Monday, July 31, 2006

Guard the borders Blogburst July 31st, 2006

The North American Union, SPP, and NASCO: Erasing America’s Borders
By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

Our government has undertaken some monumental legislation that fully impacts the American way of life, our freedom, and our sovereignty. The purpose of such legislation is to homogenize Canada, Mexico, and the United States into a North American Union - and we're all going to sleep through it.

Have you heard of a little-known program called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America? This tri-lateral partnership was signed by President Bush last year without Congressional oversight or public approval. Opponents of the SPP have called it NAFTA on steroids - and we all know how disastrous NAFTA has been for everyone except Mexico. It also appears to be modeled on the ineffective and highly unpopular European Union (unpopular with the people, that is).

I went to the website, www.spp.gov, to begin my research. There are, indeed, no boundaries between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. when it comes to the cooperation of financial, trade, and foreign affair departments. Though some of the PR language on the website sounds fairly benign, the commissions are picking up momentum. And you know what happens when bureaucrats start grasping at influence and power! Except that now we don't have to just worry about our own greedy bureaucrats - but Canada's and Mexico's too.

This is not some weird and obscure conspiracy website, it is our government's plan to literally give away or sell our national sovereignty. What is most galling is that we will share responsibility for security across North America. It is very conceivable that we could see our troops deployed to secure the southern border of Mexico. Yes, you read that right - not OUR unsecured warzone of a southern border - but Mexico's border with Belize and Guatemala. That is the conclusion of an investigative report done by Lou Dobbs on CNN:


Robert B. Murray
notes:

President George W. Bush, President Vicente Fox of Mexico, and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin agreed in March 2005 to create this union by executive regulations and agreements rather than by treaty to bypass Congress. Twenty working groups were formed and are well on their way to establishing a super-government for North America that will not be bound by our Constitution. The web site for this new bureaucracy—located at www.spp.gov—provides a look at their plans and accomplishments thus far. The plan is to have this arrangement implemented by 2010.

Behind its innocuous title, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” the United States will surrender its Constitution. According to Jerome R. Corsi, an author and political commentator, our nation-state prerogatives would be superseded by the authority of a North American court and parliamentary body and our dollar would become the “Amero.”


Possibly the strongest leg of the SPP is NASCO - North America's SuperCorridor Coalition - otherwise known as the NAFTA Superhighway. Airily dismissed by some public officials as internet rumors and hype and completely unaffordable, NASCO has quietly been amassing funding and already begun preliminary construction in Texas.

NASCO Superhighway.jpg


...already underway is the plan for a NAFTA Superhighway: 1,200 feet wide, stretching from Lazaro Cardenas on the west coast of Mexico, entering the United States at Laredo, Texas, and continuing straight north to Winnipeg, Canada, with another route to Kansas City thence north easterly to Detroit and Montreal.

Containerized goods from Asia will be offloaded onto Mexican trucks, with Mexican drivers, and distributed throughout the economic system. Go to www.nascocorridor.com to view the plan and progress. There will be no internal boundaries to restrict the flow of people, goods or services.



In fact, the first customs stop on the Superhighway will be in the heart of America - Kansas City! Along the way, primary U.S. labor unions will be by-passed in favor of Mexican labor, including the Longshoremen’s Union, the railroad United Transportation Union, and the Teamsters.

How will such a massive flow of goods and foreign traffic be monitored? According to author Jerome Corsi,

"Across the NAFTA Super-Highways will flow millions more Mexicans, now armed with North American border passes and biometric identification, as defined by the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working groups organized within the Department of Commerce."

Similar toll systems snaking their way from the southern and northern borders cutting through major American cities will force American citizens to submit to having RFID enabled identification cards which contain an ever-increasing array of information about their personal lives.

Illegal aliens with cloned RFID transponders will enjoy streamlined access to the US while Americans labor under the financial burden of tolls that go directly to foreign corporations and restrictions that take the right of free travel out of their hands. This and more is occurring without Congressional oversight, but is naturally funded with our state and federal tax dollars.


But our public officials are saying this could never happen, if only because it's completely unaffordable! Not so, since foreign investment will cover any gaps that taxing the American people leaves. Additionally, the Bush administration has embarked on a policy of selling off key US infrastructure to the highest bidder - in most cases foreign owned corporations.

[K]ey players, including the investment bankers and the worldwide capital investment funds, have a plan to address these fiscal shortcomings with their own resources. On April 30, 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed Executive Order No. 12803 on infrastructure privatization, a move that cleared the way for private capital to invest in U.S. infrastructure projects, including highways.


For instance, the Indiana Toll Road, Virginia's Pocahontas Parkway, a Texas toll road from Austin to Sequin and The Chicago Skyway have all been sold or leased for 99 years to foreign companies who will all enjoy billions in profits from American citizens forced to pay the tolls. And now the New Jersey Turnpike and the Ohio Turnpike are also under the hammer with foreign interests at the forefront of the negotiations.

An earlier Corsi article cites government websites which carry full planning details of the Super Highway. Its construction has already begun in Texas with no congressional oversight whatsoever. The Trans-Texas Corridor is being overseen by The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the contract is owned by the Cintra corporation which in turn is owned by the King of Spain Juan Carlos. The project is being financed by the implementation of a toll that will be collected by means of GPS tracking devices installed in all vehicles and also envelops many connecting roads to the highway. (Toll road info summarized by Paul Watson)

Watson further adds this dire prediction, "To even be allowed to use major roads and highways, US citizens will be subject to a criminal background check and the government will have the ability to pinpoint their particular RFID signal and remotely block it from central computer mainframes - effectively abolishing freedom of mobility in America."

President Ronald Reagan once said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” While we’ve been looking elsewhere, our own government has implemented a comprehensive plan to erase our borders with Canada and Mexico. The NAFTA Superhighway will allow vehicles, people and goods to travel from Mexico, into the American heartland, and up to Canada with little impediment, making America's borders obsolete. Coupled with Bush's blanket amnesty program, the new North American Union and the NAFTA Superhighway (NASCO) will fully expedite the wholesale dismantling of American sovereignty. It would seem that the while the rest of the world is already lining up to get their piece of the American pie, Americans will be the last to know. It is happening quietly and behind our backs, while our attention is fully engaged by the War on Terror, the upcoming elections, and our personal lives.

_________________________________

This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we’re going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another reason The Republicans need to be removed from office

House Resolution 958. This is known as "martial law" in Congressional slang. What this resolution does is suspend the normal rules so that bills can be brought out of conference and brought to the floor without allowing a 24 hour time period for lobbyists, Congressmen, Congressional staff, think tanks, and regular Americans to read the bills before they are voted on by Congress.

When this Resolution is passed then certain House Bills can come to the floor without the 24 hour time period outlined above being observed. When "martial law" is used it causes Congress to vote on Bills that they have not read and no one has had time to study at all.

House Resolution 958 was invoked THREE times yesterday by the Republicans.

House Resolution 958 is a despiciable and cheap parlimentary procedure that should be abolished.

I want Congress to read the bills they are voting on and I want them to stop playing games with us.

House Resolution 958 was voted into effect on Party lines yesterday. One Democrat voted with the Republicans and ALL REPUBLICANS voted to suspend the rules in an attempt to force through legislation that no had time to read.

I am sick and tired of The Republicans doing things like this. I remember back when they "claimed" that they would rule from a morale standpoint... It seems so long ago.

It is time to elect Libertarians.

I will vote for Libertarians when I can this election. If I am forced to vote for the lesser of two evils (One Republican verse one Democrat) I will have to look at each race individually. I will most likely vote against all incumbents unless I have a strong reason not to.

I am currently hoping the Democrats take control of either The Senate or The House.

I think we need gridlock at this point...

P.S. Mark Souder of course favored this cheap parlimentary trick...

