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Conservative leadership hopefuls argue drugs, euthanasia, and fiscal policy in Langley – Langley Advance

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Ajax-Pickering MP Chris Alexander, right, debates as ReginaQuAppelle MP and former House Speaker Andrew Scheer, left, and former Ontario MP Pierre Lemieux, centre, listen at the Conservative Party leadership debate in Langley on Sunday.

image credit: Katya Slepian/Black Press

by Katya Slepian Black Press

More than 500 people packed the hall at Darvonda Nurseries Saturday afternoon to hear a dozen candidates fight to lead the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Langley debate, the only one in the Fraser Valley, might have failed to bring in Kevin OLeary orDeepak Obhrai, but the 12 candidates there didnt shy away from the hard issues.

The three-hour debate was moderated by Conservative senator Yonah Martin.

Following a round of opening statements, the 12 candidates were broken up into four groups of three to debate one policy question each before answering audience questions.

The emphasis for the entire three hours was on the return to Conservative values, something the party feels is lacking both in Canadian society and Parliament.

Justin Trudeaus plan to legalize marijuana didnt go over well with the first trio.

We dont need to legalize marijuana, said Brad Trost, MP for Saskatoon-University. In a rare bit of criticism for past Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Trost admitted that the Conservatives should have done more to educate Canadians on the dangers of the drug.

Safe injection sites were also unpopular with both Milton MP Lisa Raitt and Trost.

We need to take legislative action to stop these things from spreading, Trost said.

One candidate broke from the crowd.

“I favour the safe injection sites, having lived in Vancouver and done volunteer work with First Nations youth and others in the Downtown Eastside and having listened to people on the ground, said Rick Peterson. Peterson, a Vancouver-based venture capitalist, was the only one on the stage with no political experience.

Smimcoe-Grey MP Kellie Leith vowed to interview every single person who crossed the Canadian border and send those who are there illegally back.

“We have laws about this. These individuals should be detained. We should talk to them about whether they really are refugees and if they arent they should be sent home, she said.

Leitch drew on her experience as a former surgeon when questioning the federal governments euthanasia legislation.

Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong appealed to social conservatives.

I believe in freedom of conscience, Chong said.

Former North Vancouver MP Andrew Saxton reminded the audience that he had voted against assisted dying.

I was concerned that people at their most vulnerable time would be making decisions that were irreversible, he said.

Trudeaus carbon tax was met with derision across the board.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Carbon dioxide exists naturally in the atmosphere, said ReginaQuAppelle MP and former House Speaker Andrew Scheer.

Scheer, former Ontario MP Pierre Lemieux, and Ajax-Pickering MP Chris Alexander all spoke out against the Liberals carbon tax, vowing to remove it if they took the top spot.

Beauce MP Maxime Bernier, Durham MP Erin OToole, andLvisBellechasse MP Steven Blaney all said they would reverse the Liberal deficit.

Cutting taxes was the popular choice across the board while some, like Peterson, advocated for getting rid of corporate taxes entirely.

Trost had one other idea.

“Let me offer a helpful suggestion where we can find $1 billion. Get rid of the CBC privatize it, he said. The Conservatives have tried to make cuts to CBC before the latest round launched the Save the CBC campaign in 2015.

Increased military spending, and particularly more ships for the Navy, received universal approval.

As a founding country in NATO, we should all be embarrassed that in the last generation, we have not made the two per cent commitment we pledged, said OToole. Alliance member nations pledge to spend two per cent of their GDP on defence funding.

And now we see [U.S.] President Donald Trump questioning NATO because of all the free riding countries like us.”

Lemieux spoke out against the untouchability of Supreme Court decisions.

The Supreme Court is almost sacrosanct. Youre not allowed to breathe a sigh of concern about the Supreme Court of Canada and thats wrong, said Lemieux.

The most controversial issues of our day abortion, euthanasia, prostitution they havent been decided by parliamentarians, they havent been decided by Canadians. Theyve been decided with the Supreme Court.

Lemieux believes that all of those issues should be up for debate. That includes abortion, which Harper did not touch during his time in office.

Trost and Blaney joined in on the debate, both saying that they were willing to use the notwithstanding clause which allows Parliament to override portions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Conservative Party will choose a new leader on May 27 in Toronto.

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Going Beyond The Primal Instinct In Relationships – Collective Evolution

Posted: at 7:20 pm

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What do we look for first in a romantic partner? Sexual chemistry? Attraction? Perhaps. But what if theseare the wrong things to be looking for if what we actually want is intimacy?

My teacher once said, If you meet someone and you immediately are dying to jump into bed with them, then RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION!


This seems so counterintuitive, and yet if we listen to our stories of meeting people, having great chemistry, and then getting sexy, what is the rest of the story most of the time?

And then it just died. He never called back. Its like there was nothing else between us. We had nothing else to talk about. I dont get it.


