Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Conservative War on the War on Drugs

A red state like Nevada may not top your list of pot-friendly places, but that could soon change. A legalizing initiative is scheduled to appear on the ballot there this fall. If approved, the "tax and regulate" measure would make the sale of marijuana more like alcohol...

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How to rebuild New Orleans (kick out the government)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jacob Hornberger’s Commentary
Leftist commentators are lamenting and criticizing the Bush administration’s failure to “rebuild” New Orleans and are even comparing the failure to its failure to “rebuild” Iraq.

It is truly amazing to see that no matter how many times socialism fails, socialists never lose their hope that just one time socialism will finally succeed. And no matter the failure, they always have faith that if only “their” plan — or some other central plan — had been tried, the scheme would have worked.

And that’s what they’re saying about New Orleans. If only Bush had appointed a more competent person to oversee the rebuilding, all would be well today. If only Bush had sent more federal money sooner, all would be well today. If only there was not so much bureaucratic red tape, all would be well today.

That’s precisely the mindset that has guided liberals (in the corrupted, big-government, socialist sense of the term) ever since the New Deal era. No matter which socialist failure — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, etc. — it was all just a matter of having put the “wrong” people in charge and not throwing enough taxpayer money at the problem.

Attention, socialists: No matter how much taxpayer money had been spent in New Orleans, no matter which central plan had been adopted, no matter which bureaucrats had been put in charge, it still would have been a failure. Why? Because as we have learned all over the world, time and time again, socialism can never succeed because, as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek showed, socialism is inherently defective.

So, what would have been the best solution for New Orleans? The federal, state, and local governments should have adopted the following policies:

1. No government grants, subsidies, or loans.
2. Exempt all residents of New Orleans from federal, state, and local taxes.
3. Suspend all building regulations and permit requirements.
4. Suspend all controls on economic activity, including minimum-wage laws and occupational-licensure laws.

The implementation of those policies would have given rise to an immediate outburst of positive economic activity that would still be revitalizing New Orleans today. In fact, if those policies had been adopted, President Bush and other officials would not have to be begging people to move back to New Orleans because countless Americans would be rushing to move there.

But of course, liberals (and, well, for that matter, many conservatives) would hate that solution because it entails individual liberty, free markets, and limited government rather than collectivism, control and regulation, socialistic central planning, and omnipotent government.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Access denied, again (Challengers banned from PA ballot)

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld Pennsylvania's signature requirements for political parties and independent candidates that have the audacity to become part of the political process by being listed on the statewide ballot.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

A Democratic Dictatorship, by Jacob G. Hornberger

What is a dictator? A dictator is a ruler whose powers are omnipotent, that is, unconstrained by external or superior law. A dictator has the power to take whatever actions he wants without concerning himself about whether they are legal. Anything the dictator does is legal because he is the law.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

No dole for anyone. True charity is private and voluntary.

Jacob Hornberger’s Commentary:
A controversy in Italy provides a valuable lesson for Americans. The Italian press is up in arms over a proposal to cut government subsidies to newspapers. Having become dependent on the dole, the newspapers say that there is no way they could ever survive without their dole.

It is just one more example of what happens when people become dependent on government monies — they lose their sense of self-reliance, independence, fortitude, and "can-do" spirit.

While Americans have not yet added newspapers to those receiving a dole from the U.S. government, many other sectors are on the dole — education, agriculture, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, import restrictions, etc.

Of course, the attitude of Americans on the dole in no different than that of the Italians: "Oh, if you take away our dole, we will die. Please do not take it away!"

Our ancestors had it right — no dole for anyone. True charity is private and voluntary. That is the key to a prosperous society.

Planet Clutter

Socialist Party candidate, Jeff Brindle (http://brindle2006.com) posted this timely commentary on the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition discussion list. It's too good not to share.

Today the International Astronomical Union voted to adopt a new definition of what constitutes a planet. Sadly, Pluto has been demoted along with many other bodies that were vying for planetary status.

I for one applaud this decision. Our solar system was suffering from "planetary clutter." 9 planets?? Seriously, that's just way too confusing. Think of the poor school children struggling to memorize their names. I've seen more than one reduced to tears trying to figure out what comes after Mars. That's just not right...

If you read the IAU's decision carefully though, they've also increased the moon threshold. Using Jupiter and Saturn (by far the biggest and therefore most representational of our diverse system) as the rule, all planets must have at least a dozen moons to qualify as a planet. Sadly this decision will result in Mercury, Venus, Mars, and our own Earth loosing their planetary status unless they manage to collect more moons before the next election, err I mean..eclipse.

The peoples of Earth have appealed this decision, but given the slow speed of interplanetary spacecraft our appeal will likely not be heard for at least 1.2 billion years. The little green men on Mars decided not to appeal this decision, but is attempting to meet the new moon requirement. Many of its moons though are being thrown out by the court as merely being large asteroids. So it looks like Mars will loose its planetary status as well.

- Jeff

Court upholds signature rules for Pa. candidates (0 = 67,070)

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Pennsylvania's signature requirements for minor-party and independent candidates seeking to get on the statewide ballot. Despite constitutionally required "free and equal" elections, challenger parties and independent candidates need 67K signatures to get on the fall ballot, Dems and Reps need zero.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Separation of Games & State?

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is brand new, but already riddled with corruption and cronyism. So, what are Pennsylvanian's going to do about it?

The current debate seems to be "government run gaming" (like Slots for Tots) vs "criminal run gaming" (gaming prohibition). What's the difference? In both cases a limited number of market participants use brute force to eliminate competition. The big loser of course, is the consumer who pays a higher price and has fewer options.

