New York, Fusion Voting, and Gary Johnson Whats an …

By: Caiti Anderson

There is no state quite like New York and not many election laws quite like New Yorks, either. As one example, only New York and six other states permit fusion voting. On a fusion ballot, a candidate can be listed as candidate for more than one party. Fusion voting, as noted the 1997 Supreme Court decision of Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party, had its heyday during the Gilded Age. Political parties, rather than governmental entities, distributed their own ballots to voters but did not affirmatively tell voters what other parties endorsed the same candidate(s) they supported. Thus, Candidate Smith could be supported by both the Granger and Republican parties, but those who voted the Granger ballot would not necessarily know from the ballot the Granger party handed them that the Republican Party also supported Smith.

All of this changed with the contentious election of 1888, when Democratic President Grover Cleveland lost to Republican Benjamin Harrison, even though Cleveland won the popular vote by 0.8%. Harrison carried Indiana, his home state, but only through ballot chicanery: the Republican Party passed out its ballots en masse and paid men to illegally cast additional ballots. After the scandal emerged, it was too late Harrison was president, and America was angry.

The Progressive movement latched onto this populist anger and pushed through a series of election reforms at the turn of the nineteenth century. As state and local governments began to print their own ballots, the fusion ballot steadily lost support.

New York, however, has maintained the fusion ballot status quo. Although it occasionally comes under attack as an unfair practice, others laud its ability to grant a greater voice to third parties. Nevertheless, as the 2016 election shows its boon to third parties seems more like a benefit to the Democratic and Republican parties.

Figure 1

Figure 1 is a partial copy of aNovember 2016 New York absentee ballot. As you can see, three presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Gary Johnson) appear on the ballot more than once.

Fusion voting in a presidential election is more complicated than other races because of the Electoral College. When voting for a presidential candidate, a voter is actually voting for an elector to the Electoral College, not the candidate herself.

Figure 2

Lets look at Hillary Clinton (Figure 2). She appears as the candidate for the Democratic, Working Families, and Womens Equality parties. Because these parties submitted identical lists of Electoral College delegates to the New York State Board of Elections, each of these candidate slots offer an opportunity to vote for the same elector for Clinton. Thus, a vote for Clinton under the Womens Equality ticket is, in essence, the same as voting for her under the Democratic ticket the vote will be aggregated towards the same elector count. The same is true for Donald Trump appearing as the Republican and Conservative parties nominee.

Gary Johnson, on the other hand, has a major problem.

New Yorks definition of a political party is one that received at least 50,000 votes in the most recent gubernatorial election. Only political parties have automatic access to the ballot, meaning that, in essence, only the Democratic and Republican parties are automatically qualified to be on the ballot. Independent parties must submit petitions with 15,000 signatures in order to qualify for the presidential ballot.

Gary Johnsons Libertarian Party obtained the necessary signatures to put Johnson on the presidential ballot and submitted the list of Electoral College delegates to the State Board. After this, however, the Independence Party also endorsed Johnson, but submitted a different list of Electoral College delegates than the Libertarian Party. Because of this, Johnsons vote totals for the Libertarian and Independence parties will not be aggregated.

Figure 3

Say, for example, Johnson won 30% of the vote under the Libertarian Party and 5% under the Independence Party, while Clinton won 34%, Trump won 29%, and Jill Stein won 2%. Johnson would have the majority of the votes at 35%, but Clinton would have the most electors and would win New York.

As unlikely as the scenario seems (Clinton has a >99% chance of winning New York at the time of publication), it is important for New Yorkers to take a hard look at the merits of fusion voting. Although fusion voting supposedly helps third parties, it seems to only help those third parties who support major party candidates meaning it ultimately helps major parties. Maybe it is time to recognize the real value of fusion voting in New York: the ability of placing ideas on the ballot.

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New York, Fusion Voting, and Gary Johnson Whats an …

Why is the Left so Dishonest about Islam? – Being Libertarian

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. The last month and a half has brought multiple terrorist attacks to the UK alone. The last few years have seen a dramatic rise in the frequency of these attacks both abroad and on our soil. On Tuesday there was an attempted suicide-bombing in Brussels.

Sadly, many of us are adjusting to the idea that this is becoming just part of our day-to-day life, and we just need to get used to it. It is unfortunate that we have no way of identifying the threat and preventing the attacks. Its too bad there is no common factor that links these attacks together. Its too bad these murderers pledge allegiance to only themselves, showing their devotion to being a lone wolf. It is good, however, that we can rule out one possible cause. Not only have we heard it from the left and their media, but before each violent slaughter, the attackers usually shout This has nothing to do with Islam.

Now, I already see you scrolling to find the comment section and telling me what an intolerant, hateful, racist, Islamophobic, bigot I am. Well, you can go ahead, but Ill clarify the pertinent point: I am not advocating hatred or discrimination against Muslims or Middle-Eastern People, at any time, for any reason. However, I am advocating an honest conversation about ideologies and systems of government without being censored. There is no question that there is an overwhelming number of Muslims who are not violent or evil. There is also no question that those countries with a centralized, Islamic government rooted in Sharia law violate human rights on a regular basis and desire domination of the west to establish a world-wide Caliphate.

The wests hesitancy to discuss the ideological flaws of Islam shows yet another success of the lefts ability to control the narrative. For obvious reasons, when you look at our countrys history, being called a racist is one of the most damning labels on a societal level. The left knows this. They do their very best, and are usually successful, in finding a way to label all of their political enemies racist in an attempt to shut down or derail the discussion, even if the discussion has nothing to do with race. This is especially true when trying to have a discussion about the dangers of Islam. It is easier to just continually attack someones character than it is to defend an ideology that you know is indefensible.

I want to quickly address a few myths perpetuated by the left regarding Islam. First, that the number of Muslims who exercise a literal translation of the Quran is insignificant. According to Pew Research, a significant majority of Muslims, who dont necessarily live in a place with institutionalized Sharia, support Sharia law as an effective legal code and favor harsh, capital punishment for the infidels that violate the tenants of Islam. Here are just a few examples:

There are roughly 81 million Muslims in Egypt, which means over 71 million people support Islamism and capital punishment for violating Islamic code in Egypt alone. Billions of Muslims worldwide support genital mutilation and the literal caning of women in the streets for speaking to a man that isnt her husband, and support repressing other womens rights including driving a car or owning property, as well the extinguishing of all political and religious minorities, and the public execution of LGBT people. Why do the same progressives, feminists, and social-justice warriors who claim to care about perceived oppression, bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia in the United States close a blind eye to the heinous injustices in Islamic countries?

Keeping those statistics in mind, Id like to address the other non-sequitur coming from the left: the idea that ISIS is comparable to the Westboro Baptist Church or the KKK. The WBC consists of about 12 inbred people, and the idea that the KKK is still thriving in America is a fantasy. In addition, a basic study into the teachings of Christianity will show you why this is lunacy. These groups act in direct opposition to the teachings of the Bible. While the Old Testament is filled with one-liners that you could pull both in and out of context, what Islam apologists fail to realize is that the Old Testament is not the governing rulebook for Christianity, the teachings of Jesus Christ are. For Christians, Jesus came to fulfill or complete the Old Law, and the actions taken by these small numbered radicals are certainly in conflict with His teachings. Christian churches across the globe are not preaching in defense of the WBC or KKK, they in fact preach the literal opposite. On the other hand, Sharia law and the violence and jihad it encourages is formed directly from instructions in the Quran and the Hadith, and is supported and preached daily to billions of followers.

By refusing to see Islams role in the imploding of the Middle East, as well as the dangerous spread of terrorists to the west, the left prevents the reform that Islam needs. Unlike Christianity, which Islam apologists will continuously make illogical analogies to, there has never been a reform to Islam. While the medieval era featured Christianity as a political ideology, separation of church and state is a core tenant of the Judeo-Christian founded West. While the number of Christians in any given society may be the majority, the practicing of faith is mainly done in private, in homes or churches. No major Islamic school of thought has sought to separate the private spirituality of its members from the public Islamic state. Islam, as many Muslims practice it, is a totalitarian ideology. In their eyes, there can be no separation.

On another interesting note, leftists will go blue in the face telling you that Islam has nothing to do with the atrocities literally committed in its name, and then in the same breath tell you that Donald Trump is responsible for every crime committed by white men since he has been on the campaign trail because of his dangerous and hateful rhetoric. Those are some impressive mental gymnastics.