There are great parallels between animal mating rituals and the way we try to find partners. There is an initial sexual attraction, there is a little dance, and if all goes well, sexual union.

In the animal world, the job is done because the goal was procreation. Its the inborn instinct to create little ones. Its important. But once sexual union is complete, the job is finished. (Of course there are animals who mate for life, but the comparison still holds.)

And so with us, ifthe first thing that draws us in is the desire for sexual connection with someone, we have to step back and ask ourselves some questions. Is this just my primal desire talking? Would our genetics simply create strong offspring? Why is the desire so overpowering? Hmmm

We often treat sex like a game that we would like to play together. We think that since we both like raquetball, we might as well play together. Its fun. Its pleasurable. Its a great way to pass an evening.

But true intimacy isnt raquetball.

True intimacyis about you and the other person. It is about the depth of your connection. Its about connecting with our whole selves.

Sexual intimacy is a function of that relationship. It isnt just something to do. (Well, it can be. You can have regular, physical sex with anyone. But the satisfaction isnt long-lasting. In fact, it just tends to make you desire more because youjust arent satisfied.)

What if instead, our first thoughtwhen we meet someone was, Wow, what a great person, or Id love to chat more with this person. How different would that be?

And then we chat. We do things together. I know it sounds very old-fashioned, but we start making connections in all kinds of aspects of who we are.

Soon, we enjoy doing things together. We want to know their opinion. We want to share our day. We want to hear about theirs.

And then perhaps it leads to getting sexually intimate maybe.

It intrigues me that many people who I know are in truly loving, deep relationships often say that if they had had to choose their partner on a dating app or if they had had to decide whether they would see each other again after one date, they likely wouldnt have chosen them. They say that it was only after they got to know each other that they realized how wonderful their partner was.

And once the love was there, it was deep and beautiful.

So, perhaps the new questions are very intuitive. Would I like to get to know this person more? Would I like to know their opinion on things? Would I like to hear about their day? Would I like to travel with them? Would I like to share my world with them?

This reality creates quite a multi-dimensional foundation to play within. Then, if you become lovers, imagine looking into the eyes of this person that you share so much with while you make love

This is when things get really interesting.

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Taxing Religious Freedom – Daily Caller

Posted: at 7:10 pm


Is a threat to eliminate the tax exemption of churches that endorse candidates or political parties posed by a 1954 law called the Johnson Amendment a constitutional infringement on the rights of church leaders to freely express themselves from the pulpit?

At ColoradoPolitics.com, Deb Walker, executive director of Citizens Project writes, Government may not subsidize political endorsements through tax exemption, and that The Johnson Amendment ensures that citizens of all faith traditions (or no faith tradition) are not inadvertently financially supporting church-based politicking. There are two failures in reasoning here.

First, the reasons for exempting churches from taxation are distinguishable from those that apply to other types of charitable organizations. Whereas the law may exempt secular charities because it deems that the charitable purposes provide public benefits that outweigh the need to tax such activities, the principle of not taxing churches originates in the constitutional, philosophical and political foundations of our nation.

The Supreme Court examined this principle in Everson v. Board of Education, a 1947 case affirming the authority of a state to provide funding for school busses to transport children to Catholic schools in New Jersey writing, The centuries immediately before and contemporaneous with the colonization of America had been filled with turmoil, civil strife and persecutions, generated in large part by established sects determined to maintain their absolute political and religious supremacy. These practices of the old world began to thrive in the soil of the new AmericaCatholics found themselves hounded and proscribed because of their faithmen and women of varied faithswere persecuted. And all of these dissenters were compelled to pay tithes and taxes to support government-sponsored churches.

The people [of Virginia], as elsewhere, reached the conviction that individual religious liberty could be achieved best under a government which was stripped of all power to tax[in order to] interfere with the beliefs of any religious individual or group.

The establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment means at least thisno tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.

This sounds as if the Court would hold that New Jersey has no authority to provide taxpayer-funded school busses for Catholic schoolchildren, but thats not case. What the Court pointed out in affirming that policy is that the amendment commands that New Jerseycannot exclude individual Catholics, Lutherans, Mohammedans, Baptists, Jews, Methodists, Nonbelievers, Presbyterians, or the members of any other faith, because of their faith, or lack of it, from receiving the benefits of public welfare legislation. (Emphasis in original)

The second error is that a tax exemption is not a subsidy. An exemption from a tax is not giving the person or group exempted something they dont already have. Neither a taxpayer not affiliated with a religious organization nor the government has something taken from them that goes to a church merely because the church doesnt pay a tax. Therefore, a tax exemption does not mean that the public is financially supporting church-based politicking, nor does it mean that the government is entangled in underwriting partisan political activity.

Where the Johnson Amendment and Walker go wrong is in failing to understand that when it comes to religion the taxing power of Congress has a constitutional hurdle it must overcome that doesnt apply to conventional non-religious charitable organizations.

