Hold onto you wallets

Lawmakers will release state budget today – Politics – News & Observer

Just in time for the “tax free” back to school weekend sales.

Skateboard park is on schedule, on budget

Reports the Durham News Herald about a very rare event. Of course, this begs the question whether or not government should be building a skateboard park in the first place.

Activist training

UPDATE

The American Majority and the John P. Pope Civitas Institute are holding a Candidate and Activist Training workshop in Raleigh Aug. 29.

The goal of this training is to enable common citizens to make a difference in their communities by learning to utilize modern communication tools, resources, and by networking with other like-minded individuals and organizations. The training will be hosted at the Civitas Institute headquarters, 100 S. Harrington St.from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Presentations that will be offered include:

* Building Coalitions, Reaching Your Community, and Organizing Meaningful Events
* Holding Your Elected Officials Accountable
* Getting Involved in State and Local Political Campaigns
* New Media: Opinion Editorials, Blogs, Wikipedia Projects and more
* Much more!

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Beam me up Scotty

Picture Captain James T. Kirk on the floor of the NC General Assembly. He flips open his communicator and says, “Beam me up Scotty. There’s no intelligent life here.”

Of course, real Trekkies know Captain Kirk never uttered those words in any episode. But if this scene were ever shot, Raleigh would be an appropriate place. Rep. Earl Jones (D-Guilford) has introduced HB 1623 to use your tax dollars to establish a Star Fleet Academy Complex at NCA&T. The Civitas Institutes ranks this as their Bad Bill of the Week.

Health care 'reform' = government health control

Over at No Coercion, Daren has written an article about “health care reform” that I have been wanting to write myself for a while …

Update: Follow this with a read of Dennis Preager’s Ten Questions for nationalized health care supporters. To which I would add the critical 11th question: Where in the Constitution does it give the Federal government the authority to regulate health care or health insurance?

The essential hurdle for Libertarians

One thing that has always bothered me about libertarians is that many come off as unfeeling and uncaring when responding to arguments from liberals and others that we must “help the less-fortunate.” Over at Liberty for All, Lance Brown addresses this point very well. He writes about his upbringing in a “Massachusetts Kennedy Democrat” home and how he was influenced by his mother to identify with the party’s values — but not the party:

“They were: helping people, especially the poor; representing the ‘working man’ and the ‘little guy’, and women’s rights; fighting the Republicans, who served the rich; and taking care of those who couldn’t take care of themselves.”

Brown still holds to these views, which is why he does not scorn liberals. “I identify with them. I care about almost everything they care about.”

“Libertarianism — the view of an America full of free individuals — is the means that will deliver the end that most people envision. My vision includes help for the poor and disadvantaged. My vision is a world where people are not discriminated based on race, or sex, or anything else but their humanity and their character. My vision is one where the environment, and wildlife, are nurtured and protected. It’s a vision where workers get paid a living wage, and where opportunity is ripe for the picking, and jobs are prevalent.’

Read the complete article.

Remarkable event

The Independence Day Family Tea Party on Halifax Square was a remarkable event. Visitors to our Libertarian table were genuinely interested in understanding our philosophy and asked sincere questions about our views. There were only one or two of the usual “you don’t have a chance” comments or accusations that we “take votes away” from other candidates that have a”chance to win.” In other words, the generally conservative crowd was sympathetic, not confrontational.

Don't Feed the AnimalsThis poster was quite popular.

The event boosted my belief that many people in this grassroots movement “get it’.” They recognize that the problem is endemic to the “two-party” system.

Michael Beitler, who’s considering seeking the Libertarian nomination for U.S. Senate, spoke at the event. Here are his remarks (with notes on the crowd reaction):

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The Revolution continues

On Independence Day 2009, I can’t think of any better words to write than to quote the Founders …

“The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. (John Adams)

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

“The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” (James Madison)

… and even Abraham Lincoln.

“If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.”

Which is another way of saying:

“The tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” (Thomas Jefferson)

NCLM says vote 'not fair'

Citizens of North Carolina municipalities may be surprised to learn that their elected officials oppose giving people the right to vote.  Most if not all of the state’s cities and towns belong to the NC League of Municipalities, and they provide funding for this organization with taxpayer dollars. The NCLM is essentially a municipal taxpayer-funded lobby.

The 94 paid staff members have unlimited access to state legislatures, unlike citizens who must take time off from work and travel to Raleigh on their own dime in order to hope to meet with their “supposed” elected representative to defend their rights.

The league opposes any reform of our state’s annexation laws … especially any effort to give the people targeted for annexation a voice and a vote.

One of their handouts makes the amazing claim that “A Vote is Not Fair: Requiring approval by those proposed for annexation effectively will veto most annexations because people seldom agree to pay more property taxes. It is only fair to share the costs of the benefits of being part of the community. North Carolina became a great state by moving forward and not letting a few people rely on others to pay ….”

So, a vote by a majority of the people in an area targeted for annexation is not fair, but a vote by 5, 6 or 7 people who do not live in that area is? Perhaps the league and its minions ought to go back to school and learn Democracy 101.

In the latest alert to “members” the league calls the possibility of allowing the people in an area to vote on whether or not to be annexed into a municipality “a serious threat.”

You bet. The people are always a serious threat to tyranny.

Thomas Paine writes to President Obama

Budget bait & switch

LPNC press release

by Barbara Howe
LPNC State Chair

Democrats in the General Assembly are engaging in the typical political version of “bait and switch” in dealing with the state’s self-imposed budget crisis. First, they propose supposedly dramatic cuts in programs that are important to powerful special interest groups, then when there is an outcry from these lobbyists, they propose new taxes.

They simply don’t have the courage to face the real issue – spending. The problem is not that we don’t have enough money to run state government. The problem is we have a state government that tries to run everything – and fails.

The proposed budget cuts were calculated to arouse opposition from groups dependent on government handouts. Then, politicians can claim they are responding to the “will of the people” when they raise taxes. They supported this hoax by allowing the only public hearing held on the budget to be commandeered by a swarm of state government bureaucrats and “private” groups dependent on government handouts. These tax and spend sycophants played a variation of the NIMBY (not in my backyard) gambit by suggesting cuts in the other guy’s budget.

House Democrats showed contempt for the State Constitution by ramming the tax hikes through in the middle of the night, dismissing the constitutional mandate of voting on two separate days by holding one vote and 11:30 p.m. and the other 38 minutes later, at 12:08 a.m.

Comments like those of Rep. Hugh Holliman (D-Lexington) are typical of the way politicians label anyone who opposes government handouts as uncaring. According to the News & Observer, Holliman told legislators “I don’t think there is anybody in this room that feels like we don’t need teachers in the classroom, who feels like we don’t need to help our elderly, who feels like we don’t have to help our developmentally disabled.”

Sure libertarians want to help teachers, the elderly, the developmentally disabled. We just prefer to do it ourselves, personally and directly, and with our own money. We do not believe it is moral or charitable to force other people to pay for things we believe in.

Libertarians believe government should be limited to protecting life, liberty, and property. All other matters are best handled by voluntary associations of individuals.

We propose a positive alternative to the failed welfare state. Our vision is a society based on individual responsibility and private charity. Once people are free to keep all the money they earn, they will be able to offer direct individual aid that is truly compassionate.

That’s the way America used to be.