gunrightsBy: Carlos Cunha

Congress is currently considering the Sexual Violence Toward Women Prevention Act of 2016, which will add possession of a Y-chromosome to the category of Prohibited Firearms Possessors. Gun Control organizations, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, and the various Bloomberg organizations, have endorsed the bill and are leading a grassroots effort to fast-track the legislation.

The bill was introduced in response to the rising levels of gun violence in recent years, combined with the inability of magazine clip capacity limits, implementation of gun-free zones, and prohibition of automatic assault weapon machine guns, to stem the tide of children’s corpses piling up faster than crunchy tube socks at an all-boys summer camp.

Citing a consensus of research scientists, the gun control organizations rightly point out that the vast majority of the prison population possesses a Y-chromosome, as do ninety percent of workers who experience workplace fatalities. Clearly, they argue, Y-chromosomes cause violent, criminal behavior which justified incarceration, as well as workplace inattention leading to fatal injuries.

“Y-chromosome possession is also the leading cause of boys pulling on girls’ pigtails and roughhousing on grammar school playgrounds across the country,” said Senator Al Franken (D – Minnesota). “Add in a gun and a few hundred-thousand Muslim, Somali refugees who refuse to assimilate, and you’ve got a real problem on your hands. We’ve got to think of the children.”

“It’s really about protecting the majority of the American population from the violent minority,” added Vice President Joe Biden. “It’s a teeny, tiny bit of liberty exchanged for an awful lot of safety and security.”

In addition to co-sponsorship from stalwart feminist legislators, who were kind enough to take a break from demanding equal workplace representation of women in the coal mining and sanitation engineering fields, the enlightened leftist of The View showed support for the bill by wearing paper X’s pinned to their lapels and declared they would here forth eschew the letter “Y,” as it is a symbol of misogyny.

When asked whether the letter would be deleted from the English alphabet or simply replaced with a similar sounding vowel, such as “women” to “womyn,” the ladies were at a loss.

As would be expected, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action plans to mount a vigorous opposition and eventual legal battle, should the bill become law.

“The Y-gene/violence connection isn’t settled science and is bad basis for law,” tweeted the NRA-ILA account, shortly before its blue “Verified” check was rescinded and the account suspended for promoting hate speech.

History is clearly on the side of the bill’s supporters. During the beginning of the 20th century, Turkey found its Armenian population to be quite disruptive and took away their guns. As a result, when was the last time anyone heard a peep out of Armenians that didn’t involve a parade or a restaurant opening?

Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, Pinochet, et al., not having the benefit of a living Constitution that changes meaning with the times, had to go about the distasteful task of persecuting and murdering their troublesome minorities to maintain political control the old fashioned way.

The Sexual Violence Toward Women Prevention Act of 2016 will protect American women against violent men with dangerous guns by preventing them from possessing them in the first place; just like the Volstead Act and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 were such rousing successes.

CarlosCunhaProfile

 

Carlos Cunha is an essayist, gallows humorist, and author of the historical novel L’homme Theroux. His website (CarlosCunha.org) discusses politics, homesteading, and life as an Adopted Son of the South.

Art by Gabriel Wozniak

Art by Gabriel Wozniak

By: Char-Lez Braden

The myth that hard work must be arduous and miserable is a lie. In each of our lives we have done things that were difficult and took great energy, thought, concentration, resources, and time and taxed us perhaps to our limits. At the same time, while we were engaged in those activities we were doing something we loved.

We see this repeated time and time again. The only conclusion is, hard work isn’t, in and of itself, arduous. The difference is in the knowledge that the work advances something of meaning to the worker.

As libertarians we value freedom above most anything else. The work we put into advancing freedom often gives us great satisfaction.

The task we have set before ourselves, that is of freeing Florida from statist government, is not an easy one. The journey we take in pursuit of it gives us abundant opportunities for satisfaction.

The most important thing to remember is that the road to success is littered with failures and obstacles. Each obstacle overcome is a victory that needs to be relished, and shared. Our victories will not come all at once, but more like a small snowball at the top of a mountain that grows as it comes down the mountain until finally, it is seen by all to be an avalanche.

