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Libertarianism versus other Political Perspectives

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Jul 222015
 

In simplest terms the primary difference between libertarianism and other political philosophies involves beliefs about the amount of authority government should have over peoples’ personal and business matters.

Liberals want government to focus on doing what is “good,” including providing what is often referred to as “social justice.” To do that, among other policies, liberals expect government to: a)tax corporations and “wealthy” and “high income” citizens heavily to pay for the social justice programs and b)regulate business and personal behavior to the extent necessary for social justice.

Conservatives want government to control “bad,” offensive, and immoral behavior, even if that behavior brings no harm or danger to non-participants. Most often bad is defined based on the prevailing interpretation of Judeo-Christian rules. And, though conservatives tend to express a belief in small government, they usually cannot resist government programs that serve their agenda such as “family values.”

Liberals and conservatives both believe that government’s mission is some combination of: a)making the world better, b)providing moral leadership, and c)protecting people from themselves. Of course conservatives and liberals tend to disagree about what is good and what is moral. And whether or not you agree with those objectives, you are forced to pay for them with your money and/or your liberty. Ironically you pay for liberal and conservative programs, rules, and regulations — with your money and your liberty.

Libertarians believe that goodness is voluntary, morality is personal, human nature cannot be legislated away, and only harm to others should be illegal.

And, though libertarians believe in limited government, as described in the U.S. Constitution, they do not want chaos. Libertarians recognize that government has a clear and critical mission: preserving and enhancing liberty. To achieve that goal government must: a)protect citizens from foreign enemies, b)arrest, try, and punish people that harm or endanger others, and c)make some judgment calls when peoples’ liberties conflict.

When considering where to locate your politics on the Nolan Chart first ask yourself: “How much should government do to make my preferences mandatory?” Then ask yourself, “How much should government control what I do based on what other people think, believe, or want?”

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Libertarianism versus other Political Perspectives

The Libertarianism FAQ – CatB

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Jun 202015
 

Definitions, Principles and History What is a libertarian? What do libertarians want to do? Where does libertarianism come from? How do libertarians differ from “liberals”? How do libertarians differ from “conservatives”? Do libertarians want to abolish the government? What’s the difference between small-l libertarian and big-l Libertarian? How would libertarians fund vital public services? What would a libertarian “government” do and how would it work? Politics and Consequences What is the libertarian position on abortion? What is the libertarian position on minority, gay & women’s rights? What is the libertarian position on gun control? What is the libertarian position on art, pornography and censorship? What is the libertarian position on the draft? What is the libertarian position on the “drug war”? What would libertarians do about concentrations of corporate power? Standard Criticisms But what about the environment? Who speaks for the trees? Don’t strong property rights just favor the rich? Would libertarians just abandon the poor? What about national defense? Don’t you believe in cooperating? Shouldn’t people help each other? Prospects How can I get involved? Is libertarianism likely to get a practical test in my lifetime? Resources Online Books Magazines Libertarian political and service organizations

There are a number of standard questions about libertarianism that have been periodically resurfacing in the politics groups for years. This posting attempts to answer some of them. I make no claim that the answers are complete, nor that they reflect a (nonexistent) unanimity among libertarians; the issues touched on here are tremendously complex. This posting will be useful, however, if it successfully conveys the flavor of libertarian thought and gives some indication of what most libertarians believe.

The word means approximately “believer in liberty”. Libertarians believe in individual conscience and individual choice, and reject the use of force or fraud to compel others except in response to force or fraud. (This latter is called the “Non-Coercion Principle” and is the one thing all libertarians agree on.)

Help individuals take more control over their own lives. Take the state (and other self-appointed representatives of “society”) out of private decisions. Abolish both halves of the welfare/warfare bureaucracy (privatizing real services) and liberate the 7/8ths of our wealth that’s now soaked up by the costs of a bloated and ineffective government, to make us all richer and freer. Oppose tyranny everywhere, whether it’s the obvious variety driven by greed and power-lust or the subtler, well-intentioned kinds that coerce people “for their own good” but against their wills.

Modern libertarianism has multiple roots. Perhaps the oldest is the minimal-government republicanism of the U.S.’s founding revolutionaries, especially Thomas Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and the “classical liberals” of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were another key influence. More recently, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of “ethical egoism” and the Austrian School of free-market capitalist economics have both contributed important ideas. Libertarianism is alone among 20th-century secular radicalisms in owing virtually nothing to Marxism.

Once upon a time (in the 1800s), “liberal” and “libertarian” meant the same thing; “liberals” were individualist, distrustful of state power, pro-free- market, and opposed to the entrenched privilege of the feudal and mercantilist system. After 1870, the “liberals” were gradually seduced (primarily by the Fabian socialists) into believing that the state could and should be used to guarantee “social justice”. They largely forgot about individual freedom, especially economic freedom, and nowadays spend most of their time justifying higher taxes, bigger government, and more regulation. Libertarians call this socialism without the brand label and want no part of it.

