End abuse of power, remove power to abuse

LPNC Op Ed

by Barbara Howe
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

The “voter owned elections” bills currently circulating in the General Assembly will do nothing to end corruption in government. Like most legislation, the title belies the real intent. Rather than insure voter ownership of elections, the bills will strengthen the grip of the Democrat-Republican duopoly that controls our state government.

No doubt many sponsors of these bills are sincere in their desire to end corruption. They’re well meaning — but misguided. In their quest to legislate morality, they entirely miss the real problem.

The problem is not the abuse of power; it is the power to abuse.

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Wake up and smell the national socialism

A sure way to debase a political discussion is to label someone a “socialist,” “communist,” “fascist” or “Nazi.” These are pejoratives, not descriptions. Most of the time, the user has no real understanding of what the terms mean. Just are just weapons.

They are as meaningless as “conservative,” “liberal,” or “progressive.” Libertarians realized this long ago. That’s why the Nolan Chart was developed.

Given an understanding of the historic context, however, they can be used to describe what’s happening to the American political system.

Socialism, communism, fascism, and national socialism (Nazism) are all variations of  authoritarian systems that put the State above the individual. In that respect, they are all  at the polar opposite of the fundamental principle of individual liberty upon which our nation was founded.

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More 'change we can believe in?'

President Obama, warning that the “situation is increasingly perilous” is sending 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan to “to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”  And his subordinates are making veiled threats to shoot down a North Korean ICBM. Isn’t it great to have those warmonger neocons like George Bush and Dick Cheny out of office?

Election law challenge

LPNC Press Release

Oral argument for the Libertarian Party’s appeal of its challenge to North Carolina’s election laws has been set for April 20 at 1 p.m. The appeals panel judges are Chief Judge John C. Martin and Judges Ann Maria  Calabria and Sanford Steelman

The Court of Appeals is temporarily located at 227 Fayetteville St, (the Old Wachovia building).  The entrance is on Wilmington St.  The case is the second on the docket, so it probably won’t be heard until about 2 p.m.

Things I simple don't understand

Some things that happen in government I simply do not understand. The News & Observer reported on the passage of two bills in the NC House yestereday, both sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Weiss (D-Wake). Both passed nearly unanimously — yet Rep.Weiss was listed as an “excused absence.” Did she have a note from her mother?

Another odd thing with local zoing rules. I live in the Containment Area (Cary). Dog owners have to pick up after their pets do their business. I supposed it is in the interest of the environment. Yet they pick up the stuff in plastic bags. Yet the geese and ducks, who are “protected species” leave their offerings everywhere and anywhere.

Then there are the bill titles that called “Freedom of Choice” Acts which actually limit choice.  Don’t get me started on that.

Tea Party

Bank ErrorSeveral Libertarians joined the more than 200 people gathered on the Capitol lawn Saturday in a new American Tea Party demonstration. Fernie Williams carried this sign. I debuted the Liberty Penguin Flag and was interviewed by WTVD TV-11.

The rally began just as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, rescheduled from last week because of rain and cold,  kicked off.  So the first speakers had to compete with bagpipes. It was great!

The Dont Tread on Me flag was flag was prominent and taken up as a chant by the crowd, along with “Not one more dime” introduced by Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity, a rally co-sponsor.

The rally was organized the  grassroots group NC New American Tea Party. There will be another Tea Party April 15.

There will be two demonsrations that day, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse on New Bern Ave. and from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at State Capitol (east side).

Here’s a sampling of the slogans from the many hand-made signs:

Socialism: Trickle Up Poverty

Give Me Liberty, Not Debt

Free People for Free Enterprise

Yes Free Markets No Free Loaders

Honk if I’m Paying Your Mortgage

Pork is for BBQ

Spread My Work Ethic, Not My $$$

I’ll Keep My Money and Freedom. You Keep the Change.

Families Against Swindle Us Package.

More pictures here.

Dix 306

Over at GoLiberty, fellow Wake Libertarian Stephannie Watson is investigating the Dix 306 organization. check it out.

Budget bunt

LPNC Press Release

Governor bunts on budget

RALEIGH (March 18) — Governor Bev Perdue stepped up to the budget plate, pointed to the bleacher seats — and bunted, the North Carolina Libertarian Party said today.

"Based on her prior statements, we were anticipating a big hit from the governor when she announced her budget," said Barbara Howe, state party chair. "But instead of taking a big swing, she barely beat out a bunt."

Last week, the governor said "everything will be on the table" and implied there would be major cuts that not everyone would be happy about, Howe said. "The budget presented yesterday simply does not live up to that promise. It’s a big disappointment."

To begin with, she boasted about filling a $3.58 billion budget gap, but most of that gap will be filled with Federal stimulus money and increased taxes. "In other words, she’s allegedly balancing the budget on the backs of people from other states and with money she doesn’t have yet."

The Governor claimed she was going to propose cuts in programs and services even though "a lot of people are going to be furious …" However, her 2010 budget cuts only 20 minor programs.

"Most of her budget announcement was devoted to promoting money she is going to spend, not save," said Howe, "and she constantly referred to this spending disingenuously as ‘investment.’ "

If the governor really wants to balance the budget and reduce the burden on taxpayers, she should take a look at the John Locke Foundation’s just released "Back to Basics" budget plan, Howe concluded.

Party like it's 1773

UPDATE & CORRECTION: Last night at the Wake LP meeting I found out a grassroot’s group called the New American Tea Party (not to be confused with the Boston Tea Party, a libertarian political party) is actually the originator of the Tea Party demonstrations annouced by AFP.  AFP and several other tax reform groups are co-sponsors, and AFP is assisting them with publicity and registration.

Not literally, but certainly in spirit. As Tax(idermist) Day approaches, Americans for Prosperity the NC New American Tea Party is sponsoring several “Tea Parties” across the state the Sons of Liberty would be proud of.

Here’s their an announcement from a co-sponsor, Americans for Prosperty:

Tea Parties Across North Carolina to Protest Big Spending and High Taxes

Americans for Prosperity Encourages You to Attend Events, Standing Up for Individual Economic Freedom

People from coast to coast are saying No More — Enough is Enough.

AFP- North Carolina is very excited to join hands with the many grassroots activists across the country to protest federal bailouts, spending sprees, so-called stimulus packages, earmarks and fiscal irresponsibility in national, state, and local governments.

As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Please attend one or more of these events and help us spread the word.  Our economic freedom is under attack and we must fight back.  All of the events below are free and open to the public. (If you are having an event and we don’t have it listed, please email us at info@afpnc.org)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

12:00-2:00 pm: NC State Capitol (east side) Rain or shine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Raleigh Tea Parties on this date—different times and locations—attend both!

4:30-6:00 p.m. (tentative): Federal Courthouse. New Bern Ave. across from the Post Office

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.: State Capitol at One E. Edenton St. (east side)

For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

Cary backs off IRV

One reason I find  local government so interesting is that you sometimes can’t predict what they’ll do. The Cary Town Council held a public hearing on Instant Runoff Voting last night. More than a dozen town citizens spoke in favor of continuing the pilot program.

After a long and I though rather thoughtful discussion, in which several council members commented that the public supported IRV, the council voted to  discontinue the pilot and change the town’s voting system to a “non-partisan plurality.” This means one election in October, most-votes-wins, even if the voter has well below a majority.

Rather than taking another step toward improving the electoral system, the council took a step back.