Monday, March 30, 2015

LPIN CHAIR STATEMENT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT - INRFRA

Official Statement by Dan Drexler​ the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Indiana​:

Pence’s “Pelosi” Moment Gives Cause for RFRA Repeal

(Indianapolis, Indiana) When a state’s governor goes on national television and explains that a bill he just signed into law needs clarification, you know the bill is a troubled piece of legislation.

When state legislative leaders from that same governor’s party hold a press conference to explain that the legislation they just recently passed needs to be revisited and clarified, you know the bill is a troubled piece of legislation.

Reminiscent of former U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” moment, efforts by Governor Mike Pence, Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President David Long to deflect criticism to their passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act come off eerily similar to Pelosi’s ill-chosen words. Simply put, in their haste to pass legislation that appeases their far right wing through subtle changes in the bill’s language, they pushed through a bad piece of legislation that will undoubtedly carry unintended economic, political and social consequences — consequences proponents and opponents alike will come to regret.

This law needs to be repealed.

This legislation had the potential of building a coalition of support not seen since its resounding federal passage in 1993.   At that time, the federal bill passed the U.S. House unanimously and the U.S. Senate in a 97-3 vote.  It brought together religious fundamentalists and civil libertarians alike.  Everyone seemed to like the concept of protecting our rights to religious freedoms and underscoring the importance of our nation’s 1st Amendment.  Regardless of the polarizing rhetoric we are hearing today, the concept of respect for differing religious (and non-religious) beliefs is still embraced by a strong majority.

Unfortunately, Indiana’s GOP legislative majority authored a bill that slants the “two-way tolerance” Governor Pence sought solidly in one direction.  In doing so, they jeopardized what otherwise could have been a bill celebrated by all.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Religious Freedoms Restoration Act

Several thoughts:

1. There should never be religious exemptions for any law. Laws against murder are great laws, and there are no religious exemptions for those laws. Even if you believe that consuming the hearts of your enemies will cause you to absorb their strength and courage, you still aren't allowed to kill a person and cut open their chest for that purpose. Good laws shouldn't have religious exemptions, and bad laws should just be repealed entirely. If it's ok for Indian tribes to take peyote, anybody should be allowed to take peyote.

2. The First Amendment already guarantees your right to believe whatever you want. But certain beliefs will hold you back from pursuing certain careers. If you are Amish, you probably can't work in IT. If you believe that killing animals is wrong, you can't work in a slaughterhouse. If you are a pacifist, then you can't be a US Marine. And if your beliefs prevent you from providing service to an entire group of customers, then your beliefs will prevent you from succeeding in the retail industry. I do wish all of the above groups the best of luck in finding gainful employment, but they just won't have the same options as the rest of us.

3. Real business owners don't want to discriminate. They don't want to turn down paying customers. And they really don't want paying customers to be under any impression at all that they would be discriminated against in their stores. This is why most business leaders don't lobby against anti-discrimination laws. Anti-discrimination laws ultimately protect businesses because with such laws in place, people know that they are welcome in any store. Governor Pence is going out of his way to protect a very small number of businesses that are doomed to fail anyway.

4. People make up new religions all the time. And who is to say which new faiths are sincere? I'm sure the Heaven's Gate cult members were sincere about their new faith when they all poisoned themselves. So if someone starts the High Church Of Tall Grass And Smoking Crack, will the City of Fort Wayne intervene by forcing HCOTGASC members to stop smoking crack and start mowing their yards?

5. If you are going to open a business that doesn't serve gay people because of your religious beliefs, why not just call your business a church and claim tax exempt status? Heck, if the law sticks then I wonder what would happen if a burning bush told me to stop paying Indiana taxes?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mandatory Voting?

This issue comes up from time to time. People will bring up the issue to sound interesting, but mandatory voting is ultimately a dead issue in this country. It should not happen, and it's highly unlikely that it will happen.

Voting shouldn't be mandatory, because voting is ultimately about choice. Requiring people to vote ultimately denies them of the choice of not voting. Right now, a majority of eligible voters sit out any given election. Can we really expect who are too apathetic to vote on their own initiative to make intelligent and informed decisions for the rest of us?

Maybe so. I suspect that people who are involuntarily voting for the first time might be strongly motivated to support candidates who promise to repeal mandatory voting. In a three way race between a Democrat and a Republican who support mandatory voting, and a Libertarian who opposes it, then the Libertarian could win with a clear majority of involuntary votes.

So Libertarians oppose mandatory voting on moral grounds, while Democrats and Republicans would likely do the math and oppose it on political grounds. The only scenario that I can imagine mandatory voting coming to pass is if the President and Congress see the country collapsing after the next election, and they want Libertarians to get elected to office and absorb the blame.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Letting our chickens come home to roost in the Summit City?

Jacques DuBois of St Paul MN feeding his flock
via Twin Cities circa 2012
Its a fowl request of which if allowed to hatch would only begin to resolve the roost of sustainability practices throughout the Summit City. And while my response is feathered with caution as this does peck at certain sanitation concerns it is still worth scratching across the interwebs for you to flock together and season the grass of possible success.

