Tag Archives: Libertarian Party

Introducing HoT’s newest contributor: Chad Ginsburg

In fact, I’ll let Chad Ginsburg introduce himself with this fantastic video presented at Liberty First earlier this month. It gets a little long with the Q&A going on towards the end, but it’s one of the best examples of the Colorado Springs political scene (Liberty First is a bi-monthly meeting often frequented by GOP candidates seeking votes and “buzz”). Chad’s a genial libertarian and a natural showman and I’m eager to exploit nurture that.

Welcome aboard Chad, and thanks for being a rock star by helping hand out a bajillion Hammer of Truth stickers already.

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Hammer of Truth going to 2013 Libertarian Party of CO Convention

I'll be the one wearing a hoodie the whole timeI’ll be at the LPCO convention doing daily blogging for Hammer of Truth and doing a little of this and that. I’ll be assuming everyone new I meet is a Fed unless they toke.

I sometimes find use for a secretary/intern/whatever, so any LPers with great organizational skills: hit me up and I’ll cover your ticket.

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Gary Johnson hits reddit, reddit hits back with tough questions

Republican turned Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson announced that he will respond to President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address via a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Here’s the announcement on facebook:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Gov. Gary Johnson will host a Reddit AMA or “Ask Me Anything.”

The 60-minute on-line event will give participants a chance to ask the former New Mexico Governor and Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative questions via the popular website, Reddit.com.

Reddit is a source for what’s new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk.

Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.

To ask a question, visit www.reddit.com at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m EST, Tuesday, and just search “Gov. Gary Johnson”. Governor Johnson is anxious to hear from you!

Please join us!

Sincerely,

Our America Team

When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2013
Time: 3 p.m. PST | 4 p.m. MST | 5 p.m CST | 6 p.m EST
Where: Online www.reddit.com just search “Gov. Gary Johnson.”

You can easily track Johnson through his account GovGaryJohnson.

One of the questions we expect will be asked is whether he is formally announcing his candidacy for 2016. Considering the official Johnson store has been selling 2016 merchandise for several weeks now, that answer will undoubtedly be “yes”.

Another issue sure to come up is Johnson’s enormous $1.1 million campaign debt that looms over a future bid. It could easily be problematic for Johnson’s finger-wagging at Obama’s loose spending habits.

Oddly enough, when checking out Johnson’s pre 2016/post 2012 campaign site ouramericaninitiative.com, we discovered (using NoScript) that there was a serious technical issue with spam. We hope Governor Johnson’s web team will quickly patch that glaring exploit.

UPDATE: Johnson has finished the AMA, answering 29 of the more than 300 questions. It was a far smaller turnout than the IAmA during the 2012 presidential campaign, which had over 9000 responses.

On the 2016 question he responds, “Yes, 2016 is far off, and we will see what it brings. Right now, I am determined to be a voice of sanity re spending, civil liberties, and putting an end to unnecessary and costly foreign interventions.”

Sounds like the politician way of saying “yes” to me.

For the question of “Where did the money go?” (to paraphrase), Johnson seemed to deflect the issue by drawing distinct comparisons to the millions thrown around by Obama and Romney.

“There are several questions along this line. Let me be clear. We raised and spend 1/1000th of the amount spent by Obama and Romney, and financed substantial travel, grassroots development, social media presence and an aggressive email campaign. We put as many resources as possible on the air in advertising, but appropriately spent much on developing the base that will be able to go forward.”

Unfortunately, the AMA was not so much a SOTU response as just another chance for Johnson to stay relevant to the hivemind of reddit. And Johnson picked probably the worst timing, because all eyes for the past few hours have been focused on the Chris Dorner situation. That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of questions on the subject of Dorner, Johnson simply elected to answer none of them.

UPDATE II: It seems Governor Johnson might have missed out on reaching a lot more redditors when he unwittingly posted in r/AMA (36 thousand subscribers) instead of r/IAmA (2.7 million subscribers).

