Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why We Should Put An End to The Draft

Congress has been debating the merits of adding women into Selective Service to be drafted with men during times of national emergency.

Kentucky's Senator Rand Paul suggests that it would be better to just end the draft.

The Libertarian Party agrees.

"The draft is simply slavery by another name. Drafting people to go abroad and kill or be killed is barbaric and a discredit to our military and country," said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

If a national emergency is so severe to merit mobilizing extra troops, Americans from all backgrounds, ages, and genders should pitch in to do what is needed. However, this should not be forced. It is an insult to the idea of a "free country".

The draft, whether for military purposes or some form of “national service,” violates the basic moral principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded. Furthermore, the military neither wants nor needs a draft.

Former President Ronald Reagan eloquently expressed the moral case against the draft in the publication Human Events in 1979: “[Conscription] rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state ­ not for parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers ­ to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our society. That assumption isn’t a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea.”

The Libertarian Party urges elected leaders to end the draft and also to pursue foreign policy which is less dependent on military might. The money we spend annually on our military is a waste, when we have a presence in foreign conflicts.

Economic hardship is great in all wars. War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures. The great tragedy of war is that it enables the careless disregard for civil liberties of our own people. Abuses of German and Japanese Americans in World War I and World War II are well known.

The real sacrifice comes with conscription ­forcing a small number of young citizens to fight the wars that older men and women promote. It's easy to promote a war for your own glory when you aren't the one being shot at. The draft encourages wars with neither purpose nor moral justification, wars that too often are not even declared by the Congress.

Without conscription, unpopular wars are difficult to fight. The Vietnam War came to an end quickly
after the draft was undermined. Most importantly, liberty cannot be preserved by tyranny. A free society must always resort to volunteers. Tyrants think nothing of forcing men to fight and serve in wrongheaded wars. A true fight for survival and defense of America would elicit the defense of those who love her. This is not the case with wars of mischief far away from home, which we have experienced often in the past century.

The United States has many tools of foreign policy at our disposal that do not require force. Military force should always be a last resort and only in defense.

The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America devoted to protecting all rights, of all human beings, all the time. The Libertarian Party also strongly condemns the use of force except in self defense.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Paul Stanton is Running for Florida State Senate

Another Libertarian has announced plans to run for U.S. Senate in Florida. Paul Stanton announced that he will place his name on the Libertarian primary ballot, joining fellow candidate Augustus Sol Invictus. Personally, while I always vote for a Libertarian on the ballot if there's one available, I couldn't bring myself to vote for the circus act that is Invictus. So for me, this is good news. Stanton seems like a much more reasonable option for Libertarians looking to vote in a Senator. According to Independent Political Report's Tom Knapp, Stanton says he has the resources to qualify for the ballot.

Bio from Stanton’s Facebook page:

Paul Stanton is honored to run as a candidate to represent the State of Florida in the U.S. Senate. A world-traveled individual, Paul has been living in Florida after serving in the U.S. Army and roaming the continental U.S. as an information technology specialist. After six years of service and a tour of duty in Iraq, Paul received his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army and immediately adopted a philosophy of responsible service to community. He was the founding member of the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Students Against War organization and led protests against violence and interventionism in Iraq and Afghanistan. At one point he even sued the airport for the right to protest the use of overly-invasive body scanners in airports. As your Senator, he will fight for the rights of everyday citizens to preserve the freedoms that are quickly being eroded by corrupt partisan politics.

Paul is committed to an agenda based on the principles of individual freedom and a common sense-approach to taxes. As Senator, he promises to advance a platform of non-aggression, seeking to end the United States involvements in the Middle East and mitigating the harm we have already caused. Additionally, he advocates for an end to the “War on Drugs” and incarceration of users, and instead advocates for treatment and education for those who are addicted. Paul will also demand an overhaul of the federal tax system, where even those who are poor are still overburdened with taxes on the fruits of their labors through a “War on the Poor.” A resident of Deland, Florida, Paul lives
surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors who are proud to call him one of their own.

According to his Twitter, @StantonForLiberty, his stance can be simplified into "Anti-violence, anti-coercion, anti-fraud". So what does this mean, and where does he stand on the issues?

On Business Taxation:

Businesses leave the United States for a multitude of reasons, one of which, is corporate taxation. While corporate taxation can contribute to stifling business and job growth, this is especially true for small businesses. Large corporations are actually in a much better position to handle taxation because of their ability to pay it and/or move operations offshore as to avoid the taxation. Small businesses that are incorporated and looking to grow are not awarded those same privileges.

The first step to fostering competition is producing a more free market with lower government intrusion and taxation for small businesses. If elected, I will propose to cut taxes for companies with less than $500,000 in revenue completely, and work to reduce taxation for all businesses as much as possible. This reduction for small businesses is a positive first step, as small businesses will be able to take that saved money and invest it in growing their business and expanding the economy. 

In addition to lowering tax rates for small businesses as a first step to reducing taxation for businesses across the board, I will work to eliminate the taxation on repatriated profits from overseas. There is over $2.1 trillion dollars sitting overseas that should be in the United States if it were not due to our tax policies. I will work to bring those dollars back here so they can be invested and help grow the economy. 

On Drug Reform:

The “War On Drugs,” has become a device through which those in power have taken our liberties from us, and provide only fear and oppression in return. By bringing this war to an end, we will be able to remove the roadblocks that prevent addicts from getting help, and end the pattern of selectively-enforced felony convictions created by the “War on Drugs” that oppress minorities, the poor, and those not well connected, and that encourage drug users to retreat in fear from their families, their aspirations.

To this end, I support the immediate decriminalization of all drugs, the end of mandatory-minimum sentencing for drug-related offenses, and the end of policies that mandate costly and ineffective drug testing for recipients of welfare and other forms of government aid. I also support reducing tax burdens for private rehabilitation programs in order to make them affordable for more people, and to protect the privacy of those suffering from drug addiction. Additionally, I support returning the right to vote nation-wide to those convicted of nonviolent drug-related offenses.