Mike Sylvester

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Misconceptions about the Federal Minimum Wage

The House of Representatives has a strong Republican majority; yet, they are considering raising the Federal minimum wage. This makes no sense to conservatives and it should not make sense to conservatives.

There are a lot of reasons not to raise the Federal Minimum Wage:

1. The best reason is that it is unconstitutional to even have a Federal minimum wage. It should not be the Federal government's job to dictate the the fifty states what their wage laws should be. This is simple.

2. It is absurd to think that a centralized Federal government can correctly set an effective minimum wage for fifty different locations. Consider the comparison of North Dakota and Hawaii. These two states are as different as night and day. They have radically different costs of living.

3. Why on Earth does anyone think that our current batch of elected officials in Congress have the ability to correctly set a minimum wage? Our nation has current unfunded liabilities of between 50 and 75 trillion dollars. These clowns are screwing things up badly; all they care about is getting re-elected.

I think minimum wage laws should be left to the fifty states.

Keep the Federal Government out...

Mike Sylvester

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Press Release from Mike Kole

July 24, 2006 Contact
For Immediate Release Mike Kole 317-709-3874

Barring Libertarians From Ballot Embarrassing, Wrong

Kole Questions Integrity of New Hoop Only Libertarians Had To Jump Through

Fishers, IN- The Libertarian Party of Indiana (LPIN) discovered today that several of its candidates were not going to be certified by the Elections Division, because the LPIN failed to observe a new law that applied only to Libertarians.

“There is no integrity in a law like this,” said Mike Kole, Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State.

LPIN was notified Monday afternoon in a letter from the Division. The Division cited several sections of Indiana Code, but specifically highlighted IC 3-8-4-10 and IC 3-10-2-15. These sections include only those parties which win 2-10% of the SOS race.

There is only one party that is so described- the Libertarian Party. The Republicans and Democrats in the Indiana House and Senate knew that when they wrote the law. In other words, a law designed to trip up Libertarians succeeded.

“When two business giants get together to exclude their next largest competitor, it is called collusion, and it is illegal,” said Kole. “And yet, when the Republicans and Democrats conspire to exclude Libertarians, it’s just the law of the state, and must be followed,” he said, pointing to the insulting comments made by the Division in the letter:

“To be sure, the division is bound by our laws, as we are a nation of laws.”

“It’s the worst kind of hypocrisy, especially when you consider that American soldiers are dying in Iraq to make sure the Iraqi people are given what Hoosiers are being denied here- full minority party ballot representation,” said Kole.

Mike Kole is not among the candidates being kept off the ballot. Kole was nominated at the LPIN’s state convention in April, 2006, has met the filing deadlines, and will appear on the November ballot.

Kole explained how the barring of others relates to his campaign.

“Secretary of State is Indiana’s chief elections official,” said Kole. “When I am elected Secretary of State, I will use the authority of that position, as Indiana's chief elections officer, to review and scrutinize the election code for fairness, to educate the people of our state of the many inequities in the law directly and via the media, and to use the position to lobby the Indiana Legislature to strip unfair portions of the law away,” he said.”These are things that a Secretary of State interested in integrity and accountability does. These are important actions a Secretary of State who believes in fairness takes. These are things that is what I will do,” Kole stated.

#####

IC 3-8-4 and subsequent subsections pertain to state party conventions, and are found at: http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title3/ar8/ch4.html

IC 3-84-10 applies only to LPIN, and to no other political party.

IC 3-10-2 and subsequent subsections pertain to the general elections, and are found at:
http://www.ai.org/legislative/ic/code/title3/ar10/ch2.html

IC 3-10-2-15 applies only to LPIN, and to no other political party.

A high-resolution headshot photo of Mike Kole is available upon request.

Mike Kole is available for comment. Call Mike directly on 317-709-3874 to set up an interview.

Mike Kole’s media presence includes his campaign website: www.mikekole.com, and his blog, “Kole Hard Facts: www.kolehardfacts.blogspot.com.

Paid for and authorized by the Committee to Elect Mike Kole. Ken Johnson, Treasurer.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Sentinel printed a letter to the editor I submitted

The link is http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/fortwayne/15117808.htm

Text is below:

Simplify, clarify election law

I researched Indiana election law, due to the recent “loophole” that allowed the Allen County GOP to add candidates to the ballot after failing to file a “written statement of intent” to fill those vacancies by noon on June 30.

The Indiana election code is far too complicated and unclear in places. It needs to be simplified so that we encourage candidates to run for office rather then require them to consult with a cadre of lawyers.

After reading Indiana election law, I feel that the Allen County GOP did not comply with the election law. I do not wish to see their candidates disqualified; I wish to see the pertinent sections of Indiana code rewritten by the General Assembly.

Indiana election law should be written so that citizens can easily understand it. Indiana election law should be written to encourage citizens to run for office. Indiana election law should not be a barrier to the democratic process.

Indiana needs a secretary of state who will push the legislature to simplify Indiana’s election law. Indiana needs Mike Kole, Libertarian candidate for secretary of state. He says, “The law should be easy for average citizens to understand, should encourage participation from candidates of all parties and should encourage participation by voters because their views are best represented when all parties participate.”

Mike Sylvester, chairman Libertarian Party of Allen County

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My mother's cats

I have been less active with my blog since my mother fell down her stairs and broke her leg in two places for obvious reasons. I have had to help my mother, I had to move her cats over to my house, and I have had to deal with my "little" brother.

My mother is doing quite well. I am thinking she will spend another 4 weeks in the nursing home undergoing rehabilitation. Then I will move her into my house for a couple months.

My mother's cats are both finally here in my house. Rascal is a friendly cat and I brought him over last week. He has adjusted to my house and my kids fairly well. Realize this, I am not a cat person...

Buddy is my mother's other cat. He has been "the cat from hell." It took me until TODAY to bring him over. He has always been very anti-social. He HATES going to the vet or being forcibly taken anywhere. I had to give him a cat tranquilizer today. I took him to the vet, took him to visit mother, and then brought him here...

He is currently under my bed hissing at the other cat...

My brother is another story for another post, he has been out of prison for about 10 weeks. There is no doubt in my mind he will be back in prison within 3 months...

Mike Sylvester

Monday, July 24, 2006

Our Government

As most of you know The United States supports both Israel and its military. We give them billions of dollars a year and we give them specific military aid.

We also give foreign aid to Lebanon. Now we are giving emergency humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

Israel is bombing the crap out of Lebanon...

We are spending money on both sides. We do that a lot...

Mike Sylvester

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My opinion of Israel and the current conflict

This may come as a surprise to some of you.

Those of you who read this blog know that I am a military veteran and I am a strong proponent of The United States military. I understand that war is often necessary and it is an ugly business.

Israel is currently attacking Hezbollah. Hezbollah is located in southern Lebanon. I think Israel has a right to defend itself against Hezbollah. I think Israel should respond against Hezbollah with precision military strikes.

Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and I think Israel should destroy it.

Precision military strikes regrettably would kill a certain number of civilians. This is a result of war. Civilian casualties will occur in any conflict; however, they should be minimized.

Based on the news coverage I have seen I do not feel that Israel is using precision military strikes and I do not feel they are minimizing civilian casualties as much as they should.

Israel only exists due to constant financial support from the United States. We give a few billion dollars to Israel to prop up their government every year.

The United States is currently racking up an astronomic Federal Debt that is the legacy we will pass on to our children and grand children. One of the first places we need to cut Federal spending is on foreign aid.

I think that all foreign aid should stop at once. It should not be the business of The Federal government to prop up foreign governments. That is absurd.

If individual citizens want to aid certain countries that is fine; my tax dollars should not be used in this manner.

I am in favor for cutting all foreign aid; including that to Israel.

I am 100% in favor is Israel defending itself.

Mike Sylvester

Friday, July 21, 2006

Are you a fiscal conservative?

