California Propositions:Voters side with Libertarians

On November 4, Californians voted on 6 statewide propositions. The Libertarian Party took a stand on 5 of the issues http://calibertarianreport.com/2014/10/30/libertarian-party-on-the-california-propositions/

California voters sided with Libertarians on 3 of the propositions:
Voters joined with Libertarians in rejecting Proposition 45, which would have given the State Insurance Commissioner new powers to regulate rates charged by companies for medical insurance. Competition is the only way to limit the cost of medical insurance; excessive regulation drives companies out of the California market, and reduces competition.

Voters also sided with Libertarians in rejecting Proposition 46, which had two parts. The main part of Prop. 46 would have raised the cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases from $250,000 to $1,100,000. Punitive damages are in addition to actual pain and suffering damages, which are not limited. Raising punitive damages would result in higher costs for medical malpractice insurance and resulted in higher costs for medical procedures and for medical insurance.

Californians joined with Libertarians in voting to pass Proposition 47, which downgraded many non-violent crimes, including many drug offenses, from felony to misdemeanor. This will help to reduce overcrowding in California prisons and more importantly, stop the destruction of peoples lives that results when they are punished as felons for victimless crimes, or crimes that can be more easily remedied.

The top two system adopted by California voters several years ago has hurt alternative parties in the Golden State. But the results of the California vote in 2014 show that the libertarian message is still welcome here.

Bandow:”Republicans Take Senate, Likely to Push for More War”

Washington is at war in the Middle East. So what is new? Unfortunately, pressure for military intervention will grow with Republican control of the Senate. That body’s most war-happy members, such as John McCain, will enjoy increased influence.

The result of any new conflicts likely will be similar as before. America will be intervening again in a few years to try to clean up the mess it is creating today. And then going to war a few years after that for the same reason.

The U.S. is not bombing the Islamic State out of necessity. Rather, Washington is acting in response to past mistakes. ISIL exists only because the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003. That action grew out of George H.W. Bush’s first war against Baghdad. Which was tied to American support for Saddam Hussein against Iran the previous decade. Which grew out of the Iranian revolution, whose victors targeted Washington because of its backing for the ousted Shah of Iran.

Thus, Americans are paying the price for decisions to meddle in the Middle East made decades ago. Yet a Greek Chorus of those most responsible for today’s failed policies loudly demands that the U.S. again intervene.

Doug Bandow analyses the new influence of the Republican interventionists @ Cato http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/republicans-take-senate-likely-push-more-war-war-will-never-end

Libertarian Party on the California Propositions

On Tuesday, November 4, California voters will make decisions on a water bond issue along with 5 other statewide propositions. The Libertarian Party of California has made recommendations on 5 of the ballot issues:

Proposition 1 Water Bond for $7.12 Billion
Authorizes the state to issue bonds for projects related to water supply and infrastructure. $2.7 billion of these funds will be dedicated to water storage projects, dams and reservoirs. Additional funds will be dedicated to activities including flood management, contamination reduction and environmental protection.
It will take 40 years to pay off these bonds, and with interest and bond expenses, the total cost of the bill will likely be closer to $15 billion. Water projects are best managed and financed by local water boards. We recommend a NO vote.

Proposition 2 State Budget Stabilization
Would require 3% of state General Fund revenue be deposited in a “rainy day” fund, and allows up to 10% of revenue be deposited in this account. The measure would allow the rainy day funds to be spent only in the event of a drop in annual revenue below the preceding year, adjusted for population and inflation, or in a declared emergency.
Most features in this measure will lead to more fiscal responsibility; however, the requirement for school districts to reduce reserves will make schools more dependent on state government funding. We prefer local control of education. We recommend a NO vote.

Proposition 45 Health Insurance Rate Changes
This measure will give the Insurance Commissioner power to decide health insurance rates. More government interference in the marketplace where bureaucrats have caused the problem and Prop 45 will (they hope) fix the problem. Bureaucrats have limited the number of insurance companies offering insurance to California consumers through excessive rules and regulations, which has led to less competition and higher prices. The fix is an “Insurance Czar” who will decide if insurance rate increases are reasonable to “protect” the consumers from “price gouging.” The loosening up of regulations so many more insurance companies can sell to Californians will do more to lower rates.
We recommend a NO vote.

Proposition 46 Drug & Alcohol Testing of Doctors
This measure will require random testing for substance abuse and raise the cap on malpractice lawsuits for pain and suffering. The medical insurance industry already monitors doctors and will not insure doctors with problems or will charge them higher rates for the added risk. Mandatory testing will only add to the already high cost of health care. Raising the cap on lawsuits for pain and suffering will encourage more lawsuits. We are concerned about the requirement in this measure that requires doctors to turn in doctors “suspected” of substance abuse, and the requirement to use a government database before issuing certain prescriptions; government databases have a history of problems. We recommend a NO vote.- See more@

Proposition 47 Criminal Sentences This measure will downgrade many less serious crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, thereby reducing the number of people incarcerated in California’s prisons and jails. In particular, it reduces the penalty for possession of most drugs for personal use from felonies to misdemeanors. Locking up people in prisons for less time for victimless crimes is a good start toward ending the drug war—and freeing up the criminal justice system to focus on violent crimes. We recommend a YES vote.