On Poverty Alleviation:

While many politicians pay lip service to helping the poor and disadvantaged, the policies they have put in place actually look more like a war on the poor than a war on poverty. Creating opportunities for all Americans, especially the most marginalized in society, must be a priority. Instead, the focus of policymakers has been on creating a system by which the rich are able to socialize their losses across society at the expense of the poor and working class. We must have a strong economy that provides opportunities for Americans from every walk of life, not just the corporate elite.

The first step that should be taken is to eliminate FICA taxes for all workers under the poverty line. While this will certainly help the individual worker, this will also help employers and encourage job growth. The disenfranchised in society also rely heavily on government services that often produce more waste than results. Direct charitable help to the poor should be encouraged, and this can be done by instituting a dollar for dollar tax rebate for charitable donations. This will help eliminate a lot of the waste that is incurred by federal programs designed to provide services to the poor, while also encouraging individuals to be more charitable.

In order to create opportunities to tackle poverty, we must foster the environment that allows small businesses to thrive. I will work to cut down the bureaucracy instituted by many federal agencies that price small businesses out of the market. The federal government stifles jobs by forcing regulations crafted by the corporate elite that help large corporations push small businesses out of competition. So while politicians will try and sell every regulation as protection of the individual, often times they protect monopoly like conditions for big corporations. In addition, while lowering taxes for all businesses should also be a priority, we need to start with eliminating the corporate tax for small businesses so they can invest in their businesses and their communities. In addition, eliminating taxation on repatriated profits from overseas could potentially bring over $2.1 trillion sitting overseas back to the United States.

One of the largest problems facing all Americans is the symbiotic relationship between the federal government and big business. Crony policies, such as corporate bailouts, contribute to massive inequality within our country. In addition to bailouts, subsidies pick winners and losers in the economy, distorting the market. In the case of energy subsidies, they can even have an effect on the environment. I will work to reform crony policies, that again, only go to serving the small minority of corporate elite at the cost of the working class and working poor. We must build a truly free market system in which businesses succeed and fail on their own accord, not by government favors and contributions.

The current policies set in place do more harm than good exacerbating inequality and choking off innovation and growth. We must work to make these changes to truly lift people out of poverty by providing the conditions necessary for a successful economy to thrive. A truly free market with less government intervention in the marketplace and less pressure on the poor can produce not only a stronger economy, but a more equitable society. We can certainly not guarantee equality of result through government intervention, but we must work to provide equality of power to all individuals to empower those currently marginalized to produce a better life for themselves and their families.

On Ending Crony Capitalism:

The market is not what is wrong with the United States economy, but the perversion of the market in favor of a government owned by big business in a symbiotic relationship between the two. Large corporations lobby government and contribute large sums of money to campaigns in order to have their bills passed through congress. Many regulations are made not to protect the consumer, but to protect big business from competition. Competition is what makes the market work, and without it, monopolistic conditions rise that distort the market and further inequality. We should not fight against calls for equality because many of the solutions presented by the current duopoly involve the state, but we should recognize that inequality and, in many cases, poverty are caused by crony policies that seek to give an advantage to one business over another.

One large aspect of cronyism was on full display for the economic crash in 2009. The Federal Government took unprecedented measures to bail out large financial firms that were seen as too big to fail. The result was years of mal-investment in the real estate sector subsidized by the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies was not allowed to be properly liquidated in the marketplace and the risk taken on by these firms was rewarded. This is a major diversion from the free market. I am in favor of free market policies that allow businesses to grow and thrive, as well as fail when they take on too much risk or function ineffectively. The federal government should not be in the business of propping up failed firms in the economy.

His Monetary Policy:

There is a long history within the United States of strong opposition to the establishment of a national bank, and that battle lives on today. The Federal Reserve has devalued our currency through quantitative easing and low interest rate policies, erasing the savings of many hardworking Americans. Loose monetary policy has been an aid to a growing federal government, using the funds for wars and bailouts. I advocate a complete and full audit of the Federal Reserve as a first step to bring transparency to an organization that largely operates in the shadows. We must challenge the notion that artificial bubbles created by easy money policies will be solved by more easy money policies when the bubbles finally burst.

Interest rates are meant to be set in the marketplace, and currency is meant to hold intrinsic value. Today, our currency is backed by nothing more than the promise of the federal government there is value. I will work to deregulate the monetary system as to allow multiple currencies to compete with each other. This system will greatly reflect the market for credit cards, with different banks offering different banknotes. Ultimately, competition will foster the stronger currencies to trump the weaker currencies. The marketplace should determine the value of the currency and that cannot be done as long as the Federal Reserve maintains a monopoly on our monetary system.

As such, we must recognize the rise of bitcoin and other digital currencies and reject calls for government oversight and regulation. If we believe in the free market of goods and services that helped grow the United States into one of the largest industrial nations in the world, we must recognize that the free market in interest rates and currency must be reestablished.

On Peace:

As an Iraq War combat veteran, I have seen that our military ventures overseas have not brought us greater liberty or safety. Instead, they have bred resentment and hatred of our policy overseas, and have provided a convenient pretext for those in power to chip away at our civil liberties.

In an ever changing world politically, socially, economically, and technologically our current policy of military interventionism is a costly and dangerous heavy hand to use to confront real and potential threats to American safety. Not only is it costly in dollar value, with military spending comprising over half of the federal discretionary spending budget, but it is also costly in political capital. Frequently our nation has been criticized for imperialism at home and abroad. Too often Congress has been able to use the threat of terrorism as an excuse to erode liberty by suspending constitutional rights. I think we, as a nation, are weary of costly, prolonged, and fruitless military campaigns overseas.

