Have you ever heard a libertarian utter the response that if someone damages you or your property, that you can just be compensated through the judicial system? It typically doesn’t meet well with reality. Continue reading Libertarians fall short on judicial compensation and the environment →
The insanity of food regulation in this country is not only a detriment to people and their freedom of choice, but practically unenforceable and useless in most cases. Continue reading Free the Homemade Food →
The case for opposing privately owned and operated prisons and jails is simple and short. These can only be government institutions. Continue reading The Libertarian Case Against Private Prisons →
I write a lot about artificial scarcity as a source of rents for the propertied classes, and the role of the state in enforcing it. But the other side of the coin is the role of the state in rendering naturally scarce things artificially abundant to the privileged classes. We can see this in recent news of the politics surrounding oil and natural gas pipelines in North America.
In early December, US President Barack Obama approved a pipeline project to carry liquified gas or ultra-light oil from Illinois across the Canadian border to Alberta, where it will be used to dilute tar-sand oil which will then flow through the Keystone XL pipleline back south into the United States. A couple weeks later, members of an anti-Keystone group called Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance were arrested on trumped-up charges of “terrorism” (glitter that fell from their banners supposedly caused a “biohazard” scare) after chaining themselves in the headquarters of Devon Corporation to protest its ties to TransCanada and the Alberta tar sands industry. Continue reading Artificial Scarcity And Artificial Abundance: A One-Two Punch →
It was difficult for me when I was first introduced to libertarianism to decide exactly what the word meant. Limited government, sure. Economic freedom, sure. But was there more? What else does it mean to believe in liberty?
After a couple of years of being immersed in the movement, attending lectures, conferences, seminars, and webinars, I have come to realize that the word “libertarian” fails to capture the motivation that I feel to being committed to liberty. I have been reminding myself over the past few of months that liberty isn’t political. So why does it seem like it is? Liberty isn’t about me, so why do I act like it is? Liberty is not a policy or a selfish directive or a politician we can elect. It’s not any one thing at all. Rather, it’s an ideal. Continue reading Libertarianism is Progressive →
One of the results of the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election has been to demarcate a clear divide between libertarian Republicans and Libertarians. For this discussion, “libertarian Republicans” are defined as members or supporters of the Republican Party and/or its candidates who self-identify as “libertarian” in philosophy. (“Big L”) “Libertarians” are defined here as philosophical libertarians who are members or supporters of the Libertarian Party and/or its candidates.
While there has been talk of “litmus tests” and the measure of one’s “libertarianism,” these discussions have detracted from the real separation between the two groups. One division between the groups seems to be a tolerance, or even acceptance, of bigotry by libertarian Republicans. By any definition of the word, Ken Cuccinelli has demonstrated his belief that homosexuals do not have the same rights as heterosexuals. Examples of such can easily be found through any internet search. These are not just words on his part, either. Cuccinelli has a track record of letting his prejudice affect his performance in public office. Two glaring examples are his support for the Constitutional amendment prohibiting the Commonwealth from recognizing “same sex marriages” and his recent efforts to reinstitute anti-sodomy legislation. Continue reading Will the Real Libertarians Please Stand Up? →
Before I go into ideologies on the police force I must first briefly give you some insight how cops tick.
First, I cannot speak for all police officers as I am just one man. I have had the luxury / opportunity / curse of policing in rural areas as well as one of our country’s largest cities. Throughout my tenure I’ve discovered that most, if not all, police officers fall into one of two categories; Self Servers or Helpers, which I’ll explain in detail later. Continue reading Perspectives of a Libertarian Peace Officer in the South →
The Democrats and Republicans only talk about Global Warming when it comes to renewable energy. I would like to offer a different perspective for you to think about.
In this country the energy companies have state protected territories. If another energy company tries to enter their territory the local company will get the state involved and run them out. This makes them, in my mind, a state sanctioned monopoly.
Your local energy company receives federal and state tax subsidies, our money. What do we get in return for those subsidies? Nothing but an increase in the price per KW/hour annually. The state will say they can regulate the prices due to the subsidies, but look who the regulators are. When did the state regulators last stop them from raising your rates? I can’t remember a time when Georgia has stopped them. To me this is socialism and our energy sector is not at all a free market. Continue reading Solar Energy is a Libertarian Issue →
The Fifth Amendment has a PR problem. While well liked for its contribution to due process, it also includes protection against self-incrimination. And the idea that “No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” is associated with some of the least popular people in America – like Enron executives and baseball players who took steroids. “Pleading the Fifth” is synonymous with denied guilt.