For starters, by not being conservative. Most libertarians have no interest in returning to an idealized past. More generally, libertarians hold no brief for the right wing’s rather overt militarist, racist, sexist, and authoritarian tendencies and reject conservative attempts to “legislate morality” with censorship, drug laws, and obnoxious Bible-thumping. Though libertarians believe in free-enterprise capitalism, we also refuse to stooge for the military-industrial complex as conservatives are wont to do.

Libertarians want to abolish as much government as they practically can. About 3/4 are “minarchists” who favor stripping government of most of its accumulated power to meddle, leaving only the police and courts for law enforcement and a sharply reduced military for national defense (nowadays some might also leave special powers for environmental enforcement). The other 1/4 (including the author of this FAQ) are out-and-out anarchists who believe that “limited government” is a delusion and the free market can provide better law, order, and security than any goverment monopoly.

Also, current libertarian political candidates recognize that you can’t demolish a government as large as ours overnight, and that great care must be taken in dismantling it carefully. For example, libertarians believe in open borders, but unrestricted immigration now would attract in a huge mass of welfare clients, so most libertarians would start by abolishing welfare programs before opening the borders. Libertarians don’t believe in tax-funded education, but most favor the current “parental choice” laws and voucher systems as a step in the right direction.

Progress in freedom and prosperity is made in steps. The Magna Carta, which for the first time put limits on a monarchy, was a great step forward in human rights. The parliamentary system was another great step. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, which affirmed that even a democratically-elected government couldn’t take away certain inalienable rights of individuals, was probably the single most important advance so far. But the journey isn’t over.

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The Libertarianism FAQ – CatB

Bitcoin, Intel, The NSA and Real Politics – Video

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Apr 112015
 



Bitcoin, Intel, The NSA and Real Politics
Vinay Gupta Networks With IamSatoshi http://www.iamsatoshi.com/bitcoin-intel-the-nsa-and-real-politics https://twitter.com/Iam_Satoshi https://www.facebook.com/I.am.Satoshi… Tip BTC: https://www…

By: Satoshi Pollen

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Bitcoin, Intel, The NSA and Real Politics – Video

MidPoint | Michael Barone discusses the recent furor over religious freedom laws – Video

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Apr 072015
 



MidPoint | Michael Barone discusses the recent furor over religious freedom laws
The senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner joins MidPoint to discuss the recent furor over religious freedom laws, and the politics involved in the Sen. Menendez indictment.

By: NewsmaxTV

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MidPoint | Michael Barone discusses the recent furor over religious freedom laws – Video

Indiana, Arkansas, and other 'religious freedom' laws: Trouble for the GOP (+video)

 Freedom  Comments Off on Indiana, Arkansas, and other 'religious freedom' laws: Trouble for the GOP (+video)
Apr 072015
 

The governors of Indiana and Arkansas Republicans Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson likely are spending Easter weekend wondering what they might have done to avert the adverse political wave that rolled them over this past week.

It was worse for Indianas Gov. Pence, who had to backtrack on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act hed just signed, calling on state legislators to clarify the law so that it no longer so obviously allowed for discrimination of gays and lesbians.

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson, learning from Pences experience, quickly said hed veto that states RFRA bill unless lawmakers wrote in that same clarification. That his own son had signed a petition against the bill no doubt got his attention.

“The issue has become divisive because our nation remains split on how to balance the diversity of our culture with the traditions and firmly held religious convictions,” Hutchison said at a press conference. “It has divided families, and there is clearly a generational gap on this issue. My son Seth signed the petition asking me, Dad, the governor, to veto this bill.”

That generational gap was a clear point former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made Friday in a Washington Post op-ed column excoriating his own Republican Party on the issue.

“As an American, Im incredibly concerned aboutwhat happened in Indiana this weekand thethreat of similar lawsbeing passed in other states, Mr. Schwarzenegger wrote. As a Republican, Im furious.

I know plenty of Republicans who are sensible and driven to solve problems for America. They believe in Reagans vision of a big tent where everyone is welcome. This message isnt for them, he wrote. It is for Republicans who choose the politics of division over policies that improve the lives of all of us. It is for Republicans who have decided to neglect the next generation of voters. It is for Republicans who are fighting for laws that fly in the face of equality and freedom.

“There are so many real problems that need solving. But distracting, divisive laws like the one Indiana initially passed arent just bad for the country, theyre also bad for our party, Schwarzenegger continued.In California, the GOP has seen the danger of focusing on the wrong issues. In 2007, Republicans made up nearly 35 percent of our registered voters. By 2009, ourshare droppedto 31 percent, andtoday, it is a measly 28 percent. That sharp drop started just after the divisive battle over Proposition 8 [which banned same-sex marriage]. Maybe thats a coincidence, but there is no question that our party is losing touch with our voters, especially with the younger ones who are growing the registration rolls.

(In 2013, the United States Supreme Court effectively killed Prop. 8.)

The struggle to balance religious freedoms with civil and personal rights continues in other states, where local and national businesses have become major players.

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Indiana, Arkansas, and other 'religious freedom' laws: Trouble for the GOP (+video)

Indiana, Arkansas, and other 'religious freedom' laws: Trouble for the GOP

 Freedom  Comments Off on Indiana, Arkansas, and other 'religious freedom' laws: Trouble for the GOP
Apr 052015
 

The governors of Indiana and Arkansas Republicans Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson likely are spending Easter weekend wondering what they might have done to avert the adverse political wave that rolled them over this past week.

