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Tag Archives: federal
Posted: January 5, 2017 at 10:54 am
Each week, millions of people watch NFL games on their televisions or in person. Increasingly, they also follow the action on a second or even a third screen. Smartphones, tablets and computers let fans follow their fantasy teams, talk about football on social media or even watch another game, all from the stadium or the couch.
We respect our traditions, but we embrace evolution.
Michelle McKenna-Doyle, NFL Chief Information Officer
Fans are certainly aware of how technology has changed their experience of watching games. They may not always notice, though, how technology has changed the game itself for the betterment of the league, coaches and players, and even the fans.
Television may have changed the league more than any other technology, and it certainly enabled many of the leagues biggest advancements. It fueled the dramatic increase in the NFLs popularity and profitability. The instant replay system emerged from and was a result of improved broadcast technology. Teams use footage to evaluate and coach players, and the league uses it to grade officials. Television also has led clubs to upgrade stadiums including the installation of enormous video displays to compete with the viewing experience at home.
Television isnt the only technology to have affected the game. Advancements have allowed the NFL to evaluate and improve officiating and protect players. Technology helps players and teams communicate and gives coaches the tools needed to create game plans and to adjust them on the fly.
Learn more abouttelevision’s impact on the NFL
It speeds up the pace of games, ensures that each contest runs fairly and smoothly and improves the fan experience for those watching on television and those at the games.
State-of-the-art technology powers the command center the league uses to monitor games and evaluate its officials, drives the instant replay system that assists officials in getting calls right, and enables the wireless communications coaches, players and officials use during games.
Dean Blandino, NFL senior vice president of officiating, takes you behind the scenes at Art McNally GameDay Central the leagues officiating command center.
Technology provides players with electronic playbooks and position-specific game film on club-provided tablets. As the game unfolds, coaches can dissect opponents offense and defense on league-provided tablets.
Technology also helps better protect the players. Its impact is felt in sturdier playing surfaces and more advancedpads and helmets.It allows teams to keep electronic medical records to better treat players and allows certified athletic trainers to use video to spot possible concussions and other potential injuries during games.
All of this technology presents challenges for NFL Football Operations staff. This is particularly demanding on gameday, when it all must operate smoothly for a fast-paced, time-sensitive, live event that at best is unpredictable and is sometimes played in bad weather. Making it all work requires attention to detail and the technical knowledge to troubleshoot on the fly.
Game Operations staff must check every system before a game, identify and prevent radio frequency conflicts, and address technological problems, even as the action continues. A tremendous amount of coordination is required not only internally, but also with teams, broadcasters, stadium staff and emergency services.
Each week, NFL frequency coordinators must navigate countless spectrum conflicts. Licensed bandwidth from the Federal Communications Commission continues to shrink as demand continues to grow. Frequency coordinators make sure anyone using a wireless microphone, walkie-talkie or radio is on the correct channel to allow as many people as possible to access the bandwidth they need. Without this, the long list of people who need to access the spectrum each game could find themselves fighting over the same frequencies and unable to perform their jobs properly.
That massive collision is happening in our stadiums every weekend, said Michelle McKenna-Doyle, the leagues chief information officer. That has to get solved whether we buy, rent or partner with someone who owns frequency.
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Posted: December 27, 2016 at 5:50 pm
This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
Array ( [actionDate] => 2015-06-17 [displayText] => Introduced in House [externalActionCode] => 1000 [description] => Introduced )
First Amendment Defense Act
Prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
Defines “discriminatory action” as any federal government action to discriminate against a person with such beliefs or convictions, including a federal government action to:
Requires the federal government to consider to be accredited, licensed, or certified for purposes of federal law any person who would be accredited, licensed, or certified for such purposes but for a determination that the person believes or acts in accordance with such a religious belief or moral conviction.
Permits a person to assert an actual or threatened violation of this Act as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding and to obtain compensatory damages or other appropriate relief against the federal government.
Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action to enforce this Act against the Government Accountability Office or an establishment in the executive branch, other than the U.S. Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, that is not an executive department, military department, or government corporation.
Defines “person” as any person regardless of religious affiliation, including corporations and other entities regardless of for-profit or nonprofit status.
Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:02 am
The First Amendment Defense Act (often abbreviated FADA) (H.R. 2802) is a bill introduced into the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate on June 17, 2015. The Senate sponsor of the bill is Mike Lee (R-Utah), and the House sponsor is Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). The bill aims to prevent the federal government from taking action against people who discriminate against LGBTQ people for religious reasons.
