Libertarian state convention in Hickory

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will hold its annual state convention April 15-17 at the Gateway Center Hotel and Convention Center in Hickory. The theme is “Making It Real: Liberty Comes From You, Not To You.”

“The slogan we’ve chosen this year, ‘Liberty Comes From You, Not To You,’ expresses an idea we think most Americans believe,” said Bev Wilcox, state vice chair. “Our nation was founded on the idea that all human beings are born free, and that the purpose of government is to help them preserve their liberty, not run their lives.”

Convention business will include revision of the bylaws and elections of officers and members of the executive and judicial committees. Guest speakers will present information on grassroots activism, political campaigns, and effective lobbying, interspersed throughout the business sessions.

R. Lee Wrights, a potential Libertarian presidential candidate and North Carolina native, is expected to make a major announcement at the convention. Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he is determined that the Libertarian message in 2012 be a loud, clear, and unequivocal call to stop all war.

Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights, 52, is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine, Liberty For All. He is a longtime libertarian writer, political activist, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, and a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee. Born in Winston Salem, Wrights now lives in Texas.

Sharon Harris, president of the Advocates for Self-Government, will be the featured speaker at the Saturday night banquet. The Advocates for Self-Government is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1985 that specializes in libertarian communication and outreach. The group is the creator and publisher of the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Ms Harris will be presenting special awards to outstanding activists. She will also make a presentation to the county represented by the greatest number of young libertarians.

Harris has been active in the libertarian movement since the early ’70s and is a founding member of the Georgia Libertarian Party. She was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of Georgia’s law requiring candidates for office to take a drug test. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional.

Libertarians ask taxpayers to choose where their money goes

Even though libertarians oppose taxes, the state Libertarian Party is encouraging supporters to take advantage of the check box on the state income tax form and designate $3 of the tax money to the Libertarian Party.

“This is a chance for taxpayers to direct a small portion of the money taken from them to something that is their choice,” said Barbara Howe, state party chair. “ Of course, we would prefer North Carolinians pay no taxes, especially ones on income.”

Howe said they are also asking supporters to become regular contributors to the party, or to make a one-time donation.

She said that by contributing on the tax form people would be helping Libertarians send a message to the state that they’ve fought hard to get on the ballot and intend to stay. “These small contributions add up and they’ll help the LPNC run candidates across the state in the 2012 election,” Howe said. “In all likelihood, we will direct most of these funds in support of the 2012 gubernatorial candidate after he or she is nominated in primary.”

That race will be crucial because in order for the Libertarian Party to retain its ballot status its candidate for governor or president must get at least two percent of the vote.

To date, the Libertarians have received just under $46,000 from the N.C. Political Parties Financing Fund. The money is used for general campaign activities and support of candidates, according to state law.

The state Libertarian Party platform says “Taxation is by its very nature a coercive and destructive act against the people. The LPNC believes that all people have the basic right to keep the fruits of their labor and enterprise. We believe that the costs of government should be paid for by voluntary means only.”

President Obama takes Nobel Peace Prize to war

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner

BURNET, Texas (March 27) — There’s an anonymous message circulating on Twitter that’s says, “Barack Obama has now fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace prize winners combined.” That would be funny, if it weren’t so depressing an observation. There are calls now from some foreign leaders for President Obama to return the award. “How is it possible to give the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who has launched an invasion, a bombing? It’s a violation, an assault, an aggression,” said Bolivian President Evo Morales.

President Obama dismissed this idea by repeating a line he used in his Oslo acceptance speech he delivered in December 2009. The president said then it was an “irony” for him to get this award when he was dealing with two wars. “So I am accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also someone who aspires to peace,” he told CNN.

That is not irony, Mr. President; it is hypocrisy. It is not a contradiction; it is a violation of your oath of office.

Isn’t it bad enough that America has an immediate-past president who is afraid to visit another country for fear of being arrested for war crimes? Now we have a sitting president who’s being asked to return a prestigious international award because he’s an aggressor. It seems to me we’re not doing a very good job of picking presidents.

Maybe it’s time we elect someone who won’t bring shame and condemnation to our nation by attacking other countries. Maybe it’s time we elected a president who took his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” seriously. Maybe it’s time we elected a president who understands the true meaning of that document.

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Wrights on ‘Live and Let Live’ radio show

BURNET, Texas (March 26) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights will be the guest on the “Live and Let Live” radio show hosted by Texas Libertarian Gary Johnson Sunday, March 27 from 8-9 p.m. CST. The program airs over Austin station 90.1 and online on the Rule of Law Radio Network. The call in number for this live program is (512) 646-1984.

Wrights, a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee, is considering seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination. He believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end, Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.

Wrights, 52, is a longtime Libertarian writer and activists. He is co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston Salem, N.C., he now lives in Texas.

Wrights for President Exploratory Committee

They hate us because we bomb them

President Obama’s decision to attack on Libya is only surprising to those who actually think he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize and indicates a “disturbing trend” of attacking Muslim countries, the Libertarian Party national chair said yesterday.

“After dithering for two weeks, Obama has joined the list of presidents who chose to launch wars on their personal say-so in direct contravention of the Constitution,” said Mark Hinkle. The attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and now Libya have also eroded the goodwill Obama gained from the Arab world early in his administration. In the most recent Zogby survey, 85 percent of the respondents expressed an unfavorable opinion toward the United States, eclipsing the 83 percent negative opinion in the final year of the Bush administration.

