your room supposed to fend off the leftist barbarians at the gates?

"Such critics don’t understand what Peterson is saying, because they are mired in the mindsets of politics and war. The way of politics and war is to confront an enemy horde by amassing your own horde: whether it be on the battlefield, in street demonstrations, or in voting booths. It is to fight tribal barbarism by tending toward the tribal and the barbaric yourself. But the way of the heroic, civilized individual is to lead by example and to lead by appealing to the interests of those whose behavior you want to influence.

"As opposed to purely political questions, with matters of what is necessary to personally thrive, individuals actually have skin in the game, and so are more open to challenging messages and less likely to cling rigidly to their dogmas.... Someone who embraces individualism, not merely as a political program, but as a way of life, can have tremendous power to persuade and inspire. When others see such model individuals sorting out their lives, living free of the life-debilitating resentments that haunt SJWs and alt-righters alike, and generally thriving, that is a much more powerful argument for individualism than a million sarcastic memes."

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Libertarians' ballot access suit wastes state resources, Delaware DOJ claims

Delaware DOJ Calls Validating Libertarian Ballot Access "Waste" of State Resources - Barry Donegan, Truth in Media:

May 10, 2018 - "The 1600 registered member strong Libertarian Party of Delaware has legally obtained ballot access, but is struggling to get the State of Delaware to recognize it as a legitimate political party. Delaware election officials claim that, due to a dispute between a small splinter group of members that coalesced around a political party with a similar name and the larger Libertarian Party of Delaware, they are having a difficult time figuring out which party should be listed on the ballot.

"Delaware State News notes that the party filed a Superior Court complaint in April against the state’s election commissioner in an effort to force officials to acknowledge in writing that the party is ballot-qualified....

"At the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s March 24 state convention, it nominated Nadine Frost as its candidate for U.S. Senate and filed paperwork with the Department of Elections to submit her for inclusion on the ballot. Initially, officials did not respond to the filing, but after the Libertarian Party of Delaware filed a lawsuit, she was listed on the ballot, meaning that the state has already acknowledged a candidate from the party’s nominating convention....

"However, despite the facts that the national Libertarian Party acknowledges only the Libertarian Party of Delaware, the state has already acknowledged one of its candidates, and the Libertarian Party of Delaware Inc. is exponentially smaller and distinctly different, state election commissioner Elaine Manlove said, 'I don’t know who gets to claim [Libertarian registered voters] at this point'....

"Deputy Attorney General Robert Willard issued a written response from the Department of Justice addressing the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s court complaint ... saying that their request has been rendered 'moot' by the fact that the state has acknowledged one of its candidates....

"'Your refusal to dismiss your complaint is not appropriate under any conceivable legal standard and will result in the needless waste of precious state resources. We again request that your complaint be dismissed without further delay. To the extent the state is required to respond to your complaint, we reserve the right to seek counsel fees and any other appropriate relief,' wrote ... Willard.

"McVay says written acknowledgement is important in ensuring that future candidates get the ballot access that they legally deserve without having to resort to lawsuits. 'We can’t afford to go through this every election'.... He added, 'They’re well aware that they could settle this easily. Especially since we asked them nicely to do that without a lawsuit back in mid-February. It should be a statement of obvious fact that requires no resources whatsoever.'"

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Canadian cannabis amnesty petition launched

Canada plans to legalize weed – but will those convicted of crimes get amnesty? | World news | The Guardian - Leyland Cecco:

May 8, 2018 - "As Canada prepares to legalize marijuana this summer, politicians are facing growing calls to grant a blanket amnesty for people convicted under the existing drug laws.... Since the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was elected in 2015 on a manifesto promise to legalize cannabis, more than 15,000 people have been charged over marijuana-related offences – joining close to 500,000 Canadians with marijuana convictions on their criminal record....

"Last week, the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty launched a petition asking the government to consider pardons for possession charges. The group hopes to gain at least 5,000 signatures by the end of May.....

"[S]tudies have shown that Canada’s current statutes on drug possession are not equitably applied.... Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives, said: 'White and black communities use cannabis and other drugs at similar rates, but black communities have been disproportionately targeted for police stops, cannabis arrests and incarceration.'