The bill provides that the federal government “shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
The FADA was introduced into both the House and Senate on the same day (June 17, 2015), by Mike Lee and Raul Labrador. As of November 21, 2016, the House version had 172 co-sponsors, and the Senate version 34. Also as of that date, the House bill had not been considered by either of the two committees it had been referred to.
When asked by Heritage Action, FRC Action, and the American Principles Project if they would pass the bill in their first 100 days in office, three of the top four Republican presidential candidates in the 2016 election said they would, the exception being Donald Trump. It was also supported by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel, among other groups, shortly after it was introduced. On September 22, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump changed his mind and said in a press release, “If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”
On July 21, 2015, the Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that FADA was “unnecessary and could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.” Later that year, Walter Olson of the Cato Institute wrote in Newsweek that the bill does not “try to distinguish rights from frills and privileges,” and also criticized it for only protecting those who opposed same-sex marriage, not those who supported same-sex marriage or cohabitation or non-marital sex. It has also been criticized by Ian S. Thompson, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union, who claimed that it would, if passed, “open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded disagreement against LGBT people.”
A version of the FADA was introduced in Georgia on January 21, 2016, by Greg Kirk, a Republican state senator. The bill would, if passed, protect government employees who do not want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because they object to the practice for religious reasons. Kirk cited Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis as an example of the people who would be affected by the law. This bill was passed by the Georgia State Senate on February 19. The bill was then sent to the State House for consideration. Governor Nathan Deal vetoed this bill in March 2016.
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First Amendment Defense Act – Wikipedia
Posted: October 13, 2016 at 5:36 am
Gambling, though widespread in the United States, is subject to legislation at both the state and federal level that bans it from certain areas, limits the means and types of gambling, and otherwise regulates the activity.
Congress has used its power under the Commerce Clause to regulate interstate gambling, international gambling, and relations between the United States and Native American territories. For example, it has passed laws prohibiting the unauthorized transportation of lottery tickets between states, outlawing sports betting with certain exceptions, and regulating the extent to which gambling may exist on Native American land.
Each state determines what kind of gambling it allows within its borders, where the gambling can be located, and who may gamble. Each state has enacted different laws pertaining to these topics. The states also have differing legal gambling ages, with some states requiring the same minimum age for all types of gambling, while for others, it depends on the activity. For example, in New Jersey, an 18-year-old can buy a lottery ticket or bet on a horse race, but cannot enter a casino until age 21. Presumably, the age 21 restriction is due to the sale of alcohol in that location.
A standard strategy for avoiding laws that prohibit, constrain, or aggressively tax gambling is to locate the activity just outside the jurisdiction that enforces them, in a more “gambling friendly” legal environment. Gambling establishments often exist near state borders and on ships that cruise outside territorial waters. Gambling activity has also exploded in recent years in Native American territory. Internet-based gambling takes this strategy and extends it to a new level of penetration, for it threatens to bring gambling directly into homes and businesses in localities where a physical gambling establishment could not conduct the same activity.
In the 1990s, when the World Wide Web was growing rapidly in popularity, online gambling appeared to represent an end-run around government control and prohibition. A site operator needed only to establish the business in a friendly offshore jurisdiction such as the Bahamas and begin taking bets. Anyone with access to a web browser could find the site and place wagers by credit card. Confronted with this blatant challenge to American policies, the Department of Justice and Congress explored the applicability of current law and the desirability of new regulation for online gambling.
In exploring whether an offshore Internet gambling business taking bets from Americans violated federal law, attention was focused on the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. 1084 (2000). The operator of a wagering business is at risk of being fined and imprisoned under the Wire Act if the operator knowingly uses a “wire communication facility” to transmit information related to wagering on “any sporting event or contest.” 18 U.S.C. 1084(a). An exception exists if that act is legal in both the source and destination locations of the transmission. 1084(b). The Wire Acts definition of wire communication facility appears to embrace the nation’s entire telecommunications infrastructure, and therefore probably applies to online gambling. See 1081.
