[FB] A Leash Has Two Ends, by Kyle Bennett

The full text is here —

A leash has two ends.

If this article resonates with you, then you can relate to why I am an anarchist. Not that this kind of thing is the fundamental reason, but the fact is that when you couple everyone’s well-being, autonomy, values, prosperity, whatever so closely together, every individual is always at risk of theirs being steamrolled by a faceless horde they never wanted to have anything to do with.

You, who feel this way now, have most likely been on the front lines of strengthening that coupling. When you thought you had enough power to remain the steamroller instead of the flattened victim, you had no qualms about imposing it on everyone from your neighbors to people you never have and never will meet, people you only know through stereotypes.

Now you’re on the receiving end, and you’re suddenly calling it unfair, oppressive, a moral outrage. If the only outcome of this election was to rub your face in that lesson, so you could not ignore it, it was worth it.

For me, I’m of the same view I have held for many years. Break that kind of coupling, at a deep, fundamental level. While it exists, something close to half the population will find it unbearable. Now that it is your half, maybe you see it too, but if your answer is further imposition aimed at making sure the roles never get reversed again (like undoing the electoral college), you are not only missing the point, you’re driving people toward solutions even more drastic and unbearable.

I know this is not going to turn you anarchist overnight, but maybe you at least get a glimpse of the value of federalism, state’s rights, tenth amendment, etc. If you refuse to see it, prepare for this kind of thing, or worse, to keep happening for the rest of your life. The gloves are off, and the barriers to how far down into your lives it can reach have been dropping like flies for generations, mostly at your vehement insistence.

Brother, you asked for it.

The Hill: America is held hostage by flyover states, by Duane Thompson


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 11.4
  2. Original article

Copyright © 2016 Kyle Bennett, Libertarian Party of New Mexico, and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Libertarian Solutions to Closed, Non-Competitive Elections

Over the decades, we’ve seen America’s elections become less and less competitive, and slanted towards incumbents more and more.

In just this year’s election, eight of the seventeen State Senate seats in Bernalillo County are uncontested, with only one person running for the office. Correspondingly, twelve of the twenty-four State Representative seats in Bernalillo County are uncontested.

Part of this is simply due to New Mexico’s mañana culture of “I’ll get around to it when I feel like it” – with the end result (someone stepping forward to run for office) never happens.

Another part of this is the way that districting has been done in New Mexico, which heavily favors incumbents. When was the last time that a Republican stood a real chance of winning Congressional District 3, or a Democrat of winning District 2? The State House and Senate is similarly afflicted.

Here’s fixes to the system that Libertarians can get behind:

Enact uniform signature requirements for all candidates, regardless of partisan affiliation, or lack thereof. Every candidate for a given office should have to get the same number of signatures, and any registered voter should be able to sign any candidate’s nominating petition. No more of this bit about having to get signatures from only people registered with one party. End the current rule that if you sign more than one candidate’s petition, all of your nominating signatures are invalidated.

End the practice of using tax dollars to fund the conventions and primaries of the “major party” organizations. Let them pay for it themselves – they’re perfectly able to afford it, what with all of the donations that they get from corporate special interests.

Leave the straight-party voting option off the ballot. If it does get put back on, then put straight “YES” and “NO” options for the bond issues and judicial retention spots on the ballot.

Explicitly allow ballot selfies – basically, repeal NMSA 3-8-50 (A)(1). It’s your vote, thus you should be able to tell people about it. Any statute outlawing such voluntary disclosures is a violation of the First Amendment and of Article II, Section 17 of the State Constitution.

Eliminate all forms of public campaign financing, as that forces people to support via taxation candidates that they wouldn’t otherwise touch with a ten-mile pole.

Why should black, Latino and Jewish voters be taxed to fund a candidate fronting for the KKK or Aryan Nations?

Why should LGBT voters be taxed to support someone who thinks that Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t go far enough?

As with the “bake a cake” question, it’s all about freedom of association, folks. Let people support candidates of their own free will, or not at all. Maybe they have something better to spend the money on, like food, utilities, car payments, whatever? It’s their money, not yours or mine.

If you really want a form of candidate subsidies in place, let the parties do it themselves. Again, as with conventions and primaries, they have plenty of cash. As long as there’s cash in the public till and the State has the power to regulate the private sector, the donors will be there, attempting to influence the system in their favor.

Or set up a domestic non-profit LLC (something like a 501-c-3 under the current federal tax code). Make sure that its charter forbids its officers from lobbying the Roundhouse or any other governmental body, or from accepting any money from the public treasury. While you’re at it, make sure its charter also forbids its officers from making statements on any other issue while representing the organization. You do want to keep it as non-partisan as possible, correct?

