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

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, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

What would a Libertarian Administration look like?

What would a Libertarian Administration look like?

The Gary Johnson presidential campaign seems to be the Libertarian Party’s best chance at winning the White House to date. That possibility seems to have lots of people scared out of their minds.

So let’s take a look at some ways that a Libertarian Administration would conduct business.

First, we need to understand that libertarianism is all about the Non-Aggression Principle: No one has the right to initiate force or fraud against anyone else, nor to threaten or delegate that initiation. No exceptions will be granted “under color of law.”

Also understand that we’re NOT looking to be Romney / Bush Republicans with “L” after our names. If we wanted that, we would simply cut to the chase and sign up as Democrats.

With that in mind, here are some examples of the policies that our prospective Libertarian Administration will undertake:

First, a Libertarian Administration will NOT seek to expand the size, intrusiveness or expense of government by one iota, on any issue. We’re not looking to grow the federal government — not by two percent, much less the ten or twenty percent that a Clinton or Trump Administration will attempt. At worst, we will FREEZE it where it’s at when we take the reins. The 2017 budget that we receive on January 21st will be the budget for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

No, we’re not looking to expand the welfare state one bit. Nor are we looking to create more regulations upon business or your personal life. Those regulations stifle creativity, growth and economic progress.

Second, the White House will become a pardon factory. All of the people in prison solely for federally-mandated victimless crimes — sawing off a shotgun barrel, having more than a certain amount of marijuana, draining a puddle on their own property — will be pardoned, because they didn’t really do anything wrong.

Third, we’re going to STOP putting people in prison in the first place for those victimless crimes — after Obama decided that he can pick and choose which parts of Obamacare he can enforce, we can choose not to enforce the victimless crime laws, as well — and we’re going to call for the repeal of those laws.

Fourth, we’re going to drastically reduce taxes, if we can’t wipe them out completely. This idea that we’re going to settle for a 25-30 percent national sales tax is nonsense. If we’re going to compromise on a tax rate, it will be more like five percent, and disregard that “revenue neutrality” hogwash — that’s just pundit-speak for “We don’t really have to cut spending.”

Fifth, we’re looking to fundamentally transform the welfare state from what it is now — a massive top-down, bureaucratic system for legalized vote-buying — into something that actually helps the people it’s supposed to help. We’ll turn the various agencies into 501-c-3 charities, and forbid them from taking tax money or lobbying governmental bodies in their charters. Then the people who support them will know that their donations will go a lot further.

Nor do we support any corporate welfare. No more bailouts, no more tax-funded football stadiums, movie subsidies, or contracts for white-elephant projects. The “Albuquerque Rapid Transit” inanity is a prime example of this.

Sixth, on foreign policy: for decades, libertarians have been defamed as “isolationists.” True isolationism was Japan between 1635 and 1853, or China between 1757 and 1839. We simply don’t want America to be micromanaging the affairs of the rest of the world.

Seventh, we will not support forced association under the rubric of “non-discrimination” or “public accommodation.” The slogan “NO means NO” used against rape apologists works just as well here. No Jew should have to bake a cake for a Nazi wedding. This concept should be applied consistently across the population.

To summarize, We The Libertarians simply want to live our own lives, and let everyone else live theirs.


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 12.8
  2. Published elsewhere
    1. nmpolitics.net – Sunday, 23 October 2016
    2. The Santa Fe New MexicanSaturday, 29 October 2016
    3. ABQ Free PressWednesday, 2 November 2016, page 9 (“Libertarianism Explained In 700 Words or Less”)

Copyright © 2016 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.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

Vote NO on the UNMH Mill Levy

Vote NO on this mill levy.

Tell UNM to get that 95 million from the legislators’ pensions, the film subsidies, the Local Economic Devlopment Authority, oil and gas subsidies, NMHIX, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, among other places.

The politicians love to load up the bond issues and mill levies with the popular stuff – buildings, infrastructure and “services” that “must” done by government, because “no one in the private sector can or will do them” – police, libraries, senior centers, community centers, sewers, storm drains, flood control, and so forth.

We all know that’s hogwash, to put it delicately.

Once the politicians load up the bonds and levies with the popular stuff, that frees them to use more from the general budget for their pet projects, their legalized vote-buying schemes (each City Councilor in Albuquerque is allocated ∅1-2 million annually for “needed improvements in their district), making sure that someone in the inside loop gets the contract for the next “necessary” project.

And when was the last time that taxes in Bernalillo County actually went down? Between the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, we’re paying some of the highest gross receipt taxes in the state – currently at 7.3125 percent.

Now they expect us to pay even more?!

Tell the politicians that for every new tax they want to impose upon us, at the very least, get rid of an equivalent tax, so that the overall burden doesn’t increase.

Or – and I know this will be taken as pure insanity by the Political Classholes – they could actually CUT taxes a bit. (AND cut some spending, too? Would that really be too much to ask?)


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 12.5

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.