I am a fiscal conservative. That is the main reason I left the Republican Party.

As a fiscal conservative I feel that we should NOT run annual budget deficits. Annual deficits add to The National Debt and cause future generations to pay for both the National Debt and interest on The National Debt.

Many of the people who read this blog are Libertarians; however, there are Democrats and Republicans and Independents as well.

I do not want to increase taxes. In fact, I want to eliminate a lot of taxes and I want to simplify the tax code.

To decrease taxes and not run an annual budget deficit we need to cut a lot of domestic spending. I am going to list five places I feel we can cut spending. I would ask you to do the same in the comments section!

It is hard for me to limit spending cuts to five things; but, here it goes:

1. I would eliminate all pork and earmarks from Federal and State budgets. These projects mainly exist to get politicians re-elected. This would result in annual savings in the neighborhood of 70 billion dollars a year.

2. I would eliminate all agricultural subsidies. This is America and the freemarket should dictate farm prices. Did you know that the US government was subsidizing tobacco farmers at the same time it was suing the heck out of cigarette companies? The subsidies on sugar are staggering. We have limited the number of peanut farmers in the United States. All of this must go... This would result in annual savings of 20 billion dollars per year.

3. I would eliminate the entire Federal Department of Education. It should not exist in the first place. It is a tremendous waste of money. The Federal Department of Education is the main reason the cost of tuition and public education is increasing in the US in my opinion. Remember that The Federal Department of Education imposes a huge number of laws and rules on the fifty states and these laws cost huge sums of money to implement and have not improved education in my opinion. Also realize that all of the money that we have thrown at education have caused the costs of education to skyrocket. Everytime we give more money in grants colleges raise their tuition that same amount. It is an endless cycle. This would save about 64 billion a year.

4. I would eliminate all "no bid" contracts. I do not believe in "no bid" contracts in the first place. Our government ends up paying far more for many items due to "no bid" contracts. I have no idea how much this would save us per year; but, I think it would be a large number.
I would guess, and this is just a guess, that we would save at least 10 billion dollars a year.

5. I would consolidate Federal programs. We currently have far too many Federal programs. We have around 100 Federal programs for education. We have around 60 Federal programs for low income housing. We should consolidate all of these Federal programs immediately. This would eliminate a lot of needless adminstration and it would eliminate a lot of waste. I am not sure how much savings would result from this. I have seen estimates around 50 billion a year, so I will use that. I am not sure how much money this would save...

The above five items would save us around 264 nillion dollars a year. This eliminate much of the current annual budget deficit.

Please let me know what you would cut and please let me know what you think of my five cuts...



Thursday, July 20, 2006

President Bush and his first veto

President Bush issued his first veto and he vetoed a bill that would expand "stem cell" research.

It is amazing to me that he has signed so many terrible bills into law in the last five and a half years and when he finally decides to veto a bill he chooses this one.

As a fiscal conservative there are so many bills he should have vetoed in the last few years including:

No Child Left Behind
Prescription Drugs for Seniors
A massive aid package for New Orleans that is way to large
Huge budgets full of THOUSANDS of wasteful projects and earmarks...

President Bush proved to me again that he is NOT a fiscal conservative (he is a social conservative). President Bush is another large Government Republican.

I have recently heard a lot of right wing talk show hosts accusing the Democratic party of pandering to the anti-war portion of their political base of supporters. I agree with those on the right wing on that issue.

That being said, Bush is pandering to the social conservative portion of his political base. He is doing the exact same thing The Democratic Party is doing with their anti-war base.

Both Party's are pandering...

If you think President Bush did the right thing by vetoing this bill please let us know why you agree with his veto in the comment section...

I am really interested in knowing what the local right wing thinks including Tim Zank, Andrew Kaduk, AWB, and William Larsen.

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Libertarians at Large television show

The live call-in show the Libertarian of Allen County produces will air tomorrow night (Thursday, July 20th) on Comcast channel 57 from 7 PM - 8 PM.

Please watch and please call in!

Our guest will be Steve Osborn. Steve Osborn is the only candidate running against Mr. Luger for United States Senate this year.

If you would like to call in and ask a question tomorrow night please call (260) 422 – 3902.

Mike Sylvester

Monday, July 17, 2006

Guard the borders Blogburst, July 17th, 2006

A Clarification on my Position on Immigration

Written By Linda at Right as Usual

In talking to some readers, I realized that they were under the impression that I disliked immigrants.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

My maiden name sounded distinctly "ethnic" and unusual. As a result, most people assumed that I was one of the many displaced people that arrived in the Cleveland area after WWII, including the recently arrived.

I, not being the brightest bulb in the pack, just thought they were interested in fascinating me when they eagerly initiated conversations. I didn't realize at the time they were hoping to talk to a fellow "newbie".

This resulted in my acquiring friendships with people from:


    * Estonia
    * Germany
    * Brazil
    * Lebanon
    * Syria
    * India
    * Taiwan
    * Japan
    * Hong Kong
    * Pakistan
    * Vietnam
    * England
    * Greece
    * Jordan
    * Romania
    * Hungary
    * Poland
    * Spain
    * Peru
    * Korea
    * Austria
    * Liberia
    * Yugoslavia
    * Mexico




...just to name the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

With the exception of one person from Mexico, they all had something in common - they LEGALLY immigrated.

And that's the crux of my "problem" with immigration. I simply think it's unfair to keep allowing people to flow over the border without going through channels. Some want to think of themselves as compassionate people, who gladly accept the "poor, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free".

Yeah, right. By allowing those who ignore inconvenient laws to escape retribution, our country is denying law-abiding foreigners to claim their rightful spot in the queue. Folks, we can't accept everybody. The world holds over 6 billion people. At what point would you like us to stop taking everyone in?

When our economy breaks down under the strain of taking in under-educated, under-skilled workers? Many of them don't contribute to Social Security and taxes - they are paid under the table.

When our schools no longer have the ability to educate our children? It costs money to provide ESL services, folks.

When the illegals outnumber the natives? And vote against democracy? See last week's Blogburst articles for examples of THAT.

Any discussion of immigration has to begin with a recognition that we can't take in a flood of people without documentation, who started that journey by breaking the law, and who largely don't speak much English and have little education or skills. To do so jeopardizes the very structure of our society. We can bring in SOME, we can adjust to helping them assimilate, we just can't manage the process with this many at once.

Yeah, I know they just want to work. The question to ask is, would you give up YOUR job to help the immigrant? Would you take them into YOUR house? Would you work a second job to pay for educating their kids?

If not, then you haven't the right to expect the rest of the country to do what you won't do.


__________________________________________

This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It is syndicated by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration in our country, join the Blogburst! Send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

A poll I hope you will take

If you are a Libertarian I hope you will take the time to vote in today's National Libertarian Poll!

http://www.lp.org/poll.shtml

Mike Sylvester

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Next meeting of The Libertarian party of Allen County

JULY 17 - Third Monday Libertarian Party of Allen County Business Meeting At the Munchie's Emporium & Mad Anthony Brewery back room, 1109 Taylor and Broadway Map 7pm: Dinner, games, conversation 8pm: Business Meeting

We hope to see everyone at tomorrow night’s meeting!

Mike Sylvester

Saturday, July 15, 2006

National Libertarian membership Pledge

The National Libertarian membership Pledge states: "I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR ADVOCATE THE INITIATION OF FORCE AS A MEANS OF ACHIEVING POLITICAL OR SOCIAL GOALS."

I am a fairly vocal opponent of this Pledge. I have several reasons for disliking this "Pledge." I was recently contacted by a Libertarian who reads this blog. He convinced me that one of my reasons is WRONG. After thinking about it, he is 100% right, one of my reasons is 100% wrong.

I have been using a false argument to oppose "The Pledge" for some period of time. I plan on discussing it further in this post.

