Monthly archive

August 2016

Politics

Hillary Clinton’s Unfavorability Ratings Are On The Rise

A lot has been made this election cycle about how bad Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump is. He has endorsed questionable policy points, said a lot of mean and offensive things, and otherwise brings discomfort to a political arena that is normally safe, content, and boring. Alarmism among political pundits and the mainstream media is endless, talking about the tyranny of Trump as if we’ve never before had a President that didn’t love executive power. But what about Hillary Clinton? The American people finally seem to be waking up to how bad she is. It’s been an endless string of scandals for the former Secretary of State, ranging from the ongoing e-mail controversy to the Clinton Foundation. Mishandling classified information, withholding e-mails and deleting others, and even covering up Benghazi communication, have all been issues for Clinton. Scandals aside, her general personality and politics seem to be contributing to new unfavorability trends, as well. Breaking down a new poll, Clinton has jumped six points up to 56% in new… Keep Reading

Politics/World

Russia’s Anti-ISIS Campaign Exposes America’s Foreign Policy Hypocrisy

The American opposition to Russia is nothing new. Since the days of Joseph Stalin and the former Soviet Union, the United States has had a troubled relationship with the country. For decades, a global campaign of influence was waged, otherwise known as the Cold War, where the United States and the Soviet Union competed against one another. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Cold War, tensions remain between the United States and Russia. But are the concerns about Russia legitimate? Accusations about Russia’s government may or may not be legitimate, but the United States is hardly in a position to criticize governments of other countries. While fears of hacking U.S. elections spread, the United States government has a long history of interfering with the politics of other countries. In terms of domestic policy, while many American politicians claim the Russian government is tyrannical, our own government is hardly one supportive of freedom. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, currently in exile for exposing surveillance… Keep Reading

Politics

The Paleolibertarian Case For Gary Johnson

Most of the doors were closed, most of the faces were blank. A handful of liberty activists were lobbying the state capitol in Tallahassee, Florida.  Very few people with power were giving them time, and fewer still were listening.  Their arguments, those of the Liberty First Network, were for less government and more freedom, less law and more liberty.  The state capitol, though, is not really a place for the discussion of ideas and ideals.  It is more primal than that, really about two things: the carrot and the stick. Both were in short supply.  Who had even heard of a “libertarian” anyhow? In 2014, Adrian Wyllie ran for governor of Florida. He introduced many to new ideas, offered different policies to consider, and brought energy to a campaign with two unpopular offerings by the old parties.  People did not need to pick between what the Democrats and Republicans served up to them, they had a different choice, and it was a good one that stood for something.  But… Keep Reading

Politics

Senator Tim Kaine Joins Left-wing Hypocrites Over Hillary Clinton’s Health

Health questions have long been considered a legitimate concern in American politics, asked by pundits, voters, and even the politicians themselves. The idea is that if we’re electing a politician, we should be sure they are healthy. When Ronald Reagan ran for President, there were concerns over his age because of the possibility he may not even finish his term. Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul faced questions about his age as well when he ran for President. Because of his intense military service, Senator John McCain even faced questions over psychological health. Unless you’re talking about Hillary Clinton, then all questions are off limits. Democrats have reacted poorly to questions regarding Clinton’s health, with Salon even illustrating the hypocrisy perfectly. Many liberals have in the past criticized the previously named politicians, but they all have one thing in common: they’re Republicans. When it comes to criticizing the Democratic Party, things apparently change. Recently a prominent certified doctor even had his HLN television program canceled by CNN after he raised questions about Hillary… Keep Reading

Politics

WATCH: Trump Vs. #NeverTrump

Something sorely lacking in the Trump/#NeverTrump debate is, well, debate. Most people only sally out briefly on social media to make their case, before quickly retreating back to their support group – and that doesn’t help anyone sort out the truth of the matter. But as the specter of Hillary rises over the nearing November election and Trump continues to trail in the polls, the urgency of winning over #NeverTrump Republicans is becoming apparent. The problem for Team Trump is that some people really mean never. This debate addresses the questions of the Supreme Court, Trump’s “outsider” status, viable options for those unwilling to vote for either Trump or Hillary, and – bafflingly – Richard Nixon. Listen for yourself and let us know where you align – #Trump or #Nevertrump! Keep Reading

Politics

Did The FBI Just Admit That Electronic Voting Is Not Secure?

In our modern times, electronic innovation is becoming increasingly prominent. Paper records normally kept in a filing cabinet are now digitally stored on secure database systems, creating easier access and making searches more efficient. Communication has become faster with text messaging, e-mails, and social media. This and many other examples reflect growing technological gains, but also an increasing dependency on the digital world. With digital storage as opposed to physical, there are risks. Systems, databases, and websites can be hacked, granting access from other individuals abroad. E-mails and text messages can even be intercepted by the government, and have been for some time. Given the risk in what we do digitally, there is a significant concern with electronic voting machines. The United States of America has come a long way since the birth of our nation, the massive growth making its management rather tedious. When it comes to counting votes, it’s not what it was a couple hundred years ago. Why not use electronic systems to count the votes?… Keep Reading

