George H.W. Bush: Legacy of Crimes

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Franc Turner 12/8/2018

By the looks of the news reports, one would get the impression that George H.W. Bush was a great man, a great President, and a champion of freedom. It’s even more surprising when these sentiments, which propel the former President to nearly saint-like status, come from “liberalmedia outlets. But then again, this is how propaganda works; and it goes to show how short people’s attention spans really are.

While I do not celebrate the passing of anyone, I also will not pretend that #41 was a noble person who deserves scores of accolades upon his demise. It would be the equivalent of the news media praising Charles Manson and pretending he was a great and humble person when he passes. The only thing both of these guys were great at was brainwashing people into committing mass murder to further their own agenda.

While promoting himself as a champion of christian and family values, George H.W. Bush was responsible for more innocent deaths than any modern day mass shooter could’ve ever dreamed of. Yet, you’ll never hear that from an anchor on CNN.

All one has to do is look up Bush Sr.’s role in the funding and arming of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This was before his own administration fabricated justifications to sway public opinion for U.S. intervention in the first Persian Gulf conflict (see Nayirah al-Sabah’s false testimony). One can also look at Bush Sr.’s involvement in the Iran Contra scandal, and his subsequent pardoning of those who were involved when he, himself, became President. The “humble” nature of Bush Sr. can also be seen in the events his government facilitated at Ruby Ridge. Not to mention the fact that his CIA was largely responsible for drug trafficking into the United States. Bush and company were publicly engaged in the farce called the “war on drugs”; against the very drug culture that they, themselves, fostered.

As far as Bushes go, he definitely was not the only member of his family who turned out to be an authoritarian lunatic. His father, Prescott Bush, along with others, wanted to overthrow FDR’s administration and install a fascist dictatorship modeled after Hitler’s Germany while simultaneously funneling money to Nazi Germany through his Union Banking Corporation. And it goes without saying that George Bush, Jr. followed in his family’s footsteps, initiating a multi-generational War on Terror which has destroyed countless more lives while fueling the very terror it said it would eradicate.

News outlets are more than happy (and pathologically programmed) to condemn people’s everyday speech and apparent political leanings. They condemn one’s support (or lack thereof) for specific modern day puppet politicians. They declare insignificant opinions/statements/jokes/actions as being completely unacceptable, “shame-worthy”, racist, and “fascist”. They even go so far as to inspire groups who call themselves “anti-fascists”; or more popularly, “antifa.” Yet when it comes to an actual fascist family who epitomizes every one of those characteristics, the media calls them patriotic and humble servants, implying they are/were genuine leaders who deserve our respect, adoration, and remembrance.

This reinforces the idea that our leaders have the United States’ best interests at heart, and have worked towards making life better for those of us at home. In the words of George Carlin, “The government doesn’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you… at all. At all. AT ALL.” I’m willing to bet that this same kind of emotional outpouring and adulation will also be given to Trump twenty or so years from now by the same media who apparently despise him today, and/or by everyday liberals. Because by that time, a different puppet president will be in office and he/she will be the focus of ire for people who have forgotten the crimes of the past.

George Orwell, himself, would probably look at these whitewashings of history today and say, “Yeah, like that. I tried to warn you guys.”

“War is Peace! Ignorance is Strength! Slavery is Freedom!” -George Orwell; from the novel 1984.

 

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Borders, Public and Private

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Kris Morgan 6/5/18

Borders perform a very important function in society. They define the parameters of all land owned. In political form, they establish government territory. In the private realm, property lines make it possible for us to live in communities together while maintaining our autonomy. This topic is essential, as libertarians seek to perfect a system of thought grounded in property rights and the non-aggression principle. Exploring the differences between public and private borders can help to guide us on what a proper policy should be.

Private borders are older than public borders. In pre-civilization times, this would have included every fruit or vegetable picked, every animal hunted, every shelter erected, etc. Because of this, private borders are as old as mankind. Since ownership of resources is always changing, so are our boundaries.

Because private borders are necessary to distribute scarce resources needed for survival, protection thereof is completely justified. We utilize resources to advance the cause of our own lives; attempts to use other people’s property, with no regard for the preferences of the rightful owners, is never justified. Possession of resources is only justly gained through homestead, trade, or gift.

Political borders are different. They are put in place by populations that have already applied their own allocations of property. The goal of political borders is to help create an authority to oversee conflict resolution, facilitate peaceful trade, and to represent the area in which the government operates. This creates an overlap of ownership claims between public and private entities. By seizing the power to tax, regulate, and employ eminent domain measures, states take on aspects of ownership of everything in their borders. Those who reside within accept the relationship as a trade-off for the benefits of protection. This is the root of Social Contract Theory.

Thus, in order to have political borders, private property rights must be infringed upon. First, taxes have to be collected to fund their defense. Second, since the land in question is not owned under the just methods of homestead, trade, or gift, any force used against those violating public borders is aggressive rather than defensive. When private parties use threats and coercion to keep others out of land they do not own themselves, we typically think of it as gangs or mobsters establishing dominance in a territory.

In addition, there are other differences which should be highlighted. Unlike private borders, political lines must be rigid for long-lasting stability. Navigating life is challenging enough without constantly changing laws and regulations. When our political boundaries remain the same, the population is able to adapt to the rules and work in a cooperative fashion. Everyone knows what to expect and property transfers are easily done. When borders and ruling parties are in flux, that stability is lost. Nobody can keep up with present standards and economic activity is stifled. Many believe the most effective strategy to have a long-lasting border is through immigration control.

The Pew Research Center reported in 2015 there were about 11mil unauthorized immigrants in the US. Since we have been officially at war in the Middle East since 2001, it is easy to understand why this is problematic. The War on Terror makes security a serious concern for both Republicans and Democrats. Where they disagree is how to address those who already reside within our borders illegally.

On one hand, Republicans think the best course of action is zero tolerance and 100% prosecution of individuals entering the country illegally. Deterrence is the rationale behind the move. While it’s difficult to deny the logic, some believe such measures hurt others more than they protect us. Critics of the current administration are focusing on how border policy is separating families.

On the other hand, Democrats support a path to citizenship. According to ontheissues, “Undocumented immigrants within our borders who clear a background check, work hard and pay taxes should have a path to earn full participation in America. We will hasten family reunification for parents and children, husbands and wives, and offer more English-language and civic education classes so immigrants can assume all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.”

The current libertarian solution to the border question is what one might expect. Our nation’s economic policies should not provide any extra incentives for people to come, nor should we allow immigrants to enter without a background check, given our current state of war. Those here illegally should be given the opportunity to stay, provided they clear a check (being here illegally does not warrant criminal prosecution).