The historic truths cited by the Supreme Court stand for the proposition that the government cannot tax religious institutions in ways that inhibit the free exercise of religion just as much as it does the proposition that it cannot tax anyone for the purposes of advancing religion.

Thus, when it comes to religious institutions its questionable whether or not the 501(c)(3) rules apply at all because it is the First Amendment itself that arguably prohibits the taxation of churches because religion-suppressing taxation has always been as formidable an enemy of religious freedom throughout history as religion-supporting taxation has, as the Supreme Court points out and as the Founders went to great pains to avoid.

Religiously motivated speech is a constitutionally protected aspect of religious liberty that cannot be suppressed by the threat of anti-religious, anti-free-speech government taxation. This includes the freedom of both ministers and others to preach in favor of or against any political party or candidate or any other matter that they believe would either threaten or support their rights to religious freedom.

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Free Speech Has a Milo Problem – National Review

Posted: at 7:03 pm

To understand the core of the free-speech challenge in this country, consider the case of a hypothetical young woman named Sarah. In college, Sarah is a conservative activist. Shes pro-life, supports traditional marriage, and belongs to a Christian student club. Her free speech infuriates professors and other students, so the administration cracks down. It defunds her student club, forces her political activism into narrow, so-called free-speech zones, and reminds her to comply with the universitys tolerance policies.

What does Sarah do? She sues the school, she wins, and the school pays her attorneys fees. The judge expands the free-speech zone to cover the whole campus and strikes down the tolerance policy. The First Amendment wins.

Sarah graduates. A brilliant student, she gets a job at a Silicon Valley start-up and moves to California to start her new life. Just as they did in college, politics dominate her conversations, and within a week she gets into an argument with a colleague over whether Bruce Jenner is really a woman. The next morning, Sarahs called into the HR department, given a stern warning for violating company policy, and told that if she cant comply shell need to find another place to work.

What does Sarah do? She shuts her mouth or she loses her job. Her employer isnt the government; its a private company with its own free-speech rights, and it expects its employees to respect its corporate values.

In a nutshell, this is Americas free-speech problem. The law is largely solid. Government entities that censor or silence citizens on the basis of their political, cultural, or religious viewpoint almost always lose in court. With some exceptions, the First Amendment remains robust. Yet the culture of free speech is eroding away, rapidly.

The politicization of everything has combined with increasing levels of polarization and cocooning to create an atmosphere in which private citizens are increasingly weaponizing their expression using their social and economic power not to engage in debate but to silence dissent. Corporate bullying, social-media shaming, and relentless peer pressure combine to place a high cost on any departure from the mandated norms. Even here in Middle Tennessee, I have friends who are afraid to post about their religious views online or express disagreements during mandatory corporate-diversity seminars, lest they lose their jobs. One side speaks freely. The other side speaks not at all.


There is no government solution to this problem. The First Amendment prohibits the state from mandating openness to debate and dissent, and corporations arent designed to be debating societies. Nor can the government prevent (or even try to prevent) the kinds of social-media shaming campaigns and peer pressures that cause men and women to stay silent for fear of social exclusion. The solution is to persuade the powerful that free speech has value, that ideological monocultures are harmful, and that the great questions of life cant and shouldnt be settled through shaming, hectoring, or silencing.

It is thus singularly unfortunate that the conservative poster boy for free speech is Milo Yiannopoulos.

Milo, for those who dont know, is a flamboyantly gay senior editor at Breitbart News, a provocateur who relishes leftist outrage and deliberately courts as much fury as he can. How? Please allow my friend Ben Shapiro to explain:

Jews run the media; earlier this month he characterized a Jewish BuzzFeed writer as a a typical example of a sort of thick-as-pig shit media Jew; he justifies anti-Semitic memes as playful trollery and pats racist sites like American Renaissance on the head; he describes himself as a chronicler of, and occasional fellow traveler with the alt-right while simultaneously recognizing that their dangerously bright intellectuals believe that culture is inseparable from race; back in his days going under the name Milo Wagner, he reportedly posed with his hand atop a Hitler biography, posted a Hitler meme about killing 6 million Jews, and wore an Iron Cross; last week he berated a Muslim woman in the audience of one of his speeches for wearing a hijab in the United States; his alt-right followers routinely spammed my Twitter account with anti-Semitic propaganda he tut-tutted before his banning (the amount of anti-Semitism in my feed dropped by at least 70 percent after his ban, which I opposed); he personally Tweeted a picture of a black baby at me on the day of my sons birth, because according to the alt-right Im a cuck who wants to see the races mixed; he sees the Constitution as a hackneyed remnant of the past, to be replaced by a new right he leads.

Oh, and this week recordings rocketed across Twitter that showed Milo apparently excusing pedophilia and expressing gratitude to a Catholic priest for teaching him how to perform oral sex. (Later, on Facebook, he vigorously denied that he supports pedophilia, saying he is completely disgusted by the abuse of children.)