Our foreign policy is also costly in human lives, and the goodwill of those we claim to be trying to help. During my tour in Iraq, my friend and fellow soldier shared an epiphany he had that one cannot win the hearts and minds of anyone, friends or foes, while pointing a gun at them. Rather it closes the minds of those who may have once welcomed the idea of American aid and fosters the distrust, fear, and anger that terrorism and other violent ideologies thrive on. This negative sentiment abroad is pushed further with our growing policy of using drones to “selectively target” suspected enemies. News and social media has been flooded with reports of military drones killing and maiming thousands of civilians in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. These are people that often had no connection to terrorism. Violence begets violence. This is not conducive to creating a more stable, peaceful world wherein everyone can have a greater opportunity to prosper.

I stand behind promoting foreign policy that focuses on compassion and understanding. The reality of threats to the security of American citizens should not be justification for the wanton use of military intervention or the erosion of our civil liberty. I support and will work towards the reduction of our military presence overseas in an effort to promote diplomatic solutions and encourage the return to a positive view of America, globally and domestically. I will strive to end our reckless use of drones overseas that have tragically killed so many innocent people (including the Denver-born American child, Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki) in the name of fighting terrorism. And I will endeavor to rebuild the bulwark protecting our freedom that has been torn down by claims of national security.

On Social Security:

The United States government made a promise to workers to provide social security benefits in retirement, and that promise must be kept for retirees and those that have significantly paid into the system. The government’s promise has essentially made many retirees dependent on the current system, and we cannot break those promises to retirees. We must work to make the social security system solvent again, though, instead of using appropriated funds for general government spending. In addition, we must explore different options for young workers that may be a more efficient system.

One aspect of social security that needs to be addressed is the double taxation of social security benefits. Social security contributions are taxed and then payments to retirees are taxed again. This system of taxation makes no sense and reduces benefits to seniors who we have already committed to. Even more than that, though, this taxation of social security benefits allows the Federal Government to appropriate social security money to other parts of the government. I will work hard to end this system of double taxation.


Paul Stanton has received the following endorsements:


Gary Johnson - Libertarian presidential nominee, former Governor of New Mexico
Bill Weld - Libertarian vice presidential nominee, former Governor of Massachusetts
Jim Gray - Jurist, author, former judge, former libertarian vice presidential nominee
John McAfee - Cybersecurity legend, businessman, inventor, former presidential candidate
Darryl W Perry - Activist, author, radio host, lobbyist, former presidential candidate
Dr. Marc Allan Feldmen (deceased) - Physician, former presidential candidate, former candidate for Ohio Treasurer
Kevin McCormick - Former presidential candidate
Will Coley - Activist, radio host, political adviser, former vice presidential candidate
Charles Peralo - Inventor, activist

Libertarian Party Affiliates

Libertarian Party of Collier County, Florida


Eastern Liberty Alliance PAC

How Does the House Feel AboutThe Presumptive Nominees?

The Top Ranking Republicans on Trump

Paul Ryan "isn't ready" to endorse Donald Trump. When asked why not just endorse Trump now, Ryan said he wanted to have a "sincere deliberative process" to discuss common GOP principles.

Kevin McCarthy has become a delegate for Donald Trump.

Steve Scalise is endorsing Trump.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top female House Representative, is endorsing Trump.

Luke Messer has spoken against Trump repeatedly, calling him racist and childish.

The Top Ranking Democrats on Hillary

Nancy Pelosi claims the timing "isn't right" for endorsing Hillary.

Steny Hoyer has endorsed Hillary as the "tougher foe" against the GOP. 

James Clyborn is endorsing Hillary.

Xavier Becerra heavily endorsed Hillary and was at one point rumored to be vetted as her VP.

Based on the public opinions of the top-ranking members of the House, it looks as though the parties are split on their stance on the presumptive nominees. For Gary Johnson, and any other third party nominee, this is good news. It presents the opportunity for a 3rd party candidate to be elected by the House if neither bi-partisan candidate can win the popular vote.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gary Johnson Could Officially be on the Ballot in Every State

News is coming in from across the country reporting Gary on the ballot officially. Vermont and Illinois are among those verifying his slot. Johnson himself has come forward to state he will be on the ballot in all 50 states.

So what does this mean for those of us backing the LP ticket this year? It's been said in the past that if Gary can win his home state of New Mexico that he has a chance at the presidency. Emerging polls indicate that Johnson could not only win electoral votes (something that independent candidate Ross Perot never achieved, despite winning nearly 19% of the popular vote in 1992), but could also—in admittedly extraordinary, but nonetheless possible, circumstances—win the presidency itself.

Some may scoff at this idea since even 12% in the latest Fox News poll seems a long way from victory, and it is. But naysayers are forgetting that Johnson’s target isn’t 50% plus one, as is the case in most two-way races. Trump and Clinton are polling in the 20’s and 30’s when respondents are specifically offered Johnson as an alternative, meaning he could win a state with as little as 34% of the vote, or thereabouts.

Johnson is polling especially well in Utah, one of the few states to show us more localized results. The 1,519 registered voters were first asked about Trump and Clinton, as well as a generic “other” option. 36% chose Trump, 29% Clinton, and 35% other. That alone is promising; considering the 2.5% margin of error, “other” could win Utah. But when respondents were offered Gary Johnson in addition to “other,” support for Trump and Clinton dropped to 29% and 26%, respectively, 16% chose Johnson, and 29% other, for a total of 45% who claim they’d vote for someone other than Trump or Clinton today. Even assuming that some will grudgingly vote for them when push comes to shove, these are the kind of numbers that could precede a third-party victory, particularly considering the possibility that Mitt Romney might endorse Johnson.

If Utah’s six electoral votes go to Gary, that alone could deprive both Trump and Clinton of the 270 required to win outright, though, of course, that would depend on the outcome in swing states. If he managed to win a couple of other states—even states with few electoral votes, like New Mexico (his home state) and Nevada—a House election would be much more likely.

In which case, the vote would go to the House. You might jump to the conclusion that the conservative/republican House would vote Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. However, considering how many Republican insiders already want to dump Trump, as well as the certainty that he will continue to anger and embarrass them between now and November, it’s entirely possible that a two-term Republican governor will be their first choice by then. Factor in the possibility of Clinton being indicted or rocked by some new scandal, and the notion that a majority could back Johnson doesn’t seem as ridiculous as it might have had he faced different opponents.

