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It’s not always happily ever after for Christian business owners in the wedding industry, as recent religious freedom cases illustrate.

Cynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm in New York, have decided to stop hosting wedding ceremonies after being fined for refusing to rent their space to a lesbian couple, The Blaze reported.

“The family will continue hosting wedding receptions, but ceremonies which have traditionally been hosted inside the Giffords’ home on the property or at another nearby location will immediately cease.”

When Administrative Law Judge Migdalia Pares ruled in mid-August, Religion News Service reported that the farm is both a business and a private residence, which complicated the case.

Quoting Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, RNS reported that, although “public accommodation laws usually don’t apply to private residences,” the decision to start a home-based business removed the couple’s right to refuse service based on their religious beliefs.

“If you want to open yourself up to the public, there’s a cost, which is that you can’t discriminate,” said Winkler.

The Liberty Ridge Farm case was the latest in an ongoing conflict between religious freedom and same-sex marriage. Among the Christian business owners penalized for refusing to accommodate a gay wedding on religious grounds are a photographer in New Mexico, a florist in Washington and a wedding cake baker in Colorado.

In April, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal from New Mexico’s Elane Photography, ensuring that related debates will remain at the state level for the time being, the Associated Press reported.

AP noted that leaders from “Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia had asked the high court to hear the case so lawmakers would have guidance in considering such measures.”

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Unresolved legal relationship between religious freedom and gay rights

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been recording and storing nearly all domestic and international phone calls from Afghanistan, according to Wikileaks front man Julian Assange.

Wikileaks revealed the name of the country after The Intercept reported Monday that the NSA was actively recording and archiving virtually every cellphone call in the Bahamas and one other country under a program called SOMALGET. The Intercept said it did not name the second country because of concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.

The voice interception program is part of a broader program called MYSTIC revealed in March when the Washington Post published documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

MYSTIC is used to collect phonecall metadata and is used in Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines, according to The Intercept. SOMALGET enables the NSA to gather and store the contents of every conversation in an entire country, it said.

The program gives the NSA the capability to record and store the phone calls of an entire nation for up to 30 days, according to the Washington Post. The paper decided not to identify the countries affected on request of the U.S. government.

While The Intercept revealed the identity of five of the Mystic target countries, Assange said the decision not to name Afghanistan was censorship.

Such censorship strips a nation of its right to self-determination on a matter which affects its whole population, =”https://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-statement-on-the-mass.html”>he said on Wikileaks site. By denying an entire population the knowledge of its own victimization, this act of censorship denies each individual in that country the opportunity to seek an effective remedy, whether in international courts, or elsewhere, he said.

To protect his source, Assange did not disclose how Wikileaks confirmed the identity of the second country. However, he said, it can also be independently verified through forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date, and through correlations with other NSA programs.

The censorship of a victim states identity directly assists the killing of innocent people, Assange said. The U.S. has been using mass interception programs as a key component in its drone targeting program that has killed thousands of people and hundreds of women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in violation of international law, he added.

We do not believe it is the place of media to aid and abet a state in escaping detection and prosecution for a serious crime against a population. Consequently Wikileaks cannot be complicit in the censorship of victim state X. The country in question is Afghanistan, he said.

Excerpt from:

Assange names country targeted by NSA's MYSTIC mass phone tapping program

The U.S. National Security Agency has been recording and archiving virtually every cellphone call in the Bahamas without knowledge and permission from the island nations government, according to a report from The Intercept.

The surveillance is part of an NSA secret system called SOMALGET that tapped into access legally granted to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and opened a backdoor into the countrys cell telephone network, the article states.

The NSA is able to intercept and record cellphone calls made to, from and within the Bahamas, and access the recordings for 30 days, according to the article, whose revelations are based on documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The article, authored by Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, describes SOMALGET as a cutting edge tool that gives the NSA access to the content of the calls, not just to their metadata.

SOMALGET is part of a broader program called MYSTIC in which the NSA secretly monitors the telecom systems not only of the Bahamas but of several other countries as well, including Mexico, the Philippines and Kenya, according to the report.