Milo is currently on what he calls his Dangerous Faggot tour of college campuses, which has followed a now-familiar pattern: A conservative group invites him to speak, leftists on campus freak out, and he thrives on the resulting controversy, casting himself as a hero of free expression. Lately, the leftist freakouts have grown violent, culminating in a scary riot at the University of California, Berkeley.

Operating under the principle that the enemy of my enemy must be my friend, too many on the right have leapt to Milos defense, ensuring that his star just keeps rising. Every liberal conniption brings him new conservative credibility and fresh appearances on Fox News. Last week Bill Maher featured him as a defender of free speech, and for a brief time he had been expected to speak at the nations largest and arguably most important conservative gathering, CPAC. (CPAC rescinded its invitation today.)

Lets put this plainly: If Milos the poster boy for free speech, then free speech will lose. Hes the perfect foil for social-justice warriors, a living symbol of everything they fight against. His very existence and prominence feed the deception that modern political correctness is the firewall against the worst forms of bigotry.

Ive spent a career defending free speech in court, and Ive never defended a conservative like Milo. His isnt the true face of the battle for American free-speech rights. That face belongs to Barronelle Stutzman, the florist in Washington whom the Left is trying to financially ruin because she refused to use her artistic talents to celebrate a gay marriage. It belongs to Kelvin Cochran, the Atlanta fire chief who was fired for publishing and sharing with a few colleagues a book he wrote that expressed orthodox Christian views of sex and marriage.

Stutzman and Cochran demonstrate that intolerance and censorship strike not just at people on the fringe people like Milo but rather at the best and most reasonable citizens of these United States. Theyre proof that social-justice warriors seek not equality and inclusion but control and domination.

Milo has the same free-speech rights as any other American. He can and should be able to troll to his hearts content without fear of government censorship or private riot. But by elevating him even higher, CPAC would have made a serious mistake. CPACs invitation told the world that supporting conservative free speech means supporting Milo. If theres a more effective way to vindicate the social-justice Left, I cant imagine it.

David French is a staff writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and an attorney.

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UCLA Professor: Students Blocked From My Free Speech Course – Daily Caller

Posted: at 7:03 pm


UCLA is preventing students from registering for a conservative professors free speech class for the spring semester, says the professor who teaches the course, The College Fix reports.

Keith Fink is charging that his department head is blocking enrollment in the his free speech on campus study because the members are politically hostile to his ideas.

But the head of the UCLA communications department says student enrollment in the class is limited to ensure reasonable class sizes and not based on any political assessment.

That reasonable size is limited to 150 students.

The students say they just want to sign-up for the professorsCommunication Studies 167: Sex, Politics, and Race: Free Speech on Campus.

Taryn Jacobson told The College Fix that she has repeatedly tried to register for one of Finks classes but is always turned away because the course is supposedly full.

This is one of my last quarters at UCLA and this class is crucial to my preparation for law school, Jacobson stated in an email. It will also strongly guide my decision (either by affirming or dis-affirming) my aspirations to attend.

Even though the class was closed to further enrollment, Jacobson went anyway with a permission-to-enroll (PTE) form that Fink gave her.The form was subsequently overruled by UCLA.

The Daily Bruin reports that Fink seems to be the only professor who cant get a PTE form approved by the university.

I am a voice of a teacher whos not going to go away, Fink told the UCLA college newspaper. When I see an injustice toward students, I am going to fight.

Fink blames Kerri Johnson, the new chair of the communication studies department, for also blocking students from enrolling in another one of his classes that focuses on free speech in the workplace.

Austin Kaidi, a former teaching assistant in Finks classes, told The College Fix: For the past five years, Professor Fink has been able to educate large numbers of students without any problems. However one quarter after the Communication Studies appoints a chairwoman with incredibly left-leaning ideals, Professor Fink, the only outspoken conservative in the department, is singled out, his PTEs are revoked, and his future classes are limited.

Kaidi said she was not even aware of Keiths political opinions when she was taking his classes.

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Burlington students press for free speech – BurlingtonFreePress.com

Posted: at 7:03 pm

A bill for students rights and freedom of expression passed its first hurdle last week unopposed in the Senate. NICOLE HIGGINS DeSMET/Free Press

Burlington fans, with less controversial signs, cheer for the team during the high school football game between the Rice Green Knights and the Burlington Seahorses at Burlington high school on Friday night September 9, 2016 in Burlington.(Photo: BRIAN JENKINS/for the FREE PRESS)

A bill for students rights and freedom of expression passed its first hurdle last week unopposed in the Senate.

