Dear Berniebros: It’s Over

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I was casually going about my day, when a post came across my dashboard. It was by a Tumblr user names “notanotherberniesandersblog”, and it had some out of date and quite odd logic to it. So I took the liberty of responding to it, and in the process, crushing all their hope.

The original post:


URGENT; PLEASE SPREAD THIS WIDELY! According to the Associated Press, Hillary Clinton has already accumulated enough delegates to win and become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Please ignore this announcement, it is not true at all. They’re including unpledged superdelegates in the delegate count to misinform potential voters. The primaries are far from over. Neither of the candidates will reach the 2,383 pledged delegate threshold needed to win the Democratic Party nomination. There will be a contested convention.

The Real Math

(As of June, 4th, 2016)
Total Number of Delegates Available = 4763

CURRENT Score
Hillary Clinton = 1769
Bernie Sanders = 1501

Total Number of Delegates Required to Clinch the Nomination = 2383
Total Number of Delegates Remaining = 1493
Total Number of Delegates Who Vote on June 4th Through June 14th, 2016 = 930

No Candidate Can Clinch the Nomination Before June 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton Would Need 614 out of 930
Bernie Sanders Would Need 882 out of 930

Total Number of Delegates Who Vote on July 25th, 2016 = 719
(Democratic National Convention)

The Nomination Will Be Decided on July 25th, 2016.

Please spread the word, this must go viral! California voters deserve better!

Tl;dr: Ignore it! Keep phone banking and donating and volunteering and canvassing!

(Credit to Jacob B. for writing this)


Now, I found this a little strange, due to the numbers still being off, and how they treat Superdelegates. So, here is my response.

Let’s look at reality, instead of this “real math” (as of June 9th):

Total Number of Delegates: 4,770

Number of Pledged Delegates (by candidate):

Clinton: 2,202

Sanders: 1,829

Number of Unpledged Delegates (superdelegates by candidate):

Clinton: 541

Sanders: 47

Total Delegate Count (by candidate):

Clinton: 2,743

Sanders: 1,876

Which one is closer to the nomination? Hint hint, not Sanders. With superdelegates, Clinton already has the nomination. Without them, she’s VASTLY closer than Bernie is. If you choose Bernie at convention, don’t even try to talk about how “the people have spoken” and crap like that.

Second of all, let’s just look at the delegates who’ve yet to either vote or decide. This would include Washington DC and some superdelegates still. The total number left to pick up? Just over 150. Please spare me the “well the superdelegates don’t really matter!” crap. You know that’s a lie. There’s a reason they’re there.

Bernie is finished. He is done. There will not be any saving him at convention. You will be wasting your time. You will be wasting your money. You will be wasting so many valuable resources because you will be deluding yourselves that he can somehow magically win. It’s time to admit defeat.

Discussing Healthcare and Rights

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I used this meme back last year in a post on whether people have a right to healthcare or not. Of course, I argued that people did not, as it does not naturally exist, and is the produc of other people’s labor. Still, many think they’re entitled to it, and for free as well. Recently, I responded to a few comments on this, and I will go ahead and post those below.

The first set are the criticisms that the Rand Paul argument received:

#1 – officermilky

Call me naive, but wouldn’t he be paid through taxes? He wouldn’t be working for free. The argument to that, of course, would be “robbing peter to pay paul” but healthcare would be taxes that, you know, a society would all agree to go in on because they democratically believe it’s the right thing to do?

I’m not even saying that’s a perfect solution to everything, but the Rand caption seems faulty.

#2 – ramblingferret

Yes just like in Canada and Europe we round up doctors and force them to work against there will. Like my poor shrink who works 8-5 with Wednesdays off.

#3 – sweertomato

And now, here is how I responded to each one of them:

@officermilky He would be paid under a market wage that he would have regularly earned, due to government price setting (both on goods and wages). Your main mistake is that you will not have all of society agreeing to this universal healthcare plan. You would only need 50% +1 to make this happen, and that doesn’t sound in any way like it “society would all agree to go in” with this, as you say. THAT WOULD BE THE CASE.

@ramblingferret You mention Canada’s system, and I’d be a bit careful with that. They tried to first off ban private insurance, which was ruled unconstitutional. Canadian healthcare wait times are far longer than American wait times.

canada healthcare times

In addition to this, Canada’s system is lagging in adopting to new technology and practices to improve the quality and speed of care. And I’d be even more careful to use Canada’s system, since it’s projected to eat up 97% of government revenues over time. If that’s something America should copy, I’d be skeptical. And if you still don’t believe I should be skeptical, I would ask the 40,000+ Canadians who sought medical treatment outside Canada due to these problems, and more.