If libertarians are to make a rational border policy a priority, the first step is to resolve our ridiculous foreign policy of endless warfare. With terrorism as the chosen tactic of our enemies, the population will never support open borders until peace is achieved. This position is understandable. Terrorists operate in sleeper cells, often with members maintaining low profiles until activated — Not exactly ideal circumstances for unimpeded movement of people and property.

Secondly, the practice of giving undocumented immigrants government benefits has to stop. In an article critical of the view that illegal aliens are draining the treasury, econofact noted “Programs that serve undocumented immigrants include school meal programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Head Start, and various in-kind emergency services. Undocumented immigrants are also eligible for Emergency Medicaid.” This may be a far cry from many right-wing claims that illegal immigrants are breaking the bank, but it is still unfair to local taxpayers.

I hope by this point that the issue of border security is straightforward. The border issue is really a symptom of poor foreign and economic policy. The duopoly has managed our government’s power so poorly that implementing reasonable border standards is not something the public is going to support. Until we get our welfare/warfare state in check, our country will continue down the path of becoming a closed society, which is what Trump’s wall proposal symbolizes.

If we don’t want to lose our souls in the process of defending our country, we should focus our efforts on fixing what is wrong. Adding additional evils to manage the ones we already have can only prove futile in the long-run. First came the wall proposal, then the travel ban, and now tariffs are putting Americans out of work. A great deal of economic activity in the US relies on foreign trade. The more steps we take towards closing ourselves off, the more negative unintended consequences we will face.

 

Reflections on Libertarianism and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

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Travis Hallman,  5/10/2018

Much has already been written about the Founders of this nation being Deists rather than orthodox Christians. That is, they had a worldview that a Supreme Being created the world and set things in motion, but then backed off from intervening in nature and human affairs. Nevertheless, part of that understanding was that the Creator had given human beings inalienable rights, and that when such rights were jeopardized by a tyrannical government, it is justified to rebel against it. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [sic] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Even though active participation in organized Christianity has declined in America, it is worthwhile to explore the compatibility between the ideals of Libertarianism and the Judeo-Christian tradition that has shaped our history. One of the principles of Libertarianism is that, as Jefferson stated above, governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” A large majority of the governed have accepted the judeo-christian tradition as the basis for our national culture, even if they don’t participate in organized religion.

Judeo-Christian tradition first came to America along with the European colonizers who started settling in North America at the end of the 16th century and beginning of the 17th century. They saw themselves as the Chosen People of God—children of Abraham by faith if not by lineage. Therefore, they felt they had a God-given right to take land that was already occupied by a large, well-developed civilization. This follows how the ancient Israelites had taken land they believed was promised to them by God, even though it was already inhabited by the Canaanites.

Therefore, it is important to understand how both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament shaped the mindset of the European colonizers. The history of the Hebrews involves a people who had been enslaved in Egypt. In a dramatic and seemingly miraculous rescue, they escaped their bondage, and after a period of wandering in the wilderness, were successful in wrestling the land of Canaan away from its original inhabitants. Importantly, however, they were commanded to continually ritually remember their origins.

In the beginning of their occupation, the Hebrews were organized in a loose confederation of twelve tribes, each independent of the others, with respected elders giving guidance. Whenever an external threat arose from surrounding peoples, a charismatic leader (called a “judge”) would emerge to galvanize the tribes to band together to respond to the threat. When the threat was defeated, the judge would return to obscurity. This seemed to work well and runs parallel to the Libertarian value of local government, where leaders are known and actions are taken by consensus of the community.

However, the Israelites began looking at other nations around them and became anxious about their growth in political power and influence. Around 1000 BCE, the Israelites began to clamor that they needed a king to protect them from the surrounding nations. The prophet Samuel warned them that this was not necessary because God was their king and was watching over them. If they adopted a human king, the result would lead to taxation, conscription of young persons to serve in the military, and in forced labor. Nevertheless, the people persisted, and Samuel anointed a man named Saul as the first King of Israel, claiming him to be the one God had chosen. This story is recounted in 1 Samuel 8-9.

Samuel’s prediction came true and a century later, during the time of King Solomon, the taxation and conscription had become so onerous that it led to civil war and the dividing of the land into two kingdoms—Israel in the north and Judah in the south. It seems the natural tendency of government is to become bloated and bureaucratic.

One of the basic tenets of Libertarianism is non-aggression toward one’s neighbors and their property. This value can be compared to the Golden Rule espoused by most religions. Jesus stated it as part of his famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:12): “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the Law and the prophets.” According to the Jewish Talmud, Rabbi Hillel, who was a contemporary of Jesus, taught something very similar based on his understanding of the Jewish Law (Torah). It is unfortunate that the European settlers did not apply this Golden Rule to the native inhabitants already living in North America, nor to the African slaves brought to the continent.

The summary of the Ten Commandments, according to Jesus, was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40) Later, the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther would write in his Small Catechism that the commandments are not just prohibitive, but are also prescriptive—that is, calling for benevolent proactive actions on behalf of one’s neighbors. For example, in explaining the commandment, “You shall not steal,” Luther said that it is not enough merely to refrain from stealing from a neighbor oneself, but also to “help them improve and protect their property and income.” Similarly, the commandment against murder admonishes us to likewise “help and support them in all of life’s needs.” Certainly Libertarians encourage voluntary support and encouragement of one’s neighbors.

At issue for Libertarians is using government coercion through taxation to redistribute wealth and resources to those in need, rather than relying on voluntary altruism. There is evidence to suggest that non-profit social service agencies—both faith-based and secular—have a better and more efficient track record of meeting human needs than government agencies. They also tend to be marked with genuine compassion and they enable volunteers to support with their time, energy, and skills, as well as financially.

The prophet Ezekiel pointed this out in Chapter 34 of the book that bears his name in the Hebrew Scriptures. “Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?” he cries out in verse two. In this context, “shepherds” refers to politicians. There was a sense in Judaism that the King and his administration should provide for the minimum needs of the populous. But as with Samuel’s earlier warning that only God could be the rightful king, so, too, Ezekiel says that only God is the Good Shepherd.

Jesus also called himself the Good Shepherd, in one of his statements meant to associate himself as the Messiah, the Chosen agent of God—or, as Christians believe, God himself. There is a curious story about Jesus concerning the payment of taxes (found in Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; and Luke 20:20-26). The Jewish authorities try to trap him by asking whether or not one should pay taxes. If he said yes, then he would alienate his fellow Jews, who hated the Roman taxes imposed on them. If he said no, he risked arrest from the Roman authorities. Wisely, he asked them to produce a coin, and then asked whose likeness was on the coin. The answer, of course, was the Emperor, Caesar. Then Jesus responded, “Therefore, give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” On the surface, that may sound like Jesus is supportive of paying taxes. But his skillful and enigmatic answer leaves the question open, “Are taxes actually legitimate? Do they actually belong to the government?” Yes, the government mints money to regulate and expedite commerce, one could argue, therefore it legitimately deserves a tax to pay for that industry. But is it proper and ethical for any government to mint money at all? If so, should bartering also be taxed? These are issues of great concern to Libertarians.