It was worse for Indianas Gov. Pence, who had to backtrack on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act hed just signed, calling on state legislators to clarify the law so that it no longer so obviously allowed for discrimination of gays and lesbians.

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson, learning from Pences experience, quickly said hed veto that states RFRA bill unless lawmakers wrote in that same clarification. That his own son had signed a petition against the bill no doubt got his attention.

“The issue has become divisive because our nation remains split on how to balance the diversity of our culture with the traditions and firmly held religious convictions,” Hutchison said at a press conference. “It has divided families, and there is clearly a generational gap on this issue. My son Seth signed the petition asking me, Dad, the governor, to veto this bill.”

That generational gap was a clear point former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made Friday in a Washington Post op-ed column excoriating his own Republican Party on the issue.

“As an American, Im incredibly concerned aboutwhat happened in Indiana this weekand thethreat of similar lawsbeing passed in other states, Mr. Schwarzenegger wrote. As a Republican, Im furious.

I know plenty of Republicans who are sensible and driven to solve problems for America. They believe in Reagans vision of a big tent where everyone is welcome. This message isnt for them, he wrote. It is for Republicans who choose the politics of division over policies that improve the lives of all of us. It is for Republicans who have decided to neglect the next generation of voters. It is for Republicans who are fighting for laws that fly in the face of equality and freedom.

“There are so many real problems that need solving. But distracting, divisive laws like the one Indiana initially passed arent just bad for the country, theyre also bad for our party, Schwarzenegger continued.In California, the GOP has seen the danger of focusing on the wrong issues. In 2007, Republicans made up nearly 35 percent of our registered voters. By 2009, ourshare droppedto 31 percent, andtoday, it is a measly 28 percent. That sharp drop started just after the divisive battle over Proposition 8 [which banned same-sex marriage]. Maybe thats a coincidence, but there is no question that our party is losing touch with our voters, especially with the younger ones who are growing the registration rolls.

(In 2013, the United States Supreme Court effectively killed Prop. 8.)

The struggle to balance religious freedoms with civil and personal rights continues in other states, where local and national businesses have become major players.

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Indiana, Arkansas, and other 'religious freedom' laws: Trouble for the GOP

Ind. Governor Battles Backlash Over ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill – Video

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Mar 292015
 



Ind. Governor Battles Backlash Over 'Religious Freedom' Bill
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is speaking out to “clarify” a bill that he says defends religious freedom, but opponents say allows discrimination. Follow Sebastian Martinez: http://www.twitter.com/sebas…

By: Newsy Politics

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Ind. Governor Battles Backlash Over ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill – Video

Democrats Caught Up In Controversial Indiana Religious Freedom Law

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Mar 292015
 

TIME Politics 2016 Election Democrats Caught Up In Controversial Indiana Religious Freedom Law Michael ConroyAP Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announces that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has approved the state’s waiver request for the plan his administration calls HIP 2.0, during a speech in Indianapolis. Obama, Clinton have backed similar religious freedom bills.

Indianas new religious freedom law, which has prompted calls for a state boycott because it might permit discrimination against gays and lesbians, was made law by a Republican governor and Republican legislature. But the controversy could also ensnare leading Democrats like President Barack Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who previously supported bills with similar effects years ago.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago, said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on ABCs This Week, defending his states actions by pointing to similar federal legislation. Indiana properly brought the same version that then state senator Barack Obama voted for in Illinois before our legislature.

The Indiana law prohibits the state from enacting statues that substantially burden a persons ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. Critics argue it could be used to allow businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian Americans in the state, prompting criticism from executives at companies like Apple, Salesforce.com and the NCAA, which will host the mens Final Four basketball tournament in Indianapolis next weekend.

Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and aides to President Obama have also criticized the law. Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldnt discriminate against ppl bc of who they love, Clinton tweeted over the weekend.

But the Indiana law was modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) introduced by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer, who is now a senior Democratic Senator from New York, and signed into law in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton. The bill passed the U.S. Senate by a vote on 97 to 3 in 1993. The power of God is such that even in the legislative process, miracles can happen, President Clinton joked at the time of the bipartisan consensus.

Unlike the federal law which is focused on restricting government action to protect religious freedom, the Indiana version has a broader scope, potentially giving new rights to claim religious beliefs for private parties, like wedding cake vendors, who do not want to serve gay couples.

As an Illinois State Senator in 1998, Obama also voted in favor of a version of the new Indiana law. Years after that law passed, Illinois passed an explicit ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, making clear that the law could not be used to deny service between private parties. That provision is not on the books in Indiana.

Despite weighing in on other controversial legislation in states, including this months passage of an anti-union bill in Wisconsin, Obama has not commented on the Indiana law, leaving his aides to critique it.

Look, if you have to go back two decades to try to justify something you are doing today, it may raise some questions about the wisdom of what youre doing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Sunday on ABCs This Week. Obama ducked a question on the Indiana law Saturday from reporters before departing on a two-day golf vacation to Florida.