The legislation,Senate Bill 18was sponsored by Sen. JeanetteWhite of Putney, is timelyfor students at theBurlington High SchoolRegister, a school sponsored publication.Censorship hit the Register in Septemberwhen an editor, Alexandre Silberman, 18, wrote an articleabouta sign held by a Rice Memorial High School fan at a football game against Burlington.

The signclaimed that BHS football players were, among other things,gang members and convicts.

“They got really concerned about that story,” Alexandre Silberman, said in a January interview.Silberman is also afreelance writer for the Burlington Free Press.

“They had us pull the image. They edited part of the article. We werent allowed to say what the sign said or print the image of the sign, sowe had to be really vague in describing it,” Silberman said.

Inspired by whathappenedat the Register and what he heard about how a similar law benefited other student journalism programs,Silberman andco-editorJake Bucci testified before the Vermont Legislature in January, after the bill had been introduced.

Citing the First Amendment’s guarantee offreedom of speech, the bill seeksto liberate students from school-sponsored censorship andprotect advisers from administrative backlash.

Burlington High School in May 2016.(Photo: FREE PRESS FILE)

David Lamberti,the adviser for the Register and a business teacher at the high school,supports the bill.

“Knowing I cannot be held legally responsible or fired for supporting my students is comforting,” Lamberti wrote back after first submitting questions from the Burlington Free Pressto Principal Tracy Racicot.

“Another reason I support the Bill is because we need to teach kids at a younger age how to ask difficult questions and have conversations aboutdivisivetopics,” Lamberti wrote, explaining the difficulty of starting such conversations when the studentslack skills to process them.

“The administration at BHS has always supported a student’s right to voice their opinions.Indeed, in my experience, they have always respected the student voice,” Lamberti said.

But Silberman says the school has taken actionsthat could createself-censorship, curbingstudents fromtrying to push for more controversial stories.

Student journalists from the Burlington High School Registrar stand in teh Burlington Free Press news room with their editor Alexandre Silberman, who is third from the left.(Photo: Free Press File)

“Now we are required to send the entire paper in advance. They can decideto pull any articles they want,” Silberman said of the school’s administrative policy. Previously,according to Silberman, Lamberti would flagindividual articlesfor Principal Racicot’s review.

Lamberti did not respond to an emailed question regarding how this policyequates with supportingstudents rights to voice their opinions.

The bill, nicknamed New Voices, has just made it to theHouse Committee on Education. Committee Chairman, Rep. David Sharpe, wasn’tfamiliar with the bill on Monday. His first response to the legislation was mixed.

“I can’t see why we wouldn’t want to protect student journalists,” Sharpe said,”but at the same time administration should have some right to control hate speech on t-shirts and promoting risky behavior.”

The bill, as introduced, would not givestudents the right to breakstate or federal laws regardinglibel, slander, privacy and the orderly operation of a school.

Rep. KathrynWebb of Shelburne reports that the committee will probably look atthe bill in mid-March.

ContactNicoleHigginsDeSmet, ndesmet@freepressmedia.com or 802-660-1845. Follow her on Twitter@NicoleHDeSmet.

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This Presidents’ Day, defend the First Amendment – The Hill (blog)

Posted: at 6:54 pm

In many ways, free speech is the right that protects all others, reinforcing every freedom that we hold dear and that so many have fought and died for.

This Presidents’ Day, we should reflect on the reasons our Founding Fathers enshrined this right in our First Amendment. And we must acknowledge that this fundamental right is under attackeven for those who have fought to protect it.

Brandon Coleman, a Marine Corps veteran, began working as a therapist at the VA hospital in Phoenix to provide care for his brothers and sisters in arms. When he found that veterans there were dying due to negligence, he spoke upand for that, he was punished. When he told management what was going on, they told him thats how people get fired. They even tried to use his own personal medical records against him, and issued a gag order to silence him.

Colemans VA experience reminds of President Abraham Lincoln, who famously said that we as a nation will never be destroyed from the outside. “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher, he said if the United States loses its freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Veterans like Brandon fought to defend us against external threats, but more and more are realizing that the biggest threat to our freedom is a government that is quick to limit our inalienable rights. The oath servicemen and women take to support and defend our Constitution doesnt end when we hang up our uniforms and return to civilian life.

Brandons case is one of many instances in which the very same government thats supposed to be protecting the right to free speech has tried to suppress it. Its not just happening at the VAlook at the way the government has intimidated religious groups by leaking donor lists, or the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in which the agency targeted certain groups because of their views on public policy.

Time and again, the government has silenced those it disagrees with by using citizens private information against them. Which makes it all the more concerning that a growing number of states are now trying to get more information about Americans who exercise their First Amendment rights.

In South Carolina, legislation was recently filed in the state Senate that would force essentially every nonprofit organization that educates citizens about public policy to disclose to the government the names, addresses, and employers of supporters who donate more than a certain dollar amount. Similar efforts have surfaced in both Nebraska and South Dakota. Touted under the banner of transparency, these so-called disclosure laws are nothing more than thinly-veiled attacks on free speech.