There is actually a subversive undertone to Jesus’ answer about taxes in this passage. For both Jews and Christians believe that everything ultimately belongs to God. So essentially, Jesus is saying, pay taxes if you want, but remember that God created everything, and so it ALL belongs to God.

There are two more passages in the New Testament that need some consideration in terms of what the Bible says about government. The first is Romans 13:1-7 and the second is 1 Peter 2:13-17. Both have been traditionally used by Christians in support of government. It is important to note that many Biblical scholars think those verses in Romans are a later addition and not necessarily a part of Paul’s original letter. Similarly, most scholars agree that the letters bearing Peter’s name were NOT written by the leader of the twelve apostles, Simon Peter.

It is also important to note the context of the time in which these words were written. Christianity was a very small sect within the Roman Empire, and somewhat in competition with Judaism. Therefore, it was beneficial for Jewish leaders to foster enmity against the Christians on the part of the Roman Empire. Christians were said to be impious and seditious because they would not worship the Emperor as a god. These passages were specifically written in order to convey reassurance that Christians were not organized to oppose the rule of Rome.

Centuries later, European Christians living under Nazi power would wrestle with obedience to a government that embraced persecution of the Jews as legal. Some Christians concluded that when laws are unjust, there is a higher divine law that takes precedence. In our own times, the modern Sanctuary movement, in which Christian churches provide safety to undocumented immigrants, hiding them from immigration authorities, is similarly practiced because immigration laws and punitive enforcement of them are deemed unjust.

Finally, we should note that the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John, has a very dystopic view of government. Written at the height of Roman persecution of Christianity, it noted that persons could not even conduct commerce—neither buy nor sell—without the stamped approval of the Empire. Libertarians question the multitude of professional and business licenses that are necessary, all of them supported by fees to the State. This book seems to be the antithesis of the passages from Romans and 1 Peter quoted earlier.

This is a very brief overview of some of the ways Judeo-Christian heritage intersects with Libertarian thinking. Judeo-Christian heritage and Libertarian thinking intersections are largely important because consistency improves legitimacy for a philosophy. Questioning, studying, then adopting the values upheld by Judeo-Christians and the values upheld by Libertarians is an option that empowers the individual to have a structured philosophy for decision-making that consistently remains non-contradictory. Neither Judaism nor Christianity are monolithic. There is a wide diversity of opinions within each religious tradition. This article can help Christians to be reminded that no government is perfect, and there is enough overlap between Libertarian principles and Christian principles not to outright reject Libertarianism.

 

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

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Four Dead In Ohio

Kent State Shooting

By Jennifer Flower  4/23/2018

Imagine being a college student and seeing your sibling, high school classmates, or even acquaintances drafted into military service without any say in the matter. Imagine being worried you could be drafted into a war overseas you didn’t understand the reasons for fighting. Imagine then 1,000 National Guard Troops descending on your campus. It seems far-fetched today, but in reality, we are still debating, discussing and protesting many of the same issues that came to a head 48 years ago today.

A group of students were protesting the Vietnam War spreading into Cambodia. The students and police had increasing confrontations, with the police accusing some students of throwing things at them. The Ohio National Guard was called in on May 2nd. The confrontations escalated over the next two days, culminating in the tragic death of several students.

In the days leading up to the Kent State Massacre, there was vandalism in downtown Kent, Ohio. Police officers claimed to have been hit by bottles thrown by protesters. Bars had to close early and a curfew was imposed on the residents. The Kent State ROTC Building was also burned down. No one to this day knows with certainty who started the fire, but it is now believed to have been a group of radical protesters who were not students.

Governor Rhodes further inflamed tensions by calling the protesting students “the worst type of people that we harbor in America.” A group of fully equipped National Guard members using tear gas and bayonets eventually opened fire on a crowd of students. Four students were killed and nine were injured. Two of the murdered students, not even involved in the protests, were simply walking to class.

The father of one of the victims on the day after the shooting said “Is dissent a crime? Have we come to such a state in the country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?”

No accounts indicate that the students committed violence against any person. However, It does appear that the student protesters initiated force through vandalism, violating the Non-Aggression Principle. The perpetrators should have been held responsible for the damaged property.

This option of obtaining restitution from the protesters, however, was taken off the table the moment the National Guard began firing on unarmed students. During the protests, there were up to 3,000 protesters and approximately 1,000 Guardsmen on and around Kent State University. But it’s unclear how many active protesters there were at the time of the incident, as there were students and onlookers walking around campus and simply walking to classes. There were 77 Guardsmen. 28 fired upon the crowd, shooting 70 rounds over a 13 second period.

Freedom of assembly and speech are what Libertarian theory consider Natural Rights and they are protected in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The students absolutely had a right to protest the Vietnam War and to peacefully assemble to demand their voices be heard. They did not have the right to commit vandalism.

The National Guard escalated the confrontations all the way up to shooting indiscriminately into a crowd of students. There is no justification for that and indeed the shooting did not make students at other universities around the country think twice about protesting the war. It only served to escalate and inflame the already heightened tensions of protests around the country.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We still have tensions on college campuses as to the direction of free speech on campus. Should students be required to stay within “free speech” zones on campuses? If they’re on the grounds of a public university, should students be free to openly exercise their first amendment rights of assembly and speech without interference since it should be considered public land?

President Trump announced that the US military was bombing Syria in retaliation to an alleged chemical weapons attack on Syrian Civilians and the US Military recently killed “a couple hundred” Russians in Syria in February of 2018; which could have spiraled out of control almost instantly. Increased outcry against escalating military intervention has been seen from all ends of the political spectrum.

Those who don’t gain the wisdom of the past will repeat its mistakes. It’s ok if we, as a society, are still figuring out how to handle freedom of speech on college campuses. It’s ok to discuss exactly what that “red line” is that would require US intervention overseas. Any time we have the opportunity to learn from our past, we should strive to. It is how we will progress as a society. It should be clear that the Libertarian standard is to wage peace and speak freely, even the most unpopular opinions.

Tin Soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
– Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

 

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Life’s Great Balancing Act: Why True Privatization Is The Only Realistic Solution To Society’s Complexity

balancing

Kris Morgan 4/7/2018

Libertarian icon and author of The Privatization of Roads and Highways Walter Block has said “If it moves: privatize it. If it doesn’t move: privatize it. Since everything either moves or doesn’t move: privatize everything.” Many, though not all, libertarians echo this sentiment. The concept of privatizing everything from road construction to police and military service might sound far-fetched or even outlandish to many, however, before analyzing the benefits, it is prudent to present the libertarian meaning of privatization.

