The “S” word: reclaiming personal liberty

Secession-of-American-States-e1341742728488During the 2015 NH Liberty Forum, the NH Liberty Party held its third annual convention.

The NH Liberty Party is an avowed pro-secessionist party with a 5 plank platform that can not be changed “except by 100% of voting members at the annual convention.” Of course, secession is only 1 plank in the platform, with the party also taking a staunch libertarian position on Self-determination, Non-aggression, Crime, and Voluntary Interaction.

The reason for these libertarian planks, according to Ian Freeman, party co-founder and co-chair, is to exclude the bigots and xenophobes who may wish to seceded to then implement their bigotry.

Many people who advocate for secession will not use the word, seeing it as a third rail, of sorts. see more…

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Salvation Army’s black and blue dress needed more truth

The Salvation Army launched a campaign today on the back of the blue/black and gold/white dress. My feeds asplode.

This chick is still like totally a 9.

In response — and not to diminish the rights of women, but rather to elevate the rights of everyone — we present the Hammer of Truth edit:

some people don't see it at all

Less words, more truth.

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Regulate everything like tomatoes: a guide to ending the drug war

Regulate everything like tomatoesIn late February, the Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division released a reports stating, “On December 31, 2014, Colorado concluded a full twelve months of lawful retail marijuana sales to adults over 21 years of age. The State experienced many firsts, such as the implementation of the first-in-the-world comprehensive regulatory model overseeing cultivation, products manufacturing, and sale of marijuana for non-medical retail use.” see more…

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GOP digs in heels on DHS and immigration funding

GOP amnestyMany Republican lawmakers are digging in their heels in the fight to defund implementation of what they see as an executive overreach by President Obama. They’re so entrenched in their position that they’re acting as though they’ll allow the Department of Homeland Security budget to not be adopted. Which in reality wouldn’t have much impact on DHS activities, as approximately 200,000 of the 230,000 DHS employees are considered essential. The Chicago Tribune reports, “Most training, hiring, research and purchasing would be suspended. Border security, disaster relief and cybersecurity programs would continue uninterrupted.” In other words, nothing will really change, except that “essential” DHS employees will work without a paycheck until a budget is adopted. see more…

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Costly FAA drone regulations exclude media usage

2015-02-15-103736_1366x768_scrotAfter nearly four years of delay, the FAA is poised to release regulations for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drone). A document, that could be a draft of the proposed regulations, was spotted on a federal website on Friday by a drone user and downloaded before being removed from the website, according to the Wall Street Journalhost. Forbes reports, “The document is dated February 2015 and is captioned ‘Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regulatory Evaluation, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ authored by George Thurston of the Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, Economic Analysis Division. But, it’s possible this is a leaked early draft that has since been revised or is otherwise incomplete or inaccurate.” see more…

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No direct link between cannabis use and traffic accidents

Reading on freeway signs with small fonts: unsafe as fuckLast Summer, data came out of Colorado reporting that traffic fatalities were near-historic lows. Now, new studies by the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) have scientifically proven what some have already known: there doesn’t seem to be a link between cannabis use and car accidents.

The Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk Study which looked at 9,000 participants over a 20 month period found that “about 8 percent of drivers during weekend nighttime hours were found to have alcohol in their system, and just over 1 percent were found with 0.08 percent or higher breath alcohol content – the legal limit in every state. This is down by about 30 percent from the previous survey in 2007 and down 80 percent from the first survey in 1973.”

The study confirmed that alcohol use by drivers was clearly associated with elevated risk of crash involvement. A driver with a breath alcohol content (BrAC) above 0.08 was 4 times as likely to have an accident compared to a driver with a lower or no BrAC, and “[d]rivers with alcohol levels at .15 BrAC had 12 times the risk.” see more…

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Not everyone is “lovin” the newest McDonald’s ad campaign

For many years, McDonald’s has used the slogan “I’m lovin’ it.” Now they’re running an ad campaign titled “Choose Lovin” in which they will randomly select customers to “pay with lovin.” The idea is supposed to be a light-hearted gimmick to get people to do something that spreads joy or love, this could be as simple as dancing, calling a family member, or saying something a person loves about himself. see more…

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Lessons learned from the Barrett Brown case

The prosecution of Barrett Brown, which seemed to go under the radar of the mainstream media, is one of the most important cases of my lifetime, and has taught us several important things.

There is no Freedom of the Press:
Barrett Brown is an investigative journalist and had been a contributor to Vanity Fair and The Guardian. He also founded Project PM, a project to crowdsource review of documents for investigative journalism.

EFF reports, “Brown’s legal trouble began in 2011, when hackers obtained a voluminous set of emails from government contractor HBGary and placed them on the Internet. He turned to crowdsourcing to review records and emails taken from another government contractor, Stratfor, after hackers broke into their servers later in 2011. Those records included millions of emails discussing opportunities for rendition and assassination, and detailing attempts to subvert journalists, political groups and even foreign leaders. They also included tens of thousands of credit card numbers and their verification codes.” see more…

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What Reason and Vox are missing about Holder’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms

The Drug War is complicated stuff, and Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF) is one of the more convoluted bits of it.

It is therefore understandable that some journalists, at Reason and Vox specifically, are missing the forest for some admittedly distracting trees.

CAF is a license for theft by government. All levels of government want to take advantage.