The Department of Justice maintains that, under the Wire Act, all Internet gambling by bettors in the United States is illegal. U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on Establishing Consistent Enforcement Policies in the Context of Online Wagers, 110th Cong., Nov. 14, 2007 (testimony of Catherine Hanaway, U.S. Attorney (E.D. Mo.), Dept. of Justice). The Fifth Circuit disagreed, ruling that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting, not other types of gambling. In re MasterCard Intl Inc., 313 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2002).
In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which made it illegal for wagering businesses to knowingly accept payment in connection with unlawful Internet gambling (though it does not itself make Internet gambling illegal). 109 Pub. L. 109-347, Title VIII (Oct. 13, 2006) (codified at 31 U.S.C. 5301, 536167). It also authorizes the Federal Reserve System to create regulations that prohibit financial transaction providers (banks, credit card companies, etc.) from accepting those payments. See 31 U.S.C. 5363(4). This Act, along with threats of prosecution under the Wire Act from the Department of Justice, has caused several Internet gambling businesses to withdraw from the U.S. market.
In response, House Representatives introduced multiple bills in 2007 to soften federal Internet gambling law. If passed, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act would license, regulate, and tax Internet gambling businesses rather than prohibit them from taking bets from the United States. Alternatively, the Skill Game Protection Act would clarify the Wire Act to exempt certain games such as poker and chess.
In addition to federal measures, some states have enacted legislation to prohibit some types of Internet gambling. In 2006, Washington State amended its Code to make knowingly transmitting or receiving gambling information over the Internet a felony. See Wash. Rev. Code 9.46.240 (2006). Other states with similar prohibitions have made it a misdemeanor instead. See e.g., 720 ILCS 5/28-1 (2007).
States have not been particularly active in enforcing these laws, possibly due to a conflict with the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine. That doctrine theorizes that state law applying to commerce outside the states borders is unconstitutional because that power lies with federal, not state, government. In particular, federal preemption has obstructed states attempts to regulate gambling activity on Indian reservations within state borders. See Missouri ex rel. Nixon v. Coeur DAlene Tribe, 164 F.3d 1102 (8th Cir. 1999). The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 29 (2000), governs gambling activity on Indian reservations, but the extent to which it and other federal gambling laws preempt state action in the Internet arena is uncertain.
Posted: October 4, 2016 at 1:19 pm
Former Texas congressman Ron Paul, a longtime hero of the libertarian right, surprised many on Monday when he told MSNBC that he has no plans to back Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson.
Paul, who himself was the Libertarian nominee in 1988 and ran as a Republican primary candidate on several subsequent occasions, said he actually prefers Green Party nominee Jill Stein on important issues like civil liberties and foreign policy.
Shes probably the best on foreign policy at the moment, Paul said, stressing that he hasnt endorsed anyone for president yet.
On Gary Johnson, Paul explained, he does not come across with a crisp libertarian message.
Johnson has come under recent ridicule for his inability to express a coherent answer on the conflict in Syria, his so-called Aleppo moment, and then for his inability to name a single foreign leader he admired.
If you want to express yourself I am voting for the non-aggressive principles that create the libertarian message. And that is, nobody can commit aggression. Individuals cannot, nor the government. Unfortunately, theres not a crisp answer, Paul said, referring to Johnson.
Paul continued: On occasion, Gary will say something good about the economy. Even Donald Trump I find him talking about the bubble that the Federal Reserve created. All those things, if you put them together, you come up with a libertarian message.
Paul earlier told Fox Business that he is disappointed with the performance of the Libertarian leaders.
Pauls son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a failed 2016 GOP presidential candidate, has endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Read more from the original source:
Ron Paul suggests support for Jill Stein, admits he is …
Posted: October 1, 2016 at 1:43 am
At last nights presidential debate Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton made all kinds of attacks on each other. But on one notable issue, they were in complete agreement: they both think people on the federal governments no fly list should be categorically denied their right to buy guns under the Second Amendment. Both candidates have repeatedly said so for months. Trumps stance on this issue should be deeply troubling to those who care about gun rights and also to people concerned about constitutional rights generally, even if they dont care much about this one.
As both the ACLU and conservative commentators point out, the no fly list is notoriously inaccurate. It is also provides little or no due process protections. The process is secret, people are not told the reasons why they were placed on the list, and they are not given any advance opportunity to challenge the designation. And, once on the list, even a completely innocent person might find it difficult and time-consuming to get off it.
