Libertarian Party

Calderon Willing To Debate Drug Legalization

From TruthDig:

Calderon said he has taken note of the idea of legally regulating drugs in the past.

“It’s a fundamental debate in which I think, first of all, you must allow a democratic plurality (of opinions),” he said. “You have to analyze carefully the pros and cons and the key arguments on both sides.”


Are Public Schools Becoming Prisons?

This comes from J. Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center:

It’s not right for a 6-year-old boy to be handcuffed and shackled to a chair by an armed security officer because he “acted up” in school. But that’s exactly what happened at the Sarah T. Reed Elementary School in New Orleans. In keeping with our work to reform the abusive juvenile justice system in the Deep South, we’ve filed a lawsuit against the school district to stop the brutal and unconstitutional policy of chaining students who break minor school rules.

Our client, J.W., is a typical first-grader. He’s just four feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. He enjoys playing basketball, being read to by his parents, coloring and playing outside with friends. But his school treated him like an animal. Within one week, he was twice forcibly arrested, handcuffed and shackled to a chair for talking back to a teacher and later arguing with a classmate over a seat. The amount of force used on J.W. was simply ridiculous and, predictably, inflicted severe emotional distress. Shockingly, this level of punishment is official school policy. We’re not just fighting for the rights of J.W., but for all the students at Reed Elementary.

Unfortunately, J.W.’s story is hardly unique. All across the nation, schools have adopted draconian “zero-tolerance” policies that treat children like criminals and turn schools into prison-like environments. The primary function of school is to help educate our children so that they can become productive, well-informed adults. These policies do just the opposite — they seize on any opportunity to criminalize behavior and eject children from schools, driving up dropout rates.

The Government’s War on Dogs

A very disturbing trend is occurring in the prosecution of the federal’s government’s “War on Drugs:” an additional war on the country’s canine companions. It started in Maryland in 2008 with the case of a small town mayor:

BERWYN HEIGHTS, Md. (AP) - Mayor Cheye Calvo got home from work, saw a package addressed to his wife on the front porch and brought it inside, putting it on a table.

Suddenly, police with guns drawn kicked in the door and stormed in, shooting to death the couple’s two dogs and seizing the unopened package.

The package had 32 pounds of marijuana, quite a bit of the illegal substance, but certainly not of more worth than the life of a pet.

The trend continued recently with the released video of a raid in Missouri in May, in which dogs can be heard howling as they are shot by a SWAT team:

See Video

(Click on the video to watch)

The next story comes with a raid on an elderly woman in D.C., resulting in the killing of her dog:

GOP Denial Won’t Solve Image Problem

“You’re not one of us, you’re one of THEM, the liberal lovers, the flag burners, country haters, the ones who want to kill god and put Stalin in his place and see this nation destroyed by a sea of brown people and gays. Do you secretly date black men, Parker? You make me sick you sickening sick witch!!!”

That’s what a very - uh - passionate conservative e-mailed to Kathleen Parker after writing a column declaring Sarah Palin to be “out of her league.” Parker has been warning about exactly the same hateful tendencies that I have. Needless to say, I’m apparently now in her traitorous boat. Oh well, I’d rather be in bed with Joe Scarborough, Parker and Chris Buckley than Sarah Palin, Haley Barbour or Michelle Bachman.

In his excellent book Wingnuts, “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” John Avlon wrote of a “joke” posted by Richland County GOP chairman Rusty DePass in which he posted a story about a gorilla gone missing from a local zoo, referring to First Lady Michelle Obama, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors - probably harmless.”

There are many, many more examples. This sort of stuff doesn’t get said in America’s big cities, and the GOP is not helping its case with minorities by having this sort of stuff in its midst while maintaining an overwhelmingly white base, and then subsequently disregarding all those who bring it up as “treasonous” or “liberals.”

Dan Carlin Waxes On Glenn Beck, Tea Parties and Marijuana

My good friend Dan Carlin agreed to another of our infrequent but always amazing interviews. This next one was no less amazing. Carlin sucker-punches Glenn Beck with an absolutely brilliant comment: “In the future, when talking about the Constitution and such becomes thought of as wing-nuttery, we will have Mr. Beck in large part to thank for it.”

Several reports have come out that racial slurs and homophobic slurs were hurled during a tea party rally. What are your thoughts on this?

Well, I think it is hard to know what to think. In this modern media era we live in the stuff about any mass movement that is going to get highlighted in news coverage is the more “colorful” or salacious aspects rather than the sedate, more ho hum ones. This is how things like street theater caught on at protests decades ago. It gives the media something exciting to show or write about. Because if one rock gets thrown through one window at a WTO rally, isn’t that more interesting to play up on the nightly news (or your favorite news website) than trying to make a news story out of a peaceful march by 99% of the rest of the participants? Of course it is.  Everyone has a job to do, News stations included. They want you to watch their program, and the age-old news phrase “if it bleeds it leads” is a reflection of the fact that rock throwing and name-calling is interesting and peaceful marches and policy debates are not. So, I am always careful about these things.