Youve heard the saying the enemy of your enemy is your friend. This has led to many nefarious partnerships throughout history, some recent examples include the Republican Party with Donald Trump and the modern-left with Islamism. We are seeing Republicans bend their principles at will to Trumpism, and we are seeing the left begin to normalize and mainstream violence towards those with whom they disagree. It is easy to forgive or overlook someones flaws if you feel that youre working towards the same goals. The left believes the ends justify the means. The left discourages and represses free-thinking. The left preaches a deep hatred of the western Judeo-Christian society, traditions, and values. So, why is the left directly preventing the much-needed reform of Islam? They certainly dont want to admit it, and I know this sounds extreme, but Id encourage you to think hard on this proposal: leftists are more ideologically aligned with ISIS than they are with the Americans on the other side of the aisle.

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Why is the Left so Dishonest about Islam? – Being Libertarian

Students launch libertarian club at small Oregon college and get harassed, investigated, condemned – The College Fix

Young Americans for Liberty at Linfield College compared to terrorists, accused of threateningschools safe spaces

All they wanted to do was promote free speech and intellectual diversity. Instead their activities were condemned and shut down by professors and students.

So say members of the Young Americans for Liberty campus club at Linfield College, who tell The College Fix their efforts were stifled and stymied through fear and intimidation, administrative power, and student hysteria at their small school in McMinnville, Ore.

The liberty-loving students say they faced repeated and intense backlash from some professors and students after launching their club this past spring mostly notably their event with controversial Professor Jordan Peterson was canceled by campus leaders. Peterson is the University of Toronto psychologist recently famous for his opposition to the requirement of made-up gender pronouns.

The student group was also investigated for circulating a free speech ball on which someone drew Pepe the Frog, the unofficial alt-right mascot. After an investigation, during which YAL leaders were called in and interrogated, the student who drew the image was forced to write a conciliatory essay.

Another of their events, a screening of The Red Pill,a documentary on mens rights activists and critical of the contemporary feminist movement, drew even more ire from campus leaders, with one even likening the libertarian students events to terrorism recruitment.

The associate dean of faculty wrote in the Linfield Review: Just as becoming a terrorist is a gradual, step by step process, people do not become part of the alt right overnight. These events represent a kind of soft recruitment into more extremist ideas.

Another professor accused YAL of threatening the schools safe spaces.

In response to these controversies, a recent campus survey found that there should be some restrictions of speech, people should watch their language as to not offend anyone, and that offensive speakers should not be restricted, the Linfield Review reports.

Coming out against [campus leftists] is going to subject you to some real trouble, recent graduate Parker Wells, a member of Young Americans for Liberty, told The College Fix. Theres a real climate of fear for people who are outside of the normal liberal campus way of thinking. People are not comfortable saying what they think.

Pervasive left-wing campus culture

In telephone interviews, Wells and rising sophomore Keifer Smith (pictured) said it was their schools pervasive, left-wing campus culture that led them to help launch the Young Americans for Liberty club.

They said they were inspired by the lack of intellectual diversity at the private liberal arts college, which enrolls about 2,800 students and pledges to create global citizens out of its pupils, according to its website.

There was a lot of complaining that the campus was moving too far in one ideological direction, Wells said.

He added he felt there was a strong left-wing culture established by professors that felt nearly impossible to escape. For example, during a wine course he took the professor went on a forty-five minute lecture about the wage gap. You cant really escape a certain set of ideas no matter where you go.

So they launched Young Americans for Liberty. Wells became its events coordinator, Smithits vice president.

Then all hell broke lose.

The saga of the free speech ball and Pepe the Frog

The groups first event of the year was a free speech ball on April 12. To playfully promote free speech and free expression, group members set up a large beach ball on campus upon which students could draw or write anything they wanted.

When students came up to the beach ball, YAL organizers gave out fliers advertising the other events they would be hosting the Peterson lecture and The Red Pill mens rights documentary screening.

On the ball, one student drew Pepe the Frog the notorious image that some deem to be representative of the alt-right. The view that Pepe is a hate symbol is evidenced by the Anti Defamation Leagues inclusion of Pepe in its list of general hate symbols. However, the ADL explicitly notes that the majority of uses of Pepe the Frog have been, and continue to be, non-bigoted.

While Pepes presence on the ball did not immediately spark any censure in fact, many students found it hilarious, Wells said when the image of Pepe on the beach ball wound up on Linfields Instagram, censorship, slander against YAL, and an administrative investigation into the group ensued, according to Smith and Wells.

Linfields President, Thomas Hellie, received a number of emails from people outraged that Pepe an (alleged) symbol of racism and white supremacy was on the ball. Hellie took down the instagram post and told the Linfield Review that As soon as it was pointed out that the photo included the image, the Instagram post was removed.

The Linfield Advisory Committee on Diversity then held a free speech forum for the whole campus the Monday after the free speech ball. The diversity committee told YAL that it would not specifically focus on their group or the free speech ball, but that it would be an opportunity to talk about free speech in general.

However, according to Smith, the forum turned into three and half hours of 90 students and professors interrogating and slandering members of Young Americans for Liberty.

The two men said English Professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt alleged that YAL is funded by conservative dark money and funded by alt-right white supremacists. Wells and Smith both reject these claims.

There is absolutely no evidence to support that, Smith said.

But extremely problematic is how Dutt-Ballerstadt described the libertarian clubs invitation to Peterson and its screening of The Red Pill in an interview with the Linfield Review.

Problematic because neither Peterson nor the film will be promoting dialogues about gendered inclusions but rather be promoting a dangerous and offensive logic of gendered exclusions, said the English professor, who is also co-coordinator of the Gender Studies Program. The promotion of such exclusionary practices greatly threatens safe spaces for our students, staff and faculty who belong to marginalized groups and violates our ethos of upholding mutual respect on our campus.

Free speech is penalized

After the free speech forum, Wells said, the administration called in every member of YAL for one on one interviews and asked us who drew the frog? After administrators found out who it was, they made the student write an essay about the Pepe incident. (This student preferred not to be identified so as to avoid outrage from other students.)

During the developing controversy, Professor Peterson, in comedic opposition to the existence of safe spaces on college campuses, tweeted: Im violating some more safe spaces soon: Linfield College, April 24.

After this tweet, the Associated Students of Linfield College, citing Petersons violation of Linfields harassment policy and Petersons lack of punctuality in turning in an application it was a day late canceled the talk.

A spokesperson from Linfield stated in an email to The College Fix: There are always conditions for funding. Dr. Peterson and the student organization failed to meet any of the conditions set forth, and ASLC responded by removing its sponsorship and cancelling its funding.

Wells (pictured with Peterson) said that the college has happily looked over such lateness in the past, and it is by no means a precedent for canceling a talk.

Nonetheless, the show went on. Peterson and YAL rented space at the Evergreen Aviation Center Museum grounds and, according to Smith, about 400 fans showed up, and more than 300 people watched it on livestream. The talk was exceedingly well received: Peterson received a standing ovation and the lecture has since been watched more than 86,000 times on YouTube.

As for Linfield cancelling his speech: You were obviously just looking for any excuse, said Peterson in his YouTube response to Linfield.

MORE:College disinvites professor who wont use gender-neutral pronouns because of safe space joke

More trouble ahead

But even during this success, YAL still faced hostility from students.

After Petersons lecture, people congregated in the theater discussing the talk. Wells says that a student at Linfield who he had never spoken to went directly up to him and said, Hey. I appreciate what youre doing here, but seriously fuck you. Putting his middle finger right in Parkers face he said, I think youre just doing this for yourself and you dont care about how it effects other people. And for that all I can say is fuck you.

They also didnt win over many left-leaning ideologues on campus for their May 2 screening of Cassie Jayes The Red Pill.

Professor Dutt-Ballerstadt, in an op-ed in the Linfield Review, rhetorically suggested the YAL events promote racism, homophobia, transphobia, bigotry, misogyny, rape culture, violence against women and a disregard for disabled individuals on our campus.

She continued: The agenda of groups like Alt-Right and campus clubs that are either supported by the Alt-right or providing a platform for the Alt-Right is clear. They want to challenge college campuses for their numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives that provide a legitimate space for ideas and knowledge base that have been historically marginalized and excluded.

Dutt-Ballerstadt did not respond to a request by The College Fix for comment. Linfields media spokesperson Scott Nelson did not respond to a question aboutDutt-Ballerstadt.

Wells also alleged that students were worried about being publicly associated with YAL not only due to social pressures, but due to possible negative academic consequences.

Ive heard this from multiple students in multiple professors classes. And its really not that surprising when you look at whats been said. If youre a freshman and you read what Professor Dutt-Ballestadt said then you wouldnt dare tell her that you had any part of the YAL, he said.