All told, the NSA is using MYSTIC to gather personal data on mobile calls placed in countries with a combined population of more than 250 million people. And according to classified documents, the agency is seeking funding to export the sweeping surveillance capability elsewhere, reads the article.

The Bahamas surveillance is focused on locating international narcotics traffickers and special-interest alien smugglers, according to the story.

The Intercept is published by Pierre Omidyars First Look Media and was co-created by Greenwald, whose groundbreaking coverage last year in The Guardian about NSA surveillance programs helped that newspaper win a Pulitzer Prize this year. The Intercept was founded primarily to report on documents provided by Snowden.

Mondays article states that the Bahamas SOMALGET surveillance raises profound questions about the nature and extent of American surveillance abroad because it isnt driven by anti-terrorism motivations and because the Bahamas is considered a stable democracy that presents no terrorism threat to the U.S.

By targeting the Bahamas entire mobile network, the NSA is intentionally collecting and retaining intelligence on millions of people who have not been accused of any crime or terrorist activity, reads the article, noting that almost 5 million Americans visit the Bahamas every year, and that many prominent U.S. citizens have homes there.

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Report: The NSA records all cellphone calls in the Bahamas



Mexico vs. US Virgin Islands – 2014 FIVB World Championships Qualifiers
This is an indoor volleyball qualification match between Mexico and US Virgin Islands for the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Qualifiers 2014 in Italy. This qualification tournament…

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Mexico vs. US Virgin Islands – 2014 FIVB World Championships Qualifiers – Video

NM Watchdog photo THE PARTY’S NOT OVER: Matt Kibbe, the CEO of the political action group Freedom Works, says the Tea Party’s influence is not waning, but on the rise.

ALBUQUERQUE >> They’ve been attacked by Democrats such as Harry Reid as “anarchists,” vilified by the main character on the cable show “The Newsroom” as “the American Taliban” and criticized by some Republicans who point to defeats in Delaware, Indiana and Nevada as possibly costing the party control of the U.S. Senate.

But one of the people responsible for creating the Tea Party says the movement is as strong as ever.

“A lot more of these activists are (focusing) more on local precinct captain divisions, local school boards, state legislators,” said Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of Freedom Works, a political nonprofit based in Washington D.C., that proclaims “lower taxes, less government, more freedom” as its motto.

“So they’ve gone local,” Kibbe told New Mexico Watchdog. “They still think nationally but they’ve focused on the mechanics on a local level. That to me is a sign of a stronger social movement, not a weaker one.”

Kibbe’s group was instrumental in organizing what became the founding event for the Tea Party movement a Taxpayer March on Washington back on Sept, 12, 2009 that drew hundreds of thousands.

“We had zero advertising,” Kibbe told a crowd of about 75 Monday at a luncheon sponsored by the Rio Grande Foundation. “It was all due to social media That’s the power of decentralization.”

A little more than a year later, Tea Party favorites such as Rand Paul and Justin Amash were elected to Congress and Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.

But in 2012, Barack Obama won re-election and since then, there’s been plenty of speculation that the Tea Party is losing steam.

While Kibbe emphasizes that Freedom Works and the Tea Party movement are independent “They don’t work for us and we don’t work for them” Kibbe thinks the Tea Party’s principles are alive and well.

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Freedom Works boss: Tea Party 'stronger, not weaker'



INFOWARS Nightly News: with David Knight Monday May 12 2014: Plus Special Reports
Monday: The Infowars Nightly News. 1776 Worldwide: The Second Amendment Comes to Mexico. Plus, DHS Emails Reveal U.S. May Have Terrorist Hands Off List. — http://www.prisonplanet.tv/ –Date:…

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INFOWARS Nightly News: with David Knight Monday May 12 2014: Plus Special Reports – Video



DHS Says “Hands Off” VIP Terrorist
1776 Worldwide: The Second Amendment Comes to Mexico Mexico to legalize vigilantes fighting drug cartel DHS Emails Reveal U.S. May Have Terrorist “Hands Off” List As vigilantes in Mexico…

