By BURGESS EVERETT 07/08/16 11:55 AM EDT
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Gary Johnson believes the tensions between police and minorities that led to two high-profile police shootings and the deaths of five Dallas police officers has a root cause: The long-running war on drugs.
The libertarian nominee for president did not directly tie the drug war to the shooting deaths in Minnesota and Louisiana by police or the sniper killings of five officers in Texas this week. But poor relations between police and African-Americans stems from the criminalization of drug use, he said.
“The root is the war on drugs, I believe. Police knocking down doors, shooting first,” Johnson said in an interview Friday in Washington. “If you are (black and) arrested in a drug-related crime, there is four times more likelihood of going to prison than if you are white. And shooting is part of the same phenomenon.”
“That’s the common thread. Shootings are occurring with black people, black people are dying,” he added. “This is an escalation.”
The former Republican governor of New Mexico is pitching a complete rewrite of the nation’s drug policy as part of his underdog run for the presidency alongside his running mate, former Massachusetts GOP Gov. Bill Weld. Johnson wants to legalize marijuana and find other ways to deal with harder drugs than long periods of incarceration.
He said that will soon happen, predicting that California will vote this fall to legalize marijuana and President Barack Obama will remove cannabis from its listing as a Class 1 drug. “I think Obama’s going to do that going out the door,” Johnson said.
“The focus on drugs needs to be as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. It can be illegal but does it need to be criminal? Do you need to go to jail for drugs?” Johnson said. “I do believe that the root of the militarization, knocking on doors, is a drug war phenomenon.”
The laid-back libertarian, dressed in jeans and an open-collared button-down in a hotel dining room, declined to join Republicans in criticizing Obama for pointing to “powerful weapons” this week as a cause of violence between police officers and minorities. But Johnson said the focus on assault rifles is misguided.
“That is a category of rifle that contains 30 million rifles. If you ban those rifles tomorrow and said hand ‘em in,” only half of the weapons would actually be turned over, Johnson said. “And we’re going to have a whole new criminal class of people.”
Johnson said that as president he’d be open to proposals designed to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and the mentally ill. But he said he’d seen no such workable proposals in Congress, despite unsuccessful attempts by both Democrats and Republicans.
When I moved to Portsmouth from San Francisco I immediately set out to find the best businesses that accept bitcoin as payment. Having spent bitcoin during previous visits to Keene, Lancaster, Manchester and Concord I knew that New Hampshire was the world capital of everyday bitcoin use.
Needless to say I was perturbed upon finding no local stores in Portsmouth that take bitcoin! To alleviate my frustration I practiced lots of yoga at the neighborhood yoga studio, where I taught the instructor daily about bitcoin and asked if they would consider accepting bitcoin in addition to central bank money.
Now I always use bitcoin to pay for yoga class, but how did I do it?
I talked to the owner!
A small business owner is the ultimate decision-maker, and has their customers’ needs constantly in the forefront of their minds.
Whether at a boutique handbag store or a San Francisco thai restaurant, the one and only trick that has ever worked for me in setting up a business with bitcoin is to talk directly with the owner.
What if the owner isn’t in? Get their name, phone number and email address and continue to follow up until that “Bitcoin Accepted Here” sticker is in their shop window.
Bitcoin empowers all Americans to control their own finance without snooping from Big Brother or deceptive banks or corporations. My mission is to inform people nearby and around the world about how bitcoin adoption benefits their community.
Want to get involved spreading bitcoin in your town? One great way is tipping your local servers double if they accept bitcoin. Check out https://www.bctip.org to get started.
The Libertarian Party today nominated two former governors, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld for the offices of POTUS and Vice, respectively. While some Libertarians decried this choice (see Ian Freeman’s opinion on the matter) others, myself included, believe that Gary will be a great spokesman for our ideas. He does not agree with me 100% … I’m an Anarchist, he’s a Libertarian, but he does support reducing government to it’s Constitutional role, and that would be a great start.
Gary is socially liberal and economically conservative. In other words, he believes in letting people make their own decisions, and letting them bear the consequences of those decisions. He believes in letting other countries go their own way and do their own thing, and staying at peace with them, until such time as they attack us. He believes in letting people be free, so long as they do not violate the rights of another.
Gary is not a perfect candidate … I disagree with him on the issue of Religious Freedom with respect to bakers being forced to bake cakes for gay weddings against their will. I think he is more fearful of Islam than he needs to be. But I think he is an excellent, mainstream, well-spoken, impressive candidate, all told.
Best of luck, Gary, and bear our message well. The future of America depends on you … not on your election, but on your communication. Run your leg of the relay race to Freedom well.
After an excellent presidential debate last night, the national Libertarian Party once again proved its irrelevance and nominated another republican as their candidate for president in 2016. According to the official results from the second and final round of voting, there were only two states whose delegates voted for the best two candidates in the race, Free Keene blogger Darryl W Perry and John McAfee. Those two states were New Hampshire and Vermont. Perry and McAfee’s combined votes were higher in NH and VT than the combined votes of the worst two candidates, Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen. In every other state, Johnson and Petersen’s combined votes were higher.
It’s a continuance of a sad trend of the LP delegates selecting republicans – people who do not understand or advocate libertarian ideals – that has been going on since the 2008 presidential election where the LP chose Bob Barr, a republican former US representative (and former CIA boss) from Georgia as their nominee. Then in 2012 they chose Gary Johnson, a republican former governor of New Mexico as their candidate. Johnson was better than Barr, but not by much. He’s not a principled libertarian like Darryl is. Now Johnson’s won the party’s nomination again for 2016 despite the valiant efforts of the “radical” wing of the party.