Politics

Hillary Clinton’s Deleted Personal E-mails About Yoga, Weddings, And Benghazi

The ongoing e-mail controversy surrounding former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton just took a huge turn. To this point, the differing narratives have been fairly partisan. Republicans claim that the email scandal displays Clinton’s careless judgment – some even going so far as to suggest corruption. Democrats, on the other hand, say this is a partisan attack about a non-issue. When the e-mails were first turned over to the government for review, Clinton indicated she turned over all e-mails except ones deemed personal. Specifically, things relating to yoga scheduling, and her daughter Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, were removed. These allegedly personal e-mails were wiped without review. Why would Hillary Clinton remove personal e-mails before turning them over to the government? Ideally, most people don’t want their personal details known by the government. Why does the government need to know what is going on in our personal lives? What makes this ironic is that Clinton has been a regular defender of the surveillance state, championing the idea that… Keep Reading

Politics

Colin Kaepernick’s “protest” Is a Miscalculated Strategy And Distraction

Celebrities, athletes, and musicians are no stranger to politics. Many famous individuals in America attempt to use their position in the spotlight to advance certain political agendas. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers is no different. Kaepernick caused an uproar after refusing to stand for the National Anthem. His reason for this was to protest racial inequality and oppression towards blacks. However well-meaning Kaepernick’s publicity stunt may have been, it will not achieve the intended results. If Kaepernick’s goal was to raise awareness for the cause of racial equality, he failed. While some claim he has ignited discussion, he has actually distracted from it. With racial inequality still in existence, we should be raising questions as to why it exists. Is there a police brutality problem? Does government administration contribute? What about legislation? There are a number of factors that contribute to racial inequality and other social problems. But sitting down during the National Anthem doesn’t fix them. To be clear, the problem wasn’t so much that Kaepernick… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

The Magic Box Of Free Trade

With the presidential campaign of Donald Trump comes much discussion about trade with foreign nations. A common theme is the notion that trade needs to be restricted, or at least heavily taxed, in order to protect domestic production. The line of thinking goes that if foreign companies are able to compete on even footing with American companies, their access to cheaper labor and fewer environmental regulations gives them an unfair advantage. This advantage could harm domestic businesses and cost American jobs. This fact is nearly undeniable. Jobs in manufacturing sectors competing with foreign producers will undoubtedly be displaced by these cheaper alternatives. However, the impulse to restrict and tax imports is misguided. The French economist, Frederic Bastiat, demonstrated the absurdity of domestic protectionism in a satirical piece called The Candlemaker’s Petition. In it, the producers of light-emitting goods lobby the government for special laws restricting their unfair competitor, the sun. Another Bastiat work, That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen, presents the idea that the direct… Keep Reading

Politics

CNN Cancels Doctor Show After Host Raises Speculations Regarding Hillary Clinton’s Health

It’s often said that the mainstream media is liberal. Conservatives have long described the major networks as the “liberal media”, alleging that there is an overt bias against the right. Libertarians more generally describe the mainstream media as unreliable and shallow, devoid of any serious approach to real issues. Regardless, the mainstream media does have a perception problem among those on the right. But is this perception problem real? Does the mainstream media really favor the left and work to boost the Democratic Party establishment? CNN may have verified this. For decades, it has been regarded as valid to question the health and mental well-being of candidates running for public office. If we’re going to elect a politician to a high-stress office, Americans need to be reassured that they’re fit to hold it. Ronald Reagan’s age was called into question, as was former Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s when he ran for President. Senator John McCain’s health was called into question, as well. But when it has come to Hillary… Keep Reading

Politics

Iraq War Architect Paul Wolfowitz Considering Support For Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been facing an image problem this election cycle, with high unfavorability numbers. The e-mail controversy, the refusal to address the media, and her awkward attempts to seem normal have all worked against her. Also among the things working against her is her support of the Iraq War. Clinton has since worked to distance herself from the conflict she supported. She even had an awkward speech by Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention, where the father of a fallen soldier rambled about the Constitution and used his son for political gain while supporting a candidate that sent his son to die in an unconstitutional conflict. Now Clinton may have the support of the former Bush Administration official who has long been described as the architect of the Iraq War. Paul Wolfowitz, who was deputy secretary of defense from 2001-2005, has been credited as a major driving force in the Bush Administration in the invasion of Iraq. In a recent interview, Wolfowitz indicated he will likely be… Keep Reading

Politics

Maine Governor Paul LePage Labels Khizr Khan a “con Man”

Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage is no stranger to headlines. His blunt speech, unfiltered opinions, and strong attitude have even been compared to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. And now Governor LePage is making headlines again, this time with Khizr Khan. Khizr Khan initially made headlines a few weeks ago with his appearance at the Democratic National Convention. Appearing at the coronation of Hillary Clinton, he showed up to speak against Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump. In the process, he used the memory of his late son who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq. Captain Humayun Khan sacrificed himself in 2004 and saved countless soldiers when a suspicious car turned out to be a suicide car bomb. Democrats and their media allies immediately picked up the speech and celebrated the image of a defiant father waving a pocket Constitution. At the Clinton celebration, Khan preached about knowing the Constitution and claimed that Trump doesn’t know it – while implying Clinton does. He then ripped the Republican… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

How Mandatory Vaccinations Conflict With Libertarian Principles

The vaccination topic can become as heated as the GMO topic. On the one hand, we want to eradicate disease and lead a healthier society. But on the other hand, to what degree does the government have the right to require what we do with our bodies? The science of the topic isn’t enough when considering this because there are additional implications. In a nation of laws, legal precedents are important. The first and foremost concern relates to self-ownership. Who owns our bodies? Freedom is the right to live our lives as we see fit, so long as we do not impair that of another. In order to achieve this, we must have a right to our bodies and how we see fit. Things like piercings, tattoos, and other body modifications are legal because we have a right to do with our bodies what we wish. In terms of what we do with our bodies, whether it be sexual or otherwise, it is not something that the government should be… Keep Reading

