Tuesday, March 20, 2018

CT Libertarian gov. candidate outlines fiscal plan

EXCLUSIVE: Libertarian Gov Candidate on Why He’s Not Running as a Republican – Reclaim Connecticut:

March 19, 2018 - "Rod Hanscomb is not the typical gubernatorial candidate in Connecticut. He talks about why Washington, typically considered a blue state, could be a model for Connecticut’s path to an economic comeback. He criticizes some Republicans for not being true fiscal conservatives.

"And, perhaps most consequentially, he’s a conservative who’s not running as a Republican in the 2018 race for governor. Instead, Hanscomb is opting for a libertarian run....

"Hanscomb grew up in Connecticut, attended Stamford High School, and lives in Stamford now. In between, though, [Hanscomb], an ex-military man, lived in Washington state, the Seattle area, 'for 20-plus years'.... 'When I left Connecticut back in ’85, we had the highest incomes in the country,' Hanscomb added. 'Coming back here four years ago,' he said, 'it was kinda surprising, or I hadn’t realized, how much the energy had kinda died in this state.'

"What happened while Hanscomb was gone? Well, he points out, the income tax.... Hanscomb’s prescription for Connecticut then?
  • First: 'We need to drastically cut spending.' 'There’s a lot of obstacles to it,' Hanscomb said, 'but that just has to happen, in order to get these tax rates down.'
  • Second, on taxes: 'We’ve just gotta get these taxes as low as possible'.... 
  • Third: 'deregulating.' 'People that aren’t in small businesses or small industry don’t understand, but the amount' of regulation, Hanscomb said, 'it really stagnates the economy, it really puts a lot of pressure on smaller companies'.....
"Hanscomb expressed, at times, his frustration with Republican leadership.... 'Republican after Republican just kept saying that they don’t feel that their leaders are true fiscal conservatives anymore,' Hanscomb said, of his time on the campaign trail.... The Republicans in many ways … they just seem very gun-shy to bring up even anything that talks about spending, or reining this in,' Hanscomb later added.

"That said, Hanscomb praised the legislature, some of whom he has met. 'When you talk to them, I really get the feeling that they want what’s best for the state,' Hanscomb said. 'I think there might be something to having a third-party leader in there that wasn’t beholden to either party'....

"Hanscomb said his focus is on social media, getting on the debate stage, and calling people.
'You have to get as much media as possible,' Hanscomb said.... Hanscomb’s website is www.RodForCTGov.com."

Read more: https://reclaimct.com/exclusive-libertarian-gov-candidate-on-why-hes-not-running-as-a-republican/
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Monday, March 19, 2018

No legal cannabis in July 2018, either, Canada's Health Minister confirms

Pot could be legal June 7, but sales delayed until at least August: Senator | CTV News:

February 17, 2018 - "Cannabis could be legal for recreational use as soon as June 7, but Canadians will likely have to wait until at least early August to purchase it, independent Ontario Senator Tony Dean told CTV News Channel... 'July 1 was always a target date,' Dean explained. 'We’re going to see … a final vote by the Senate on June 7 that may require a bit of time for some amendments to be dealt with. But in a sense, if that bill is approved on June 7, cannabis will be legal in terms of the law -- it just won’t be available....'

"Canadian senators struck a deal to hold their final vote on Bill C-45 – the legislation that will legalize recreational marijuana -- on June 7.

"According to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, provinces and territories would then need between eight to 12 weeks following royal assent (which would come immediately after the bill’s passage in the Upper House) to be ready for retail sales. Barring amendments or the bill’s failure in the Red Chamber, that would mean recreational marijuana would be available for purchase in the first week of August, at the very earliest....

“What (my colleagues in Ontario) tell me and what I hear from other provinces and jurisdictions and other agencies and those who are getting ready for retail is, ‘Just give us some certainty; give us some predictability,’” Dean said of the federal government’s legalization timeline. 'I believe that the Health Minister has given them that now, I believe that the Senate has helped that in providing for the certainty of a final vote, and that’s nothing but good news as far as I’m concerned....

“'So yes, there may be a delay until August perhaps, a delay of a few weeks,' he said. 'But with that delay comes a lot of certainty that wasn’t there a few days ago.'

Read more: https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/pot-could-be-legal-june-7-but-sales-delayed-until-at-least-august-senator-1.3808111
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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer on censorship (music video)

Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer: What I Think About Censorship | Music News @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com :

March 17, 2018 - "Katie of ... WSOU radio station recently conducted an interview with Iced Earh leader and guitarist Jon Schaffer. In that interview, he expressed his thoughts on his lyrics censored in order to get them played on certain radio stations:

"I'm not a fan of censorship at all, because I'm very much a First Amendment guy. And I think it's weird that that would even be a topic in America; I don't think it should be....

