Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Iran-US Window is OPEN -- for a Few Hours

Every so often in history, there is a moment where nations can tremendously alter long-established relationships with other nations.

The assassination of Iranian hit man Qassem Soleimani has -- despite initial expectations -- become that very moment.

Iran, which has absolutely nothing to gain from open war with the US, wisely lobbed a volley of missiles in the vicinity US troops.  Not *at* the troops, but in their vicinity.

This was a public-relations master stroke on the part of the Iranians.  It gave them cover with their own war hawks ("see, we did *something*") and sent the message that they had the capability to hit us if they so desired BUT DIDN'T, and it made the next aggressive move by the US far more difficult for the world to accept.

Then, they made a serious mistake in accidentally shooting down an airliner full of innocents.

The next few hours are an opening for another master stroke, this time by President Trump, if he only grabs it.  All he has to do is get up to the podium and propose a reconciliation:

Look, we have our differences with Iran.  But the tragic loss of so many innocents on board Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 offers Iranians and Americans alike the possibility of taking this in a different direction.

First, I wish to apologize to the Iraqi people for the killing of Iraqi officials who were in the vicinity of our attack on Qassem Soleimani.  We will study ways to more tightly target those who have committed atrocities, so that there is less chance of injury or death to those who should not pay the price for the sins of others.

Second, we are taking other measures also, that hopefully will allow our people to finally stop fighting each other.

I have ordered the full withdrawal of American forces from all of southern Iraq, and the dismantling and removal of all of our bases.  There will remain a few soldiers as requested by the Kurdish government, but otherwise, the request of the Iraqi government will be honored.

Third, I am offering a complete end to all US-government sanctions on Iran, if the Iranian government will likewise de-escalate their activities against Americans and citizens of other nations:

-- Full normalization of relations between the US and Iran, and the reintroduction of embassies and consulates on each others' soil -- with full protection of our respective personnel.

-- Immediately release and end prosecution of any and all prisoners -- American or otherwise -- who have not committed any crimes of violence against any other individuals, and aggressively protect the rights of foreign visitors in Iran.

-- Repeal all barriers to trade with American citizens.

-- End all state harassment of religious and ethnic minorities and missionaries.

-- Cooperate with efforts to clear Arabian Sea and other regional waters of mines and sunken ships.

-- Cooperate with international police agencies to bring violent criminals to justice, wherever they may be found.

No Iranian should regard any American as an enemy.  And no American should regard an Iranian as an enemy.  The natural condition of people is to be friends and to do business with one another.  It is time to let the quarrels of the past go.  I am willing to try.  If I fail, my successor will probably not extend this olive branch.  There are many in both the United States and Iran, as well as in other countries, who profit handsomely from continued hostility between America and Iran.  You and I have an opportunity to tell them "no!".

What say you, President Khamenei?  The tragic loss of those on Flight 752 -- because of the fog of war -- has us staring into the abyss.  Will Iran and American step back from the edge and once again become the friends we always should have been?

It's worth a try.  And it could only succeed while the Iranian government is reeling from the blowback from their own mistake.  That blowback will not last.

Unfortunately, it is likely neither Trump nor anyone else in the US government, including all of the Mickey Mouse Democrats who are only anti-war when it's not their gorilla in the hot seat, have the spine to do any such thing.

So as soon as the Iranians have the blowback under control, the window will close, the opportunity will be gone, and escalation will likely continue.

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

Are Content Providers Free to DePlatform?

In the last few years, we have heard many stories of alternative viewpoints -- including Libertarian ones -- being "deplatformed" and "unpublished".

Some Libertarians are excusing this behavior by claiming those content providers are private property, and they can decide for themselves what they provide a platform for.

I fully understand the argument.  However...

That position is, at best, naive, and at worst, willfully ignorant.

It has become abundantly clear: Content providers are not really private companies any longer.

1) They get a huge government subsidy in the form of "artificial personhood".

2) All of the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are subscribers to the "services" of a spook-run "non-government organization" called the "Atlantic Council".
3) Most of the spooks "advising" the oligarchs as to who to deplatform and what to censor are Obama-era players.

4) Dragging Zuck before congress wasn't meant to elicit information. It was a horse's head in the beds of the content oligarchs.

5) All of the content providers claim to be platforms and thus not liable for their content -- in public. However, in court, they claim the opposite
Content carriers need to decide if they are publishers or platforms, and duck the hell out of gaming the system.


6) There have been multiple instances of spookish government bureaucrats visiting the C suites of all of the tech titans. Of course the records of what these spooks say to the execs is not made public, but here's a guess: "My, Mr Chairman, that's a beautiful twelve year old daughter you have there. It would be a shame if someone from our office visited her tonight."