@sweer-tomato You mention that it would be free. About that…

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And if that is the route you wish to take (in saying that universal healthcare is free), then this also applies:

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Weird how neither me nor Rand actually said the “ and saying oh “Survival of the fittest” if you get seriously ill / injured you deserve to die is the most barbaric and jackass thing you can say.” I honestly wonder where this even comes from, but I don’t think I care.

Now, under the current ACA, quality of care has gone down, and prices have gone up (especially when you’re not subsidised, like regular people with their own healthcare or through their business). Under the universal system, the costs become simply unseen by the everyday taxpayer, but is still felt on April 15, and don’t think for a second this is going to be in any way cheap, especially for people who are poor or have pre-existing conditions. Not when the plan require a bunch of crap that a) shouldnt be part of health insurance, and b) is mandated by government fiat.

And let’s chat about government mandated bull. I’ve yet to hear someone explain logically how the government can require health insurers to cover something, and the health insurers won’t raise their prices. The health insurers know they can simply jack up their prices all they want, because it’s now mandated that “x” service be covered. You wanna know why healthcare costs keep going up? It ain’t corporate greed that is the main problem. I’ll tell you that.

And let’s talk about 2016. If you’d like to see more poor people, go ahead, enact your universal healhcare system. Bernie’s plan sure ain’t cheap, since you’d have to come up with $3.2 trillion in new tax revenue per year (equalling $32 trillion in total, more than his original projections were) over the next decade to pay for just the healthcare costs. Since the Sander’s plan already boasts of tax hikes on the wealthy (aka the one’s who currently pay the majority of taxes), where is the rest of the money coming from? Hint hint, he will HAVE look lower. But don’t worry, you might be audited by the IRS after not paying taxes because you can’t afford them, but you’ll have healthcare still… that is, as long as they haven’t cut you off.

It’s 2016: let people actually keep their money for a change and get the damn government out of healthcare, so people can afford it and not go broke should something bad happen.


All in all, I haven’t done a good rebuttal like this in a while, and I probably could have done tons better, but this still came out good, and still hasn’t been rebutted by any of these three posters. I’m not expecting it to, but hey, we shall see.

The Similarities Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

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Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton: these two clowns are going to be their parties nominee’s for President, and since no one is left on the Republican side, and Bernie’s chances have evaporated on the Democrat side, there is little hope for anything different at this point. In this post, I will be going over some pretty interesting similarities between the two parties presumptive nominee’s, to show you that these two aren’t really much different.

#1. Healthcare

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump believe that everyone should have healthcare, a fallacy and utopian ideal in reality. This has also been seen in his fairly recent support for Universal Healthcare, which is contradictory to his healthcare plan released by his campaign. And furthermore, his healthcare plan has no mention of even trying to deal with the FDA and it’s effects on the pricing of new and general prescription drugs entering or already on the market, which he should have covered, seeing as how it’s a part of the reason why healthcare costs are rising. At least Hillary Clinton will talk about them, but recommends the completely wrong treatment though.

#2. Taxes

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are fine with continuing the progressive income tax that is currently in place. And while Trump’s plan looks like it may lower taxes, Trump’s rhetoric has been that of raising taxes, specifically on the highest income earners (which his plan proposed lowering the rate from 39.6% to 25%). When pressed on this contradiction:

Pressed on the contradiction between his latest comments on taxes and the September tax plan, Trump said that he expected his original proposal was a “a concept” and he expected that it would be changed following negotiations with Congress.

“By the time it gets negotiated, it’s going to be a different plan,” Trump told ABC. He emphasized in interviews with both ABC and in a separate interview with NBC’sMeet the Press that his priorities were lowering taxes on the middle class and businesses.

I wonder how much of it will change, seeing as how this plan is now only “a concept”.

#3. Minimum Wage

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree that the Minimum Wage should be raised. And for Trump, this is troubling, because he has flip-flopped on this issue a lot, even saying today (May 9th) that the Federal Minimum Wage should now be eliminated. Someone needs to make up their damn mind and stay there.

#4. Foreign Policy Advisors

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have foreign policy advisors from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which has been behind the neo-conservative, interventionist foreign policy the country has had for a very, VERY long time. He has met with them, and talked with the group’s head as well. Notice that the non-interventionists have not been involved with CFR.

#5. Tariffs

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump want to impose new tariffs against Chinese Imports. Their rhetoric on currency manipulation is actually quite the same, making one wonder where they get it from.


