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Category Archives: Libertarian

Jonah Goldberg on Why He Left National Review, Dislikes Sean Hannity and Seb Gorka, and Is Inching Toward Libertarianism – Reason

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 2:43 am

Today's podcast is a "very special episode," though not in the way old TV shows did very special episodes, like when a character we'd never heard of would be introduced and then immediately die tragically, or we'd learn about a terrible new disease such as AIDS, or when Nancy Reagan or Michelle Obama would guest star just to bring everyone down.

No, The Reason Interview's very special episode is a two-part cross-over conversation with Jonah Goldberg, the former longtime National Review editor and bestselling author of Liberal Fascism and Suicide of the West. The first part appears here and the second part will appear on Goldberg's podcast, The Remnant, on Thursday, December 5 (go here to subscribe).

Goldberg is a prominent conservative critic of Donald Trump and just a few months ago announced his departure from National Review, where he worked for over two decades. He now hangs his hat at a new media venture called The Dispatch, which involves another prominent conservative, the former editor in chief of The Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes, and another National Review refugee, David French (go here for The Reason Interview with French, which came out earlier this year).

Nick Gillespie talks with Goldberg about the reasons why he left the flagship publication of the American right wing, why he has little-to-no respect for right-wingers like Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, why he's moving in a libertarian direction, and what he, Hayes, and French hope to achieve with The Dispatch. To listen to the second half of this very special podcast when it drops on The Remnant on Thursday, go here, Apple podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Update (12/5): The second half of this conversation is now live at Jonah Goldberg's podcast site. Go here to listen and subscribe. Or click below!

Today's podcast is being released during Reason's annual webathon, when we ask our readers, viewers, and listeners to support our journalism via fully tax-deductible donations. Reason is published by a 501(c)3 nonprofit and we help cover our costs through the support of people like you, who believe in Free Minds and Free Markets, producing great journalism, and bringing a libertarian perspective to all debates about politics, culture, and ideas.

Reason started in 1968 as a mimeographed monthly magazine and is now a full-fledged media operation that reaches millions of people a month via print, the web, and our videos and podcasts. We're your voice in the public arena and we're also a source of cutting-edge news and opinion from a libertarian point of view. We've got great swag associated with different giving levels, too, so please go to Reason.com and donate what you can so we can keep on keeping on.

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Jonah Goldberg on Why He Left National Review, Dislikes Sean Hannity and Seb Gorka, and Is Inching Toward Libertarianism - Reason

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Bill Weld: Everything you need to know about the 2020 presidential candidate – ABC News

Posted: at 2:43 am

Former two-term Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld became the first Republican to mount a long-shot primary challenge against President Donald Trump. He announced his candidacy for president on April 15, 2019. The 2016 Libertarian vice presidential candidate told ABC News he would have been "ashamed" if he'd passed up on running against the president for the Republican nomination. Weld has touted his bipartisan record and ability to court independent voters in early voting states as his pathway to the White House.

Bill Weld, former Republican Governor of Massachusetts and 2020 Republican presidential candidate, speaks with a members of the media during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.

Name: William "Bill" Floyd Weld

Party: Republican -- with a stint in the Libertarian Party from 2016-2019

Date of birth: July 31, 1945

Age: 74

Hometown: Smithtown, New York

Family: Weld has five adult children -- David, Ethel, Mary, Quentin and Frances -- with his first wife, Susan Roosevelt Weld, a great-granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt. Now, Weld lives in Canton, Massachusetts, with his wife, author Leslie Marshall, and has three adult stepchildren.

Education: Weld graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with a bachelor of arts degree in Classics in 1966. He received an international economics degree from Oxford University the following year, before returning to Harvard Law School and graduating in 1970.

What he does now: After announcing his candidacy, Weld took an unpaid leave of absence from Mintz Levin law firm. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an associate member of the InterAction Council. He also sits on the board of directors of cannabis company Acreage Holdings, alongside former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and on the board of Just Energy Group Inc.

What he used to do: Weld ran as the vice presidential nominee on the 2016 Libertarian ticket. He served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. He previously served at least seven years as a federal prosecutor, first as U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts from 1981-1986 and then as U.S. assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department from 1986-1988. Early in his career, Weld participated in the Watergate impeachment inquiry as legal counsel on the House Judiciary Committee.

Republican 2020 presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld arrives to file his paperwork to put his name on the state's first-in-the-nation primary ballot in Concord, N.H., Nov. 13, 2019.

Key life/career moments:

Weld began his legal career as junior counsel on the House Judiciary Committee's staff in the Watergate impeachment inquiry. After working as a staffer in Congress and then as a private attorney in Boston, President Ronald Reagan appointed Weld as U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts in 1981. Five years later, Reagan promoted Weld to assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department.

Weld was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1990, becoming the first Republican to win a gubernatorial election in the state in 20 years. During his governorship, Weld cut taxes 21 times, led 16 international trade missions, oversaw six upgrades for the state's bond ratings, expanded abortion access and broadened LGBTQ rights, according to his campaign website. He was regarded as one of the most fiscally conservative governors in the country.