So, if Johnson/Weld hasn't been announced as "officially" on the ballot in your state, keep fighting, you can turn the tide. He may be the "underdog" but he's no fringe candidate.

Let's get him in the debates and on the ballot.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Why You Need To Understand The Electoral College

It's come to my attention recently that many of my friends don't seem to understand how voting WORKS. Which is terrifying, since most of them are voters. It appears a little elementary school history lesson is in order.

Here's the thing. You don't choose who the next president is going to be. None of us do. Our votes "count" but not if the electoral college disagrees. (The electoral college is a process btw NOT a place) The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

So here's how the electoral college currently operates:

  • Each State is allocated a number of Electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U.S. Representatives (which may change each decade according to the size of each State's population as determined in the Census).
  • The political parties (or independent candidates) in each State submit to the State's chief election official a list of individuals pledged to their candidate for president and equal in number to the State's electoral vote. Usually, the major political parties select these individuals in their State party conventions while third parties and independent candidates merely designate theirs.
  • Members of Congress and employees of the federal government are prohibited from serving as an Elector in order to maintain the balance between the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.
  • After their caucuses and primaries, the major parties nominate their candidates for president and vice president in their national conventions - traditionally held in the summer preceding the election. (Third parties and independent candidates follow different procedures according to the individual State laws). The names of the duly nominated candidates are then officially submitted to each State's chief election official so that they might appear on the general election ballot.
  • On the Tuesday following the first Monday of November in years divisible by four, the people in each State cast their ballots for the party slate of Electors representing their choice for president and vice president (although as a matter of practice, general election ballots normally say "Electors for" each set of candidates rather than list the individual Electors on each slate).
  • Whichever party slate wins the most popular votes in the State becomes that State's Electors - so that, in effect, whichever presidential ticket gets the most popular votes in a State wins all the Electors of that State. (The two exceptions to this are Maine and Nebraska where two Electors are chosen by a statewide popular vote and remainder by the popular vote within each Congressional district).
  • On the Monday following the second Wednesday of December (as established in federal law) each State's Electors meet in their respective State capitals and cast their electoral votes - one for president and one for vice president.
  • In order to prevent Electors from voting only for "favorite sons" of their home State, at least one of their votes must be for a person from outside their State (though this is seldom a problem since the parties have consistently nominated presidential and vice presidential candidate from different States).
  • The electoral votes are then sealed and transmitted from each State to the President of the Senate who, on the following January 6, opens and reads them before both houses of the Congress.
  • The candidate for president with the most electoral votes, provided that it is an absolute majority (one over half of the total), is declared president. Similarly, the vice presidential candidate with the absolute majority of electoral votes is declared vice president.
  • In the event that no one obtains an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the U.S. House of Representatives (as the chamber closest to the people) selects the president from among the top three contenders with each State casting only one vote and an absolute majority of the States being required to elect. Similarly, if no one obtains an absolute majority for vice president, then the U.S. Senate makes the selection from among the top two contenders for that office.
If you're still confused, you can learn more here.

Libertarian Town Hall Key Points and Takeaways

Despite a few knocks from Weld, they stuck to the issues and didn't stoop to name calling and personal attacks. 

Johnson abstained when given the chance to personally knock Trump and Clinton.
"I don't think either of us is going to engage in any sort of name-calling," Johnson said. "We're going to keep this to the issues, and the issues are plenty." (Indeed, Johnson was critical of Trump's immigration plan and other issues.)

When asked about President Barack Obama, Johnson called him "a good guy." He said Clinton was "a wonderful public servant." And Trump? "I'm sure there's something good to say about Donald somewhere."
Not so much for Weld, who called Trump a "huckster" and repeated a comparison he had made previously between Trump's immigration plan and Nazi Germany.
"I think the Republican presumptive nominee has succeeded in tapping into the very worst political traditions and in other countries," Weld said, adding that Trump's deportation plan was "directly analogous" to "Anne Frank hiding in the attic hoping no noise will alert the Nazis below."

Their stance on gun control became more clear.

Johnson has been a staunch advocate of Second Amendment rights but said he was open to a "discussion" around solutions to incidences of gun violence.
Johnson told Jeanette McCoy, a survivor of the Orlando shooting: "We're not looking to roll back anything" on existing gun regulations, adding that he would look into law enforcement solutions.
"The FBI came in contact with this guy (the Orlando shooter) three times. What transpired? Why wasn't this guy deprived of his guns?" Johnson asked.

Weld called for "a thousand-person FBI task force treating ISIS as a gigantic organized crime family."

They also cleared up any questions we might have had about their views on abortion. 

Johnson and Weld also both affirmed their abortion rights positions. Johnson said Republicans "alienate a lot of people" when they attack Planned Parenthood, a women's health organization that provides abortion procedures.
"We're not looking to change the law of the land in any way," Johnson said.

Above and beyond that Bill Weld stated that he believed the federal government should be protecting a woman's constitutional right to make that decision (about abortion) herself. He stated "That's not bad government. That's good government." Making it clear to me that while they both want a smaller centralized federal government they WILL go to bat to protect the rights of American citizens against the states if necessary.

They both agreed Trump's stance on immigration is ludicrous. 

They both had harsh words for Trump on immigration, leveling some of their strongest language against the Republican presumptive nominee.
Johnson, a former border governor, called Trump's calls for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants and the erection of a border wall "incendiary," and bordering on "insanity."
"The Republican presumptive nominee has succeeded in tapping into the very worst political traditions of the United States and other countries," Weld said.
He added that images of the Holocaust, including "Anne Frank hiding in the attic" was "directly analogous" to Trump's deportation policy.

Johnson went on to state that the deportation of 11 million people would probably include door knocking and in border states that would mean taking people out of every other house. 

Stupid personal questions make for difficult answers. 