7) The takedown of Backpage.com and the bankrupting of its principals in order to prevent them from hiring sufficient legal counsel was another horse's head.

No. The oligarchic providers have been captured by Leviathan. They are now functioning as management arms of the police state.  Almost all of the internet content providers are now deeply compromised.
No corporation should be regulating political speech; and certainly no corporation -- which gets the government subsidy of artificial personhood -- should attempt to meddle in American elections in this manner.

It isn't the Russians who are interfering in our elections.

It's tech oligarchs, the mainstream media, and the military-industrial-spook complex.

The fix for this is to reduce government employment at all levels by 99% across-the-board, and shut down government agencies -- including the national-security-spy-state complex.

Hopefully the few thousand remaining government bureaucrats will be able to concentrate on activities that actually protect the individual rights of Americans. rather than violating them.

The elimination of corporate personhood and requiring businesses to bear the full cost and responsibility for their own actions that violate individual rights is also required.

Vote Libertarian.

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halle Shootings Prove The Gun-Control Fraud is Over

In the media recently (October 9), two people were killed in a planned rampage murder in Halle, Germany on 9 October, 2019. Two more people were seriously injured
and rushed to the hospital. The attack was originally planned to massacre Jews at a local synagogue, by a 27 year old national Socialist.

What has been left out of most of the media accounts, however, is that the weapons and ammunition used were all HOME-MADE.  Check out the story on Ammoland; or see the story by Mike Landsay upon which the Ammoland story was based.

The firearms were homemade, the ammunition was homemade, the explosives were homemade.

He killed two innocent people and injured others even with his crude ammunition and makeshift firearms.

This part of the story has been largely supressed because it reveals an inconvenient truth: The genie is out of the bag.

There are far more machine tools in the US than there are in Germany, and far more mechanics who can use them.

The designs for firearms and ammunition are well-known and documented extensively.

Besides the homebrew angle, the same corruptocrats who can't keep drugs from crossing the border aren't going to be any better at keeping guns from crossing the border.

The only thing that will change as legal guns and ammunition are further restricted, is that more and more criminals will get into the lucrative business of building, smuggling and selling them. Prices will go up, more cops will be corrupted (eg, Mexican police guns are used in almost all cartel shoot-em-ups), and violence over trading turf will increase.

The Left is going to have to come to terms with the fact that guns are in the wild, and from this point on, they always will be. It will need to acknowledge all of the following:

- Gun control doesn’t stop a madman with murderous intent.

- It isn’t the object but rather the person using it that is the problem.

- You cannot legislate your way to safety by assuming the guilt of every citizen.

- Gun control has failed.

All gun control is unconstitutional. It is also ineffective and counterproductive. And, most importantly, it infringes upon the right of all individuals to freely acquire, own, and bear any property they wish -- including property related to supporting their right of self defense.

If someone truly cannot be trusted to own or carry firearms, then they should not be free to roam at all -- they should be in prison.

End the war gun owners.  Defend the right of individuals to defend themselves from criminal individuals and criminal governments.   Repeal all federal, state, and local gun laws.  Stop meddling in the private and voluntary affairs of free individuals.

Vote Libertarian.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Libertarians: Decriminalize Sex Work

Larimer County Cops?
In Larimer County, CO, this year, over 300 men have been arrested for attempting to have voluntary sex.  Here's what the cops and their media parrots said about one week's haul: "An operation to help reduce the demand for human trafficking in Larimer County led to the arrest of eight men who are accused of patronizing prostitutes."

But yet there's no "war on men" going on.

So the cops [and parrots] equate having voluntary, contractual sex to "human trafficking".

Ummm..  No.  Sorry, Charlie, but prostitution is not trafficking.

Public schools and caging human beings by police might resemble human trafficking, but prostitution does not.

Besides, no actual humans were trafficked, much less prostituted -- all of the "prostitutes" were cops hiding behind a computer.

The grand total of confirmed "sex trafficking" cases in Colorado -- you know, where someone *was* forced into sex by someone else -- for 2017 was: 14.  And they were rightfully prosecuted.

In 2017, nationwide, there were 467 confirmed cases of sex trafficking, of which 14 were minors.  There is *no* "epidemic" of human trafficking.  If anything, there are fewer human beings trafficked now than there ever have been (at least in the United States).

Well, except cops tend to have an increasing problem with screwing teenaged girls (and boys), and passing them around to their buddies.  Which *is* trafficking.

And put it in perspective: In 2017, there WERE 393,980 reported serious domestic violence cases, and over 1,237,960 reported violent rapes and sexual assaults.

So perhaps we ought to "end the demand for marriage"?

All the stats are available from the FBI pages - and links can be found on Libertarian Norma Jean Almodovar's website (2017 stats are the latest until October of this year when the 2018 stats are available).