Politics

Farage And Trump Show The Liberty Movement How Its Done

Last night, an amazing political spectacle took place in Mississippi. At an official campaign stop in Jackson, Donald Trump invited the notorious former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to talk about the historic Brexit vote, of which he was instrumental in orchestrating over in Jolly Ol’ England. The video coverage is powerful, and the speech was inspiring and optimistic. Here is Farage in his own words: Farage is a leader who really understands how to frame the issues. He has established his forces as the populist rabble, the ordinary folks taking back their sovereignty against a totalitarian bureaucracy that is out of control. It is rare to hear the liberty movement pose their arguments in the same manner. Sometimes, it seems as if libertarians go out of their way to make their arguments as arcane to the common man as possible. Egotism and elitism are prioritized above reaching out to the masses and connecting with individuals. The Beltway types perched upon their ivory towers like to act as… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Donald Trump’s Tax Returns Aren’t The Real Issue

A consistent storyline this election cycle that dates back to the primaries is Donald Trump’s tax returns. To date, he has refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit and advice from his lawyers to not release them until the audit is complete. Regardless of the factual basis of this claim, it’s bizarre that even conservatives and libertarians are hitting the Republican presidential nominee from this angle. Should we care what the invoice for federal tax theft has on it? The problem here is a lack of a greater discussion about the Internal Revenue Service. In a free country, should the government have a right to the hard-earned fruits of your labor? In response to this, liberals often cry about the roads and talk about infrastructure. This completely neglects the fact that there are countless other taxes that are used to keep these things up. Income tax essentially goes to the welfare state and dropping bombs on foreign countries. Helping your country is one thing, but obliterating… Keep Reading

Politics

Liberals Become Hypocritical About Health Questions In Protecting Hillary Clinton

The health and medical records of a politician is an interesting topic in political discourse. On the one hand, it’s important for voters to know that a politician can do the job. With this point, it’s important to know that the individual we’re electing is mentally fit to hold office. Is the individual unstable? Democrats have suggested this in regards to Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump. The importance of the mental capacity question relates to the stress and intensity of the job. Whoever becomes president will be handling the weight of the country against the world, the red button at their fingertips. Democrats know this. ThinkProgress noted as much when it questioned Republican United States Senator John McCain’s health when he was running for President against then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008. In this case, the left targeted Senator McCain’s having cancer, suggesting that chemotherapy would make him unfit for office. Salon also questioned his mental stability in 2008 when it attacked him for not releasing psychiatric records. Salon specifically noted his military… Keep Reading

Politics

Is Green Day Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong Correct About Trump Being Hitler?

Donald Trump has been a polarizing figure this election cycle. Since the early days of his longshot campaign and through his transformation to a serious contender, many have taken issue with his approach and demeanor. Whether it be a ban on Muslims, calling Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”, or having other names for those he dislikes, his style is different from the usual watered down politics America is used to. Violated safe spaces aside, is Trump also an aspiring tyrant? Green Day is a punk rock band that has been around for a couple of decades now, and in recent years lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong has been establishing himself as yet another liberal musician. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with differing views, Armstrong appears to have an overly simplistic view of the world. In a recent interview, Billie Joe essentially labeled Trump supporters as shallow, describing Trump’s followers as poor, working class people who are just voting out of rage. While it’s likely true that many are upset, and rightfully… Keep Reading

Politics

What Gary Johnson Could Learn From The Failed Rand Paul Presidential Campaign

The fall of Senator Rand Paul’s presidential ambitions was a shock to many. Given the success his father had in establishing a movement with his own presidential campaigns, many expected Senator Paul to take this fight to the finish line. Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul did just that, taking a delegation fight all the way to the Republican National Convention in 2012. Instead, Senator Paul was out of the race after falling flat in Iowa. One contest down and he’s out. Even his father, who was more of an unknown when he ran in 2008, finished better. Why did Senator Paul fall flat when he was expected to do so well? One large reason was because he took the liberty grassroots for granted. Since 2012, the Kentucky Senator has worked to establish himself within the Republican Party. He endorsed Senator Susan Collins for re-election in Maine, former Governor Mitt Romney for President, and backed Mitch McConnell in the Senate. All of these leaders are hardly libertarian, and have a documented… Keep Reading

Politics

Why Trump?

It’s true that on some of the most pressing of issues—immigration, trade, and foreign policy—Donald Trump’s “America First” positions are more aligned with traditional conservatism than are those of any other candidate. That is, they clash with the neoconservatism, the faux “conservatism,” that the GOP Establishment and its media apologists have promoted for decades as the genuine article. Yet this being said, in Trump’s nearly 70 years, until very recently, he has done little to nothing to indicate that he has so much as an awareness of the classical conservative tradition, much less a commitment to it. Even if he really believes all that he is now saying, the inability of one person, even if he is the President, to accomplish what Trump vows to achieve supplies grounds for skepticism. Nor is the Supreme Court, as so many Republicans would have us think, necessarily a sufficient reason to vote for Trump. Republicans play the Democrats’ game when they attempt to scare voters into thinking that, unless the latter reward… Keep Reading

