Livingston County Michigan Libertarians

A Party of Principle

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  • LPM Convention 2015 in Kalamazoo, Saturday May 9 “Let’s Grow Liberty”

    LPM Convention 2015

    Convention 2015 in Kalamazoo, Saturday May 9
    “Let’s Grow Liberty”

    Kzoo11We have an exciting convention in the works for LPMers and guests this year, in the original home of Gibson guitars and major player in founding the modern American craft beer movement: Kalamazoo. In fact, Friday night (5/8) plans are to host a pub crawl! [For $20 you get a snazzy LPM t-shirt, august company, and transportation to downtown and back to the hotel… which is the Holiday Inn West.]

    Convention speakers are:

    This is the ‘in between’ convention year, with officers and bylaws/platform up for reconfiguration. Please don’t miss what promises to be a fertile event… one for the books. We’re trying to keep costs down in these trying times on the threshold of ‘rEvolution.’ So come one, come all. Here is the price schedule:

    • Full Package:                 Before 5/1: $60, After 5/1: $80
    • Convention + Lunch:    Before 5/1: $35, After 5/1: $50
    • Convention Only:         Before 5/1: $25, After 5/1: $40
    • Banquet Only:              Before 5/1: $30, After 5/1: $50
    • Special room rate of $105.00 per night single/double occupancy available until April 21st To reserve your room call 269-375-6000 and inform the clerk that you’re with the Libertarian Party.

    Proceed here to register: http://michiganlp.org/?p=3961 LPM Pub Crawl

    Agenda:

    Friday, May 8: Pub Crawl

    In downtown Kalamazoo’s vibrant restaurant and brewery district. The fee for this event will be $20 (includes an LPM newly designed custom t-shirt and transportation to Downtown Kzoo and back to the Holiday Inn West, at the end of the evening. (Drinks not included.) The t-shirt (logo at right) enables pub crawlers to get into all participating bars without a cover charge. The Pub Crawl is separate from the convention.

    Libertarian Party calls for shutting down CIA, criminal prosecutions

    tortured

    Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas J. Sarwark released the following statement today:
    “The CIA’s practice of torture confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Report released on December 9 shows the agency engaged in reprehensible and illegal behaviors that were, in effect, war crimes.
    “The CIA and politicians redacted the bulk of the government’s report, which remains withheld from public view. One can only speculate as to the additional horrors that lie within the rest of the report, given the gravity of what was revealed.
    “These acts of torture were immoral, disgusting, and un-American. And worse still, they were ineffective.
    “Yet the CIA and the Department of Justice, which sanctioned the torture, claim that it was legal and exhibit a shocking lack of remorse for the brutality inflicted on its victims.
    “Whether it’s choking a man to death for selling loose cigarettes in New York or torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the government refuses to prosecute government employees who brutalize the vulnerable. When the government investigates itself, it almost always clears itself of any
    wrongdoing.
    “This is why we must shut down the CIA. Its 70-year history is littered with episodes of human rights violations, illegal activities, and deception, including:

    • Targeted killings and assassinations
    • Overthrowing democratically elected governments,
    • Human experimentation, including giving the hallucinogenic drug LSD to U.S. and Canadian citizens without their knowledge
    • Dealing heroin in Asia
    • Spying on Americans, members of congress, and foreign leaders
    • Shipping war prisoners to foreign countries where torture is permissible (‘extraordinary rendition’).
    • Lying to Congress

    “The CIA is one of sixteen U.S. spy agencies that should have been severely downsized if not abolished during the alleged ‘consolidation’ of the U.S. government’s spy apparatus in 2004.
    “But rather than downsize, politicians merely added another layer of bureaucracy, increased government spending, and expanded government authority.
    “Government-sanctioned torture is bipartisan. Republican President George W. Bush authorized the torture revealed in the senate report. President Barack Obama granted him full immunity.
    “Famed journalist Glenn Greenwald said ‘The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete.’
    “Whereas Democrats and Republicans have continually funded and encouraged CIA war crimes, the Libertarian Party has consistently and strongly opposed the use of torture, mass surveillance, and human rights violations by the U.S. government throughout the party’s 43-year history.
    “The Libertarian Party calls for real accountability, including prosecuting all of those who authorized and performed these brutal acts.
    “The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report after this year’s election – when it was safe, even though the report was finished four years ago.
    “Perhaps both Democratic and Republican politicians are hoping voters will forget about this disgrace before the 2016 election.
    “The Libertarian Party urges you to remember — and to demand human decency by voting Libertarian.”
    The Libertarian Party platform plank on Internal Security and Individual Rights states:

    “The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law.”
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    Defending the Libertarian Brand: We Are a Recognized Political Party

    Libertarian Party Logo

    By John Hargenrader and Tim Keirnan

    The elements of the Libertarian Party platform have been well-established since it was founded in 1971. Our guiding principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, economic freedom, property rights, and non-intervention in other countries’ conflicts have gained traction in the mainstream of political awareness.
    As candidates from other parties and grass-roots issue groups claim to have become concerned about our government’s erosion of our constitutional liberties, they have incorporated some of the ideals of libertarianism to rally the masses. Some even use the word “libertarian” as a buzzword to gain Libertarian voter support at the polls, but all too often then fail to advance those Libertarian principles if they are elected—the old “bait and switch” game. The phrase “libertarian leanings” is often mis-appropriated by candidates from other parties to position their political message campaigns, normally aimed at aiding the same old party candidates and special interests who got us into our current mess. They are NOT Libertarians unless their actions align with the Libertarian Party platform and their support falls upon registered Libertarian candidates running for public office.
    For candidates to describe themselves as “libertarian leaning”, I think their “leaning” should include their name being listed on the Libertarian ticket, not the opposition’s ticket. There is nothing less dignified than borrowing someone else’s identity. Identity theft of libertarianism is the most common form of political plagiarism today. There is nothing more distressing to musicians than for their music to be misappropriated to sell products or even a political message they do not advocate. Libertarians have similar concerns.
    There is unique value in being a Libertarian party member. To be nominated to run as a Libertarian candidate is an honor. There is a commitment by Libertarian candidates that is not taken lightly that party affiliation has longevity, and is not used for temporary political convenience.  We are not a homogeneous group, nor seek to be by defining what is right for one or for all of society. This excerpt from the preamble of the Libertarian Platform sums it up best:
    “We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

    Further we maintain that no government, political party or any societal group ever has the right to impede those individual freedoms by statute, force, taxation, coercion, marginalization or oppression.
    For those who value the Bill of Rights, and believe they are to be applied broadly, you are commended for being a libertarian free thinker. If you support libertarianism as a guiding philosophy for fixing our local, state, and national problems of egregious debt, perpetual wars, eroding civil liberties, and increasing taxation, please vote for the real Libertarians on your ballot– not the imposters.
    As Libertarians, we are different from all other political parties big and small.  We acknowledge that individuals have unique preferences and paradigms from culture, environment, family upbringing, personal desires, and life experience. The desire to respect our neighbors’ differences and live free in our personal and economic lives not only gives us peace of mind, but also makes us lively debaters, and a most entertaining crowd to socialize with.  We openly invite those who lean libertarian, or who are just curious, to please come and see for yourselves.  Join us at a local Libertarian Party social meeting where you can be heard and make a difference.

    John Hargenrader
    Tim Keirnan

    Libertarian Party statement on Boston Marathon bombing, Syria, foreign intervention

    The following statement came from the United States Libertarian Party:

    The Libertarian Party extends heartfelt sympathies to the surviving families of the victims and all who were harmed by the senseless and violent bombing in Boston on April 15 and its aftermath. We applaud the efforts of Boston-area residents and law enforcement officials who helped to remove the immediate threat of additional harm from the alleged perpetrators.  lib party

    While we are relieved that the Justice Department has assured that the surviving bombing suspect will receive a civilian trial, we are troubled that, according to news reports, he was not read his Miranda rights prior to questioning.

    Regardless of the severity of the crime, upholding individual rights is paramount. We call for ensuring that all criminal suspects, including alleged terrorists, are Mirandized and offered the right to an attorney before questioning. We also call for ensuring that all such interrogations be, without exception, properly monitored and videotaped.

    We are further troubled by reports of martial law tactics, including the alleged orders issued by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for residents to stay inside their homes and for stores to stay closed. Visiting homes to inquire of suspect sightings or politely requesting that residents stay off the streets — without any threat of force — is a reasonable measure for authorities to take during an emergency. However, threatening force in any way is a breach of our constitutional rights and is unacceptable. Going forward, we call for laws that impose criminal penalties on any government official who oversteps his or her authority or who in any way diminishes our constitutional protections.

    While we strenuously condemn acts of violence against innocent men, women, and children as occurred on April 17, we also condemn the U.S. government’s routine perpetration of such injustice on others throughout the world. As one example, U.S. drone strikes kill many times more civilians than terrorists.

    Such disregard for human life is morally reprehensible. In addition, it unnecessarily engenders enemies of the United States.

    Spokespersons for the military claim that the federal government does whatever it can to minimize civilian casualties. Perhaps it does from their current perspective. But from an honest and realistic perspective, their perpetual calls for military action do not minimize civilian casualties, but instead increase them.

    To avoid harming innocent others, the Libertarian Party urges President Barack Obama and members of Congress to:

    1. Stay out of foreign conflicts, including Syria. The goal of our military should be defense only, not attempting to brutalize the world into acceptance of our cultural values, to impose “democracy” (its practice in U.S. elections leaves much to be desired), to control foreign resources, or to intervene for other purposes.
    2. Immediately end all trade sanctions, including sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Sanctions all too often end in war, as was the case in Iraq. They furthermore disrupt the peaceful influence of international businessmen and women who have every incentive to avoid war and violence.
    3. Begin to shut down the vast majority of our foreign military bases and bring our troops home. Our wealthy allies can pay for their own defense, and our military bases in less friendly areas serve to create more enemies.
    4. Immediately end all military alliances, including those associated with NATO. The Cold War is over. We have enough nuclear weapons to destroy every country on earth. No country can reasonably declare war on the United States. The kind of terrorism we deal with cannot be addressed by massive military alliances. If a threat were to arise large enough to require an allied force to fight it off, we can create a new alliance at that time.
    5. Immediately reduce military spending by 60 percent or more. When companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrup Grumman profit from war, they have a powerful incentive to use their influence to encourage military conflict. Canceling multi-billion-dollar contracts for unneeded fighter planes, ships, and other military equipment will reduce the incentive to lobby for military adventurism. Associated cuts in government spending will reduce the deficit, reduce inflation, and stimulate the private sector economy, creating job growth.

    “The United States’ vast military arsenal is much too big, wildly overpriced, and morally unjustifiable. In addition, high government spending to fund the military contributes significantly to inflation and the risk of an economic collapse,” said Geoffrey J. Neale, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “By dramatically reducing military spending and adopting a noninterventionist foreign policy, we will foster peace throughout the world, preserve Americans’ wealth, and make America safe.”

    Libertarian websites and Facebook pages

    Libertarian party websites and Facebook pages are a great place to become acquainted with the Libertarian party.

    On the following websites, you can find out about Libertarian issues, candidates, opinions and events.

    You can also participate in discussions with many like-minded people on some of these pages!


    Websites:

    National Libertarian Party

    Michigan Libertarian Party

     

    Facebook Pages:

    National Libertarian Party Facebook Page

    Michigan Libertarian Party Facebook Page

    Michigan Libertarian Party Discussion Forum

    Livingston Libertarian Party Facebook Page

     

    Welcome, Livingston County

    Are you concerned that our state and nation are heading in the wrong direction?

    We are.

    Do you think the Democrat and Republican parties are two ineffective sides of the same dirty coin?

    We do.

    Would you like to stop the ever-increasing growth of state and federal government, endless wars in our foreign policy, and continuing erosion of our civil and economic liberties?

    We will.

    We believe you should be free to live your life and pursue your interests as you see fit, as long as you do not harm another person. We believe in our US Constitution’s Bill of Rights (all TEN of them!) and demand to see them respected at all levels of government.

    Watch this space for news on Libertarian Party meetings in Livingston County, our candidates’ activities in  elections, and editorials from our members. Click About Us to learn more about the national Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Party of Michigan.

    In liberty,
    Timothy Keirnan, Chair