Libertarian National Committee to Meet, July 3

The Libertarian National Committee will hold a zoom meeting on July 3, 2022. This will be the first meeting of the new Libertarian National Committee since the close of the Libertarian National Convention. More information on the meeting is available @ https://groups.google.com/a/lp.org/g/lnc-business/c/dU3V1LoI7QI

At the Libertarian National Convention, the new chair Angela McArdle promised that the LP would be bold in defending liberty. She promises that the Libertarian Party would not embarrass libertarians.

Now Ms McArdle has a chance to make good on those promises. The Supreme Court has just overturned Roe v Wade, allowing state governments to regulate or prohibit abortions for women who want to have them. For 50 years the Libertarian Party has been explicit in its support for a woman’s right to control her own body, including the right to terminate a pregnancy.

Prominent defenders of liberty have long supported a woman’s right to choose. Ayn Rand has spoken out and written against restrictions on abortion and birth control. Sen. Barry Goldwater stated his own belief that abortion should be legal. Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the first law in 1967 that protected a woman’s right to abortion. In his essay in the June 1971 issue of Libertarian Forum on “How to Destatize,” Dr Murray Rothbard pointed to the campaign to legalize abortion in New York as an example of how to cut state power.

Now is the time for The Libertarian Party to stand with those who defend a woman’s right to freedom and body autonomy. The recent national convention adopted a plank on body autonomy, denouncing government rules on what Americans can do with their own body. We can hope that the LNC, inspired by the new plank, will adopt a strong statement in support of a woman’s right to choose, and a strong stand againsts thoses states – and those statists – who would control people’s bodies through violent coercion.

Don’t embarrass us, Angela!

Alito’s Abortion Ruling Overturning Roe Is an Insult to the 9th Amendment

At the heart of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturns Roe v. Wade (1973) and eliminates the constitutional right to abortion, is Alito’s objection that “the Constitution makes no mention of abortion.” For Alito and the many legal conservatives who think like him, unenumerated constitutional rights are inherently suspect. When a court recognizes an unenumerated right, these conservatives say, that court is almost certainly guilty of judicial activism.

But this conservative mindset is at odds with constitutional text and history, both of which make clear that unenumerated rights are entitled to the same respect as the small handful of rights that the Constitution specifically lists.

Remember that when the Constitution was first ratified, it did not yet contain its famous first 10 amendments, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights. Those amendments arrived a few years later. They were added in response to the fierce criticism leveled against the Constitution by the Anti-Federalists, who opposed ratification on several grounds, one of which was that the document lacked a bill of rights, and therefore, in their view, left a number of key rights unprotected (because unmentioned).

The Federalists, who labored on behalf of the Constitution’s ratification, rejected this argument. Why? Because, explained James Wilson, one of the leading figures at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, “if we attempt an enumeration, everything that is not enumerated is presumed to be given.” And the consequence of that, Wilson told the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention, “is, that an imperfect enumeration would throw all implied power into the scale of the government; and the rights of the people would be rendered incomplete.”

Full commentary by Damon Root @ Reason https://reason.com/2022/06/24/alitos-abortion-ruling-overturning-roe-is-an-insult-to-the-9th-amendment/

Ominous Parallels – Iraq & Ukraine

by Gene Berkman

On February 24, 2022, under orders from President Vladimir Putin, Russian military forces undertook a violent invasion of independent Ukraine.

Another invasion. More people killed. There are lots of parallels with many previous invasions. Many times over many years, many countries have violently invaded their neighbors, or even countries far removed. Still some specific parallels come to mind.

In 2003, US military forces undertook a violent attack on Iraq, based on claims that the Hussein regime had or was developing atomic, chemical or biological weapons. Iraq, they claimed, posed a future threat to the US, despite no evidence of Iraqi nukes or poison gas.

To head off a future threat, President Bush announced a preemptive military strike on Iraq, called an “operation” not a war. Yet the announced goal of the “operation” went beyond disarmament. The goal was regime change.

When President Putin announced the Russian “operation” in Ukraine, the stated reasons include a charge that Ukraine might in the future join NATO – a move Putin considered a threat. To deal with this threat – still much in the future – Putin ordered a preemptive strike.

The US preemptive strike on Iraq began with a barrage of Tomahawk missiles and thousands of precision guided weapons. The Russian preemptive strike has relied on barrages of rockets that lack precision guidance. These Soviet era weapons cannot be precisely targeted, and some have blamed this lack of guidance for the many hits on civilian targets. Still, so many civilian targets have been hit by Russian rockets and artillery that such targeting cannot be dismissed as accidental.