In 1996, Weld ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, losing to John Kerry. Weld resigned as governor in 1997 to pursue a nomination by President Bill Clinton as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico but withdrew his nomination after former Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., effectively blocked it in committee. For the next decade, Weld worked a variety of legal and financial jobs including a stint as the chief executive officer of Decker College in Louisville, Kentucky. He re-entered the political sphere in 2005, in an unsuccessful bid for governor of New York.

Weld ran for vice president of the United States in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket with Gary Johnson. He returned to the Republican party in early 2019 when he announced his presidential exploratory committee.

Where he stands on some issues:

Weld has positioned himself as a Republican who blends fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. His campaign told ABC News that getting their candidate on a debate stage with the president is a top priority -- but that's unlikely to take place.

"The RNC and the Republican Party are firmly behind the president. Any effort to challenge the president's nomination is bound to go absolutely nowhere," a RNC spokeswoman told ABC News in July.

In his first 100 days in office, Weld said he would first tackle cutting spending and rebuilding relations with close U.S. allies.

Weld strongly opposes Trump's tariffs and his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal but has agreed with him on wanting to remove troops from Afghanistan, according to Axios. His website indicates that on the economy, Weld supports tax cuts and reigning in spending. On social issues, Weld supports gay marriage, abortion rights and marijuana legalization.

Weld's campaign website prioritizes the issues of "income inequality, debts and deficits, and climate change." He said he would have the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accord.

Fundraising:

As of July 2019, Weld's campaign told ABC News that since entering the race in mid-April, they raised nearly $700,000 from 7,000 total donors. On top of supporter contributions, Weld gave at least $181,000 of his own money to the campaign, bringing the second quarter total to $869,000. The average donation for the quarter was $98, according to the campaign.

Weld reported $208,043 cash on hand following the third quarter deadline in mid-October.

During the 2016 presidential race, when Weld ran on the Libertarian ticket, he accepted donations from super PACs.

What you might not know about him:

In 1994, Weld was reelected as Massachusetts governor with 71% of the vote, the largest margin of victory in state history.

Weld's family traces its history back to America's early days, with one of his ancestors' graduating from Harvard College in 1650 and another, William Floyd, signing the Declaration of Independence.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller's sole federal contribution on record went to Weld in 1996 -- two checks totaling $450 during Weld's U.S. Senate race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In his time between serving as Massachusetts governor and running for New York governor, Weld published three novels.

ABC News' Will Steakin contributed to this report.

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Bill Weld: Everything you need to know about the 2020 presidential candidate - ABC News

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Dec 3 Dec 3 Texas Libertarians Win Temporary Injunction on Ballot Filing Fees – The Amarillo Pioneer

Posted: at 2:43 am

Texas Libertarians were greeted with good news on Tuesday, winning a temporary injunction against a new law enforcing filing fees against third-party candidates in the state.

Judge Kristen Hawkins issued the temporary injunction on Tuesday in Dikeman v. Hughs, restraining Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs and Harris County from enforcing filing fees against third party candidates. The law, which was passed during the 2019 legislative session, requires candidates seeking the nomination of third parties with ballot access to pay the same filing fees as candidates seeking the Republican or Democratic nomination for an office.

In a statement, plaintiff Neal Dikeman, who was also the Libertarian Partys 2018 nominee for the U.S. Senate, praised the decision.

It is a testament to Texas' shift to a battleground state that the Republican controlled legislature would risk a constitutional challenge just to limit the competitiveness of races and keep Libertarians nominees off the ballot, Dikeman said.

The temporary injunction, specifically, prevents the Secretary of State from refusing to certify third-party nominees for the general-election election ballot on the ground that the nominee did not pay a filing fee or submit a petition in lieu thereof at the time of filing or any other time, and from refusing to accept or rejecting applications for nomination from third-party candidates on the grounds that the applicant did not pay a filing fee or submit a petition in lieu thereof at the time of filing or at any other time.

Candidates are currently filing for spots on the ballot, with the deadline set for December 9. If you are interested in running for office on any partys ticket in 2020, you are asked to contact your county chairperson for additional details.

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Dec 3 Dec 3 Texas Libertarians Win Temporary Injunction on Ballot Filing Fees - The Amarillo Pioneer

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Lincoln Chafee is coming back to Iowa, with yet another party affiliation – The Gazette

Posted: at 2:43 am

The most interesting candidate from the 2016 presidential race has a new political home, and hes making plans to visit Iowa next year in what appears to be another shot at the White House.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafees campaign last cycle was widely mocked by political elites. He appeared in just one Democratic presidential debate, where his most memorable TV moment was telling the CNN moderator that he was being being a little rough in criticizing Chafees vote in the U.S. Senate to repeal banking regulations.

Chafee dropped out of the race fewer than two weeks after the debate. Now hes back in politics, under a new political banner.

Chafee changed his official residence to Wyoming this year, and took the opportunity to update his party registration after being a Republican, and independent and a Democrat at various times in his political career. Chafee said the Libertarian Partys values aligned most closely with his own.