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Democrats Caught Up In Controversial Indiana Religious Freedom Law

Debunking Nigel Farage: Why Liberty beats Politics – Video

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Mar 282015
 



Debunking Nigel Farage: Why Liberty beats Politics
Before you blaze me. Yes, Nigel has some very fair points with regards to the EU, and yes there are other politicians that are worse than him. There is no politician however who is gathering…

By: BadMouseProductions

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Debunking Nigel Farage: Why Liberty beats Politics – Video

Government must act on cynical tax operators like Netflix

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Mar 252015
 

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO.

EDITORIAL

The giant American global corporations do not lack gall. The idea that they should recycle a fair share of their profits back into the communities where they operate is not a concept embraced by Amazon, Apple, Google and others who have become notorious for shifting profits between subsidiaries and claiming absurdly low levels of profit in Australia as a percentage of their turnover here. It is legal but it is also cynical. We can now add Netflix to the list of cynical operators.

Netflix entered the Australian market on Tuesday. It is operating with the advantage of not having to charge its customers GST because it is not a “local entity”. Netflix is selling its on-demand, video- streaming service for a monthly subscription price of $8.99 for use on one device. (Using multiple platforms costs more.) This price is $1 a month less than its local competitors, whose customers are paying GST. The price advantage just happens to be almost exactly equal to the GST that Netflix is not charging, and which its local competitors, Presto and Stan, are charging. This is absurd tax policy.

GST is a tax on consumers, and consumers are happy to avoid it, but in an increasingly online, digital, borderless global economy, the tax advantage being handed to overseas companies by the federal government makes no sense, especially as it is grappling with a structural budget deficit that endangers the entire economy, long-term, if not brought into check.

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Next Tuesday the government will release its long-delayed tax discussion paper, held back during Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s string of political bungles and appalling poll numbers. Given the public rejection of the government’s first budget, and given the government’s inability to get much of its budget agenda through the Senate, Australia is now drifting into the politics of debt and deficit.

This drift requires all sides of politics to confront Australia’s enormously expensive middle class welfare. There are several major areas of tax reform on which the government, and the opposition, should show courage. Superannuation concessions are costing $15 billion a year. Negative gearing is a huge game that is hitting housing affordability. The GST could be extended to food. People with large assets could be means-tested for various benefits including the pension. The GST could be extended to local services provided by foreign companies.

The American giants mentioned at the outset are all household names here because of the each have dominant market positions in the Australian market. The combined market capitalisation of Apple, Google and Amazon is $1.64 trillion, equivalent to one third the size of the entire Australian economy. For years, these companies have been shifting revenue into low-tax havens around the world, which has helped their profitability and their growth.

Support for extending the GST to foreign service companies has already been expressed by the Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. He told Fairfax media this week: “Netflix is just another example of the growing digitisation of the Australian economy and the challenges related to taxing the trade of services and intangibles across borders.”

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Government must act on cynical tax operators like Netflix

House Freedom Caucus Gets an Executive Director

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Mar 132015
 

The upstart band of House conservatives that has challenged Republican leaders has hired an executive director, bolstering the groups organization ahead of budget and debt ceiling negotiations expected to divide GOP lawmakers.

The House Freedom Caucus has hired Steve Chartan to serve as its executive director, according to the group. Mr. Chartan, who begins his work with the Freedom Caucus on Monday, previously worked as a policy adviser for the Senate Republican Steering Committee under that groups chairman, Sen. Mike Lee(R., Utah.) His salary will be funded through dues paid by caucus members.

Steves experience on the Senate Steering Committee makes him an ideal executive director for the House Freedom Caucus, said the groups chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio). His relationships on and off the Hill will help HFC to successfully promote common-sense solutions that benefit the countless Americans who feel that they are forgotten by Washington.

Mr. Chartan is the first staff member hired by the Freedom Caucus, a group of more than 30 of the Houses most conservative Republicans. The caucus has already bucked GOP leadership in the recent fight over Homeland Security Department funding and has indicated it will focus next on the budget, expected to be released in the House next week.

A graduate of Duke University, Mr. Chartan also worked in the Senate steering committee under its prior chairman, Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).

Having an executive director will enable the caucus to put together a formal whip operation and keep better track of its members position on issues, said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.).

Officially established in late January, the House Freedom Caucus was formed in part to have a smaller, nimbler alternative to the Republican Study Committee, once the conservative bastion of the House GOP that has grown to include most of its ranks.

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House Freedom Caucus Gets an Executive Director

David Mierswa Second Amendment Part 1 – Video

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Mar 132015
 



David Mierswa Second Amendment Part 1
Attorney David Mierswa explains legal aspects of concealed carry and the politics of Chicago.