When liberals and conservatives use the term privatize, they are usually referring to a situation in which government outsources a service to private contractors. Funding still comes from taxation. Since the rules are different for private parties, the management style can be altered.

For example, according to the Heritage Foundation (a conservative source), states have saved money by ‘privatizing’ prisons. “By putting prisoners to work and paying them competitive wages, many private companies are reducing prison costs for the government by withholding earnings for taxes, room and board, family support, and victim’s compensation.” Beneficial as this may sound, this is not how libertarians define privatization.

For a service to be privatized there can be no government contracts, special favors, subsidies, or even stringent regulations. Monetary resources cannot be provided through taxes. Anything other than a strict enforcement of property rights places politicians in the position of either managing an entire economic sector, deciding who succeeds and who fails, or both. Under such conditions businesses appeal to the powerful rather than the people. This form of organization makes privatization a technicality rather than a truly competitive market directed at consumer preferences.

Privatizing services in the libertarian sense would mean entrepreneurs make their own capital investments and aim at satisfying consumer demand. They would not only produce the product, but they’d also have to persuade the public to purchase it freely. Failure to economize efficiently would result in bankruptcy and the reallocation of resources into the hands of more competent competitors. Since economic growth is rooted in pleasing consumers, the marketplace is not only the best strategy, it is the only realistic one. Anyone can make a profit when the public has no choice but to hand over their money.

On the other hand, politics encourages black and white thinking. Pondering economic questions in simple terms of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is overly simplistic. Consider all the economic questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis. Even going to work often involves internal debate. “Do I feel like going to work? Can I spare taking today off? What repairs need done to my house? My car? Is there overtime available?” 

Likewise, consider the basic questions we ask when we shop: “Do I really want that? What do I miss out on if I get it? Is there another way to satisfy this need without making this purchase?”

Notice the subjective nature of most questions. No politician can answer such a query for people they have never had contact with, and even if they could, solidifying decisions into law eliminates the ability of people to change their minds. This is the basis of what F.A. Hayek called the pretense of knowledge.

To believe that a handful of bureaucrats can direct economic activity on behalf of everyone efficiently is to assume knowledge no group of people can possibly have, no matter the size or intelligence. Knowing needs and wants in terms of yes or no is not good enough. One must not only know the cost everyone is willing to pay to achieve their ends, but also foresee all future events which could cause them to rethink their choices. There is simply no way to account for all of life’s variables.  

In addition to being economically impractical, the framing of debate in such simple terms is divisive. This is most apparent when it comes to the topic of abortion. The pro-life side of the debate believes their opponents are complicit in murder. The pro-choice side portrays their antagonists as tyrants who want to force their own moral standards on everyone, since it disregards a woman’s right to her own body. What if both sides are merely being hyperbolic, and the issue is more complex than we are willing to admit?

Life is a constant balancing act. Our mortality and physical limitations make everything we do an economic decision, as everything has opportunity costs. Even leisure time is purchased with forgone productive activity. Privatizing everything empowers us all with the opportunity to balance the costs and benefits of every good or service in existence. It also has the advantage of creating an atmosphere of competition, putting pressure on producers to be efficient in their endeavors.

When people are forced to buy a product (security for example) they are robbed of their right to choose. We all want security, but what are the chances that we all want the same amount of security, from the same people, and at the same price? Everyone has their own set of genes and their own life experiences and values to reflect on, not to mention their own circumstances. Do we honestly think it’s wise to keep our most important services one-size-fits-all?

 

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Who Are The Cronies Part I: War

cronyism-out-of-control

Kris Morgan 2/5/2018

Crony capitalism is a catchphrase that crosses all political ideologies. In libertarian circles, one is also exposed to sophisticated sounding jargon like military-industrial complex. Unfortunately the specifics are rarely discussed. Who are these crony capitalists who align themselves with big government to benefit at the expense of the rest of the population? Since we have been at endless war since 2001, the logical place to start is with military suppliers.

According to USA Today, the ten companies which profit the most from war are: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Bae Systems, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, EADS, Finmeccanica, L-3 Communications, and United Technologies. A profile of the top five CEOs is in order.

 

Marillyn Hewson

hewson

Marillyn Hewson became CEO of Lockheed Martin in 2013. According to bizjournals.com she made $25.13million in spite of having a base pay of $1.34 million. “The company bases its CEO’s final salary mostly on meeting long-term goals, and 73 percent of her target salary comes from long-term incentives. Annual incentives are 17 percent of her salary. Her base salary is 10 percent of her pay. Salon.com reported in 2016 Lockheed Martin “received a generous $220 million gift from Connecticut taxpayers to keep its Sikorsky Aircraft division in the city of Stratford.”

Hewson by the numbers:

Base salary: $1.34 million

Stock awards: $8.16 million

Incentive Plan compensation: $5.98 million

Pension earnings: $9.41 million

Other compensation: $238,150

Total: $25.16 million

 

Dennis Muilenburg

Muilenburg

Dennis Muilenburg became CEO of Boeing in 2015 and acquired a base pay of $1.6 million. Boeing makes military aircrafts, including B-52 bombers, F-15 Eagles, H-47 Chinooks, and more, according to their webpage. On top of his base pay he could earn an Annual incentive award of $2.72 million and 18,709 Stock units when he takes over. Subsidy Tracker noted that from 2000 to present, Boeing has received $14,444,913,320 in subsidies awarded.

 

Phebe Novakovic

Novakovic

Phebe Novakovic is the chief executive at General Dynamics (GD). GD is involved in aviation, land vehicles, marine systems and more. Novakovic has been CEO since 2013 with a higher base salary than Hewson, at $1.5 million. She was able to secure an additional $4 million in bonuses and other long-term compensation which was difficult to quantify. Fiscal Year (FY) 2000 to present, GD received $466,504,107 in awarded subsidies.

 

Thomas A. Kennedy

RAYTHEON THOMAS KENNEDY

Thomas A. Kennedy is in charge at Raytheon. According to Raytheon.com, they provide goods in missile defense, command and control, sensors and imaging, electronic warfare, and precision weapons. Salary.com reported in 2017 Kennedy earned $13,772,854 in base pay, bonuses, and stock awards. Raytheon has received $256,502,031 in subsidies awarded from FY 2000 to present.

 

Wes Bush

Bush

Wes Bush (no relation to the two former U.S. Presidents) has been the big boss at Northrop Grumman since 2010. The company makes B-2 Spirits, B-21 Raiders, and X-47B strikers on top of other products. Bush was able to make over $16 million in 2016, with a $1.53 million base pay, while acting as CEO, Chairman, and President. Northrop Grumman received $1,079,415,526 in subsidies from FY 2000 to present.