One of the reasons I have previously used when explaining why I dislike "The Pledge" was because I felt that it would prevent those who signed it from overthrowing an oppressive and unconscionable government.

I was mis-understanding the word "initiation."

If my government ever decided to 100% ignore The Constitution and became extremely oppressive then it is obvious that the government has "initiated" force with me and I could obviously respond to defend myself.

Believe it or not, I never thought about it that way.

I am glad that one of my readers contacted me and explained it to me! I am not going to use that argument again; it is not a valid argument...

I still have reasons why I oppose "The Pledge." The above reason is no longer one of them...

I encourage EVERYONE who reads this blog to feel free to contact me.

I started this blog to facilitate dialogue... Dialogue should go both ways!

Mike Sylvester

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tina Taviano

My discussion with Tina Taviano:

I met with Tina Taviano for about an hour to discuss her bid to become the next Sheriff of Allen County.

Please remember that I am not a reporter, I am an opinionated guy who runs a blog and is The Chairman of The Libertarian Party of Allen County.

Tina has a very good website that can be viewed at <http://www.tavianoforsheriff.com/>.

Tina has an impressive resume that should be viewed at her website.

Tina has over 23 years experience as an Allen County police officer. She has spent time as Director of Training, Patrol Supervisor, Jail Supervisor, and as a Detective.

Tina has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Public Affairs.

Things that impressed me about Tina Taviano:

1. Tina speaks well and convinced me that she has a strong grasp of business
principles.
2. Tina is a proponent of combining certain services when it provides a benefit. The
benefit can be either financial or increased efficiency.
3. Tina believes in both long term planning and capital budgeting. As far as I am
concerned this is what impressed me the most during our discussion. Long term
planning and capital budgeting are terms that are rarely, if ever, used in our local
government.

Ideas that Tina expressed to me that interested me:

1. She feels the new Sheriff’s building should be downtown rather then on Lima Road.
2. She feels that The Allen County Sheriff’s Department should form stronger
partnerships with non profit organizations and social service organizations.
3. She feels there should be a stronger focus placed on:
a. Sex Offenders
b. Domestic Violence
c. Drug Interdiction
4. She feels that the fifteen Sheriffs stationed at the jail could be utilized more
efficiently.

My overall impressions:

1. I think Tina has the administrative and business skills to be an effective Sheriff.
2. I think Tina would bring a completely fresh perspective to the office of Sheriff.

Allen County is fortunate to have an active race for Sheriff. The position of sheriff is very important to the community and we need to ensure we elect the most qualified candidate for the job.

The Libertarian Party of Allen County produces 30 minute television shows that are aired on Comcast channel 57 twice a week. One is shown at 4 PM each Saturday and the other is shown at 9 Am each Friday. All three candidates for sheriff have graciously consented to tape a thirty minute show with Doug Horner.

I am looking forward to viewing these interviews to determine who I am going to vote for in November! I hope you do the same.

Mike Sylvester
Chairman of the Libertarian party of Allen County

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Scott Wise announces his Campaign for Indiana's 3rd Congressional District

Media Release: July 13th, 2006
Scott Wise to run for Congressional District 3 as a Libertarian
Scott Wise: phone: (260)799-4325
swise4@yahoo.com
6857 N. 350 W. Columbia City, IN

A Republican, who is currently a Whitley County Council member, today announced his bid to win the Indiana 3rd District U.S. Congress seat as a Libertarian.

This begins Scott Wise’s America First Campaign which is based on 3 planks:
1). Put America First: America deserves a government that addresses our most pressing concerns directly. We must change the “Business as Usual” mentality of our government, especially after 9/11 and the newly understood realities of the world we live in.
2). Cut the Fat: The overwhelming size and waste in our bloated Federal government is suffocating us. We should strive for negative growth in the Federal budget for the next 10 years.
3). Control Immigration: America needs orderly, enforced immigration and secure borders.

“Washington is out of touch with the American people. It is a sad state of affairs when the best interests of the American people rank behind re-election concerns and party loyalty,” said Wise. Wise seeks to build a bi-partisan coalition in the House of Representatives focused on the best interests of the country, its people, and its future.

Wise is 38 years old. He is a lifelong resident of the 3rd district having lived or worked in Whitley, Noble, Lagrange, Elkhart and Kosciusko counties.
He graduated from Westview High School in 1985, and from Indiana University – South Bend in 1993, where his studies included public affairs and foreign relations.

Scott has been involved in his community by coaching boys ½ pint baseball and kindergarten soccer, he is a former board member of the Columbia City Area Chamber of Commerce where he helped develop a team that started a community leadership training program in Whitley County. He currently serves on the Whitley County Council as a Republican and has worked hard for the local Republican Party in fundraisers and events.

“The Republican Party talks a good game,” says Wise, “but its record is far from fiscally conservative, and they do not seem to act responsibly on the pressing issues of the day. It is time for a third party to stand up and demand the American people’s place at the table, and the Libertarian Party of Indiana is poised to do just that.”

The Scott Wise campaign may be reached at (260) 503-1172, or contact Campaign Manager Mike Sylvester at (260)338-0833

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Information about The Libertarian Reform Caucus

As most of the readers of this blog know I have joined that Libertarian Reform Caucus and I am an active member of it. I have included some more information about the LRC below. I haop you take the time to visit their website and I hope you join them as soon as possible!



Restoring liberty in the near future is feasible. Given the constraints of the U.S. political system, the logical course of action follows:

Observation 1: The Democratic and Republican parties are loath to nominate libertarians.

Corollary 1: The cause of liberty requires a libertarian party to get libertarians on the ballot.

Observation 2: The United States elects its legislators using district-based elections.

Corollary 2: Winning office requires actually winning elections. Garnering 5-10% of the vote at-large wins nothing.

Conclusion: Fringe politics does not work in the United States. A political party must appeal to a plurality of voters (effectively, at least 40%) in some districts in order to win elections. Since districts vary, such a party could get away with appealing to less nationwide, but it must at least appeal to 20-30%.

In other words, for the Libertarian Party to be effective, it must appeal to the top 20-30% of freedom-lovers. Appealing to the tiny minority of freedom-lovers who want no government at all, or something very close to that, is a recipe for failure.

The platform and message of the Libertarian Party is extreme, sacrificing practicality and political appeal in favor of philosophical consistency with a single axiom. As such, the party currently appeals only to a tiny fraction of the voting public.

The Libertarian Reform Caucus is working to reform the Libertarian Party, to turn it into an effective tool for increasing liberty.

As a first step, we are working on an improved Libertarian platform, one that LP candidates can proudly quote and still win elections. To broaden the appeal of the platform, we are improving it along three lines:
The platform should propose a realistic vision for the next few years, as opposed to an idealistic vision of a libertarian future. The public expects a party platform to show what a party's candidates intend to do during the next term of office. If the party wants a long term vision statement, it should be in a separate document labeled as such.
The platform should unite libertarians instead of dividing them. Where libertarians disagree, the platform should be silent. The party should be a tool for all libertarians.
The platform should be based on the realization that there are other important values in addition to the non-initiation of force. Freedom is extremely valuable, but it is not the only value.
The result of these platform reforms will be imperfect in the eyes of many libertarians. However, we feel it is better to take partial steps now towards a more libertarian society than to stand on the sidelines while the statists take us further down the road towards tyranny and bankruptcy. Also, we can always refine the platform in the future, after the people have experienced the benefits of increased liberty. A political platform is not a constitution.
With a quality platform and message the Libertarian Party will begin to be a far more useful tool for restoring liberty. Nevertheless, other improvements are possible. On this site we are also debating various aspects of party organization and strategy, such as:
Should we change or eliminate the membership oath? Can a real political party be a small exclusive club?
Should we change the bylaws? Our current bylaws give past members more power than current members in setting the platform. New planks or changes to old planks require a 2/3 vote. Keeping old planks requires a mere majority vote.
Is standard parliamentary procedure optimal for crafting a platform? Should debate be won by those who win the game of "whack-a-mole" by getting their hands up first in calling for an amendment? How about more advanced voting systems?
Are our strategies optimal? Should we put so much emphasis on presidential races or not? Should we try to make a difference in three-way races or focus on where we can win? Should we avoid running candidates and support the better of the legacy party candidates when one shows libertarian tendencies?
If you like
what we are doing, please join us. Your membership will entitle you to vote on which proposals and essays that you like and do not like. You do not have to be a Libertarian Party member to join the caucus; you only need to agree with our Statement of Purpose.
Please keep in mind that this site is a work in progress. The various platform proposals and essays are the opinions of the respective authors. We hope to receive many more platform proposals and essays from a wide variety of people as we grow. The opinions of the Caucus itself will be reflected in the votes on the various proposals/essays by the Caucus as members vote on platform proposals and rate the essays.