Anti-war, anti-deficit, in favor of the 4th Amendment and gay rights, anti-capital punishment. Thats me, Chafee told me in a recent phone interview.

Chafee is scheduled to attend the Libertarian Party of Iowas state convention next February, alongside at least three declared Libertarian presidential candidates. For now, Chafee says hes only getting involved and meeting new people, but he has made zero effort to refute media speculation that hes planning another bid for the presidency, this time as part of a third party.

The two leading leftist candidates for president Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both faced questions about their loyalty to the Democratic Party. Warren was a Republican until the 1990s, while Sanders has identified as and run for office as an independent for most of his life. Another Democratic candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, has been accused by party elites of being a Republican plant.

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On the Republican side, President Donald Trump has previously been registered as a Democrat and an independent, while donating to candidates from both major parties. One of his challengers for the 2020 GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, was a Libertarian Party candidate for vice president last cycle.

Trump challenger is part of great American party-switching tradition

But nobody running for president has as peculiar a political history as Chafee, who has run for state or national office as a Republican, a Democrat and an independent.

Chafee was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1999 as a Republican after the seat was left vacant by his own fathers death. He won reelection as a Republican the next year, served one full term, and was defeated in 2006 by a Democratic challenger.

After leaving the Senate, Chafee registered as an independent and endorsed his former Senate colleague Barack Obama for president in 2008.

In 2010, Chafee was elected governor of Rhode Island as an independent, with a narrow plurality over the Republican and Democratic candidates, making him the countrys only no-party governor at the time.

As governor, Chafee switched again to be a Democrat, in part because there was no national political support for independent governors. However, he was seen as a vulnerable incumbent and ultimately decided not to seek reelection.

Chafee is quick to point out that his registration has varied, but his position on important issues has stayed the same: I have not waffled or changed.

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To the extent Chafee is discussed in national politics at all these days, he is defined by his quirks the poor debate performance, the unauthorized Lincoln Chafees Dank Meme Stash page on Facebook, or his weirdly intense dedication to transitioning the United States to the metric system, to name a few.

Its an unfortunate and unfair characterization for a political figure who is saying something different from anyone else on the national stage. His prosperity through peace platform from 2016 emphasized a realistic foreign policy, not so hellbent on policing the world and raising tension with foes.

Chafee hopes polarizing and unpopular candidates nominated by the major parties in 2020 will propel a third-party candidate to greater success.

This 2020 has potential to be very, very unique depending on who the Democrats nominate. Certainly, President Trump has his base core, but with the daily chaos I think the potential is going to there for something to be very different, he said.

Comments: (319) 339-3156; adam.sullivan@thegazette.com

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Lincoln Chafee is coming back to Iowa, with yet another party affiliation - The Gazette

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Minor parties face major obstacles in New York – The Daily News Online

Posted: at 2:43 am

Daily News Columnist

Up until last week 2019 was a good year for the Libertarian Party in New York.

In 2018, Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe ran a spirited gubernatorial campaign. His voice and vision were so fresh, so different that he became the only political candidate this writer has ever endorsed in 14 years of this column. Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers shared my assessment and cast votes for Sharpe. By surpassing the States 50,000-vote threshold, the Libertarian Party (LP) gained true ballot access in 2019 for the first time ever in the LPs 47-year history in the Empire State.

Feeding off the energy of Sharpes efforts and the very-important ballot access which led to the Partys increased visibility and viability in New York, more people joined the LP (36% growth since February) and more people ran for the LP (there were 60 candidates on local ballots throughout the State in Novembers elections). Seven Libertarians won their elections and, come 2020, they will be serving a variety of roles from city councilman to town clerk to district attorney.

But, after all those successes came news last week from the States Commission on Public Finance that could potentially close-off inroads being made by the Libertarians and other so-called third parties.

Instead of achieving ballot access by securing 50,000 votes in the race for governor every 4 years, the minor parties would, under the Commissions plan, have to requalify every 2 years by receiving either 2 percent of total votes or 130,000 votes in a presidential year or 140,000 in a gubernatorial year.

The nine-member commission, made up solely of Democrats and Republicans, looked at this as throwing a bone to the third parties as the original proposal called for a minimum of 250,000 votes per executive election.

130,000 is just as bad as 250,000 when it comes to ballot access. Its still a quantum leap from todays standards and it creates a significant hurdle for parties attempting to woo electors and elected to the fold.

How significant?

Of the most popular minor parties in New York only the Conservative Party would have been left standing after 2018s election were the rules in play, they having secured nearly 239,000 votes. Struck from 2019 and 2020 ballots would have been the Libertarians and parties that have for the most part become widely-recognizable across the state Working Families, Green, Independence and the Serve America Movement.

The loss of ballot access makes things very difficult for those that want to break up the status quo.

Rather than putting all of their grassroots and administrative efforts in developing ideas, candidates, and support the unqualified parties have to complete a petition process in order to get a candidate listed on the ballot.

Of course, the Commission has chosen to make that more difficult, too. Currently, it takes 15,000 signatures. Under the commissions plan minor parties will need 45,000. Just imagine the roadwork, hustle, and hassle that is needed to canvas the state for 3 times as many John Hancocks than are needed now.