Meanwhile, in the Linfield Review, professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Dawn Nowacki wrote: Overt white supremacism, misogyny, and hatred of LGBTQTI people have not been strongly expressed in the events organized by the Young Americans for Liberty. In fact, these efforts are a lot more subtle. Just as becoming a terrorist is a gradual, step by step process, people do not become part of the alt right overnight. These events represent a kind of soft recruitment into more extremist ideas.

But a Linfield spokesperson stated in an email to The College Fix that the claims of suppressing intellectual diversity are not true.

I flatly rejected the notion that speakers on campus reflect a political homogeneity. Among conservative and libertarian speakers Linfield has hosted in recent years are Jim Hoffman (twice), Steve Knott, Justin Dryer, Tom Palmer, Mark Blitz, Peter Berkowitz, Mark David Hall, Jason Brennan, Chris Preble, Patrick Allitt and Michael Zuckert. All have strong conservative credentials. Huffman is not only a constitutional scholar, but was also a Republican candidate for attorney general of Oregon. We have hosted these speakers because we believe its important to have a civil debate on our campus. We have also hosted liberal speakers for the same reasons, said Linfields spokesperson Scott Nelson.

Lasting impact?

At the end of the day, efforts by the Young Americans for Liberty at Linfield College have helped pave the way for intellectual diversity and free speech, said its president Lucas Carter in an op-ed in the Linfield Review.

Among other things, a conservative equivalent to Young Americans for Liberty, known as Turning Point USA, has spruced up on campus and there is word that a democratic socialist club is in the works, Carter stated. This is exactly what we wanted and we couldnt be any more proud to have pushed Linfields culture in this direction to be able to discuss such variety of views. That is true diversity. Relating back to the previous paragraph: It mightve been a bumpy road, but our activism ultimately paid off and helped foster a culture of respect for the Linfield community.

MORE:Student government rejects Young Americans for Liberty chapter: Its dangerous

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About the Author

College Fix contributor Max Diamond is a recent graduate of Reed College and a freelance writer and editor in New York City.

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Students launch libertarian club at small Oregon college and get harassed, investigated, condemned – The College Fix

Free State Project: Libertarians Putting Beliefs into Action – PanAm Post

Hundreds of libertarians converge on Lancaster, NH this weekend to celebrate Porcfest (PanAm Post).

Nestled amidst New Hampshires majestic White Mountains, Lancaster, NH this week hosts the XIV annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, the signature event of the libertarian Free State Project.

Libertarians worldwide should draw inspiration from the Free State Project, perhaps the greatest movement of libertarians putting their beliefs into action. Founded by Yale doctoral candidate Jason Sorens in 2001, the movement specifically sought to address concerns within the libertarian community over the difficulty facing third parties at the national and state level, due to a political and legal establishment that exists to support a two party system.

The Free State Project thus began a lengthy search process, looking for a state where they could attract libertarian transplants nationwide. They began looking for a state small in size, favorable to libertarian philosophy, and where they felt that they could exert real influence in bringing about libertarian-minded public policy. In 2003 the group selected New Hampshire over runner up Wyoming by a 57% to 43% margin.

The famously libertarian state, with its Live Free or Die Motto proved an ideal fit for the movement, and by February of 2016, 20,000 libertarians had signed The Pledge, promising to move to New Hampshire within the next five years. Their efforts soon bore fruit. In 2014, 18 Free Staters were elected to the state legislature as both Republicans and Democrats. Currently 15 members of the state legislature are Free Staters. The Republican Party has largely welcomed the newcomers with open arms, approving of their limited government message.

The FSP has not been welcomed with the same enthusiasm by some local Democrats, however. State representative Cynthia Chase had some choice words for the Free State Project, suggesting in 2012 that, Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today. There is, legally, nothing we can do to prevent them from moving here to take over the state, which is their openly stated goal. In this country you can move anywhere you choose and they have that same right. What we can do is to make the environment here so unwelcoming that some will choose not to come, and some may actually leave. One way is to pass measures that will restrict the freedoms that they think they will find here.

Apparently to proponents of big government like Chase the threat posed by freedoms is truly terrifying! To those led astray by the Democratic Party limited government, Constitutional freedoms, entrepreneurship, Second Amendment rights, private property, are dangerous notions that must be eradicated.

Porcfest this year features Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne as the keynote speaker. Byrne is an e-commerce and school choice pioneer who firmly believes in the power of free markets and educational choice to transform lives and nations. Through his Worldstock Fair Trade division, he has funded schools throughout Asia and Africa, while providing local artisans opportunities to sell and market their hand-crafted goods. Byrne is a prime example of someone who can effectively expound upon the power of capitalism to lift those in the developing world out of poverty.

He notes that,Worldstocks mission is to create sustainable livelihoods for artisans around the world by leveraging the internet to introduce their good to the U.S. market. Were privileged to be able to further support international humanitarian efforts around the world by bringing schools, clinics, drinking water, and sustainable cottage industries to artisan communities globally.

The speaker lineup addresses issues of national, state, and local significance, including workshops on how to strategize and plan for a move to New Hampshire. Attorneys and real estate agents, technology experts, privacy and civil liberties advocates, Second Amendment proponents, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and supporters of limited Constitutional government converge upon the White Mountains to share ideas and inspire each other to use New Hampshire as a springboard to put their theoretical beliefs into practical action.

FSP should be a shining beaconan inspiration to lovers of liberty and opponents of big government and state abuse wordlwide. Perhaps nowhere else in the world has one group of dedicated activists done more to bring about real change. Hopefully the efforts of FSP will inspire similar movements in other parts of the world.

David Unsworth is a Boston native. He received degrees in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and subsequently spent five years working in real estate development in New York City. Currently he resides in Bogota, Colombia, where he is involved in the tourism industry. In his free time he enjoys singing in rock bands, travelling throughout Latin America, and studying Portuguese.

EspaolOn Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto denied claimsthat his administration isspying on journalists, human rights activists and lawyers. Here and now I want to categorically state this is a democratic government, this is a government that respects and tolerates critical voices,” he said during the inauguration of a park in the state of Jalisco. Heconcluded his speech by sayinghe trusts that “under the law, justice can be applied against those who have raised these false statements against the government.” Many have taken the statement as a threat, but Nieto has since denied those interpretations, while stressing thatthe Mexican government’s technology is used only to maintain the country’s internal security and to combat organized crime. Read More: El Chapo Guzman Sues Netflix, Univision over Use of His Image Read More: Russia Sides with Cuban Dictatorship, Calls Trumps Policy Reversal Cold War Rhetoric “It is very easy to point fingers,” he said. “And to suggest thatthe government is spying. Nothing is more untrue than that, because none of the claimants can affirm or show evidence that their life has been affected by this alleged espionage.” googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0’); }); The claims of espionage were originally made by a Monday report inThe New York Times.President Nieto said he will not act against the publication or any of the people that made a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office. When asked if there would be reprisals against those who accused him of espionage, the Mexican president replied: “Do not get me to say what I have not said. Why should I take any actions against freedom of expression? On the contrary,we are creating better conditions for freedom of expression.” Source: Animal Poltico

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Free State Project: Libertarians Putting Beliefs into Action – PanAm Post

Student Complains After Prof Assigns Libertarian Reading Material – legal Insurrection (blog)

ideological garbage

The professor assigned reading from the Cato Institute. What a crime.

The College Fix reported:

Student tries to get professor in trouble for assigning her libertarian reading

University of St. Francis student Jennifer Martin tweeted Wednesday that her professor (an adjunct, it turns out) gave her an assigned reading on national health care systems from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank that is widely respected in D.C. for the quality of its research and thought-provoking events (one such event covered here last fall).

Cato also got tens of millions in funding over the years from Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who are active in Republican politics, and it was co-founded by Charles four decades ago.

This was enough for Martin to declare that her professor had committed an academic sin, and she would get this person in trouble for giving her ideological garbage from a conservative propaganda machine to read. (Never mind the Kochs sued Cato for control of a board seat five years ago, and the settlement protected Catos independence.)

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Student Complains After Prof Assigns Libertarian Reading Material – legal Insurrection (blog)

Cato Institute | Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace

June 29

Featuring Lindsey Burke, Director, Center for Education Policy, and Will Skillman Fellow in Education in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, Heritage Foundation; A. D. Motzen, National Director of State Relations, Agudath Israel of America; Joe McTighe, Executive Director, Council for American Private Education; facilitated by Neal McCluskey, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute.