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ABC has ANOTHER story illustrating what is wrong with our Federal government

Please check out this story at ABC:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2179090&page=1

The story is discussing the likelihood that the Federal government will encourage all medical organizations to start testing for Aids/HIV.

This sure will not help decrease the cost of health care... Good grief...

I have NO problem with individuals asking their medical professionals to test them for diseases; but, lets keep The Federal government out of these basic health care decisions...

Mike Sylvester

Libertarian National Platform

Hat Tip to Kevin Tunstall at
http://www.fortbendlp.org/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=127#127

Below is the current National Libertarian Platform after The Portland Convention:

Platform of the National Libertarian Party Adopted in Convention, July 2, 2006, Portland Oregon

Preamble
As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized. Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power. In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles. These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

Statement of Principles
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual. 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. Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent. We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation. Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

I. Individual Rights and Civil Order
No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

I.1 Freedom and Responsibility
The Issue:
Personal responsibility is discouraged by government denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. In fact, the denial of freedom fosters irresponsibility.
The Principle:
Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe people must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Solutions:
Libertarian policies will promote a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.
Transitional Action:
Repeal all laws that presume government knows better than the individual how to run that person's life. Encourage private sector dissemination of information to help consumers make informed decisions on products and services. Enforce laws against fraud and misrepresentation.

I.2 Freedom of Communication
The Issue:
We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation or control of communications media, including, but not limited to, laws concerning: a) Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an abridgment of liberty of _expression despite claims that it instigates rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women; b) Reception and storage equipment, such as digital audio tape recorders and radar warning devices, and the manufacture of video terminals by telephone companies; c) Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom; d) Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", file libraries, websites, and other new information media, as these deserve full freedom; or e) Commercial speech or advertising. We oppose speech codes at all schools that are primarily tax funded. Language that is deemed offensive to certain groups is not a cause for legal action. We strongly oppose the government's burgeoning practice of invading newsrooms, or the premises of other innocent third parties, in the name of law enforcement. We further oppose court orders gagging news coverage of criminal proceedings -- the right to publish and broadcast must not be abridged merely for the convenience of the judicial system. We deplore any efforts to impose thought control on the media, either by the use of anti-trust laws, or by any other government action in the name of stopping "bias."
The Principle:
We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself. We recognize that full freedom of _expression is possible only as part of a system of full property rights. The freedom to use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a hall; the freedom to own a printing press, a broadcasting station, or a transmission cable; the freedom to host and publish information on the Internet; the freedom to wave or burn one's own flag; and similar property-based freedoms are precisely what constitute freedom of communication. At the same time, we recognize that freedom of communication does not extend to the use of other people's property to promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent of the owners.
Solutions:
We would provide for free market ownership of airwave frequencies, deserving of full First Amendment protection. We oppose government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any communications organization. Removal of all of these regulations and practices throughout the communications media would open the way to diversity and innovation. We shall not be satisfied until the First Amendment is expanded to protect full, unconditional freedom of communication. Transitional Action:
We advocate the abolition of the Federal Communications Commission. I.3 Freedom of Religion Issue: Government routinely invades personal privacy rights based solely on individuals' religious beliefs. Arbitrary tax structures are designed to give aid to certain religions, and deny it to others. Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. Solution: In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation of church and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or attack any religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reason that we oppose all taxation. We condemn the attempts by parents or any others -- via kidnappings or conservatorships -- to force children to conform to any religious views. Government harassment or obstruction of religious groups for their beliefs or non-violent activities must end. Transitional Action: We call for an end to the harassment of churches by the Internal Revenue Service through threats to deny tax-exempt status to churches that refuse to disclose massive amounts of information about themselves.

I.4 Property Rights
The Issue:
The right to property and its physical resources, which is the fundamental cornerstone of a free and prosperous society, has been severely compromised by government at all levels. Public Policy instruments including eminent domain, zoning laws, building codes, rent control, regional planning, property taxes, resource management and public health legislation remove property rights from owners and transfer them to the State, while raising costs of property ownership. Public ownership of real property, beyond that which is explicitly authorized in the Constitution, and claims against resources both owned and unowned (such as the oceans or waterways) is illegitimate and creates scarcity and conflict where none would otherwise exist.
The Principle:
Only individuals and private entities have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes on the valid rights of others. Resource management and planning are the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water and other natural resources. Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of governments and within such unclaimed territory as the ocean, Antarctica and extraterrestrial bodies.
Solutions:
All public lands and resources, as well as claims thereto, except as explicitly allowed by the Constitution, shall be returned to private ownership, with the proceeds of sale going to retire public liabilities. Resource rights shall be defined as property rights, including riparian rights. All publicly owned infrastructures including dams and parks shall be returned to private ownership and all taxing authority for such public improvements shall sunset. Property related services shall be supplied by private markets and paid for by user fees, and regulation of property shall be limited to that which secures the rights of individuals. There will be no legal barriers to peaceful, private, voluntary attempts to explore, industrialize and colonize any extra-terrestrial resources. The federal government shall be held as liable as any individual for pollution or other transgression against property or resources. Transitional Action: Rescind all taxation of real property. Property, resources and rights taken from their legitimate owners by government or by government supported private action, shall be restored to the rightful owners. Reverse the Supreme Court decision regarding eminent domain - Kelo v City of New London. Repeal all legislation that transfers property rights to the state, including those enacted in the name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit estimates, the promotion or restriction of economic growth, health or national security claims. Sunset all federal agencies that own, regulate or administer property, as well as agencies at the local level which exercise control over private property and resources. Rescind and oppose all international treaties that exercise government control over unowned resources. I.5 The Right to Privacy The Issue: Privacy protections have been eroded gradually over many years. The Social Security Number has become a universal ID number, causing rampant and massive identity theft. Government routinely keeps records on the bank accounts, travel plans, and spending habits of law-abiding civilians, for no other reason than they "might" commit a crime in the future. The Principle: The individual's right to privacy, property, and right to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government. The government should not use electronic or other means of covert surveillance of an individual's actions or private property without the consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other financial transactions and records, doctors' and lawyers' communications, employment records, and the like should not be open to review by government without the consent of all parties involved in those actions. Private contractual arrangements, including labor contracts, must be founded on mutual consent and agreement in a society that upholds freedom of association. On the other hand, we oppose any use of such screening by government or regulations requiring government contractors to impose any such screening. Solutions: We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment and oppose any government use of search warrants to examine or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties. We oppose all restrictions and regulations on the private development, sale, and use of encryption technology. We specifically oppose any requirement for disclosure of encryption methods or keys, including the government's proposals for so-called "key escrow" which is truly government access to keys, and any requirement for use of government- specified devices or protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian research on encryption methods. If a private employer screens prospective or current employees via questionnaires, polygraph tests, urine tests for drugs, blood tests for AIDS, or other means, this is a condition of that employer's labor contracts. Such screening does not violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott such employers if they choose. We oppose the issuance by the government of an identity card, to be required for any purpose, such as employment, voting, or border crossing. We further oppose the nearly universal requirement for use of the Social Security Number as a personal identification code, whether by government agencies or by intimidation of private companies by governments.
Transitional Action:
We also oppose police roadblocks aimed at randomly, and without probable cause, testing drivers for intoxication and police practices to stop mass transit vehicles and search passengers without probable cause. So long as the National Census and all federal, state, and other government agencies' compilations of data on an individual continue to exist, they should be conducted only with the consent of the persons from whom the data is sought. We oppose government regulations that require employers to provide health insurance coverage for employees, which often encourage unnecessary intrusions by employers into the privacy of their employees.