Removing ballot access from a party also removes some democratic principles from party members. An unqualified party is unable to have a primary for state-wide offices. That means its up to party heads to decide whos running under their title; its not up to the people of the party. That not only silences different voices it can also lead to infighting among the power brokers of the party.

This is all part of the Commissions plan.

They want the infighting.

They want alternative ideas to be quieted.

They want the minor parties to be unrecognizable and forgettable.

They want the two-party system to continue its domination.

They want to control every one of us and everything we do.

Its not the least bit coincidental that the de facto chairman of the Commission is Jay Jacobs, the head of the states Democratic Party. It was a commission doing the work of the two Parties, not of the many People. If the Commissions very significant policy changes dont tell you that they think the minor parties could really pose a threat to their power, then nothing will.

Some will say thats conspiracy talk, that minor parties are meaningless and can have no positive impact. I could say the same about the major parties.

Look around the state. What have Governor Cuomo and his Democratic cronies done to improve our economys standing? What did Governor Pataki and his Republican cohorts do to stave off economic decline? Nothing and nothing.

Look around the country. Too many Americans are all-in with the Democrats or the Republicans. That partisan divide has made our nation an ugly mess.

It time for something a little different, even if that difference is sprinkled in a little at a time.

The LP won 7 seats this year. Thats where revolutions start.

State commissions? Thats where revolutions end.

Bob Confer is a Daily News columnist and president of Confer Plastics. He can be reached at bobconfer@juno.com. You can follow him on Twitter @bobconfer.

The fork ratings are based primarily on food quality and preparation, with service and atmosphere factored into the final decision. Reviews are based on one unsolicited, unannounced visit to the restaurant.

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Minor parties face major obstacles in New York - The Daily News Online

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Pros and Cons of Public and Private School – The Libertarian Republic

Posted: at 2:43 am

Schools have been always a good source of primary education. Most parents admit their child to school at the age of 3. School is the second home of a child. Teaching is a separate thing and making sure that the student learns is another thing. Schools make sure students learn by giving assignments (assignmentgeek), quizzes, class test, and many other methods.

Furthermore, school plays a vital role in building a childs character. That is one of the reasons why parents should find a good school.

When it comes to school, you will find two types of school. One is public school while the other is the private school. Both schools have different perks. In other words, both schools have pros as well as cons. In this article, we will talk about both the pros and cons of public and private schools.

Private schools owned by people. In simple words, these schools arent controlled by the government. However, the course pattern is almost the same as in public schools. The books might be different but in the end, the course learning outcome is the same.

One of the biggest advantages is that the classes are smaller. This means that the environment will also be small. Since the classroom is small, the teacher can give attention to all students. This will increase the learning process so that students can understand everything.

The private school doesnt only focus on quality education but they also focus on other activities. You will find extra classes such as PE, music class, art class, etc.

However, the curriculum is the same but, in private schools, they design it in a way to make it more challenging than public school.

One of the biggest problems is the fees. A private school charges a lot of money. This is not easy for every parent to afford such expensive schools. Moreover, because of small classes, it is not easy to secure admission in private schools.

The teachers are not qualified in public schools. In other words, mostly teacher doesnt have a teaching degree (which is one of the requirements set by the accreditation board).

Since the school has less space, therefore not many sports activities can be carried out. In a few private schools, your child needs to pass their entrance exam otherwise they wont offer the admission.

Public schools are controlled by the government. This means that the government takes care of everything from classrooms to the quality of education. There are many positive points as well as defects in public schools.

Public school is free for all children. This means that even if parents cant earn that much to pay tuition fees, they can always think about public school. The school is supported by the government. In other words, the government provides all the funds.

There is no need to pick and drop your child because public school provides transportation facilities. They have big busses and they almost cover all the important places in your city.

One of the amazing parts of public school is that they hire qualified teachers. These teachers meet all the requirements such as the degree of teaching, etc. Not to forget about sports activities. Public school keeps students engage in all kinds of activities from sports to art.

In this case, if a child contains disabilities, there is nothing to worry about because public schools also provide special services. Furthermore, they wont charge you a penny for the special services because it is a part of the Exceptional Student Education program.

Since classes have large therefore it will become hard for the teacher to give attention to all students. However, few public schools dont have such a big environment which results in great teacher-student interaction.

Another problem because of a large number of students causes funding problem. The fund (provided by the government) is not much and that is why the quality of education is decreasing day by day because they cant hire teachers.

There is a serious issue of the bad attitude of students towards others. Bullying, fighting, and many other bad behaviors are found in public schools. Last but not least, in public schools, the region cant be expressed.

School is the place where a child receives an education. It is the responsibility of the school to build up childrens character. There are two types of schools, public schools, and private schools. Both schools have different advantages as well as disadvantages. Parents should look up all the pros and cons of both school then decide what which school will be best for their child.

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Pros and Cons of Public and Private School - The Libertarian Republic

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The successes and failures of the Free State Project – Manchester Ink Link

Posted: at 2:43 am

A Porcupine, mascot animal of the libertarian party.