Politics

ISIS-inspired Knife Attack Shows Gun Control Won’t Stop Terrorism

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating a knife attack in Roanoke, Virginia for possible ties to ISIS. 20 year old Wasil Farooqui of Roanoke County was arrested by County Police Saturday night after yelling “Allah Akbar” on a stabbing rampage. Because of the nature of the incident, the FBI was contacted for possible terrorist ties. Farooqui, who has been monitored by the federal government for some time, remains held without bond and the investigation is ongoing. The incident illustrates a point that gun rights advocates have regularly highlighted: gun control won’t stop terrorism. If all guns were banned, then those seeking to inflict pain and incite chaos would still find a means for achieving it. After the tragic terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the gun control lobby wasted no time exploiting the spilled blood of the LGBT community. Instead of mourning the lost and pledging to take a stand against terrorism, it was merely seen as another opportunity to push a political agenda. The same… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

Stop Twitching, NeverTrumpers

Trump-Averse syndrome has many incarnations, but for a few pundits, the behavior calls to mind the hilarious apoplexy of Herbert Lom’s Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther. Upon hearing a positive Donald headline, the Trump-averse coffee-spewer will start twitching, and fretting, and sputtering–if not literally, at least figuratively. In the last few weeks, one friend of mine has gone out of his way to imagine Donald Trump in ongoing liaisons with adolescent girls. Another quietly laments the outrageous lengths some Christians are going to justify a vote for Donald Trump. (This would be the grieving, pastoral snit.) Still others manage to post every gaffe, every HuffPo lamentation, every instance of MSNBC second-guessing. I can hear them now in the back of the faculty lounge, making tisk tisk sounds over their copy of National Review. It’s something like watching the career English literature teacher comparing his meager retirement to the sprawling fortune of the first red-haired bully he introduced to Trollope. Full blown Trump Derangement Syndrome, as identified by… Keep Reading

Politics/World

Joe Biden Cares More About The North Atlantic Treaty Than Constitution

It’s always interesting to hear a member of the Obama Administration insult the intelligence of another human being. Especially in the case of Vice President Joe Biden, an individual who has established a reputation as being a lite version of Donald Trump. He often doesn’t think before he speaks, and although he hasn’t called for deporting an entire religion, he has his record. But what is a “big [expletive] deal”, in the words of the Vice President, is his lack of concern for the Constitution. In a recent speech, Vice President Biden sought to reassure allies under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that the United States would continue to have their back. In addition to this point, he also took a swipe at the Republican Presidential Nominee by stating he didn’t understand Article 5. Under the treaty, Article 5 affirms that all signatories will protect each other. More importantly, an attack on one member is considered an attack on all members. Trump has famously been taking shots at NATO as… Keep Reading

Economics

Inequality Is A Non-Issue (Part 2)

Despite failing to prove his thesis that capitalism generates inequality (addressed in Part 1), the author closes by outlining the policy proposals he’d enact to reduce inequality.  This proposal includes: “…a large cash grant to all citizens when they reach the age of majority, around the benchmark cost of taking a bachelor’s degree at private university in the United States. This grant would be repaid into the national treasury at death.” And: “…an annual wealth tax of two percent on a person’s net worth above a threshold of $80,000.” The first part of his proposal needs some unpacking.  He essentially says that every person, on their 18th birthday, should be given a grant of $48,000.  Upon death, every individual would pay back that grant.   Besides the complete arbitrariness of the proposal, there is no effort to look for possible negatives that would come from its implementation.  First, there is no way of knowing what an 18 year old would do if handed a free $48,000.  While some will… Keep Reading

Economics

Inequality Is A Non-Issue (Part 1)

A large number of people are convinced that rising inequality between the rich and the poor is the primary driver of the ills that plague our society.  Both the #Occupy movement that arose after the housing bubble burst, and the fervent support for the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, are proof of this. This opinion is backed by supposed logic and apparent economic law that can be articulated in ways that are quite convincing.  I recently came across an article that attempts to prove the thesis that capitalism generates inequality, and which offers a policy proposal (addressed in Part 2) that will alleviate it.  The author does so in a way that will be perceived as fair, reasoned, and possibly even correct to the lay reader.  Such an article must be refuted. The author begins: “At least nominally, capitalism embodies and sustains an Enlightenment agenda of freedom and equality. Typically there is freedom to trade and equality under the law, meaning that most adults – rich or poor – are formally… Keep Reading

Politics

What The General Election Says About American Voters

This election cycle has been a special roller coaster with many applicable adjectives. It’s been truly bizarre, because of who has won and who hasn’t. In an incredible feat nobody predicted, controversial businessman Donald Trump would win the Republican nomination, and with more votes than any other candidate in primary history. Worse, who would have thought that Trump would defeat party darlings like Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush? The real story comes in the months ahead. We’re seeing the story itself unfold now, regarding what the elections say about American voters. It’s a positive step that we’re seeing third parties become more mainstream. But even with the rise of third parties, it’s still not a guarantee that Libertarian Gary Johnson will even make the presidential debate stage. So, for the average American voter who does not want to split the vote and enable the person they hate most, this is a two party race coming down to two candidates that nobody likes. Two candidates that nobody… Keep Reading

Politics

How Evan McMullin Will Destroy Future Third Party Candidates

This election cycle has been bizarre, with the rise of two widely unpopular major party candidates in Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. While many do not like their options, somehow they secured their parties nomination. But what do two unpopular major party candidates give us? The rise of third party candidates. Independents and third party candidates have always existed, but seldom with the popularity we’re seeing now. Libertarian Gary Johnson is barely under the threshold from appearing on the debate stage. He also will be appearing on all fifty state ballots. There’s a problem with these candidates, however. Whatever issues staunch libertarians and conservatives have with the former New Mexico Governor, he is still not someone moderate and mainstream Republicans will warm up to. The openness to third party voting by the likes of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush isn’t a principled stand. Instead, it’s just a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The Bush political dynasty have long been loyal Republicans, and Republicans themselves used scare… Keep Reading