July 11

Featuring Onkar Ghate, Senior Fellow, Ayn Rand Institute; Sarah Skwire, Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund and Literary Editor, FEE.org; and Cathy Young, Author, Growing Up in Moscow and Columnist, Newsday and Reason; moderated by Caleb O. Brown, Director of Multimedia, Cato Institute.

Follow this link:

Cato Institute | Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace

Walter Block – Austrian Economist and Libertarian Theorist

From: C Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 10:19 AM To: wblock@loyno.edu Subject: Involuntary Commitments blog on Lewrockwell Professor Block, I wanted to thank you for your recent post on lewrockwell about Involuntary Commitments (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/involuntary-commitments/). Yours is the first post that Ive seen in all these years that addresses what Ive seen as a real weakness in the libertarian community. Ive had enough interactions with people to know that many people need help to pull themselves up. Whether its because of mental illness, traumas suffered, circumstance, an unlucky turn, you name it, life isnt easy. Life is hard and some people get crushed underneath it. I suppose Ive reached a point where the further away the government were talking about the more strict libertarian I am, but the closer to home were talking about the more pragmatic I become. Welfare at the federal level versus the local city or town level are two completely different things. Ive seen too many people beaten down by the government school system, or the drug war, or poverty, or abuse, (and yes, as you mention much of this would be alleviated by a more libertarian system) that if some of my local tax dollars goes to fund a local abused womans shelter, or a local foodbank for the homeless, or a reading program at the local library to help children, yeah, I can get behind that. I think that where Libertarians shine brightly is in understanding the big picture, the core principles that drive big problems. But sometimes I also think that after years (or decades) of seeing all the horrible things that government has done, it becomes easy for libertarians to stick their nose up at the world (and the people suffering in it) and subtly confuse their deep understanding of what ails the country with genuine compassion. Your comments were the first Ive seen that broaches this topic. Sincerely, the 80% Libertarian. C

Dear C: Without government, the poor would be much better off. The state takes half the GDP and wastes most of it. They use a lot of their share of our production to regulate us, and make us even less efficient. Even so, charitable giving is generous. Without the statists, it would be much higher. I dont think we need fear for the plight of the helpless in the free society. Nor am I a big fan of federalism; let the cities and states solve problems, not the federal government. The state is the state is the state; it is evil at any and all levels. Yes, other things equal, we libertarians expect better from local than central governments, but this is not always the case. President Reagan once threatened NYC with dire consequences for their local rent control ordinances. I favored him over them in that episode. Hopefully, this experience will now raise you to 81% libertarian, or more.

Readings. On federalism: Block, Walter E. and Stephan Kinsella. 5/24/05. Federalism. http://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block48.html

On charity, poverty:

Anderson, G., 1987; Anderson M., 1978; Beito, 2000; Block, 2001, 2011; Brown, 1987; Delery and Block, 2006; Elder, 2016; Hazlitt, 1969; Higgs, 1995; Knight, Simpson and Block, 2015; LaBletta and Block, 1999; Moscatello, McAndrews and Block, 2015; Murray, 1984, 2006; Niskanen, 2006; Olasky, 1992; Piven and Cloward, 1993; Richman, 2001; Rothbard, 1996, 1998; Sowell, 2014; Tucker, 1984; Williams, 2014. For a critique of Murray, 2006, see Gordon, 2006.

Anderson, Gary M. 1987. Welfare Programs in the Rent Seeking Society, Southern Economic Journal, 54: 377-386

Anderson, Martin. 1978. Welfare: The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States, Stanford: Hoover Institution

Beito, David. 2000. From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Block, Walter E. 2001. Transfers in Kind: Why They Can be Efficient and Nonpaternalistic Comment, International Journal of Value-Based Management, pp. 191-199; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/transfers_in_kind.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. Toward a libertarian theory of charitable donations. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets. Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 9-28; http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/abstracts/economics-management-and-financial-markets/volume-64-2011/toward-a-libertarian-theory-of-charitable-donations-to-criminals-governments.html; http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,103/id,23/view,category/#catid143

Brown, Arnold. 1987. The Shadow Side of Affluence: The Welfare System and the Welfare of the Needy, Fraser Forum, October.

Delery, Jeanette and Walter E. Block. 2006. Corporate Welfare, Markets and Morality; Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall, pp. 337-346; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/new/index.php?mm_id=6; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/new/article.php?article=37; http://www.acton.org/publicat/m_and_m/pdf/9277645.pdf

Elder, Larry. 2016. Black fathers matter. June 13; http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/marriage/black-fathers-matter.html

Gordon, David. 2006. A Man, A Plan, A Flop. Mises Daily. April 24; http://mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=296; http://mises.org/daily/2118

Hazlitt, Henry. 1969. Man vs. the Welfare State. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House.

Higgs, Robert. 1995. The Myth of Failed Policies. The Free Market. June. Vol. 13, No. 6. http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=239&sortorder=articledate

Knight, Victoria*, David Simpson*, and Walter E. Block. 2015. Welfare: The Negative Societal Effects. Acta Economica et Turistica. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 77-93;; http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=toc&id_broj=12165; http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=221911

LaBletta, Nicole and Walter E. Block. 1999. The Restoration of the American Dream: A Case for Abolishing Welfare, Humanomics, Vol. 15, No 4, pp. 55-65

Moscatello, Rick, Megan McAndrews* and Walter E. Block. 2015. Satisfied with Poverty: An Argument for Ending Welfare. Journal of Leadership and Management; Vol. 3, No. 5, http://leadership.net.pl/index.php/JLM/article/view/75; reprinted in Leadership and Management: Emerging, Contemporary, and Unorthodox Perspectives, Szpaderski, Adam and Christopher P. Neck, editors

Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing Ground: American Social Policy from 1950 to 1980, New York: Basic Books

Murray, Charles. 2006. In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press

Niskanen, William. 2006. Build a Wall around the Welfare State, Not around the Country, Cato Policy Report. September/October; http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/build-a-wall-around-the-welfare-state-not-around-the-country/

Olasky, Marvin. 1992. The Tragedy of American Compassion, Chicago: Regnery Gateway.

Piven, Frances Fox and Richard Cloward. 1993. Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare, New York City, NY: Vintage.

Richman, Sheldon. 2001. Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State. Future of Freedom Foundation

Rothbard, Murray N. 1996. Origins of the Welfare State in America, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall, pp. 193-230

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. Welfare and the Welfare State. In The Ethics of Liberty, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, pp. 160-193; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Sowell, Thomas.2014. Welfare does not work. http://www.targetliberty.com/2014/11/thomas-sowell-welfare-does-not-work.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Tucker, William. 1984. Black Family Agonistes, The American Spectator, July, pp. 14-17.

Williams, Walter E. 2014. Black People Duped. March 4; http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/03/walter-e-williams/black-people-duped/

Walter Williams documentary: http://www.suffernofoolsfilm.com/preview.php

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Walter Block – Austrian Economist and Libertarian Theorist

New Libertarian Student Club at Linfield College Harassed and Condemned – legal Insurrection (blog)

they faced repeated and intense backlash from some professors and students

So many progressives dont even seem to understand what Libertarians believe. If they did, more college students would probably be Libertarians.

The College Fix reports:

Students launch libertarian club at small Oregon college and get harassed, investigated, condemned

All they wanted to do was promote free speech and intellectual diversity. Instead their activities were condemned and shut down by professors and students.

So say members of the Young Americans for Liberty campus club at Linfield College, who tell The College Fix their efforts were stifled and stymied through fear and intimidation, administrative power, and student hysteria at their small school in McMinnville, Ore.

The liberty-loving students say they faced repeated and intense backlash from some professors and students after launching their club this past spring mostly notably their event with controversial Professor Jordan Peterson was canceled by campus leaders. Peterson is the University of Toronto psychologist recently famous for his opposition to the requirement of made-up gender pronouns.

The student group was also investigated for circulating a free speech ball on which someone drew Pepe the Frog, the unofficial alt-right mascot. After an investigation, during which YAL leaders were called in and interrogated, the student who drew the image was forced to write a conciliatory essay.

Another of their events, a screening of The Red Pill, a documentary on mens rights activists and critical of the contemporary feminist movement, drew even more ire from campus leaders, with one even likening the libertarian students events to terrorism recruitment.

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New Libertarian Student Club at Linfield College Harassed and Condemned – legal Insurrection (blog)

Student tries to get professor in trouble for assigning her libertarian reading – The College Fix

Im paying too much to be forced to read ideological garbage

After he cut the microphone for the high school valedictorian who criticized the authoritative attitude of administrators, guaranteeing the suppression would go viral, Wyoming Area Secondary Center Principal Jon Pollard told the new graduates to watch what you put on social media.