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DHS Says "Hands Off" VIP Terrorist – Video



Where The People Are Armed There is Liberty
Alex breaks down the essence of the debate of the right to keep and bear arms and what the proposal of the passing of a second amendment in Mexico could mean for the people of mexico in the…

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Where The People Are Armed There is Liberty – Video



Leaving the Night Clubs of NYC for the Beaches of Tulum | EX-PATS Ep. 9 Full | Reserve
Night club designer David Graziano left New York City for the beaches of Tulum, Mexico. Join Savannah as she discovers the luxurious Ahau Hotel that he is bu. Pam and John Solomon left New…

By: Paige Sykes

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Leaving the Night Clubs of NYC for the Beaches of Tulum | EX-PATS Ep. 9 Full | Reserve – Video



Sayulita-San Francisco Beaches (Riviera Nayarit, Mexico) Resorts Surfing Meccas Video
horace@horacesworld.com Sayulita and San Francisco Beaches on Mexico's Riviera Nayarit, surfing meccas with some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Mexi. A song for San Pancho (San…

By: Paige Sykes

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Sayulita-San Francisco Beaches (Riviera Nayarit, Mexico) Resorts & Surfing Meccas Video – Video

Usually when we use the term beach book, were talking about a novel or other interesting book intended for reading at leisure while looking out at the beach or lounging by the pool.

Beaches of the Gulf Coast by Richard A. Davis Jr. (Texas A&M University Press, $35 flexbound) is not that kind of book. Rather, its a book about beaches in general, and Gulf of Mexico beaches in particular.

The first part of the book deals with general characteristics and dynamics of beaches, then segues into the specific beaches along the Gulf Coast, from Florida to Texas, as well as Mexico and Cuba. Texas beaches get 30 pages and more than 50 color photos.

Certainly an informative and interesting book, but one to read before going to the beach.

Local History: The Shackelford County Historical Commissioned has produced a pictorial history, Shackelford County (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99 paperback).

Arcadia specializes in local pictorials and has published books about Abilene, Sweetwater, Haskell, Stamford, Ranger and many other Texas towns through its Images of America Series.

Shackelford County is a little different from most of the other Arcadia books that Ive seen in that, in addition to dozens of archival photographs, it includes short introductory essays to the various sections by Sunday Tidwell, Jane Lenoir, John A. Matthews, A.V. Jones, Jon Rex Jones, Wilma Jo Tucker Mitchell, Duston Brooks, Melinda Lucas, and the late Lawrence Clayton.

Bottom line is: Readers in Albany and Moran will find plenty of good reading as well as wonderful old photographs in this 128-page collection.

Two new Texas books from The History Press:

Painting the Town Orange by Pete Gershon ($21.99 paperback) tells the stories behind Houstons eclectic visionary art environments, such as the Orange Show and the Beer Can House.

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Texas Reads: A beach book about beaches



Apr 13, 2014 Solomon Islands | Apr 18, 2014 Mexico Earthquake/Tsunami Wave Propagation
Animations by NOAA: April 13, 2014 Solomon Islands Tsunami propagation April 18, 2014 Guerrero, Mexico Tsunami propagation.

By: earthspace102

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Apr 13, 2014 Solomon Islands | Apr 18, 2014 Mexico Earthquake/Tsunami Wave Propagation – Video

Puerto Vallarta: the beaches

Even if youre staying a couple of weeks, theres a beach for every day and every mood in and around Puerto Vallarta. Downtown at the Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead), and in the hotel zones to the north, youll find plenty of people and plenty going on. Elsewhere around the Baha de Banderas, the bay at whose centre Puerto Vallarta sits, alternatives abound. They include Mismaloya, where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor carried on the scandalous romance credited with first putting Puerto Vallarta on the map, and many more white-sand getaways that can be accessed only by boat or an arduous jungle hike, such as the old hippy hangout of Yelapa, hemmed in by tropical hills and coconut palms.