As I write this article, I’ve also set aside the time to read Scott Horton’s brilliant book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. I leave the reader to ponder the following quote:

“…then came legions of New York and Washington, D.C. based pressure groups subsidized by America tax dollars that had been laundered through defense firms like Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. These companies recycle a small fraction of the money they make from weapons contracts in the form of donations to think tanks and institutions of ‘experts’ from the ‘foreign policy community,’ who write up endless ‘studies,’ rationalizations and justifications for staying the course in the War on Terror.”

 

Part II                                                           Part III                                                       Part IV

 

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Envisioning a 12-Step Limited Government

12step

By Travis Hallman 11/30/2017

The speakers in 12-step meetings are remarkably inspiring. They have a genuine understanding of serenity and the necessary steps to attain it. One wonders what a government would look like if its representatives applied the same simple principles to its policies. Here is a presentation of each step and how they can be applied to government.

Limiting our government using a 12-step program would require more effort than any individual could offer. It would challenge communities to elect local, state, and national representatives which support limited power.

Step 1:

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Adjusted:

We admitted we were powerless over others—that people were unmanageable by government.

  Applied:

Prohibition is ineffective and immoral.
“The United States has focused its efforts on the criminalization of drug use. The government has, to no avail, spent billions of dollars attempting  to eradicate the supply of drugs. Efforts of interdiction and law enforcement have not produced decreases in the availability of drugs in America. Apart from being costly, drug law enforcement has been counterproductive. Current drug laws need to be relaxed.”
These principles could be applied to any form of prohibition. Prohibiting non-violent activities drives demand into black markets which negatively affects every aspect of society.
Government tactics for modifying behavior through punishment have been costly and ineffective. Friends, family, and local community programs have much greater ability to tailor solutions to the struggling individual’s personality..

Step 2:

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Adjusted:

Came to believe that a community greater than ourselves could restore our government to sanity.

Applied:

Governments extorting people (via taxes) to fund departments such as the DEA, FDA, EPA, DoE, CIA, FBI, IRS, NSA, etc that are not only immoral but impractical.

Step 3:

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him

Adjusted:

Made a decision to turn our government and representing politicians over to the care of the community as we understood it

Applied:

It is well known that many politicians pass bills in the interest of their lobbyists. This is called crony capitalism. However, limiting businesses that partake in lobbying would be immoral and detrimental as they provide valuable products and services to the community. The solution is to elect representatives which consistently support free markets. “A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody could open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market would have no taxes, eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market would not allow bailouts, allowing businesses to have setbacks, and avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. These economic freedoms would enable new competition to compete more efficiently.” –How Free Markets Empower Green Markets

Case in point: Corporations do not tend to donate large sums of money to libertarian campaigns because in a free market, which libertarians support, that would be a conflict of interest.

Step 4:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Adjusted:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our government.

Applied:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” –Nelson Mandela
If we perform a moral efficiency audit of various government programs, we will discover many are ineffective and immoral. Officials keep a self-determined portion of that income, spend ample amounts on services most Americans deem undesirable, and give only a small amount to citizens on welfare. Welfare limits the amount of income individuals can earn, resulting in multiple dependent generations who often seek non-taxable income elsewhere. Voluntary Socialism would be a moral and efficient means of establishing a safety net within our communities. The list of flaws in government operated welfare highlights what happens when government restricts freedoms. Other examples include immigration; foreign policy; and prohibition of various civil liberties.

Step 5:

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Adjusted:

Admitted to our community, to ourselves, and to others the exact nature of wrongs by our government.

Applied:

Ignorance is bliss until we realize it allows government to limit the liberties of others and ultimately ourselves.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” –Martin Niemöller
Avoiding intellectual discussion results in people continuing to vote in a manner that precipitates the nightmare presented by Martin Niemöller. We must engage in intellectual discussions about the wrongs of our government in order to make changes.

Step 6:

We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Adjusted:

We’re entirely ready to have our community remove all these defects of government.

Applied:

Limiting government will require responsibility within ourselves, our families, and our communities. Currently governments incarcerate children caught using drugs, whereas a 12-step limited government would allow the family, friends, and community to rehabilitate them.

Step 7:

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Adjusted:

Humbly asked our community to remove the shortcomings of our government.

Applied:

Having a community remove the shortcomings of our government consists of electing limited-government politicians, and replacing excessive or incompetent departments with voluntary charities and organizations which are more compassionate and efficient.

Step 8:

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Adjusted:

Made a list of all persons our government had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Applied:

Most people have been harmed by our government somehow by either having money extorted from them via taxes, earning a criminal record for non-aggressive offenses, prohibition from non-aggressive activities, or something altogether different. Making amends by establishing voluntary safety nets, rehabilitation centers, halfway houses, etc, would encourage these persons to vote for limited-government politicians; making dependence on the government no longer necessary. The aforementioned businesses could be for profit, competing in a free market, costing less per consumer, with higher quality than government operated/regulated non-profit businesses.

Step 9:

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Adjusted:

Made direct amends to such people harmed by government wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Applied:

Returning all taxes collected and expunging all non-aggressive criminal records would directly amend people harmed by the government. Furthermore, allowing citizens to voluntarily choose which government programs to support during tax season would be a benevolent deed to follow up with direct amends. Concurrently allowing socialist programs to be funded by the free market, creating a voluntary tax system, and making legal immigration easier would encourage undocumented immigrants to become documented.
Darryl Perry stated how to best make amends during the 2016 LP presidential debate: “How many people in here, (and I actually do want a show of hands,) love grandma’s? How many of you would donate money to feed grandma’s? I do not see a single person that did not raise their hand. That’s how you fund social security, medicaid, and medicare.”
Voluntary Socialism would provide a more efficient and moral solution to the problems caused by government.

Step 10:

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Adjusted:

Continued to take personal inventory of our government and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

Applied:

Limiting government officials will be an endless task. We will need to work together (to assess the damages so far), analyze the data with realistic goals, and continue educating new voters about the dangers of a powerful government.

Step 11:

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Adjusted:

Sought to improve our conscious contact with representatives, only for their knowledge of our will for us and the power to carry that out.

Applied:

It is our responsibility to remain in contact with  our legislators, informing them of our wishes. By remaining active in our communities we ensure our voices are heard and our representatives held accountable.

Step 12:

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Adjusted:

Having had a political awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other communities, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Applied:

Caring for other communities as we care for our own is essential to establishing federal liberties for our states. Focusing on single States would likely create a domino effect by setting an example of success for other states to follow. Once several states prove the success of liberty, voters nationwide would be more likely to elect liberty-minded Representatives at federal levels.