By: Attorney David P. Mierswa and Associates

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David Mierswa Second Amendment Part 1 – Video

Lois Lerner Out From Under Freedom Path Lawsuit For Now

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Mar 102015
 

Lois Lerner might have had a bit of a breathing spell for a couple of days before the announcements about more e-mails being found. It was so short that it has largely been missed, but since I am playing catch-up I noticed it. Lerners brief reprieve was the work of Judge Sidney Fitzwater, a Reagan appointee, of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Judge Fitzwaters decision in Freedom Path Inc v Lois Lerner et alat least gets Lois Lerner out from under one lawsuit. Freedom Path was suing Lois Lerner, unnamed officials of the IRS, the IRS and the United States. The suit was about targeting FP due to its conservative views as it was applying for exempt status, illegally releasing information about FP and the general use of a facts and circumstances test in the IRS evaluation of political activities. Freedom Path complained in its lawsuit about the slow pace of its application and additional intrusive questions. Also a copy of its application (Form 1024) was released to ProPublica. On the application FP had indicated that it would not be engaging in political activity. ProPublica released a story Controversial Dark Money Group Among Five That Told IRS They Would Stay Out of Politics, Then Didntthat mentioned Freedom Path as one of the five. In April 2013 Freedom Path was asked for further information, which it was hesitant to release because of the disclosure to ProPublica. The IRS then offered FP the opportunity to enter into a new expedited process, but that did not work for them.

Under this process, Freedom Path could obtain approval of its pending application if it made certain representations regarding the organizations past, current, and future spending on political activities. Freedom Path alleges that it declined to participate in this optional expedited process because it viewed the required representations as unconstitutionally broad and as an IRS attempt to force Freedom Path to relinquish some of its First Amendment rights.

Lois Lerner Not A Texan The reason that Lois Lerner was dismissed from the suit is one that her supporters, if there are any, might not find very satisfying. Her detractors, who are legion, will probably find it infuriating. She was dismissed, because she does not have enough connection with Texas which is where the suit was brought (although in a federal court).

Freedom Path maintains that it has made a prima facie showing of in personam jurisdiction based on Lerners contacts with the state of Texas in connection with the IRSs unconstitutional scheme to target conservative organizations like Freedom Path. Alternatively, Freedom Path requests leave to conduct limited jurisdictional discovery to demonstrate Lerners contacts with the state of Texas. In Freedom Paths complaint, its only allegations related to the courts power to exercise personal jurisdiction over Lerner are that she oversaw the IRSs Office of Exempt Organizations, whose Examinations unit was headquartered in Dallas, Compl. 13, and that she sent an email to the Director of the Examinations unit, located in Dallas, regarding an audit of an organization not involved in the present case, Compl. Ex. 10 at 4; P. Resp. 34. These allegations are insufficient to make a prima facie showing of either specific jurisdiction or generalin personam jurisdiction over Lerner. Freedom Path has certainly failed to make a prima facie showing of general jurisdiction, that is, that her affiliations with the state of Texas are so continuous and systematic as to render her essentially at home in Texas. And it has also failed to make a prima facie showing of specific jurisdiction. Freedom Path does not allege that Lerner took any actions in Texas that are relevant to its complaint or that she directed any actions at Texas. In fact, Freedom Path does not even allege that Lerner had any personal involvement with its application for tax-exempt status or was even aware of the application.

Other Counts Dismissed Without Prejudice Because the IRS has not taken final action on Freedom Paths application, its other claims about use of the facts and circumstances test and view point based targeting were also dismissed, although Freedom Path is allowed to refile.

In count IV, Freedom Path challenges as unconstitutional the IRSs use of certain policies and procedures to target conservative organizations for heightened review of applications for tax-exempt status. Although the IRSs adherence to these policies and procedures may ultimately culminate in a final decision regarding Freedom Paths tax-exempt status, the use of these policies and procedures neither marks the consummation of the IRSs decisionmaking process nor determines Freedom Paths rights or obligations or precipitates legal consequences. Therefore, the policies and procedures that Freedom Path challenges in count IV do not constitute final agency actions, as 704 requires to state a claim for relief under the APA. Because Freedom Paths claims in count IV arise under the APAs general provisions and do not challenge final agency action, the court concludes that count IV does not state a claim on which relief can be granted, and it grants the federal defendants motion to dismiss count IV under Rule 12(b)(6).

Death By Delay? According to this Politico story Freedom Path is one of the organizations whose exempt determination is still waiting for word from the IRS on its exempt status.

Nearly two years after the IRS was exposed for improperly sidetracking requests for tax exemptions from tea party groups, POLITICO has learned that at least a half-dozen conservative applicants are still waiting for an answer.

It is likely the lawsuit that is continuing to hang it up. Whether Freedom Path was a dark money group or not to begin with remains undetermined, but apparently the group has gone entirely dark except for the lawsuit.

Without an answer, Freedom Path, currently suing the IRS, stopped operating in late spring of 2012 out of concern that it would be denied tax-exempt status and forced to pay back taxes. It also feared donor information could be revealed to the IRS. Freedom Path exists mostly in name now. It doesnt even have a website. Its six-figures in debt for legal bills suing the IRS. Weve had to reduce all of our expenses, and really were in a position now where were just struggling with legal bills, Bensing said. Were closer to bankruptcy than to solvency.

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Lois Lerner Out From Under Freedom Path Lawsuit For Now

2/24/88: Larry Flynt Wins First Amendment Case3:00 – Video

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Mar 062015
 



2/24/88: Larry Flynt Wins First Amendment Case3:00
2/24/88: Larry Flynt Wins First Amendment Case3:002/24/88: Larry Flynt Wins First Amendment Case3:00. 2/24/88: Larry Flynt Wins First Amendment Case3:002/24/…

By: Nytimes News US Politics

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2/24/88: Larry Flynt Wins First Amendment Case3:00 – Video

Can the Senates new Republicans usher in NSA surveillance reform?