We will try many things. Most will fail. Some will work. We will learn from all and adapt. This newsletter is no exception. The start is humble, but it continues to grow and improve and soon will be a shining beacon people look too.

As it is with the newsletter, so let it be with the whole party. Let us continue to improve on everything the party does from end to end, and at all levels. We shall take our victories where we can and adapting where we must.

Through it all, let us reach out to one another and applaud the successes of all our fellow travelers, and pick up those who stumble along the way. All to often we see that the opposition does not need to kill a Libertarian, but only wound him, and the other Libertarians will finish him off. This sort of behavior serves only the opposition.

Each of us keeping our eyes on the prize and helping others make us all stronger. Remember, that no matter what our individual preferences and styles may be we are working toward a similar goal.

Let us work to make 2016 the year that we all look back and say this is when the snowball began to grow.

RobLaphamForCongress

 

By:  Rob Lapham

Make your mark on Florida politics. In one easy lesson.

In the latest Gallup poll[1] Americans rated the honesty and ethics of members of Congress about as close to the bottom as possible.  Only lobbyists were slightly worse, and car sales people were rated dead even with our Congressional representatives. Even the public trust of those in other professions such as lawyers, labor union leaders, bankers and journalists was far more favorable than for members of Congress.

As we know, millions of voters have become so upset with the business-as-usual “Washington establishment” that they are willing to take a chance on anyone who offers the possibility of something better. The huge popularity of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is a result.

Of course, the Republican and Democrat parties – the establishment – do not take this lying down.  It is a serious threat to their hold on power.  They will fight, and give no quarter, to keep it.

Off to the side of this political chaos stands the Libertarian Party.

I will come back to the Libertarian Party in a moment, but I need to digress. There are so many “fathers and mothers” – those who over the years articulated or contributed to what is our body of Libertarian thought, folks such as Frederic Bastiat, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman to name a few, that there may be a tendency to overlook a prophet in our midst.  (No, I’m not conferring God-like status on the guy, more recognizing him as an inspiring teacher, and one many of us will have the chance to meet, both at our state convention next month, and at the national convention in Orlando the end of May.)

In 2013 Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, wrote this book: Introduction to the Libertarian Party: For Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and Everyone Else. His writing offers less on the underpinnings of Libertarian philosophy, more on later events: the history, structure and activities of our national party.

And, very importantly for me – how I could make the most impact as a Libertarian, how I could help bring the largest number of libertarian leaning, libertarian thinking people into our party as actively participating Libertarians.  It is simple, really: Run For Office.

Before some of you recoil, feel uncomfortable, or just do not want to read anymore, please bear with me.

We have this political chaos. It is real and it is here right now.  Millions of voters are searching for a better answer than the Democrats or the Republicans can offer, but a large percentage of those voters do not know what that better answer is. Yet.

As a noted (I would say infamous) political operative said, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste.”[2]

So here is the pitch.  For members of the Libertarian Party of Florida, for our allies, for those thinking about becoming a little more active.

The national contest will evolve however it evolves.  Let’s focus on where we can make the biggest difference – right here.

We have 40 Florida Senate, 120 Florida House, 1 U.S. Senate and 27 U.S. House seats up for election this November 8.  (There are hundreds of county and local offices too, but my understanding is that most of those are nonpartisan.)

Against that we have right now, today, fewer than a dozen Libertarians who are running for office.

Let’s change that.  Let’s try our very best to offer every single voter in Florida at least one place on the ballot where he or she can vote Libertarian.

Benedict’s book was a prime driver in my decision to run for Congress in my former home state, Texas, in 2014. Up against impossible odds I never had more fun in my life! I am doing it again this year, running for office in Congressional District 2, covering part of the panhandle and north Florida. Frankly, I am going to enjoy presenting Libertarian solutions to our country’s challenges and watching my Republican and Democrat competition squirm. They have no solutions to offer except through more Big Government.

Personally, I am energized by and look forward to a political dogfight; however, if you are not one to want to mix it up onstage with the candidates of the “old parties” I can show you how to run your campaign from your armchair, spend a total of way less than $500 (alternatively, collect petition signatures, varies by District but generally fewer than 1,500 signatures). Never need to make a single speech but enjoy seeing your name on the November ballot nonetheless.