Better still, 30 minutes offshore lie the Marieta Islands, at the heart of a huge marine national park characterised by extraordinary natural rock arches and tunnels. If you want to escape the crowds, there are dozens of tiny hidden beaches and lonely swimming and snorkelling spots here.

Buceras and Punta Mita, with their very different characters, mark the northern extent of the Baha de Banderas. At laid-back, shabby Buceras, seafront restaurants offer tremendous views back over Puerto Vallarta, and theres entertaining shopping at a series of flea-market style stalls. Punta Mita is altogether glossier, with a magnificent coral-sand beach thats been exploited by ritzy resort hotels. Languorous Sayulita, farther north, is somewhere between the two, attracting a gringo surfer crowd to an enchanting, jungle-fringed beach. Its a particularly good place to learn to surf.

The Costalegre stretches south of Puerto Vallarta for more than 125 miles, including some of the wildest, most undeveloped stretches of Mexicos Pacific coast. The jungle-smothered mountains, lonely beaches and isolated villages seem incredibly tempting, but before attempting the journey youd be well advised to seek some local advice: many of the choicest spots have been closed off thanks to disputes over land ownership.

Barra de Navidad is an accessible, and almost entirely Mexican, resort

At the southern end of the coast, the twin resort towns of Barra de Navidad and Melaque definitely are accessible. A striking contrast to Puerto Vallarta, theyre almost entirely Mexican resorts, little commercialised but crowded at weekends with families and revellers from Guadalajara, Mexicos second city. Barra and Melaque are joined by a five-mile arc of golden sand, the focus and highlight of a visit to either.

Highlights elsewhere on the Costalegre include the Costa Careyes (Turtle Coast), a series of fine beaches ringed by glamorous villas, where endangered Olive Ridley turtles lay their eggs. Theres a conservation programme you can visit, and though some of the beaches are gated, the guards will let you through to visit the beach. Nearby Baha Chamela offers another sweeping arc of superb beaches, only now starting to be developed theres fabulous snorkelling and diving around a series of small offshore islands.

Getting there Direct Dreamliner flights with Thomson (thomson.co.uk) to Puerto Vallarta start from Manchester on May 1 and from London Gatwick on May 3. Prices range from less than 350 return, in early May, to more than 1,000 on peak dates in August, with discounted package holidays in May from about 610. One-stop flights involve changing planes, either in Mexico City (direct flights with British Airways) or in the United States. Less mainstream packages are offered by specialists such as Audley Travel (01993 838 638; audleytravel.com) or Cathy Matos Mexican Tours (020 8492 0000; mextours.co.uk).

Where to stay

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Mexico's Pacific Coast: hidden beaches and resort towns



Roswell and ACLU settle freedom of speech lawsuit
A New Mexico city has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a pair of preachers who claim police violated their right to free speech.

By: KRQE

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Roswell and ACLU settle freedom of speech lawsuit – Video

Marshall Islands launches case against the Nuclear-Armed States in the International Court of Justice Press Release April 24, 2014

The Republic of the Marshall Islands today filed lawsuits in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the nine nuclear-armed states holding them accountable for flagrant violations of international law with respect to their nuclear disarmament obligations. The Marshall Islands, which was used for 12 years as a testing ground for nuclear bombs by the United States, says the five original nuclear weapon states U.S., Russia, UK, France and China are continuously breaching their legal obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The lawsuits also contend that all nine nuclear-armed nations are violating customary international law.

The nuclear armed States have an obligation affirmed by the International Court of Justice in a 1996 Advisory Opinion to achieve the complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control, says Alyn Ware, Consultant for the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and the United Nations Coordinator for the World Court Project which launched the 1996 ICJ Advisory Opinion. They have flagrantly violated this obligation by not even commencing the required negotiations.