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Feb 232015
 

With the snow-capped Montana mountains behind him, flannel-clad Steve Daines blasted the National Security Agencys sweeping surveillance practices. I stood up to the Washington establishment in support of [a bill] to stop the NSA from collecting the records of innocent Americans, he said. Big government can take away our freedoms.

That was Mr. Daines campaign ad. And the message clearly resonated Daines, a former House representative from Montana, won his election to the Senate.

Security and privacy became hot-button issues in political races across the country after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the spy agencys collection of millions of Americans call records. With several national polls showing Americans support curbing the controversial program, many wannabe senators, like Daines, spoke out about the need to protect civil liberties.

Now, 13 new senators are here in Washington and their votes will be crucial in the upcoming debates over surveillance reform.

Congress failed to pass a reform bill last year, despite President Obamas urging and recommendations from government-appointed privacy and civil liberties boards to end the domestic call record bulk collection program. In a Republican-controlled Congress, however, the politics of privacy are even more complex.

After the November elections, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell encouraged his Republican colleagues to oppose advancing the USA Freedom Act because it could hurt the fight against terrorism. With the threat from the Islamic State in the news, the vote to debate the surveillance reform bill fell short by just two votes. This time around, privacy advocates are warily watching the fresh crop of senators all Republican but one.

If they stay consistent with their past pro-privacy positions, they could very well tip the precarious balance in the upper chamber in favor of reform.

Theres a pretty short list of issues where our phones start ringing off the hook here, Daines told Passcode. Guns, he says, is a key one and when you start looking at surveillance and the federal government overreach, our phone really starts ringing.

This year, the pressures on: A key provision of the Patriot Act the NSA says provides the legal authority for the domestic spying program is set to sunset in June.

Its something the Republican Party is going to have to debate, says Mark Jaycox, legislative analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The question is going to be, can new members convince the leadership that these authorities need to be reformed?

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Can the Senates new Republicans usher in NSA surveillance reform?

NSA Bulk Data Collection Will Continue Despite Reforms – Video

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Feb 222015
 



NSA Bulk Data Collection Will Continue Despite Reforms
U.S. intelligence critics say the reforms for the NSA and other agencies fell short of expectations. Follow Christian Bryant: http://www.twitter.com/bryantcp…

By: Newsy Politics

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NSA Bulk Data Collection Will Continue Despite Reforms – Video

First Amendment Rights [ushistory.org] – US History

 First Amendment  Comments Off on First Amendment Rights [ushistory.org] – US History
Feb 162015
 

American Government 1. The Nature of Government a. The Purposes of Government b. Types of Government c. What Is a Democracy? d. Democratic Values Liberty, Equality, Justice 2. Foundations of American Government a. The Colonial Experience b. Independence and the Articles of Confederation c. Creating the Constitution d. The Bill of Rights 3. Federalism a. The Founders and Federalism b. Tipping the Scales Toward National Power c. Federal-State Relations Today: Back to States’ Rights? 4. American Political Attitudes and Participation a. American Political Culture b. What Factors Shape Political Attitudes? c. Measuring Public Opinion d. Participating in Government e. Voting: A Forgotten Privilege? 5. How Do Citizens Connect With Their Government? a. Political Parties b. Campaigns and Elections c. Interest Groups d. The Media e. The Internet in Politics 6. Congress: The People’s Branch? a. The Powers of Congress b. Leadership in Congress: It’s a Party Matter c. The Importance of Committees d. Who Is in Congress? e. How a Bill Becomes a Law 7. The Presidency: The Leadership Branch? a. The Evolution of the Presidency b. All the President’s Men and Women c. Selection and Succession of the President d. The President’s Job e. Presidential Character 8. The Bureaucracy: The Real Government a. The Development of the Bureaucracy b. The Organization of the Bureaucracy c. Who Are the Bureaucrats? d. Reforming the Bureaucracy 9. The Judicial Branch a. The Creation of the Federal Courts b. The Structure of the Federal Courts c. The Supreme Court: What Does It Do? d. How Judges and Justices Are Chosen e. The Power of the Federal Courts 10. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights a. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens b. First Amendment Rights c. Crime and Due Process d. Citizenship Rights 11. Policy Making: Political Interactions a. Foreign Policy: What Now? b. Defense Policy c. Economic Policy d. Social and Regulatory Policy 12. State and Local Governments a. State and Local Governments: Democracy at Work? b. Financing State and Local Government c. Who Pays for Education? 13. Comparative Political and Economic Systems a. Comparing Governments b. Comparing Economic Systems c. A Small, Small, World?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment to the Constitution

A careful reading of the First Amendment reveals that it protects several basic liberties freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly. Interpretation of the amendment is far from easy, as court case after court case has tried to define the limits of these freedoms. The definitions have evolved throughout American history, and the process continues today.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion in two clauses the “establishment” clause, which prohibits the government from establishing an official church, and the “free exercise” clause that allows people to worship as they please. Notice that the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the First Amendment, nor is it found anywhere else in the Constitution. Most people do not realize that the phrase was actually coined later by Thomas Jefferson. In 1802, when he was President, he wrote the opinion that the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause was designed to build “a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Court cases that address freedom of religion have dealt with the rejection of prayer in public schools, the denial of aid to parochial schools, the banning of polygamy (the practice of having more than one wife), the restriction of poisonous snakes and drugs in religious rites, and limiting the right to decline medical care for religious purposes.