Why not a free market gaming industry in Pennsylvania? Imagine what that could do for tourism in Pennsylvania. The big losers will be the criminals and politicians who can no longer trade gaming monopolies for favors and payoffs.

Obviously, there is ZERO constitutional authority for Harrisburg to interfere with the gaming industry. So the repeal of all gaming laws is the correct approach. It's a perfect example of how reducing government power will not only increase our personal liberty, but allow job creation and increase prosperity in Pennsylvania.

Jim Babb
www.JamesBabb.com

Iraqis Are Ingrates

Those darned ungrateful Iraqis. Don't they know that the brutal sanctions that U.S. officials employed against them for more than a decade was for their benefit? So what if they lost hundreds of thousands of their children? Can't they see that those deaths were "worth it" because U.S. officials were trying to oust their brutal dictator, Saddam…

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Constitution Within

Sheldon Richman always nails it. "If the freedom philosophy is not inscribed in the actions of people, no constitution will help."

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Restoring Free and Equal Elections

Babb for Pennsylvania Position:
Why are some candidates required to collect 67,070 signatures while others required to collect none?

Article 1, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution: Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Libertarian Certified for November Ballot

Lower Providence - The Pennsylvania Department of State has officially certified that James Babb has successfully met the requirements to appear on the fall ballot. Babb is the Libertarian Party's candidate for Representative in the General Assembly, for district 157 (parts of Chester and Montgomery counties).

Although the old parties are not required to submit any signatures to appear on the fall ballot, state law requires independent and established challenger party candidates to collect 466 valid signatures from district voters to appear on the ballot. On July 31, Babb submitted over 650 signatures of district voters who want a real choice on election day. The majority of the signatures were received in a single day at the polls during the old parties' primary, where registered Democrats and Republicans filled page after page with their signatures.

"Voters of all political persuasions are dissatisfied with the old status-quo parties. People like choices. They are eager to see candidates from challenger parties like the Libertarians on the ballot and most importantly, in office." said Babb at a recent press conference. "Clearly the Republicans have let down those interested in fiscal restraint and the Democrats have clearly failed to protect our civil liberties. Libertarian is the only choice for voters interested in protecting private property and individual freedom.

Babb asserts that he is the best candidate for his district because he is not a career politician. "Unlike my opponent, I work in the real world. When I wanted a raise, I had to increase my productivity. When that wasn't enough, I started my own business. My success or failure in business is determined on my ability to meet the needs of my customers. When government fails, it usually gets more funding (In government, nothing succeeds like failure.) The last time my opponent had a job in the private sector, cars had 8-track players."

"When I win, the special interests like the PSEA and the utility monopolies will have no power over me, because I haven't taken their money. Unlike the career politician incumbent, I will be free to uphold my oath of office and obey the Pennsylvania constitution without fear of retribution from lobbyist benefactors."

Babb's willingness to buck conventional wisdom and challenge special interest strongholds is earning him quite a reputation. His pro-freedom solutions are often seen as controversial by some, but rooted in common sense and the American tradition of limited government and personal responsibility. "I can say what needs to be said. I can speak the truth, because I don't work for special interests." Babb intends to improve education by eliminating its compulsory nature. He wants to wipe out drug gangs by ending the war on drugs and he will preserve the environment by protecting private property and ending pay-to-pollute government programs. He wants to withhold the Pennsylvania Guard from participation in undeclared foreign wars.

More information about the campaign can be found at www.JamesBabb.com. The Libertarian Party is the 3rd largest political party in Pennsylvania with over 34,000 registered voters and scores of locally elected office holders across the commonwealth.

Contact:

Ken Krawchuk, Babb for Pennsylvania Media Relations
215-881-9696
Media@JamesBabb.com

or

James Babb
610-539-8825
Jim@JamesBabb.com

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cops & Judges Say Legalize Drugs!

Philadelphia - LEAP Mini-Documentary to Premier in Philadelphia, Tues., Aug 15th.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) (www.leap.cc) has released a scathing critique of modern drug prohibition in the form of a 12 minute mini-documentary. Philadelphia will be treated to a free showing of this short video Tuesday, 10:00 pm at the Lounge at N. 3rd. (Directions: http://tinyurl.com/nebtg) Admission is free.

According to LEAP founder Jack Cole, "This is Not a War on Drugs - it's a War on People." Cole retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police. For twelve of those years Cole worked as an undercover narcotics officer.

Libertarian candidate James Babb (www.JamesBabb.com) has sponsored the showing of the LEAP documentary as a way to educate the community about the drug war and the crime it creates. Recent violence in Philadelphia makes their message that much more urgent. "LEAP brings a lot of credibility to the growing re-legalization movement. These aren't your usual activists." said Babb. "These are cops and judges that have figured out that prohibition is as harmful today as it was during Al Capone's reign. Their insider's perspective is unique and their credentials can't be ignored."

Babb will be available to answer questions about his campaign and local re-legalization efforts.

About LEAP:
Founded on March 16, 2002, LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies.

On the group's website they state "Those policies have failed, and continue to fail, to effectively address the problems of drug abuse, especially the problems of juvenile drug use, the problems of addiction, and the problems of crime caused by the existence of a criminal black market in drugs. By continuing to fight the so-called "War on Drugs", the US government has worsened these problems of society instead of alleviating them. A system of regulation and control of these substances (by the government, replacing the current system of control by the black market) would be a less harmful, less costly, more ethical and more effective public policy."

Contact:
Ken Krawchuk, Babb for Pennsylvania Media Relations
215-881-9696
Media@JamesBabb.com

or

James Babb
610-539-8825
Jim@JamesBabb.com