I.6 The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
The Issue:
Governments at all levels often violate their citizens' right of self defense with laws that restrict, limit or outright prohibit the ownership and use of firearms. These "gun control" laws are often justified by the mistaken premise that they will lead to a reduction in the level of violence in our society.
The Principle:
The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms.
Solutions:
We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulating or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition. We support repeal of all gun control laws. We demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Transition:
We oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, "mace" or other self-protection devices. We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe. We favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials") and semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or feeding devices.

I.7 Conscription
The Issue:
Any form of coerced national service program is a type of involuntary servitude. Examples include conscription into the military and compulsory youth labor programs.
The Principle:
Coerced national service programs presume the government can claim ownership of the lives of individuals. Such programs are a form of involuntary servitude and are a clear violation of the US Constitution 13th Amendment.
Solutions:
All forms of national service will be staffed by willing participants without the need for conscription or other means of mandating such service. When people perceive a just cause, history has shown that they willingly volunteer to serve.
Transitional Action:
All schemes for automatic registration through government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle or other records should be immediately eliminated. The still-functioning elements of the Selective Service System should be abolished and all associated records should be destroyed. The President should immediately pardon, providing unconditional exoneration, for all who have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military in cases of conscription or fraud and other acts of civil resistance.

I.8 Reproductive Rights
The Issue:
The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition. Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.
The Principle:
Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for other people's abortions, nor should any government or individual force a woman to have an abortion. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman regardless of age, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births.
Solutions:
We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization or any other form of birth control. Specifically we condemn the practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients, or of mentally retarded or "genetically defective" individual. We support the voluntary exchange of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or related medical or biological technologies. We oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion.
Transitional Action:
We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing or child prevention built into our present laws.

I.9 Sexuality and Gender
The Issue:
Politicians use popular fears and taboos to legally impose a particular code of moral and social values. Government regularly denies rights and privileges on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Principle:
Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have legitimate authority to define or license personal relationships. Sexuality or gender should have no impact on the rights of individuals.
Solutions:
Culture wars, social friction and prejudice will fade when marriage and other personal relationships are treated as private contracts, solely defined by the individuals involved, and government discrimination is not allowed.
Transitional Action:
Repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act and state laws and amendments defining marriage. Oppose any new laws or Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private relationships. Repeal any state or federal law assigning special benefits to people based on marital status, family structure, sexual orientation or gender identification. Repeal any state or federal laws denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others, such as adoption of children and spousal immigration. End the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for sexual orientation. Upgrade all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned solely for such reasons to honorable status, and delete related information from military personnel files. Repeal all laws discriminating by gender, such as protective labor laws and marriage, divorce, and custody laws which deny the full rights of each individual.

II. Trade and the Economy
We believe that each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. Therefore we oppose all intervention by government into the area of economics. The only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers. We believe that all individuals have the right to dispose of the fruits of their labor as they see fit and that government has no right to take such wealth. We oppose government-enforced charity such as welfare programs and subsidies, but we heartily applaud those individuals and private charitable organizations that help the needy and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile causes through voluntary activities.

II.1 Government Debt
The Issue:
The national debt imposes debt upon Americans without their consent, and loads our economy with a fiscal anchor that will burden many future generations. Our escalating national debt is nothing less than theft from our grandchildren.
The Principle:
The government should operate on a "pay as you go" basis, and not incur debt.
Solutions:
A debt-free government frees up economic resources, allowing for lower taxes, economic growth and lower interest rates.
Transitional Action:
Eliminate the national debt using an incremental approach, being careful to avoid social disruption. We support the passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the US Constitution that restricts Congress from spending any more than it collected in revenue the previous year. Eliminate earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and other forms of political corruption. Congress should sell assets and reduce spending on non-essential functions to pay off the national debt as quickly as possible.

II.2 Corporate Welfare, Monopolies & Subsidies
The Issue:
Subsidies, government-granted monopolies, and other forms of corporate welfare today exist as privileges granted by government to those with political access. These destroy the level playing field that free markets depend on, create a corrupt relationship between government authority and special interests, and are unconstitutional. Furthermore, the loans by government-sponsored entities, even when not guaranteed by the government, constitute another form of subsidy.
The Principle:
Individuals must be free to be aggressive competitors and form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association in the market place, and must enjoy no state-sponsored advantage. Those who best supply a good or service in the market will enjoy natural dominance only as long as they continue to benefit consumers. Subsidies and government-granted monopolies protect the non-competitive from market forces.
Solutions:
Replacement of all government-granted monopolies and subsidies with deregulated free markets and informed consumers will benefit both consumers and producers, eliminate political favoritism, and maintain a strict separation of markets and state authority. Genuine crimes committed to create a monopoly, such as blackmail, bribery, fraud, libel or slander are prosecuted as any other crime.
Transitional Action:
Eliminate all federal grants of monopoly or subsidy to any private companies, such as utilities, airlines, energy companies, agriculture, science, medicine, broadcasting, the arts and sports teams. Repeal all anti-trust laws. All federal agencies whose primary function is to make or guarantee corporate loans must be abolished or privatized. I

I.3 Public Services
The Issue:
Federal, state and local governments have created inefficient service monopolies throughout the economy. From the US Postal Service to municipal garbage collection and water works, government is forcing citizens to use monopoly services. These are services that the private sector is already capable of providing in a manner that gives the public better service at a competitive price.
The Principle:
A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Consumers of services should not have their choices arbitrarily limited by law.
Solutions:
Libertarian policies will seek to divest government of all functions that can be provided by non-governmental organizations or private individuals.
Transitional Actions:
All rate regulation in utilities should transition to free market pricing. End the Postal Service's monopoly and allow for the free competition in all aspects of mail delivery. State and local monopoly services should be opened to free-market competition. Local and state governments can auction assets such as utility systems and landfills to private industry, thereby immediately reducing the tax burden on their citizens.

III. Domestic Ills Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor themselves.

III.1 Crime and Victimless Crime
The Issue:
Violent crime and fraud threaten the lives, happiness and belongings of Americans. Government's ability to protect the rights and property of individuals from crimes of violence and fraud is compromised because resources are focused on vice rather than on real crimes. Laws that codify "victimless crimes" turn those who simply conduct voluntary transactions and exercise free choice into criminals. This results in the United States having one of the highest percentages of the population in prison of any country in the world; yet real crime remains prevalent in many parts of the country.
Principle:
Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud, or deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Individuals retain the right to voluntarily assume risk of harm to themselves in the exercise of free choice. Solution:
The appropriate way for the federal government to address crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights. The law enforcement resources of the federal government can be used most efficiently if limited to appropriate federal concerns. Limiting law enforcement to true crime will restore respect for the law and those who enforce it.
Transitional Action:
Immediately reform the justice system's mandatory sentencing policies to ensure that violent offenders are not released from jail to make room for non-violent offenders. Repeal criminal laws which work against the protection of the rights and freedom of American citizens, residents or visitors, particularly laws which create a crime where no victim exists.