Its advice that would have been better directed to another young person who showcased her narrowmindedness and disinterest in hearing other perspectives on Twitter.

University of St. Francis student Jennifer Martin tweetedWednesday that her professor (an adjunct, it turns out) gave her an assigned reading on national health care systems from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank that is widely respected in D.C. for the quality of its research and thought-provoking events (one such event covered here last fall).

Cato also got tens of millions in fundingover the years from Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who are active in Republican politics, and it was co-founded by Charles four decades ago.

This was enough for Martin to declare that her professor had committed an academic sin, and she would get this person in trouble for giving her ideological garbage from a conservative propaganda machine to read. (Never mind the Kochs sued Cato for control of a board seat five years ago, and the settlement protected Catos independence.)

She even pinned it to the top of her Twitter feed.

What followed was a mostly civil back-and-forth between Martin a self-described liberal lover who claims repeatedly she would feel the same about reading a liberal think tank and some names that might be familiar to College Fix readers.

Former Fix writer Nick Pappas quipped: If I had to read the writings of communists, and listen to the words of terrorists, you can read what a few liberatarains [sic] think.

They argued a bit, with Martin saying Cato was not a reputable source and its article omitted data to push the limited govt agenda, and Pappas saying that Martin was setting an unrealistic standard for any article. (Current Fix writer Kayla Schierbecker joined in with a quip, too.)

Group blog Popehat, a great source of First Amendment-related posts, joked that If its any comfort its pretty clear you wont be able to understand [the article] well enough to be corrupted by it.

Various professors and young academics joined in to encourage Martin to broaden her reading to things she disagrees with and formulate thoughtful critiques.

The student kept insisting that political think tanks are not educational, but that she read the Cato article and it confirmed her view that Cato is political propaganda.

Philosophy professor Francis Beckwith of Baylor University (with whom I have a past connection via another think tank, the Discovery Institute) thanked Martin for giving him a good example of the genetic fallacy for his class.

Most responses were simply bemused. Charles Cooke is National Review Onlines editor, by the way, and the Niskanen Center (Will Wilkinson) is a much younger and explicitly activist libertarian think tank.

Before I go any further: The universitys website has no record of this professor Fran Steel that I could find, nor does Google, and USF (a Catholic institution) has not responded to my query as of late Wednesday.

But Martin refers to the professor further down the thread as an adjunct, and this could be an online class. USF is based in suburban Chicago, but it also has a healthcare-focused campus in Albuquerque, which would explain why Martin was offered a reading on healthcare policy.

We werent all sure at The Fix whether this was even a real argument by Martin, or if it was a prank or parody. It fits every stereotype we have of students who refuse to engage with an argument based on some wholly subjective standard (its not responsible, as Martin says).

And we do have trouble believing shed really object to reading an article in, say, a Center for American Progress publication. Heres another Martin tweet that is posted on her front page.

What is encouraging about this thread is Martin keeps engaging with critics even as she says she shouldnt have to engage with Cato because of its (complicated) Koch relationship.

And given everything you hear about trolling and the inability of people of different views to have a civil conversation on anything, this is a pretty damn civil argument.

Lets hope Martin learns from this experience and becomes eager to explain why an argument is wrong, using her own responsible data, and not simply why the source of the argument invalidates it.

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Student tries to get professor in trouble for assigning her libertarian reading – The College Fix

How Many Libertarians Are There? The Answer Depends on the Method You Use – Cato Institute (blog)

There has been debate this week about how many libertarians are there. The answer is: it depends on how you measure it and how you define libertarian. The overwhelming body of literature, however, using a variety of different methods and different definitions, suggests that libertarians comprise about 10-20% of the population, but may range from 7-22%.

Furthermore, if one imposes the same level of ideological consistency on liberals, conservatives, and communitarians/populists that many do on libertarians, these groups too comprise similar shares of the population.

In this post I provide a brief overview of different methods academics have used to identify libertarians and what they found. Most methods start from the premise that libertarians are economically conservative and socially liberal. Despite this, different studies find fairly different results. What accounts for the difference?

1) First, people use different definitions of libertarians

2) Second, they use different questions in their analysis to identify libertarians

3) Third, they use very different statistical methods.

Lets start with a few questions: How do you define a libertarian? Is there one concrete libertarian position on every policy issue?

What is the libertarian position on abortion? Is there one? What is the libertarian position on Social Security? Must a libertarian support abolishing the program, or might a libertarian support private accounts, or means testing, or sending it to the states instead? A researcher will find fewer libertarians in the electorate if they demand that libertarians support abolishing Social Security rather than means testing or privatizing it.

Further, why are libertarians expected to conform to an ideological litmus test but conservatives and liberals are not? For instance, what is the conservative position on Social Security? Is there one? When researchers use rigid ideological definitions of liberals and conservatives, they too make up similar shares of the population as libertarians. Thus, as political scientist Jason Weeden has noted, researchers have to make fairly arbitrary decisions about where the cut-off points should be for the libertarian, liberal, or conservative position. This pre-judgement strongly determines how many libertarians researchers will find.

Next, did researchers simply ask people if they identify as libertarian, or did they ask them public policy questions (a better method)? If the latter, how many issue questions did they ask? Then, what questions did they ask?

For instance, what questions are used to determine if someone is liberal on social issues? For instance, did the researcher ask survey takers about legalizing marijuana or did the researcher ask about affirmative action for women in the workplace instead? Libertarians will answer these questions very differently and that will impact the number of libertarians researchers find.

While there is no perfect method, the fact that academics using a variety of different questions, definitions, and statistical techniques still find that the number is somewhere between 7-22% gives us some idea that the number of libertarians is considerably larger than 0.

Next, I give a brief overview of the scholarly research on the estimated share of libertarians, conservatives, liberals, and communitarians in the American electorate. I organize their findings by methods used starting with most empirically rigorous:

Ask people to answer a series of questions on a variety of policy topics and input their responses into a statistical algorithm

In theses studies, researchers ask survey respondents a variety of issue questions on economic and social/cultural issues. Then, they input peoples answers into a statistical clustering technique and allow an algorithm to find the number of libertarians. This is arguably the strongest method to identify libertarians.

Ask people to answer a series of questions on a variety of policy topics and plot their average responses on a 2-dimensional plot

In these studies, researchers 1) average responses to multiple questions on economics and then 2) average responses to multiple questions on social/cultural/identity/lifestyle issues. They then take the two averaged scores to plot respondents on a 2-dimensional graph (Economic Issues by Social Issues).

Ask people to answer a question about economic policy and a question about social policy

While not as rigorous as asking people multiple questions, this is another quick way to observe the diversity of ideological opinion in surveys.

Ask people if they identify as libertarian and know what the word means

The Pew Research Center found that 11% of Americans agree that the word libertarian describes me well and know libertarians emphasize individual freedom by limiting the role of government.

Ask people if they identify as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, an oft-used definition of libertarianism

A 2011 Reason-Rupe poll found that 8% of Americans said they were conservative on economic issues and also liberal on social issues. But the same method found 9% identified as liberal on both social and economic issues, 2% identified as liberal on economic issues and conservative on social issues, and 31% identified as conservative on both social and economic issues. They remainder were somewhere in the middle These results are consistent with polls from Rasmussen, and Gallup which finds a public preference for the word conservative over liberal. This means many people who endorse liberal policy are inclined to self-identify as moderate or conservative.


In sum, the overwhelming body of empirical evidence suggests that libertarians share of the electorate is likely somewhere between 10-20% and the conservative and liberal shares arent that much greater. Libertarians exist, quite a lot, but you have to know what youre looking for.

Excerpt from:

How Many Libertarians Are There? The Answer Depends on the Method You Use – Cato Institute (blog)

On the heels of my conversation with the Good Catholic Libertarian – Patheos (blog)

who wants diabetics to die as punishment for their sins of sloth and gluttony, the Trump Administration makes clear that this will be Administration policy too.

It needs to be clearly understood that the American Taliban Christians in the ranks of Trump defenders will support the denial of health care to every person whose illness they deem to be a divine judgment for sin. As court prophets to the rich and powerful, such prolife Christians will tell cancer victims, diabetics, the obese, pregnant women, STD and AIDS victims and a host of others that they are parasites who brought it on themselves and who should be punished with denial of health care because a just and righteous God wills it.