Conclusion

The Libertarian Party consistently supports limited-government via free markets, social tolerance, decreasing border controls, and not intervening in foreign affairs. Voting for libertarians at local, state, and federal levels expresses care for others as much as oneself. “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty — a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values.” Correspondingly, selfishness isn’t taught to be necessary for recovery anywhere in the 12-step program.

12-step slogans that align with libertarian slogans

12 step: “Live and let live.”

Libertarian: “Choose for yourself, not for others.”

12 step: “One day at a time.”

Libertarian: “Just vote Libertarian until you’re too free.”

12 step: “Feelings are not facts.”

Libertarian: “Our freedom is more important than your good idea.”

12 step: “Principles before personality.”

Libertarian: “If you don’t trust us to govern ourselves, how can you trust us to govern others?”

12 step: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

Libertarian: “Ask not what your country can force other people to do for you.”

12 step: “You can’t think your way into a new way of living…you have to live your way into a new way of thinking.”

Libertarian: “Vote Libertarian. Win a free country.”

12 step: “Your worth should never depend on another person’s opinion.”

Libertarian: “Excuse me, your security is standing on my freedom.”

12 step: “It’s a simple program for complicated people.”

Libertarian: “People are complex, but liberty is simple.”

12 step: “Keep it simple.”

Libertarian: “Legalize freedom.”

12 step: “To thine own self be true.”

Libertarian: “Everyone should be free to be true to their self.”

12 step: “Keep the plug in the jug.”

Libertarian: “Please don’t feed the donkeys and elephants. It just increases their output.”

12 step: “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Libertarian: “Screw this. I’m voting Libertarian.”

12 step: “You only get out of it what you put into it.”

Libertarian: “Your money. Your body. Your planet. Take responsibility for what you do with them. Vote Libertarian.”

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

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Who’s A Hero?

hero

Kris Morgan  9/30/17

With all the discussion about players in the NFL kneeling during the national anthem, and our nation’s endless pursuit of war in the Middle East, the word hero is spoken daily. What is not discussed is what actually makes a person heroic. We have vague impressions pertaining to the topic, such as protecting others from danger and saving lives, but we have nothing philosophically concrete.

This lack of a solid standard makes it possible for people throughout all walks of life to claim the title hero, and makes us susceptible to making errors. Calling the wrong people hero opens the door to a significant amount of heinous deeds. Determining who true heroes are requires us to first examine moral behavior and its roots.

Defining moral actions demands we look at humanity at its beginning stages. Unfortunately, we are a few hundred-thousand years too late. However, we can imagine 20 people in a lifeboat landing on the deserted island of Moraltopia. Each of the 20 realizes they are in the same set of circumstances. They are limited in their knowledge and abilities, and can only perform one task at a time. Each needs food, shelter, and water in order to survive. Under these circumstances each person must make efficient use of time, energy, and resources.

Let’s assume the 20 people divide into four groups of five; group one searches for food, two fresh water, three builds a shelter, and four gathers firewood and makes rope. Suppose everything runs smoothly until Hurricane George strikes and destroys the shelter. Frustrated the structure could not stand, each member vows to build their own. While other members are working alone, two decide they are going to steal one of the structures being built.

After spending the day searching for food, one of the gatherers returns to sealed doors. He organizes the other inhabitants of Moraltopia and tells his tale. After much debate, it is concluded the offenders undermined his attempts at survival. The victim had built the dwelling with his own hands, on his own time, using his own energy, for his own ends. By seizing it for themselves, the thieves achieved material gain at the expense of the rightful owner. The small tribe of 18 decides to excommunicate the two criminals.

They declare it a universal rule: any interactions between inhabitants undertaken without the consent of all parties is wrong and met with ostracism. Ostracism is the best they can do with their small and primitive group.

With a basic concept of right and wrong, it is prudent to determine what makes behavior heroic. The standard for heroism surpasses that of basic morality. Rather than simply not committing an act of force, theft, or fraud, heroes protect people from those who fail to exercise the same self-restraint. In short, they get between predators and potential prey. This is the stated goal of government. However, that is not always the case.

The primary functions of authority include passing, enforcing, and interpretig laws. These laws normally begin as social customs which become codified. The basis of law is not limited to moral or heroic behavior. Hence it follows that anyone willing to carry out the will of the state cannot be defined as a hero. Enforcing laws that are designed to control others puts our system in the role of the criminal.  

Military members and police officers are the most common government agents we call heroes.  Neither role meets the criteria, as noted above. The task of a police officer is to enforce laws. While few of these laws include the aforementioned standard of protecting others, most do not. It may be true that some laws and officers protect others, a person cannot be both hero and villain simultaneously. The same dilemma befalls our military.

While we find it necessary to have a protective force to defend from aggressors abroad, armies all over the world regularly target civilian populations. The United States ended the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Japan at the end of World War II, in recent times accepted credit for 500,000 children dying due to sanctions, and ruined the genetic makeup of the city of Fallujah. Defining incidents such as these as necessary or collateral does not erase them from our permanent records. Clearly, taking the oath to obey orders, regardless of how destructive, does not make one a hero.

When we define evil as being necessary and acceptable to sustain our society, we destroy all hope for heroism. This is not to say brave men and women do not perform singular heroic acts, but coercing others cannot be part of one’s persona to be labeled as a hero. Government control of security and justice does to heroism what the welfare state does to prosperity. The more we get, the more it fades away. We can see it. We have the potential for it, but our actions are blocked off by a glass ceiling, making it unattainable.

When justice is our highest goal, our standards ought to be as high as possible. While we rightfully associate positive personality traits with the military and police, such as bravery and loyalty, they are not heroes. They agree to use force against others at the government’s will, regardless of whether their targets are actually threatening or harming anyone. When we glorify these roles, we say anyone who harms or kills others is a hero, so long as it’s for the government.

It may ease the reader’s mind to understand that this author is an Army Veteran, with a family history of military service, who once pursued a career in criminal justice. However, we all have a duty to ourselves and each other to be seekers and speakers of truth. The truth is that harming innocent people under the cloak of helping innocent people is not worthy of the hero label.

 

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Military Libertarians

military

Travis Hallman   12/22/17

Many of our most vocal activists within the Libertarian Party are current and former members of the military. Veterans and active duty service members were one of our largest groups of voters in the 2016 election. The official Libertarian Platform states:

Libertarian Platform 3.3: International Affairs

“American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.”