Authors note: The FSP mentioned here should not be confused with the Freedom Socialist Party.

In July of 2001, a Ph. D. Student at Yale University named Jason Sorens wrote an article highlighting the failures of libertarian activism and what might be done to further the cause of personal human liberty. The traditional method of capturing government power and influence through elections in order to reduce such power and influence simply was not working. The Libertarian Party had been around for almost 30 years by that point, having been formed in December of 1971 in response to growing concern over the Nixon Administration, the War in Vietnam, military conscription, and a move away from an economic gold standard of currency. In those thirty years, the party largely failed to accomplish any of its goals. It had only one single electoral vote in 1972 from the presidential candidacy of John Hospers and Theodora Nathan.

Up until 2001, with the exception of Ron Pauls candidacy in 1988, a series of political unknowns ran, gaining less than one percent of the popular presidential vote each time. To this day, the Party has not elected a single Representative or Senator to Congress. What victories the party has enjoyed, few and far between though theyve been, have largely come in state and municipal elections. Those victories have generally not been enough to sway federal, much less state, policy on a long-term basis.

A new approach other than electoral politics had to be adopted. Rather than working as disparate voices in the wilderness talking about government overreach and political corruption, libertarians would be better served congregating together in a single state in order to form an island of small government activity in a nation going increasingly mad with unwieldy government power. Such was the idea.

The number set by Sorens was 20,000 libertarian activists moving to a single state he called a Free State Society. In 2003, New Hampshire was chosen as the state where libertarians would settle, with Wyoming coming in second place. Thirteen years later, Free State Project (FSP) President Carla Gericke announced that 20,000 people had signed a declaration of intent to move. The number of people who had actually moved to New Hampshire was far less than this, coming in just under 5,000.

A person who moves for the Project is called a Free Stater. Such people settle in various parts of the state. Concentrations of Free Staters can be found in Portsmouth, Keene, Manchester, Concord, and other regions. Some Free Staters choose to live in small towns; others choose to live in densely populated areas. Their stated, overt goal is to overthrow the New Hampshire state government through an election process to establish a small, libertarian government which favors the individual over the state.

Tiffany Hale, who moved in 2017, reports in the Free State Projects Movers Stories blog that she was incredibly happy with her decision to move to Berlin. She writes, We have been welcomed with open arms into the community (FSP and otherwise). Were so happy to be here; making the move was definitely right for our family! It was emotional to leave family, friends, and all things familiar, but now that were here we couldnt be happier!

Elliot Axelman, who prefers to be called Alu, moved from New York. He writes, Eight months have passed since we moved here, and I maintain that it was the best decision Ive ever made. We have excellent jobs; weve made great friends inside and outside of the liberty movement; and we are living in a beautiful apartment. Unlike in NYC, its likely that you can afford to live in the apartment or house you desire in New Hampshire.

Participants identifying themselves as Robert and Carol moved together as a couple from Wisconsin. Robert writes, The people here are wonderful. The area offers so much from outdoor adventure to excellent shopping. We are within an hour of mountains, Boston, the seacoast, and some of the countrys most beautiful, clean and breathtaking forests, trails and waterways.

Tony Jankowski came to New Hampshire as a Free Stater and fully intends to return, but had to leave for a career move to Portland, Oregon.

There is no better place for a person to raise their children and no better, no more a diverse community than that of Free Staters and other porcupine, Jankowski said.

These are some of the experiences participants have had since moving to New Hampshire in search of personal human liberty.

Their guiding philosophy is the Non-Aggression Principle, also called the NAP, which states unprovoked violence against another person is wrong. Such violence is often found through state measures such as forcible confiscation of property and excessive force on the part of police officers toward average citizens. While this certainly sounds appealing in principle, in practice, things havent always gone smoothly.

In 2016, after arguing that 14 year olds are capable of consenting to sexual activity with adults, Ian Bernard, also known as Ian Freeman, was expelled from the Free State Project. He had been a participant for 10 years. A week later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a warrant at 73 Leverett Street in Keene, NH after a months-long child pornography sting. Later that year, Bernard ran for Governor of New Hampshire as a Democrat.

Bernard had long been a part of a libertarian radio show called Free Talk Live. The show regularly featured Christopher Cantwell who was expelled from the Free State Project in 2013 for advocating violence against government agents. (He would remain bitter about it for at least another year when another post appeared on his blog highlighting what had happened). Since then, Cantwell has become infamous for being the Crying Nazi of Charlottesville. He has become an unapologetic white supremacist who argues for selective genocide based on ones political ideology

He was also a part of a group called The Free Keene Squad who went around filming themselves harassing parking enforcement staff working for the city of Keene. While being interviewed for Comedy Central, Cantwell showed off his firearm and his proficiency with it. Whether or not he is still permitted to own firearms after beginning work as an FBI informant remains to be seen.

After seeing his friend expelled and seeing himself get expelled, Ian Bernard started a group called Shire Society, a cult-like group that requires each participant to sign a declaration similar to the Free State Projects iinformal agreement. Thus far, the Shire Society has done little more than congratulate itself on not banning pedophiles and white supremacists. They havent been committing physical violence against anyone by doing so.