"The discrimination manifests in pre-trial detention and sentencing disparities: in Canada, the black community is incarcerated at a rate three times higher than the general population, she said

"Trudeau has himself admitted to smoking marijuana as a sitting MP, and last year admitted that family resources and connections helped his younger brother, Michel, avoid a marijuana possession charge....

"Advocates for an amnesty in Canada point to swift moves by state governments in the United States following legalization as a useful model.

"In the weeks following the legalization of cannabis in California, San Francisco’s district attorney expunged thousands of felony convictions related to cannabis possession. Cities such as Seattle and San Diego have also moved to clear away records of marijuana possession....

"Currently [in Canada], people with criminal records are unable to work in the burgeoning marijuana industry, a policy that hits heavily policed communities especially hard."

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Nepean Libertarian welcomes Ontario election call

(1) Mark Snow - Happy Writ drop for Election 2018. Full Slate,... - Mark Snow, Facebook:

May 9, 2018 - "Happy Writ drop for Election 2018. Full Slate, historic for Ontario Libertarian Party.... I am running in Nepean for the Ontario Libertarian Party.

"For the second time in 40 years of working, I am officially unemployed for the next 29 days. I am running in this election to bring change to Ontario. That change offered by the Ontario Libertarian Party, is one of CHOICE, you see Libertarian's believe you the people should have more say, power, choice and control over goverment.

"With that choice and control, the people will have power over goverment, including your tax paid services, like healthcare and education. By voting for me and the Ontario Libertarian Party, you will get that. Control over the Politicians and Bureaucrats, no longer will they be able to dangle goodies for the people, make Election Promises with your money. The two biggest files (Education and Healthcare), you will have control and power.

"Property rights, yes we offer that too, power over goverment intrusion into/over Private Property Rights.

"I will speak at any venue, to any crowd at your request. Stayed tuned for public venues where I will be appearing....

Mark Snow
Dad, Veteran
Vice Chairman Ontario Libertarian Party
Candidate, 066 Nepean"

Mark Snow on Facebook:
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Economists urge Trump to reject protectionism

National Taxpayers Union - More Than 1,100 Economists Join NTU to Voice Opposition to Tariffs, Protectionism:

May 3, 2018 - "The current political moment has seen new trade barriers erected as well as additional threats to rescind trade agreements and play politics with trade conventions that have benefited everyone. National Taxpayers Union is joined by more than 1,100 economists urging opposition to this new economic protectionism in the following letter.

May 3, 2018
Open Letter to President Trump and Congress:

"In 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Today, Americans face a host of new protectionist activity, including threats to withdraw from trade agreements, misguided calls for new tariffs in response to trade imbalances, and the imposition of tariffs on washing machines, solar components, and even steel and aluminum used by U.S. manufacturers.

"Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price. The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake..... [note -- the following text is taken from the 1930 letter]

"We are convinced that increased protective duties would be a mistake. They would operate, in general, to increase the prices which domestic consumers would have to pay.... Construction, transportation and public utility workers, professional people and those employed in banks, hotels, newspaper offices, in the wholesale and retail trades, and scores of other occupations would clearly lose.... The vast majority of farmers, also, would lose....

"Our export trade, in general, would suffer. Countries cannot permanently buy from us unless they are permitted to sell to us, and the more we restrict the importation of goods from them by means of ever higher tariffs the more we reduce the possibility of our exporting to them. Such action would inevitably provoke other countries to pay us back in kind by levying retaliatory duties against our goods.

"Finally, we would urge our Government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs would inevitably inject into our international relations. A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace."

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Monday, May 7, 2018

CT cannabis activists demonstrate for stalled bill

Marijuana Legalization Effort in Connecticut Is Running Out of Time - A.J. Herrington, High Times:

May 7, 2018 - "The marijuana legalization effort in Connecticut is running out of time, as this year’s legislative session winds to a close this week. Lawmakers have until May 9 to pass a bill pending in the House of Representatives. But that doesn’t seem likely....

"Last month, the House Appropriations Committee voted 27-24 to support the measure and send it to the full House. If passed, the bill alone would not technically legalize cannabis. But it would direct several state agencies to form a plan to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in the state. The law also includes provisions for the creation of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and awareness programs.

"At that time, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz did not commit to bringing the measure up for a vote by the full body.... However, the Speaker did indicate that the legislature needs to act on the matter....