The Libertarian Party believes you own yourself.  If you choose to marry a millionaire because you like the bank account, or if you pay $75 for a handy (like police victim Robert Kraft), you're having voluntary sex.  Voluntary sex is not trafficking, and no form of voluntary sex should be prohibited.

The Libertarian Party's platform position on sex work spells it out:

2.10 Sex Work - The Libertarian Party supports the decriminalization of prostitution. We assert the right of consenting adults to provide sexual services to clients for compensation, and the right of clients to purchase sexual services from consenting sex workers.

The Libertarian Party Radical Caucus platform describes the Libertarian position on sexual rights even more thoroughly:

1.9 Sexual Rights - Consenting individuals have the right to private choice in sexual activity.  We support the repeal of all laws and policies which are intended to condemn, affirm, encourage, or deny sexual lifestyles or any attitudes about such lifestyles. Further, we oppose any government attempts to dictate, prohibit, control, or encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement, or contractual relationship.  Who or how many somebody loves is none of the government's business.  We support separation of marriage and state. Government marriage license regimes were introduced as tools of control like any other license, and therefore we call for their immediate abolition. No free individual should be expected to obtain a "permission slip" from the state in order to marry.  We support the repeal of all laws prohibiting or regulating sex work including prostitution, whether practiced by individuals or in the form of businesses such as those operating brothels, massage parlors, or other facilities.

End the wars on men, women, and sex workers of both genders.  Repeal the prohibition on sex work.  Stop meddling in the private and voluntary affairs of free individuals.

Vote Libertarian.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running Safety for Women... And Men

In a discussion in a running group today, the topic turned to the safety of female runners.  Of course, someone chimed in with a totally useful and unique comment: "Here's a tip: Men stop harassing women.".

Brilliance.  Why hasn't anyone else ever thought of that?

But let's get serious.

Scolding all men (eg "Men stop harassing women") is not a solution to the problem of harassment (or of assault, or bias).

Men who harass/assault women are a small fraction of the male population, and the rest of us "men" do our damnedest to suppress them.

The police officers who arrest the worst of them; the majority of prosecutors, judges, and other justice officials who put them in jail; and the jailers who keep them there -- they are overwhelmingly MEN.

Even before an arrest happens,  when citizens stop a criminal by tackling them or otherwise restraining them, those citizens are almost always MEN.

So let's give "men" some credit:

The vast majority of men love women, and love their wives, daughters, girlfriends, and friends, and will never hurt any of them much less a stranger.

The best way to make women's outdoor activities like running safer is to acknowledge that safety is partnership that requires both men and women to look out for one another. A lot of us guys on the trail are doing our best to do just that -- without your admonishment.

I have a personal story that illustrates the point.

A few years ago, a very frightened elderly woman who had passed me on her bicycle a few minutes prior came back down the trail towards me, and stopped to ask if she could drop in behind me and follow because there was a suspicious-acting man on the trail ahead.  I was running armed just for reasons like him.  I had seen him earlier that day myself and thought he looked like trouble.

So of course I agreed and told her to tuck in behind me and to one side me until we passed him.  I was careful to keep my body between him and her.  Thankfully nothing happened, and she went safely on her way after we were out of sight.

The point is, most men do care.  Most of us will do our damnedest to help when needed.

In the meantime, don't be afraid to run armed, regardless of whether you're a man or a woman. Many runners do it because they also run in areas where help may be too far away when it's needed, either for help from a human predator or from a big cat or someone's vicious dog.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

The Two-Minutes Hate on Vaping

In the news this past few weeks has been a good example of a manufactured "crisis".

Media outlets have breathlessly fixated on the "dangers" of vaping (aka "
e-cigarettes").  I guess this is the assigned Two-Minute Hate for the last half of September.

But let's go over a few actual facts that don't fit well into the mainstream crisis narrative.


First: Tobacco is a legal plant that many individuals want to enjoy.  If it is prohibited, then we will simply have yet another war on a plant that will be as effective as the war on poppies, marijuana, coca, khat, and many others.

Standard, over-the-counter nicotine "vape juice" carries basically the same risk of long-term health effects as cigarettes.

Keep in mind that e-cigarettes, like cigarettes, is simply a "delivery device".  When different kinds of "delivery devices" are developed, different people are going to try them, and use them, if they wish to.  There are already cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, dissolvables (such as lozenges, strips, or sticks), smokeless (chewing tobacco and moist snuff), waterpipes ("Hookah"), and now e-cigarettes.


There are already millions of vapers.
The mainstream media has generally (with a few notable exceptions) failed to make clear that the current "crisis" among vapers is not caused by vape juice, but rather, by a subset of vapers who are putting THC oils (and vitamin E oil, and other crap) in their e-cigarettes.  And probably a lot of other substances, according to investigative articles in the Washington Post and Wisconsin State Journal.


