The Libertarian Party of Nevada made history last Friday with several major announcements. At a press conference hosted in the Libertarian Party’s Las Vegas office, Nevada Chairman Brett Pojunis announced a new Libertarian in the state legislature: Assemblyman John Moore, representing District 8, officially changed his party affiliation to the Libertarian Party. Moore is the first Libertarian in state office since New Hampshire in the 1990s.Read more
Whose rights are the protesters representing, exactly?
Over the weekend, the Bundy family and up to 100 supporters occupied the headquarters of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. This followed the resentencing of Steven and Dwight Hammond, who were found guilty of violating the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. How the resentencing happened and why, from a legal standpoint, is explained quite well in this Popehat Lawsplainer - long story short, they were convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 844(f)(1), which has a mandatory minimum sentence of five years:
Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both.
Whether arson actually occurred, meanwhile, is also an open question. A rather detailed, if one-sided, description of the events sympathetic to the Hammonds from TheConservativeTreeHouse.com has been making the rounds and paints a picture of an oft-persecuted family performing a series of routine controlled burns that performed according to expectations but were used to manufacture insurmountable legal pressure on the Hammond family - pressure which the family ultimately succumbed to out of expediency in exchange for a plea bargain. The prosecution's side, meanwhile - as summed up by this Burns Times-Herald article - is that Steven and Dwight Hammond set a fire to cover up poaching activities and also started a controlled burn in violation of a BLM-issued Do Not Burn order that inadvertently burned public land, both of which were found by a jury to be acts of arson. A roundup of both accounts, along with a copy of the original sentencing court's opinions, can be found here.Read more
Every political movement is a coalition of coalitions - even ours.
With the announcement at the beginning of the year of the birth of the Libertarian Skeptics Network, the number of caucuses organized around influencing the Libertarian Party continues to grow. This is good - the more groups of people choosing to work together to grow the Libertarian Party, the better, and the Libertarian Party of Nevada is proud to have two of its members - Andrew Lea, the Youth Director of the Libertarian Party of Nevada, and Jason Weinman, our Outreach Director - serving on its board.Read more
Libertarians have seen this sort of thing before.
I was at a gas station a couple days ago when I overheard the clerk talking with a customer about the last GOP debate. What caught my attention was that he was the first person I met that openly expressed support for Trump - most conservatives I've talked to can't stand the guy (he's not conservative enough for them), and most Libertarians are doing their level-best to contrast themselves from his xenophobia - so I naturally wanted to know more. Why, of all the candidates on that stage, did the gas station clerk favor Trump?
"He's genuine. He speaks his mind."Read more
The Libertarian Party has been an outspoken opponent of the minimum wage since its inception. However, in much the same way Republicans were telling us in 2012 that we need to focus less on marriage equality and drug decriminalization, Democrats are telling us that a higher minimum wage is politically popular and we need to just go along with it. After examining the evidence, I agree. In fact, I think current Democrat-sponsored plans to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour don't go far enough, and here's why:Read more
Not anymore - and why that's okay.
Ever since the San Bernardino massacre, the never ending national conversation surrounding gun rights has reasserted itself once more. The usual cast and characters have adopted their usual positions - either everybody needs to be armed or nobody should be armed - and, past that, the only people profiting from all of this are monomaniacal journalists focused exclusively on the scoop and the new media outlets that cover them. It's a tired, old conversation, one that will never get anywhere since neither side trusts the other and the courts have already decided anyway, so let's talk about something much more interesting:Read more
Cicero, one of the most influential philosophers during the age of Rome, famously stated that the more laws that are passed, the less one should expect to see justice manifest. Today's tragedy in California does nothing than solidify Cicero's warning to the modern Rome of the world centuries later.
In every major generation, it's common for phrases to manifest that sum up he feelings of those who live through the events of their time. During the time of America's revolutionary period, Patrick Henry summed up the thoughts of a population who wanted liberation from tyranny with the well-known phrase, "Give me liberty of give me death!". During the 60s, when the counter-culture movement started to manifest against the unfettered conformity of our society and the bloodshed of Vietnam, "Make love, not war!" became a staple philosophy of the youth of that decade. Fast-forward now, to 2015, and a new phrase has emerged that perfectly sums up one of the biggest, most telling signs of the generation that currently inhabits this country: "I've been triggered!".Read more