"In an effort to spur action on the legislation, cannabis advocates demonstrated at the Capitol in Hartford on Sunday.... The state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) organized the demonstration. Avery Press, a spokesperson for Connecticut NORML, said the activists hoped the legislature makes the bill a priority.

"'Our mission with this rally is to bring attention to HB 5394 and educate the community about cannabis legalization, so they can urge their legislators to vote favorably, on this issue before the end of the session,' Press said.

"The activists also hope to change people’s perceptions about cannabis.

"'We’re not just stoners,” Press said. 'We’re here today to try and break that stigma. The majority of people want legalization in this state and we are hoping our voices are being heard today by the legislators.'

"Keith Wainwright of Stratford was one of the demonstrators at the rally....'I just don’t get it,' Wainwright said. 'You can buy a pack of cigarettes and right on the pack it has a message saying: "Warning: cigarette smoking can kill you" – but it’s perfectly legal to smoke cigarettes. It’s perfectly legal to drink alcohol which also can be harmful.'"

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

5 essential libertarian books

5 Essential Books That Every New Libertarian Should Read - 71 Republic - Mason Mohon:

May 1, 2018 -"Books are one of life’s greatest gifts. These bound packages of paper hold knowledge, wisdom, and depth of thought that is difficult to capture in a blog post or news article.... Because of that, it is critical that any Libertarian reads books.... So, I would like to present books that I believe will only help one’s ideological journey.

"The utility of these books is based on my personal reading experience, not on some sort of objective measurement. These are also in no particular order.

"The Revolution, by Ron Paul ... was my first stepping-stone into the realm of Libertarianism. It eloquently outlines the ailments of modern American politics, the two-party system, interventionism, drug policy, and government financial control. The Revolution is a great primer that will both familiarize the reader with Libertarian ethics and introduce them to many other resources....

"The Libertarian Mind, by David Boaz, ... goes further in-depth on many issues and offers a bit more information on the historical development of Libertarianism. It draws from many facets of the Libertarian belief system, meaning the reader will get much more exposure to many of the ideas of various diverse Libertarians....

"Economics in one Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt ... explains clearly many fallacies of historical leftist and Keynesian economic ideology.... From broken windows to wartorn countries, readers will discover that many policies that seek to “stimulate” the economy are merely short-sighted....

"Excuse Me, Professor, edited by Lawrence Reed ... is a collection of essays by economists ... that seek to dispell many myths that dominate contemporary university teachings.... It covers a plethora of issues, challenging the mainstream opinion on each and every one....

"Choice, Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action by Robert Murphy.... Ludwig von Mises’s economic classic Human Action ... is daunting, sitting at over 900 pages of complex Austrian economic reasoning, yet it remains a base for Libertarian economic thinking.... To fill this void comes Murphy’s Choice, which covers most of the same information, but in a simpler and much easier to read method."

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

U.S. media: Don't give peace a chance in Korea

Historic Korean Summit Sets the Table for Peace — and US Pundits React With Horror | The Nation - Tim Shorrock:

May 2, 2018 - "April 27, 2018, was a historic day for Korea, and for the millions of people on both sides of that tragically divided peninsula. In a meticulously planned event, Kim Jong-un, the 34-year-old hereditary dictator of North Korea, stepped carefully over the border running through the truce village of Panmunjom and clasped hands with Moon Jae-in, the democratically elected president of South Korea....

 "Kim’s action marked the start of a remarkable day in which the two nations 'solemnly declared' an end to the Korean War, which ripped the country apart from 1950 to 1953.

"Over the next few hours, accompanied by top aides and diplomats, generals and intelligence chiefs, the Korean leaders discussed an agreement that would lead to what they both described as the “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula. The two also 'affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord,' a signal to both the United States and China that the days of great-power intervention in their divided country may be waning....

"But almost from the moment of that first handshake, the pundits who shape the US media’s coverage of North Korea were spinning the summit, and Kim’s outreach in particular, as a dangerous, even ominous, event....

"'Yada, yada, yada,' the perennial hawk Max Boot wrote disparagingly in The Washington Post about the 'Korea summit hype,' adding that 'there is very little of substance here.' Similar hot takes were offered by Nicholas Kristof and Nicholas Eberstadt in The New York Times, Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post, Robin Wright in The New Yorker, and Michael O’Hanlon in The Hill. Their doubts were repeated and amplified as gospel by the usual critics on cable TV.