Throughout our history, the First Amendment has allowed citizens to challenge the government and powerful groups in all sectors, rooting out fraud and corruption. It has allowed marginalized groups to speak out against injustice, spurring progress toward equality. It has allowed millions of Americans to contribute to a marketplace of ideas, fostering a free society, a thriving culture and the largest economy in the world.

All too often today, our free speech right that was designed to hold the government accountable is being used by the government to harass, intimidate, and silence the very citizens the right is meant to protect.

With a new administration and a new Congress, there may now be a real opportunity to scale back and prevent further threats facing our First Amendment rights. But during these turbulent political times, we cant take that for granted.

Abolition, the womens movement, civil rights the inalienable right to free speech is what gave the foot soldiers in all of these movements the ability to speak up for themselves. Now that free speech is under attack, will we speak up for it?

Mark Lucas is the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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These principles of freedom are worth the fight by universities – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

I am writing to express my support for the 50 members of the Faculty and Staff Social Justice Association at Duquesne University for their efforts to protect students by urging that the school become a sanctuary campus.Freedom of expression and right to protest are hallmarks of our democracy. This free exchange of ideas is particularly important in academic settings. I applaud the faculty members for taking this strong and righteous position against the new administration in Washington over its threats and inequitable policies against immigrant students.

While I very much respect Duquesne Universitys president and understand why he has taken a neutral stance on the sanctuary campus issue, I would urge the university to join other schools and academic leaders across the state and nation who have taken a stance in support of all their students against these shortsighted immigration policies.

Whether these students are documented immigrants or not, I do not see the point in disrupting their lives and educational pursuits. In seeking a college education, they are positioning themselves to have a positive and constructive impact on our country and its future.

I would emphasize that many police officers and law enforcement leaders across the nation have also expressed opposition to President Donald Trumps immigration crackdown. Yet another unfunded federal mandate, these proposals would only add additional enforcement and detention costs and responsibilities for local police departments stretching limited resources and placing additional financial burdens on local taxpayers. This repressive policy would also discourage immigrant populations from reporting crimes and cooperating with police officers.

I salute Duquesnes faculty members for supporting their students and urge the schools administration to bolster this ethical and principled position with full institutional support.


The writer represents the states 42nd Senatorial District.

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Point/Counterpoint: On Liberal Capitalism – The Free Weekly

Posted: February 18, 2017 at 4:08 am

I hope to explain what libertarian capitalism is, and what anarcho-capitalism is. Government has two main aspects extent and purpose. Extent how much violence-power it wields can be gauged by how much a government taxes, spends, incarcerates, and so on. Anarchists, by definition, reject all government violence-power in principle, preferring voluntary cooperation.

Anarchists believe that all the good things that government currently produces, such as courts, police, roads, and education, can be done better and more morally by voluntary society the market. Anarcho-capitalists believe that private property (by entitlement, not decree) is generally the best way to solve the scarcity problem peacefully. This belief makes us capitalist. We favor out-competing government, not violent revolution, and work on projects such as private education (online learning) private money (crypto currency,) private courts, and private police firms. (Would citizens of Ferguson choose a belligerent all-white police patrol in a freed market with competing companies?)

Libertarian capitalists want an economy based on free markets and private property. Free markets, to us, mean no government intervention whatsoever no subsidies, cartelizing regulations, or licensure. We make a clear distinction between market capitalists and crony capitalists. Like our libertarian socialist cohorts, we strongly oppose corporatism, which is collusion between government and favored crony firms. If government is involved, it is not libertarian capitalism.

Anarcho-capitalists are the radicals we want no compulsory government whatsoever. More centrist libertarian capitalists are called minarchists since they want a minimal State limited to courts, police, and national defense. Redistribution and social engineering are not valid functions of government.

Libertarians see mainstream media as offering a false dichotomy between statist socialism and statist capitalism. Free market solutions are off their radar. To mainstream media, a treaty creating a trade cartel is a free trade agreement! Similarly, we are offered the choice between nationalized medicine and fascist medicine, with no mention of the free market alternative. Libertarians want people to consider voluntary alternatives to the government gun.

Some libertarian capitalist positions:

1) Anti-war and anti-imperialist. We oppose military intervention in foreign countries. Minarchists want a defense-only military, or no standing army at all. Anarcho-capitalists would rely for defense on insurance firms, guerrilla warfare, militias, and the lack of incentive to attack peaceful trading partners. Free markets create an automatic constituency for peace.

2) We are against neo-liberalism and other efforts of governments to control, regulate, or capture international trade. Trade should be voluntary, not enforced by governments. We oppose the corporatocracy; States should not be loan sharks to developing nations.

3) We are against corporatism. We think large corporations would mostly disappear in a freed market, lacking the government subsidies that give them advantages and create barriers for competition.