Claiming that hits on hospitals or neighborhoods are “accidental” is no defense. If the actions of the Russians consistently result in new civilian casualties, the Russians are morally obligated to stop their murderous activity. If you accidentally kill someone because your car has faulty brakes, you don’t get to keep driving the faulty car. They do take your drivers license away from you.

Of course there is no license to kill civilians. It was wrong when the US military used precision guided weapons to destroy neighborhoods. It is wrong when the Russian military makes attacks on civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure the main tactic of its invasion.

Russian forces have targeted civilians in past military actions – in Ukraine, in Georgia, in Chechnya, in Afghanistan and in Syria. In Russian military strategy, killing civilians is a feature, not a bug.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

The US government sent teams of inspectors to many parts of Iraq from 2003 to 2005, searching for weapons of mass destruction, or programs to develop WMD. No nukes were found. No chemical weapons were found – just fertilizer and pesticides.

When Russia began its invasion on February 24, WMD were not mentioned. When Ukraine gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were Soviet missiles located at bases in Ukraine. These missiles were believed to have nuclear warheads. Ukraine contacted international agencies and asked to have the nuclear tipped missiles removed from its territory. The missiles were returned to Russia, the successor state of the USSR.

The USA and Russia agreed to guarantee the security of Ukraine. Russia is clearly in violation of that agreeement.

Ukraine is the only country that has had possession of nuclear weapons and given them up. The only country to implement nuclear disarmament.

Putin and the Russian general staff know that Ukraine does not possess nuclear weapons. So they felt safe invading with superior conventional forces. President Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld all knew that Iraq did not possess nukes -or poison gas. They felt an invasion – excuse me, an “operation” in Iraq with superior conventional forces would prevail.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, mass popular resistance continues against Russian forces. Russian attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have increased as the Russian advance has stalled. And now, the Russian foreign minister and other Russian spokesmen have made claims about WMD in Ukraine. They claim that Ukraine has petitioned international authorities for permission to weaponize plutonium produced in its nuclear power plants. No Russian spokesman has presented evidence to support this claim.

Russian spokesmen have also made claims that Ukraine has a research program for developing biological weapons. It does appear that Ukraine is engaging in medical research on viruses – as many institutes throughout the world are. There is no evidence that Ukraine has developed or is developing biological or chemical weapons, or has any program to do so. Russia’s claims are war propaganda, intended to convince the rest of the world that Russia’s brutal incursion in Ukraine is justified.

Russia does have nuclear weapons, and Putin has made statements that imply a willingness to use them. He has threatened any country that would help Ukraine defend itself. Putin has repeated his threats on more than one occasion in recent weeks. The USA has had nuclear weapons since 1945, and used them on Japan. The USA did not make threats to use nuclear weapons in Iraq, in Yugoslavia or in Afghanistan, so that parallel breaks down.

Russia has chemical weapons, which it has used against Chechen rebels, and in Syria against opponents of the Assad regime. The USA does appear to have chemical weapons, which many Americans oppose. The US military has not used chemical weapons in any conflict since World War II.

PEOPLES WAR IN FINLAND AND UKRAINE

In other specifics, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has different parallels. The resistances of the Ukrainian people has prevented a Russian victory for 3 weeks. The people’s war carried on by Ukraine has parallels to Finland’s defiance of Soviet Russia in 1940. Finland too faced long odds, going against the Soviet Red Army which was bigger and had many tanks, more artillery and more planes than did Finland. In 3 months, the Finns convinced Stalin he should end his intervention. Stalin relied on the intimidating power of Russian military strength to force Finland to give up its independent foreign policy, which seems to be the most minimal of Putin’s goals for Ukraine.

The Finns put on a mighty struggle against a stronger power, and did better than anyone expected. Ukraine has advantages that Finland did not have:

(1) International sanctions on Russian state enterprises and state banks, along with voluntary boycotts and withdrawal from the Russian market by numerous American and European companies.

(2) Other countries are providing defensive weapons to Ukraine. When American B-52s were raining destruction on Hanoi and the countryside of Vietnam – north & south – the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was able to obtain surface to air missiles from East Europe, to defend itself from bombardment. Now Ukraine is being supplied with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to enable its defense against air attack, and with Javelin anti-tank missiles to deal with Russian armor.

(3) Ukraine has something going for it that Finland also had -the Russian army is dispirited, soldiers are badly treated by their government, and they are equipped with inferior Russian made equipment.

It is clear that Russia cannot conquer Ukraine, cannot impose a new state on the people of Ukraine. The main question is how many innocent Ukrainians will die, how many Russian conscripts will die in a war they don’t understand, and how much of Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure will be destroyed by the invading Russian army.