When Sergey Aleynikov, a Russian programmer working on algorithms for high-frequency trading on Wall Street, was arrested by the FBI in July 2009, he did not plead the fifth or ask to see his lawyer. As related by Michael Lewis in his most recent article for Vanity Fair, Aleynikov knew that he had not committed a crime. Read more
What is a right? Simple question, isn’t it? More importantly, where do your rights come from? Let’s get straight to the point I want to make here. A right is something you inherited. It is an action you are allowed to perform free from restrictions as a free man or woman.
You are allowed to breath, eat, come and go as you please, work or labor for your own self-improvement, etc.
So who gives you permission to carry out these actions? Your creator bestowed these RIGHTS upon you at birth. No one can ‘give’ you a right. It’s not there’s to give. Knowing and understanding what your rights are, and where they come from is a necessity for all free men.
Often times I see people mistake a right for a privilege. A right is something that cannot be regulated, taxed, restricted, penalties imposed or controlled in any manner. No one has the authority to regulate the amount of air you breathe, or tax you if you breathe in too much air. They don’t have the authority to dictate this because it’s a right, given to you by god. It is not a privilege bestowed on you by some legislation.
What is different about your right to travel? Are you not granted the right to come and go as you please, by any modern conveyance of the day? Why would you assume anyone had the authority to restrict your travel in any way? Did you not buy your automobile through lawful means? Is it not your rightful property? When then must you ask permission to use your own property? You don’t ask permission to use your bicycle do you? Of course not, but what’s the difference? If it’s a right, and not a privilege, who then has the authority to regulate it, tax it, restrict it or impose penalties for breaking specific rules? Continue reading Right to Travel →
This past week I volunteered some time with the county Libertarian Party here in Waco, Tx. by working their booth at the annual fair and rodeo. It was a lot of fun, and in a way, more fruitful than times past. Continue reading Avoiding politics at a political booth nets positive results →
So you want to help a candidate win an election? Below are several ways to do just that. Continue reading 8 simple ways to help a local candidate →
The most common line from both libertarians and conservatives when it comes to the subject of ending government welfare programs is that people and charities would step in to fill the gap. Is this true though? Continue reading Will charities step in to fill the gap if we end welfare? →
The federal agents who cracked down on the illegal distribution of alcoholic beverages traditionally were called “revenuers.” I always liked the simple honesty of the term, given that the main goal of the revenuers was, as the name implied, to track down moonshining scofflaws who didn’t pay their taxes.
Federal agents long-ago shed that title, but sometimes it seems as if federal law is more about collecting revenues than anything more ennobling.
At issue are civil-forfeiture laws, which allow officials to seize property that may have been used in a crime even if the owner has not been convicted or even charged with anything. Read more
It’s all about priorities and how much people are willing to devote themselves when it comes to getting better laws in this country. Continue reading Broken Politics: The answer to why we can’t make improvements is simple →
A lot of people wonder what they can do to have a meaningful impact in government and in getting good representatives into office. Continue reading Ways to get involved in local level politics →
This guide is intended to help those seeking to run for a local elected position. In this case, we examine the campaign of Arthur Thomas, who ran for a seat on the San Antonio, Tx city council.
Arthur is a member of the Texas Libertarian Party and has ran for state house and senate seats. He decided to run for city council because he thought a libertarian perspective was needed in the race, even if it presented a great challenge. Continue reading The independent/third party guide to local political campaigning →
Judge Jim Gray, a retired California Superior Court judge, was recently in Texas to speak on the topic of drug prohibition at the Texas Regional NORML Conference. Bringing to bear his vast experience on the subject, he delved into the topic and hit on many points which concern people.
Asked the question of why he focuses on ending drug prohibition when there are so many other important issues out there, he responded “I think the most patriotic and effective thing I can do for the country that I love is to help repeal drug prohibition.”
He continued “When I go speak with rotary clubs and other groups and say look, you name any area of society you want to and I will show you to your satisfaction how it is made worse because of drug prohibition. Healthcare, education, crime, all made worse. Everything that is going wrong in our society is one way or another adversely affected because of our policy of drug prohibition. Continue reading Superior Court Judge: Repealing drug prohibition most patriotic thing I can do →
I went with a friend of mine over to his parents house to visit with his father last night. As we were standing around shooting pool and talking, the conversation turned towards politics.
I’ve known his dad for a long time and we’ve had many political discussions. He knows that I am very politically active and he really appreciates the depth I provide on the various political topics. I can best describe him as a person who knows a little about politics, but not much, and while he vaguely understands the overall structure, the nuts and bolts are hard for him to grasp.