I have asked for 10 minutes at our state convention in West Palm Beach. I will share with you how exactly how you can make a real difference; one you will be proud of. And, for the first time, you will be giving the voters of Florida a real choice.

Thank you Wes Benedict. (Hey reader, yes you, buy the book! Amazon or elsewhere.)

I am looking forward to seeing each of you at the state convention!

1) Gallup poll Dec 2-6, 2015 https://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx
2) Rahm Emanuel Feb 9, 2009, then Chief of Staff to the President

Rob mug

 

Rob Lapham is the Libertarian Candidate for Florida Congressional District 2, and Region 2 representative to the Executive Committee, LPF.

 

TaxationIsTheftRecently, I have become extremely annoyed by many in the LP that have become mindless automatons preaching the virtues of the so-called FairTax. Unfortunately, they are apparently not too bright. Yes, I am going to bad mouth the proposal and advocates within the LP, and rightfully so. Philosophically, a cardinal belief in Libertarian thought is that taxation is government sponsored THEFT.

Theft is theft, it doesn’t matter if it happens when you receive your paycheck or at the cash register, it is still government sponsored theft. The goal is to eliminate government theft, not find a more convenient form. Now, on to the more valid criticisms of the so-called FairTax, claims that the “FairTax” is fair are dubious at best, and an outright exaggeration at worst.

First, there is the claim that the “FairTax” will increase purchasing power. Unfortunately, this ignores basic economics and common sense. Here’s an example to demonstrate my point: Let’s say you, the reader, are building a house. You’re purchasing manufactured materials (bricks, rebar, concrete, electrical wires, plywood, 4x4s, etc). All of those materials would be taxed at the Florida sales tax rate of about 7%. Under the “FairTax,” you would have to add an additional 23% sales tax. That dramatically increases the cost of building the house, and increases the cost for end consumer/purchaser of that house.

Even though the purchasing power of the wealthy will increase and they could easily afford such a house, lower & middle income people would be priced out of housing market. The same would apply to the materials to produce cars, all electronics, even processed foods, as the tickle down effect of this tax regime will dramatically increase the cost of living without proportionally increasing the disposable income of average Americans. Rather than increasing the purchasing power of average citizens, it will create a new group of citizens who have to rely on a government handout in order to pay for essential goods and services.

Second, the very nature of the proposal requires the same amount of government meddling as under the current tax system. The claim that the “FairTax” would eliminate the IRS isn’t exactly true. Although the agency known as the IRS would be eliminated under the proposal, in order to enforce “FairTax” compliance, there would need to be some overbearing IRS-like government agency that would need to ensure businesses paid their portion of the FairTax and destroy the tax-evading black-markets that will pop up the FairTax system. To believe that a change in tax system is going the overall abusive and oppressive nature of taxes and government enforcement is naïve at best. Additionally, the “prebate” is nothing more than a grandiose scheme to handout convenient cash and create government dependents.

Why try to earn more, when Uncle Sam guarantees a check every month? The FairTax “prebates” can also be used to artificially stimulate the economy according to the needs of government, regardless of market forces. Why actually reduce government regulations that hurt the free market, when the government can just increase the monthly “prebate” stipend of every American to prop it up? The FairTax is too easy for the government to exploit.

The FairTax just doesn’t sound Libertarian when you break it down. It’s no better than the current system, and it certainly won’t reduce the size and scope of government.

Joe.docx

 

Joseph Wendt currently serves as Convention Committee Chair. Joe is from the Tampa area and is a previous two-time candidate for local public office, and a US Navy and Iraq War Veteran.

voluntaryist

You’re invited! Join Broward Libertarians for our monthly meetup in Hollywood. Complimentary pizza and drinks will be served.

Our guest speaker March 21 is Jaime Sherman, creator of Voluntaryist – The Comic Series, a libertarian-themed comic universe that pits the protagonists against government agents. www.VOLCOMIC.com

Jaime is also a content creator/manager for Anarchyball. Prior to focusing on his creative works, Jaime used his talents for several organizations, including the Federalist Society, Americans for Prosperity, The Charles Koch Institute, and Students for Liberty. He holds a law degree from Florida State University.