If you seriously want to give the candidates a hard time about campaign finance, don’t limit how much they can take from any one donor. Again, it’s not your money or mine, it’s the donor’s. Instead, ask the candidates about how much they received, and from whom. Use your rights under the First Amendment and Article II, Section 17 to tell your friends, family, whoever, about the candidates’ strengths and shortcomings. Especially if the candidates’ election year ad copy doesn’t match up with what they do while in office.

I’m sure that there are many more things that can be done to fix New Mexico’s broken election system without making government bigger, more intrusive or more expensive. Who has the courage to make them happen?

-30-

Word count: 733


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 11.8
  2. Published elsewhere
    1. nmpolitics.net – Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Why I Oppose the New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure, by Freddie Joe Nichols III

Why I Oppose the New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure

Coming up on the ballot on November 8th is a ballot measure called, New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure, Constitutional Amendment 1. The measure’s goal is to allow police time to investigate dangerous crimes while keeping the defendant locked up by denying them bail. It definitely sounds good at face value, “to protect community safety.”

To be fair, the measure attempts to fix a few issues that we have currently like removing the portion that requires people who were previously convicted of 2 or more felonies to automatically be denied bail of 60 days after incarceration if they are accused of another crime, and also ensuring that non-violent offenders can be released even if they don’t have the financial means to post bail. These changes would definitely be great wins in terms of due process, but there’s more.

The measure removes the limit on how long the state can deny an individual bail. So, if a judge deems someone who has been accused of a crime to be a “danger” they can deny them bail indefinitely. Let me say that a different way. If someone is accused of a crime and hasn’t had a trial to prove their innocence or guilt, a judge can still decide thatthey are dangerous and keep them locked up forever. The idea that a judge, or any state agent for that matter, can decide to keep an individual imprisoned forever just because they think that individual is dangerous is a major violation of due process. I’m sure during the American Revolution, King George III would have claimed all of our Founding Fathers were dangerous and imprisoned them forever if he were given the chance.

This measure, as with most measures, has some good and some bad. In my opinion the bad outweighs the good, and we will have better opportunities to address these issues going forward. Anytime I see “to protect community safety” at the beginning of a bill I start looking for the rights they are trying to infringe on this time. I can’t in good conscience vote for something that has the potential to allow the state to indefinitely detain a person who has not been tried by a jury of his / her peers and convicted of a crime. I will be opposing New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure, and I encourage each of you to do the same.

In Liberty,
Freddie “Joe” Nichols III
Candidate for NM State Representative District 54


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Nichols’ campaign site
  2. Nichols’ candidate Facebook page

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Chaves County, New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Eddy County, New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Otero County, New Mexico, and Freddie Joe Nichols III. All rights reserved.

Why I Oppose the New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure, by Freddie Joe Nichols III

Why I Oppose the New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure

Coming up on the ballot on November 8th is a ballot measure called, New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure, Constitutional Amendment 1. The measure’s goal is to allow police time to investigate dangerous crimes while keeping the defendant locked up by denying them bail. It definitely sounds good at face value, “to protect community safety.”

To be fair, the measure attempts to fix a few issues that we have currently like removing the portion that requires people who were previously convicted of 2 or more felonies to automatically be denied bail of 60 days after incarceration if they are accused of another crime, and also ensuring that non-violent offenders can be released even if they don’t have the financial means to post bail. These changes would definitely be great wins in terms of due process, but there’s more.

The measure removes the limit on how long the state can deny an individual bail. So, if a judge deems someone who has been accused of a crime to be a “danger” they can deny them bail indefinitely. Let me say that a different way. If someone is accused of a crime and hasn’t had a trial to prove their innocence or guilt, a judge can still decide that they are dangerous and keep them locked up forever. The idea that a judge, or any state agent for that matter, can decide to keep an individual imprisoned forever just because they think that individual is dangerous is a major violation of due process. I’m sure during the American Revolution, King George III would have claimed all of our Founding Fathers were dangerous and imprisoned them forever if he were given the chance.

This measure, as with most measures, has some good and some bad. In my opinion the bad outweighs the good, and we will have better opportunities to address these issues going forward. Anytime I see “to protect community safety” at the beginning of a bill I start looking for the rights they are trying to infringe on this time. I can’t in good conscience vote for something that has the potential to allow the state to indefinitely detain a person who has not been tried by a jury of his / her peers and convicted of a crime. I will be opposing New Mexico Denial of Bail Measure, and I encourage each of you to do the same.