4) Employment is incidental to capitalism. It is fine so long as it is voluntary. We look forward to a time when everyone is an individual entrepreneur, cooperating with other producers as equal traders. (Here we disagree with libertarian socialists. We think employment is okay but sub-optimal; they think it is evil wage slavery.)

5) Anarcho-capitalists want voluntary society to prevail, and take over all (legitimate) functions that the state now does. Anarcho-socialists, our counterparts, concur.

Libertarianism, in essence, is about moving humanity away from the coercive rule of authorities, and toward a society where all activities are voluntary. Libertarian capitalists predict that, in a stateless society, many/most people will opt for some type of private property. Libertarian socialists think that many/most people will opt for some type of collective property. In a stateless society these wouldnt conflict; there is ample scope for experimentation in freedom.

Most libertarians hold a non-aggression ethic that one should not initiate force (violence) against others. Libertarians (as such) are not pacifists; we believe in self-defense, but the initiation of force is criminal. Most people agree with this non-aggression presumption in their personal lives, but statists give government a free pass. E.g. People who would never demand money from their neighbor at gunpoint, think nothing of voting for their government to do just that. Government, to statists, is above human morality. Libertarians, in contrast, hold everyone to the same moral standard.

Abel is a libertarian socialist, so he shares my belief in limited government. When he speaks against capitalism, keep in mind that he defines capitalism as only the statist type, corporatism. In past discussions he didnt address libertarian capitalism at all. But listen to him! Libertarian socialists have a very good critique of statist capitalism. Libertarian capitalists agree with his analysis of capitalism perverted by government. We hate Pinochet and fascism, too. The kind of capitalism libertarian capitalists favor is no-government free market capitalism the separation of economics and State.

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Point/Counterpoint: On Liberal Capitalism – The Free Weekly

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Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia

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Libertarianism in the United States is a movement promoting individual liberty and minimized government.[1][2] Although the word libertarian continues to be widely used to refer to socialists internationally, its meaning in the United States has deviated from its political origins.[3] The Libertarian Party asserts the following to be core beliefs of libertarianism:

Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.[4][5]

Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 1723% of the US electorate.[6] This includes members of the Republican Party (especially Libertarian Republicans), Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, and Independents.

Libertarianism, like many other concepts, predates the official coinage of that word. In the US the general movement started, philosophically, with the founding of the country itself, which was based on classical liberal ideas, which came to be known in the 20th century US as libertarianism. The ideas of John Locke, fundamental to those of the Founding Fathers, are considered a starting point for libertarian thought. Minarchists like Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, influenced by Locke, advocated positions that are not only compatible with modern American libertarianism, but are also considered foundations for that movement.

In the 19th century, key libertarian thinkers, individualist anarchists and minarchists, were based in the US, most notably Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker. These political thinkers argued that government should be kept to a minimum, and that it is only legitimate to the extent that people voluntarily support it, as in Spooner’s No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority. American writers Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson advocated for individualism and even anarchism throughout that century, leaving a significant imprint on libertarianism worldwide.

Moving into the 20th century, important American writers and scholars like H. L. Mencken and Bertrand Russell carried on the intellectual libertarian tradition. They were subsequently bolstered by a new movement who actually used the word, most noteworthy among these being Albert Jay Nock, author of Our Enemy, the State, one of the first people in the world to self-identify as “libertarian”, and European immigrant Ayn Rand, strongly influenced by Nock, who helped popularize the term, as well as Science Fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein, whose writing carried libertarian underpinnings, and who identified himself by the term as well.

In 1955, writer Dean Russell, a classic liberal himself, proposed a solution:

Here is a suggestion: Let those of us who love liberty trade-mark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word “libertarian”.[7]

Subsequently, a growing number of Americans with classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as “libertarian.”[8] Academics as well as proponents of the free market perspectives note that free-market libertarianism has spread beyond the US since the 1970s via think tanks and political parties[9][10] and that libertarianism is increasingly viewed worldwide as a free market position.[11][12] However, libertarian socialist intellectuals Noam Chomsky, Colin Ward, and others argue that the term “libertarianism” is considered a synonym for social anarchism by the international community and that the United States is unique in widely associating it with free market ideology.[13][14][15]

Arizona United States Senator Barry Goldwater’s libertarian-oriented challenge to authority had a major impact on the libertarian movement,[16] through his book The Conscience of a Conservative and his run for president in 1964.[17] Goldwater’s speech writer, Karl Hess, became a leading libertarian writer and activist.[18]

The Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of self-identified libertarians, anarchist libertarians, and more traditional conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements and organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society. They began founding their own publications, like Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum[19][20] and organizations like the Radical Libertarian Alliance.[21]

