The Libertarian Party is the largest and fastest growing alternative political party in the United States. It has already attracted hundreds of thousands of liberty-minded citizens concerned with curbing out-of-control, bureaucratic and oppressive governments – federal, state and local.
The Libertarian Party believes that individual freedom coupled with personal responsibility form the basis of a benevolent community, country and world. We wholeheartedly support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as they were originally intended: as foundations of a free, just and humane society.
The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
– P.J. O’Rourke
A man stood still in Istanbul’s Taksim Square: silent, staring straight ahead, he had not moved for hours.
His peaceful action, on the square that police cleared of protesters on Saturday and where the Turkish authorities have banned gatherings, was a new form of protest.
He arrived Monday evening as night was falling and took up position in the middle of the square, just a stone’s throw from Gezi Park.
Five hours on, the man was still there, hands in his pockets, a bag and some bottles of water at his feet.
He was staring at a portrait of the revered founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk that hangs from the top of the old cultural centre. Ataturk who established Turkey as a secular state. Read The Full Story
This essay is chapter 15 of the book Egalitarianism As a Revolt Against Nature.
Why be libertarian, anyway? By this we mean, what’s the point of the whole thing? Why engage in a deep and lifelong commitment to the principle and the goal of individual liberty? For such a commitment, in our largely unfree world, means inevitably a radical disagreement with, and alienation from, the status quo, an alienation which equally inevitably imposes many sacrifices in money and prestige. When life is short and the moment of victory far in the future, why go through all this?
Incredibly, we have found among the increasing number of libertarians in this country many people who come to a libertarian commitment from one or another extremely narrow and personal point of view. Many are irresistibly attracted to liberty as an intellectual system or as an aesthetic goal, but liberty remains for them a purely intellectual parlor game, totally divorced from what they consider the “real” activities of their daily lives. Others are motivated to remain libertarians solely from their anticipation of their own personal financial profit. Realizing that a free market would provide far greater opportunities for able, independent men to reap entrepreneurial profits, they become and remain libertarians solely to find larger opportunities for business profit. While it is true that opportunities for profit will be far greater and more widespread in a free market and a free society, placing one’s primary emphasis on this motivation for being a libertarian can only be considered grotesque. For in the often tortuous, difficult and grueling path that must be trod before liberty can be achieved, the libertarian’s opportunities for personal profit will far more often be negative than abundant. Continue reading
The Supreme Court has come up with a new regulation banning demonstrations on its grounds, two days after a broader anti-demonstration law was declared unconstitutional.
The regulation bans activities on the court’s grounds or building such as picketing, speech-making, marching, vigils or religious services “that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers.”
It says that “casual use by visitors or tourists” that isn’t likely to attract a crowd is not banned. That may be a way of addressing the concern posed by a federal judge who threw out the law barring processions and expressive banners on the court’s grounds. Read The Full Story
President Obama announced late last week that the US intelligence community had just determined that the Syrian government had used poison gas on a small scale, killing some 100 people in a civil conflict that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. Because of this use of gas, the president claimed, Syria had crossed his “red line” and the US must begin to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government.
Setting aside the question of why 100 killed by gas is somehow more important than 99,900 killed by other means, the fact is his above explanation is full of holes. The Washington Post reported this week that the decision to overtly arm the Syrian rebels was made “weeks ago” – in other words, it was made at a time when the intelligence community did not believe “with high confidence” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons. Read The Full Story
The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable photo databases that state officials assembled to prevent driver’s-license fraud but that increasingly are used by police to identify suspects, accomplices and even innocent bystanders in a wide range of criminal investigations.
The facial databases have grown rapidly in recent years and generally operate with few legal safeguards beyond the requirement that searches are conducted for “law enforcement purposes.” Amid rising concern about the National Security Agency’s high-tech surveillance aimed at foreigners, it is these state-level facial-recognition programs that more typically involve American citizens.
The most widely used systems were honed on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq as soldiers sought to identify insurgents. The increasingly widespread deployment of the technology in the United States has helped police find murderers, bank robbers and drug dealers, many of whom leave behind images on surveillance videos or social-media sites that can be compared against official photo databases. Read The Full Story
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) warned Tuesday that the U.S. government may use a drone missile to kill Edward Snowden, who recently leaked classified information on National Security Administration surveillance programs.
“I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile,” Paul said during an interview on Fox Business News. “I mean, we live in a bad time where American citizens don’t even have rights and that they can be killed. But the gentleman is trying to tell the truth about what’s going on.”
Snowden, a former NSA contractor, fled to Hong Kong before disclosing over the weekend that he was behind the leaks of information on NSA’s sweeping monitoring of phone calls and Internet data. His actions have reignited a debate on Capitol Hill around security and civil liberties, and revived bipartisan legislation aimed at declassifying court opinions used to justify mass surveillance.
Paul, an ardent libertarian whose son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), waged an hours-long Senate filibuster in March in protest of the administration’s drone policy, lamented that Americans are in an age “where people who tell the truth about what the government is doing” get in trouble.
“I don’t think for a minute that he is a traitor,” Ron Paul said of Snowden. “Everybody is worried about him and what they’re going to do and how they’re going to convict him of treason and how they’re going to kill him. But what about the people who destroy our Constitution? … What do we think about people who assassinate American citizens without trials and assume that’s the law of the land? That’s where our problem is.”
Paul has a fan in Snowden: Campaign finance reports show that Snowden donated $250 to Paul’s presidential campaign twice in 2012.
Reprinted from Huffington Post with permission of the author.
Yesterday, Gary Johnson, a former two-term governor (R-NM) and Libertarian presidential candidate, hosted a Google Hangout during which he spoke on a range of topics, including the NSA and his own future in politics.
“The government can actually listen to your conversations from your cell phone even if it’s not turned on,” Johnson claimed when asked what he thought about the NSA’s recently revealed data collection program. “If that becomes widely publicized, does that become that rallying ‘Holy shit! We can’t continue to do this!’?” Read The Full Story
President Hamid Karzai is at it again.
This time he’s calling out the U.S. for its fight against the Soviets in the 80s. In that decade, Washington armed the Taliban and funded the building of Madrassas in order to secure victory.
For Karzai though, and many in Afghanistan, the success quickly turned into a fail.
According to the Afghan president, aside from turning Afghanistan into Taliban-ruled chaos, America’s course of action also led to the attacks on 9/11. Read The Full Story