Could I go on? Probably. But, these are just a few of the similarities between the Donald and Hillary. Both of these two’s supporters will vehemently deny any of this, and will probably bring up something about the mainstream media, or you being an idiot who is brainwashed and doesn’t know the truth. That, however, is wrong, and these people need to realize that the candidates they support really aren’t that different.

“I Can’t Support Austin Petersen! He’s Only A Troll!”

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A common argument I hear against the nomination of Austin Petersen is that he is nothing but an online troll who will not help the Libertarian Party grow in the long run, and thus will not be able to handle the two major parties (if he were to be the nominee).

I have quite a few thoughts on this, and I really find this to be a sad argument, seeing as how this comes down to a petty disagreement on tactics (and not even a much used one by AP in the past several months now).

#1. Lief Biebersen Is Human

If you’ve never trolled someone in anything, you’ve either not recognized it, or you’re really a bland person. Seriously. Everyone has done it, and in the realm of politics, it’s everywhere. You’ll get a lot of it from the R’s and D’s. But trolling can be used to still point out the logical flaws in arguments. I know. I’ve done it, and had it used against me on many occasions. Be like Elsa, and let it go.

#2. Petersen Has Media Experience

Calling Austin unexperienced with media is being a new kind of ignorant, given that Austin was responsible for getting Judge Andrew Napolitano his show on Fox Business. Austin has been on cable news programs on a multitude of occasions before, and has plenty of camera experience that Libertarians need (and also crave). This should not be a concern, what-so-ever.

#3. Petersen Is Principled

Call it principled-trolling for all I care, but Petersen has been arguing the same things for a long time now, and from what I’ve seen over more than a year of following him, he really hasn’t changed (he’s only sharpened up and been more like a public figure). He has spent years with the Libertarian Party, and FreedomWorks, growing the liberty movement, and bringing people to freedom. You might not have agreed with how he debated people over Twitter or Facebook over a year ago, but you look at him more recently, you’ll notice a definite change, and for the better.

#4. Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

Need I even spare these two clowns a thought? If you’re considering one of these two because you conceive Austin Petersen to be “childish”, I would recommend you have your eyes examined, because you’re clearly missing something here.

My Thoughts On The Libertarians: Gary Johnson

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Today, I’m finishing up my series on the Libertarian candidates for President, and so far, I think they’ve been great. The final one I’m talking about is Gary Johnson. Johnson is the former Republican Governor of New Mexico, which isn’t exactly a red state in any sense of the word. Johnson started his own handy-man business, all by himself, and grew it to be the biggest construction company in the state of New Mexico, a feat that is not easily done. Johnson is an adventurous character: he’s managed to climb several of the tallest peak throughout the world, and is looking to finish that sometime in 2016.

So, to simply say, Gary is a cool guy. I don’t think there really is any disputing that.

Now, onto where he stands with the issues.

Positions

So, to start, allow me to show you this. It’s not really indicative of any position specifically, but it allows you to get a general sense. Also, it’s cool:

#1. Government Spending

By the time Barack Obama leaves office, the national debt will be $20 TRILLION. That is not just obscene, it is unsustainable — and arguably the single greatest threat to our national security.

Responsibility for the years of deficit spending that have created our debt crisis rests squarely with BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats. The debt doubled under President George W. Bush — and doubled again under President Obama. During that time, both parties enjoyed control of Congress, and the deficit spending just kept piling up.

It doesn’t have to be that way, despite what the politicians say. But the idea that we can somehow balance the federal budget without cutting military spending and reforming entitlements is fantasy. What is required is leadership and political courage. As Governor of a state with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature, Gary Johnson stood up to excess spending, vetoed 750 bills and literally thousands of budget line items…and balanced the state’s budget.

Governor Johnson has pledged that his first major act as President will be to submit to Congress a truly balanced budget. No gimmicks, no imaginary cuts in the distant future. Real reductions to bring spending into line with revenues, without tax increases. No line in the budget will be immune from scrutiny and reduction. And he pledges to veto any legislation that will result in deficit spending, forcing Congress to override his veto in order to spend money we don’t have.

No excuses. No games. A REAL balanced budget.

I like this. He’s got executive experience, and to a certain degree, knowns how the game works, especially since New Mexico had a Democrat legislature during his time in Office. He knows that actual cuts need to be made, and not just scratches to the surface. This is what the R’s and D’s mostly forget, which is why nothing changes with them for the good.