“I’m deeply disappointed that the U.S. government has once again galloped into battle on foreign soil, in the grand tradition of Teddy and San Juan Hill,” said Lon Cecil, a 2010 Libertarian Congressional candidate. “Libertarians recognize that our standing armies are for the defense of our nation and our shores, not running around the world shoving gun barrels in the face of anyone who refuses to bow down or run away.”

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Any U.S. attack on Libya would be unconstitutional and despicable

BURNET, Texas (March 19) – After weeks of vacillation, uttering veiled threats that Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi must go while his key advisers made contradictory statements, President Obama has followed the example of his recent predecessors and decided that it is okay for the United States to attack another sovereign nation so long as the United Nations approves it. For an American president to initiate an attack on a nation that does not threaten us is despicable enough, but to justify such aggression by citing a United Nations resolution sets a dangerous precedent that threatens our very sovereignty.

Now the president has made an incredibly duplicitous statement on Libya, claiming that American leadership is essential in this situation and vowing that the United States would not stand “idly by while global peace and security is undermined.” In other words, we need some war so we can have peace. George Orwell, author of 1984, seems more like a prophet every day.

What hubris! A tyrant, who just a few weeks ago wasn’t even on the State Department’s radar, is now suddenly a threat to the world? Tyrants in other Middle East nations are shooting citizens who protest their oppression, but the United States says and does nothing. Why? Because the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in the area and we need the support of those tyrants in order to flex our muscles against another tyrant.

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Ballot access case was wrongly decided

A nationally recognized ballot access law expert said the N.C. Supreme Court made a wrong decision in upholding the state’s elections laws. The court ruled last week that the law did not violate the U.S. or state constitutions, putting an end to a five year long challenge by the state Libertarian Party.

“The N.C. Supreme Court certainly wrongly decided the case,” said Richard Winger, founder and editor of Ballot Access News. “It is outrageous that the court ignored an overwhelming amount of evidence in the case.” For example, the court majority said that the 85,379 signature requirement for new political parties was necessary to prevent “frivolous and fraudulent” candidates from getting on the ballot.

“The requirement was not raised in order to stop ballot clutter, as the record in the lawsuit showed,” he said. “The requirement was raised because legislators were upset that the Socialist Workers Party had qualified for the ballot in 1980, the first time that a Marxist political party had ever appeared on a government-printed ballot in North Carolina.” From 1929 to 1981, when only 10,000 signatures were required for a minor party to qualify, only four parties every appeared on the ballot.

Winger also criticized the court for neglecting to rule many subsidiary issues, like whether voters have a right to register into an unqualified party and for including erroneous assumptions and factual errors in their decision.

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N.C. Supreme Court upholds ballot access law

The N.C. Supreme Court has upheld the state laws that give North Carolina the second most restrictive ballot access requirements in the nation. The justices ruled 5-1 that they were “not persuaded” that ballot access is a “fundamental right.”

“Indeed, ballot access rights, though distinct from voting rights, are central to the administration of our democracy,” said Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, writing for the majority. “While these rights are of utmost importance to our democratic system, they are not absolute.”

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Paul Newby countered, “Ballot access implicates our citizenry’s freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom to vote.”

The state Libertarian Party brought the suit in 2005, contending that North Carolina’s elections laws unduly restrict the rights to freedom of speech, association and due process. The complaint challenged the constitutionality of the “entire scheme” of the state’s elections laws under the North Carolina Constitution. The N.C. Green Party later joined the lawsuit.

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Defending the Constitution means not enforcing unconstitutional laws

BURNET, Texas (March 6) – Most decisions in life are matters of individual choice. When faced with a decision you may ask a trusted friend or beloved family member for their advice or guidance, but most people have no need or desire to have someone else make the decision for them. They certainly don’t want someone from the government to make the decision for them. In fact, I agree completely with Thomas Sowell who wrote, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

Yet everyday pandering politicians and Big Brother bureaucrats conjure up new ways to insert their collective noses into every individual, personal decision Americans make. Government rules and regulations dictate what color you can paint your house, what substances you can ingest into your body and how you run your business or how much you get paid for your work. Policymakers forget their pledge of “public service” as soon as they are elected and become bureaucratic busybodies determine to insure we live sober and moral lives… each and every one of us.

Government intrudes into even the most intimate and personal decisions a person can make – who they can love and who they must hate. Government tells us who we must hate when it sends our young men and women to war. Government even assumes they have the right to decide for us who we can love by making criminal certain types of sexual relations and tell us who we can marry by mandating that we purchase a permission slip.

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Wrights takes stop all war message to Kentucky, Georgia

BURNET, Texas (March 2) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights will be in taking his stop all war message to the state Libertarian Party conventions in Kentucky and Georgia over the next two weekends.

Wrights will be he luncheon speaker at the Kentucky LP convention in Maysville March 5. The convention will be held at the French Quarter Inn, 25 E. McDonald Parkway.

The following weekend, Wrights will attend the Georgia state convention which will be held March 11 and 12 at the Atlanta Airport Weston, 4736 Best Rd.

Wrights, 52, is a longtime libertarian writer, political activist, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, and a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee. He is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he’s determined that the Libertarian message in 2012 be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end, Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.

Wrights is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. He is also co-founder and president of the Foundation for a Free Society, an educational organization dedicated to promoting the principles of liberty, personal sovereignty, private property, and free markets in order to create a more free and prosperous society. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wrights now lives in Texas.