In Liberty,
Freddie “Joe” Nichols III
Candidate for NM State Representative District 54


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Nichols’ campaign site
  2. Nichols’ candidate Facebook page

NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 14.2

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Chaves County, New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Eddy County, New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Otero County, New Mexico, and Freddie Joe Nichols III. All rights reserved.

OUR America Initiative Rally with Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray

Date – Monday, 8 April 2013
Time – 6:00 PM
Location – UNM Student Union Building (1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131)

2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidate (and former two-time New Mexico Governor) Gary Johnson and 2012 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Judge Jim Gray will kick off their 2013 OUR America Initiative Nationwide Campus Tour at the University of New Mexico Student Union Building on Monday April 8th at 6:00 PM.
The OUR America Initiative seeks to broaden the parameters of the public policy debate of current topics in the national arena. We look to enlighten the population about civil liberties, free enterprise, limited government, and traditional American values. It is our aim to increase the amount of discussion and involvement regarding all-important issues.
Hosted by Governor Johnson’s UNM fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon), this event will feature Governor Johnson and Judge Gray addressing the audience about issues facing America in 2013, followed up by an open question and answer session.
Attendance is open (and complimentary) to the UNM student body as well as the general public.
As part of the policy of the OUR America Initiative, information booths (complimentary) will be made available to all social and political groups interested in participating.
If your organization would like to reserve a booth (space is limited – first come, first serve), contact the Our America Initiative by leaving a comment below.
For more information about the OUR America Initiative (donations accepted), go to: http://ouramericainitiative.com/
Afterwards, some of us will get together at the Frontier Restaurant (2400 Central Ave SE) for an informal no-host meet-and-greet.

All rights reserved.


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A Vote for Gary Johnson Definitely Not a Waste

A Vote for Gary Johnson Definitely Not a Waste

by Tom Mahon

Kenneth Brown, an economist, attempts to make the case that Gary Johnson’s libertarian candidacy for president may peel votes away from Mitt Romney. While portraying this as a blow to limited government, he fails to explain exactly how Romney would bring limited government and economic freedom to the White House.

Instead, as seems to be the case with most Romney supporters, the only case they can make for “their guy” is that “the other guy” (Obama) is so bad that supporters of limited government should abandon their principles and support Romney. I strongly disagree. In fact, throughout this campaign, I have seen far more examples of agreement between Romney and Obama.

It is only Johnson who will, if elected, bring the ideas of limited government to Washington.

On the economy and health care in particular, there is virtually no daylight between Obama and Romney. “Obamacare,” as we all know, has many of the same characteristics as does “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts. Now, of course, Romney says he would “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but his record as governor shows that he believes that government bureaucrats, not patients and their doctors, should control health care. Johnson would repeal Obamacare and work to restore free market principles in American health care.

In terms of economic growth, the real problems with our economy today is not the tax burden, rather it is bipartisan, out-of-control spending growth in Washington. Unlike Romney, whose specific budget cuts are limited to Big Bird and a few other trivial items but who wants a massive increase in military spending, Johnson would submit a balanced budget immediately upon taking office and would put the major spending areas – the entitlements and the military – on sustainable footing while eliminating boondoggles like farm subsidies and the War on Drugs.

Continuation of the War on Drugs is yet another area of agreement between Romney and Obama with which Johnson disagrees. Federal spending on the drug war amounts to over $15 billion annually and that isn’t even the real problem with it. The real problem is that the War on Drugs costs all of us our civil liberties, destroys poor and inner-city families (predominantly minorities), and costs us far more in terms of prisons, joblessness and other social harms than what Americans know.

Speaking of privacy, Obama and Romney would do nothing to reform or eliminate the absurd Transportation Security Administration which makes regular headlines groping grandmas and generally making life miserable for travelers, all with little to no impact on our security. Johnson will eliminate TSA, saving taxpayers $40 billion annually. The private sector – airlines, airports, or private security companies – will do a much better job for far less money.

And then there is foreign policy. Nowhere is the difference between Obama / Romney and Johnson starker.

Obama and Romney have pledged to continue this needless war which has no clear objective, has seen American troops gunned down and killed by their supposed “allies,” and will waste another $120 billion this year alone. Johnson will bring the troops home immediately.

Also, while Romney and Obama seem determined to start a war with Iran, Johnson will work to resolve the conflict with Iran peacefully as Iran has never threatened the United States and does not present a military threat to this country.

The case is clear. The only vote you are “throwing away” is a vote for four more years of bipartisan spending, violations of personal liberty and tragic soldier deaths in Afghanistan.

Our former governor, Gary Johnson, is easily the best choice for president!

Original article


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Duke City Fix / NMPolitics.org


Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises. Webmaster Mike Blessing.
This blog entry created with gedit and Notepad++.