And all the while they pronounce death and judgment on the lebensunwertes leben in the name of a false Jesus, these Christians lie that it is a state social safety net and not their own brutal and vindictive hearts that keeps them from otherwise being as generous to sick as St. Francis of Assisi. Who do they think they are kidding?

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On the heels of my conversation with the Good Catholic Libertarian – Patheos (blog)

Former pro-wrestler with ties to Kellyanne Conway seeks Illinois governor nod – Chicago Tribune

Is there room for another heel in the Illinois governor’s race?

Former pro wrestler Jon “The Illustrious One” Stewart says yes and he’s looking to put his rivals for the Libertarian Party nomination in a half nelson, then body-slam Bruce Rauner and whoever the Democrats select in the general election.

“Politics is wrestling with suits and ties on,” Stewart, 50, told Chicago Inc. “I’m comfortable on a mic, and I’m not afraid to tell the truth.”

It isn’t The Illustrious One’s first run for elected office. Back in 1997, he unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for the state House on the North Shore with a little help from President Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway.

“I was her first political client,” said Stewart, who lives in Deerfield and now runs his family’s used-car dealership. “She’s probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met so I’m not surprised she has got to where she is.

“I’m a little like her we both speak our minds, and sometimes we might speak out of turn, but we are not afraid.”

But by Stewart’s own admission, the best-known episode of his colorful life came in 2006 when he was mistaken for longtime “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart by a high school in Utah that accidentally booked him for a fundraising gala.

Stewart later took an unsuccessful stab at running for Congress as a Republican, before a falling-out with the late then-Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka led him to join the Libertarians in 2011.

Like Conway, Stewart remains a fan of Trump, who himself has dabbled in the pro-wrestling world. Stewart said he voted for Trump after previously backing Barack Obama because Trump is a necessary “Molotov cocktail thrown into the system in Washington, D.C.”

That could cause problems for Stewart at the state Libertarian convention in March 2018, when party members will select their candidate in a caucus and might hold Stewart’s failure to support Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson against him.

Two other Libertarian candidates, Matt Scaro and Kash Jackson, have also announced runs, and Illinois Libertarian Party Chairman Lex Green said Stewart “has to overcome” the irritation of party workers who spent $100,000 getting Johnson on the ballot in Illinois.

“But Jon is a good candidate, and there are many pragmatic libertarians who may be able to look past that,” Green said.

Stewart is hoping that policies including a Trump-like plan to send 300 federal officers into Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood to combat violence and replacing pensions with 401(k)s for new government hires will sway voters.

And he pointed to the 1998 election of former wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura as governor of Minnesota, as well as Trump’s recent victory, as evidence of an enduring appetite for outsider candidates.

“When I first ran in the North Shore, I think most people were expecting a bleached blond guy in a leather motorcycle vest to show up, so they were surprised to find someone in a shirt who was engaged on the issues,” Stewart said.

Though his campaign doesn’t have much money, car dealers across the state have vowed to back him, he said, adding that people who underestimate him will be “surprised.”

“The state’s politics aren’t working it’s surreal at this point,” he said. “How can the Democrats and the Republicans say, ‘Give us one more chance?'”


Twitter @kimjnews

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Former pro-wrestler with ties to Kellyanne Conway seeks Illinois governor nod – Chicago Tribune

Jasper County Libertarian Party gains official recognition – Newsbug.info

The Libertarian Party of Jasper County recently celebrated its official recognition by the Libertarian Party of Indiana. Though the local party’s precise number is small, members are planning events to spread the message of libertarianism, and several initiatives for county politics may be arriving in the near future.

Loren Berenda, a Shelter Insurance Agent and former law enforcement officer, is the local party chairman. He believes that the party first began to find momentum in Jasper County during the 2016 presidential election, if only due to the unpopularity of the major party candidates. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson collected 620 votes from the county, according to courthouse records.

“I know there’s a lot of locals who weren’t happy with Gary Johnson,” Berenda said. “But it was an alternative to Hillary Clinton. And then, obviously President Trump had a lot of negative publicity that was coming out…A lot of people just pushed Gary Johnson’s box as a protest to the other two.”

The number of voters doesn’t have to reflect the exact number of registered party members, and it did show potential interest in Libertarianism from locals. So, local party members decided to try for official recognition from the state-level party. Read the full story in the print edition or by subscribing to the e-edition.

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Jasper County Libertarian Party gains official recognition – Newsbug.info

When the Libertarian Mask Slips and the Eugenicist is Revealed – Patheos (blog)

Had a typical conversation with a Libertarian about the question of health care as a right. He was a typical Catholic dissenter from the Churchs teaching on this point, offering the typical Libertarian falsehoods like:

The reason this is a lie is that health care is not charity. It is, as the Church teaches, a right.

The Libertarian lie in reply to this is twofold.

The reply to these lies is twofold as well:

The reason health care is a right is that life is a right and health is simply a corollary of that. And because health care is a right, guaranteeing access to it, like guaranteeing the right to be born, is a matter of justice, not charity, too. And since it is precisely the business of the state to secure justice, it is the rightful business of the state to secure access to health care for all.

My Libertarian correspondent would have none of this, of course, and emitted the customary lie of Libertarians that state involvement in health care robbed him of the power to glow with the burning personal charity that would consume his heart for the poor and sick, did not the state remove a buck and half from his paycheck in brutal act of violent theft. The poor and sick would see the dawn of a new Millennium of care for all their needs at the hands of a Marching Army of Living Libertarians Saints more generous than St. Francis of Assisi if the state and its monstrous confiscatory powers were not aided by the liberal cabal Catholic bishops in calling for universal health care (as they have, in fact, done for a century).

But then the mask suddenly slipped and he wrote:

Youre an economic buffoon who also happens to be guilty of the sins of sloth and gluttony. You and your following should be ashamed of yourselves for demanding the robbery of the material wealth of the productive.How much of your health care is a right? Youre obese. Should we be forced to pay extra for your sins of gluttony and sloth?

And there it was. All the burning charity suddenly evaporated and made clear that the use of medicine as a weapon to punish the lebensunwertes leben is one of the many charming features of Libertarianism. You know, like this:

I remember when Catholics were all up in arms about death panels. Turns out the only real problem was that guys like my deeply, truly Catholic Libertarian reader wanted to make sure that *he* got to chair them.

And thats the thing. With very few exceptions, Libertarianism is a philosophy which, in contests between the wealthy and powerful vs. the poor, virtually *always* sides with the powerful and declares any state action on behalf of justice for the defenseless to be violence while all violence against the weak is the invisible hand of the market.

Mixed with a smug real Catholic pride, it assumes all illness is Gods punishment for sin and wants to see the wrath of God run its course on those guilty of (in this case) gluttony and sloth (like he knows one damn thing about me and is competent to render such a verdict on the life of a total stranger). This Libertarian Judge of Souls wants diabetics (or anybody else they deem guilty of health-related sins, whether sinfully pregnant women, sinfully sick smokers, sinfully obese cubicle workers or sinfully sick AIDS patients) to die as punishment rather than he pay one damn penny to help their treatment. And he wants everybody to believe that this is all because he is more personally generous than St. Francis of Assisi, but the state gets in the way of his holy charity. These guys are so full of crap and such massive and vindictive narcissists, it takes your breath away.


When the Libertarian Mask Slips and the Eugenicist is Revealed – Patheos (blog)

Local Libertarians betting on community engagement to improve ballot recognition – Mid-City Messenger

Local Libertarians betting on community engagement to improve ballot recognition
Mid-City Messenger
The Orleans Parish Libertarian Party is working to grow their party while earning recognition on the ballot, but community engagement is the first step. Mike Dodd, chairman of the local party, encouraged other Libertarian party members to run for

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Local Libertarians betting on community engagement to improve ballot recognition – Mid-City Messenger

What Conservatives and Libertarians Should Learn from Grenfell – National Review

The fire that consumed Grenfell Tower last Wednesday was an unimaginable sort of horror. Parents threw children out of windows to onlookers below; entire households perished; there are reports that no one from the top three floors survived. The death toll is still increasing. It was almost certainly the worst fire in the United Kingdom in decades.

And it was entirely preventable. For an additional 5,000 (about $6,400) the apartment block could have been refurbished with fire-resistant cladding, rather than the highly flammable materials banned in the United States and Germany that were used instead, and that probably transformed a run-of-the-mill high-rise fire into a national tragedy. For 138,000 ($176,000), the entire building could have been retrofitted with sprinklers. Residents had complained for years that the building was unsafe and could not be safely evacuated in the case of a serious fire.