Politics/World

Nationalist Parties Surge As Europeans Take Their Countries Back

With the success of Donald Trump’s campaign in the United States and the passage of Brexit in the United Kingdom, Americans who watch politics are seeing debates framed in a way that is entirely new to some. This new debate framework does not pit Republicans and Democrats against each other, nor does it concern itself with liberals and conservatives. The battle that is brewing – nationally, and inside both major political parties – is between the forces of globalism and the forces of nationalism. Modern Americans, before Trump’s candidacy, have never encountered a viable, strong nationalist candidate. The only exception was the presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan, who – interestingly enough – defeated Donald Trump to win the Reform Party’s nomination in 2000, and ran a campaign with the slogan “America First!”. “Nationalism” has been, since the 1940s at least, a sort of dirty word in American politics. University professors link nationalism and the Holocaust. Esteemed political commentators like Daniel Radcliffe warn us that nationalism is “scary as shit.” In… Keep Reading

Politics

The Trump Effect On The Establishment

From Michael Lieber, the former GOP city captain for Bay Village, Ohio, who resigned that post last month to protest Donald Trump’s nomination as the presidential candidate for the Republican Party: “We have thrown away the White House and a golden opportunity to save the country from Hillary Clinton. We have to save other GOP candidates in the short term by abandoning Trump. In the long term, we have to make sure we never repeat a catastrophic mistake like Trump. The 45 percent of GOP voters who allowed themselves to be conned need to do some soul-searching and become better informed and less gullible, and GOP leaders need to communicate better.” Interestingly, almost all of the clarion calls to derail the Trump Train (Choo Choo) come from individuals who are in or want to be associated with the official conservative establishment in Washington D.C. Publications like the Weekly Standard and the American Spectator were just as skeptical of the Tea Party during the first few years of its existence… Keep Reading

Politics

The Greatest Conservative Scam Of All-time

Politico recently ran an article about how the Tea Party movement is dead and gone, and that the only thing that came of it was a scam. The idea is that a lot of opportunistic scam artists set up PACs designed to steal money and use concerned Americans for their own benefit. Did this occur? Absolutely, and it’s likely a practice that isn’t only limited to Tea Party-aligned PACs and certainly will not stop after the movement is dead. With all of this said, if you’re a conservative or libertarian, the tea party movement’s wave of green seeking PACs are not the greatest scam of all time. It’s the Republican Party. For years, the Republican Party has not only taken your money pledging to fight the conservative fight, it has also used the labor of others and exploited those willing to do the work. It has fielded candidates of questionable conservative credentials while asking for your money and promising to stop liberalism. Many Republicans are in denial about this. When… Keep Reading

Politics

The FCC’s Assault On Low-Income Americans

It seems that President Obama cannot even go a week without using his “executive authority” to circumvent the laws of the United States. It has become almost routine for the executive branch to use its power to target and harass any business that does not align with the president’s extreme leftist ideology. Through the use of programs like Operation Choke-Point, Obama has found ways to bypass and dilute the Second Amendment by executive fiat. Today, the administration is now moving on to exploiting the power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to shut down businesses that specifically serve immigrants and low-income Americans. Operation Choke-Point unfairly targeted legitimate businesses. Critics of the operation have asserted that the federal banking regulators abused their authority under the program. Banks were pressured to close the accounts of entire industries including firearms and ammunition sellers, pawn shops, tobacco distributors, dating services, and payday lenders. They were closed solely because the Obama administration didn’t like them. Under the direction of Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the… Keep Reading

Politics

The Russians, Saudis, And Hillary Clinton

There is a lot of discussion occurring regarding foreign influence in American affairs recently due to a number of hacking issues. Hacks revealing personal contact information of Democratic staffers, Democratic National Committee e-mail exchanges, and Republican lawmakers have all been speculated to be connected to the Russians. So what? Russian intelligence agents are hacking United States political organizations and government employees, leaking information that will undoubtedly influence our government. Again, so what? Democrats are sounding the alarm on the Russian influence, expressing outrage at external forces attempting to influence political and government affairs within the United States. It’s not necessarily an invalid point to wish for internal affairs to remain internal and to keep foreign countries out, but it’s a hypocritical request by Democrats. When Hillary Clinton was accepting Saudi Arabian donations while running the State Department, did Democrats complain about the appearance? We now know after the remaining pages of the 9/11 Commission Report were declassified, there has been significant influence by the Saudi Arabian government here in… Keep Reading

Politics

The Fiscal Burden Of Incarceration And Recidivism

With over 2.2 million prisoners, the U.S. prison system costs taxpayers $39 billion annually. The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country, and the average prisoner costs taxpayers up to $60,000 annually. Combating high incarceration and recidivism rates is, therefore, imperative to decrease the fiscal burden on taxpayers. The issue of high incarceration and recidivism rates burdening taxpayers has origins in the Nixon administration and strengthened during the tough on crime era of the 1990’s. These decades mark the inception of the War on Drugs, and consequently higher crime rates. The days of being “tough on crime” and engaged in a “war on drugs” are in the past and advances are already being made to decrease incarceration and recidivism rates. Since 2001, 30 states have increased the dollar threshold for felony theft prosecutions. This prevents low-level offenders from acquiring a felony record, which could prevent them from finding employment. As a result, crime can be prevented, fiscal burden reduced and labor force participation improved. Texas is indicative of… Keep Reading