Please click this link if you’re interested in understanding the reasoning behind our support of a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Libertarians with experience in the Armed Services

Ron Paul

Ron-Paul-military2

“Ron Paul is America’s leading voice for liberty, prosperity and peace. As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and three-time presidential candidate, Ron Paul tirelessly works for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. Ron Paul never voted for legislation unless the proposed measure was expressly authorized by the Constitution.”

https://www.ronpaul.com/who-is-ron-paul/

Leading libertarian politician Ron Paul started out in medicine. After graduating from Duke University’s medical school in 1961, Ron Paul soon went on to become a military doctor. He served with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. National Guard during the 1960s. Paul branched out into politics in the 1970s.”

https://www.biography.com/people/ron-paul

Drew Carey

Drew-Carey2

“I never thought I was a libertarian until I picked up Reason magazine and realized I agree with everything they had printed..”

Drew Carey in Time (August 9, 2007)

“Drew Carey served 6 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. When Time Magazine asked him what events in life made him who he is, Carey replied “the Marine Corps. It instilled a great sense of discipline that I can call on when I need to.” Obviously he enjoyed being a jarhead because he has kept his Marine crew cut through most of his stage and TV career.”

https://m.usni.org/news-and-features/10-people-you-didnt-know-were-us-marines

Adam Kokesh

Kokesh2

“[Adam Kokesh is] running for not-president in 2020 to dissolve the entire federal government.”

https://www.facebook.com/KokeshForNotPresident/

“[Adam Kokesh was] an Iraq war veteran [that was] kicked out of the Marines days early with a general discharge after he wore his uniform during an anti-war demonstration.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/06/13/iraq-vet-who-wore-uniform-to-war-protest-gets-general-discharge.html

Jesse Ventura

ventura2

“Jesse Ventura is a Progressive Libertarian.”

http://www.ontheissues.org/Jesse_Ventura.htm

“Ventura enlisted into the United States Navy and joined the Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) after graduating from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school. Ventura frequently references his military service in public, and a lawyer from San Diego criticized him for faking his claims of being a SEAL. Although Ventura never completed the extra 26 weeks of training to become a SEAL, the UDTs were broken apart and combined with the SEAL teams after Vietnam. Ventura claims that UDTs simply refer to themselves as SEALs due to the restructuring. Despite his membership with Underwater Demolition Team 12, Ventura never saw combat during Vietnam although he did receive the Vietnam Service Medal.”

https://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/famous-veteran-jesse-ventura.html

Harry Browne

browne2

Harry Browne was an American free-market Libertarian writer and the Libertarian Party’s 1996 & 2000 candidate for President of the United States.”

https://www.harrybrowne.org/

“He was inducted into the U.S. Army on May 5, 1953. He went to the Southwestern Signal Corps Training Center at Camp San Luis Obispo, California to study cryptography. On October 4, 1953, he was sent to Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where the 1954 Operation Castle hydrogen bomb tests were conducted.

In 1955 Browne was sent to Eniwetok to finish his tour of duty and afterwards was transferred to the Army Reserves at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was released from active military service on July 17, 1956. He was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces on February 28, 1961 and discharged from the Army Reserves on July 1, 1961.”

https://www.revolvy.com/Browne

Carl E. Person

person2

“He [Carl E. Person] was a candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, was the Reform Party nominee for Mayor of New York City in 2013, was the Libertarian nominee for New York State Attorney General in 2010 and was the Libertarian nominee for New York State Attorney General again in 2014.

Person was born in Manhattan and has lived in New York State most of his life with the exception of 2 years when his family lived in Nebraska and his 3 years of service in the U.S. Army. Person dropped out of Northport (New York) High School after his sophomore year, and joined the U.S. Army for a 3-year enlistment. His service included two years on Okinawa as a ship to shore high speed radio operator, to send and receive Morse code. Despite his lack of a high school diploma, Person is a graduate of Long Island University and Harvard Law School.”

https://www.revolvy.com/CarlPerson

James P. Gray

gray2

“James Polin ‘Jim’ Gray (born February 14, 1945) is an American jurist and writer. He was the presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County, California. Gray was the 2012 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, as well as the party’s 2004 candidate for the United States Senate in California. He is the author of multiple books and a play, and is critical of current American drug laws.

Gray has been a member of the California Judicial Council, as well as the California Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Juvenile Law, the Alcohol Advisory Board to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the Advisory Board of the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, and the Orange County Law Library. He has also been a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Law School. Gray also introduced Orange County to the Peer Court system, where juvenile defendants travel to a school outside their district to have their actual cases tried by other teenagers. In 2012, Gray was nominated by Libertarian Party convention delegates as the running mate of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.”

https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Judge%20Jim%20Gray&item_type=topic

US Army Vietnam Veteran
29+ Years Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
2 Years Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC
A total of 34 years 10 months Federal Service”

www.jpgraynh.com/serving-the-people

R. Lee Wrights

wrights2

“Roger Lee Wrights (June 8, 1958—May 4, 2017) was the Vice Chair of the National Libertarian Party from 2012 to 2014. He was also a frontrunning contender for the nomination for US President for the 2012 election season.”

https://lpedia.org/Lee_Wrights

“Wrights was born on June 8, 1958 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He graduated from West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, North Carolina in 1976. Afterwards he enlisted in the United States Air Force, and served as a medical services technician at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, North Carolina. He was honorably discharged in 1981 with the rank of sergeant.”

Mike Gravel

Mike_Gravel2

“Mike Gravel was born on May 13, 1930, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Columbia University and was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1963. In 1968, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he became known for his attempts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for releasing the Pentagon Papers. Gravel ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. In March of that year, he left the Democrats and switched to the Libertarian Party. With little success in the elections, Gravel ultimately left elected office but remained politically active and championing his ideas through the years.”

https://www.biography.com/people/mike-gravel

In 1951, Mike Gravel enlisted in the United States Army (1951–54) serving as Adjutant in the Communications Intelligence Service in Germany and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps in France.”

https://mikegravel.com/bio/

Larry Sharpe

Sharpe2

“Larry Sharpe (born July 12, 1968) is an American business consultant and political activist. He was a Libertarian candidate for Vice President in 2016. On July 12, 2017, he made the official announcement that he will be running for Governor of New York in 2018.”

https://lpedia.org/Larry_Sharpe

As a Marine Corps veteran and father, Larry values duty, service, honesty, and loyalty. His experience imparted crucial skills like flexibility, resilience, discipline, and focus. With nearly seven years of active duty and an honorable discharge, teamwork and strategic thinking are at Larry’s core. He is attuned to the needs of veterans, as well as to the value of human life and liberty.”

https://www.larrysharpe.com/bio/

Kevin Enilc

enilc2

Kevin Enilc is an author for Liberty Viral that wrote 6 Reasons Why It Blows To Be A Libertarian In The Military along with many other articles related to foreign policy.