#2. Taxes

Today’s federal tax code does all the wrong things. It penalizes productivity, savings and investment, while rewarding inefficiency and designating winners and losers according to political whim. For far too long, tax laws have been used not just as a means to collect needed revenues, but as a weapon with which to manipulate our behavior, create and destroy industries and fulfill politicians’ dreams of social engineering. The result is a tax code that is more than 70,000 pages long enforced by a government agency with almost 100,000 employees.

It is nothing less than a massive deployment of government force on our lives, our finances and our freedom.

Governor Johnson advocates the elimination of tax subsidies, the double taxation embodied in business income taxes, and ultimately, the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that will allow every American and every business to determine their tax burden by making their own spending decisions. Taxes on purchases for basic necessities would be “prebated”, with all other purchases taxed equally regardless of income, status or purpose.

Many leading economists have long advocated such a shift in the way we are taxed, and Gary Johnson believes the time has come to eliminate the punishing tax code we have today and replace it with a system that rewards productivity, investment and savings. The IRS as we know it today would no longer be necessary, and Americans would no longer need to live in fear of the force of government being wielded under the guise of tax collection.

I like this part from Gary. To me, it looks like a good plan. He’s calling for the elimination of several taxes (Personal and Business Income Taxes to name just two), and the instituting of ONE tax (a consumption tax). There isn’t a specific “detail-by-detail” plan of what he would do percentage wise with the consumption tax, but that could still come soon.

For a look at what Gary has supported in the past, here he is when he was running for President in 2012 under the GOP: [Link]

#3. Term Limit

Americans are increasingly frustrated, even angry, that — regardless of which political party is in control — nothing really changes in Washington, DC. The spending continues unchecked. The wars continue. Government keeps taking away more freedom. This disastrous allegiance to the status quo by career politicians is a direct result of the reality that those politicians are more concerned about keeping their jobs than about doing what needs to be done. That’s why Gary Johnson is a strong advocate of term limits. Run for office, spend a few years doing the job at hand, and then return to private life. That’s what Gary Johnson did as Governor, and that’s what Senators and Representatives should do.

I see nothing wrong this. Good for Gary.

#4. Jobs

During the 2012 campaign, Gary Johnson was lauded for having the best “job creation” record of all the former governors running for President. His response: “As Governor, I didn’t create a single job.” His point, of course, being that government doesn’t create jobs — except for itself. Entrepreneurs, growing companies and a robust economy create jobs.

Government’s role is to create and maintain a regulatory and tax environment in which private job-creators can prosper. Gary Johnson did that as Governor, and would do so as President. Government regulation should only exist to protect citizens from bad actors and the harm they might do to health, safety and property. Regulation should not be used to manipulate behavior, manage private lives and businesses, and to place unnecessary burdens on those who make our economy work. Eliminating unnecessary regulations and applying common sense to those rules that are necessary will free up capital and allow those who want and need to create jobs to do so.

Likewise, adopting the tax reforms Governor Johnson advocates will literally create millions of jobs. While most politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, suggest that modest reductions in business taxes might create jobs, Gary Johnson believes eliminating income taxes on businesses will transform the U.S. into the “job magnet” of the world. Why would any corporation move its operations off-shore when the best tax “haven” on the planet is right here at home?

This is the same approach to which he used in New Mexico. And this is also what he didn’t take credit for, saying that he didn’t create a single job as Governor, but just cleared the way for economic growth and more jobs. And quite honestly, I want this, and this is how Governor’s and so on should be looking to job creation, seeing as how if they were to be consistent with taking credit for job creation, they would also say how many jobs they destroyed.

#5. Personal Freedom

When you ask Americans today what the greatest threat to their individual liberties is, far too often the response is: “The government”. That is simply unacceptable in a nation that was literally founded on the notion of liberty.

Imagine the disgust of the Founding Fathers if they were to see the national government spying on citizens’ private communications, monitoring financial transactions, photographing license plates, and even demanding to know what a person is doing at a public library — all without warrants or due process of law.

Imagine their shock to learn that the government has decided it is appropriate to tell adults what they can put in their bodies — and even put them in jail for using marijuana, while allowing those same adults to consume alcohol and encouraging the medical profession to pump out addictive, deadly painkillers at will.

The list goes on, but the point is clear: Decades of ever-more-intrusive government has steadily eroded personal freedom in this country. Adults are no longer free to make their own decisions, and virtually no part of Americans’ private lives are today safe from government scrutiny and regulation.

Gary Johnson believes government should be truly limited — limited in the way the Founders envisioned. Responsible adults should be free to marry whom they want, arm themselves if they want, make their own decisions about their bodies, and lead their personal lives as they see fit — as long as no harm is done to others. And they should be able to do so without unconstitutional scrutiny by the NSA, the ATF, the DEA or any other government agency.