The related question: how many Americans who claim to oppose war will jettison the non-aggression principle to become defenders of and apologists for Putin’s War of Choice?

LPC Chair:Recall Not Just for Republicans

Mimi Robson, Chair of the Libertarian Party of California, published this commentary in the Orange County Register:

At the end of last month I was asked to write a declaration to be used in a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Secretary of State Shirley Weber by the proponents of the Recall Newsom effort.

This lawsuit was regarding the inclusion of governor’s argument in the voter guide that will be sent to all registered voters in California, that the recall is a partisan Republican effort.

Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl decided to reject the lawsuit, writing, “As persuasively demonstrated by Governor Newsom, the recall effort was clearly spearheaded by Republicans.”

It appears that she didn’t give any weight to the declarations of five registered voters in the state of California, which includes me, who are clearly not Republicans and who have strongly supported the recall. I am the chairperson of the Libertarian Party of California, and although I don’t agree with many supporters of the recall effort for their reasons for recalling the governor, I truly believe that the governor should be removed.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States and achieved permanent ballot status in California in 1978.  We are one of only three political parties in the country to have our presidential candidate on every ballot in the past two presidential elections. The Libertarian Party of California is an affiliate of the National Libertarian Party, and is not a part of, nor influenced by, any other political party.

Since March of 2020, residents and businesses have fled the state due to the restrictive environment caused by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Countless businesses have had to close their doors forever due to the government deeming them to be “non-essential.”

The Libertarian Party of California supports the recall based on our party platform, beliefs and the actions of Gov. Newsom.

Read full commentary by Mimi Robson @ The Orange County Register: https://www.ocregister.com/2021/08/14/newsom-is-wrong-to-describe-the-recall-as-just-a-republican-led-effort/

Jo Jorgensen on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was an accomplished woman and a trailblazer, breaking barriers in a male-dominated world. Born in an age when women’s rights had yet to be fully acknowledged — both culturally and in law — she fought passionately for equal treatment for women. But she also saw the unfairness of an Oklahoma law that gave women the right to drink at age 18 while men were not allowed to drink until age 21. She saw this as a denial of equal treatment and facilitated its defeat.

Among her accomplishments in support of personal freedoms, Ginsberg was in the majority in the 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. She was also the first Supreme Court Justice to preside over a same-sex wedding ceremony.

She wrote the majority opinion against the publicly-owned Virginia Military Institute, ending its male-only admissions policy on equal protection grounds.

She voted to uphold the Fourth Amendment in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that stopped the federal government’s warrantless use of thermal imaging to detect marijuana inside of a house.

I appreciate Justice Ginsberg’s bravery and all her actions in support of civil liberties. Her contributions to the rigor and analysis that is required at the highest court will be missed. May she rest in peace.

Source:https://jo20.com/jo-jorgensen-quotables/

Jo Jorgensen: “It’s high time we cut the Military–Industrial Complex down to size”

Libertarian presidential nominee calls for Pentagon’s accountability to taxpayers

GREENVILLE, S.C.; September 17, 2020—  “If the Pentagon were a private business—or an ordinary taxpayer—it would be guilty of federal crimes,” charged Dr. Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian for President. “It spends trillions of taxpayer dollars with virtually no accountability for how that money is spent.”

For decades, military bureaucrats have defied the law and refused to comply with congressional mandates to be audited. They finally conceded in 2018—and failed that audit miserably.

“Democratic and Republican politicians fund military spending to the tune of over $1 trillion every year—and don’t give a whit that the Pentagon can’t—and won’t—pass an audit,” she said. “Yet those same politicians authorize the IRS to audit you, then hound you and garnish your wages unless you comply with their every order.”

Not only have congress and every modern-day president allowed the Pentagon to go unaudited, but they have given it more money every year—in spite of the fact that stories occasionally surface showing that the Pentagon has been unable to account for—not thousands, not millions, not billions—but trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted in 2001, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.”

Said Jorgensen, “Even if you could justify operating more than 800 American military bases in foreign countries around the world; starting wars based on false pretenses; putting our servicemen and -women in harm’s way, where some get killed or badly injured; and causing immense personal and property damage overseas, there’s never an excuse for spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money with no accountability.”

“Democrats and Republicans, the Pentagon, and price-gouging defense contractors are a big part of our country’s spending problem,” she said. “It’s high time we cut the military-industrial complex down to size.”