Don’t miss this engaging presentation! Liberty Meets Culture: How To Break the White-Paper Tradition

BONUS – The wildly talented Charles Rocha of That Summer will play a few songs for us 🙂 Enjoy: https://thatsummersong.bandcamp.com/track/wild-free

We hope to see you Monday, March 21 at 7 PM. Our monthly events are always free and open to the public. Share and invite some friends! Location: 1855 McKinley St. Hollywood, 33020

Join the conversation:
Group – www.facebook.com/groups/browardlibertarians
Page – www.facebook.com/lpbroward
Twitter – www.twitter.com/lpbroward

 

TheQuillTheEditor

Dear friends,

Welcome to the First Edition of The Quill, the official newsletter of the Libertarian Party of Florida!

It was 16 days ago when I participated on a conference call with the LPF Leadership to describe what I had in mind for an official Newsletter. Once I got the approval to move forward, the fast-track launch date commenced – March 8.

The first item on the agenda was to find a title, so I recruited my FB friends to make suggestions. We received 25 submissions. I took those titles and asked my FB friends, again, to choose their top two. Hence the WINNER “The Quill” submitted by Suzanne Gilmore, LPF Secretary, thank you! Joshua Knezinek’s “Liberty Ledger” and Paul Rusin’s “Veritas & Libertas” were tied for a close-second.

The buzz we created about our new title was the means to soliciting writers and volunteers to help. We hit the jack-pot with Gabriel Wozniak stepping-up to provide the graphic art, which is beautiful! His logo design is first of many more to come, including a brand new banner being revealed in Vol. II. The Quill official logo has an, obscurely located, Lady Liberty – excellent idea! It is so well placed, that I didn’t see it, until Gabriel pointed it out to me. Good luck finding Lady Liberty!

Our TOP story is “LPF State Convention in Beautiful Palm Beach!” written by Joseph Wendt. LPF’s convention is coming-up next month. We encourage everyone to attend. Mark your calendars for April 8-10 and find out all the details right here at The Quill. The Tampa City Council did something right by decriminalizing possession of pot – 20 grams, last week. But, there’s a long way to go before true freedom on this issue comes to fruition. Read Kevin O’Neil’s “WE WIN! Tampa City Council Decriminalizes Marijuana” for a complete analysis.

Libertarian presidential nominee, Austin Petersen, was in Polk County last month speaking to Libertarians about his official platform. Amanda Gluck provides us with the details. During his speech, Petersen suggests that certain situations may preclude libertarians from adhering to NAP, such as with instances of child abuse. In contrast, Lauren Anthony explains some of the inherent defects of Florida’s child protection laws in “Why ‘Best Interest’ is not Always Best Interest”. She said lawmakers make “knee-jerk” decisions that don’t work in the best interest of families.

This has been a fabulous 16 days of preparation for me. I look forward to the results.

In Liberty,
Raquel

TheQuillChairman

2016 is one of the most exciting opportunities for the LPF in a long time, if not forever. Many of you have heard me say “My world ends at the state line”, and as chair of the LPF indeed my primary concern is whatever happens inside Florida. However, I am not blind to external forces. The presidential election is our biggest opportunity to advance freedom inside Florida, and I intend to capitalize on it.

The old parties are busy doubling down on crazy candidates and even crazier economics. The gig is up. The people are on to them, and the unrest is growing.

We have the message people are yearning for, and candidates that will be championing the message like never before.

Voters will grow angrier as November approaches. After the election, we either have a Libertarian in the white house, or an old party statist and an even angrier electorate.

This is nothing but a huge opportunity for us to reach out and recruit voters like never before.

We still have much to do to make this happen.

The LPF is building a network that fosters relationships with new voters as they become aware of the message of freedom. We have to be tolerant and understand that only a precious few of these will be well versed in what it means to be free. Most voters do not even have a vocabulary to properly express their outrage. They do not have a cultural or intellectual perspective of what it means to be free. It is up to us to patiently guide them.

