Restauranteurs choked by own second-hand smoke

LPNC Press Release

RALEIGH (April 3) — Restaurant owners and their lobbyists are choking on the second-hand smoke wafting from the back rooms of the North Carolina General Assembly, said a Libertarian Party of North Carolina spokesman. “It’s ironic. They’re coughing and wheezing in the smoke generated by their own attempts to burn the rights of all North Carolinians,” said Brian Irving, LPNC communications director.

The restaurant owners were lobbying to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars. In a another of their infamous midnight maneuvers power-brokers in the General Assembly amended the bill just before the final vote to exclude bars and nightclubs.

“They also exempted non-profit clubs and country clubs, so apparently lobbyists for those special interests were in the house,” Irving said. “Now the restaurateurs’ attempt to maneuver and reverse course is obscured by their own smoke-screen. How fitting.”

Irving said that there is no direct evidence to support linking any death to second-hand smoke. “This is not an issue about science or health, anyway,” Irving said. “It is about rights. It is about a person’s right to chose where they eat and drink, and about the right of a business owner to decide what they allow on their own property.”

Irving, who is not a smoker, said non-smokers always have the choice to patronize restaurants and bars that don’t allow smoking. Restaurant and bar owners can decide to go smoke-free if they think it will be good for their business.

“This bill simply strips us all of yet another opportunity to exercise our right to choose,” Irving said. “Where will it end? Are hamburger lovers in danger of losing their right to have it their way?”

“In contrast, we know alcohol abuse causes more deaths than second-hand smoke, yet the state not only sells alcohol but profits from the sale of alcohol and tobacco. So why are legislators targeting smokers?” Irving asked.

Cruisin' around ethics rules

Former Gov. Mike Easley is not the only politician who knows where to get a good set of wheels. The News & Observer reports that Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand is cruisin’ around town in a 2008 Chrysler 300 courtesy of a car dealership friend in Fayetteville.

Rand has not reported the car on his ethics form (surprise) because, according to the report, “It’s not clear whether use of the car meets the threshold for disclosure as compensation.”

The Kelly Blue book value of that vehicle is about $18,000. State ethics rules require any compensation greater than $10,000 to be reported. Rand admits he gets use of the car as compensation for his director’s role as well as legal work he has performed for the Bleeker dealership.

Yes, I can see where that is unclear. Gimme a break!

Candidate for LPNC Vice Chair

On election night, Mike Munger told those gathered at his victory celebration, “We don’t have anymore excuses. We can’t say ‘if we didn’t have to get those signatures we’d be something then, if we didn’t have to spend all our time getting those signatures then we could run a competitive campaign.'”

“If we do not run competitive races for several general assembly seats in 2010 … if we don’t do that, thence have not held up our end of the bargain. We have not actually followed through on the claims that we have made.”

Amen.

Yes, I believe November 8, 2008 was victory for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. It was a victory because we beat the Democratic-Republican Duopoly at their own game. Despite having all the rules stacked against us, we prevailed.

But it was a victory that came with a price, and with a responsibility. In short, we need to “put up or shut up.” No more lamenting, “I could’a been a contender.

I’m running for Vice Chair because it’s time the LPNC get serious about being a political party. A serious political party engages in politics, promotes agendas and runs candidates for office.

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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.