Livingston County Michigan Libertarians

A Party of Principle

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  • Don’t forget jury’s power to rule on moral grounds

    In recent years, many people have fallen victim toJury Rights Day
    government tyranny, everything from drug offenses
    to tax resisters. Historically, going back to the Magna
    Carta, it has been the job of the jury to stand in the
    way of government tyranny and judge the law as well
    as the case.
    Jury nullification was used to deny convictions throughout U.S. history, from the Alien
    and Sedition Act to the Fugitive Slave Act and even Alcohol Prohibition, juries said not
    guilty, even if the accused was “guilty” of breaking the law in cases where the juries
    found the law immoral. The Confederate States of America claimed the use of jury
    nullification as one of their causes for secession, so it was obviously a common
    practice; and the nullification in cases of alcohol offenses are credited with bringing the
    end of alcohol prohibition.
    Unfortunately, the justice system has deemed it appropriate to not inform juries that
    they have this power, even going as far as to claim that the jury must rule as the law is
    given to them. but this is wrong. If you were on a jury and a person of good conscience
    you would not have found someone guilty accused of harboring slaves, but we have
    forgotten we have this right. It‘s time we understand our rights as juries once again,
    and say “not guilty” when we find the law to be immoral, as great Americans once did
    in our past.
    James Weeks II, vice chair
    Libertarian Party of Livingston County

    James Weeks II Congressional Campaign Captures National Headlines

    James Weeks II at Protest

    by Scotty Boman

    Brighton-MI. The Libertarian candidate for Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District has been in the headlines as the result of a protest he organized. James Weeks II organized a rally to protest the fact that a teenager, Colin Anderson, was fined $200 for saying, “This is fucking bullshit” in earshot of a Brighton police officer. Weeks named the rally after the phrase Anderson was punished for saying.

    In the days leading up to the May 31st protest, Weeks was featured on mainstream radio and television newscasts. This, in a market where libertarian campaigns are typically ignored. Regional print news articles were published in the Livingston Daily, Brighton Patch, the Lansing State Journal, the Fenton Patch, and The Detroit Free Press. Michigan radio stations also covered Week’s involvement in the event. They included WHMI and Michigan Radio. Weeks appeared on some of Michigan’s local television stations including WNEM, WXYZ, and WDIV.

    However, the story didn’t stop in his home state. It was also picked up by publications in other states including the East Idaho News, Inquisitr, and Political Moll. Radio stations carrying the story in other states included KMBZ, WPRO, and WMAL. However, the largest audience was reached when ABC News picked up the story.

    Peaceful Protest Receives Mixed Response

    While the planning of the rally was well-publicized, reports on the rally were limited. WXYZ and WNEM reported protests by teenagers, but failed to mention the Libertarian component, WHMI reported small attendance. According to Weeks, the Livingston Daily was there as well.
    Weeks told the Michigan Libertarian that, “We had around 60 protesters, an average of 30 at any time. From grandmothers to teenagers.” He said that while many of the protesters practiced “civil disobedience” there was at least as much swearing by hecklers who disapproved of the protest: “We had a mixed reaction, everything from support to people swearing at us.”

    Brighton Visitors Can Be Ticketed and Fined for Saying Anything

    While protesters, park officials and journalists have focused on the words Colin Anderson used, the law in Brighton does not prohibit the utterance of “fucking bullshit,” nor does it prohibit any other words or phrases. After repeatedly calling the Brighton Police Department on June second and asking which words were prohibited, the Michigan Libertarian reached Sergeant Bradford who said that the ordinance didn’t specify any particular words. When asked to identify the ordinance he said he couldn’t get to it saying, “My hands are full of fingerprint powder right now.”

    The Libertarian Case for Open Borders

    barbedflag1
    by James Weeks II
    As Libertarians we hold that governments should never infringe on the rights of the individual, and should governments exist their only power should be the protection of the rights of the individual. The cornerstone of Libertarianism is self ownership, that is, each individual is his or her own person and they make their own decisions without interference from others.
    So, how does this tie into borders? Well, borders are nothing more than imaginary lines drawn on maps by governments, they limit the free movement of individuals. Borders emerge when one government’s claim to territory crashes headlong into another government’s claim to territory and a stalemate is reached. Once this stalemate is reached and a static border emerges the individuals that government claims are its citizens are then prohibited from freely crossing this imaginary line. Sure, some governments may allow its so-called citizens to cross these imaginary lines relatively more freely than other governments, but this does not negate the fact that as individuals with free will, we all have equal opportunity to claim ownership to any unclaimed land no matter what side of this imaginary line we happened to be born on. As individuals with free will, we all have the right to contract with any other individual no matter what side of this imaginary line we happen to be born on. As individuals with free will, we have the right to trade with other individuals no matter what side of the imaginary line we happen to be born on.
    Migration is a natural right based on self ownership, as we individuals are not owned by the government, so we should be able to freely move from place to place without these restrictions that the state imposes on us. We should be sovereign over our lives, not the property of the state. Having the borders closed, or even any restriction on the free movement of people means that the government at least partially owns the people. This goes against the core principle that libertarianism rests on, self-ownership.

    James Weeks II wins election for vice-chair of Livingston Libertarians

    Congratulations to James Weeks II, who was elected vice-chairperson of the Livingston Libertarians at the May 2nd social meeting.
    Weeks has many good ideas for improving the local party. Weeks outlined these ideas during his campaign for vice-chair.