If I had to place a label on him, he’d be an independent. He doesn’t really subscribe to any political theories and when it comes to action from the government, he’s all over the place. His social and economic views very much lean libertarian, at least the way he talks about things. Continue reading A night of pool and politics →
Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff. They are all more than 60 years old; they have all spent at least 15 years locked up for selling pot; and they are all what one might call model prisoners, serving life without parole. As time wrinkles their skin and weakens their bodies, Michael Kennedy of the Trans High Corporation has filed a legal petition with the federal government seeking their clemency. Otherwise they will die behind bars for selling a drug 40% of American adults have admitted to using, 50% of Americans want legal, and two states have already legalized for adult use. Since these men were convicted of these crimes many years ago, public opinion and policy related to marijuana have shifted greatly. Should these five non-violent senior-citizen offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?
Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.
Former New Mexico governor, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has broken Ed Clark’s 1980 vote record of 921,128. 1,139,562 votes were cast for Johnson which is .9% of the total vote. Continue reading Gary Johnson sets vote record →
The following interesting question arose yesterday from what at first appeared to be some petty Twitter bickering: who was the worst president for civil liberties in US history? That question is a difficult one to answer because it is so reliant upon which of many valid standards of measurement one chooses; it depends at least as much on the specific rights which one understands the phrase “civil liberties” to encompass. That makes the question irresolvable in any definitive way, but its examination is nonetheless valuable for the light it sheds on current political disputes. Read more
Candidates from four third parties participated in a debate hosted by Free & Equal on October 23.
Those included were Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson participated in the first debate.
A second debate is scheduled for Nov. 5 between the two candidates who received the most votes, than being Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The debate will be held from 9:00 to 10:30 Eastern Time in Washington DC. The location will be at RT America’s state of the art studio and facility. RT America will open its studio and offer a live, neutral feed via satellite to interested media.
Below is the first debate.
I was recently directed to a piece published in 1977 by Martin Diamond in defense of the Electoral College by an old teacher of mine. That paper can be viewed here in PDF format. It is my aim to give a rebuttal to this paper, not necessarily in support of abolishing the electoral college, but in what is my opinion, a poor argument in favor of keeping it. I encourage you to read the document and decide for yourself.
To be clear though, I have come to the conclusion that a direct popular election of the president is the best option, though I am open to other ideas. Continue reading A defense of the Electoral College rebutted →
The idea that libertarians are just states’ rights supporters who have no problem with rights oppression on the state level is a misconception that needs to be put down.
First of all, you should read this primer on states’ rights before continuing forward. Also, states do not have rights, only people have rights.
Heard all too often from far too many people is that libertarians only want limited government at the federal level, but they’re fine with the state and local governments trouncing all over people’s rights. The sort of people being talked about here can most accurately be described as constitutionalists, but even then these types of people rarely understand the US constitution. Continue reading Being a libertarian does not simply equate to “leave it all up to the states” →
Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives.
But most of the top American military officials at the time said otherwise. Read more
In Pakistan, former cricketer turned politician Imran Khan plans to lead a march to the tribal areas this weekend to protest against US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone strikes. Under President Barack Obama there has been a six-fold increase in drone attacks. Almost 300 strikes have been carried out since he took office.
Ijaz Ahmed tends to stay at home these days, but even at home he feels afraid.
The softly spoken young man lives with the constant buzzing of CIA drones. In the Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, they hover overhead day and night.
And he knows only too well what they can do. A drone killed his uncle and six cousins in late January 2009. It was President Obama’s first strike in Pakistan. It has been followed by nearly 300 more.
“When I got to the site, everything was destroyed,” he said. “What happened was brutal. I remember how we used to sit together and chat, but now they are gone. Their children are orphans.” Read more
Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can’t bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution, and they’ll nod along. Say that you’d never vote for a politician caught using the ‘n’-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney’s flaws, which I’ve chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.
Don’t they see that Obama’s transgressions are worse than any I’ve mentioned?
I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers. Read more
Adnan Latif was found dead in his cell on September 10, 2012, just a day before the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. He was 32. Latif, a Yemeni citizen, had been detained at Guantanamo Bay for over a decade, despite a 2010 court ruling that ordered the Obama administration to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif’s release forthwith,” due to lack of evidence that he had committed any crime. He suffered at the hands of the US government in ways that most people can’t begin to comprehend, and his death should be a reminder that the national shame that is Guantanamo Bay lives on and now enjoys bipartisan support. Read more