III.2 The War on Drugs
The Issue:
The suffering that drug misuse has brought about is deplorable; however, drug prohibition causes more harm than drugs themselves. The so-called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war against the American people, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in the world.
The Principle:
Individuals should have the right to use drugs, whether for medical or recreational purposes, without fear of legal reprisals, but must be held legally responsible for the consequences of their actions only if they violate others' rights.
Solutions:
Social involvement by individuals is essential to address the problem of substance misuse and abuse. Popular education and assistance groups are a better approach than prohibition, and we support the activities of private organizations as the best way to move forward on the issue. Transitional Action:
Repeal all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs. Repeal laws that infringe upon individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property as protected by the Fourth Amendment. Stop the use of "anti-crime" measures such as profiling or civil asset forfeiture that reduce the standard of proof historically borne by government in prosecutions. Stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon those previously convicted.

IV. Foreign Affairs American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives, liberty, and property of the American people on American soil. Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people everywhere. The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships between governments. The United States government should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and immigration.

IV.1 Immigration
The Issue:
Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor secure. This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to hire undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to nor protected by the law. A completely open border allows foreign criminals, carriers of communicable diseases, terrorists and other potential threats to enter the country unchecked. Pandering politicians guarantee access to public services for undocumented aliens, to the detriment of those who would enter to work productively, and increasing the burden on taxpayers.
The Principle:
The legitimate function and obligation of government to protect the lives, rights and property of its citizens, requires awareness of and control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demands that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.
Solutions:
Borders will be secure, with free entry to those who have demonstrated compliance with certain requirements. The terms and conditions of entry into the United States must be simple and clearly spelled out. Documenting the entry of individuals must be restricted to screening for criminal background and threats to public health and national security. It is the obligation of the prospective immigrant to demonstrate compliance with these requirements. Once effective immigration policies are in place, general amnesties will no longer be necessary.
Transitional Action:
Ensure immigration requirements include only appropriate documentation, screening for criminal background and threats to public health and national security. Simplifying the immigration process and redeployment of surveillance technology to focus on the borders will encourage the use of regular and monitored entry points, thus preventing trespass and saving lives. End federal requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the country illegally. Repeal all measures that punish employers for hiring undocumented workers. Repeal all immigration quotas.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Allen County GOP and Indiana Election Law

Election Law Reform

I have researched Indiana Election Law due to the recent “loophole” that allowed the Allen County GOP to add candidates to the ballot after they failed to file a “written statement of intent” to fill those vacancies by noon on June 30th, 2006.

I feel that all of the Republican candidates who were added to the ballot on July 3rd should be allowed to run for office in Allen County. I do not think any candidates should be disqualified due to a poorly written and vague set of Election Laws.

I have contacted several experts on Indiana Election Law and I spent several hours reading Indiana Election Code. The Indiana Election Code is far too complicated and it is unclear in several places; it needs to be simplified and written so that we encourage candidates to run for office rather then require them to consult with a cadre of lawyers.

After reading Indiana Election Law I feel that The Allen County GOP did not comply with the Election Law as it is written. I do not wish to see their candidates disqualified; I wish to see the pertinent sections of Indiana Code rewritten by the Indiana Legislature.

Indiana Election Law should be written so that citizens can easily understand it. Indiana Election Law should be written to encourage citizens to run for office. Indiana Election Law should not be a barrier to the democratic process.

Indiana needs a Secretary of State that will “lead the charge” and will push the Indiana Legislature to simplify Indiana’s Election Law. Indiana needs Mike Kole. Mike Kole is the Libertarian Candidate for Secretary of State. Mike Kole believes “The law should be easy for average citizens to understand, should encourage participation from candidates of all parties, and should encourage participation by voters because their views are best represented when all parties participate.”

Mike Sylvester
Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Allen County

Monday, July 10, 2006

Coming soon, my interview with Tina Taviano

I interviewed the Democratic candidate for Allen County Sheriff.

I will post a synopsis of our discussion in a couple of days.

Mike Sylvester

Another reason NOT to vote for any Republicans or Democrats

I am a fiscal conservative. I believe that we should minimize government spending and that we should pay for projects as we go.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats feel as I do. This is becoming more and more apparent on the National, State, and local levels...

Consider Fort Wayne and Allen County. Our combined tax burden is 100.1% of the National average. In other words, we pay SLIGHTLY more in taxes then the average locality in the US.

That may change for many residents in the near future...

One of the things that makes me most angry at our elected Republicans and Democrats in this area is the fact that they DO NOT PLAN for the future at all. Not one little bit.

There are three HUGE projects that will most likely be funded locally in the next couple of years. They may change this area drastically.

1. The first project is the CSO project. Fort Wayne has a combined overflow system for sewer and for stormwater. For environmental reasons this is a bad system... I have read several estimates of the cost of bringing all Fort Wayne into compliance with the new environmental laws. The costs would be STAGGERING. One estimate said that we could pay for it if we QUADRUPLED the fees associated with our sewers and stormwater systems. Floating even more munincipal bonds is another option. The MINIMUM requirements could cost as much as 200 million dollars and the maximum requirements would cost over half a BILLION dollars.

2. The second project is the new bonds that FWCS is likely to propose next year. These bonds will most likely range between 200 and 300 million dollars.

3. The third item is the fact that The City of Fort Wayne's police and fire pensions are massively underfunded. Dan Stockman wrote a great article about this in the JG this weekend.
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/15000756.htm
According to the above article the pre-1977 fire and police pension fund has ZERO dollars in it. Fort Wayne is currently paying 7.5 million dollars a year out of the current budget to pay this cost each year. Under current State law this will double in 2009 when Indiana stops paying into this fund. This cost is expected to increase through 2028 and then to slowly decrease...
This is a great example of Government screwing things up. There is no reason to ever start a pension fund and expect future tax payers to foot the bill unless you are a Republican or Democrat.

It infuriates me that Fort Wayne insists on wasting our money on projects that a majority of us do not want rather then save money for the future. Here are some good examples:

1. Fort Wayne seized Belmont Beverages property downtown with Eminent Domain 5 years ago at a cost of 2.1 million dollars. Fort Wayne STILL has not decided what to do with that property it stole.

2. Fort Wayne is trying to take my private utility up by Pine Valley with Eminent Domain. Fort Wayne has ALREADY spent MILLIONS of dollars for legal fees.

Any prudent Government organization should immediately stop all of these frivolous projects and should start cutting costs NOW. We need to save money to pay for projects that are coming down the pipe...

I am an Accountant. If you read this blog you will often read posts concerning unfunded liabilities and what I think will happen in the future due to the fiscal irresponsibility of both Reps and Dems.

I have looked at our local property taxes and made some assumptions below, here is how bad it could get:

Assumptions:

1. Lets assume that Fort Wayne decides to do a large CSO project and that the cost is about 200 million dollars and that it is paid for with bonds. Lets say it starts in 2010.

2. Lets assume FWCS gets their Marketing firm from Indy to convince the taxpayers of FWCS to approve a 200 million dollar bond (Less then FWCS wanted in 2004). Lets say it starts in 2008.

3. Lets assume the State of Indiana decides that Fort Wayne should pay its own pension costs for police and firefighters hired before 1977... Starting in 2009 Fort Wayne would have to come up with about 16 million dollars a year. (Note Fort Wayne takes in about 112 million dollars in various local taxes).

These three projects alone (Assuming NO NEW PROJECTS OF ANY KIND) would end up causing our taxes to increase in a massive way. It would depend on interest rates and the length of the needed bond issues. These three projects would AT A MINIMUM cause our local taxes to DOUBLE.

So what do our elected officials do about it?

They are talking about demolishing a perfectly good baseball stadium (12 years old) and relocating downtown...

Lets elect some people with some common sense...

Mike Sylvester

Friday, July 07, 2006

Debbie and Mike disagreeing...