Johnson’s media folks ought to be slapping themselves on the forehead over this.

UPDATE III: A pointed question about the campaign finance (using the same link to ParaPolitical cited in this post) has hit the most upvoted spot in after-hours discussions. Libertarians have a tendency to publicly piss all over each other for sport, so this AMA derailing certainly won’t bode well for Johnson putting the issue to bed.

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Not being drone murdered is an individual right

We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

- Statement of Principles, Libertarian Party

That line, especially the bit about the “cult of the omnipotent state,” has been the subject of many internal battles within the party at conventions. There is a group within the party and the broader libertarian movement that believe that language prevents us from growing as a party. After all, the two legacy parties don’t have that kind of language and they win elections.

I come from the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party. I’ve been a Libertarian since I was 10 or 11 years old and my father would take me to meetings of the Maricopa County Libertarian Party. I vote for Ernie Hancock when he runs for Chair because I’ve known him longer than anyone else in the party. I’ve never been anything other than a big-L Libertarian.

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.

- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Lee Wrights once said, “We can make a difference by being different.” I believe that. The Libertarian Party is still much smaller than the two legacy parties. We cannot beat them by playing the game on their terms and by their rules.

This is not to say that our candidates should not be professional in appearance, nor that we can ignore the mechanics of running political campaigns. But it is to say that we can’t just be “Republicans who mean it,” or “Democrats who really believe in civil liberties.” If all we offer is a slightly better version of a legacy party, most voters won’t risk their vote for something slightly better when the legacy party candidate could, you know, win.

We can win by being the only party that supports actual freedom. Social freedom. Economic freedom. All of your freedoms. All of the time. Without exception.

These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise.

- White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney

According to a memo (PDF) obtained by NBC, the Obama Administration has decided that they can kill anyone overseas with a drone strike, including American citizens, with no trial, charge, or any due process protections at all. The Democrats don’t have a problem with this, since it’s a Democrat making this unilateral decision to kill people. Oddly, the Republicans don’t have a problem with it either, possibly because they want to have that power in 2016.

Libertarians are the only ones who have a problem with it. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution clearly states, “nor shall any person be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” There is no more stark and frightening example of “the cult of the omnipotent state,” than the idea that it’s okay to murder people drone missiles as long as it’s the President doing it and he’s pretty sure you’re a bad guy.

I’m a Libertarian and I challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual, and that most certainly includes the right to not be murdered by the government with no due process at all.

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CBS bans SodaStream SuperBowl ads in favor of soda duopoly

It’s not just politics that the mainstream media has a duopoly problem with. CBS has decreed that the only fizzy sugar drink ads it will be airing during the Super Bowl are Coke or Pepsi:

CBS banned SodaStream’s Super Bowl spot because, apparently, it was too much of a direct hit to two of its biggest sponsors, Coke and Pepsi.

Please pause and read that sentence again.

I am shocked that CBS would ban a spot for being too competitive. But I’m even more shocked that the advertising world isn’t up in arms about it.

The media’s job isn’t to judge.
SodaStream has a product that could be wildly disruptive to the soda industry, if successful. As in, the “automobile” to the soda industry’s “buggy whip.” If SodaStream takes off, Coke and Pepsi would have a lot to worry about, for sure. But isn’t that what progress is all about?

CBS is protecting its relationship with Coke and Pepsi. Those two brands spend big bucks on the Super Bowl and on the network, in general. I get it. But all CBS would have to do, if Coke and Pepsi put the pressure on, is say, “Hey, we’re just the unbiased middle man here. It’s not up to us what competitors of yours say about you.” There’s no need for the medium to have a say in the message. [...]

No more ‘Davids’ allowed.
I also called veteran creative director, David Baldwin, of Baldwin&, to get his take with CBS’s move. He nailed it. “That’s a disturbing turn of events. No more Davids allowed I guess at CBS.”

And it’s so unnecessary. If CBS had simply played the “unbiased middleman” card in this case, there’s very little Coke and Pepsi could have done. They certainly would not have pulled their Super Bowl ads. Instead, Coke and Pepsi would have been forced to retrench and figure out a marketing way to solve this SodaStream problem and not a mafia way (I mean that metaphorically, of course).

Now, CBS has essentially opened the door for its biggest advertisers to forever complain about those “annoying little competitors” that are trying to steal share. “Take them off the air. Make them stop!” is what they will scream. “You did it for Coke and Pepsi.”

And it won’t only be CBS. All media will have to bear the burden of this biased, un-capitalistic, anti-progress, move. But, guess what? This isn’t the first time in recent months CBS has overplayed its hand.

Libertarians have long complained of their blackout in the media, yet we’ve seen a more and more blatant bias towards Democrats and Republicans in news coverage at outlets such as CBS. “We told you so” has become the standard refrain from libertarians when it comes to voting for the lesser of two evils presented as the only viable choices.

Thankfully, corporations like SodaStream won’t take the affront lying down, and I expect a major campaign is in the works similar to when UK broadcaster ClearCast also banned them:

Clearcast said in a statement that the ad “denigrated other soft drinks.” In response, SodaStream U.K.’s managing director Fiona Hope called the move “absurd” and said that Clearcast clearly gives priority to soft drink giants.

But it seems SodaStream will have the last laugh. Bloomberg reports that the company is enjoying considerable levels of success on the stock market this year. In the U.K., the video has been viewed more than a millon times online. Jim Chartier, an analyst from research firm Monness Crespi Hardt & Co., explains the obvious — that “SodaStream got a ton of free advertising and publicity because the ad was banned.”

Regardless of whether or not SodaStream portrayed big soda companies unfairly in this ad, it can’t be denied that it has baited big outfits in the past. This past summer, SodaStream erected a caged display of used soft drink and water bottles in South Africa — including Coca-Cola products — to illustrate the wastefulness of bottled drinks. Similar SodaStream exhibits have popped up across the globe in the last two years, with stops in Times Square and Union Square in New York City.

Coca-Cola responded with a cease and desist letter — after which SodaStream announced plans to build a used bottle display not far from Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Score for the little(r) guy, I hope they are planning to stick it to CBS as well.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: This ban is actually a little stale (over a week old), but SodaStream has capitalized on this in the best way possible, splashing the ad (over 2.2M views as of this update) on the front page of their website.

And no, it’s not low quality stuff that makes Ronco look good.

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Confirmed: Big Boi really is libertarian, you know

Last month Antwan Andre Patton, aka Big Boi of the Outkast crew, left radio hosts shocked and speechless after telling them he voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson during a segment on racism. Now, in an interview with the Huffington Post (LIVE!), Patton not only confirmed that “hey ya” he’s a libertarian voter… but went even further and stood up as an ardent supporter of libertarian views.

Here’s the interview video, and the relevant transcript:

ALYONA MINKOVSKI, HUFFPOST LIVE: There was a radio interview that you did where you recounted a story of a woman coming up to you after Barack Obama’s election saying, “We won.” And then you said, “I voted for Gary Johnson.” What’s the story behind that? Did you really vote for Gary Johnson?

ANTWAN ANDRE PATTON AKA BIG BOI: Well, I was, you know, leaving to go out of town, and it was a lady — a Caucasian lady — and she was like, “Oh yeah, congratulations on y’all win last night,” you know, with like an attitude. And, you know, just to let her know I was on my P’s and Q’s, I was like, “I don’t know what you talkin’ bout, I voted for Gary Johnson.” And she looked shocked to even know that I knew there were other candidates on the ballot, you know what I’m saying? So, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

MINKOVSKI: Did you vote for Gary Johnson?

PATTON: Yes, I’m a Libertarian. I’m liberty, justice for all, liberty for all. I’m really pro-people, pro-freedom, and, you know, this is all about positivity. Like, you know, I have nothing against the president at all, you know, he’s a nice guy, but, it’s just, you know, the things that they’re standing on right now just didn’t agree with me. Anything that benefits the public and not just big banking, that’s what I’m with.

Not in the transcript but definitely in that interview: his outspoken support of the second amendment for use against tyranny… including whatever guns you want, just so long as you’re responsible (sounds libertarian to me).

Patton, we like the way you move with that positivity (hit him up on twitter to say hi). Libertarians, you can chalk another famous name on the boards.

(h/T Eric Dondero)

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Libertarian Party gains ballot access in 8 states and D.C.

Libertarians are finally able to kick at least one hurdle out of their way in several states after this year’s election, according to an analysis presented by Gary Johnson subreddit contributor nozickian:

In New Mexico, the LP has ballot access through 2014 because Johnson got at least 0.5% of the vote.

In Georgia, all statewide LP candidates have ballot access through 2014 because Johnson got 1% of the vote.

In Nevada, the LP retains ballot access for House candidates because Johnson got at least 1% of the vote.

In Michigan, the LP retains ballot access because US Senate candidate Scotty Boman got at least 17,000 vote (he actually got over 83,000).

In North Carolina, the LP has ballot access through 2016 because gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe got at least 2% of the vote.

In Utah, the LP retains ballot access for House candidates because US Senate candidate Shaun McCausland got at least 2% of the vote and because gubernatorial candidate Ken Larsen got at least 2%. Either one would have been sufficient.

In West Virginia, the LP has ballot access through 2016 because gubernatorial candidate Jesse Johnson got at least 1% of the vote.

In Wyoming, the LP retains ballot access in 2014 because US House candidate Richard Brubaker got at least 2% of the vote.

Source: Election results and http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/statewide-libertarian-vote-totals-that-will-give-lp-ballot-access

Edit: Bruce Majors also secured future LP ballot access in DC.

Whether the establishment media will give Libertarian Party candidates equal time and coverage during elections still remains to be seen.

UPDATE: The LP blog confirms and adds that the party “has full ballot access in 30 states and the District of Columbia.” By gaining party status in these states, it should help clear a psychological block in voters’ perceptions in addition to the benefits of money and time that will saved by avoiding the minor party ballot petitioning process.

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One million libertarians, two million libertarians

Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson did the unbelievable this Tuesday: he created the new high-water mark for Libertarians by earning over 1.1 million votes in the general election.

But — to paraphrase Kanye West, “Yo Johnson, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but Ron Paul had one of the biggest libertarian campaigns of all time.”

That’s right. Ron Paul, who ran as a Republican Party primary candidate for president, was this year’s actual winner of the highest libertarian campaign vote get, with over two million votes.

Now, big “L” purists would argue that Ron Paul’s campaign doesn’t count — but I’m busy counting libertarian votes, not Libertarian votes. And of course I’m coming from the position of wanting to elect libertarians; not merely paint a new, but otherwise meaningless, high-water mark.

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2012 election results

I’ll be away from the blog this evening, but I encourage everyone to use the Google elections map, just because it’s probably the best tool out there created by some incredibly smart coders.

And just for giggles, here’s my predictions, cross-posted from IPR:

Romney wins.

Johnson breaks 1M, barely. Gets credit for handing wins to Romney in Colorado and possibly Ohio. Time for democrats to hate libertarians.

Amendment 64 passes in Colorado with surprisingly strong republican support. Battle lines drawn for 10th amendment showdown with federal government.

I’m basing my judgement on the Romney/Obama matchup on an apparent gaffe by the president during the Town Hall debate when he (mis)stated “when I was president.”

I am rather certain he was being prophetic in that utterance.

Update: You can track Colorado’s Amendment 64 / marijuana legalization issue here, on the very last page (use the dropdown). Colorado polls close at 7PM MST / 9PM EST.

Here’s to “the entire country getting on airplanes to go to Denver for the weekend to chill out.” Good call GJ.

Update 11/7: Obama gets another four years, GJ got over 1M (yep, barely) and Amendment 64 passed (1,027,893 Yes to 898,317 No with 23 of 64 Colorado counties reporting)… two out of three predictions ain’t so bad, all things considered. I really should have stuck with my original assessment I told a few people (not on any record) that Obama would get re-elected if he convinced people the economy was rebounding by June, but I guess my time hanging out with Republicans had tinted my view. C’est la vie.

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XKCD infographic of 224 years of Congress

Follow the yellow line on the right to see who had the majority. SOURCE:

Interesting to note that Republicans have only had control of the President, House and Senate for a relatively short period (106th, 108th, 109th) and chose to enact tax cuts rather than repeal government largess. And of course that trend quickly reversed when Obama took office and enjoyed a Democrat majority during which his major “reform” measure was to expand government into the healthcare industry.

Is it any wonder that libertarians find themselves better aligned within the GOP than the DNC (when they aren’t piddling with the always marginalized LP)? One is actually willing to give your money back to you and let the government peons flip out over how to pay for things (ahem, fire some bureaucrats please), while the other eventually succumbs to the reality that Obamacare is a massive tax hike.

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LibertyManiacs presents the Veep debate drinking game

I’ll be live-blogging the Vice Presidential debate (sober, unlike the press in Kentucky), but friend of the site Dan McCall of LibertyManiacs has put out a timely rules chart for how you might want to “enjoy” the show the duopoly tag team has in store.

“If you’re going to drink the Kool-Aid, you might as well spike it.” Well said:

Also, one side-show to keep an eye out for is Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray — who promises to make his own stand online by answering the same questions as the other candidates. Go ahead and drink if he mentions “Obamney”, “The Federal Reserve” or that neither party is “following the constitution”.

Yes, that drinking game is much more depressing.

Whether you’ll be drinking or not tonight, brace yourself, the internet is going to be slammed with drunk libertarians and independents…

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14% of adult entertainment industry wants “someone else”

Not surprisingly, Obama leads the XBIZ poll with 68% to Romney’s surprisingly fatally low 13% support in the porn industry. This is a shock upset to an unnamed “other” candidate who garnered 14%:

Evil Angel founder John Stagliano, who overcame a federal obscenity prosecution that generated nationwide attention in 2010, pointed to his support of another presidential hopeful.

“The only candidate who protects our right to do business is the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson,” Stagliano told XBIZ, referring to the former governor of New Mexico who has garnered the most support of any of the third-party candidates heading into this election. “He was the only person dealing with the real problems we have, like war, the debt, censorship and inefficient government.”

Aside from economic considerations affecting voters’ decisions in November, the issue of federal obscenity prosecutions figures to be a major factor for adult film producers. According to the notorious pro-censorship organization Morality in Media, Mitt Romney earlier this year, along with other Republican candidates at the time, offered assurances that if elected, they would direct the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute porn producers for obscenity violations.

Republicans have traditionally been seen as meddlers in the industry, and our long-time readers may remember that primarily adult hosting company NationalNet was kind enough to give Michael Badnarik — the 2004 Libertarian Party presidential nominee — pro bono hosting during the final months of his campaign.

But with over 30% of the entire internet’s web traffic, porn producers could have a more sizable impact on elections than Republicans or Democrats are willing to admit.

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Libertarian Gary Johnson responds to debate, in real-time

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama squared off in the first Commission on Presidential Debates in Denver Colorado last night without inviting the only other candidate with the mathematical chance at also winning the highest executive office in the land — former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. But exclusion from the stage, a lawsuit and much ado about CPD sponsor boycotts didn’t stop Johnson from inserting himself into the election narrative… from a hotel room.

With obvious second-rate video and audio production, Johnson was still able to deliver first-rate responses in real-time as he watched the “debate” and live-streamed the affair to Americans who are not content with the duopoly’s choice for 2012.

Below is the embedded one-hour video, where Johnson made it abundantly clear he’s laughing just as incredulously as the rest of us at what wasn’t said by Obama and Romney.

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Gary Johnson crowd surfing in Utah

Have you ever seen a candidate with such literal support at a rally? Well Johnson is showing he’s actually a rock star that can rely on the people to have his back. {cue groans at puns}

Check out the video.

I’m betting if Obama or Romney tried this, someone would drop them.

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Gary Johnson polls over 10% in Ohio

Great news for Libertarians, people are so disillusioned with Obama and the weak Romney effort that Gary Johnson is making a surprisingly strong showing in the Buckeye state:

Conducted September 21-22, a Gravis Marketing/Capitol Correspondent poll first asked the usual Obama or Romney question, which revealed a tight race. (The full results are here.)

  • Obama/Biden: 45.2%
  • Other/Unsure: 10.4%
  • Romney/Ryan: 44.3%

Then, Gary Johnson was added.

  • Johnson: 10.6%
  • Obama/Biden: 44.5%
  • Other/Unsure: 7.1%
  • Romney/Ryan: 37.8%

Not so tight, anymore. And Johnson’s numbers are up from September 7-8, when he pulled 4.5% in Ohio.

Johnson had optimistically pegged his chances during an AMA with reddit earlier this month, “We really don’t want to peak too early, so we have them right where we want them.”

If the current trend continues, Johnson could be more than the mere “spoiler candidate” this year in many states. Now if only the media would take note of the electorates’ thirst for a truly sane foreign policy.

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Third sponsor pulls out of presidential debates

Forwarded via facebook:

This is getting serious.

It was only a week ago that the Commission on Presidential Debates had ten sponsors for the 2012 debates.  

Today, they're down to seven.  Phillips Electronics has, as of this morning, pulled their sponsorship. 

What does this mean for us?

We're that much closer to seeing and hearing Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray on the debate stage this autumn!

I know what you're thinking.  "It's entirely too late for the Commission on Presidential Debates to invite Governor Johnson to debate."  Fortunately, it takes very little effort to add a podium to a stage. It takes a whole lot of effort, however, to convince a multi-billion dollar corporation that you wield the power to hit them where it hurts worst — their pocketbooks.

Power.  That's the key word in this previous sentence.  YOU HAVE ALL THE POWER NOW.

Phillips Electronics
BBH New York
YWCA

That's three down, seven to go.

Get to writing those letters, guys!  This election cycle, you will CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY.   Change it for the better.

Power to the people!!

LIVE FREE,

Crystal Gross
State Director
Georgia for Gary Johnson 2012

Note from Paulie: Under the Commission’s guidelines for debate inclusion, other than the non-objective polling criterion, two additional candidates would qualify: Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), the only candidates not invited to the CPD debates who are on enough ballots to win the Presidency and are Constitutionally qualified for the office.

Some unverified contact info for debate sponsors in the comments here.

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Gary Johnson urges pullout after embassy attacks

From a campaign release today:

It is tragic when Americans serving their country are murdered, and we both mourn their loss and honor their service.

Part of honoring that service is to ask the obvious question: What U.S. interest is being served by putting our people – and our money – in places where U.S. personnel can be killed by extremists over a video? We launched millions of dollars worth of missiles to bring down Gaddafi, and this is what we get. We hail and encourage the outbreak of an Arab Spring in Egypt, send them billions of dollars we can’t afford, — and our embassy is breached and our flag desecrated.

In Afghanistan, we continue to put our troops in harm’s way 10 years after our post-9/11 mission was complete. Why?

The airwaves are filled today with political chest-pounding and calls for decisive action. The most decisive and prudent action we can take today is to stop trying to manage governments and peoples on the other side of the globe who don’t want to be managed, get our people out of impossible situations that have no direct U.S. interest, and immediately stop sending money to regimes who clearly cannot or will not control their own countries.

Protecting America with a strong national defense and a rational foreign policy is our leaders’ most basic responsibility. But let us not confuse national security with senseless intervention where our interests are clearly not being served.

Or you know, just let tweedle dee or tweedle dum keep putting people in harm’s way, while also stoking the fires of hatred on both sides.

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Gary Johnson’s “America Needs A Handyman” ad

Johnson’s campaign has delivered yet another positive ad in a campaign season characterized by negativity and character attacks.

And what’s that? A Libertarian proving it’s actually possible to fix the shit out of the roads and deliver a freedom utopia (the opposite of a centrally planned hellhole) if Americans will just give them a goddamn shot at the job? Finally.

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Libertarian Chair helps explain Paul’s presidential predicament

Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale, in an letter to members helping allay rumors that Ron Paul was planning to magically take over the LP ticket:

Many supporters of Ron Paul have asked what it would take to get Ron Paul included on the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket. The scenario envisioned by inquirers is either Ron Paul taking the Presidential slot, with Gary Johnson dropping to the VP slot; or Ron Paul replacing Jim Gray in the VP slot.

Either scenario requires certain things to happen, and many have serious implications for the LP Ticket:

First, we have no indication that Ron Paul is interested in or would be willing to pursue such a path. Without such an indication, this really remains an intellectual exercise.

The second consideration is found in our Bylaws regarding the role of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) in relation to our Presidential ticket. Article 14 Section 4 states: “The National Committee shall respect the vote of the delegates at Nominating Conventions and provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.” In short, the LNC does not have the authority under our Bylaws to change the ticket unless “for cause”. No matter how strong an argument is made about the benefits of such a change to our vote totals, our delegates have set strict and strong limits upon our authority.

[...] I certainly can sympathize with the supporters of Ron Paul, and their hopes for being able to vote for Ron in November, but I think the feasibility of the LP being able to do so is difficult, and could be very costly to our Presidential Ticket results, due to the loss of ballot access in so many states. Even a large gain of Ron Paul supporters could be offset by the absence of our ticket on a large number of state ballots.

What I can say with certainty is that there will be a Presidential ticket on the ballot that supporters of Ron Paul can choose to vote for, and I urge each and every Ron Paul supporter to support the Libertarian Party ticket in November. [emphasis added]

With Ron Paul officially giving his farewell to the political race on Leno (both middle fingers metaphorically extended towards the bi-assed party system), not all is lost. Gary Johnson’s campaign may yet pick up some high-profile, willing endorsers now left without a candidate if they get out the lead and realize they don’t need Ron Paul to tell them it’s okay.

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Will Ron Paul make an independent run in 2012?

The Daily Paul has the most wishful thinking opinion pieces up post-RNC:

So we all know Ron is making a special announcement on Jay Leno on September 4th. I know many of us are hoping it’s that Ron is running Indy or third party. Some are hoping he will endorse Johnson.

I just got off the phone with someone very close to Ron and want to tell everyone that a third party run is possible. At this point that is not what the announcement is going to be. It’s also not a Johnson or Romney endorsement, so says my well placed source. Again, take it worth a grain of salt, but I trust that this person is close enough to Ron to know.

Up until know I have believed that there was ZERO chance Ron would run third party. However, after my phone call I believe there is a glimmer of hope. It’s too late for Ron to get on the ballot as an Indy, however Johnson has said in the past that he would step aside for Ron.

Now for the bad news..Ron does not think the grassroots would fully back him because of all of the Rand and Benton bashing that has taken place, but RON would LOVE to make a last major push for Liberty in the presidential debates.

WE HAVE TO TELL RON BEFORE SEPTEMBER 4th THAT WE WILL SUPPORT HIM AND FUND HIM AND BACK HIM. If he knows that, there is still a chance he could change his mind, and if Gary really will step aside for Ron, Ron may take one final shot as a Libertarian. There is no chance Johnson will be anywhere near 15% and therefore no chance Gary is going to be in any debates. However, if Ron is the LP nominee and Gary as VEEP (as much as I dislike Gary, I could accept that) Gary would be debating Biden.

Sadly, Paul supporters (the ones that truly go full paultard) should properly educate themselves about the 50+ different ballot access hurdles before spouting off nonsense like this.

I love that little “not hype” at the end of the headline… pshaaaa! see more…

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GOP adds ‘Protecting Internet Freedom’ to platform

Last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida, the GOP proudly unveiled a new addition to their platform:

Protecting Internet Freedom

The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet offers a communications system uniquely free from government intervention. We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile delivery of voice video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem. We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector.

Most interestingly, the Libertarian Party has handily beat Republicans to the punch by more than two decades, having tackled the internet freedom message way back in 1991:

Stop Internet Censorship

Politicians are trying to take away your right to read what you want, and to say what you want.

The Internet is making it possible for new voices to be heard — the voices of people who simply could not afford to publish their ideas or display their artistic talents to a wide audience using older technologies. Established interests of both the left and the right fear new voices, and are trying to control what appears on the Internet through new laws and regulations.

America’s Founders couldn’t foresee the Internet, but they knew that government control of information was not only a violation of personal liberty — it was a threat to their hopes for a nation based on the principles of self-government. So they gave us the First Amendment.

The Libertarian Party carries on today in the tradition of the Founders:

  • The Libertarian Party didn’t wait for the Internet to become popular to stand up for principle: The LP has always supported freedom of speech and the press, and has had language specifically supporting freedom of online communication in its Platform since 1991.
  • The Libertarian Party joined with thousands of concerned Internet users in “turning its web pages black” in protest of President Clinton’s signing the unconstitutional “Communications Decency Act” in 1995.
  • The Libertarian Party continues to speak out today against the attempts by Democrats and Republicans to find loop-holes in the First Amendment, so they can turn the Internet into a government-controlled medium.

Think about it: while the GOP has just given birth to a messy and still-diapered internet freedom policy, the LP’s plank is all grown up, growing a beard, and is old enough to drink.

Even for a totally empty rhetorical gesture, I suppose it’s better late than never.

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Gary Johnson: “I have two words for Ron Paul. Thank you.”

The Tampa P.A.U.L. Festival was incredibly receptive to Gary Johnson, who hoped to woo Ron Paul’s Revolution in a fiery speech given at the ad hoc parallel libertarian events going on in Tampa, Florida this week.

In my strategist-tinted opinion, Johnson has easily been the most polished and electable candidate Libertarians have nominated since at least the days of Harry Brown. The fact that he’s been too busy climbing Mount Everest and other peaks when he wasn’t running successful and morally-intact businesses or fixing New Mexico’s government to even amass a closet of skeletons (you know the political vices where they climb some other peaks and ruin government) — well, it’s a nice added bonus to be the only remaining viable candidate talking about ending the military interventionist policies.

For a glimpse of how popular Johnson is becoming, stealthily and without media help, his book “Seven Principles of Good Government” was released at the end of July and has already run out of stock. The Kindle version is of course still available for a jaw-dropping $9.99, but I guess Johnson has to fund a campaign however he can given that most libertarians probably tapped out their political budgets on Ron Paul.

UPDATE: Check out Gary Johnson’s tribute video/commercial to Ron Paul. It would be nice to see Ron Paul give him a pat on the back somewhere along the line after the convention winds have calmed.

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Gary Johnson’s underdog narrative

In a most recent web video/ad entitled “Job Boom” Gary Johnson once again personally delivers another spoken dialogue imploring Americans to vote for him before the two-party system completely mucks everything up. I’m happy to finally see a Libertarian Party presidential candidate doing a substantial job of taking control of their own narrative and talking directly to people about the real economic and liberty issues. But at the end of the day I’ll admit he needs to go a lot further to win that superficial gay female vote.

Booyah.

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