I think Gary is being a bit conservative here, as we can say with great confidence that the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves right now, maybe fast enough to power all of New York City without end. The NSA, ATF, DEA, and practically every other alphabet agency that threatens freedom in some sort of way needs to be shut down, and disbanded. And as for adults, they’re capable of making their own decisions, and should be able to do so.

#6. Foreign Policy & National Defense

The objective of both our foreign policy and our military should be straightforward: To protect us from harm and to allow the exercise of our freedoms.
Looking back over the past couple of decades, it is difficult to see how the wars we have waged, the interventions we have conducted, the lives sacrificed and the trillions spent on the other side of the globe have made us safer. The chaotic, reactive military and foreign policies of the past two Presidents have, if anything, created an environment that has allowed real threats to our safety to flourish.

Radical Islam and sharia ideology were not created by our actions, but they have prospered in the wake of the instability to which our actions contributed. And while our leaders have thrust our military and our resources into regime changes, failed nation-building and interventions that have strained valuable strategic relationships, the murderers of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other violent extremes have found new homes, established the caliphate of their warped dreams and secured the resources to become very real threats to our lives and our liberty.

As President, Gary Johnson will move quickly and decisively to refocus U.S. efforts and resources to attack the real threats we face in a strategic, thoughtful way. The U.S. must get serious about cutting off the millions of dollars that are flowing into the extremists’ coffers every day. Relationships with strategic allies must be repaired and reinforced. And the simplistic options of “more boots on the ground” and dropping more bombs must be replaced with strategies that will isolate and ultimately neuter those who would, if able, destroy the very liberties on which this nation is founded.

This is a foreign policy I can get behind. I find the bolded portion (I bolded) to be a really key part, which is something conservatives and types on the right like to try and use against non-interventionists. They always like to say that we’re blaming America for radical islam, when that’s not the case at all. What we’ve created is the vaccum. They exploited and prospered because of it. There is a difference.

We need a President who will use his head on foreign policy, and not be a reactionary neo-conservative with a blood lust (I mean, seriously, they always want war and destruction). We need someone who will be able to think clearly, and not respond with just bombs and bullets, ending up in our guys dying, and creating more people who will hate the US. I believe that Gary will be good on this, and it’s something the country desperately needs, after 8 years of Bush and Obama (though there really isn’t a difference).

#7. Immigration

Having served as Governor of a border state, Gary Johnson understands immigration. He understands that a robust flow of labor, regulated not by politics, but by the marketplace, is essential. He understands that a bigger fence will only produce taller ladders and deeper tunnels, and that the flow of illegal immigrants across the border is not a consequence of too little security, but rather a legal immigration system that simply doesn’t work.

Militarizing the border, bigger fences, and other punitive measures espoused by too many politicians are all simplistic “solutions” to a problem caused by artificial quotas, bureaucratic incompetence and the shameful failure of Congress to actually put in place an immigration system that matches reality.

Governor Johnson has long advocated a simplified and secure system of work visas by which willing workers and willing employers can meet in a robust labor marketplace efficiently and economically. Aspiring immigrants would undergo a background check, pay taxes and provide proof of employment.

Making it simpler and efficient to enter the U.S. legally will provide the greatest security possible, allowing law enforcement to focus its time and resources on the criminals and bad actors who are, in reality, a relatively small portion of those who are today entering the country illegally.

This is an immigration system I can get behind. It might not be as simplistic as that of Austin Petersen (see Ellis Island protocols), but it is much more simplistic than what the current system is, and it would allow people to come more easily, thus taking away much of the incentive to come to the US illegally.

And I trust Gary on this. He was Governor of New Mexico, and they’re on the border. He’s dealt with border issues, the Border Patrol, and so on before. He has been able to see quite well what has gone on, and has probably experienced the work visa system before with his construction company.

#8. Criminal Justice Reform

How is it that the United States, the land of the free, has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world?

The answer is simple: Over time, the politicians have “criminalized” far too many aspects of people’s personal lives. The failed War on Drugs is, of course, the greatest example.

Well over 100 million Americans have, at one time or another, used marijuana. Yet, today, simple possession and use of marijuana remains a crime — despite the fact that a majority of Americans now favor its legalization.

More generally, mandatory minimum sentences for a wide range of offenses and other efforts by politicians to be “tough” have removed far too much common-sense discretion from judges and prosecutors.