ONE ACRE FARM [ FB | WEB ]
presents: The Pros & Cons
and Tools For Newbies

I should take this moment of calm, to let you know that this initiative is being spearheaded by Michele Berkes-Adams, who is also one of the Co Founders of Food Not Lawns Fort Wayne Chapter, but securing this modification to City Code will benefit more than just one organization, it will go towards an overall long game establishing food security and economic sustainable practices within urban farming environments, which will increase sustainable entrepreneurial and economic opportunities here in the Summit City. Currently they have just over two hundred signatures and they are looking for a thousand before presenting the ordinance to City Council.


PETITION: AMEND CITY CODE TO ALLOW URBAN CHICKENS

Urban chickens (backyard chickens) are chickens that are raised within city limits for their eggs, companionship, and other important roles in the urban landscape. Raising urban chickens is associated with sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and the local-food movement -- which emphasizes participating in home-grown foods and food security. Proponents of the urban chicken movement cite many benefits.

First, advocates claim home-raised livestock helps minimize the fuel use and carbon emissions that result from transporting food to markets. Second, urban chickens give owners control over how the chickens are treated and what they are fed. This is important to some owners because research has shown that chickens that have access to the outdoors produce more nutritious eggs than chickens raised indoors. Third, chicken droppings are good fertilizer and can be used in compost piles. Finally, chickens will eat garden pests and thus they provide a chemical free pest solution.

Urban Coop Company
Round Top Chicken Coop
Many municipalities have recently drafted and/or passed ordinances regarding chickens within their city limits. This particular proposal drafted for Fort Wayne includes recommendations that are influenced by what other cities have found useful.

2. Recommendations for legislation

There should be a limit of 6 birds kept on each lot, although, since they are social birds, there should never be less than two or three together. No roosters will be permitted. Hens must be kept in a suitable enclosure such as a hen house or chicken coop with at least 2 square feet available for each chicken.

Enclosure must be located at least 10 feet from any property line, and at least 20 feet from any neighboring dwelling. Enclosure should be at least 35 feet from any stream or river. Enclosures must be kept clean and feed kept in a airtight container. There must be at least 10 square feet of permeable space on the lot for each bird. No slaughtering for meat, breeding animals for sale, or selling eggs will be permitted.

And we'll never be Royals ..... OUTRIGHT LIBERTARIANS get heckled for challenging Bush and Paul at CPAC

There is a 2016 Election meme catching flack that was put out by OUTRIGHT LIBERTARIANS, the GLBT Libertarian Caucus Group, in response to the that Mike Shipley wrote a defense of the meme which you can read at your leisure here.

However the issues of Nobility and Dynastic Presidencies have always salt and peppered our political landscape. I think every Libertarian has reserved concerns between familial power versus individuals experience and merit, and I have concerns about aristocracy, especially another Bush or for that matter Clinton; but this Country has, from its Constitutional foundation, always flirted with Dynasties (Adams/Quincy Adams 2nd and 6th Presidents) while at the same time opposed Titles of Nobility directly in the Constitution:
"No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state." (A1S9C8; See also A1S10C1)
But it is not just about the Presidency, any review also needs to be considerate of Congress as well. In 1848, for example, more than 16 percent of congressional seats were filled by someone whose relative had previously held the position [source: Kieley]. Moreover, a 2006 study found that Congress members who serve more than one term have a 40 percent chance of someone in their family later ending up in Congress [source: Alexander]. That doesn't imply that these family trees are full of rotten apples, but they may cultivate relationships and connections that can help siblings, cousins and in-laws win elections as with any successful business operation. (SOURCE: HOW STUFF WORKS)

In 1810, Democratic–Republican Senator Philip Reed of Maryland,[13] introduced a Constitutional amendment modifying the Title of Nobility Clause. Under the terms of this amendment any United States citizen who accepted, claimed, received or retained any title of nobility from a foreign government would be stripped of their U. S. citizenship. After being approved by the Senate on April 27, 1810, by a vote of 19–5[14] and the House of Representatives on May 1, 1810, by a vote of 87–3,[15] the amendment, titled "Article Thirteen", was sent to the state legislatures for ratification. On two occasions between 1812 and 1816 it was within two states of the number needed to become a valid part of the Constitution.[16] As Congress did not set a time limit for its ratification, the amendment is still technically pending before the states. Currently, ratification by an additional 26 states would be necessary for this amendment to be adopted. (SOURCE: WIKI)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN?

Which yes, means if 26 States ratified the Amendment between now and next week, we could end up with Joe Biden as President until 2017! President Obama has violated this portion of the Constitution twice, the first being the Nobel Peace Prize; the second being a medal for the bejeweled Collar of the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, Saudi Arabia's highest honor in January 2008.  (SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST)

Here everyone was crying about a valid Birth Certificate, when all you had to do was finish amending the Constitution. Kenya would be mighty happy to have him. Say It Aint So Joe gets to laugh at everyone publicly! Meanwhile Donald Trump is getting his head ferret shaved in shame wondering why he didnt think of that first.