Here in New Hampshire, and in many other states, Democrats are again pushing for a Family and Medical Leave scheme that they claim is necessary. It passed the Republican controlled state House last year, but died in the Senate, facing a veto from the Republican governor. Now, the Democrats control both houses and are prioritizing to ram it thru. The governor suggests he will veto it because he has not seen proof of it being fiscally sustainable. He has proposed a market-based private system in partnership with Vermont, but the Democrats have ironically called that a tax and unsustainable, and will likely convert it once they win everything again. Their scheme is in no way financially stable and basically creates an income tax of 1.5% for all workers, and will inevitably lead to a true income tax to save it, which then will be upped and upped for more programs. No matter what Republicans try to do, this program is almost inevitable here and elsewhere. Even President Trump has said he was interested in a national leave program. Many states already have one.
President Trump recently announced that he was looking into issuing an executive order stating that the Fourteenth Amendment does not confer citizenship to individuals born here to people who are not legally here. This has long been wanted by nationalists and immigration restrictionists, who want to stop the prospect of anchor babies, where legal and illegal aliens give birth on US soil, in order to gain their children citizenship and then help legalize the rest of the family. The announcement caused the usual uproar from all parts of the political space, most claiming that the President can not change the Constitution.
As America tears itself apart over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice and allegations of sexual assault against him, libertarians have stood off in the shadowy corner, raising concerns about his views of the Fourth Amendment. He is unqualified as a justice for reasons of how he would rule on key issues, they say. They are right, in a sense, his views are problematic-ish. Its important to note that judges who rule like this are not necessarily anti-Fourth. They are simply deferential to elected officials, and fairly consistently so. That was the essence of Chief Justice John Roberts ruling on Obamacare: it should be up to the legislature to repeal it, not us. Frustrating, but admirable.
Growing up in New Jersey, the only time I ever saw a gun was attached to a police officer. It wasnt even until I was working in a store, that I noticed cash logistics companies (eg Garda, Loomis, etc) were allowed to open carry. Even then, one of the employees was complaining about all the months of training and licensing he has to go thru. While training is likely in any state for insurance purposes, at least in some states, he does not need a license. Thus, I never had much experience around guns until a summer not too long ago, when I shot a Ruger 1022 rifle on my cousins multiacre forest spread. It was an experience, for certain.
Earlier today, a group of people gathered on the State House steps in Concord, New Hampshire. Attendees soon discovered that the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire had an announcement to make. A freshman Democrat state representative, Joseph Stallcop, from Keene was defecting to join the Libertarian Party. He cited his upset with the government use of force against pipeline protestors in North Dakota and his “classic liberal” values conflicting with his party. This marks the third defection from the Democrats in just a few months, the other two switching to Republican.
There should be two groups in the United States that must be ripping their hair out in a fury: Trump supporters and libertarians. Now, thats not to conflate the two groups. There is more overlap than libertarians like to admit, however, they are quite distinct. In any case, both have to be frustrated with the media coverage of the new president. Trump supporters are angry that the media will not let go of its deranged pathological hatred of the man, and libertarians wonder where this skeptical media has been.
It is that time of year, when we Jews celebrate yet another victory over oppression. The famous, but somewhat out of place story about how the Jewish queen of a Persian king saved her people from doom at the hands of a wicked minister, thanks to the advice of her uncle. We can draw an important parallel from this story to the Iran of today that many Jews have forgotten about over the past decades.
This recent election more than anything before has caused a partisanization of something as mundane as shopping. Trump supporters are urged to buy from LL Bean, UnderArmour, and New Balance because their CEOs defended Trump. The same supporters are urged to boycott Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Uber because of the decisions of their CEOs or companies. And of course, Trump opponents are urged to do the opposite. Its even gotten to the point where Trump opponents are supposed to boycott Macys and Amazon, despite the fact that Macys cut ties with Trump over a year ago and Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, has frequently tussled with Trump and backed the court case against his executive orders. Has it really come to this, that we can no longer just go shopping and pick whatever brand suits are personal tastes and needs?
After it became clear that Donald Trump would become president on the night of 8 November 2016, Democrats and related leftists began organizing a California secession campaign. The idea has lengthy roots, but gained massive steam when the election dust settled. By now, about a third of Californians, mostly Democrats, support the idea. And a group is beginning to gather signatures to put an advisory referendum on the ballot in 2018. But why would anyone oppose it?
One problem that seems to vex libertarianism is its inability to accomplish much. We have been advocating for various reforms and repeals for decades. The Libertarian Party was advocating for marijuana legalization and expanding government marriage licenses since the 1970s. Both issues are taking root in American society, but who is getting all the credit? Socialists/Progressives/Leftists/whatever. Ron Paul was a major candidate in 2012 and a loyal Republican who went as far as advocating the legalization of heroin on a South Carolina debate stage. Yet, more recently Bernie Sanders supporters (who apparently have no memory of anything) claim that the independent turned Democrat was the first candidate to advocate legalizing marijuana. In a sense, we should at least be pleased that our ideas are starting to be accepted and implemented, but that isnt enough. As much as most of us oppose intellectual property, its frustrating to get no credit for anything.