Free speech is one of the most cherished liberties, but free speech often conflicts with other rights and liberties. The courts have had to consider the question, “What are the limits of free speech?”

The “clear and present danger” test is a basic principle for deciding the limits of free speech. It was set by the famous Schenck v. the United States case from World War I. Antiwar activist Charles Schenck was arrested for sending leaflets to prospective army draftees encouraging them to ignore their draft notices. The United States claimed that Schenck threatened national security, and the justices agreed. The principle was established that free speech would not be protected if an individual were a “clear and present danger” to United States security.

What is free speech? The definition is not easy, and the courts have identified three types of free speech, each protected at a different level:

Many of the same principles that apply to freedom of speech apply to the press, but one with special meaning for the press is prior restraint. The courts have ruled that the government may not censor information before it is written and published, except in the most extreme cases of national security.

Freedom of assembly and petition are closely related to freedom of speech, and have been protected in similar ways. Former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote, “Peaceable assembly for lawful discussion cannot be made a crime.” Generally, that point of view has prevailed. Freedom of assembly has to be balanced with other people’s rights if it disrupts public order, traffic flow, freedom to go about normal business or peace and quiet. Usually, a group must apply for a permit, but a government must grant a permit provided that officials have the means to prevent major disruptions.

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First Amendment Rights [ushistory.org] – US History

‘West won’t drop goal to bring Ukraine into NATO’ – Marcus Papadopoulos – Video

 NATO  Comments Off on ‘West won’t drop goal to bring Ukraine into NATO’ – Marcus Papadopoulos – Video
Feb 102015
 



'West won't drop goal to bring Ukraine into NATO' – Marcus Papadopoulos
RT talks to Marcus Papadopoulos for some insight into the situation in Ukraine. He's the publisher and editor of Politics First, and a regular commentator on Russia and the Balkans. Munich…

By: RT

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‘West won’t drop goal to bring Ukraine into NATO’ – Marcus Papadopoulos – Video

Right-libertarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Misc  Comments Off on Right-libertarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Feb 072015
 

Right-libertarianism (or right-wing libertarianism) refers to libertarian political philosophies that advocate both self-ownership and the unequal appropriation of natural resources,[1] leading to strong support of private property rights and free-market capitalism. This position is contrasted with that of left-libertarianism, which maintains that natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively.[2] Right-libertarianism includes anarcho-capitalism and laissez-faire, minarchist liberalism.[note 1]

The non-aggression principle (NAP) is the foundation of most present-day right-libertarian philosophies.[3][4][5] It is a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate. NAP and property rights are closely linked, since what constitutes aggression depends on what rights a person has.[6] Aggression, for the purposes of the NAP, is defined as the initiation or threat of violence against a person or his legitimately owned property. Specifically, any unsolicited action that physically affects another individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owner’s will and interfere with his right to self-ownership and self-determination.

Supporters of the NAP often appeal to it in order to argue for the immorality of theft, vandalism, assault, and fraud. In contrast to nonviolence, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violence used in self-defense or the defense of others.[7] Many supporters argue that the NAP opposes such policies as victimless crime laws, coercive taxation, and military drafts.

There is a debate amongst right-libertarians as to whether or not the state is legitimate: while anarcho-capitalists advocate its abolition, minarchists support minimal states, often referred to as night-watchman states. Minarchists maintain that the state is necessary for the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. They believe the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police, and courts, though some expand this list to include fire departments, prisons, and the executive and legislative branches.[8][9][10] They justify the state on the grounds that it is the logical consequence of adhering to the non-aggression principle and argue that anarchism is immoral because it implies that the non-aggression principle is optional, that the enforcement of laws under anarchism is open to competition.[citation needed] Another common justification is that private defense agencies and court firms would tend to represent the interests of those who pay them enough.[11]

Anarcho-capitalists argue that the state violates the non-aggression principle by its nature because governments use force against those who have not stolen or vandalized private property, assaulted anyone, or committed fraud.[12][13] Many also argue that monopolies tend to be corrupt and inefficient, that private defense and court agencies would have to have a good reputation in order to stay in business. Linda & Morris Tannehill argue that no coercive monopoly of force can arise on a truly free market and that a government’s citizenry can’t desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency.[14]

Libertarian philosopher Moshe Kroy argues that the disagreement between anarcho-capitalists who adhere to Murray Rothbard’s view of human consciousness and the nature of values and minarchists who adhere to Ayn Rand’s view of human consciousness and the nature of values over whether or not the state is moral is not due to a disagreement over the correct interpretation of a mutually held ethical stance. He argues that the disagreement between these two groups is instead the result of their disagreement over the nature of human consciousness and that each group is making the correct interpretation of their differing premises. These two groups are therefore not making any errors with respect to deducing the correct interpretation of any ethical stance because they do not hold the same ethical stance.[15]