Ken Brown Is NOT a Free-Market Advocate

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Ken Brown Is NOT a Free-Market Advocate
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:40:47
From: Libertarian Party of New Mexico <lpnm.chair@gmail.com>
To: opinion@abqjournal.com

Re: Vote for Johnson May Help Obama

This isn’t the first time that Kenneth Brown has blown off free-market principles to support the Republican Party, and I suspect it won’t be the last time.

How are the individual health-insurance mandate that’s part of both Slick Willard’s Massachusetts RomneyCare and the ObamaCare that was created from it compatible with free-market economics? They aren’t, yet Brown says that Mittens is the best candidate in the race.

Another part of this comedy of errors is how Romney, Ryan and Heather Wilson are crying that ObamaCare was paid for by looting Medicare to the tune of 716,000,000,000 bucks. Let me get this straight – these “fiscally-restrained” “free marketers” are complaining that Obama’s scheme to federalize health care is being paid for by robbing Lyndon Johnson’s scheme to federalize health care?

How were George Bush’s TARP bailout and Bush’s bailout of General Motors compatible with free-market economics? They weren’t, yet “Mr. Free-Marketer” Brown insists that the same Romney who supported both bailout plans is the candidate that deserves the libertarian vote.

Yes, Mr. Brown, I’m calling you out as a phony where your “free market economics” creds are concerned. Deal with it.

For what it’s worth, I’m proud to say that I voted for Gary Johnson and Jon Barrie on Wednesday, 24 October. When Gary and Jon talk about their Tea Party values, they actually mean it. Imagine that.

______________________________________________________________________
Mike Blessing
State Chair, Libertarian Party of New Mexico
505-249-1248 / http://lpnm.us/wp

Who owns you? Who runs your life? Who should – you or someone else?
Freedom is the answer – what’s the question?


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Duke City Fix / NMPolitics.org


Copyright © 2012 Libertarian Party of New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises. Webmaster Mike Blessing.
This blog entry created with gedit and Notepad++.

Results from the 9 October UNM Rally

For those wondering how the Gary Johnson UNM Rally for Jobs, Opportunity and Diversity on Tuesday, 9 October 2012 went, here’s some of the details:

I arrived right at about 5:25 PM, after spending about ten minutes looking for a parking lot – the “A” lot was packed. I ended up paying the 7.00 for a spot in the parking structure next to the square by the SUB.

Upon arriving at the ballroom, I dropped off my plastic milk crate full of brochures at the LPNM table manned by Mark Curtis, Ron Bjornstad, Elizabeth Honce, Elisheva Levin, and others.

After dropping off the supplies (it was a bit painful to carry that crate from the parking structure to the ballroom), I met Tom Mahon and Todd Myers where “Jack Gault” was parked. They had a spare Sharpie marker-pen on hand, so I signed the van on the front of the hood – dead-center, right above the edge where the latch is located.

At the same time, I made contact with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon representative and made myself available for my speaking slot.

While waiting for my speaking time, I went to the “green room” and had my picture taken with Gary Johnson.

So I presented my speech, came in at 6:20 – 1:20 longer than the 5 minutes I had planned for. While I didn’t get the standing ovations that later speakers got, several people came up to me afterwards and complimented me on my bit.

Next up for the podium was the Independent American Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate, Jon Barrie. If Jon wasn’t running, I suspect many New Mexico Libertarians would be casting blanks come their time at the ballot “box.” Jon talked for about ten minutes, mentioned that the politicians had their chance (too many chances to be forgiven come the election) to fix things, and ended with a standing ovation from the audience.

Following Jon Barrie was Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation, New Mexico’s only think-tank that supports what the Tea Party claims to support – free-market economics, public-sector fiscal restraint, individual rights and Constitutionally-limited government. Paul talked about what New Mexico needs to prosper as a state.

After Paul, Jim Villanucci of 770 KKOB-AM spoke about how much crap listeners were giving him about his not supporting Mittens. After all, it’s either “you’re for Romney or you’re for Obama,” correct? Not even close – and with that, Jim introduced Gary Johnson as the only candidate in the presidential race worthy of libertarians’ support.

Here’s the video clip on YouTube of Gary’s speech – http://youtu.be/bInmA5MhXTg

What did Gary discuss? First, he talked about his business background – he started Big J Enterprises on his own out of college, built it to 1,000 employees, then sold it in 1999 without having to fire anyone. He said that his business career is just a testament to showing up on time and doing what you say you’ll do for people, maybe a little more.

His unsolicited advice to the audience? Go into business for yourself as opposed to punching someone else’s time-clock – you’ll find it much more rewarding. This dovetails with what I’ve heard from other libertarian entrepreneurs . . . .