These factors, combined with the simple fact that we have too many unnecessary laws, have produced a society with too many people in our prisons and jails, too many undeserving individuals saddled with criminal records, and a seriously frayed relationship between law enforcement and those they serve.

Fortunately, a growing number of state and local governments are taking steps toward meaningful criminal justice reform. The federal government must do the same, and Gary Johnson is committed to bringing real leadership to this long-overdue effort.

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I approve. There needs to be reform in mandatory minimums, namely their removal. The War on Drugs is an easy one, especially for Gary, since he was the CEO of Cannabis Sativa. These two would lead to billions in savings on the part of the American taxpayer, and would allow for criminals to fully do their sentences, instead of being let out or shipped to some lower prison because the prisons are full of druggies.

#8. Internet Freedom & Security

Gary Johnson has often said, “There is nothing wrong with the Internet that I want the government to fix.”

The Internet has literally changed the world, and has done so largely without interference from the government. It is no coincidence that the unprecedented innovation and entrepreneurship — and the resulting improvements in our quality of life — that has occurred in cyberspace has happened in one of the last refuges of freedom.

It needs to stay that way.

Yet, there are increasing calls for government regulation and intrusion into the Internet. From some politicians’ suggestions of a government “kill switch” to recently-passed so-called Cyber Security legislation, the government is determined to insert itself into our freedom to communicate, conduct business and seek information via the Web.

The government is even demanding that it be granted special “back doors” into encrypted, private information held and moved by Internet providers. The excuse is security — a laughable concept from a government that has proven time after time to be incapable of protecting even the most basic data.

Gary Johnson has consistently opposed these attempts at government interference with the Internet, and as President, would return the government to the side of freedom and innovation — not regulation.

No opposition, what so ever.

#9. Environment

The environment is a precious gift and needs to be protected. Gov. Johnson believes strongly that the first responsibility of government is to protect citizens from those who would do them harm, whether it be a foreign aggressor, a criminal — or a bad actor who harms the environment upon which we all depend.

Consistent with that responsibility, Gary Johnson believes it is the proper role of government to enforce reasonable environmental protections. He did so as Governor, and would do so as President.

However, Gov. Johnson also believes that it is NOT the proper role of government to engage in social and economic engineering for the purpose of manipulating the energy marketplace or creating winners and losers in what should be a robust free market. Such efforts have failed in the past, and are doomed to continue to fail. Preventing a polluter from harming our water or air is one thing. Deciding in Washington, DC, that one source of energy should be subsidized and others penalized is a different matter.

In a healthy economy that allows the market to function unimpeded, consumers, innovators and personal choices will ultimately bring about the environmental restoration and protection society desires. Conversely, destroying prosperity and innovation through government intervention will only harm the environment.

When it comes to global climate change, Gov. Johnson believes too many politicians are having the wrong debate. Is the climate changing? Probably so. Is man contributing to that change? Probably so. The important question, however, is whether the government’s efforts to regulate, tax and manipulate the marketplace in order to impact that change are cost-effective — or effective at all. Given the realities of global energy and resource use, there is little evidence that the burden being placed on Americans is making a difference that justifies the cost.

This is probably the interesting plank of his platform that I believe would be the most controversial. That being said, I don’t see much of issue with this. I find the “preventing a polluter from harming our water or air” part to be a bit vague, and I’d be interested in finding out more as to what that would entail, but the rest I think is fine.

#10. Education

Governor Gary Johnson was one of the first governors in the nation to propose and advocate a universally available program of school choice. He did so while governing with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature and while facing a powerful teachers’ union. He was well aware that his proposal would not be enacted and would generate fierce opposition. However, he believed it was important to raise the issue and force the teachers’ unions to defend a clearly failing status quo.
More broadly, Gov. Johnson believes there is no role for the Federal Government in education. He would eliminate the federal Department of Education, and return control to the state and local levels. He opposes Common Core and any other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools, believing the key to restoring education excellence in the U.S. lies in the innovation, freedom and flexibility that federal interference inherently discourages.
As Governor, he saw first-hand that the costs of federal education programs and mandates far outweigh any benefits, both educationally and financially.
 Education is still a big issue, and I’ve got two brothers still in school. One goes to an underperforming high school, and he’s still a really smart kid, but I think the school is really not doing as well as it could do if it tried. The other is in a Charter School, which I would say is better, though has some issues of it’s own. I’ve been through public, charter, and private schools. I’ve been through it all, and I would say that the best was the Private school, followed by the Charter, then finally the Public system (Virginia was better than Florida, in my opinion).