If Trump is committed to the idea that your Second Amendment rights can be stripped on such a flimsy basis, with so little due process, then virtually any other politically feasible limitation on gun rights is also acceptable. The sort of reasoning that would uphold this restriction on gun ownership would permit pretty much any other. That should give pause to people supporting Trump because they think he is going to protect Second Amendment rights. It is also yet another reason to doubt that he would appoint originalist judges committed to protecting important constitutional rights generally. Most such judges are unlikely to uphold these kinds of gun regulations (as well as many other items on his political agenda).
Trumps disdain for Second Amendment rights is not limited to the no fly list. At last nights debate, he also said he wants police to use stop and frisk searches to take away guns from bad people. Its not entirely clear what he means by this remark (it could be interpreted as being limited to people the police believe to be felons or gang members whom he also mentioned in the same part of the debate). But, at the very least, its another example of him advocating gun confiscation without due process. It also indicates a disturbing level of confidence that the government can identify bad people and take away their guns without victimizing the innocent.
Even people who do not care much about gun rights and the Second Amendment have reason to be concerned about Trumps position on this issue. As liberal legal commentator Mark Joseph Stern (who is no fan of gun rights), points out, if this constitutional right can be taken away with so little due process, others can be as well:
If the government can revoke your right to access firearms simply because it has decided to place you on a secret, notoriously inaccurate list, it could presumably restrict your other rights in a similar manner. You could be forbidden from advocating for causes you believe in, or associating with like-minded activists; your right against intrusive, unreasonable searches could be suspended. And you would have no recourse: The government could simply declare that, as a name on a covert list, you are owed no due process at all.
Stern believes that the Second Amendment should not be interpreted as protecting an individual right to bear arms. But so long as the Supreme Court continues to hold otherwise, revoking this right on the basis of a secret list with no due process sets a dangerous precedent for other constitutional rights.
In fairness to Trump, Hillary Clinton is no better than he is on the no fly issue. It is, as already noted, one of the few things they agreed on last night. While I believe that she is, on balance, a lesser evil than Trump, this is not one of the issues that makes her so. On other gun control issues, she almost certainly favors more extensive regulation than he does.
But there is this difference: Hillary Clinton and many other liberals make no bones about the fact that they believe either that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to bear arms at all, or that the right in question is an unimportant one that should be relegated to second-class status compared to what they see as more significant parts of the Bill of Rights. I think theyre badly wrong about that. But their reasoning at least creates the possibility that they and the judges they pick could approve the no-fly list gun ban without creating too much of a dangerous precedent for other constitutional rights. Like Stern, I believe that many liberals seriously underrate the risk of dangerous slippery slope effects in this area. But at least they are making some effort to contain them.
By contrast, Trump repeatedly claims that hes a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. If hes nonetheless willing to undermine it so blatantly, that does not bode well for the many constitutional rights for which he has (even) less regard.
UPDATE: Commenters on Twitter point to Trumps seeming support of a GOP bill sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn that would allow the government to ban people on the no fly list from buying guns for only 72 hours, after which they would have to go to court to provide evidence of links to terrorism, in order to extend the ban. Its a fair point, and one I should have addressed in the original post. But I dont think it much changes the bottom line on the dangerous implications of Trumps position on this issue.
While it is entirely possibly that Trump would sign the Cornyn bill if it passes, he has never clearly stated that he supports it. Much more significantly he has never said that he will only support the no fly, no buy policy if it includes a right to a judicial hearing. And, in the debate last night, he suggested the contrary by emphasizing his essential agreement with Hillary Clinton on the issue. He even said he quite strongly agrees with her. This implies he would be just as happy to sign a bill with no such judicial safeguards (which is the approach Clinton advocates). Trump did indicate that there should be a legal way for people to get off the no fly list if they should not be there. But, of course, that is no different from the status quo. People can already entirely legally get off the no fly list by asking the federal government to remove them. It just often takes many months or even years to happen.
The important broader issue here is not whether Trump would sign the Cornyn bill. It is Trumps cavalier approach even towards those constitutional rights, such as the Second Amendment, that he claims to strongly support.
See the original post:
Trump and the Second Amendment – The Washington Post
Posted: September 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm
A Belgian lawmaker told CNN affiliate VTM that the physician-assisted suicide happened within the past week.
The child, who was suffering from an incurable disease, had asked for euthanasia, Sen. Jean-Jacques De Gucht told VTM. The identity of the child and age are unknown.