"The kicker came on Sunday, April 29, when the Times’ Mark Landler painted the Korean summit as an affront to US national-security interests. Citing every establishment pundit he could find, Landler argued that a resumption of diplomatic ties between the Koreas 'will inevitably erode the crippling economic sanctions against the North,' while making it hard for Trump 'to threaten military action against a country that is extending an olive branch.' It was depressing to see such overt cheerleading for US imperial control over Korea in the media."

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Glenn 'Kane' Jacobs wins GOP mayoral primary

WWE's Glenn 'Kane' Jacobs is the newest Republican libertarian to (likely) win office - Jack Hunter, Washington Examiner:

May 2, 2018 - "On Tuesday, Glenn Jacobs — aka World Wrestling Entertainment star “Kane” — won a Republican primary by a razor-thin margin in his bid to become mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.

"Jacobs ... beat his closest Republican challenger by only 17 votes. There are still 43 provisional ballots to count before the victor is finalized, which might come as early as Thursday, and reports seem to strongly favor Jacobs’ chances....

"In deep-red Knox County, it is highly likely the Republican will best the Democrat mayoral candidate in the general election.... Tuesday’s primary all but decided who would become the next mayor, and it will likely be a nearly 7-foot tall professional wrestling 'demon,' who also is a well-established dedicated libertarian.....

"Jacobs operated a different kind of campaign, running on a pro-free market limited government platform, while also using his pro wrestling celebrity and libertarian-conservative brand to attract support from both inside and outside his county.

"A slew of famous pro wrestlers — The 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, the “Big Show,”Arn Anderson, Ricky Morton — all traveled to Knox County to hold fundraisers for their longtime colleague and friend, and doubled down on their support on election day, enabling the WWE legend-turned politician to draw more popular attention than most conventional Republicans.

"Before he became a mayoral candidate, Jacobs helped found the limited government Tennessee Liberty Alliance, was a regular on the libertarian program 'Kennedy' on Fox Business, a speaker for libertarian youth activist group Young Americans for Liberty, and ... spoke at the Foundation for Economic Education’s national conference in August. Jacobs was also endorsed by Rand Paul in May 2017....

"A mayor will obviously not have the same sort of national profile or impact as a U.S. senator or a congressman, but a figure with Jacobs’ celebrity who so openly embraces liberty ideas and policies is still another great representative for the libertarian faction within the Republican Party....

"There are other promising Liberty Republicans running this year — Maine’s '28-year-old wunderkind' state Sen. Eric Brakey who is challenging Sen. Angus King; former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Austin Petersen’s current GOP bid for U.S. Senate in Missouri; and Pensacola’s Rebekah Bydlak, whose 2016 attention-grabbing congressional run has positioned her well for a Florida statehouse victory in 2018 (not to mention Young Americans for Liberty’s current nationwide effort to elect a slew of libertarian Republicans at the state level)."

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Navy vet Jackson runs for Illinois governor (video)

Libertarian Kash Jackson Joins Race for Illinois Governor | Chicago Tonight | WTTW - Siobhan Neela-Stock:

May 2, 2018 - "He spent almost two decades in the U.S. Navy – and now he’s running for governor of Illinois. Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson ... has called Illinois home for the past six years. He rents a small farmhouse in Lake County – he used to own a home from 2009 to 2015 but he says the property taxes caught up to him.

"'My property taxes doubled from $4,500 to $9,000 in that time frame,' Jackson said.

"State spending is one of the key issues Jackson is focusing on, as his campaign website outlines. He wants to stop the Illinois government from continuing to raise taxes.  As a Libertarian candidate, he’s a proponent of limited government....

"Jackson said his biggest hurdle has been changing people’s perceptions about third-party candidates. But he said the Democratic and Republican parties only represent a minority of constituents. Jackson is trying to reach Illinois citizens, who he said represent a majority of the population, 'who feel they don’t have a voice,' he said.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bill Weld readying 2020 Libertarian POTUS run

Bill Weld Lays Groundwork for 2020 Libertarian Presidential Run - Hit & Run : - Matt Welch:

May 2, 2018 - "2016 ... vice presidential candidate Bill Weld ... is now openly laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential campaign. The only question is whether he'll be the one running....