Maureen Morella, an undecided voter, brought up the struggle her family had with her son's heroin overdose and took issue with Johnson's laissez faire approach to drug policy. Johnson pushed back on her concerns, saying government regulations had harmed drug addicts more than his policies would.
"Prohibition really is what your son succumbed to," Johnson said in a somewhat awkward response to her personal question.
He advocated a series of harm prevention programs, including needle exchanges and safe-injection zones. In response, Morella said: "You're keeping people addicted."
"We have the best policies in this country to kill heroin addicts," Johnson said, pushing for another way forward on drugs.
If I had been the one answering that question I would have asked Morella if she thought her son should also be in jail after the harm drugs had done to him. Since that's what we're really talking about here, is jailing people for crimes that have already hurt them and their families. It is my opinion that the war on drugs has done nothing but fill jail cells and cost the taxpayers money that could be better spent on rehabilitation and treatment. 

There's a bit of descent between Weld and Johnson on Tax Reform. 

Johnson, who has often repeated the Libertarian refrain that "taxation is theft," advocated for radical reform of the U.S. tax code.
"Count on me to sign on tax policy that would reduce or simplify taxes in this country," Johnson said. "But If I could wave a magic wand, I would eliminate income tax, I would eliminate corporate tax, I would abolish the IRS and I would replace it all with one federal consumption tax."
The presidential candidate advocated a conservative plan known as Fair Tax, but pressed for specifics, said he would support any such reform so long as it was "revenue neutral."
Adding to his anti-Washington message, he said a total simplification of the U.S. tax code would mean that "80% of Washington lobbyists would go away. Because that's why they're there, to garner special tax favor."
Weld said: "I don't think you have to go so far as abolishing the IRS," as long as they could give people the sense that tax rates would go down.
In defense of them both, neither of them ever raised taxes during their time as Governor. Weld especially completely turned around Massachusetts financial crisis by lowering taxes across the board.

Let's keep the ball rolling!

When asked what the greatest hurtle facing them in their candidacy was, they both answered publicity. Johnson ran as a Libertarian in 2012 and failed to gain much traction. This time around, he's running with Weld, which may help add credibility, attention and fundraising prowess to a perennial long-shot White House effort.
Already, Johnson has shown his candidacy could have potency given voter disappointment in Trump and Clinton. A CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday showed Johnson earning 9% support nationwide and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein pulling 7% support among registered voters. Among those voters who say they are not settled on a candidate in the two-way race, more than one-third choose Johnson (23%) or Stein (12%) when asked the four-way match up.
Ahead of the town hall event, the Libertarian duo got a boost from former Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. The Libertarian icon told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that although he hadn't decided who he would vote for, it wouldn't be Trump or Clinton.
"I think people who say they want significant change, they want to protect individual liberty, are concerned about the Constitution, they should think seriously about voting for a Libertarian principle," Paul said.

So, let's get them to 15%

At 15% in the polls they have to be included in the debates. If you want to see Trump, Clinton, and Johnson head to head on the issues then share news articles. Tweet about #JohnsonWeld2016. Do what you can to help them gain traction. 

Marc Feldman Found Dead at 56

Feldman, 56, was found dead yesterday in a Brook Park motel, reported The Plain Dealer. Causes of death are currently unknown. Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark spread the sad news on Facebook:

The world is a darker place this morning. We have lost one of the lights of the Libertarian Party, Dr. Marc Allan Feldman. My deepest condolences go out to his family on their loss.
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Feldman on the Libertarian National Committee. After growing up in Washington, D.C., cynical about politics and politicians, he spent most of his adult life not even voting.
In the Libertarian Party, he found a politics of empowering people to be their best selves, free from the control of governments and bureaucrats. It spoke to him in a way that awakened something. He was tireless and dedicated to sharing that vision with everyone he met, but most importantly, with those who didn't participate, didn't vote, and didn't have a voice.
As many of you may know Feldman was the 5th place Libertarian Finisher. He  was born in Washington, DC. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1980 with a degree in Philosophy, before moving on to complete medical training at the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He earned his Master's degree in Health Finance and Management from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and practiced anesthesiology there for 11 years. He is a lifetime member of the Delta Omega public health honor society.

He ran his campaign on the concept of "Votes not for sale" and despite being a diminutive wiseacre his last words at the Orlando Libertarian Convention were of Unity:

It is my hope that we may find solace in his last words to us as a party, and that we may move forward together as one.

Rest in Peace Marc Allan Feldman. You will be missed by many

Voting Third Party Matters

The biggest objection I come across to voting for a Third Party is the “wasted vote” argument — the idea that if you vote for someone who will not win, then the vote does not count.

Voting is not Football, the objective is not to back the winning team.

Join any third party and simply suggest that another person consider voting for a third party candidate and you will hear, ad nauseum, “I don’t want to waste my vote.”

A Third Party Vote is NOT a "Wasted Vote"

An unprincipled vote is the only wasted vote.

Why do we vote? It’s a chance to tell the country — and perhaps even the world — about your vision of government and society.

But how do most of us vote? Do those who believe Gary Johnson or Bernie Sanders is the best candidate, most in tune with our own feelings, actually vote for them? No. The majority do not. Instead, most of us vote the “lesser of two evils” — a defensive vote, rather than an offensive one.

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

So what happens after you cast the defensive vote? Well, then you have sold out your personal beliefs. You have become a political prostitute. You aren’t standing up for what you believe in by voting “the lesser of two evils.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being a political hooker. If you think the Republican or the Democrat really does best mirror your beliefs, by all means, vote for that candidate. But if you don’t, and you still vote for them, you’re helping to preserve the status quo you probably despise.

Remember, You Never Decide the Winner

On statewide races (larger than city council races), there is a single important point to remember: You as an individual will never cast the deciding ballot! Therefore, there is no reason to vote for the lesser evil.

I hear the wasted vote argument most in precisely the races where it applies least. For instance, the Presidency of the United States.

A Presidential race will never be decided by one vote. And if by some mathematical chance it got that close, it would be decided politically by Congress. (I know, a dirty word in the presidential races these days.)

So What’s the Point of Voting?

We as individuals don’t vote to select the winner.