It should not be shocking, then, that Megan McArdle has received a blizzard of rebukes for suggesting that it may be misguided to criticize the London authorities for not installing sprinkler systems. McArdle does not make any conclusive claims about the sprinklers: She acknowledges that the former housing minister who decided not to require developers to install sprinklers may have made the wrong call. But, McArdle argues, all expenditures must be justified and balanced against the possible trade-offs: Every dollar [the government] spends on installing sprinkler systems cannot be spent on the health service, or national device, or pollution control. And McArdle, as a good libertarian, points out that requiring developers to install sprinklers would increase rents and impose other costs, while leaving the issue unregulated would allow potential tenants themselves to choose whether sprinkler systems and other safety features are worth the cost.

McArdle was savaged on social media for these transparently reasonable sentiments; one particularly asinine Slate article was mockingly titled, Would I Cross the Street to Spit on You If You Were on Fire? Theres Always a Trade-Off. People dont, it turns out, particularly appreciate the notion that safety is a trade-off; they particularly dont appreciate hearing about the importance of such trade-offs in the aftermath of an unbearable tragedy. At times like these, people want to hear about requisitioning the empty houses of rich people, as Jeremy Corbyn suggested. They want to hear about greedy developers going to prison; they want politicians unseated. People want something to be done, even if that something doesnt make much sense or will not be particularly helpful.

This, of course, is a problem with people, not a problem with Megan McArdle, whose column appeared obnoxious precisely because it was reasonable and levelheaded at a time when one is not supposed to be either. McArdle is right that there is always a trade-off and that the government should install sprinklers in public housing only if that is the best use of the money. McArdle is right, too, that requiring developers to install sprinklers in every single building would price low-income households out of units they could otherwise have afforded, and would deprive people of the ability to determine for themselves what level of risk they are willing to pay for.

But McArdles analysis is incomplete. Any perfect cost-benefit analysis, after all, should take into account not only the fiscal costs and benefits directly implicated in a decision but also the costs and benefits associated with the long-term repercussions of the decision.

In this case, the decision not to install more expensive cladding at Grenfell was a catastrophic failure for the cause of responsible governance. The tragedy has galvanized England and will almost certainly bring in its wake a less compromising, and less proportionate, attitude toward building regulations. A flurry of laws will surely be passed to assuage the horror and the sense of national culpability. Some of these laws may be reasonable and well designed, but it is likely that most will not be. And that is the best-case scenario. Londons mayor, Sadiq Khan, has suggested that the tower blocks of the 1960s and 70s, which provide low-income housing to thousands in a city with a severe housing crisis, may be systematically torn down. And if, as seems possible, the Grenfell fire leads to the fall of Theresa May and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, then a libertarian approach to building regulations will ultimately have produced the first genuinely left-wing government the United Kingdom has seen since 1979.

There is very little that is worse for skeptics of big government than a tragedy. Since people demand action after a tragedy, tragedies tend to lead to greater regulation, and regulation is subject to a ratchet effect: Once regulations are passed, they are hard to reverse and the new regulatory climate becomes normal. The political effects of a tragedy can shape society for decades it was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in lower Manhattan that brought about new regulatory standards in factories, and the Titanic changed maritime safety forever.

It stands to reason, then, that conservatives and libertarians have an interest in promoting modest, cheap, and popular safety rules and regulations. If the United Kingdom had banned the flammable cladding used in Grenfell, as America and Germany had, no one would be talking today about tearing down low-income housing across London, and the cost would be only a few thousand pounds more per development. If the authorities had prevented factories in lower Manhattan from locking their employees in, the garment workers would probably never have unionized. If the Titanic had been forced by law to carry enough lifeboats, maritime regulations would probably be far simpler today.

Libertarians in particular will find these preventive regulations difficult to stomach. But most of the world is not libertarian certainly, not after a trauma of this magnitude and so, difficult to stomach though they may be, safety rules and regulations, carefully chosen and managed, are a worthwhile investment in a slightly more libertarian future.

READ MORE: Assigning Blame for Londons Tower Inferno The Tragedy of Grenfell

Max Bloom is an editorial intern at National Review.

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What Conservatives and Libertarians Should Learn from Grenfell – National Review

Marxism Returns to the UK The Right Engle – Being Libertarian

Being Libertarian
Marxism Returns to the UK The Right Engle
Being Libertarian
For the past few decades it seemed like hardcore socialism was a thing of the past in the United Kingdom. The Conservative and Labour parties had both accepted a liberal consensus that markets were good, and that aggressive redistributive policies and …

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Marxism Returns to the UK The Right Engle – Being Libertarian

New Study Shows What Really Happened in the 2016 Election – New York Magazine

Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group has a new survey of the electorate that explodes many of the myths that we believe about American politics. Lee Drutman has a fascinating report delving into the data. I want to highlight a few of the most interesting conclusions in the survey.

1. The Democratic Party is not really divided on economics. You think the Bernie Sanders movement was about socialism? Not really. Sanders voters have the same beliefs about economic equality and government intervention as Hillary Clinton supporters. On the importance of Social Security and Medicare, Sanders voters actually have more conservative views:

Where they mainly differ is on international trade and the question of whether politics is a rigged game. The ideological content of Sanderss platform is not what drew voters. It was, instead, his counter-positioning to Clinton as a clean, uncorrupted outsider.

2. Fiscal conservativesocial liberals are overrepresented. The study breaks down the beliefs of voters in both parties by income. The parties tend to cohere pretty tightly rich Republicans are much closer to poor Republicans than either is to the Democrats; and rich Democrats and poor Democrats share more in common than either does with Republicans.

Still, there are important differences. The richest members of both parties have more economically conservative and socially liberal views than the poorest members. That gives them disproportionate influence over their agendas and priorities.

3. Libertarians dont exist. Well, obviously, they exist just not in any remotely large enough numbers to form a constituency. Its not just hardcore libertarians who are absent. Even vaguely libertarian-ish voters are functionally nonexistent.

The study breaks down voters into four quadrants, defined by both social and economic liberalism. But virtually everybody falls into three quadrants: socially liberal/economically liberal; socially conservative/economically conservative; and socially conservative/economically liberal. The fourth quadrant, socially liberal/economically conservative, is empty:

The libertarian movement has a lot of money and hardcore activist and intellectual support, which allows it to punch way above its weight. Libertarian organs like Reason regularly churn out polemics and studies designed to show that libertarianism is a huge new trend and the wave of the future. Sometimes, mainstream news organizations buy what theyre selling. But the truth is that the underrepresented cohort in American politics is the opposite of libertarians: people with right-wing social views who support big government on the economy.

4. Trump won by dominating with populists. Republicans always need to do reasonably well with populists, which is why theres always a tension between the pro-government leanings of a large number of their voters and the anti-government tilt of the party agenda. The key to Trumps success was to win more populists than Mitt Romney had managed. The issues where 2012 Obama voters who defected to Trump diverge from the ones who stayed and voted for Clinton are overwhelmingly related to race and identity.

As Drutman notes, Among populists who voted for Obama, Clinton did terribly. She held onto only 6 in 10 of these voters (59 percent). Trump picked up 27 percent of these voters, and the remaining 14 percent didnt vote for either major party candidate. What makes this result fascinating is that, in 2008, Clinton had positioned herself as the candidate of the white working class and she dominated the white socially conservative wing of her party. But she lost that identity so thoroughly that she couldnt even replicate the performance of a president who had become synonymous with elite social liberalism.

Every election is different. But to the extent that 2016 has an ideological lesson for Democrats, it is that the subject the party is currently debating within itself whether or how far left to move on economics is irrelevant to its electoral predicament. The issue space where Clinton lost voters who had supported Obama was in the array of social-identity questions, revolving around patriotism and identity.

They may not need to solve this problem Trumps failures may well solve it for them. And to some extent, moral commitments to social justice may preclude the party from moving to the center on some or all of their social policies. But to the extent Democrats want to optimize their party profile to make Trump a one-term president, the social issues are where they need to focus.

Assads decision to test U.S. pilots last weekend suggests we cant keep the U.S. fight against ISIS separate from the Syrian conflict any longer.

The press secretary may no longer be doing his daily briefings.

Otto Warmbier came back to the United States last week in a coma, after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months.

The court handed down rulings that could make the Washington Redskins and anyone blocked on Twitter by Donald Trump very happy.

The GOP leader is trying to keep everyone guessingmost recently with reports the Senate will vote on health care legislation next week.

Jon Ossoffs race against Karen Handel in Georgia is the first test.

The defender of the citys old guard is anonymous no more.