The federal government does a lot of it, and individual states do a lot of it.

Up until last Friday, the federal government made it even easier for local police forces to do it — encouraging them to make all sorts of unnecessary stops and seizures, even if their state laws were against CAF or limited its use.

So even if a state wanted to shut down CAF in their jurisdiction, the police could ignore their legislators and continue regardless. This program, known as “Equitable Sharing” was limited by Eric Holder last Friday. It doesn’t end CAF of course, but it does allow state reform to go forward, which is a big fricking deal, and it has made the worst abuses less likely.

I think cautious excitement about the progress made is the right response, as I make clear in my video on the topic: see more…

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Holder prohibits most state and local use of DOJ’s asset forfeiture program

Eric Holder made headlines this week when he announced a new policy prohibiting state and local governments from using federal civil asset forfeiture laws for most cases.

The Washington Post reported, “Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.”

The DOJ’s Equitable Sharing program has allowed thousands of local and state police agencies to have seized nearly $3 billion in cash and property since 2008.

Using Equitable Sharing, a state or local police department or drug task force would seize property and then have that property adopted by a federal agency.

The agency making the seizure would then be allowed to keep up to 80 percent of the value of the items confiscated. see more…

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HoT Shop: Now open for business

We’ve finally entered the e-commerce club and are offering branded products through the HoT website. You can check it out from the menu above.

Right now, we one item for sale: our sticker/decal in nine amazing colors. Even better, it’s 30% off until the end of January.


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The Congressional “good standard” bar should be raised

bar-too-lowNot many elected officials explain to their constituents the reasons they vote a certain way on a given bill. Even fewer are those who will explain their vote on every bill! Justin Amash seems to be doing just that, posting on his facebook profile an explanation for his votes.

Most recently, he explained his reasons for voting “present” on a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline: “I voted present on H R 3, Northern Route Approval Act. The Keystone XL pipeline is a private project owned by TransCanada Corporation. This bill improperly exempts TransCanada Corporation—and no other company—from laws that require pipeline owners and operators to obtain certain government permits and approvals.
I support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and holding it up for over four years (with no end in sight) for political reasons is wrong. see more…

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The economics of xenophobia

GDP increaseI recently read a pair of articles that on the surface are only tangentially connected. However after a little deep thought, I realized the authors are looking at the same problem from both a micro and macro level. The articles were “‘Buy Local’ is really bad economics” and “The economic case for open borders.” Again, after some thought I came up with the hypothesis: people who are xenophobic have a flawed understanding of economics. see more…

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Why We Need to Stop Making Murderers Famous…

Everyone has a pet explanation for the mass shootings that keep happening. Some say video games, progressives say gun control. I think it’s all much simpler than that. We need to stop turning killers into celebrities…

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STUDY: MTV has done more for the US teen birthrate than decades of policy… “almost one-third of the dramatic total decrease in teen pregnancy can be linked not to state and local public health efforts, not to the work of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy, but to a television program created for profit”

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2014: The year police abuse went mainstream

POlice-abuse-too-many-cops-too-little-justiceIt’s time again to look at a year gone by, though unlike years past where I attempt to summarize the year, I will instead look at what I consider to be the story of the year. It’s not easy picking a top story for the entire year, in fact the top story of 2014 isn’t just 1 story, it’s an entire genre of news stories: Police Abuse. see more…

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HoT PSA: If your child does steal your gun, it is a felony…

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Libertarian VG Review: The Assassination Of Quality

Allow me to start by saying I have not only played video games since their home inspection via consoles, but I have professionally tested multiple titles for EA, Sony and Sega.

In the 1990’s the advancements of home PCs and CD burners brought us the ability to do what we have done with HBO, and Cinemax for decades with VCR’s. Youths figured out how to copy their games onto write-able CD’s. In doing so the long held right of returning an unwanted product was put under the micro scope.

To “protect” their investment capitalists in video game development and distribution had a brilliant idea — one electronics hardware/media manufacturers the world over would use to this day.

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A big year for cannabis

marihuanaThere have been major stories regarding cannabis over the last 15 months. On August 29, 2013, the Department of Justice announced, “Based on assurances that those states [that have legalized cannabis] will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system, the Department has informed the governors of both states that it is deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time.” Further, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole sent a memo to all United States Attorneys explaining the DOJ’s stance. see more…

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Larry Flynt versus The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea…

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Hells Yeah Cuba! Cuba Policy and the New American Century

Obama’s choice to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba may be the best thing he has ever done. It rights a very old wrong, and it gives us some great new opportunities. Watch this vid to find out more…

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The only way to stop CIA torture is to abolish the CIA

endtorture3Earlier this week, the US Senate released a heavily redacted 540 page summary of a larger 6,000 page report on the CIA’s use of torture. The report, called a “footnote in history” by Senator Richard Burr (NC), detailed some of the torture techniques used in the secret CIA prisons. In addition to simulated drowning, also called waterboarding, some of the captives “were deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, at times with their hands shackled above their heads,” at least four of them with medical complications in their lower extremities. Reuters reports, the report recorded cases of “sexual abuse, including ‘rectal feeding’ or ‘rectal hydration’ without any documented medical need.” The summary from the Senate states, “The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive,suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box.” see more…

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Liberals killed Eric Garner…

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