One of the more interesting aspects of vaping is the possibility that vape juice can be rather easily tailored, and there is already some evidence that the trend among longer-term users of e-cigarettes is to choose smaller nicotine content juice cartridges over time.

If the vaping market were left alone, there is reason to believe that trend (of lower nicotine content vape choices) would continue and/or accelerate: One thing that a free market always does is it tends to mitigate negatives and accentuate positives.

The black market (
Prohibition) means adulterated drugs, which means death for more than a few users (especially youthful, inexperienced ones who don't know what to look for).  Which is what we are right now seeing with the current "Vaping Crisis".

Then consider what the free market has delivered in comparison to Prohibition: We now have light beer and non-alcoholic beer, whereas under Alcohol Prohibition the trend was toward harder and harder, more potent varieties of hooch.

In a legal market, and with steady Education and Persuasion campaigns, kids trying drugs will find pure (and ever-safer) prepackaged versions of them at Rite Aid and Wal-Mart, with instructions on safe use.

They won't get that from the local gang-banger who is filling vape cartridges with THC oil.


Over time, then, it stands to reason that it would be better for there to be a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes to be encouraged and available so people who have to put something in their mouths will be able to choose something less harmful rather than more harmful.

If vaping is made illegal, it will simply go underground.  The technology for vape pens is widely known and easy to replicate, and prohibiting it will simply open up a new market for organized criminals to supply.

As an interesting side note, Colorado is not having anywhere near the problem with this that other states are -- because marijuana is legal, and people therefore tend to use traditional marijuana delivery methods.

The THC oil vaping problem would likely resolve itself in a legal market.  If CVS and Walgreens were selling vape juice with THC in it, they would have to find ways to make it as safe as possible, or they would find themselves with a lot of liability claims.  Drug traffickers who are illegally filling vape cartridges have neither the will nor the ability to figure out how to do that -- they're just supplying a product that people want, and they aren't going to be hauled into court if their product hurts someone.

Libertarian Party articles about vaping bans:

https://www.lp.org/libertarians-vaping-industry-condemn-trump-vaping-ban/


1.  What do Libertarians think of Trump’s vaping regulation?


2.  Libertarians, vaping industry condemn Trump vaping ban

3.  I Vape I Vote Membership Promotion


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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, May, 2019.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Power of One Libertarian

DID YOU KNOW...

Roy Scherer is only one man, but he accomplished some rather incredible things.  Medical marijuana was just one of Roy's signature accomplishments: Virginia was the first state with it!

Roy convinced enough members of the Virginia General Assembly to liberalize the law in the late seventies -- long before the California initiative that addressed the issue there in the nineties. Virginia's MedMar reform passed quietly into law mostly due to Roy's patient, quiet persuasion.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a self-executing law, and remained mostly unused.

However...

A little-known secret is that the only doctors in Virginia who could legally suggest it without the DEA raiding their house, shooting their kids and dog, and revoking their medical license, were those at the V.A. hospitals.  If I recall, most of the couple of dozen legal federal users of the late seventies and eighties were residents of Virginia, and, several of them were VA patients.

Some cracks in the wall eventually appeared in the rest of the country: The federal government finally said in 2010 that patients treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics will be able to use medical marijuana in the then-14 states where had been legalized.  Read more about this here.

Another example of Roy's handiwork is the historically-lenient Virginia possession law (under, again going from memory, 1/4 ounce is (or was) a rather cheap misdemeanor fine, rather than a jail-able offense).

And Roy has been exceptionally successful in stopping bad legislation in committees by pointing out flaws even the sponsors had to agree with.

Yes, more would get done with numbers, but no one should be quick to dismiss the incredible success Roy has had as a single lobbyist.  So many times it can be just a matter of remembering that lawmakers are human (or at least resemble them), and having an interested citizen around to do a "second reading" from a hands-off starting point often shows legislators where their ideas smash up against reality.

It often takes only takes one or two Libertarians in the right place at the right time to get what can be huge reforms enacted.  For instance, the only time in U.S. history that a state income tax was abolished happened to coincide with the terms of just two Libertarian Party legislators -- Dick Randolph and Ken Fanning -- in the Alaska state legislature.  It was the Libertarians who introduced the repeal bill, and persuaded their 18th century holdout political opponents to support it.

[NOTE: This article was first published in Old Dominion Liberty Letter Issue #39 on Monday, 26 July 2010.  Old Dominion Liberty Letter was an email newsletter that was periodically sent to Libertarian Party members and prospects in Virginia.  This author served as the editor of the publication for most of its run.]



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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, May, 2019.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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