On his website FreeKeene.com, Bernard has even gone so far to defend Cody Wilson, an anarchist who was charged with having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl he met on a website called SugarDaddyMeet. In August 2019, Wilson pled guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child. Prior to this incident, Wilson was scheduled to speak at the FSPs yearly February event called Liberty Forum based on his knowledge of 3D-printing firearms.

Another FSP participant named Aaron Day has gained ill repute by supporting Mike Gill, who accused certain New Hampshire residents of being heroin dealers. Day and Gill together lost a civil suit for defamation in which a jury awarded $274 million to the plaintiffs. Prior to this, Day would regularly run for public office in Bedford. In 2016, he ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate just to prevent incumbent Kelly Ayotte from being re-elected.

The Free State Project, meanwhile, has enjoyed a modicum of success running candidates for the New Hampshire State House. FSP participants Mike Sylvia, Glen Aldrich, Emily Sandblade, Mark Warden, and Elizabeth Edwards have at various times been fixtures in the states political process. Anywhere from 10 to 20 participants can be counted on to win elections in the legislature every year. Far more Free Staters run and do not succeed in getting elected.

While not exclusively so, most Free Staters who run for office do so as Republicans based on the ideals of small government who spends its money responsibly. This, as often as not, leads to a divide among the participants between those who are conservative and those who are not. Increasingly, more conservatives (rather than libertarians) appear to be active participants, making it difficult for left-leaning participants to have an equal voice or be taken seriously by others.

The infighting which takes place usually centers around a classical definition of libertarianism as advocated in the 19th century by writers such as Benjamin Tucker which was synonymous with state-free socialism and todays definition of libertarianism which is synonymous with anarcho-capitalism, a political ideology which arose from the works of economists Carl Menger and Ludwig von Mises, among others. The anarcho-capitalist philosophy traces its roots to Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations, who ironically was more politically left than those who espouse his ideas may realize. Left-libertarianism, or state-free socialism, has largely arisen from the works of Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, and Voltarine De Cleyre, among others.

While these two ideologies agree that centralized power is a net negative for society, left-libertarians would suggest that centralized power can be found in private organizations as well as public ones. An anarcho-capitalist would reply that all private authority depends on the consent of those who engage in it. A person who doesnt like their private authority figures simply needs disengage from them in order to obtain personal freedom.

Because the two sides have not been able to disagree, the Free State Project has not been able to offer a united front between all kinds of libertarians in order to achieve their goal. Indeed, as Jason Sorens observed in 2001 regarding the Libertarian Party, the Free State Project has yet to achieve its goals either of having 20,000 libertarians in the state or taking over the legislature.

When there is police overreach or government corruption, Free Staters are often among the first to respond. This was the case in 2016 when the police department of Manchester issued a shelter-in-place order for the West Side of the town in hopes of catching a fleeing suspect. The lockdown, as it came to be known, presented concerns as to whether community members were trading liberty for security.

The Free State Project soon protested these decisions in front of City Hall by holding signs for passers-by to view in their cars. The message presented that day was unambiguous: police officers should not take their authority too far. A counter-protest by other community members followed in support of their local police department.

While shelter-in-place orders have been used since then in Manchester, they did not have nearly the frightening, terrorizing aspect of the one from 2016 in which community members of Manchester were threatened by police officers who did not know whether or not they might be shot at any given moment.

The Free State Project is also known for alerting drivers of DUI checkpoints by holding up signs in the dark of night. The checkpoints, which are suspected of being a waste of resources, have long been disputed as an unnecessary disruption of someones day. While it is not under dispute whether drunk driving is a hazard for the public at large it is the checkpoints did little to reassure people that drunk drivers were actually being taken off the road among those who failed to see Free Stater signs, or who chose to ignore them completely. In 2018, after Representative John Burt claimed fewer than 1 percent of all drivers passing through such checkpoints are found to be driving under the influence, the statehouse passed a bill banning all DUI checkpoints throughout New Hampshire. As an alternative, roving patrols were suggested where police could identify anyone suspected of driving under the influence through erratic behavior. This was an unqualified success for the Free State Project, one of many it has enjoyed since it started in 2003.

Free Staters have long been activists for marijuana legalization. Legalization for medical marijuana passed in 2012 in both the New Hampshire House and Senate, only to be vetoed by then-governor John Lynch. Medical marijuana was later legalized and expanded upon by Governor Maggie Hassan. Based on the belief that a person should be able to do with their body what they please, the New Hampshire House has regularly considered whether various amounts of marijuana should be legal, and for what purpose. As recently as 2017, possession of of an ounce of marijuana is legal in the state of New Hampshire. Misdemeanor charges were also replaced with fines for the first three offenses; charges would only be brought after a fourth offense.

Despite their successes, the Projects participants most often remain hamstrung by their own need for ideological purity, if not outright terrible behavior toward their fellow human beings. The successes the FSP has won, which have often been small and incremental, remain overshadowed by the imperfect human nature of others. The Free State Projects reputation is often not the best with other New Hampshire community members.

