HB2 Hobgoblin

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
– H. L. Mencken

You can see this tactic at work in the faux controversy over House Bill 2. Former NC Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican, made some cogent observations on the issue in a recent News & Observer op-ed “HB 2: Who Did This to Us? We Did.

He writes that “some young people have great difficulty dealing with their anatomy and hormones, in ways most of us could never begin to understand..”

On the other hand, he says “some people have had terrible experiences with sexual predators, and are fearful of laws that could make it easier for one to slip into girls’ locker rooms.”

But neither side wants to listen to the other. Nor do they need to, because Democrats and Republicans are safely ensconced in gerrymandered districts and have no need to appeal to moderates who have fled their respective parties.

Read Martin’s op-ed here.

Libertarians Say Repeal HB2

The Libertarian Party has joined the growing list of organizations calling for the repeal of House Bill 2.

“The state has no authority to determine gender,” the unanimous resolution states. HB 2 also “unduly intrudes state authority into local decision-making and unreasonably limits the ability of the citizens … to govern themselves.”

In addition, the bill reduces individual rights because it “bans citizens from using state courts to remedy discrimination”

Nic Haag, Libertarian candidate for NC Senate 44, introduced the resolution. It was endorsed by General Assembly candidates Brad Hessel, NC Senate 15, Brian Irving, NC House 36, and Rob Rose, NC 37.

The convention was held in Raleigh last weekend.

The convention also passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the ban on counting write-in votes. The state does not count the votes for persons who haven’t gathered enough petition signatures.

This “amounts to the legislature picking and choosing which votes to count, sometimes yielding suspicious results like unanimous vote tallies in our statewide elections,” the resolutions says.

Six candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination participated in a forum Saturday. They included former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the party’s 2012 standard-bearer.

In other business, the convention elected at-large members to the state executive committee and adopted a revised platform. It also selected delegates to the Libertarian National Convention and nominated presidential electors.

Read the resolutions here.

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate speaks out on Baltimore violence

The recent violence in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore may be setting the stage for another summer of civil unrest, similar to 1968, a candidate for the Libertarian nomination for N.C. governor said in a statement.

While Ken Fortenberry, a former investigative journalist and newspaper editor, condemned the violence he said our nation and leaders have learned nothing from the past.

ken-web-12-19“Instead of solving the problems of nearly 50 years ago, they have created laws and policies that have woven those very same problems into the fabric of our social, economic and political system,” he said.

“As a teen-ager in the summer of 1968, I watched the evening TV news in horror and read the morning headlines in shock as our nation seemed to be coming apart at the seams,” he recalled. Back then he said rioting mobs were angered by an unwinnable war in Vietnam, joblessness, ugly racial discrimination, and police who took the law into their own hands and injured and killed at whim.

Fortenberry said the Ferguson and Baltimore unrest is similar. Politicians have created an weak and unsustainable national quilt, “where the fibers of the citizenry itself are disconnected instead of bound together for the common good.”

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Haywood LP Opposes Emergency Management Ordinance

The Haywood County Libertarian Party is leading the opposition to the county’s emergency management ordinance, which gives the county manager unlimited and unchecked authority during emergencies. Nearly 60 people attended their meeting Wednesday to hear Sheriff Greg Christopher speak about his position on the ordinance.

Don't Tread on AnyoneThe most troubling section of the ordinance, according to Haywood LP Chair Jess Dunlap, allows the county manager to confiscate your food, livestock, money and other property, without notice, without compensation, against the owners will and with armed force.

“The wording upsets me. It’s unconstitutional,” Dunlap said, referring particularly to language allowing the seizure or condemnation of property without following individual protections built into existing law and the U.S. Constitution.

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Libertarians oppose more restrictions on right to vote

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

Just when it didn’t seem possible that North Carolina’s election laws could get more restrictive, the Republican majority has come up with a massive bill (HB 589) that would make it even harder for people to vote.