It is well established that states cannot draw district lines to disadvantage racial minorities. Political minorities have no such protection yet.

As the special counsel looks into Kushners finances, the White House adviser is searching to add a courtroom litigator to his legal team.

The suspect is reportedly dead, but no cops or bystanders were harmed.

Time to scratch at least he wont start a war with Russia from your list of upsides to the Trump presidency.

Ten people were injured and one death at the scene may be related to the attack. Witnesses said the driver shouted that he wanted to kill Muslims.

The production closed Sunday night.

A Seattle mother reports a burglary. Police shoot her. Meanwhile, Trump wants to stop reforms of police brutality.

Critics said the edited version offered a decent overview of the Infowars host but still had journalistic shortcomings.

En Marche defeated the two establishment parties, though turnout was at a record low.

A new survey of the electorate explodes many of the myths we believe about American politics.

In a race thats too close to call, both parties are seeing a potential harbinger for what will happen in the 2018 midterms.

Sunday saw some unprecedented escalations in Syrias long conflict, including a cross-border Iranian ballistic missile strike on ISIS.

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New Study Shows What Really Happened in the 2016 Election – New York Magazine

‘Democracy In Chains’ Traces The Rise Of American Libertarianism – NPR

Obscuring census data to give “conservative districts more than their fair share of representation.” Preventing access to the vote. Decrying “socialized medicine.” Trying to end Social Security using dishonest vocabulary like “strengthened.” Lionizing Lenin. Attempting to institute voucher programs to “get out of the business of public education.” Increasing corporatization of higher education. Harboring a desire, at heart, to change the Constitution itself.

This unsettling list could be 2017 Bingo. In fact, it’s from half a century earlier, when economist James Buchanan an early herald of libertarianism began to cultivate a group of like-minded thinkers with the goal of changing government. This ideology eventually reached the billionaire Charles Koch; the rest is, well, 2017 Bingo.

This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. It’s grim going; this isn’t the first time Nancy MacLean has investigated the dark side of the American conservative movement (she also wrote Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan), but it’s the one that feels like it was written with a clock ticking down.

Still, it takes the time to meticulously trace how we got here from there. Charles and his brother David Koch have been pushing the libertarian agenda for more than 20 years. A generation before them, Buchanan founded a series of enclaves to study ways to make government bend. Before that, critic and historian Donald Davidson coined the term “Leviathan” in the 1930s for the federal government, and blamed northeasterners for “pushing workers’ rights and federal regulations. Such ideas could never arise from American soil, Davidson insisted. They were ‘alien’ European imports brought by baleful characters.” And going back another century, the book locates the movement’s center in the fundamentalism of Vice President John C. Calhoun, for whom the ideas of capital and self-worth were inextricably intertwined. (Spoilers: It was about slavery.)

It’s grim going; this isn’t the first time Nancy MacLean has investigated the dark side of the American conservative movement … but it’s the one that feels like it was written with a clock ticking down.

Buchanan headed a group of radical thinkers (he told his allies “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential”), who worked to centralize power in states like Virginia. They eschewed empirical research. They termed taxes “slavery.” They tried repeatedly to strike down progressive action school integration, Social Security claiming it wasn’t economically sound. And they had the patience and the money to weather failures in their quest to win.

As MacLean lays out in their own words, these men developed a strategy of misinformation and lying about outcomes until they had enough power that the public couldn’t retaliate against policies libertarians knew were destructive. (Look no further than Flint, MacLean says, where the Koch-funded Mackinac Center was behind policies that led to the water crisis.) And it’s painstakingly laid out. This is a book written for the skeptic; MacLean’s dedicated to connecting the dots.

She gives full due to the men’s intellectual rigor; Buchanan won the Nobel for economics, and it’s hard to deny that he and the Koch brothers have had some success. (Alongside players like Dick Armey and Tyler Cowen, there are cameos from Newt Gingrich, John Kasich, Mitt Romney, and Antonin Scalia.) But this isn’t a biography. Besides occasional asides, MacLean’s much more concerned with ideology and policy. By the time we reach Buchanan’s role in the rise of Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet (which backfired so badly on the people of Chile that Buchanan remained silent about it for the rest of his life), that’s all you need to know about who Buchanan was.

We are, ‘Democracy in Chains’ is clear, at a precipice.

If you’re worried about what all this means for America’s future, you should be. The clear and present danger is hard to ignore. When nearly every radical belief the Buchanan school ever floated is held by a member of the current administration, it’s bad news.

But it’s worth noting that the primary practice outlined in this book is the leveraging of money to protect money and the counter-practice is the vocal and sustained will of the people. We are, Democracy in Chains is clear, at a precipice. At the moment, the first practice is winning. If you don’t like it, now’s the time to try the second. And if someone you know isn’t convinced, you have just the book to hand them.

Genevieve Valentine’s latest novel is Icon.


‘Democracy In Chains’ Traces The Rise Of American Libertarianism – NPR

Libertarian candidate makes fourth run for Congress in Dist. 26 – The Lewisville Texan Journal

Five main party candidates have declared they will run for the District 26 congressional seat against Michael Burgess, R-Texas, 16 months before next Novembers election. While that may seem early, thats nothing compared to Libertarian party candidate Mark Boler. Hes been running for this position for eight years.

Boler has been the Libertarian nominee for District 26 every election since 2010, and his support has been steadily increasing, for the most part. He received 2.3 percent of the vote that year, 3 percent in 2012 and 4 percent in 2016. In 2014, when the Democratic party didnt field a candidate, Boler received 17 percent of the vote.

When there is a third party running, people go to websites. People say Oh look, there is another party, he said. I think had people like me not run, all thats left is the Republican and the Democratic party, which is really the same party. Theyre the Big Government party.

The Libertarian party is the most prominent third party in the U.S., as well as one of the most long-lasting, holding its first convention in 1972 and growing ever since. In presidential elections, their candidates have been receiving increasing support since 2004, culminating in Gary Johnson receiving 3.28 percent of the vote last year, the first year in which the party was on the ballot in all 50 states. With the major parties fielding two of the most disliked presidential candidates in history, he was polling in double-digits at some points.

Johnson received 3.8 percent of the vote in Denton County.

The partys politics are based around preserving or reestablishing as much personal choice as possible by lowering taxes and fighting against laws that govern non-violent personal behavior. The most common policy positions include ending the war on drugs and pulling out of the Middle East.

Denton County Libertarian Party historian James Gholston said that while the partys poll numbers are growing slowly, public opinion has shifted much more strongly toward its positions.

Some of our ideas that seemed wildly insane once upon a time are basically mainstream, he said. Its almost a case of pick a topic. Ending the war on drugs, bringing our troops home, not regulating things into nightmare situations where youre horribly penalized just for creating jobs.

Gholston said the partys longevity is historically notable, and that most third parties start as a grassroots movement and then die out in a couple of years time.

Were still here, which is actually not a small thing when youre not a Democrat or a Republican, he said. If we were going to vanish without a trace, it would have happened decades ago.

County chair James Felder said that Texas push to end straight-ticket voting has things looking up for the party. Felder pointed to the 2016 race for Texas railroad commissioner, in which Libertarian candidate Mark Miller received 5.2 percent of the vote despite being endorsed by several major newspapers, as an example of a race that would have gone differently without straight-ticket elections.

The majority of the people vote straight-ticket. They dont even care about down-ballot candidates, he said.

Felder said Boler has been running for congress since before he became the local party chair. He said the party keeps putting Boler up as a candidate because hes incredibly active. He said Boler was party treasurer when he arrived and serves on the executive committee, goes to state conventions and helps with other candidates elections around the county.

Boler said the major barriers to his being elected are money and the prominent idea that voting for a third party is a wasted vote. The logic, such as it is, goes that since a third party candidate could never win, no one should vote for them.

Theres going to be some kind of a tipping point, a critical mass, where people see, Oh, theres a certain percentage of people voting for somebody other than a Republican or a Democrat, he said. I think then theyre going to go ahead and say, Wow, maybe they could win.

Boler said the most hes ever raised for a campaign was $2,600 in 2012, and a lot of that was his own money.

After four unsuccessful campaigns, Boler said he is still re-energized by the increasing support he receives.

I get successes and satisfaction from seeing a steady increase in the number of people that vote for me. Maybe that many people are really saying, Hey, Im fed up, I want more freedom. he said. Im here to show that theres another way, and there is. I gain satisfaction from that, even if I dont win.

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Libertarian candidate makes fourth run for Congress in Dist. 26 – The Lewisville Texan Journal