Education reform needs to eliminate the Department of Education as the Federal level, and destroy it for good. The funds need to then be either eliminated from Congress’s budget, or divided amongst the states in a grant (no strings though). The elimination of Common Core (a huge joke, in my opinion) is also a needed thing, if we even want to have an educated people.

#11. Abortion

Gary Johnson has the utmost respect for the deeply-held convictions of those on both sides of the abortion issue. It is an intensely personal question, and one that government is ill-equipped to answer.

As Governor, Johnson never advocated abortion or taxpayer funding of it. However, Gov. Johnson recognizes that the right of a woman to choose is the law of the land today, and has been for several decades. That right must be respected, and ultimately he believes this is a very personal and individual decision. He feels that each woman must be allowed to make decisions about her own health and well-being.

Further, Gov. Johnson feels strongly that women seeking to exercise their legal right must not be subjected to persecution or denied access to health services by politicians in Washington or elsewhere who are insistent on politicizing such an intensely personal and serious issue. As Governor Johnson did support a ban on late term abortions.

Again, this is an area where conservatives will, and do, have an issue, though I think knowing that he was for stopping late-term abortions helps. My issues is that there are plenty of libertarians who are against abortion, such as Ron Paul, Austin Petersen, Tom Woods, Julie Borowski, etc…, and all of them have been able to reason it out well as being perfectly consistent with the philosophy.

I don’t know. Quite honestly, I still don’t fully understand this issue, and I probably will never be able to.


Now, let me address some things that Gary has done that is upsetting some people. The first would be reaching out to others, and using rhetoric that some libertarians find issue with. This would be the equivalent of Rand Paul reaching out to social conservatives, or supporting another terrible GOP nominee. You should be well aware that Gary can’t just sit around and appeal to libertarians all day. If he is the nominee, then he will need to reach out to other groups, like the social conservatives and so on. You might not approve of the rhetoric, but if you look to the message, it will still be the same.

The next thing would be the cake issue. Yeah, I disagree with him on that one, and I don’t see how the power utility could discriminate against a certain person. The power utility has no real reason to discriminate, and they know that the person doesn’t really have much of a choice for another option. Why would they discriminate, and thus decrease their revenue? It doesn’t really make much sense, if you ask me.


I think that’s really all I have to say. I think Gary is a great guy, and sure, he has some faults, but compared to Trump and Clinton, he’s still 1000x better than any cell that composes those two. If you’re looking to someone who has executive experience, look at Gary Johnson. If you’re looking for someone who is a strong leader, look at Gary Johnson. If you’re looking for someone who had a backbone in a time when it was fashionable to not have one, look to Gary Johnson. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

My Thoughts On The Libertarians: Austin Petersen

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I’m doing a series on the Libertarian Presidential Candidates. In this post, I will be discussing Austin Petersen, the former The Libertarian Republic editor. Petersen has been involved with the Libertarian Party since 2008, and was a producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Fox Business show “Freedom Watch”. I could go on, but I’ll let this speak for me instead:

Now, allow me to say this. Austin is technically a party insider, since he used to work for the LNC (Libertarian National Committee), but he’s been outside of this for several years. He’s got an interesting resume, and certainly seems to be enthusiastic about what he’s seeking out. His age isn’t something I worry to much about, and I think he gave a great response to this in the Fox Business Libertarian Presidential Debate.

The Platform:

Taxes & Spending

1. Reduce economic inequality by lowering barriers to entry in the marketplace, licensing, taxation, and fees. Urge congress to adopt the “Penny Plan,” across the board spending cuts of 1% per program. Abolish the existing, complicated tax code that discriminates against the most productive Americans, and replace it with a simple, flat tax at the lowest rate necessary to support the core functions of government. Seek voluntary ways to fund public services where possible, lotteries, tolls, etc.

Right off the bat, we get specifics, and I LOVE SPECIFICS. I love them because that eliminates speculation of HOW they plan to achieve thier goals and proposals. I’ve heard of the Penny Plan before, and I see no reason to go against it. $0.01 from every dollar spent would be a great way to start off cutting the budget down to a sustainable size, so the country and government can survive.

National Security & Defense

2. Strengthen national security by reducing/ending foreign aid to nations hostile to the USA. Reconsider overseas troop deployments in areas not important to US national security, and audit the Pentagon. Reform the Veteran’s Affairs administration.

The American people have sacrificed enough blood and treasure in the Middle East. No more nation building. Obey the Constitution, and only go to war if it’s declared by congress. Consider constitutional Letters of Marque and Reprisal to deal with terrorists.