We have to be there with open arms to welcome them, and also with a clear vision of Liberty. Considering the state of current politics, simply demanding strict adherence to the constitution would advance liberty enough, and free enslaved minds enough, that other steps can then be honestly sought afterwards.

Thankfully, this is not a hard sell. Most people believe in the ideas of the constitution, and it is our job to provide leadership to help them understand they can live it as well.

The human spirit yearns to be free. The LPF is the only party in Florida that advocates the principles of freedom. We have to be ready to help them transition from the mindset of slave, to sovereign.

The LPF is building an educational base to train the next generation of leaders that will receive these lost voters and guide them.

A determined and focused group can accomplish anything. We are exactly that. Therefore I call upon all who yearn to be free to join me in pledging their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to this effort. Even as we shall not always see eye to eye on every topic, we join each other hand in hand to build the party the LPF needs to be to welcome freshly freed minds in the cause of real liberty.

The Quill is focused on spreading the message of liberty, and encouraging those already doing the work.

It is with great satisfaction, and anticipation of great things to come in 2016, that the Quill is launched.

PotOrdinance

By: Kevin O’Neil

On March 3, the Tampa City Council, after hearing 30 minutes of public comment, passed a new Pot Citation Ordinance. The new law makes it a citation, instead of a crime, for possession of less than 20 grams of pot, with a fine of $75, and incrementally raising the fine to $150, then $150 increments up for each successive citation. Certainly, this is a win for the people and visitors of Tampa, and a positive governmental action in-line with the Libertarian Party of Florida’s platform regarding vice.

Excerpt from LPF Platform, Section 5-Vice Laws.  “…We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults…”

The Mayor of Tampa, along with the Chief of Police, has both been on record in recent days supporting the ordinance. The Mayor is expected to sign the ordinance into effect on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day.  Another public hearing is scheduled prior to the Mayor’s signing.

The vote was 6 to 1, with Councilman Charlie Miranda opposed. Mr. Miranda has had 3 stints on the Tampa City Council, dating as far back as 1974. His present stint is an at-large councilman.

The Central Florida Chapter of NORML has been ever present at related hearings, and has provided many public speakers and figures for the Council to consider.

It is likely that Tampa’s new ordinance, along with similar styled ordinances in St. Petersburg City, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, will serve as new test cases on how partial repeal of drug possession pot laws have improved the lives of users and their families, along with policing budgets and court expenditures.

There were 42 ballot initiatives for this November Election, and two obtained the proper number of signatures.  Number two, is a Constitutional amendment to legalize Marijuana for medicinal uses. We hope the Tampa ordinance will help give momentous support to the ballot this November.

No doubt, this is progress and a visible marker politically that from the bottom up, a rising level of voices are demanding change in this inhumane legacy “Drug War” law.  The history on inhumane drug laws date back to President Rockefeller, and we have hundreds of souls in cages that produced units of drug for their own consumption, only to be sentenced as if they were dealing to thousands, and spending that kind of time in prison.  Victim-less criminals are victims themselves, along with their families and the tax payers.  The only winners are the prison industries and the employed jailers.

No relief is being argued here for multi-count criminals with true victims in their wake – for the record.

Tampa has had Police Knock-Raids that have resulted in civilian murder, with law enforcement having nothing to show but a single joint of pot.  This is another result of the marketplace of NARCs that attempt to lessen their own plea-bargain sentence by a resultant lead to an additional arrest.  I am certain the City will payout millions on this disaster.

Good people, like many of us reading this, need to and are standing up to act, to do something to keep our freedoms and liberties. Hillsborough, like many other counties, has a candidate committee filing deadline of mid-May. If you want to make the noble statement and run for office, contact your SEO or local affiliate today, and get your candidacy properly registered. We need you! You are invited to step-up and make this love of ours a reality.  Run For Office!!

Kevin O'neil Kevin O’Neil is a community activist in Tampa, a member of LPF Communications Committee and Executive Committee Member of the Hillsborough Affiliate of LPF. Father of 2 boys and employed as an analyst, Kevin completed Mechanical Engineering and MBA degrees. He aspires to get candidates elected to office that are libertarian.