"We've played in China ... I guess it was on the 'Dystopia' world tour; we did Shanghai and Beijing — and before the government would issue our visas to get into the country, they had to look at the lyrics of the setlist that we were gonna perform. And ... the only thing that was remotely against authoritarianism in that setlist was the song ' V', and we were wondering if that was gonna actually cause us to have a problem. But we put it in there and they were okay with that one. I mean, it isn't blatantly saying, 'Rise up and overthrow your tyrannical government,'" but it is kind of saying that. [Laughs]

"'I'm not a fan of censorship. I'm a freedom guy. I'm very much a libertarian type. I'm an American first. I don't play the divide-and-conquer game of the parties. I believe in freedom and personal responsibility — pretty much the stuff our founders stood for that seems to have been lost in the mire in the last century especially. That's just where I stand; let's put it that way.'"

Read more: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/community_feed/iced_earths_jon_schaffer_what_i_think_about_censorship.html
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

The libertarian who founded a university

The Guatemalan Economic Miracle and the Man Who Helped It Happen - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world - Alfonso Abril:

March 15, 2018 - "Guatemala is a poor country, but we were richly blessed by the late Manuel “Muso” Ayau, who was born here in 1925.... What can an honest citizen do to change a poor country for the better? Muso knew the recipe. Let me tell you how I interpret this Guatemalan hero’s vision and how his legacy contributes toward building a prosperous Guatemala.

"Our country is full of smart and passionate people. We have splendid weather, bountiful natural resources, and a strategic location with access to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. So why is Guatemala poor? The reason lies in our weak institutions and flawed ideas, not in a lack of resources. Changing ideas so people support institutional reform, and then making those institutions work in people’s favor to create a prosperous society were the challenges that Muso tackled....

"Donald Boudreaux explains some background: 'Soon encountering burdensome regulations, corrupt bureaucrats, and absurd taxes, he joined with other Guatemalan businessmen seeking to free consumers and producers from the then-dominant command-and-control regulatory regime.... But as Muso once recalled to me, "I quickly became disillusioned. Even when we won a battle now and then, we continued to lose the war against statism. I realized that we would make no real progress unless we changed the underlying ideas of the people. We had to take a long-run perspective. I learned that freedom must triumph in people’s minds and hearts before it can make any headway in politics."'

"Muso believed in education, especially the education of intellectuals and other influencers to ensure a proper understanding of economic principles and the philosophy of freedom.... In 1958, he co-founded the Center for Economic–Social Studies (CEES), which began publishing and disseminating its own analyses of Guatemalan issues and also translating and distributing classic works in freedom literature such as Frederic Bastiat’s The Law....

"Undaunted by obstacles and skepticism, he founded Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) in 1971, now a leading private university in Guatemala City, one of the finest in Latin America, and a beacon of freedom ideas. UFM, where academic excellence is a passion, is where I studied business.

"Muso established a rule at the founding of the University: Every student, no matter what his or her major field of study, must enroll and pass the 'Economic Process and Philosophy' courses. Those courses acquaint students with the 'Austrian School' of Economics, particularly the insights of two giants among 20th Century economists, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek. With that policy in practice at the university now for more than 40 years, solid free-market economic ideas have been spreading, slowly but surely, across the country....

"UFM is without a doubt the most important and enduring achievement of Manuel Ayau. His energy and his spirit endow every building and room on a stunning campus — in particular, the Mises Library, the Hayek Auditorium, the Atlas Libertas Sculpture, and the Liberty Plaza. The University teaches free-market economics and the philosophy of freedom to influential leaders of the future. The budget of UFM amounts to more than $30 million per year, a very significant figure for Guatemala. Visiting intellectuals from all over the world ensure lively discussions that keep the professors experts on the most innovative trends and ideas."

Read more: https://fee.org/articles/the-guatemalan-economic-miracle-and-the-man-who-helped-it-happen/
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Friday, March 16, 2018

PA Libertarian happy to be seen as spoiler

Libertarian Candidate Embraces His Role As Spoiler In Pennsylvania Election - Daniel Marans, Huffington Post:

March 14, 2018 - "Until Tuesday night, Drew Gray Miller, the Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, was treated like an afterthought by Democrats, Republicans and most news outlets.

"Miller jumped through numerous bureaucratic hoops just to get his name on the ballot. His $2,000 campaign haul was below the threshold requiring him to report it to the Federal Election Commission but just enough for some social media outreach to his target demographic of high school seniors and college students....

"He was not invited to the televised candidate debates, and on Election Day he was still publicly pestering CNN, which he had provided with a photo of himself, to mention him as one of the choices on the ballot.

"Then the election results came in. Miller had received 0.6 percent of the vote ― accounting for far more than the 0.2 percentage point lead Democrat Conor Lamb ended up holding over Republican Rick Saccone.... Suddenly Miller was the man of the hour, as pundits discovered that [he] might have cost Saccone the race. When CNN finally flashed Miller’s photo on screen, his 20-person election watch party at Fat Head’s Saloon erupted in cheers ... high-fived one another and took selfies in front of the TV.....