As a practical matter, we vote to tell everyone else which choice best represents the direction which we want the country to go. When you vote, you gain a certain power that a non-voter doesn’t have; the power to change America.

Hence voting lesser evil sends the wrong message; it’s sending a message of compromise. In effect, a defensive vote says “I will settle for a less evil America, not the best America possible.”

I urge you not to settle.

Remember, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. In other words, if you want things to change, then create change.

The history of third parties in America is that they serve as the vanguard for new ideas. It is these ideas that make the world go round. If a Third Party begins to draw votes, one or both of the two big parties steal their ideas.

Socialists Can Teach Us Something

The most successful third party in the 20th Century was the Socialist Party. While never winning any significant elections, their small but growing vote totals were a threat to the Democrats. Thus the Democrats, and then later the Republicans, adopted piecemeal every major tenet of the 1916 Socialist Party platform.

Libertarians are the opposite of the Socialists, but they find their success instructive. The radical ideas about liberty that began in 1971 are now being seriously debated or, in some cases, implemented by the other parties. An increasing number of Libertarian votes is indeed noted by the politicians as well as the media.

So rather than waste your vote on Democrats or Republicans, cast a meaningful ballot that clearly says what you believe.

Libertarians Are the Future

Despite the fact that the Libertarian Party continues to run more candidates in better-funded campaigns each election cycle, it is common to hear: “I really like Libertarian candidates, but I don't want to waste my vote.”

After watching both Democrats and Republicans make promises that frequently become lies, two conclusions should become evident: (1) The lesser of two evils is still evil, and (2) the only way to waste your vote is not to use it for a candidate that sends the message you want to send to America. In all honesty, It doesn't matter which evil you vote for if evil still wins.

In the year 2000, the Libertarian Party ran over 1,500 candidates for public office. 247 of those candidates were running for seats in the US House of Representatives. If each Libertarian US House candidate won, Libertarians could technically have taken control of the house with a majority.

Today, in 2016, there are 145 Libertarians holding elected offices nationwide: 41 partisan offices, and 104 nonpartisan offices. Gary Johnson is currently polling 9-11% depending on which poll you're following. At 15% he has to be allowed into the debates.

If you have principles, then vote for your local Libertarian candidate.

Vote JohnsonWeld in 2016's presidential race. You won't regret it. Even if they don't win, you'll be helping make history. You will be helping open the door for future third party candidates. You will be helping make America a better place to live.

The Libertarian Party Gains An Elected State Senator & State Rep

Breaking into the bi-partisan race is tough for a lot of reasons, not least of which being that no one wants to go first. If a libertarian gets elected running as a Republican or Democrat there is enormous pressure to stay with the party. Defecting isn’t even an option for many elected representatives. Partially because it would be seen as a betrayal of the party that financed their bid. Deciding to change party registration and join the Libertarian Party is a big deal. Now, for the first time in its history, the Libertarian Party has an elected State Senator and State Representative.

This year John Moore, a Nevada State Representative, left the Republican Party to become a Libertarian formally. He had already been voting libertarian and was one in all but name. However
the new label is extremely important because it conveys that libertarians are more than just an ideology. We are a viable political party. Having elected representatives at the state level is a major hurdle that only one non bi-partisan party has made it over. Moore became the first Libertarian statewide elected official in 20 years. In November he'll be up for re-election as a Libertarian.

Shortly before the LP National Convention, Nebraska State Senator Laura Ebke also left the Republican Party. Although the Libertarian Party has had an elected State Representative in New Hampshire in the past, this is the first time they can lay claim to a State Senator. In her statement, Ebke cited her frustration with her Republican colleagues for ignoring civil liberties. She was first elected in 2014 and is currently serving a four year term. She will be up for re-election as a Libertarian candidate in 2018.

The courage of these 2 individuals in risking their seats by switching to the Libertarian Party lays the groundwork for a historical shift in American Politics. The Republican and Democrat parties will not take this lightly and will surely run intense campaigns against these third party insurgents as they begin to take the LP more seriously. They do not want other representatives to follow in Moore and Ebke’s footsteps, for obvious reasons. With this precedent, and the two parties unfavorable nominees, Gary Johnson's polling at 10% nationally, may make this the year that dozens of representatives change their political affiliation.

Why 2016 Could Be The Breakthrough Year For Libertarians

I've been voting Libertarian as long as I've been legal to vote. From a very young age I looked at the bipartisan system and knew that it didn't serve me. I saw that it was broken, and that it was essentially "circe et panem", bread and circuses. The system we currently empower is divisive. The parties and their candidates seem to only hurl mud and point fingers. Everyone is so concerned laying blame on anyone else, they never take the time to look in the mirror. The problem with America, is the American people. All of us, collectively. Some in different ways than others. I could go over the minutiae of how each group and sub-group is negatively impacting our country but instead I'm just going to point out the one major flaw we all share: we keep supporting a corrupt, broken government. I think it starts in our education system, but that's another post entirely. The important thing is that we can still change it. We still have the right to vote, and we don't have to fall for the circulating propaganda telling us to vote against the worst candidate, rather than FOR the best one.

Gary Johnson is the best candidate.

Along with his running mate, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, he exemplifies fiscally conservative and socially liberal practices.  They believe in lower taxes and fewer economic regulations, but also feel government shouldn’t interfere with personal issues like gay marriage, legal marijuana and a woman’s right to choose.

How many of you reading this really want the government to be MORE powerful? Don't they interfere with enough of our rights as it is?

So why is this our year?

The Libertarian Party is on track to be on the ballot in all 50 states in this election. I can't say for certain that we stand a chance at WINNING this election, but they do offer voters a viable alternative to the amazingly unfavorable Trump and Clinton, along with a message the majority of Americans could possibly like. In 2012 Johnson won 1.3 Million votes, which is a drop in the bucket compared to what he would need to WIN an election, but it's the largest non bi-partisan showing anyone has ever made. He can do this. With Weld by his side they can at the very least scare the pants off Clinton and Trump. Johnson pulled 8 percent of the vote poll by Rasmussen Reports, which included him in a three-way match-up with Clinton and Trump. In a similar poll by Monmouth university, Gary jumped into the double digits at 11%. These same polls reflect that more of the democratic and republican parties look unfavorably on their own candidates than favorably.