LPF-State-Convention-in-Beautiful-Palm-Beach.docxBy: Joseph Wendt

We are having our State Convention in West Palm Beach at the wonderful Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center on April 8-10. Come and join the Party!!! We will have a reception on April 8, and our annual business meeting April 9 through April 10. At our business meeting we will be holding elections for LPF Secretary, Treasurer, At-large 2, and all Regional Representatives, as well as discussing revisions to the LPF’s governing documents.

We will also have an exciting time with our amazing speakers:

  • Friday Reception: Fane Lozman, Dan Johnson, and others will provide us with insightful lectures in a casual atmosphere with a cash bar and snacks.
  • Saturday Breakfast ($30): LNC member Doug Craig dazzles us with his exciting speech, Social Media: The good, the bad, the ugly; How to grow the Party and spread the message of Liberty without spending a fortune.
  • Saturday Lunch ($40): Marc Allan Feldman, John McAfee, Austin Petersen, Cecil Ince, Gary Johnson, and Shawna Sterling face off in a Presidential debate to determine who will be our nominee.
  • Saturday Banquet ($50): Tom Regnier lays some knowledge down and tell us How the LPF in the ’90s Beat the Toughest Ballot Access Laws in the Free World.
  • Sunday Breakfast (free): Massachusetts State Chair George Phillies will give us a riveting discussion on Building a stronger Party.

All this in a package for the low price of $110. Plus, we are giving away a free t-shirt to the first 40 people who purchase the package. This offer is only available for a limited time. To take advantage of this great offer, go to:

https://conf.lpf.org/convention-registration/

We are also looking for Sponsors, check them out here:

https://conf.lpf.org/become-a-sponsor/

Hurry before time runs out. Come on down and join the Party!!!

Joe.docx Joe Wendt currently serves as Convention Committee Chair.  Joe is from the Tampa area and is a previous two-time candidate for local public office, and a US Navy and Iraq War Veteran.

blowhornby: Joseph Wendt

As some of you may know, there was a Presidential debate in Biloxi, MS at the Mississippi-Alabama Joint State Convention that was streamed for every Libertarian’s enjoyment. There were many candidates seeking our party’s nomination in attendance. However, let’s be real, there were only five candidates people care about and wanted to hear from, so allow me to give you my perspective on them:

  • Marc Allan Feldman: Although he has encountered controversy over his “Kanye West for VP” stunt, he actually had a solid performance. He came off as professional, articulate, and presentable. He presented his take on the issues very well and is certainly a strong contender for the nomination
  • John McAfee: Strong and charismatic debate performance. He was articulate and compelling, including his personal stories of how US policy affected him and his family, winning applause throughout the debate. He came out as the most dynamic candidate in the debate
  • Austin Petersen: Better than expected. He gave a confident performance, however came off as Republican-lite. He did criticize Gary Johnson’s rant on Sharia during the debate, which won him points.
  • Gary Johnson: All I can say is WTF? He essentially repeated the same themes: He’s suing to get the Libertarian candidate into the Presidential debates and he was a former Governor. Unfortunately, he come off as wishy-washy on the issues and had a very nasty meltdown, going into a Trump-like rant regarding Sharia.
  • Darryl W. Perry: One of the strongest and most Libertarian performance in the debate. Darryl gave a strong Anarchist vision and promised to boldly represent Libertarian ideals. He even went as far as to admit that the ultimate goal is to dismantle the Federal Government. His passion and candor was quite refreshing.

To me, John McAfee and Darryl Perry won the debate. Both gave a superior performance and came off as ready for prime time. An exit poll of the debate audience was conducted and here are the results:

Name Vote Percent
Gary Johnson 45 38%
John McAfee 30 26%
Austin Petersen 20 17%
Darryl Perry 17 15%
Marc Feldman 5 4%
Total 117 100%

Although Johnson technically won the poll, his performance and the exit poll tally indicates that his status as the LP “frontrunner” is in serious jeopardy and the race to be the LP Presidential nominee is wide open.