Here’s some of his talking points:

  • With everything that you do in life, there are obstacles – you just have to keep going.
  • When he first ran for office (1994), the GOP leadership blew him off as “unelectable,” but he ended up winning the general election.
  • While serving as Governor of New Mexico, he vetoed 750 pieces of legislation – more than the other 49 governors in the country put together. He had thousands of line-item vetoes, taking it to a new level – only two were overriden.
  • With those vetoes, he saved up a few dumptrucks-full of ∅∅∅∅∅∅∅ by cutting out unnecessary spending and blocking regulations that weren’t going to make us the slightest bit safer.
  • The powers-that-be predicted imminent disaster after Johnson’s vetoes, which didn’t happen. Also, he was an equal-opportunity vetoer – he vetoed bad bills from Republicans
  • Of all of the presidential candidates for the 2012 election season, he’s the only one viewed favorably in his home state – “people wave at me with all five fingers, not just one.”
  • Of all the presidential candidates, he had the best record on job creation, except that he didn’t create any jobs as governor – any jobs created were created by the private sector. There was certainty in New Mexico’s regulatory environment, and that makes it easier for the private sector to create jobs.
  • Out of all of the presidential candidates, he has the most “Liberty Torches” from the ACLU (21 out of 24).
  • He’s the only candidate who doesn’t want to bomb or use sanctions against Iran. Iran isn’t the threat to America or anyone else that the hairspray-heads supporting the Imperial District make it out to be.
  • China isn’t a threat to America due to the way the two countries trade with each other.
  • Bring the troops home from Afghanistan now.
  • Military interventions around the world mostly create more enemies for America.
  • Marriage equality is a federal issue and constitutionally guaranteed.
  • He’s the only presidential candidate who wants to end the drug wars now. Over fifty percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Ninety percent of the drug problem is prohibition-related, not user-related.
  • If he had been president after “9/11,” hw would have vetoed the USA-PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the NDAA-2012. “Homeland Security” is incredibly redundant. Let’s leave airport security to the airports, airlines, cities, etc.
  • We need to balance the federal budget now – he promises to submit a balanced budget to Congress for 2013. Otherwise, with the current out-of-control Federal Reserve, we’re looking at a monetary collapse at some point in the future. What we need is a 43 % cut in spending across the board.
  • When someone complains about the idea of a 43 % cut in Medicare spending, the alternative is NO Medicare. (Same goes for the rest of the welfare state, too – tighten the belt or lose your shirt.)
  • Cut military spending by 43 % too – the operative word there is “defense,” not “offense,” not “nation-building.”
  • The current spending situation is the biggest threat to our national security.
  • He’s the only candidate who wants to dump the income tax, corporate tax and replace them with one consumption tax – the “Fair Tax.”
  • He’s the onlt candidate that would shut down the Federal Reserve.

Notes and recollections from the event:

  • The estimated total attendance was around 500 people.
  • Cleanup was rather easy – it mostly consisted of policing up unused campaign supplies that were left behind by attendees.
  • I was expecting someone from the GOP to attempt some sort of disruption – bringing in signs for Romney or Wilson, that sort of thing. Luckily, nothing of the sort happened that I saw.
  • I found some campaign cards from three Republicans running for State-level judgeships on the floor in the seating area – Miles Hanisee, David Standridge, and Samuel Winder. It was also reported to me by event staff that Judge Winder himself had been in the audience.
  • Someone (ID unknown) had apparently issued invitations to both Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson to appear on the speakers’ list. After all, it’s a non-partisan event, due to SAE being a 501-C-3 entity and all. I was told that while Heinrich declined immediately, Wilson dithered and vacillated around about it for two weeks, declining for sure on the Monday before (8 October).
  • About 60 percent of the brochures that I brought with me were picked up by attendees and passerby – which helped a lot on the way back to the parking structure. (Note to self: get a hand-truck for next time!)

All in all, this was the best-attended LPNM event I’ve seen yet in my 18 years with the organization. Thanks to all who made it possible:

The UNM Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Jon Barrie
Ron Bjornstad
Chris Chase
Mark Curtis
Paul Gessing
Susan Ann Holland
Elizabeth Honce
Melanie Hyland
Gary Johnson
Bruce Levin
Elisheva Levin
Tom Mahon
Sean Mallory
Todd Myers
Reviva
Kyle Ruggles
Jim Villanucci
Bob Walsh

Apologies to anyone I’ve omitted – the fault there is entirely mine.


Copyright © 2012 Libertarian Party of New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises. Webmaster Mike Blessing.

This blog entry created with Notepad++.