Just because you're a registered democrat or republican does not mean you have to vote for whoever won the nomination of that party. You can say no. You can vote for someone you believe in. You can vote for Johnson Weld. You can vote for 2 men who have a history of standing up for their voters. Who will balance the budget AND protect your individual rights and liberties. You don't have to choose between being financially hurt, or socially hurt. You can have the best of both worlds. Don't vote on which rights you want to have taken away. (Dems: right to bear arms, Reps: woman's right to choose, etc) Vote to keep all of your rights. Say no to a government that has gotten too large, and say yes to the freedom that our forefathers fought so hard for.

The biggest obstacle facing the LP is media coverage. Not enough people know about the principles upon which the party, and these candidates stand. But this year, the electorate is HUNGRY for something DIFFERENT. So if you're with me, and I hope you are, help me spread the good word. get #GaryJohnson2016 trending. Post about him on your blog. Share relevant news articles to Facebook and Twitter. Put up a yard sign. Donate to his campaign here.

The thing is, I know sometimes the LP can come off sort of "crazy", because it's sort of a melting pot for everyone who has veered away from the bi-partisan system. Don't let them scare you away. Do a little research and discover what we stand for.

Don't tread on me.
Don't tread on anybody.

Why I'm Voting For Gary Johnson

I'm tired of political "business as usual". I'm sick of having my rights stripped away one at a time while the people around me don't seem to notice or care.

Because of his tax code: 

"Today’s federal tax code does all the wrong things. It penalizes productivity, savings, and investment, while rewarding inefficiency and designating winners and losers according to political whim. For far too long, tax laws have been used not just as a means to collect needed revenues, but as a weapon with which to manipulate our behavior, create and destroy industries and fulfill politicians’ dreams of social engineering. The result is a tax code that is more than 70,000 pages long enforced by a government agency with almost 100,000 employees.
It is nothing less than a massive deployment of government force on our lives, our finances, and our freedom.
Governor Johnson advocates the elimination of tax subsidies, the double taxation embodied in business income taxes, and ultimately, the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that will allow every American and every business to determine their tax burden by making their own spending decisions. Taxes on purchases for basic necessities would be “probated”, with all other purchases taxed equally regardless of income, status or purpose.
Many leading economists have long advocated such a shift in the way we are taxed, and Gary Johnson believes the time has come to eliminate the punishing tax code we have today and replace it with a system that rewards productivity, investment, and savings. The IRS as we know it today would no longer be necessary, and Americans would no longer need to live in fear of the force of government being wielded under the guise of tax collection."

Because of his proposed term limits:

"Americans are increasingly frustrated, even angry, that — regardless of which political party is in control — nothing really changes in Washington, DC. The spending continues unchecked. The wars continue. The government keeps taking away more freedom. This disastrous allegiance to the status quo by career politicians is a direct result of the reality that those politicians are more concerned about keeping their jobs than about doing what needs to be done. That’s why Gary Johnson is a strong advocate of term limits. Run for office, spend a few years doing the job at hand and then return to private life. That’s what Gary Johnson did as Governor, and that’s what Senators and Representatives should do."

Because he wants to stimulate job growth:

"During the 2012 campaign, Gary Johnson was lauded for having the best “job creation” record of all the former governors running for President. His response: “As Governor, I didn’t create a single job.” His point, of course, being that government doesn’t create jobs — except for itself. Entrepreneurs, growing companies, and a robust economy create jobs.
Government’s role is to create and maintain a regulatory and tax environment in which private job-creators can prosper. Gary Johnson did that as Governor, and would do so as President. Government regulation should only exist to protect citizens from bad actors and the harm they might do to health, safety and property. Regulation should not be used to manipulate behavior, manage private lives and businesses, and to place unnecessary burdens on those who make our economy work. Eliminating unnecessary regulations and applying common sense to those rules that are necessary will free up capital and allow those who want and need to create jobs to do so.
Likewise, adopting the tax reforms Governor Johnson advocates will literally create millions of jobs. While most politicians, Democrats, and Republicans alike, suggest that modest reductions in business taxes might create jobs, Gary Johnson believes eliminating income taxes on businesses will transform the U.S. into the “job magnet” of the world. Why would any corporation move its operations off-shore when the best tax “haven” on the planet is right here at home?"

Most importantly because of his take on personal freedom:

"When you ask Americans today what the greatest threat to their individual liberties is, far too often the response is: “The government”. That is simply unacceptable in a nation that was literally founded on the notion of liberty.
Imagine the disgust of the Founding Fathers if they were to see the national government spying on citizens’ private communications, monitoring financial transactions, photographing license plates, and even demanding to know what a person is doing at a public library — all without warrants or due process of law.
Imagine their shock to learn that the government has decided it is appropriate to tell adults what they can put in their bodies — and even put them in jail for using marijuana, while allowing those same adults to consume alcohol and encouraging the medical profession to pump out addictive, deadly painkillers at will.
The list goes on, but the point is clear: Decades of ever-more-intrusive government has steadily eroded personal freedom in this country. Adults are no longer free to make their own decisions, and virtually no part of Americans’ private lives are today safe from government scrutiny and regulation.
Gary Johnson believes the government should be truly limited — limited in the way the Founders envisioned. Responsible adults should be free to marry whom they want, arm themselves if they want, make their own decisions about their bodies, and lead their personal lives as they see fit — as long as no harm is done to others. And they should be able to do so without unconstitutional scrutiny by the NSA, the ATF, the DEA or any other government agency."

Because of his take on immigration:

"Having served as Governor of a border state, Gary Johnson understands immigration. He understands that a robust flow of labor, regulated not by politics, but by the marketplace, is essential. He understands that a bigger fence will only produce taller ladders and deeper tunnels and that the flow of illegal immigrants across the border is not a consequence of too little security, but rather a legal immigration system that simply doesn’t work. Militarizing the border, bigger fences, and other punitive measures espoused by too many politicians are all simplistic “solutions” to a problem caused by artificial quotas, bureaucratic incompetence and the shameful failure of Congress to actually put in place an immigration system that matches reality.
Governor Johnson has long advocated a simplified and secure system of work visas by which willing workers and willing employers can meet in a robust labor marketplace efficiently and economically. Aspiring immigrants would undergo a background check, pay taxes and provide proof of employment.
Making it simpler and efficient to enter the U.S. legally will provide the greatest security possible, allowing law enforcement to focus its time and resources on the criminals and bad actors who are, in reality, a relatively small portion of those who are today entering the country illegally."

As a parent, because of what he has to say about education:

"Governor Gary Johnson was one of the first governors in the nation to propose and advocate a universally available program of school choice. He did so while governing with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature and while facing a powerful teachers’ union. He was well aware that his proposal would not be enacted and would generate fierce opposition. However, he believed it was important to raise the issue and force the teachers’ unions to defend a clearly failing status quo.
More broadly, Gov. Johnson believes there is no role for the Federal Government in education. He would eliminate the federal Department of Education, and return control to the state and local levels. He opposes Common Core and any other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools, believing the key to restoring education excellence in the U.S. lies in the innovation, freedom and flexibility that federal interference inherently discourages.
As Governor, he saw first-hand that the costs of federal education programs and mandates far outweigh any benefits, both educationally and financially."

Because we agree about abortion:

"Gary Johnson has the utmost respect for the deeply-held convictions of those on both sides of the abortion issue. It is an intensely personal question and one that government is ill-equipped to answer.
As Governor, Johnson never advocated abortion or taxpayer funding of it. However, Gov. Johnson recognizes that the right of a woman to choose is the law of the land today, and has been for several decades. That right must be respected, and ultimately he believes this is a very personal and individual decision. He feels that each woman must be allowed to make decisions about her own health and well-being.
Further, Gov. Johnson feels strongly that women seeking to exercise their legal right must not be subjected to persecution or denied access to health services by politicians in Washington or elsewhere who are insistent on politicizing such an intensely personal and serious issue. As Governor Johnson did support a ban on late-term abortions."

Because he wants to keep the government out of my internet:

"Gary Johnson has often said, “There is nothing wrong with the Internet that I want the government to fix.”
The Internet has literally changed the world and has done so largely without interference from the government. It is no coincidence that the unprecedented innovation and entrepreneurship — and the resulting improvements in our quality of life — that has occurred in cyberspace has happened in one of the last refuges of freedom.
It needs to stay that way.
Yet, there are increasing calls for government regulation and intrusion into the Internet. From some politicians’ suggestions of a government “kill switch” to recently-passed so-called Cyber Security legislation, the government is determined to insert itself into our freedom to communicate, conduct business and seek information via the Web.
The government is even demanding that it be granted special “back doors” into encrypted, private information held and moved by Internet providers. The excuse is security — a laughable concept from a government that has proven time after time to be incapable of protecting even the most basic data.
Gary Johnson has consistently opposed these attempts at government interference with the Internet, and as President would return the government to the side of freedom and innovation — not regulation."

Gary is the only candidate who I believe cares about the citizens of this country more than he cares about his own bottom line. He's the only one who points the finger at the real problem. At our overly strong centralized government. Not at the rich or the poor. Not at white people or black people. He doesn't advocate hating one another, or tearing down one group of people to lift up another. He just wants to fix the broken system.

Because this is the type of person I want representing my country:

Not either of these fools: 

Why Are We Still Voting Bi-Partisan

Ok, so, seriously? What is going ON here? Am I the only one who hasn't drank the kool-aid or are there others of you out there? Based on the most recent elections I'm starting to think I'm alone here. Did I miss the mixer where we all agreed that the only 2 parties worth considering were Democrats and Republicans? Personally, I voted libertarian almost the entire ballot. My Mom, who is my hero btw, voted Rainbow, Green and Independent. Where were the rest of you? Is everyone who disagrees with the way this country is being run just staying home on election day? 

I'm the last person to try to push my political opinions on anyone. I really couldn't care less what you believe or how you choose to express it, unless you AREN'T expressing it. Simply put the Millenials just aren't voting. Now I understand that we'd be hard pressed to outvote the baby boomer generation because well, there are a kajillion of them. However are we really just going to let our parents and grandparents decide on laws that will be effecting us long after they're gone? 

How did question 2 not get passed in Florida you ask? BECAUSE YOUNG PEOPLE AREN'T REGISTERED TO VOTE. 58%. That's 2% sly of people in chronic pain having relief? 2% away from people getting chemo being able to keep down their dinner? 2% away from a lifestyle that doesn't involve hiding to get the treatment they need. Click here for more info on medicinal marijuana. 

How do we keep re-electing the same officials that have screwed us over time and time again, who's records indicate that they have no moral guidelines beyond their own bottom dollar? I'll tell you how. We are sticking to an outdated bipartisan system. A system that has broken itself down, and apart so many times that it no longer even resembles what this country originally stood for. Democrat Vs Republican. When they used to be one party. Yes ladies and gentleman that is how similar they are. Democratic-Republican VS Whig VS Federalist VS Anti-Masonic etc etc etc. That's how things are supposed to be done. The election should not be between 2 candidates with the deepest pockets but a range of candidates from different backgrounds who run on their political ideals, not their bank accounts.

So, register to vote in Florida, in Massachusetts, in Georgia, or wherever you may be.
Then, get informed. Check out the Libertarians, the Green-Rainbow Party, the Green Party and the Constitution Party, If none of those seem quite right for you check out this extended list of political parties. But whatever you do, even if it is vote for a democrat or a republican, get out there and make your voice be heard. If you want to take a bigger part check out campaigning.

Read about Ranked choice voting and breaking the hold of the two party system here.

Stay tuned for future political rants, reviews, parenting advice, and adventures.

See ya next time.