Politics

Death With Dignity: The Principled Insanity Of Conservative Electoral Strategy

“We don’t win anymore.” If there’s one overwhelmingly applicable truth that conservatarians can glean from the deranged ramblings of Herr Trump, it’s the one his campaign has helped reinforce this cycle at the expense of the constitutional right: we don’t win anymore. Conservatives have become the Cleveland Browns of American politics. Sure, on a good year we can string together a few regular-season wins, but the most we can hope for by the postseason is a high draft pick and a new coach. Only we don’t ever get a new coach. We just keep trying the same failed plays over and over again, causing our veteran players to become resentful and despondent, and our young talent to go all Johnny Manziel. Trump’s army of quasi-populist tariff zombies have joined with Reince Priebus and Republican Party leadership to run roughshod over principled conservatives this year, and the losses are continuing to pile up. Yet the difficulty of this primary season is just a little beach spray compared to the November tsunami that’s… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Following In The Footsteps Of The Founding Fathers

Frankly, unless one is an anti-government anarchist at one end of the great ideological divide, or a totalitarian fascist on the other, it is always a matter of degree as to how much we have in common. Moreover, most persons’ rhetoric is more purist and extremist than where they stand in reality. There is a theory that says that rhetoric and semantics trends toward extremism, so that the great irony of pulling away from philosophical absolutes (embracing a relativist culture that puts opinion over truth) is that we veer away from diversity and pluralism and closer to divisive demagoguery on the left and the right in our civic politics. Part of the difficulty in comparing the Founding Fathers’ positions with our own is the fact that we differ so much from them on a wide variety of religious, political, and cultural matters. Of course, “the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God,” as Jefferson very carefully wrote in the Declaration of Independence, is by definition an unchanging absolute. Today,… Keep Reading

Politics

The Liberty Conservative Endorses Rebekah Bydlak For Congress

The Liberty Conservative has made many congressional endorsements in the past, though this year we have been saddened at the seemingly low number of true liberty candidates putting themselves out there for congressional runs. Between this and the struggles of the presidential cycle it has been an easy time to feel negatively about the trajectory of the liberty movement. Thankfully, the surprising campaign of Rebekah Bydlak has emerged as a genuine chance to advance our movement through these rough times. At the beginning of this cycle I had regarded this candidate as a long shot, a happy warrior who was going to spread the message but not much more. I could not have possibly been more wrong. Rebekah has raised an impressive amount of money, garnered very impressive endorsements from both inside and outside the liberty movement and has performed very well in the debates. Rebekah has managed to attract the sort of national media attention that most of our candidates have lacked, and her rapidly increasing profile has become perfectly… Keep Reading

Politics

Was Rand Paul Cucked By Rachel Maddow Back In 2010?

As liberty conservatives pick up the pieces from Rand Paul’s failed presidential campaign, it is important to consider the psychology behind his disappointing showing. What was really going on in Rand’s head as it all fell to pieces? While examining Rand’s meteoric rise to senatorial power, one occurrence stands out as being particularly impactful: the infamous hit-piece conducted by Rachel Maddow on Rand back in 2010. Although it did not make any short-term negative impact, that exchange may have changed the trajectory of Rand’s entire political career. By becoming too focused on the mainstream media and their narratives, Rand lost touch with the conservative and libertarian grassroots and what they were looking for from a leader. Let’s explore this topic, and what could have circled through Rand’s mind as his prospects for the presidency slipped away. Pretext Back in 2010, the tea party had just arrived on the scene and was already shaking things up. Populist enraged right-wing politics were born anew, and the libertarian-leaning Rand Paul was seemingly… Keep Reading

Politics

Obamacare Continues To Flounder

July was a tough month for the Obamacare co-ops, of which three more closed due to running out of money. A few weeks ago, Illinois’ Land of Lincoln Health announced that they would be closing their doors due to financial losses. July 31st was the deadline for Oregon’s Health co-op’s 23,000 members to find new coverage, while Connecticut’s HealthyCT has given its 54,000 members until December 31 to find new insurance. In all, 17 of the 23 original Obamacare exchanges have already been shut down. The seven co-ops that are still afloat are seeing negative profit margins, and it is doubtful that all of them will make it through the end of the year. The total amount of federal loans given to the failed non-profit insurers has reached over $1.7 billion. That’s a high price to pay for a government-run program that was doomed to fail right from the start. Obamacare established 23 co-ops by pouring in $2.4 billion dollars of start-up loans and solvency grants. Taxpayers had been… Keep Reading

Politics

Glenn Beck: ‘I Know Why #BlackLivesMatter Matters’

During the 2016 RedState gathering in Denver, Colorado, radio host Glenn Beck gave an emotional speech touching on various subjects, from the Wounded Knee massacre to WWII female broadcaster Tokyo Rose. But when talking about the political movement known as Black Lives Matter, the conservative TV and radio personality stunned by claiming that he had finally learned why members of the movement were angry. In late 2015, Beck equated BLM to terrorism, saying “I think we need to start calling it that,” while adding that “[t]hey are terrorizing you.” But on August 12, 2016, Beck told an audience of enthusiastic conservatives, “I think I know why they are angry.” “I do not agree with Black Lives Matter. I do not agree with it,” said Beck. He justified his position by explaining, “[t]he leadership, they are communists.” But despite the group’s ideological component, Beck affirmed that their issue is legitimate and they are loud about it because “we’re not listening.” He continued: “We are not listening and they are not… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

“Say Wally, What’s a Redneck?”