While there is debate on whether left, right, and socialist libertarianism “represent distinct ideologies as opposed to variations on a theme,” right-libertarianism is most in favor of private property.[16] Right-libertarians maintain that unowned natural resources “may be appropriated by the first person who discovers them, mixes her labor with them, or merely claims themwithout the consent of others, and with little or no payment to them.” This contrasts with left-libertarianism in which “unappropriated natural resources belong to everyone in some egalitarian manner.”[17] Right-libertarians believe that natural resources are originally unowned, and therefore, private parties may appropriate them at will without the consent of, or owing to, others (e.g. a land value tax).[18]

Right-libertarians (also referred to as propertarians) hold that societies in which private property rights are enforced are the only ones that are both ethical and lead to the best possible outcomes.[19] They generally support the free market, and are not opposed to any concentrations of economic power, provided it occurs through non-coercive means.[20]

Libertarianism in the United States developed in the 1950s as many with Old Right or classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as libertarians.[21]H. L. Mencken and Albert Jay Nock were the first prominent figures in the United States to call themselves libertarians.[22] They believed Franklin D. Roosevelt had co-opted the word liberal for his New Deal policies, which they opposed, and used libertarian to signify their allegiance to individualism. Mencken wrote in 1923: “My literary theory, like my politics, is based chiefly upon one idea, to wit, the idea of freedom. I am, in belief, a libertarian of the most extreme variety.”[23]

In the 1950s, Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand developed a philosophical system called Objectivism, expressed in her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as other works, which influenced many libertarians.[24] However, she rejected the label libertarian and harshly denounced the libertarian movement as the “hippies of the right.”[25] Philosopher John Hospers, a one-time member of Rand’s inner circle, proposed a non-initiation of force principle to unite both groups; this statement later became a required “pledge” for candidates of the Libertarian Party, and Hospers himself became its first presidential candidate in 1972.[citation needed]

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Right-libertarianism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The suppression of free speech on university campuses is reaching epidemic levels

 Free Speech  Comments Off on The suppression of free speech on university campuses is reaching epidemic levels
Feb 042015
 

We all like having a pop at students. Its a national pastime, as cherished an institution as the moaning shop queue or saying sorry when someone bangs your shins on the bus. Even students hate students. And theres plenty of reasons why.

Its their pretentiousness; their staccato, like-strewn patter. But, above all, its their politics. Anyone whos been anywhere near a campus recently knows that students unions have come to resemble a kind of playskool version of the GDR: all the speech-policing, dissent-quashing, behaviour-regulating inclinations, just without the guns.

Yesterday, the Free Speech University Rankings, the UKs first university rankings for free speech, were launched by Spiked, the magazine where I work. Developed and researched over the past six months by myself and a team of students, they make clear for the first time the scale of campus censorship. The results are not good: eighty per cent of universities censor speech, and students unions are leading the way 61 per cent have received a red light.

Bleak as they are, the rankings make for amusing reading. Censorship is rife on campus, but whats being censored is ridiculous. Theres the University of Birmingham Students Guild, which banned sombreros, and other such racist attire, in November 2013. Then theres the University of Swanseas students union, which banned its pole dancing society, citing its intrinsic link to the sex industry. Or theres Leeds students union, which banned a sexist greeting card after a single complaint from a student a complaint that was later revealed to be a joke.

The megalomania of the modern student politico knows no bounds. The idea of students doing anything without strict regulation rattles them to their core. Edinburgh University Students Associations Safe Space policy insists students refrain from [using] hand gestures which denote disagreement in student senate meetings. Applause, it goes on, is acceptable when a motion is passed only, not if a motion fails to pass. One imagines that a Code of Practice on Acceptable Toilet Use is being drafted as I type.

So, yes, we should laugh at students. It would be rude not to theyre really going all out. But something more serious is going on here. Students unions are not just a pc-gone-mad sideshow but a prism through which you can see Western civilisation doing away with itself.

Campus censorship doesnt stop at lewd pop songs or aberrant hand gestures. Free thought itself is under attack, especially where those thoughts cut against the Guardianista grain. Pro-life groups have been banned at four universities. Pro-Israel students are lucky if they can even get events approved. Until recently, Ukip was officially banned by the University of Derby Students Union.

In March last year, UCLs students union censured a Nietzsche reading group because it believed the group to be fascist. Students unions are now lobbying for universities to allow students to opt out of difficult topics and place trigger warnings on course texts which contain anything potentially upsetting. Intellectual life itself is being painted as dangerous.

Campus censorship is something we can no longer laugh off. Whether its a ban on sombreros or Cicero, it stems from a deep-rooted censoriousness that threatens to undermine the very purpose of a university as a forum in which to test and contest ideas. If theres a good reason to have a pop at students, its that.

Tom Slater is assistant editor at Spiked and coordinator of the Free Speech University Rankings.

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The suppression of free speech on university campuses is reaching epidemic levels




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism