Author Archives: Stuart Richards

About Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on HammerofTruth.com and other libertarian sites since 2004.

Mike Kole

Sad to say, but we’ve been neglecting #3 on the LP’s Candidate Tracker for a while here. It’s not been intentional, I assure you, but we do need to rectify this oversight, especially since his campaign for Secretary of State of Indiana is so strong and viable.

Here’s his campaign blog. Simple, but it works. It’s not the only media he’s got out there… he also has a radio ad that’s been running on a major station in the state, as well as a 2-minute cable spot and a respectable level of interviews. Plus he actually bothers to show up to candidate forums that his opponents snub. He does have some corporate backing, but that’s only because he helped defend NK Hurst from an eminent domain grab.

So yeah, this guy rocks at politics and can use whatever help you can offer him.

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Guthrie in the debates

This is what 1.2 million dollars bought Bruce Guthrie: the largest media outlet in Seattle telling the world that he won the debate.

From the Seattle PI:

Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican challenger Mike McGavick exchanged mostly familiar verbal blows Tuesday in an hour-long debate, a sedate event except for a barbed zinger by Cantwell about her opponent’s tenure as Safeco’s chief.

But if anyone “won” the televised exchange — Cantwell’s and McGavick’s second and final formal debate — it was a third candidate, Libertarian Bruce Guthrie, just by being there.

You can watch the debate in its entirety here, or read Guthrie’s writeup about it here.

From Guthrie’s blog:

I made some definite mistakes. I said Um and Uh and You Know way too many times, and I had those two lapses in my closing statement. Fortunately, I had written out my closing statement on the note pad in the 15 minutes before the cameras started rolling (we weren’t allowed to bring in any notes) so that I was able to get a cue and continue. But these flaws show that I am human. It should be noted that Cantwell and McGavick knew months in advance that they would be in the debate. I only had about a week to prepare. My position statements and closing remarks were not completed until two or three days before the debate. Not enough time for rote memorization.

Guthrie did trip up a few times, but I agree with his assessment-it didn’t hurt him. The fact that he could pull off such a powerful performance without the advantages available to the duopoly just makes him all the stronger of a candidate.

Debate skills are key and knowing one’s constituency is key. Guthrie does both quite well and I would expect that he should be able to grab a large percentage of the vote because of this.

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Raging affiliate envy and how to solve it

I’ve seen a lot of comments recently on how a few state Libertarian Parties are doing fantastic, while others aren’t doing as well.

Derrick said:

Yep, it was the late 1980′s when I dropped out of the Maryland LP, and for exactly the reasons you mentioned. The last straw for me was a meeting which was dominated by one guy who kept insisting that we should target our marketing efforts toward working prostitutes.

I also tried joining the MDLP listserv a few years ago, but it seemed to be dominated by conspiracy theorists.

I would like to be involved with helping to make my state chapter as successful and organized as the Georgia LP, but it doesn’t seem possible. Where to begin?

As a Nebraska resident, this particularly intrigues me. I live in a state where what little LP activity there is stops west of the 98th meridian and the party doesn’t answer its email. Interestingly enough, before that I lived in Maryland.

So this isn’t a prescriptive post so much as it is an inquisitive one-how do we go about fixing a moribund state party? Any experts in the audience, please tell me. I had to write in “Libertarian” on my voter registration forms and I’ll probably be told that I’ll be registered nonpartisan anyway.

Obviously there’s no magic bullet, but there’s gotta be some methods that work better than others. So commenters? Any advice?

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Odd news from the drug war

Government can’t win the drug war, now they can’t even successfully smoke pot either.

From MSNBC:

Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy “” almost impenetrable forests of 10-foot-tall marijuana plants.

Gen. Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana.

The plants are so full of water right now … that we simply couldn’t burn them,” he said.

“A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those (forests) did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action,” Hillier said dryly.

The money quote, though:

One soldier told him later: “Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I’d say ‘That damn marijuana.’”

If the rest of the War on Drugs went like this, the world would be a better place.

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Ahoy me hearties!

I guess the pirates have abandoned us along with the ninjas? One Iowan pirate is running an independent campaign for a House seat.

From CNN:

Pillaging, plundering and grog, sweet grog — James Hill is happy to discuss the finer points of pirate life. Just not before you hear him out on lobbying reform.

“Lobbying should be illegal,” said Hill, a self-professed “drunken pirate” who is running for Congress as an independent in Iowa’s 1st District. “It amounts to taxation without representation.”

…(snip)…

It may sound strange coming from a pirate, but Hill insists his campaign is about ideas, not imagery.

“Before we were a country they — pirates — were running mini-democracies. We need to get back to that,” he said, adding an unsolicited promise that he will bring more “swashbuckling” to Congress if elected.

To many, the pirate’s campaign is just a lot of yo-ho-hum.

Hill’s major opponents — Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Mike Whalen — have more or less ignored his candidacy in their intense fight for the open seat. Hill also has struggled to get local media coverage and has managed only one debate invitation so far.

Yes, you read that right. They will let pirates into debates, but they have to think about it when a million-dollar Libertarian campaign would like to debate.

The good news? Stan Jones probably lost the “Worst Debator” Award for 2006.

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Exciting news from the Hess campaign

I guess they’ve got their first radio ad up and they’ve pulled in about $1800 in 36 hours? Pretty sweet. For about $100, you can have Hess ads running all day on some Arizona stations, so rock the donations if you can.

The Hess campaign’s particularly interesting to me because of their unique strategy: instead of going after their political opponents, they’re going after the biased media. The Arizona Republic does sound pretty biased by all accounts, and the Hess campaign does a good job of postulating why:

The AZ Republic wrote, “Don’t blame yourself if you haven’t heard of Hess or much about his politics.” Somehow, it’s supposed to be our fault when they refuse to give fair and equal coverage to all candidates on the ballot. You see, since Libertarians all over the state are standing on our principles and refusing to take so-called “clean” election funding out of the pockets of taxpayers, we are not being considered “legitimate” candidates running “real” campaigns.

It makes sense. Taxpayer-funded elections are, essentially, corporate welfare for advertising outlets. Hess refuses to buy into their corrupt system, so he gets hellashunned.

Will this strategy work? In Arizona, where there’s a lot of people who think like Hess, and getting out the fact of his campaign is probably more important than attacking his opponents, it might just. It also has one of two outcomes, regardless of whether Hess does well in the elections or not-either it’ll overthrow media bias in Arizona for a while, or Big Media will win and the AZLP will have burned a major bridge. We’ll find out for sure on November 8 but I’d say it’d be an experiment worth testing out.

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Libertarians: the largest swing vote in America?

For those who’ve been despairing about the state of politics in America, I have some good news from the Cato Institute. We’re actually the largest swing voter group out there at roughly 13-20% of the population, it’s just slightly harder to reach out to us because we aren’t organized in labor unions or churches.

But we’ve basically determined the last few elections. The (small-l) libertarian vote has traditionally gone to the Republicans; they’ve been seen as the lesser evil. However, a massive demographic revolt occurred in 2004, and Bush only received 59% of the libertarian vote (as opposed to 72% in 2000, when he campaigned talking like a libertarian). And as the libertarian demographic is about evenly split on the war, most of the pro-war libertarians basically voted for him for that reason alone.

This revolt occurred despite Kerry being rated even lower than Gore on average in the libertarian grouping… meaning it was a vote to punish Bush, not because we were enamored with Kerry.

But what would have happened if a more libertarian-leaning candidate was run by the Democrats, such as Howard Dean? The Democrats would only have had to bring Bush down to a 50% libertarian vote (9 points) to cost him Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada… and therefore the election.

And it would have happened, too-despite libertarian tendencies to vote Republican, we’re the most easily-parted group from the GOP fold. More libertarians voted for Perot than any other constituency. And we were almost persuaded to let the jackasses have a go at the Presidency this year.

So ignore us at your peril, Republicratic animals.

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A Note About HoT

Hi. This isn’t news.

We usually do news, yes, but we do opinion pieces. We do editorial pages. Occasionally, we also do cartoons.

We’re the portion of the newspaper that everyone turns to first, usually. We have namecalling, we have libertarian-leaning writeups, we have bad words too sometimes (well, often if it’s my articles).

I’ve come to understand that this isn’t acceptable to some of you, this “college humor” or whatever. Others are mad that our editors take positions on things, usually when they don’t agree with the reader’s position. Still others hate that we use words like “retard,” even though these same people are defending the potty mouths of candidates.

This is why there’s many of us. We all have different points of view, different writing styles. The editors are all libertarians… and that’s where the similarities end. We’re atheists, Christians, agnostics and Lord knows what else. We are purists, we are reformers, we are everything in between. We’re Lockeans, we’re geolibertarians, we’re anarchists, we’re minarchists, we’re silver-tongued, we’re snake-tongued and we’re writing.

How sad, how uninteresting a world it would be if we all had to walk on eggshells. How sad if reformers couldn’t take being called “statist pigs”, purists “radicals,” 9/11 orthodoxists “sheeple” and 9/11 truthers “retards.” How sad if our skins couldn’t withstand the well-intentioned jabs of our own kind, because then how could they withstand the malicious strikes of the Republicrats?

There’s a lot of us here, with a lot of different viewpoints. Gentle, beloved reader, you are guaranteed to disagree with the editor’s version of libertarianism, or the editor’s methods, or the editor’s writing style about 50% of the time on this site, no matter what it is that you believe. Now, we are all grownups here, no? We can take this difference of opinion and let it inform us and make us stronger in our views and our knowledge, or we can let it grow ugly and personal.

I know what I want. I don’t know about you, but I’d miss being called a hippie retard right-winger fascist foul-mouthed statist moron. So let’s grow thicker skin.

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Another Candidacy Rocks The Chicken Suit

A fusion candidate running on (at least) the Libertarian and Green ballot lines, John Murphy, has taken a cue from the Peirce campaign in Ohio.

According to a press release I got in my inbox, he plans on wearing a chicken costume.

On October 11, 2006 the Lancaster County Rotary club will hold a debate between two of the three candidates running for House of Representatives in the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.

The Rotary Club has decided only to invite the two corporate owned candidates and not the corporate free candidate John Murphy. While the decision of the Rotary Club was certainly ill considered, it is unpardonable that both Mr. Pitts and Ms. Herr have not chided the Rotary Club for its oversight. “It is unthinkable”, said John Murphy, “that both Mr. Pitts and Ms. Herr did not suggest to the Rotary Club that common decency and fair play demand that all candidates be invited to address the members of the Rotary Club. I’m reminded of something Abraham Lincoln once said, “˜To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men’. If the two corporate candidates are so callous as to ignore this common courtesy, what can the voters expect of them?” concluded John Murphy.

Since neither Mr. Pitts nor Ms. Herr has insisted that the Rotary Club extend an invitation to Mr. Murphy, the Murphy campaign is forced to conclude that the two corporate candidates are too “chicken” to debate John Murphy.

Looking at his site, the guy isn’t really that libertarian, but he does have an impressive list of leftist celebrity endorsements, including Ralph Nader, Peter Camejo, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn. He’s not fully our guy, but he’s a better alternative than the other two.

However, I do have to question the chicken suit. With the Peirce campaign, it was novel. But I’m left wondering if it will become the next big libertarian “thing” that we do because it’s cool, regardless of effectiveness. I mean, if all we are to the average voter is The World’s Smallest Political Quiz, chicken suits and NORML rallies… well that’s cool and all but it’s hard to take seriously. I could very well be totally off the mark here. But it’s been a concern of mine.

At any rate, I hope John Murphy embarrasses the duopolistic goons.

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Former Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Endorses Barry Hess

Apparently Mike Harris, who lost the Republican primaries down in Arizona, is supposed to endorse Barry Hess at noon today at the Arizona State Capitol courtyard.

If you’re there, check it out-the look and feel of fed-up Republicans is going to become familiar, but you can say you got in on the ground floor.

Hess is only polling 3% according to a SurveyUSA poll that his site disputes but he seems to be gaining plenty of traction regardless. He basically won a debate against the other candidates since that questionable poll was released, so even if it was absolutely right… it’s probably not right any more.

He’s got another apparent endorsement from another former Republican gubernatorial candidate here, a slew of professional wrestlers endorsing his candidacy, and it looks like he’s doing all this while being marginalized by the local paper and having only $4000 to his campaign’s name.

So go on, show the man some love. His campaign is fixing to be one of many solid Libertarian campaigns this cycle.

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The Jackyderms Run Terrified

So I thought this little tidbit about Bruce Guthrie’s campaign was interesting. Guthrie’s campaign hasn’t had $1.2 million to its name for a full week before the animals start marking their territory.

From the Seattle PI:

Guthrie, 43, a former part-time college instructor, said he mortgaged his Bellingham house and depleted his savings to raise the money. But he said he also has nearly $3 million in additional, less-readily accessible investments that he could throw into the race and might do so.

First off, this is fucking awesome. If this race looks like it could go anywhere, he’s got reserve funds ready to roll. But that’s not the point of this post; it was just shiny and made me happy inside.

Spokesmen for Cantwell and McGavick said it was unclear from which candidate Guthrie might more likely siphon votes. Many Republicans think Libertarians hurt GOP candidates more than Democrats and blame Republican Sen. Slade Gorton’s 2,229-vote loss to Cantwell in 2000 on the 64,734 votes for Libertarian Jeff Jared.

Other observers, though, think most Libertarian supporters are protest voters who otherwise would skip voting at all in a given race.

Of course they’re not going to say who he’ll siphon votes from. That would be… impolitic. Anytime one of ours comes into a race with a credible message and a credible campaign, the duopolists are frozen in their tracks. They don’t want to push the loose cannon into firing at them, so they say nothing. They do count on their supporters to say plenty, however-it’s the same “Swift Boat Veterans said it, not the President” bullshit but it works quite well:

Vance, now a public-affairs consultant with The Gallatin Group in Seattle, said most Republicans who vote for Libertarians, thinking they are “more conservative than the Republican Party,” don’t realize the Libertarian Party “believes in legalizing drugs, is anti-law enforcement and opposes President Bush’s foreign policy.”

If Guthrie actually spends the money he lent himself, “with a message that is to the left of Senator Cantwell, the issue of (gay) marriage and the issue of the war, then obviously it is not going to be beneficial to Senator Cantwell,” Vance said.

Chris Vance is a Republican lobbyist, from what I can gather from the article, and so he can say what McGavick wants to say without having it reflect badly on McGavick.

And McGavick wants what Cantwell wants, here: keeping the Libertarian down failed this time, so he wants Guthrie to become the other guy’s problem. McGavick’s goons will preach about how we support gay marriage and the war, while Cantwell’s goons will undoubtedly scold Guthrie for his hardcore free-market principles.

And people are worried that he won’t be able to buy enough TV ads? Kids, with his opponents doing advertising like that, Guthrie could blow all his cash buying adspace in smoke signals and tin cans attached with string and still come out possibly winning this race. Nonvoters + hardcore conservatives + hardcore liberals = victory.

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More on the Party of God, Morals and Family

I guess on top of being a closet homosexual pedophile, Republican Mark Foley is also an alcoholic.

From CNN:

Former Rep. Mark Foley is in an alcoholism treatment center three days after resigning from Congress amid allegations that he sent inappropriate messages to teenage pages, Foley’s attorney confirmed Monday.

Man, this rocks. We had an alcoholic child molester chairing the Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus, we have Captain “Series of Tubes” chairing the Senate subcommittee on technology, and Native hater John McCain chairing Indian Affairs… this is pretty much the best government ever. I gotta hand it to them for milking every last possible ounce of public entertainment out of our tax dollars, and here I never thought that they’d be able to outdo the Lewinsky scandal.

So I gotta ask, what are their plans for 2008? Charles Manson for the Judiciary committee? Maybe Muqtada al-Sadr for the Homeland Security committee? David Duke for the African Affairs subcommittee? C’mon, we all know the government’s only good for a laugh these days anyway… what’s it gonna be?

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Stupid Hippie Tricks

I know this is going to shock you all, but I’m going to have to pick on my patchoulied brethren here for a sec.

Why?

Because they’re completely fucking clownshoes, that’s why.

From the London Times:

POLICE have warned fish farmers to increase their security after 15,000 halibut were released from their cages in an attack believed to have been carried out by animal rights activists.

Thousands of dead fish are being washed up along the west coast of Scotland after the raid at Kames Marine Fish Farm, near Oban. The perpetrators are thought to have attacked last week. Detectives believe that the attack could be linked to a spate of other farm attacks throughout the country. The letters ALF (Animal Liberation Front) were spray-painted near by.

The loss is estimated to have cost the fish farm at least £500,000 as boats, cranes and offices were also vandalised. The halibut died from starvation or getting caught in seaweed. They were also being eaten by herring gulls and otters.

Yay for animal rights! Mother Nature’s gentle creatures are now free, free and seriously fucking dead. By kelp. That’s pretty much the shittiest way to go if you’re a fish, gotta be. And they can thank the flower children Animal Liberation Front nimrods for that. Meanwhile, because of the reduced supply of farmed fish, this means a greater incentive to overfish waters even more to meet demand, causing more environmental devastation.

So yeah, Animal Liberation Front? Go fuck a sunset, and leave ecology to the kinds of folks who didn’t get their ideals off of Saturday morning cartoons.

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Ninjas: The Ultimate Ballot Access Law

I told you that ninjas were a sneaky bunch, didn’t I?

They’re also crafty, and inscrutable. I can’t scrute them worth a damn, or else I would’ve seen this coming.

For even after we defended the way of the ninja against the BATF, they’re still willing to flip out and kill Libertarians. Observe:

A shame, really. *shakes head*

At least the pirates haven’t abandoned us… yarrrr mateys?

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Libertarian Media Montage

Q: What’s the difference between a Libertarian television ad and Santa Claus?

A: They’re both figments of our imagination, but at least you know what Santa Claus is supposed to look like.

That right there is the conventional wisdom, and outside of our Presidential races, it’s generally true. HOWEVER. A lot of serious Libertarian races have emerged this year, and with those serious races come some serious ads. I thought I might give our loyal Maccabees a taste of what Libertarian campaigns on the march look like.

And yes, I will actually slap them up for your viewing pleasure, but you’ve gotta come with me across the jump. And I warn you that this is an exhaustive list. see more…

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It Could Be Worse, Kids…

So for all my bitching about how America’s government sucks cock these days, even while living under Bush I’ll come out and say that it could be worse.

We could be Thailand.

From Newsweek (yes I know I just picked on them, but eh):

The image is steeped in irony. As tanks rolled into Bangkok to overthrow his six-year-old government on the night of Sept. 19, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was hunkered down at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. The former telecommunications billionaire, who once owned a Thai TV station himself, could persuade only one channel to air his rambling emergency decree ordering troops back to barracks. Unsurprisingly, the message fell on deaf ears. The next day Army Cmdr. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin imposed sweeping curbs on civil liberties, isolated some top Army officers loyal to Thaksin, then outlined a timetable for restoring democracy. Thaksin flew into probable exile in London, lamenting to Thai journalists aboard his chartered flight: “I was prime minister when I went [to New York], but I am jobless on the way back.”

Yeah, so military dictatorship: Who the fuck even does that anymore? Yeah, Burma does, but you don’t see a huge rush of people all like “OMG LETS BE LIKE BURMA” or crushing on their leader or whatever. We’re all pretty much seeing it as, I dunno, Asia’s zit? Maybe I’m wrong here, but I don’t think so?

I mean, if you’re going to have some sort of brutal oppressive dictatorship, you could at least do it in style. China, North Korea, we’re looking at you. Evil soul-eating motherfucks, yes, but they have some sort of finesse to them. Well, when they bother to brush their teeth at least.

But military dictatorship? Sonthi Boonyawhateverthefuck, did the rest of the kids pick on you when you were younger? Did they always steal your lunch money, and you swore deep down in your heart that you would get them back? Because this little clownshow you’re putting on is really, really fucking immature. Keep it up and the real owners of Thailand (the Thai people) might ground you to Burma without dinner.

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Holy slanted media, Batman!

So I thought this was funny. Go look at the sidebar on the left.

Europe: “Losing Afghanistan”
Asia: “Losing Afghanistan”
Latin America: “Losing Afghanistan”
North America: “My Life In Pictures”

I think it’s awesome how they aren’t even really trying to hide it so much these days. It’s like they just gave up the ghost of the pretense of impartiality. Or, more likely, they tried to hock it on eBay since it’s all about the cash.

Which it is all about the cash, before someone tries to paint me as some altruistic collectivowhatever, but my cash would rather go to an unbiased product… and I think a whole shitload of consumers agree. Bring on the stories of how we’re fucking up in Afghanistan, I think we need to know more than anyone else since we’re leading that war. Don’t insult us with namby-pamby shit about celebrities or whoever. Bring on the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth.

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New Mexican Courts Offer Unofficial State Bird To Libertarians

This just in from the Free New Mexican: we’re not going to have any statewide candidates this year in New Mexico.

From the article:

A federal judge has rejected a constitutional challenge to New Mexico’s law governing whether minor party candidates can run for office.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez means the Libertarian Party will have no candidates for statewide office on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Check out these ridiculous requirements:

To qualify to have candidates on the ballot, a political party in New Mexico must submit petitions with a certain number of signatures of registered votes. If successful _ such as the Libertarians and Green parties in New Mexico, a party initially earns “minor party” status under state law.

Candidates nominated by a minor party individually must submit nominating petitions _ with slightly more than 4,800 voter signatures for a statewide office this year _ to gain a place on the general election ballot.

Unlike “major” political parties in New Mexico _ Democrats and Republicans _ minor parties do not hold primary elections. Democratic and GOP candidates file nominating petitions to run in the primary, but party nominees automatically appear on the general election ballot.

The lawsuit contended that New Mexico is the only state to have a two-petition system for minor parties to get their candidates on the ballot.

That’s right, after all your hard work to get on the ballot in the first place, you… get to file even more petitions to get on the ballot. If that isn’t some Republicratic wet dream, I dunno what is.

So yeah, LPNM… I feel your pain.

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Willie Nelson Caught With The Wacky Tobaccy

Yeah, apparently the government wasn’t through with screwing up his life. :\

From Yahoo News:

Willie Nelson and four others were issued misdemeanor citations for possession of narcotic mushrooms and marijuana after a traffic stop Monday morning on a Louisiana highway, state police said.

“When the door was opened and the trooper began to speak to the driver, he smelled the strong odor of marijuana,” the news release said. A search of the bus produced 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and 0.2 pounds of narcotic mushrooms, according to state police.

That’s really too bad… maybe he’ll write an album about his experiences and a new generation of cowboys can hear some oldschool country and western that doesn’t worship the flag.

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The Bar For Debate

Looks like a Libertarian made the bar to debate while a Green didn’t.

From the Norwalk Citizen-News:

Although he collected the requisite number of signatures to appear on the ballot in the Nov. 7 election, Richard Duffee, the Green Party candidate for the 4th Congressional District, is not been invited to participate in the League of Women Voters’ debates.
The other candidates in the race Republican incumbent Christopher Shays, Democrat Diane Farrell and Libertarian Phil Maymin will take part in the debates, which are scheduled on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at Norwalk Community College and on Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clune Performing Arts Center of Wilton High School.

In an e-mail to the Norwalk Citizen-News on Monday, Duffee said he’d been notified that he was not invited because he “had not shown sufficient evidence of broad voter support or of broad financial support.”

I’ll skip the usual Green talking points (imagine hippies and druids and John Lennon’s voice) to get to the candidates’ reactions to this news:

Neither Shays nor Farrell could be reached for comment before press time, but on Wednesday, Jan Spiegel, a spokeswoman for Farrell’s campaign, said Farrell believes “it is up to the organizers of the debate to set the rules.” Similarly, Michael Sohn, Shays’ campaign manager, said, “It was left up to the debate organizers to choose which candidates they wanted to [participate].”

Also on Wednesday, Maymin said he had no comment about Duffee’s exclusion. “I would debate any of my opponents any time if there was enough public support and an impartial moderator,” he said.

Okay, fair enough. But, I dunno. Not that I’d ever vote for a Green, but I think we ought to let them stand in a debate. We need clearer, fairer ballot access rules in general, and we need to stand with the Green Party on this one… well, insofar as they want inclusion into the debates too. Publically-funded elections can shag off.

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Sold My Soul To The Company Government Store

Southern justice ftw!

So this sucks. They incarcerate this chick over her own personal drug use, and then they effectively enslave her for fourteen months by making her so poor that she can’t pay the fine they mandated she pay.

Seriously kids, company towns are not a valid expression of prison reform. If you’re going to do something like this (have a private company host halfway-houses and the like) then you need to make the rent and everything low enough that any fines or whatever can be paid off. I thought the whole point of debtor’s prison was to let them pay off their actual debts, not force them to incur new ones.

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Some Sweet Campaigns That Could Use Your Dead Presidents

We’ve given a ton of coverage to the heavy-hitters in the Libertarian world this cycle: Smither, Badnarik, Pierce…

But you know, there’s a ton of other really awesome candidates that are running credible, solid campaigns and we need to support them. “All politics is local,” after all… We’ll have a better chance at electing congressmen when we’ve already elected the mayors and city councilmen and the like.

So I figured I’d step up to the plate and list off a few good campaigns for any would-be donors out there.

First pick of the bunch is Kevin Cherry, running for the Public Service Commission down in Georgia. Looks like he’s got a beautiful website, a credible shot (when one of his competitors is claiming to “be a better libertarian than the Libertarian in the race”) and I guess they can run a realistic TV ad campaign for only $3000 or so? So go on over and show the man some love.

Next on the hitlist would be those bad boys up in Vermont. Even though not all of them made it to the ballot, five out of the seven did and several of them got on the ballot as both Libertarians and Republicans. In my opinion, these are our most credible state-level races in this election cycle. I fully expect to be congratulating at least one of these guys (probably more) on their new job in Montpelier on November 8, and it’s going to be fascinating watching them, seeing what an elected Libertarian caucus actually does in a state legislature. But let’s make sure they have all the help they need, eh?

There’s plenty more good folks out there, I’m sure, so by all means link them up in the comments.

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Some New Englanders talk secession…

…but it’s not the Free State Project for once.

Yeah, apparently some Vermonters want to stamp upon the cursed alliance too.

From the Boston Globe:

A car parked outside the State House bore a bumper sticker saying, ”Regime change begins at home.”

Inside, about 100 Vermonters gathered in the House chamber for the Vermont Independence Convention — devoted to Vermont creating a regime of its own.

If participants have their way, the state whose former governor was laughed out of the 2004 presidential race after the infamous Iowa scream is going to take what some call its wackiness and others call its sanity in a crazy world and go home.

Go home to the 14 years in the late 18th century when Vermont was neither a British colony nor one of the original 13 states but was an independent republic.

Texas gets more notice as a Lone Star State, but Vermont shares with it the distinction of having gone it alone for a while. Friday’s event was steeped in that history, and an urge to try it again.

The funny thing is these bad boys aren’t even libertarians so much:

”Vermont still provides a communitarian alternative to the dehumanized mass production, mass consumption, narcissistic lifestyle which pervades most of the United States,” said Thomas Naylor, a former Duke University economics professor who retired to Vermont and has written a book called ”The Vermont Manifesto — The Second Vermont Republic.”

”Vermont is smaller, more rural, more democratic, less violent, less commercial, more egalitarian, and more independent than most states,” Naylor said. ”It offers itself as a kinder, gentler metaphor for a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism.”

These are, well, leftists to say the least. While none of that stuff directly contradicts with liberty, they’re buzzwords of socialism or populism moreso than libertarianism.

At any rate, it’s good to see that we’re not the only ones talking about secession within American politics. Much as I think it’s silly for a political party to start agitating for it now, it’s definitely awesome to see groups like these (and our own Free Talk Live and Free State Project) getting the discussion rolling. Who knows? Maybe when my children are grown up and posting articles on their own blogs, secession will be a major issue and a realistic possibility. Maybe not, but we can hope.

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