“The fastest way to make the Pentagon auditable is by simply downsizing it,” said Jorgensen. “And if it continues to fail audits, downsize it even more. It ought to face at least as much scrutiny as those who are paying its bills.”

Source:https://jo20.com/jorgensen-its-high-time-we-cut-the-military-industrial-complex-down-to-size/

Jo Jorgenson on the Record of Sen. Kamala Harris

On Tuesday August 11, presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden announced that he would Sen. Kamala Harris (California) is his choice for the nomination for Vice-President. Jo Jorgenson, the Libertarian nominee for President has released this commentary on Sen. Harris:

Joe Biden is making the worst mistake of his Presidential campaign today.

Kamala Harris is officially his selection for Vice President.  

Her 28 year long career as an Attorney General and prosecutor in the state of California is a COMPLETE miscarriage of justice. 

  • Kamala Harris helped put THOUSANDS of men and women in jail for pot related charges… and proceeded to laugh about smoking marijuana on a podcast during her failed campaign.
  • After being ordered to release inmates by the Supreme Court, Harris used her position as Attorney General to prevent inmates from being paroled so she could use them for cheap labor… including using them to fight forest fires.
  • Harris has also demonstrated her willingness to use “third strike laws” in order to extend unfair prison sentences. 

While millions of Americans are crying out for criminal justice reform, Joe Biden has selected a running mate with an abysmal record of fighting for justice and working people. 

Biden, an architect of the War on Drugs with a known history of racial “gaffes” or “media mistakes,” has demonstrated a TOTAL disregard for those in his base demanding criminal justice reform. 

I WILL NOT LET BIDEN NOR KAMALA HARRIS ESCAPE THEIR RECORD OF TRAGIC INJUSTICES AGAINST MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

Biden is LYING to the American people and to millions of Democrats who are counting on him to enact REAL change. 

To put it bluntly, I am angry. 

There is a fire in my belly and I want to shout it from the rooftops, “Joe Biden is lying to you about criminal justice reform!” 

Let’s fight back. 

I am asking all of my supporters to use this opportunity to teach millions of Americans the truth about Biden and Harris’ record on criminal justice and let them know they should vote for OUR campaign in November. 

To find out more about Jo Jorgenson, Libertarian for President go to https://jo20.com/

Reason:”Joe Biden’s ‘Bold’ Thinking Shredded Civil Liberties and Destroyed Lives”

Justin Monticello @ Reason looks at the record of the presumptive Democrat Nominee for President:

“Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee in the 2020 election by running as a moderate unifier, hoping to win over voters with the promise of business-as-usual politics from the pre-Trump era.

Now the COVID-19 pandemic has led him to rethink his platform of a return to the days of bipartisan consensus, and his campaign is seizing the opportunity to offer what the Los Angeles Times described as “bold change” on such issues as climate change, health care, social welfare, and infrastructure.

But it’s worth remembering that in his 44 years in the Senate and then as vice president, Biden repeatedly took advantage of moments of crisis to push through policies that have exacerbated some of the most critical problems afflicting American society.

Biden has been a prominent figure in the bipartisan War on Drugs for decades, he helped the Clinton administration pass disastrous crime and immigration bills, he laid the foundation for the PATRIOT Act, he assisted the George W. Bush administration in making the case for the war in Iraq, and then as vice president he oversaw the deportation of a record number of people.”

Full Post with Video @ Reason https://reason.com/video/joe-bidens-bold-thinking-shredded-civil-liberties-and-destroyed-lives/

“Why Taiwan Hasn’t Shut Down Its Economy”

Javiar Caramez Sanchez & William Hangsong Wang @ F.E.E

As the Austrian school of economics demonstrates in the calculation theory of socialism, no central planning body has the capacity to organize society based on coercive mandates. The main reason is that the central planner is unable to obtain all the necessary information to organize society in this way, as information has subjective, creative, dispersed, and tacit qualities. This principle is fully applicable to the containment of a pandemic. Individual responsibility along with transparency of information are crucial to stopping a pandemic. Taiwan makes a very good case for how individualism and voluntary cooperation work effectively in resisting the coronavirus pandemic.

At the moment in Taiwan, the infection has been completely contained despite being one of the countries with the highest risk of suffering a pandemic, given that the Republic of China (ROC) is very close to the Chinese mainland (the People’s Republic of China (PRC)). Until January there were flights between Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, and the epicenter of Wuhan, China. However, as of March 21 there were only 153 infected at the same time that Europe, far away from the Chinese mainland, has more than ten thousand affected by the coronavirus. However, in Taiwan and other parts of Asia, including Singapore and Hong Kong, no massive mandatory quarantine or containment has been applied so far.