I take offense to those “Gary Johnson” libertarians who make obnoxious comments about Republican volunteers passing out pamphlets to NASCAR and WWF fans.  Those of us with Trump-Pence signs in our yards are not interested in setting up some “redneck” scene.   Can we tone it down? Moreover, they paint with a broad brush when it comes to the motivations of people, like myself, who oppose illegal immigration. They try to dance around it by saying that though we may not be racist, we are acting in association with those who are and therefore we are tainted accordingly. Furthermore, they make the unsourced claims that opposition to illegal immigration is really motivated by a desire to return America to some sort of “Leave It to Beaver” alternate  universe. Talk about making broad and unfounded assumptions. I am not denying that there are David Dukes out there who, in their hearts, want to return to the lily white, segregated, and moralistic America of the 1950s (though, in fact, even that “America” had been largely confined to… Keep Reading

Culture

When Diversity Politics Debase Our Books And Minds

Should we judge a book by the content of its pages or by its author’s skin color? Today’s cultural credo, informed by the politics of multiculturalism, demands the latter. High society and academia promote ‘diverse’ authors as an urgent redress for the dominance of straight, white men in the Western literary canon. No sane mind would deny the benefits of studying literature by meritorious authors belonging to varied demographics. But the project of diversification is less interested in encouraging talent, and more focused on redistributing social power, historically enjoyed by white males, to the others. Behind the facade of egalitarianism lies a deeply flawed understanding of how and why the traditional literary canon came into being. As Roger Scruton explains in his essay, “Rousseau and the Origins of Liberalism” (The New Criterion, 1998): The traditional curriculum existed because it contained an accumulation of social knowledge – knowledge of the human mind, the human character, and the human heart – whose utility is obvious to those who have studied it, but inconceivable to those who have not. Cultural elites and many educators fall in the latter category,… Keep Reading

Politics

American Legion Leader Believes Pokemon Go Should Be Banned

Pokemon Go has been a huge phenomenon across the planet. While video games have widely been criticized as keeping kids indoors and making them lazy by gluing them to couches, this new mobile game from Niantic has people outdoors and off the couch. The game utilizes GPS to create an alternate reality where players can travel the world searching for pocket monsters known as Pokemon. The new technological development has led to people getting exercise they wouldn’t normally get. Because of how the game is designed, eggs are hatched based on how far a user walks, driving will not work. In order to get rare Pokemon, users have to travel by foot. At the same time, acquiring these eggs and Pokeballs to catch wild Pokemon requires visiting Pokestops. Pokestops are typically places of significance, such as parks, museums, and stores – they have also been places like Veterans Memorials, as is the case in the Lewiston/Auburn, Maine area. The Lewiston Sun Journal ran a piece by Mark LaFlamme highlighting the… Keep Reading

Politics

Why Thomas Massie Isn’t Wrong In His Trump Support Logic

The liberty movement is more divided now than it has been in recent memory during a presidential election. 2008 saw the rise of a Congressman from Texas who united the libertarian movement, despite not making it far in the primary itself. 2012 saw a second attempt by then-Congressman Paul to secure the Republican nomination, this time putting up a heavy fight. Things are different now. Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, was widely expected to go even further this election cycle. Bearing his father’s name while maneuvering the political game seemed like a formula for success–but it fell apart. Now the liberty movement is divided in the election cycle. Congressman Justin Amash upset many libertarians when he endorsed Senator Ted Cruz during the Republican primary, and he has since refused to support Donald Trump even after he secured the nomination. Senator Paul, on the other hand, points to his pledge to support the Republican nominee, without mentioning the candidate’s name. But what about Congressman Thomas Massie? Congressman Massie has perhaps… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

The Misuse Of “We” “Us” And “Our”

One of the biggest mistakes in the application of the English language is when the terms “we” “us” and “our” are used in reference to the government.  The fact that many individuals conflate themselves with a completely separate entity that they are not a part of and have no real control over is problematic.  It is this conflation that leads to perpetual conflict between groups of individuals and to ignorance of the actual nature of government. The government is not us.  The government is a group of individuals who claim the right to control and manipulate the lives of other individuals.  We do not set the tax rate, create laws, enact regulations, or determine foreign policy.  A group of individuals do, and those individuals possess powers that all other individuals do not. These people are not our leaders.  It is simply a mathematical impossibility for them to effectively and in actuality lead or represent the multitude of individuals under their rule.  They do not act with our interests in… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics/World

Venezuela’s Economic Collapse: A Process 50 Years In The Making

In recent times, Venezuela has been the object of many headlines across the globe that detail its current economic predicament. Once Latin America’s most stable country, Venezuela is now experiencing a historically unprecedented economic and social collapse. How did such a nation awash with bountiful oil reserves and numerous decades of democratic stability stoop to such levels of misery? The conventional narrative typically points to Hugo Chávez’s arrival to power in 1998 as the main catalyst of Venezuela’s economic decline.  Quantitatively speaking, Chávez’s presidency was responsible for the largest economic downturn in the country’s history. Through an unprecedented number of expropriations, capital controls, and price controls implemented by the Chávez regime, Venezuela went from a regional leader to a veritable basket case. The aforementioned policies and their negative consequences remained intact under Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro. Despite the abundance of evidence demonstrating the Chavista governing apparatus as the clear culprit of Venezuela’s recent turmoil, there is much more to this story than meets the eye. History has shown that… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