When the move was triggered in 2016 by having 20,000 participants, a five-year window was opened during which time all interested participants from around the world could come to New Hampshire. If less than 20,000 people have moved by the year 2022, the Free State Project will reassess its current operations.

Editors note: The author moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project in February of 2016 and has since withdrawn as a participant.

Winter Trabex is a freelance writer from Manchester and Inklink Community Contributor. Full disclosure: She moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project in February of 2016 and has since withdrawn as a participant.

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The Bongino Report: The Newest Conservative News Aggregator – The Daily Wire

Posted: at 2:43 am

Yesterday, conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino released his new news aggregating website, the Bongino Report.

Advertised as an alternative to the Drudge Report, likely the most prominent extant conservative news aggregator but lately of an increasingly anti-Trump bent, Bonginos goal for his new site is to gather news, opinion pieces and video links from many different websites geared toward a conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist viewpoint.

Bongino has been teasing his new project for the last few weeks on his Twitter account:

The Bongino Report has been praised and endorsed by many prominent conservatives, including radio host Mark Levin, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), and commentator Raheem Kassam:

The site includes seven main categories: Top Stories, Election 2020, the Impeachment Witch Hunt, Culture War, Economy, Immigration, and All the Rest. It also includes a section highlighting recent conservative video content from YouTube.

Drudge, which came to prominence in 1998 during the Clinton impeachment, has been veering left-ward, and specifically anti-Trump, in recent months. This change by Drudge has even garnered the attention of President Trump himself, who has gone so far as to ask his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, to find out whats going on with Drudge.

Considering that the owner of the site, Matt Drudge, is notoriously private and quite elusive, we may never get an answer as to why the Drudge Report has changed.

According to Derek Hunter at Townhall:

How Drudge works is a mystery. Ive known several people who have worked for him as editors, taking various shifts updating the site as news changes. None have any insights into who Matt Drudge is as a person or what is happening with the clear negative slant the site has taken toward President Donald Trump, a man who was helped into the White House, in no small part, by the coverage of the Drudge Report.

According to The Washington Times, the site has been linking to sites that have a blatant anti-Trump bias, such as CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times. In contrast, the Bongino Report links today to openly conservative sites such as TheBlaze, The Federalist, Independent Womens Forum, and the Washington Examiner.

The Bongino Report is the newest of a group of aggregators seeking to rival Drudge, including Gab Trends, Citizen Free Press, Whatfinger News, Liberty Daily, Rantingly, and NewsAmmo.

Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show on Westwood One and a Fox News contributor, is also a three-time congressional candidate and former Secret Service agent during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. He resigned in 2011 in order to run for the United States Senate in 2012. He also frequently guest-hosts for Levin and Sean Hannity, the third- and second-most listened-to radio shows in the country, respectively. He is also the author of five books, including Spygate and Exonerated, each of which discusses the Obama administrations rogue operations in sabotaging Trumps 2016 presidential campaign and later, his presidency.

The Bongino Report is a welcome alternative to Drudge for those who want their news from a strictly conservative standpoint.

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Webb: Billionaires for office | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 2:43 am

Its not the first time that billionaires have run for president of the United States but its becoming the norm and not all the reasons are dark as some present. Two successful businessmen and billionaires, Ross Perot and Steve Forbes, have run unsuccessfully.

Perot was an effective independent candidate even though he didnt win. This was a lost opportunity for independent-minded candidates and the Libertarian Party who couldve followed Perots run with building a stronger independent movement regionally and nationally. Instead the libertarian movement became the political home of former Rep. Ron Paul who never built a solid foundation.

More of the same old political playbook by the two major parties and self-interested politicians hindered the development of an independent partys development.

Forbes ran and launched the modern-day consumption-based tax movement. Whether you favor a fair tax or flat tax, it is now part of the political discussion though not always in the headlines.

A recent HuffPost headline Bloombergs Presidential Bid Comes Amid A Golden Age For Super-Rich Politicians takes the billionaire from behind the scenes handing out the money to win campaigns and places said billionaires in front, at the podium, asking for votes.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE is the first billionaire United States president and he spent only $66 million of his own money in the 2016 election. Billionaires can self-fund campaigns and have done so at many levels of government: one example, Jim Justice the governor of West Virginia. Trump proved its the voters who make the decision not the money put into the race.

Billionaire Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Teamsters to host presidential forum with six 2020 Democrats Booker notes 'anger' over more billionaires than black candidates in 2020 race MORE was running for impeachment before he decided to run for president. So far, his most remembered moment is the tie he wore in his inaugural Democratic debate. He was not a factor in his second appearance, but he has the money to stay in the race and has proven he has the will to spend whatever is necessary. Hes not as good a politician as a businessman because the return on investment politically has been so far unrealized.