The party’s been dead, but now it’s even moreso.
The national LP is hopeless, yet activists across the country toil away trying to wrest control of the organization from the hands of the republicans who have had control of the party for about a decade. To those remaining principled libertarians I implore you:
GIVE UP ON THE LP! Your party is dead and has been for years. Your efforts are being wasted on the national and even your state LP. Start planning your move to New Hampshire to get involved with the only proven successful strategy in the liberty movement: concentrating activists in one geographic area.
In New Hampshire we’ve had more political successes in a decade – meaning people being elected who are principled libertarians – than the LP has had in forty years. If you want to keep losing, stay where you are. If you want to see liberty advance, you have to get together with like-minded people and get active here in the Shire.
Ian Freeman’s shunning from the Free State Project, if considered in one way, can be considered an egregious case of victim blaming, if you apply to it the stated beliefs and values of the attackers. Let us review the situation here, and note that I am stipulating some things that I do not personally believe, in order to allow a hypothetical conversation. I shudder to wade into the morass of this discussion, which in some quarters is conducted as a witch hunt, by zealots and by those who are terrified that if they don’t cry “faggot, faggot, faggot” as loudly as the other boys, the other boys might think that they are “faggots”, too. I have to wade in, though, because by one possible interpretation of the facts, what is happening is a monstrous abuse of a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
I reason as follows, using my own experience of sex with a 23 year old woman, my first girlfriend, Denise when I was 13 years old, who is the primary reason I am unwilling to name a particular number as an “age of consent”. I am willing to disclose more about this because I have recently learned, to my sorrow, that she has passed away, so nobody can hurt her now. Please note that the interpretations given here are not my interpretations, but a possible interpretation.
1) I still have very warm feelings for my first girlfriend Denise. When we were together, she was 23 and I was 13. For a number of reasons, including loyalty to Denise, I am not willing to define that encounter as rape.
2) According to the Ian Haters, what happened between Denise and I was rape, despite the fact that I pursued her from the moment I met her. That means that by Ian Hater logic, I am her victim.
3) If I am Denise’s victim, and yet I have warm feelings for her, then I am suffering from Stockholm syndrome. If that condition prevents me from naming a concrete number that should be the Age of Consent, I should not be banned for this reason, I literally cannot reconcile naming a magic age with my own experience, without either calling Denise a rapist, if I set that age above 13, or implying that sex with 13 year old is always ok, when in the VAST MAJORITY OF CASES, sex with somebody that young is completely wrong. My case was unusual, and I am aware of that.
As a mediator, I cannot choose a specific age at which all sex is automatically rape. But I can tell you the sort of questions I would ask the alleged victim if I were called to mediate such a case. My judgement would depend on the evidence. My questions would include:
1) What is sex?
2) Where do babies come from?
3) What is a condom?
4) What is a sexually transmitted disease?
5) Do you know what Death is?
6) Do you know that some sexually transmitted diseases can kill you?
7) Did you pursue sex with the accused, or did she pursue you?
8) Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
9) Did the accused threaten you in any way?
10) Did you ever ask the accused to stop what they were doing, and if so, did they?
11) Was this your first sexual relationship?
I have met very few people of 13 who could have answered those questions well enough to cause me to find that an adult who had sex with them was weak, rather than criminal. But at 13, I can say that I would have been able to answer them. If I were asked to rule on the case of Denise and myself, I would not find that she was criminally liable for a number of reasons:
1) She was of average intelligence. I have an IQ of 146.
2) I pursued her, in part, through dishonorable means, including fabricating a story of a previous sexual relationship specifically concocted to prevent her from knowing that I was a virgin. Sorry about that, Denise, I was a little bit hormone driven in those days.
3) At no time did I hesitate to continue enthusiastically toward a sexual relationship.
4) She was in a very vulnerable position, having been raped 6 months before the beginning of our relationship, and therefore was probably drawn to the fact that I could not as easily overpowered her as easily as a man her age could.
5) My seduction of her continued over the course of several months.
Disclaimers for the witch hunters:
No, nothing said here means that I am interested in or in favor of sex with children. The witch hunters will interpret it this way, but I am not willing to call my first girlfriend a rapist to escape the fires. I am an engineer. I don’t frolick. I don’t play much. I don’t interact with kids by choice, ever. I tend to like women at least 30 years old, and put a hard limit of 19 below which I will not go. But that does not mean that I would be in favor of imprisoning anybody who does go below 19. There are a great many standards I hold for myself that I would not impose on others.
As for Tasker, I do not know what happened in that case completely, but from what has been said, it seems likely that what he did was wrong, I cannot rush to judgement without seeing the evidence, because for all I know these accusations are a frame job. I’m not willing to throw him under the bus until I have reached a conclusion as to the truth and nature of the accusations against him. Innocent until proven guilty is good policy. More will be revealed, and when I know more, I will denounce him if such denouncement is due.
Today is the New Hampshire primary. I am asking New Hampshire residents to go out and vote for Rand Paul. Although he does not present a full Libertarian position, preferring to focus on a few important changes rather than trying to establish a Utopia in one term, Rand’s voice was the only one in the Republican primary defending ANY pro-liberty positions. Let’s let them know that more liberty is our goal, by voting for the one pro-liberty candidate!