The Marshall Islands was one of the leading countries arguing against nuclear weapons in the 1996 ICJ Advisory Opinion, along with a number of other countries including Australia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino and the Solomon Islands. Based on testimony placed before the ICJ in 1996 by the World Health Organisation, the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marshall Islands and others, the ICJ stated that the destructive effects of nuclear weapons could not be contained in time or space, and that the threat or use of nuclear weapons was thus generally illegal under international law applicable in wartime including international humanitarian law.

In a press release announcing the lodging of the lawsuits against the nuclear-armed states today (attached), Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum said Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons, and we vow to fight so that no one else on earth will ever again experience these atrocities. The continued existence of nuclear weapons and the terrible risk they pose to the world threaten us all.

The press release notes that three of the nine states, the UK, India, and Pakistan, have accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court when the opposing state equally has done so, as has the Marshall Islands. As to the other six states, the Marshall Islands is calling on them to accept the jurisdiction of the Court for this particular case and explain to the Court their positions regarding the nuclear disarmament obligations.

The failure of these nuclear-armed countries to uphold important commitments and respect the law makes the world a more dangerous place, said Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a vocal backer of the lawsuits. We must ask why these leaders continue to break their promises and put their citizens and the world at risk of horrific devastation. This is one of the most fundamental moral and legal questions of our time.

The lawsuits filed today in the International Court of Justice in The Hague are accompanied by a related lawsuit brought in U.S. Federal District Court in San Francisco against the United States.

PRESS RELEASE FROM NETHERLANDS Pacific Nation Challenges Nine Nuclear-Armed States in Lawsuits before the World Court

Republic of Marshall Islands Historic Lawsuits Charge the U.S., Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea with Breaches of International Law

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Marshall Islands Case against the Nuclear-Armed States

From its inception, America has welcomed the best and brightest to its shores, and we have the worlds largest economy to show for it. Similarly, foreign direct investment has been an essential driver of our economic growth. Unfortunately, America is losing its competitive advantage in attracting global investment and the well-paying jobs it provides.

Maine, which ranks ninth in the nation in the number of workers per capita employed by foreign companies, is in a global race for jobs. At a time when most lawmakers are doing all they can to encourage job creation, however, the Maine Legislature has passed a tax haven bill that will ultimately discourage foreign investment in the Pine Tree State.

Insourcing companies, foreign companies that operate in the United States, are bringing investment and jobs to our country from abroad. In Maine alone, insourcing companies employ 30,500 people more than 6 percent of the states private-sector workforce.

To ensure insourcing companies have the best opportunity to grow business and workforce in the United States, policymakers must recognize how the global economy works. The tax haven legislation may seem like it is going after abusive tax practices, but in reality, it misses the mark completely in understanding the 21st-century complexities of how global businesses operate. This could spell bad news for Maines efforts to retain and attract insourcing companies, which would have a negative impact on the states economy overall.

In fact, the Organization for International Investment recently released an economic report providing a first-ever analysis of the role insourcing companies have played in the U.S. economy over the past decade. The findings were striking. Insourcing companies, as a group, outperformed the economy-wide average in nearly every relevant economic indicator, including increasing their contribution to U.S. gross domestic product by 25.2 percent, nearly double the private sectors 14.3 percent increase. The report also showed that these companies charitable giving has grown by 44 percent over the past decade, compared to an economy-wide contraction of nearly 5 percent.

Insourcing companies raise their industries economic performance, invest heavily in research and development, buy materials locally, establish innovative workforce training programs, and increase compensation and benefits for Americans by paying them a 22 percent premium above the U.S. private-sector average. In short, when insourcing companies invest in America, families prosper and communities thrive.

At the state level, Maine ranks 45th in the nation in corporate tax rate competitiveness, according to the Tax Foundation. Instead of working to modernize the tax code, lawmakers in Augusta recently passed legislation that would blacklist certain countries by deeming them tax havens and arbitrarily penalize employers in the state who have operations in these jurisdictions. The flawed premise behind tax haven legislation is that if a global company has operations in any number of jurisdictions, it must be doing so to avoid paying taxes. This legislation completely overlooks legitimate business decisions such as reaching new customers or streamlining supply chains.