"'I take this stuff seriously," he told me. 'But I'm sincere when I say that I'm not talking about who is going to do the Libertarian race in 2020; I'm just here to say that I think that's a race that has some real potential to go the distance, and the sooner we all wrap our minds around that, the better'....

"Weld has been schlepping his favorite brown coat from Houston to New York to Long Beach for state conventions, delivering his rap about how the party can best grow from here ('The number one thing we need to do by November 2020 is to elect a Libertarian president of the United States') and sketching out tantalizing visions of '$50 million or $100 million in the bank at the beginning of the campaign'....

"Weld is also issuing strategic endorsements to some of the party's biggest names — Republican-turned-Libertarian Nebraska state Sen. Laura Ebke (facing her first re-election with an "L" by her name starting with a May 15 jungle primary), Massachusetts auditor candidate Dan Fishman (said to have a plausible shot if some local scandals break right), Phoenix mayoral hopeful Nicholas Sarwark (the party's national chairman), New York gubernatorial challenger and ubiquitous state-party-convention presence Larry Sharpe, and others. More rounds of endorsements are expected in the near future.

"Other party-building activities include filing lawsuits to make the allocation of electoral votes proportional instead of winner-take-all in four states (which, Weld says, would have resulted in the L.P. receiving 17 electoral votes in 2016); recruiting potential candidates, donors, and (quietly) vice-presidential possibilities; and starting the obligatory 501(c)(4) advocacy group, Freedom for America....

"Weld's access to money, media, and prestige stands in stark contrast to his potential presidential competitors, though that's in part because there really aren't any so far, aside from anarcho-libertarian activist and trouble-magnet Adam Kokesh. The Adam vs. the Man impresario has been dogging Weld on the L.P. circuit, challenging him to debates, ambushing him on camera with questions like 'How much did Hillary Clinton pay you off?' and accusing him of being a 'liar and backstabber'....

"At the same time, if a growing party is going to continue to grow, and to position itself as the beneficiary of the Democratic and Republican parties' ongoing nervous breakdowns, it is going to need to absorb major-party defectors with less libertarian cred than Bill Weld....

"The Libertarian Party has a truly valuable commodity: likely ballot access in all 50 states, at a time when the major parties are both abandoning even rhetorical support for balanced budgets, free trade, civil liberties, non-interventionism, and a host of other key issues. By planting a tentative flag in early 2018, Weld is establishing a floor of mainstream possibility — and signaling to any would-be outsiders eyeing the prize that libertarian-leaners are going to need to tack more Libertarian if they want to woo the activists who have made this moment possible."

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Russians rally for internet freedom

Russians Protest Ban On Telegram App During Traditional May Day Parade - Radio Free Europe::

May 1, 2018 - "Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg to protest against government attempts to curtail Internet freedom -- marching defiantly while more than 100,000 other Russians took part in the traditional May Day parade....

"The May Day parade has become a highly orchestrated show of power by Russian authorities and the ruling United Russia party in recent years, with demonstrators refraining from criticizing the government. "But demonstrators this year marched through the streets to protest the government's ban on the popular messaging app Telegram.

"About 10,000 people rallied in Moscow on April 30 to protest the blocking of Telegram, chanting that Russian President Vladimir Putin 'is a thief!'

"The event was organized by the Libertarian Party of Russia, which has called the attempts to block Telegram 'a national shame.' Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny ... has scheduled another demonstration for May 5."

Read more:

Vera Kichanova, Boundless Liberty:

May 1, 2018: "More than 12,000 people ... rallied in Moscow to defend internet freedom today. The rally was organised by the Libertarian Party of Russia. Our largest event so far!...

"Two weeks ago the encrypted messaging app Telegram was blocked in Russia after Telegram had refused to hand over its encryption keys to the Russian secret service. The ban hit not just Telegram but over 15 million IP addresses used by Telegram in Russia including Google, Amazon, Spotify and many more. In a matter of days Russians were cut off from the global internet so that users couldn't even check their emails....

"On a positive side, when and where was the last time you've seen (any) Libertarian party getting over 10,000 people to the streets?"

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