Miller embraced the 'spoiler' moniker on Twitter, gleefully predicting late Tuesday that he would soon be the 'most hated man in America.' But he rejects the ... premise that any one candidate can be an actual spoiler.

"'No candidate is entitled to somebody’s vote. You have to earn somebody’s vote,' he said. 'If you have to silence a third-party candidate because your candidate cannot win otherwise, that tells me that you either have a crappy candidate or a crappy message. And in the case of Lamb and Saccone, it’s probably both.'

"For now, though, Miller appreciates the 'notoriety' that comes with the label, he said..... It’s attention that he hopes to use to spread the Libertarian gospel of individual liberty in all facets of life, including freedom from high taxes, marijuana prohibition and an overbearing surveillance state."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/drew-miller-libertarian-spoiler-special-election_us_5aa98129e4b0600b82ffaa03
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Record # of wrongly-jailed freed in US in 2017

Discovery of Police Corruption Freed Dozens of Imprisoned Americans in 2017 - Hit & Run : Reason.com - Scott Shackford:

Mar. 14, 2018 - "In 2017, 84 Americans were freed from prison after revelations of government misconduct helped prove them innocent. That sets a record, according to an annual report on exonerations in America... An additional 96 defendants in Chicago and Baltimore were released last year in 'group exonerations' as a result of two very high-profile police corruption cases.

"The details are part of the National Registry of Exonerations' annual report, a project by the University of California Irvine Newkirk Center for Science and Society, the University of Michigan Law School, and the Michigan State University College of Law. All in all, 139 exonerations were added to their registry for 2017, a drop from 171 in 2016. Though the total number of exonerations came down, a record number of people were exonerated due to official misconduct, mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, and perjury or false accusations.

"There has been a significant decline in exoneration for drug crimes ... because a backlog of cases from Harris County, Texas, has finally been cleared. In Harris County, the district attorney's office discovered hundreds of cases where defendants pleaded guilty to drug possession but subsequent crime lab tests discovered no actual illegal substances in the drugs. The county has been working since 2014 to go through all these cases and free people imprisoned for substances that turned out to not be illegal....

"Ledura Watkins, 61, was convicted of murder in 1976 in Detroit. After serving 41 years in prison, he was exonerated and released in June after details came out about faulty forensic evidence and police and prosecutor misconduct. His case represents the longest sentence served by anybody on the registry....

"Among the behaviors that led to this record-setting year, the most common form was concealing evidence. Of the 51 cases where a person convicted of homicide was subsequently exonerated in 2017, 43 involved official misconduct.... There were 29 exonerations involving false confessions in 2017, another record..... Eleven exonerations were a result of false confessions connected to ... one detective.

"In 66 exonerations — almost half the total — the underlying crime didn't even happen."

Read more: https://reason.com/blog/2018/03/14/discovery-of-police-corruption-freed-doz
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cannabis legalization bill introduced in NJ

NJ marijuana legalization: Home grow, 400 weed dispensaries in bill = Mike Davis, App.com:

March 13, 2018 - "New Jersey could become home to hundreds of legal marijuana dispensaries and users would be allowed to grow legal weed at home under new marijuana legalization legislation introduced Tuesday.

"The bill, proposed by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, calls for a much more open market than first envisioned by proponents, with some 400 marijuana dispensaries and a lower tax rate on legal weed. The Senate and Assembly are expected to try and find common ground between Gusciora's bill and the one proposed by Sen. Nick Scutari, D-Union, which took a more conservative approach....

"Gov. Phil Murphy, as a candidate for the office he has held since January, made marijuana legalization a priority, citing social justice concerns. In his budget address Tuesday, Murphy said he was committed to passing a legal weed bill this year....

"Gusciora's legislation ... calls for as many as 400 retail marijuana dispensaries, 10 in each of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts, with a minimum of two dispensaries in each. There would be a limit of 11 dispensaries per legislative district, including one medical marijuana facility....

"Gusciora's bill starts at [a] 7 percent tax rate for the first two years, before rising to 10 percent in the third and fourth years. It caps the marijuana tax rate at 15 percent beginning in the fifth year.... During the first two years a marijuana business is in operation, 1 percent of tax revenue will go back to the local municipality. The town's share of tax revenue increases to 2 percent in the third and fourth years, and 3 percent in the fifth year and beyond....

"Gusciora's bill allows New Jerseyans to grow up to six marijuana plants at home, but only three of those will be allowed to flower – when the drug is ready to be harvested – at the same time. Any municipality can pass its own ordinance outlawing home-grow operations."

Read more: https://www.app.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2018/03/13/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-weed-dispensaries-home-grow-2018/420023002/
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