The bills premise is a false assumption that misrepresents the value global companies provide, and it conflicts with the longstanding agreements that America has negotiated with other countries to ensure global companies pay the taxes owed in an equitable manner.

Take Luxembourg as an example: America has had a tax treaty in force with Luxembourg for more than a decade. Even though Maines population is 2.5 times larger than this European country, Luxembourg has invested more than $202 billion in the United States. In fact, last year alone, its investment in the United States outpaced those from Germany, France, China, and Mexico, to name a few.

Simply put, states that do not respect the obligations of our nations tax treaties and protocols risk losing the investments that directly support 5.6 million jobs in America. States that align with these international norms position themselves to capture global investment and jobs in the future. Gov. Paul LePage should veto the tax haven legislation that will only make Maine less competitive in the global race for job creation.

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Tax haven legislation is misguided, will make Maine even less competitive

Jose Ivan, found off Marshall Islands, says he set out from Mexico, 8,000 miles away, and survived on turtles and fish An emaciated man whose boat washed up on a remote Pacific atoll this week claims he survived 16 months adrift in the Pacific, floating more than 8,000 miles from Mexico. The man, with long hair and beard, was discovered on Thursday when his 24ft (7.3m) fibreglass boat with …

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Man claims to have survived 16 months adrift in Pacific



Beaches in ixtapa zihuatanejo
Enjoy the beaches in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo staying in our condo right in front of “Playa del Palmar” one of the nicest beaches in Mexico, for more information c…

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Beaches in ixtapa zihuatanejo – Video



Supreme Court Refuses To Hear New Mexico Religious Freedom Case The Kelly File -World Latest News
The worlds best compensation plan 25 Day Study Finally Reaches Monthly Income $ 5000 will Sign up for free: http://bedaze.experienceba.com/?SOURCE=youtube Ev…

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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear New Mexico Religious Freedom Case The Kelly File -World Latest News – Video

Libertarianism the political ideology of the live and let live is enjoying a surge in popularity. Some believe its hour has finally arrived and it can truly become an alternative to the Republican Party.

I understand its appeal. I like libertarians, and can read Ludwig Von Mises and listen to Murray Rothbard all day long. But it isn’t an alternative. It’s an electoral distraction.

Diehard libertarians disagree, of course. Last week the Libertarian Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, visited Alabama on a fund-raising tour. The former two-term governor of New Mexico made stops in Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham touting his party’s message of civil liberties and personal responsibility. He probably met receptive audiences since more voters are identifying themselves as libertarians now than at anytime in recent memory.

This trend should worry conservatives, especially since the libertarian candidate cost the GOP votes and victory in last year’s gubernatorial election in Virginia.

But how many of these new libertarians really support what the Libertarian Party stands for?

Many call themselves libertarians because of a single issue pot. When comedian, drug legalization activist and self-identified libertarian Bill Maher attended one of conservative Grover Norquist’s policy discussions, he rattled off a list of things the government should be doing and how taxes should increase as well. Norquist laughed, and then asked if he represented the big government wing of the Libertarian Party. Maher didn’t get the joke.

Some identify with libertarians until they scratch beyond the surface of “Hey, freedom, baby!” and learn about the party’s actual positions. Others just don’t want to be called conservatives, much less Republicans.

There are certainly true believers who bear the scars of a generational battle with conservatives. William F. Buckley drummed them out of the Republican Party decades ago and they’ve been building a 50-state network ever since. Their sincerity is beyond doubt, but their judgment remains in serious question.

“It’s the libertarian principles that matter,” wrote a good friend while debating the issue over email recently. However, their beliefs seem more like doctrine than principles. Conservatives believe in principles limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise and apply them to unique problems while guided by tradition and morality. We have flexibility to make judgments.

Libertarianism, as far as I can tell, demands consistent application of its beliefs, regardless of their impact. Responses to an issue must always be X, no matter if X is harmful or unwanted. Consistency isn’t a virtue in government; its application will eventually end in tyranny or chaos.

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Libertarianism isn't an alternative to the Republican Party



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