Using the excuse that they are trying to combat voter fraud, the Republicans want to perpetrate an even greater fraud on North Carolina voters under the guise of restoring “confidence in government.”

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

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Restore the Fourth on the Fourth

Libertarians can commemorate Independence Day by joining protesters in cities across America who will gather on July 4, to demand that the U.S. government adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits demanded by the Fourth Amendment.

restore_the_fourth_logoTwo of these events will be held in Raleigh, starting at 10 a.m. at the N.C. State Capitol, 1 Edenton St., and in Charlotte, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the corner of Trade and Tryon in Uptown Charlotte.

The rallies are being organized by Restore the Fourth, a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonviolent movement spurred by revelations made by whistle blower Edward Snowden of the government’s widespread practice of spying on Americans without a warrant.

The July 4 demonstrations seek to demand an end to the unconstitutional surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government.

Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Carla Howell will speak at 12:30 p.m.. at the Washington, D.C., rally being held at McPherson Square from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. Libertarian candidate for Virginia House of Delegates District 53, Anthony Tellez, will speak at 1:15 p.m.

Federal Court Blocks Indefinite Detention

“A federal judge in Manhattan has blocked enforcement of provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allow the government to place individuals they claim supported al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” in indefinite military detention.”

Read more here.

No Indefinite Detention

Congress has a chance to partially atone for their trashing of our rights this week when a bill to amend the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013 comes up for consideration in the House of Representatives.  The NDAA past last year contained two controversial and unconstitutional detention provisions that allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens and resident aliens arrested on U.S. soil.

The Campaign for Liberty, and other civil libertarian groups, are urging people to contact their Congress person to urge them mitigate this outrage by getting rid of these provisions or else voting “no” on H.R. 4310, the FY 2013 NDAA.

Reps. Adam Smith and Justin Amash are proposing an amendment to the NDAA to make it clear that it does not authorize indefinite detention of American citizens or legal residents.

You can contact Rep. Renee Ellmers here (she doesn’t have a direct email listed) or call her Washington office at (202) 225-4531 or the district office in Dunn at (910)230-1910, Toll Free 1-877-645-8764.

Note: If you are one of her “new” constituents (under the new district maps),  you can’t use the contact form. It’s still based on the old district. You’ll have to call.

I just called her D.C. office, let them know who I was, and asked her to vote yes on the amendment!

If I were in Congress, I would not only vote yes on this amendment, and no on the bill if the amendment does not pass, I would not have voted for the 2012 NDAA in the first place.

Amendment One Isn’t

Apparently the state constitutional amendment regarding marriage will not be called Amendment One when it appears on the ballot. According to this story in the News & Observer it does not have an official name, and probably will just be called a “constitutional amendment” on the ballot.

That’s just one of the confusing (on purpose?) aspects of this issue. As the story notes, people who say they’ll vote for the amendment in polls change their minds when the find out what it actually means.

But that’s what happens in a “democracy,” the majority gets to tell you what your rights are.

N.C. Libertarians Oppose Amendment One

The North Carolina Libertarian Party unanimously passed a resolution opposing the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage at its annual convention held Saturday in Durham. Rather than fulfilling the “great value” of a constitution, which is to protect individual rights, the amendment would deny rights to segment of the population and discriminate against a minority.

The Libertarians not only urged voters to defeat the amendment, which will be on the May 8 primary ballot, they also encouraged those planning marriage to “shun and disparage the licensure of the state,” in other words to not get a state marriage license. “A free and proud people do not ask the State for permission to marry,” the resolution says.

The resolution also reiterates the party platform plank calling for repeal of marriage license laws altogether to honor the principle that “couples are married when they declare they are.”

The party is a member of the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families working to defeat the amendment, know as Amendment One. It would define marriage between a man and women as the only “domestic legal union” recognized by state law.

The resolution also asserts the amendment would violate the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against impairing the obligation of contracts for many couples married in other states.” In addition, the amendment advances “no legitimate governmental interest” and is so vaguely worded that “no one can predict the scope of its harm.”

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