“I think it’s very important that we, as a society, have given the opportunity to those people to decide for themselves in what manner they cope with that situation,” said Gucht, a supporter of euthanasia legislation.
Wim Distelmans, who chairs Belgium’s Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, told state broadcaster RTBF that fortunately few children had demanded mercy killing but “that does not mean we should deny them the right to a dignified death.”
In 2014, the bill extended the “right to die” to those under the age of 18. But there were additional strict conditions, including that the child was judged to be able to understand what euthanasia means.
Consent of parents or guardians must also be given.
“This can only be in cases of serious and incurable diseases, which is the same thing for adults … but for minors an additional condition is that the death must be expected in the near future,” Jacqueline Herremans told RTBF. Herremans is the president of Belgium’s Association for the Right to Die with Dignity and also a member of the federal committee on euthanasia.
Belgium is the only country that allows euthanasia for children of any age.
The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those 12 and over. It became the first country to legalize euthanasia in April 2002.
CNN’s Margot Haddad contributed to this report.
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Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:06 pm
DES MOINES, Iowa The chairman of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential bid was sentenced Tuesday to probation and home confinement rather than prison, and two other top aides were awaiting their sentences for a scheme to cover up campaign payments to a former Iowa state senator who agreed to endorse their boss.
Jesse Benton was sentenced to two years’ probation and six months of home confinement, even though prosecutors were seeking years in federal prison.
He was convicted of conspiracy, causing false campaign contribution reports to be filed to the Federal Election Commission and participating in a false statement scheme.
The campaign’s manager, John Tate, and deputy manager Dimitri Kesari also were convicted. Tate was also scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday. Kesari’s sentencing is set for Wednesday morning.
The men have argued they broke no laws when they paid a video production company, which passed on $73,000 to former state Sen. Kent Sorenson. He dropped support for Michele Bachmann and endorsed Paul six days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.
Prosecutors said it is illegal to cause a campaign to file inaccurate spending documents.
The men said they were targeted because of their conservative politics and argued campaigns typically don’t identify payments to subcontractors of vendors.
They are expected to appeal their convictions to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the judges rule against the men, they may choose to seek further review of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three men faced up to 35 years in prison had the judge handed down maximums to be served consecutively.
Benton, 38, of Louisville, Kentucky, is married to Ron Paul’s granddaughter, Valori Pyeatt. He also had managed the successful 2010 U.S. Senate campaign for Paul’s son, Rand Paul, in Kentucky and served as campaign manager for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 re-election, but resigned that summer as the investigation intensified in Iowa.
Speaking before the men were sentenced, an Iowa political consultant said the case is a stark reminder to anyone in the early presidential contest states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina that they’ll be intensely watched and they should follow the rules carefully.
“What you might get away with doing in a local state legislative campaigns can get you in really deep serious trouble on a presidential campaign if it’s exposed,” said Craig Robinson, who served on Steve Forbes’ presidential campaign in 2000, was state GOP director in 2008 and is publisher of the conservative “The Iowa Republican” blog.
Originally posted here:
Ron Paul aides facing prison time in campaign finance …
Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm
What is Censorship in America? Censorship in America is the act of altering, adjusting, editing, or banning of any or all media resulting from the presumption that its content is perceived to be objectionable, incendiary, illicit, or immoral by the Federal Government of the United States. The ideology, methodology, and measures or determination regarding media subject to Censorship in America varies; in conjunction to the precepts expressed within the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, unless the nature of the media in question is in direct violation of American legislation, its Censorship in America will typically undergo judicial review. Media Censorship in America The nature of the term media is subject to substantial variation – the classification of which may be reliant on time period, applicable legislation, and the technological means enacted for its respective disbursement. The following are some examples of varying natures of media with regard to both their respective structures, as well as their subjection to prospective Censorship in America: Public Media Censorship in America A Public Media Broadcast is defined as the transmission of media on the part of a single individual or group via electronic recipients called receivers within wired circuitry responsible for delivering the picture to individual televisions and radios. A radio broadcast is transmitted over amplitude or frequency modulated airwaves, while a television broadcast is transmitted over basic cable or specified television stations. Public Broadcast A Public Broadcast is defined as a transmission of media through the usage of transceivers and/or receivers belonging to the public and regulated by the Federal Government. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the governmental branch that is responsible for the regulation of content expressed through media disseminated through the use of publically-owned airwaves; the regulations and stipulations undertaken by the FCC are responsible for the oversight of Censorship in America. Private Broadcast A Private Broadcast is a method of Broadcasting in which the media being transmitted is neither sanctioned, nor regulated by a governmental agency. A vast array means for private broadcast exist with regard to subscription-based media channels and avenues, cable television, Internet Satellite Radio, and private websites on the Internet.Guidelines for Censorship in America Violence and Censorship in America Media involving the promotion or undertaking of criminal activity, threat, malice, or the promotion of illegal and damaging ideas with the intent to cause harm; although there exists a vast amount debate with regards to the depiction of criminal activity for entertainment purposes in contrast to those media outlets that are deemed to glorify that same activity, the law enforcement agencies are responsible for the regulation and classification of such media. Activities Sexual in Nature and Censorship in America Media including pornographic images depicting minors, children, or individuals below the age of 18 is considered to be a very serious offense; this criminal activity is not only applicable to those parties responsible for the release of this nature of media, but also to those individuals in ownership of that material: Furthermore, pornographic images depicting sexual acts involving animals, violence, injury, and simulated relationships illicit and unlawful in nature are also considered to be illegal and subject to Censorship in America Comments
Posted: May 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm
This is not without reason. Libertarians talk a lot about auditing the Federal Reserve and returning U.S. currency to the gold standard. They rail against the war on drugs and many of them, including the party’s front-runner, enjoy pot. But as the Libertarian Party gathers in Florida to select its nominee during an unprecedented year in politics, it has a chance to break out of the fringe.
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party offers an ideological and political alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties, in favor of reducing government involvement in all sectors, from the economy to social issues.
Although disagreement abounds on specific measures and the extent to which government should shrink, Libertarians almost universally advocate for slashing government benefits, reducing economic regulations and implementing radical reform — if not the outright elimination — of the Federal Reserve. On social matters, Libertarians generally take a liberal approach, favoring same-sex marriage and the decriminalization of most, or all, drugs. The party is deeply pro-gun rights and takes a skeptical stance on any military involvement in other countries.
Many of these ideas are rooted in principles espoused by Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged.” Rand helped popularize the controversial Libertarian principle that “egoism” was preferable to altruism — that one’s self-interest trumped anything else so long as it did not mean hurting anyone else.
These ideas are old, and debates over core Libertarian principles abound. Rather than dig through the weeds, CNN reached out to several contemporary Libertarians — all of whom will be key players in the national convention this weekend — to get a better understanding of Libertarianism as it stands now.
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee and the frontrunner this cycle, said, “The more government does, the less freedom we enjoy. The Libertarian view is in favor of smaller government and greater individual liberty.”
Austin Petersen, a hardcore party advocate and candidate for president, said Libertarianism “means being fiscally conservative and socially whatever you want provided you don’t force it on anyone else.”
He said people could live as they pleased. Whether that meant living by traditional values or taking hard drugs, Petersen said the government should not regulate anyone’s lifestyle.
“You can live a socially conservative lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean you want to legislate other people to have a socially conservative lifestyle,” Petersen said.
Petersen has split with many socially liberal members of his party on abortion, which allows him to pitch himself social conservatives in a way other candidates cannot.
“I believe a fetus is a human child,” Petersen said. “You cannot have liberty without sanctity of life.”
Meanwhile, John McAfee, a cybersecurity expert who earned international notoriety years before his recent run for the Libertarian nomination, described libertarianism as an economic and social lifestyle of its own. He rolled off a list of principles he said defined his understanding of the party.
“Number one, our bodies and our minds belong to ourselves and not to the government or anyone else for that matter. Number two, we should not harm one another,” McAfee recited.
“Number three, we should not take each other’s stuff. We should not steal each other’s property. Number four, we should keep our agreements.”
Carla Howell, political director of the Libertarian National Committee, offered the party’s own answer.
“We advocate for minimum government and maximum freedom,” Howell said.
When it comes to policy, Howell cited party commitments to cutting taxes, ending the war on drugs and privatizing poorly performing government agencies. She took the TSA to task in particular, calling for its elimination. Howell also said the Libertarian Party advocates ending military interventions and foreign aid, which she said would promote peace and reduce spending.
“Bottom line,” Howell said, “We need to make government much smaller than it is today.”
See the rest here:
What is Libertarianism? – CNNPolitics.com