This is not to excuse elements of the Tea Party that may exhibit those tendencies.  But, to be honest, I care more about the fact that they seem to have been co-opted by the Neo-Con/Palin/Beck types than what a couple of people in a crowd of Tea Partiers may have yelled out.

Elections, And Why The American Economy Will Collapse

I know what you’re thinking: man that Pete is a positive guy. I like to describe myself as realistic, with a bit of fatalism throw in. Either way, I find it hard to look at the economic landscape and have any hope. It is especially dreadful when politicians have to get re-
elected, AND said politicians consult certain “economists”.

Economists have for years looked at what is happening in a society and sought to come up with solutions as to how an economic crisis can be “fixed”. The problem is, like in all fields, you have good economists, and you have the not so good (The latter seem to be the ones that always find their way onto the public payroll).

In extremely broad terms economists can be split into two categories:

1. The “good” economist traces what a policy can do not only in the present, but 
in the future; AND what it does for not only one segment of society, 
but the whole.

2. The “bad” economist does the exact opposite; they examine only what 
will fix the present issue and usually concentrate on only one segment of 
the population.

If you are a student of American history your eyes should be opening as to which economist is most often chosen by our elected officials. The real question is “why”?

Well, why wouldn’t a politician pick economist #2?

Who Hijacked American Foreign Policy?

Way back in July of 2003 Ron Paul wrote an article entitled “We’ve Been Neo-Conned” in which he laid out facts showing that the “Neo-Con” philosophy had taken over the foreign policy of the USA (For a quick primer on the Neo-Conservative movement please click the link above). As I was reading this article one question kept repeating in my head:

“How did it come to this?

The only place to start I believe is with the American person (notice I didn’t use the plural “people”). I will use myself as an example since I believe my story is common to many modern-day libertarians and members of the Liberty movement.

In short, I was raised a Reagan Republican, became a Neo-Con after 9/11, converted to a Goldwater conservative after the invasion of Iraq and became a full-fledged libertarian after finding the writings of Murray Rothbard(OK, maybe every libertarian didn’t become one because of Murray but I think many have a similar story).

But here is what I believe is key in my story and the reason why there aren’t more capital “L” Libertarians: I didn’t get their foreign policy. Like many I actually referred to myself as libertarian on social and monetary issues, but not when it came to our “enemies”. I hear the same from freedom loving people over and over again, especially in the wake of 9/11.

The reason the Neo-Cons were able to seize power is FEAR. I am not putting anybody down because of it. I can certainly relate, but we still have to figure out why the American person is allowing our government todrop bombs and declare war on anybody they want to while we cheer them on. When does fear translate to lunacy?

Barr: GOP “in very deep trouble”

Bob Barr was on CNN this morning to discuss the departure of Arlen Specter from the Republican Party:

Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr said Saturday it’s hard to “overestimate the damage” that’s been inflicted on the Republican Party — not only with this week’s defection of Sen. Arlen Specter, but also the “lack of any coherent philosophy, vision or leadership.”

“The Republican Party is in very deep trouble right now,” Barr said in an interview with CNN.

Barr, who was once a loyal soldier in the GOP, joined the Libertarian Party in 2006 and was the party’s presidential candidate in 2008.

The ex-Republican said he doesn’t feel like he relates to Specter’s reasons for switching to the Democratic Party. “Where I came from there really was a philosophical basis for leaving the Republican Party,” Barr said.

MIAC Report Labeling Ron Paul Supporters Domestic Terrorists Rescinded

Contributor Jason Pye recently reported on the government report emanating from Missouri which labeled supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr as possible domestic terrorist suspects.  Because of the immense public outcry, the report has been rescinded and apologies issued.

From John Tate, Executive Director of the Campaign for Liberty-

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Although it sometimes seems that freedom is shrinking everywhere we turn, the fact is a powerful grassroots stand can still stop Big Government bureaucrats in their tracks.

Elected Republican Goes Libertarian

Ed Coleman, an elected Republican, has officially switched his affiliation to the Libertarian Party. Coleman is a city-county councilman in the Indianapolis-Marion County government. The full story can be found here on the website for the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

This is an act of incredible courage by Mr. Coleman who has put aside his party allegience which helped him get elected. He will now have to face the unfair challenges of being a member of a third party if and when he pursues re-election. This is also an impressive coup by the LP of Indiana who have been making measurable strides towards being a legitimate threat to the establishment.

Congratulations to both Mr. Coleman and the LP.

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