First of all, I want to thank Debbie for visiting this blog and stating her views in such a well though out and interesting fashion! I believe in intelligent discourse and I enjoy it!

I have copied some relevent material from a post I made a couple of days ago and the responses that Debbie and I have bantered back and forth. It is copied below. Debbie is in red and Mike is in purple.


From Mike
Please answer this question for me Debbie:

Why does the LP have a plank that advocates ZERO taxation when the Constitution provides for both government and taxation?

From Debbie
Mike, libertarian philosophy is not based upon the constitution. It has to do with the non-aggression principle. Libertarians simply take the "golden rule" ethic and apply it to governments as well as individuals. If it is theft for an individual to take another individual's money by force then it is also theft for a government to do so (because government is a collection of individuals). Therefore, taxation is theft and that is why libertarians would advocate for no taxation as the ultimate goal.

From Mike
I certainly think all Libertarian philosophy SHOULD be based on The Constitution. It is the founding document for this country and is a great document that should be heeded. I think that many of our Founding Father's were Libertarians.

The Constitution advocates smaller government and less intrusion in our lives. I am a Libertarian who believes that the most important Libertarian goals are smaller government and less intrusion in our lives... (I do not believe in no government or no intrusion, I am not an anarchist)

I think force must be used in some situations.

For example, if someone breaks into my house and I perceive ANY threat to my family I plan on using deadly force the first time. That is why I own and practice with my handgun.

For example, if the Government ever were to start implementing policies similar to Hitler or Stalin I would certainly be willing to protect my property and my family by initiating the use of force if needed.

WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?

Mike Sylvester

Results from the 2D Quiz over the last couple of days from this blog

Thanks for posting your results. This is of course NOT scientific... Many of the people who visit this blog are Libertarians... These results mean little, except, what some of the more active readers of this blog feel according to this short quiz.

Out of 23 readers who posted their results:
Moderate Libertarian 13
Radical Libertarian 4
Libertarian Leaning Centrist 2
Centrist Conservative 2
Moderate Social Conservation 1
"Blogofascist" ????? 1

These are interesting results.

What do I conclude from them?

Nothing for sure, there is not enough data and the quiz is too short to come to a true conclusion.

I think the results of this quiz fairly closely match the comments my readers tend to leave.

In my mind there are only two true "radical libertarian's" who come to this blog a lot.

I need to find some more. I enjoy the conversations.

The LP is big enough for MANY factions. I like "radical libertarians."

We should all work together...

Mike Sylvester
Moderate Libertarian and Incrementalist

My mother

While I was in Portland my mother fell down her stairs. She broke her ankle and the bone right below the knee on her left leg.

Eight years ago she fractured the kneecap of her left leg.

Mom is 74.

She went through orthoscopic surgery Monday of this week. The hospital kept her "under observation" from Monday morning of this week until Thursday early afternoon...

She had extreme heart pains Monday morning after her surgery, they called in a cardiologist. They changed her Medicaire, took numerous EKG's, and determined her heartbeat was irregular.

For some reason they did not admit her as a patient, they kept her in the hospital under observation instead...

She was discharged Thursday and I had to find a nursing home for her to stay in while she undergoes therapy. I found one that I like and I think that my mother will get good care...

The only thing that is important at this point is that she gets the therapy she needs and is able to recover her health... My mother is one "tough old bat." I am fairly certain that she will be ok...

Since the hospital never admitted her, Medicare does NOT cover the stay in the nursing home.

It is amazing how expensive a stay in the nursing home will be. After everything is counted I am expecting her total monthly bill to be between 5 and 6 thousand dollars per month... That does NOT include what Medicare will pay... The total bill including what Medicare will pay looks to be much larger...

The costs associated with our health care system are so out of control it is impossible to believe.

Remember that I am an Accountant and my wife is a CPA. We really struggle to understand medical billing. That is frightening. If we cannot understand the medical billing process how can the average American?

We need to do something about our healthcare system. The government is WAY too involved in the process.

Did you know that EVERY hospital has a large staff that handles just Medicare?

We need to eliminate some of the needless paperwork and simplify our system.

We need to get the government out of healthcare. They have screwed it up so bad that I am not sure how it can be fixed at this point.

How do you think the system should be fixed?

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Please help me with Dr. Milsted's Quiz

I have put a new Political Quiz on my blog.

It is located on the sidebar and it is called the 2D Quiz. I ask ALL of my readers to please take this quiz and post the results as a comment to this thread. I am REALLY curious where everyone comes out with this short political quiz.

My expectation is Robert Enders, Debbie, and Bartleby will all come out as traditional Libertarians.

My guess is that I will come out as a moderate Libertarian.

I really want to know where you come out on this. I am especially interested in Mike Kole and Andrew Kaduk... I think you will both register as moderate Libertarians...

Mike Sylvester

P.S. It is a short quiz and I would really appreciate it if you took three minutes to take the quiz and post the results.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Press Release from Libertarian Reform Caucus

Libertarian Party Gets Practical in Portland

Reform Caucus Finds Huge Victory at Libertarian Convention

(Portland, OR) In a dramatic weekend at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Portland, OR, Libertarian Reform Caucus (LRC) members worked to substantially alter the party platform. The Libertarian Party (LP) is more ready than ever to attract a broad base of support from the public, according to caucus participants.

"Our goal at the Portland convention was to achieve some degree of reform, which would allow the party to present a less utopian political program and offer reasonable, practical, and achievable solutions to problems facing America today. In doing so, we would expect the party to grow into a viable political organization which so many Americans are currently longing for," explained Bernard Carman, one of the founders of the reform group.

After two stages of balloting, 80 percent of the original platform planks were removed by the delegates. Never before in its 35 year history has the party’s official statement of its positions changed so drastically. The magnitude of the victory somewhat surprised caucus members such as Carman.

"We never expected this kind of success to be had at this convention, as our LRC movement has only recently begun. The delegates were obviously tired of seeing the party continue being a minor player in the political arena. At the convention many delegates spontaneously jumped on board the reform bandwagon,” he said.

Reformers were also pleased to see reform-minded individuals elected to the party’s national committee. William Redpath of Leesburg, VA, who reformers view as a moderate, was elected as LP Chair, and Libertarian Reform PAC board member Chuck Moulton of Philadelphia, PA was elected as LP Vice Chair.

On the convention results, Moulton commented, “The Libertarian Reform Caucus has achieved great success at effectuating positive change on the Libertarian Party platform. All libertarians are now welcome in the party.”

The Libertarian Reform Caucus was founded in 2005 by the Libertarian Party of Buncombe County, NC. It currently has nearly 700 members. More information can be found about the LRC at www.ReformTheLP.org.

Independence Day and The Portland LP Convention

Independence Day is an important day in America. It celebrates our Independence and the formation of The United States.

I think the best chance we have to restore The American Dream is a reformed Libertarian Party.

We made progress in Portland this last weekend. We removed a majority of an archaic platform that many Libertarians do not agree with.

We had about half of the Convention willing to remove the "Pledge" that should be removed.

We were able to defeat an inflammatory declaration that would have damaged us as a Political Party.

I know there are a lot of Libertarians that are discouraged by the above items. These Libertarians are "theoretical Libertarians" who I disagree with on some issues. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THEM TO BE DISCOURAGED.

There is room in the LP for both reformers and "theoretical" Libertarians.

If you do not like the changes made in Portland then you have to work over the next two years. GO out and convince people that you are right and I am wrong.

THAT IS WHAT A POLITICAL PARTY DOES.

The Libertarian Party needs people with a lot of different ideas. The Republicans and Democrats have many factions in their large pool of members. It is inevitable when you grow as a Party.

It is healthy.

I have added a link to The Libertarian Reform Caucus on my sidebar. I ask all Libertarians to visit the LRC site and I hope you all join the LRC as soon as possible. Get involved. Help us make the LP a more viable and successful Political Party.