The split was aggravated at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, when more than 300 libertarians organized to take control of the organization from conservatives. The burning of a draft card in protest to a conservative proposal against draft resistance sparked physical confrontations among convention attendees, a walkout by a large number of libertarians, the creation of libertarian organizations like the Society for Individual Liberty, and efforts to recruit potential libertarians from conservative organizations.[22] The split was finalized in 1971 when conservative leader William F. Buckley, Jr., in a 1971 New York Times article, attempted to divorce libertarianism from the freedom movement. He wrote: “The ideological licentiousness that rages through America today makes anarchy attractive to the simple-minded. Even to the ingeniously simple-minded.”[23]

In 1971, David Nolan and a few friends formed the Libertarian Party.[24] Attracting former Democrats, Republicans and independents, it has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. Over the years, dozens of libertarian political parties have been formed worldwide. Educational organizations like the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute were formed in the 1970s, and others have been created since then.[25]

Philosophical libertarianism gained a significant measure of recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974. The book won a National Book Award in 1975.[26] According to libertarian essayist Roy Childs, “Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia single-handedly established the legitimacy of libertarianism as a political theory in the world of academia.”[27]

Texas congressman Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns for the Republican Party presidential nomination were largely libertarian. Paul was affiliated with the libertarian-leaning Republican Liberty Caucus and founded the Campaign for Liberty, a libertarian-leaning membership and lobbying organization. His son, US Senator Rand Paul continues the tradition, albeit more “moderately”.

The 2016 Libertarian National Convention which saw Gary Johnson and Bill Weld nominated as the 2016 presidential ticket for the Libertarian Party resulted in the most successful result for a third-party presidential candidacy since 1996, and the best in the Libertarian Party’s history by vote number. Johnson received 3% of the popular vote, amounting to more than 4.3 million votes. Johnson has expressed a desire to win at least 5% of the vote so that the Libertarian Party candidates could get equal ballot access and federal funding, thus subsequently ending the two-party system.[28][29][30]

As was true historically, though, there are far more libertarians in the US than those who belong to the party touting that name. In the United States, libertarians may emphasize economic and constitutional rather than religious and personal policies, or personal and international rather than economic policies,[31] such as the Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, which has become a major outlet for Libertarian Republican ideas[32][33] especially rigorous adherence to the US Constitution, lower taxes and an opposition to a growing role for the federal government in health care. However polls show that many people who identify as Tea Party members do not hold traditional libertarian views on most social issues, and tend to poll similarly to socially conservative Republicans.[34][35][36] Eventually during the 2016 presidential election many Tea Party members abandoned more libertarian leaning views in favor of Donald Trump and his right wing populism .[37]

Additionally, the Tea Party was considered to be a key force in Republicans reclaiming control of the US House of Representatives in 2010.[38]

Polls (circa 2006) find that the views and voting habits of between 10 and 20 percent (and increasing) of voting age Americans may be classified as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or libertarian.”[39][40] This is based on pollsters and researchers defining libertarian views as

Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 1723% of the US electorate.[6] Most of these vote for Republican and Democratic (not Libertarian) party candidates. This posits that the common single-axis paradigm of dividing people’s political leanings into “conservative”, “liberal” and “confused” is not valid.[41] Libertarians make up a larger portion of the US electorate than the much-discussed “soccer moms” and “NASCAR dads”, yet this is not widely recognized. One reason for this is that most pollsters, political analysts, and political pundits believe in the paradigm of the single liberal-conservative axis.[39]

Well-known libertarian organizations include the Center for Libertarian Studies, the Cato Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the Reason Foundation, the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The Libertarian Party of the United States is the world’s first such party.

The Free State Project, an activist movement formed in 2001, is working to bring 20,000 libertarians to the state of New Hampshire to influence state policy. As of May 2015, the project website shows that 16,683 people have pledged to move once 20,000 are signed on, and 1,746 participants have already moved to New Hampshire or were already residing there when New Hampshire was chosen as the destination for the Free State Project in 2003.[42] Less successful similar projects include the Free West Alliance and Free State Wyoming.

The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, DC It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch,[43] chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries.[nb 1] In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute.[43][44] Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence.[45] According to the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Cato is number 16 in the “Top Think Tanks Worldwide” and number 8 in the “Top Think Tanks in the United States”.[46] Cato also topped the 2014 list of the budget-adjusted ranking of international development think tanks.[47]

The Center for Libertarian Studies (CLS) was a libertarian and anarcho-capitalist oriented educational organization founded in 1976 by Murray Rothbard and Burton Blumert, which grew out of the Libertarian Scholars Conferences. It published the Journal of Libertarian Studies from 1977 to 2000 (now published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute), a newsletter (In Pursuit of Liberty), several monographs, and sponsors conferences, seminars, and symposia. Originally headquartered in New York, it later moved to Burlingame, California. Until 2007, it supported LewRockwell.com, web publication of CLS vice president Lew Rockwell. It had also previously supported Antiwar.com.

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Libertarianism in the United States – Wikipedia

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