Kristopher Morgan

morgan2

Kristopher Morgan is an author and publisher for the Ask A Libertarian Facebook page. Kristopher was a sergeant in the Army.

“The enforcement arm of the government gets thanked while the other branches get blamed, even though the executive is in charge of administering what the legislative decides. We complain about bad laws and then go around thanking policeman… or we strongly disagree with our foreign policy and then get yellow ribbons that say ‘support our troops’ and buy vets beers and all this other nonsense… I’m sorry, I’m a veteran myself, and I’m not gonna go around thanking people for being part of the military and fighting political battles for the military-industrial complex…”

Andrew Deemer

deemer

Andrew Deemer an author for the Ask A Libertarian Facebook page. Andrew Deemer served six years and was deployed to Iraq twice as an Army mechanic specialist.

“War is damaging in so many ways, the people being invaded more so. Men in uniforms breaking down doors, shouting, yelling in the middle of the night waking them up. The father doing what a father does, protecting his family. They shoot him in front of the rest of the family and then just leave. Leaving this family broken, and making new enemies. Now that soldier that pulled the trigger because he was acting on instinct will have to live with that the rest of his life. We do not want to kill anyone. We do not want PTSD. We don’t want to be messed up.

Why do I support non intervention? How many more fathers, mothers, daughters, and sons have to suffer? How many other countries have to stay behind because we won’t let them advance, knowing dang well it is our interventions that make them hate us?

I support non-intervention because every 65 minutes another veteran dies by his/her own hand. Because I want to stop 22 veterans a day from killing themselves. #nomore22 #nomoreintervention”
-Andrew Deemer

Trent Somes III

somes

Trent Somes, III (Theodore Arthur Somes, III, born 24 April 1998) is a current USMC reservist. He is one of the youngest Libertarian Party leaders in the US. Somes started Westmoreland County Libertarians in 2015 under the direction of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania at age 17, and the Libertarian Youth Caucus.

At the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania convention in 2016, Somes, along with other youth, founded the Libertarian Youth Caucus, which quickly rose to be a well – known organization.

“I believe in a foreign policy that emphasizes nonintervention and global cooperation. I believe open borders and free trade are essential to having a world of liberal democracy.”  -Trent Somes III

Admiral Michael C. Colley

colley_michael

“He [Michael C. Colley] graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy. He had sea duty assignments on several nuclear-powered submarines and was Commanding Officer of the attack submarine Narwhal. Other operational assignments included command of the submarine tender Proteusin Guam and the Navy’s largest submarine squadron in Groton, Connecticut. During the Gulf War, he was commander of the Pacific Fleet submarine force of over 40 boats from his headquarters at Pearl Harbor. Later onshore he was Commander for Navy Recruiting. He was also Director, Division of Mathematics and Science (including the departments of math, physics, chemistry, oceanography and computer science) at the Naval Academy for three academic years.

Colley has been active in the National Security Policy and Analysis fields.”

http://lpedia.org/Michael_Colley

“Colley became involved in the Libertarian Party after more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy. A year after he joined the Alabama Libertarian Party in 2003, he started serving the first of his three terms as at-large representative on the Libertarian National Committee.”

https://www.lp.org/blogs-staff-the-libertarian-party-remembers-admiral-michael-c-colley/

Conclusion

“A 2014 Military Times survey showed that the number of troops who identified themselves as Republican was dropping, while those identifying themselves as libertarian or independent was rising.”

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/295409-johnson-tops-among-veterans

Dismissing libertarian foreign policy by assuming libertarians haven’t served in war is inaccurate because many libertarians have served in the United States armed forces. It is a flawed paradigm because one does not have to experience war to understand it, just as one does not have to have experience designing doorknobs to know how one should be used.

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

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The author’s views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the entire Ask A Libertarian Team or its followers.

It Is A Privilege

privilege

Kris Morgan

President Trump signaled his intention to stop allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the military. He transmitted the following in a series of tweets:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

This decision can be seen in multiple ways, most obvious as being a step back for LGBTQ rights, as service to country is once again being blocked. Another way of viewing this decision is that it is nothing more than a calculated move to make the military more efficient and focused, taking the president at his word. Hardly anyone questions whether joining the military is a right.  That is where libertarian philosophy comes into play.

If our military were strictly restrained to national defense, there would be no reason to refuse transgenders from serving. However, that is not how things are. Ever since Saddam Hussein first attempted to annex Kuwait back in the early 1990’s, the United States military has been involved heavily in the Middle East. They’ve done everything from invading Iraq (twice) to laying sanctions and establishing no fly zones. The conflict has spread to Syria, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Major conflicts going on today began as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people. Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001 when US forces hunted down Osama Bin Laden. Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003 when President Bush’s administration couldn’t decide if Hussein possessed WMDs, was a party to the 9/11 attacks, or both (neither turned out to be true). The result of these operations has been a refugee crisis, the destabilization of the Middle East, the creation of ISIS, and the US desperately trying to restore stability.  

To get an understanding of the legacy the US is leaving in Iraq, it’s important to review key pieces of information. First, in the 1990s the UN estimated that 500,000 children died as a result of US sanctions. The finding was one of the motivators behind the 9/11 attack. To be fair, that number is in dispute. However, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took credit for it when she told 60 Minutes that price was worth controlling Saddam.

On another point we turn our attention to Fallujah. Due to heavy bombings from US forces and their allies in the current occupation, Fallujah has experienced “the highest rate of genetics damage in any population ever studied”, according to Dr. Chris Busby who authored and co-authored several studies on the Fallujah Health Crisis. It is clear that the United States is the aggressor nation in modern conflicts in the Middle East.

The goal is to wage a war against terrorism. This is a crusade that will likely go on until the American economy completely collapses and the war effort can no longer be funded. The more we press on against countries and populations who have never harmed us, the more terrorists we will create. The more terrorists we create, the more fuel our politicians have to justify their actions.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Though a judge has recently blocked the ban, there is no right to join an organization that bombs and occupies other parts of the world. It makes no difference if you’re part of the LGBTQ community. To join the military, wage aggressive war while radiating populations, killing and displacing civilians, creating the very problems it is allegedly solving, and not come under formal charges is a legally created exemption. There is a world of difference between legal immunity and culturally created incentives, and human rights under natural law.

If President Trump wants to sort out this problem, our military has to be one that is strictly used to defend the United States. This would mean ending the operations in the Middle East, bringing our troops home, and giving the power to declare war back to Congress. Congress has not declared war since June 4, 1942. Until a formal constitutional amendment is passed altering the powers of Congress and the Presidency, anything which empowers the executive with the ability to start war is an act of treason.  

The transgender question cannot be properly resolved until we correct the issues with American Foreign Policy.

 

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The author’s views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the entire Ask A Libertarian Team or its followers.