Dennis Prager: Pope Francis And The Decline Of The West

In this short commentary written by Dennis Prager, I agree with his overall assessment that the left influences Christianity and Judaism today much more so than vice versa. It is the left that dictates our cultural, moral, and ethical norms. Dennis Prager does not discuss the deeper reason for this development, though I have no doubt from his other writings that he would agree that Gnosticism ultimately explains what has happened. In essence, the Western Man has divorced theology from ontology and epistemology. In terms of ontology, this methodological and substantial divorce means that our understanding of “being-ness” must end in materialism. Man is no longer spiritual in his essence. He is physiological and psychological. The religious experience is no longer revelatory of what it means to be a man. Rather, it is merely therapeutic; a poor man’s therapist for one hour per week. In terms of epistemology, this methodological and substantial divorce means that faith no longer has any connection to knowledge. Thus, we hear often the modern… Keep Reading

Politics

Conservatives Should Embrace Obama’s Commutations

During the last 7 years, I have often criticized President Barack Obama for many actions he has taken that were outside the scope of his authority. He has continually ignored the Constitution and grown the power of the Presidency–something he specifically campaigned against. The President has carried out a foreign policy that has left us less safe and has killed thousands of innocent civilians. He has overseen the growth of the regulatory state and continues to promote economic policies that would kill small businesses and leave our nation less prosperous. It is fair to say that President Obama has earned a lot of criticism that he has received from conservatives, but occasionally he does something that should be praised–this past week was one of those occasions. Last Wednesday, The White House announced that President Obama was commuting the sentences of 214 federal offenders. The vast majority of those receiving commutations were non-violent drug offenders. The announcement marked the 562nd commutation granted by this President, and set a record for… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

The Importance Of Startup Political Publications: Entrepreneurship And Information

Years ago when I was in my first year of undergraduate study at my university, I had an inkling of what I desired to do as a career outside of pure academia: political journalism. But in order to do it and make something of a living at it, I didn’t quite know where to start – politically, I was a bit of a square peg, with my socially liberal views oftentimes seen as directly contradictory to my fiscally conservative ones. And yet, a handful of smaller publications that shared my vociferously individualistic approach to political writing, and fortunately, they decided to take a chance on me. These outlets were essentially start-ups; virtual magazines without printing presses and major publishing houses behind them; backed my passionate and ingenious entrepreneurs rather than bug businessmen in overprices suits and bottom lines. Seeking the truth and shooting straight – not selling fixed narratives to a certain demographic – were the desires that drove these guys to build their own little media empires. I felt… Keep Reading

Politics

The Trump Campaign Truly Is a Dumpster Fire

Last summer, Donald Trump started his campaign with a bang. Viewed then as a loony outsider, Trump burst on to the scene when voters took to his signature brash tone and “tell it like it is” populist message. Whether it be calling Mexican immigrants rapists, championing a ban on Muslims entering the US, or his naive insistence that Mexico will pay for a border wall–Trump did what he had to do to get the attention and support needed to take his fringe campaign mainstream. Last month, the campaign reached new heights when Trump accepted the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Against all odds, Donald Trump’s primary strategy worked. He single-handedly dismantled one of the deepest benches in recent memory to become the GOP nominee. It’s truly an awe-inspiring accomplishment. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the same tactics Trump used to win the nomination will cost him the presidency. This is certainly not something his supporters want to hear, and I seriously doubt they will… Keep Reading

Economics/Philosophy/Politics

Economics & History: Why This Connection Matters

In a recent article of mine, I debunked the red herring of  the “roads” argument that many modern socialists throw around. It turns out that lately this article has gotten some pretty lively responses from its critical readers. One such commenter was someone I might have expected to be on my side (politically speaking) as he was presumably a libertarian himself, but the road forked for us at economics. It seemed as if this gentleman was an adherent of the Austrian school (a.k.a. the fantasy football of economics), and he had a thing or two to say about my reasoning behind my aforementioned debunking. But before we get to that, it might be prudent to first scan briefly the shoal of my original argument: the modern socialist mantra is to call their capitalist fellows “hypocrites” for accepting such “socialist” elements of society as roads and a postal service. My rebuttal to that claim is simple enough in that these very elements of public convenience (as well as many others) predate socialism’s inception; therefore… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

How Many Democratic LGBT Activists Are Not Pro-LGBT At All

There is a great deal of discussion in American politics regarding the LGBT crowd and their rights in society. For some time, it was the marriage debate. Do homosexual couples have a right to get married in the eyes of the law, or should they settle for lesser unions and not the same legal protections? The discussion has not been resolved, but it has taken a backseat to another debate regarding bathroom usage for transgender people. Should those who identify as an alternate gender be allowed to use a different bathroom? While the debates are complex and emotional, they seem to generally fall along the same partisan lines. Republicans typically oppose the LGBT crowd, wanting homosexual marriage banned under the Constitution, and believing that bathroom usage should be restricted to your biological structure. Democrats are more favorable to the LGBT crowd, favoring homosexual marriage and allowing those to use the bathroom that matches their identification. It is for this reason that Democrats feel entitled to the LGBT vote. But… Keep Reading

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