The Libertarian Party of California has No Position on Proposition 48, related to Indian Gaming.

Source:Libertarian Party of California @ http://ca.lp.org/resources

SF Weekly:”Marijuana Advocates Ditch Kamala Harris For Weed-Friendly Republican”

Sick of being the butt of mainstream Democrats’ jokes, legalization backers are now backing Republican Ron Gold, Harris’s long-shot challenger who paid a visit to several San Francisco marijuana dispensaries and spoke at cannabis trade school Oaksterdam University on Monday (and was on KQED this morning)…

Gold’s quest to unseat Harris has been at times deemed quixotic, a long-shot, and symbolic. And indeed, Harris seems like a surefire shoo-in to be re-elected. She is a big-name Democrat in deep-blue California,..

Harris is using her record on fighting mortgage fraud and transnational criminal gangs, as well as upholding Obama programs like the Affordable Care Act. As for Gold … well, there’s a good reason why he’s called Ron “Acapulco” Gold.

“Marijuana is the key singular issue in this campaign… and she hasn’t done anything” for the state’s marijuana industry, he said.

Worse, she has done cannabis an ill turn, he said. Gold rattled off a list of her misdeeds, including declining to join in other states’ efforts to remove marijuana from the DEA’s list of most-dangerous substances while failing to help the state’s cannabis industry during the 2011 federal Justice Department crackdown…

If elected, Gold says one of the first orders of business would be to craft regulations for a statewide weed industry, something that the Legislature has failed to do for some time now. He’d also push to allow California medical marijuana sellers to be able to turn a profit, something they can’t accomplish under current state law.

Chris Roberts profiles the campaign of Ron Gold, Republican candidate for Attorney-General @ http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2014/10/08/marijuana-advocates-ditch-kamala-harris-for-weed-friendly-republican

Hunter:”What was the most damaging conspiracy theory in U.S. history?”

Few people dumb down our discourse worse than conspiracy theorists. For these constant internet trolls, there has never been a terrorist attack, a school or movie theater shooting or even a legitimate election. Ever. In their paranoid minds, every tragedy or human action is always a government-orchestrated plot to further the mind-controlling agenda of our global overlords, or something…

These types of conspiracy theorists are annoying, but that’s about it. Most of the damage they do is to themselves, their careers, reputations and their characteristic inability to have normal conservations with normal people.

But there have been conspiracy theorists of a different sort who’ve done real damage.

In 2003, a majority of Americans supported the United States invasion of Iraq, due in large part to a widely held belief that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Why would they believe this?

Because our government led them to believe it.

Jack Hunter takes down the Bush league conspiracy theory that claimed Saddam Hussein was behind Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attack @
Read more at http://rare.us/story/what-was-the-most-damaging-conspiracy-theory-in-u-s-history/#QzMZ0UZ7p8O5dvtr.99“>

Ludwig von Mises on Self-Determination

On Thursday, September 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become independent or to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Advocates of independence in Catalonia, Alaska and other regions will watch the vote and its aftermath as they decide on their own strategies to promote independence.

In his book “Liberalism” – first published as “Liberalismus” in 1927, and translated into English by Ralph Raico in 1962, Ludwig von Mises sets forth the principle of self-determination:

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars.

The entire chapter on Self-Determination can be read @ http://mises.org/liberal/ch3sec2.asp

Scotland and North Sea Oil:Forbes blogger exposes secret report

For some years, the prospect of reclaiming control of North Sea oil deposits has been a cause among Scottish nationalists. The issue of North Sea oil was a factor in the push for regional autonomy in the 1970s and is a factor in the forthcoming vote on independence for Scotland. With revenues from North Sea oil, an independent Scotland would be wealthier than the region is now as a part of the United Kingdom.

At Forbes, Brett Arends notes that in the 1970s the English establishment scoffed at such arguments, claiming North Sea oil reserves were less than the Scots believed, and they disputed claims that Scotland should have control over the oil.

Mr Arends has found a report based on a secret study done in 1974 by economics professor Gavin McCrone which points out that the reserves are substantial, and an independent Scotland would “become one of the most prosperous countries in the world, comparable to Switzerland or Norway”

report can be read @ http://www.oilofscotland.org/mccronereport.pdf

Mr Arends quotes the report as noting “The full significance of North Sea oil… remains in large measure disguised from the Scottish public,” and has done a public service publicizing this report in the lead-up to the vote September 18 on independence for Scotland.

Read Mr Arend’s post @ http://www.forbes.com/sites/brettarends/2014/09/12/scottish-independence-englands-shameful-secret/