Enter Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Clinton still 'disappointed' Sanders held off on endorsing her in 2016 Booker notes 'anger' over more billionaires than black candidates in 2020 race MORE. He has enough money to buy the presidency, if he could, but can he? One things for sure, Bloomberg knows how to allocate capital and apply it in the political realm. Bloomberg has a track record of spending whatever is necessary to achieve his political goals. He bought his way into Gracie Mansion in New York City for the third time at the cost of $102 million and in his three mayoral races combined, he spent roughly $250 million. The last win was a narrow margin but in politics there is no second place.

Bloomberg then spent $100 million on the midterm elections to help Democrats achieve a House majority in 2018. Sure, looks like he was setting the stage, or buying the stage, so he could step on and run for president. Thats not going to cut it with many in the anti-billionaire Democratic field.

He laid out his platform in his announcement and two key points of the Bloomberg platform should concern Americans. Guns and taxes or more accurately anti-gun and pro-taxes.

Millions of Americans legally buy guns, but Bloomberg is spending tens of millions of dollars and buying political power at the state levels to stop Americans from being able to buy or own guns. He does this through his heavily funded organization, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which brought in $69.5 million in total revenue last year according to their 990 tax form.

He spent locally with state legislatures and $2.5 million in the recent Virginia elections. Virginia state Sen. Richard Saslaw (D) just introduced SB16 which is a legislative gun grab. If passed it would instantly expand the definition of an assault firearm to cover many different semi-automatic rifles and pistols, effectively creating felons out of law-abiding Virginians.

At the International Monetary Funds 2018 Spring meeting, Bloomberg argued that taxing the poor is a good thing. I thought Democrats wanted to tax the rich so the poor could get their fair share. I guess Bloomberg didnt get the memo from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Hello Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE, you may not believe billionaires should exist, but you and the billionaire agree on taxes going up for middle-class Americans and even the poor.

Oddly enough, many of these capitalist-made billionaires are now pushing heavy-handed, even socialist styled government control of our lives. What is it about these elitists who feel they know better how we should run our lives?

Bloombergs entry is a good news/bad news situation for the Democrats. For the left-wing base, the party leadership has a problem with appeal from non-left-wing candidates and risks base voters staying home on Election Day.

This does present a potentially interesting situation in the form of a brokered convention. Bloombergs plan to participate in Super Tuesday on March 3 gives him plenty of time to ramp up. With California a part of Super Tuesday, if he is able to capture enough early primary votes, its more likely he wont surpass the other candidates in the field. This brings the primary field to Milwaukee for the DNC convention.

This could be contentious and confusing for the Democratic primary base. Will the left wing of the Democratic base play ball with the establishment decision? Democrats have big decisions to make both at the leadership level and at the voting booth. Its not just the presidency but the future of the Democratic Party thats on the line.

I will be there to watch it all play out and thanks to media and social media so will you. Politics is now a popcorn sport and policy will take a sideline to the publicity.

Webb is host of The David Webb Show on SiriusXM Patriot 125, host of Reality Check with David Webb on Fox Nation, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.

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Floridas Supreme Court is more conservative than ever. Heres what it could do. – Tampa Bay Times

Posted: at 2:43 am

The following first appeared in the Buzz political newsletter, a weekly dive into the power, politics and influence shaping Florida from Political Editor Steve Contorno and the Tampa Bay Times politics team. To subscribe and receive it in your email inbox each week, click here.

If youve never heard of the Federalist Society, get familiar with it.

Its an organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers that is reshaping courts in America and in Florida. Heres how.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was a member at Harvard. He spoke to the group in October. Its members fill the seats of the states judicial nominating commission, a powerful, behind-the-scenes committee that serves as a gatekeeper to judicial vacancies.

When it was time to pick three new faces for the Florida Supreme Court, DeSantis first ran his choices through the Federalist Societys executive director. Thats how involved the organization is. The result is the most conservative Supreme Court in state history, one that is poised to make decisions that could change Florida forever. Here are some of the issues they will address in the near future.

Abortion. In 1989, the state Supreme Court struck down an attempt to make minors get parental consent for abortions. Thirty years later, abortion foes are hopeful a more conservative court will chip away at legal abortion. So theyre trying again. It failed last year. This year, its gaining momentum. Heres what we know.

School choice. In another edition of If at first you dont succeed, Florida Republicans were shot down by the Supreme Court in the 2000s when they tried to use taxpayer money for private school vouchers. DeSantis and Republicans passed a new voucher program this year that is on a collision course with the courts. Will justices side with Republicans this time?

Constitutional amendments. The fate of three proposed constitutional amendments lies in the hands of the high court. Attorney General Ashley Moody opposes all three. Assault weapons ban? Too vague, she said. Legalizing marijuana? Too long. Open primaries? Too misleading.

Will the court side with Moody, another Federalist Society disciple, or the petitioners who got these amendments on the ballot?

Amendment 4. Which Florida felons will get back their right to vote? The Supreme Court will decide. If you read the tea leaves, it sounds like theyre going to side with Republicans.

Gerrymandering. Florida lawmakers will draw new congressional and legislative boundaries in 2022. The state constitution says these lines cant be drawn to favor one party. Who has protected this in the past when Republicans tried to push through partisan maps? The Supreme Court. Would this court do the same? Time will tell.

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