How did Taiwan achieve this?

The first cause of Taiwan’s success is the transparency of information, which stopped the rapid growth of infection. The containment in Taiwan has been carried out with relatively high transparency. As early as December 31 of last year the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan began to take serious the potential danger of the Wuhan pneumonia, informing citizens every day about the developing trends of the infection and its status. The information provided by the Taiwanese authority also includes whether the infected in Taiwan contracted the illness from overseas input, which helps people take measures to protect themselves in a timely manner. In the constant press conferences, the Taiwanese government provides different options and recommendation that people can choose to adopt voluntarily but are not imposed coercively. The abundant information provided continuously has allowed individuals to make their own informed and balanced decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

Full Post by Javiar Caramez Sanchez & William Hangsong Wang @ Foundation for Economic Education https://fee.org/articles/why-taiwan-hasnt-shut-down-its-economy/

“Why The U.S. Should Scrap The Useless, Noxious Saudi Relationship”

by Daniel Larison @ The American Conservative

Gil Barndollar and Sam Long do an excellent job of making the case against the noxious U.S.-Saudi relationship:

These attacks on individuals, however, paled in comparison to the Kingdom’s military misjudgments. The war in Yemen, pushed by Mohammed bin Salman when he became Minister of Defense in 2015, was expected to be a quick triumph. Instead it has become the worst humanitarian disaster on earth. American-made missiles and bombs have killed thousands of civilians due to some combination of Saudi carelessness, incompetence, and malice. The campaign has also been an embarrassment for Saudi Arabia’s paper tiger military, outfought by Yemen’s Houthi militia and trapped in an unwinnable war — a war backstopped by the support of both the Obama and Trump administrations.

These decisions ultimately damage the United States, rightly seen as Saudi Arabia’s unblinking protector. Though Congress took belated steps to end the Saudi campaign in Yemen, most Americans could and did ignore Saudi Arabia’s recent actions in its own neighborhood. But as job losses mount, ordinary Americans will finally face the consequences of our toxic relationship with the Saudi monarchy.

The U.S. has worked with some very nasty authoritarian states over the decades, sometimes out of genuine necessity in WWII and sometimes because it was deemed expedient for the sake of a larger policy goal. The U.S. has usually come to regret the compromises that it has made by cooperating with these governments, and the benefits from these relationships have usually been few and limited. The U.S.-Saudi relationship serves no such purpose now if it ever did, and the U.S. gets no benefits from it at all. Now there are only costs and risks, and they continue to increase as the reckless Mohammed bin Salman consolidates his hold on power.

It would have been difficult to identify any real benefit to the U.S. from this relationship five years ago before the start of the war on Yemen. Over the last few years, it has become even more obvious that the relationship is a costly and embarrassing liability. The U.S. has not only implicated itself in the kingdom’s many war crimes with unstinting support for the war, but it has also contributed to the destabilization of the region and the destruction of Yemen that has put millions of lives in jeopardy from famine and disease. I can’t imagine what strategic benefit could be “worth” helping to facilitate mass starvation in any case, but there is no question that the U.S. gains nothing from participating in this horror.

Now that the Saudi government is openly attacking the U.S. oil industry as part of its feud with Russia, they have gone from being a bad and reckless client to a government that is deliberately and directly hurting U.S. interests. There used to be a weak argument that selling weapons to the Saudis at least created some jobs, but the jobs created by these arms deals are very few. This made for a terrible excuse for enabling the slaughter of civilians, but now the Saudi oil price war will wipe out far more jobs and businesses than their weapons purchases have ever created. Throughout all of this, the Trump administration has remained resolutely pro-Saudi and shows no signs of changing. The administration’s Saudi First foreign policy has been extremely bad for the U.S. and for the region, and it makes me wonder if there is anything that the Saudis could do that would cause them to change course.

If there were a realistic chance that the Saudi government’s behavior might significantly improve in the future, that might support an argument against making major changes to the relationship, but we know that the current crown prince is likely to become the next king and he is expected to rule for several decades. Judging from his first few years in power, there is no reason to expect Mohammed bin Salman to become less destructive and heavy-handed over time. The U.S. should move as quickly as possible to put as much distance between us and the Saudi kingdom as we can now. If we don’t, we will very likely regret it later. Remaining so closely aligned with such a regional menace will only embroil us in their wars and make us complicit in their many crimes and abuses. Whatever value the U.S.-Saudi relationship may have had, it is not worth keeping in its present form any longer.

Source:Daniel Larison @ The American Conservative https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/why-the-u-s-should-scrap-the-useless-noxious-saudi-relationship/