    James Weeks II

    James Weeks II

    The officers of the Livingston Libertarian party now include:

    Chair – ?TBD
    Vice Chair – James Weeks II
    Treasurer – Jeff Wood
    Secretary – Karl Kiefer
    Political Director – Rodger Young
    Media Director – Donna Gundle-Krieg

    The officers meet on the second Wednesday of each month, following the social meeting for the party, which is held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 at Cleary’s in Howell.

    Weeks, Brennan square off for vice chair of Livingston Libertarians

    The Livingston Libertarians are lucky to have two passionate candidates running for vice-chairperson of the group, James Weeks II and Michael Brennan.

    The election for vice-chairperson will be held at the Livingston Libertarians’ social meeting at Cleary’s on May 2nd at 7:00. 

    The winner of the election will replace former vice-chairperson Dan Goebel, who became chairperson after Pam Sanderson announced her resignation.

    The vice-chairperson candidates were asked several questions about their reasons for running, ideas for the office, etc.

    Good luck to both candidates!

    Q1) Why you want to be vice-chair of the Livingston Libertarians?

    Brennan: I am willing to serve as chair to bring unity to the LPLC. I am willing to serve in any capacity to facilitate the future growth of the party, first at the local level and then at the state level. I am bound by logic, critical thinking, and conscience. In this way, I am a moderate. I am willing and able to hear every argument.

    Weeks: I want to be vice-chair so that the party can focus on growing the party and spreading the libertarian message in the county. Livingston County is known as the epicenter of libertarianism in the state and we, as a party, need to make that grow even more. How we do that is getting out and talking with the community. More than once a year, regular activism is needed so the people know we are here. We must not take a back seat and let the GOP have all the fun. The LPLC needs to make a show at other festivals and events in the community as well as sending out press releases regularly. I feel the party needs to take a more active roll in the community and not just during election time.

    James Weeks II

    James Weeks II

    Q2) What ideas you have to unite the Livingston Libertarians?

    Brennan: In an effort to unite the party I will focus on those issues foundational to the promotion of Liberty. I am a critical thinker, able to weigh issues to mediate discussion. While I appreciate extreme views on issues, I believe in resolution without compromising value systems. To me, this means working within the system to educate people about their natural rights and getting candidates elected that will promote this educational view of liberty rather than “in-your-face-politicking.”

    Weeks: Well, we need to focus on issues of significance and not on petty disagreements about who is more libertarian than the other. If all libertarians agreed on everything we wouldn’t be very libertarian now would we?

    Q3) What ideas you have to help grow the Livingston Libertarians and elect candidates?

    Michael Brennan

    Michael Brennan

    Brennan: In effort to grow the party, I will continue the advertising campaign, and invite people to social gatherings. I want to encourage participation in community outreach events to inspire conversation with our neighbors about liberty. Events could include community cleanup under the banner of the LCLP. Grass root type rallies to build an audience. Community learning which encourages forward, critical thinking. I’ve been teaching Constitution classes through the Libertarian perspective.

    Weeks: We need to get out in the community and make our presence known. The more people who know we are here the more likely they are to show up to meetings and vote for our candidates.

    Q4) Please give any biographical info that might help people make a choice. For example, how long have you lived in the area, how long have you been a Libertarian and active, etc

    Brennan: I have been an active member of the Libertarian party for about 3 months. I have been a nominal Libertarian for nearly 5 years.

    My family moved from Massachusetts to Brighton, MI in 1981. I was just about turn 2 years old. I lived in Brighton for the next sixteen years and graduated from Hartland High School in 1998. I moved to Massachusetts to pursue a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Nazarene College. I wanted to teach elementary students because they are the most excited learners.

    Weeks: I have lived in Livingston county almost all my life, I grew up here. I have been a “small l” libertarian for as long as I can remember, even before I knew the word libertarian.

    I became active in the party about two years ago after finally finding out about the meetings while I was doing some activism on my own. Someone from the party walked up to me and told me about the LPLC, and that is when I was introduced to the group. However I did not officially join the party, with State Party membership, until I decided to run for State Rep last year. That is why I feel we need to get out and be active in the community, I would not have known about the LPLC had I not been approached and informed about the LPLC.

    Q5) Is there any other information about yourself, your beliefs etc. that would help people know you better?

    Brennan: I believe that in most things, people need to be responsible for their personal value system. I believe that the Law is universal –for example, gravity was a discovered law. I believe that revealed Law provided in the Egyptian Exile by Moses were Laws already common to everyone.

    I believe that the Constitution is still an effective document. It is weightier than a contract because people gave their lives for the perpetuation of it. Some claim that it is an illegal document because the congressmen were sent to amend the Articles of Confederation and instead drafted the Constitution. However, that is not the end of the story. Every state in the Union must ratify the Constitution before becoming part of the Union. This means that every one of the fifty states acknowledges and submits to the Constitution as Law for the protection of the Natural Rights; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (which is to be understood as the ownership of private property according to the founders).

    I believe that the Constitution exists to limit the government and that the Law exists to protect the people’s unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and Property as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and that no form of tyranny can usurp the rights of the individuals as it is they who create or diminish governments made up by the people and for the people.

    Weeks: As many in the party know I identify as a Voluntaryist, which means I apply the Non-Aggression Principle to everyone, and don’t feel a funny hat or shiny badge grants extra rights that we as individuals don’t have naturally and that all interactions between individuals must be voluntary. Some call this extreme, but I feel that it is the only moral way for society to be. We must place the Non-Aggression Principle where it belongs as the center point of all interactions. As was said by Thomas Jefferson “I would rather live in a world of too much freedom, than not enough.”