I like Austin on foreign policy, and it’s important that we have more of a non-interventionist foreign policy in place. Wasteful spending is a major issue with the Pentagon, and those saying it isn’t are straight out lying. Plenty of cuts can be made without the drastic hyperbolic statements neo-cons make whenever someone suggests that military spending go down a bit.

As for real foreign policy, I believe it is a smart move to draw back the US from its position as world police people. We cannot afford this, and we cannot do it without harming ourselves, and stirring up more hatred and contempt for ourselves in the process. Yes, I said it.

Free Trade

3. Lower barriers to trade with foreign nations, and allow American companies the leeway they need to develop domestic energy production, in order to create good paying jobs at home.

That’s simple enough. True free trade does not require a several thousand page bill.

Monetary Policy

4. Audit the Federal Reserve first. End it through competition last. Institute a Monetary Commission devoted to studying the implications of replacing central banking with “Free Banking,” and abolishing laws of legal tender. Allow gold and silver to circulate as a currency, removing them from the commodity list, and make precious metal coins free of taxation. Let digital currencies compete against Federal Reserve notes.

This is probably my favorite portion of Austin’s platform. Monetary policy is a BIG issue that almost no one (except Rand Paul and the Libertarians minus Gary) mentions, and that’s a big disservice. When people cannot buy goods because the prices keep going up due to inflation, then what happens? Riots and civil war. Sound extreme? Make food and shelter unaffordable, and let’s see what happens…

Eliminating the Federal Reserve is a huge thing that MUST be done. Audit it first to see what they’ve been up to, but the end goal is to kill it, and with fire maybe (if that’s your thing). Allowing gold and silver to be used for a currency would allow the development of currencies that are finally backed by something solid, and that’s something the US hasn’t had for a very long time, and needs. And I love the digital currencies bit as well. Bitcoin is a definite route for money to move in the future, and I’d love to see how it would develop in an environment of free banking.

Immigration

5.  Streamline our immigration system by following updated “Ellis Island” styled protocols. Security check. Disease check. Done.

I see no issue with this. This would make legal immigration much easier, and would help to decrease people crossing over the border who’re crossing illegally.

Privacy Rights

6.  Work with congress to institute new protocols that will protect national security while placing the balance of weight towards due process and individual rights. Rein in the NSA, and demand accountability in our security agencies so as to protect our 4th Amendment rights.

This is another important thing that needs to be done. The NSA violates the 4th Amendment on a daily basis, and it must simply be stopped.

Crime & Punishment

7.  Reclassify the war on drugs as a medical problem, not a criminal problem. Deschedule all drugs at the federal level and end the federal War on Drugs once and for all.

Austin is calling for more on the drug war front than most are willing to admit (with maybe the exception of McAfee). Ending the Drug War would free up billions of taxpayer dollars, and put an end to a big government program that’s been hell-bent on destroying personal liberties since it’s inception.

Social Security

8. Allow young people to opt out of Social Security.

I would be fine with opting out. It’s not going to be there for me in the future. It’s a major failure that needs to be ended is what it is.

Healthcare

9.  Overturn Obamacare. Seek out market alternatives to problems of health and wellness.

This is yet another good thing. Obamacare is drowning people in paperwork, and the fines for not having crappy coverage are staggering (thousands on your tax bill = bye bye refund check). Repealing Obamacare would allow for more competition, and would expand what people can do.

Being Pro-Life

10. Encourage a culture of life, and adoption, and educate Americans about the “consistent pro-life ethic,” which also means abolishing the death penalty.

I find this interesting from a Libertarian candidate, largely because you don’t often see it. The Death Penalty being eliminated would be better for the bottom line of states, because it costs more to try those cases compared to Life-Imprisonment cases. And for the abortion bit, I’m seeing more and more libertarian big names coming out against it by the day. I like this a lot.


Overall, I believe that Austin is a very good candidate, and I believe he’s probably the best candidate running for the LP ticket. He is a bit young, but he’s right to point out that the Founding Fathers sure as hell weren’t old people when they were rebelling. He’s got good positions, and having listened to him for a long time, in both his written content and his podcast, he understands the philosophy of libertarianism greatly.

My Thoughts On Bernie Sanders: Making the Wealthy, Wall Street, and Making Large Corporations Pay Their Fair Share

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I’m talking about Bernie Sanders again today, and in this post, I’ll be going over his “Making the Wealthy, Wall Street, and Large Corporations Pay Their Fair Share” section on his website. This is a really long section, but it looks like I’ve already covered portions of the stuff he mentions in this, so if that’s the case, I’ll link back to my commentary about them already done.

With that done, let’s dive in.

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