Tag: Age of consent laws Arvin Vohra

Arvin Vohra Will Pardon Snowden and Ulbricht of Victimless Crimes as President

By Arvin Vohra | United States

A few days ago, I announced that on the very first day of my presidency, I would take on the role of Pardoner-in-Chief. I would first pardon Edward Snowden and Ross Ulbricht, then continue to all those in prison for non-violent offenders. That includes all in jail for drug use, sales, or networking (like Ulbricht), cryptocurrency law violators, those with only gun possession charges, sex workers, clients of sex workers, and many other victimless criminals. I have also declared my intention to encourage others to use the power of the jury for similar purposes, by saying “not-guilty” to cases involving victimless crimes.

The response has been about what I expected. Many have furiously declared that such large scale pardons would violate the will of the courts, the Constitution, the will of the people, and even moral principles. On each of these areas, my detractors are wrong.

Today, ill-considered mandatory minimum and three strikes laws block the will of the courts. Judges have lost the legal ability to give comparatively reasonable sentences. Many have spoken out against the harsh sentences that the state legally forces them to hand out. In the current legal climate, government ignores the will of the court and replaces it with bizarre, draconian penal requirements.

Also, my plans for large-scale pardons are in no way unconstitutional. In fact, the Constitution directly grants the president the legal ability to pardon. Our past presidents have used this power. Perhaps they have done so on a much smaller scale. Still, Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution grants this power without limitation.

In fact, I would argue that the Eighth Amendment nearly creates a constitutional requirement to pardon. This amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Today, those in prison for victimless crimes are in danger. They face the constant and all-too-common threats of assault and rape at the hands of other inmates. While this is not the legislated punishment, it has certainly become a de facto one. The existence of this environment, in my eyes, is a clear and blatant violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Do large scale pardons violate the will of the people? Absolutely not. I have made my intentions clear, over two years in advance of the election. There is no bait and switch here. If the people elect me, they will do so knowing that I will pardon those the state convicts of victimless crimes.

Ultimately, however, this is a question of conscience. I cannot, in good conscience, stand by while the state unjustly imprisons my fellow Americans. I cannot, and will not, do nothing while those who have harmed no one are locked in cages under a constant threat of sexual assault.

In the eyes of many, those people are the bottom rung of society. Perhaps they are. But, that doesn’t mean that their rights matter less, that their freedoms matter less, that they matter less.
While I am not a religious person, I draw great inspiration from the world’s religions. I do believe that whatever the state does to the least of us, it does to all of us. I have no intention of doing nothing while the state unjustly imprisons people in my name, with my money.

To those of you currently imprisoned wrongfully: I don’t seek your vote, as I know you cannot vote. I only ask you to keep fighting, to not give up hope. I know you feel that most of America has abandoned you. Believe me when I tell you that there are more of us than you can imagine, working to set you free, to let you live with dignity. We are going to keep trying. It is not over until we win, until every one of you is free.

To those who enjoy freedom, I ask you to become Pardoners-in-Chief in your own right, but using the power of the jury. As a juror, you have the ability to say “not guilty” if you believe that a law is unjust. Such a process is called “jury nullification” and is a fully legal option for all juries. Essentially, this means that the jury declares the person on trial guilty, but the law unjust. Thus, there is no sentence. That idea isn’t new. It’s the reason we have freedom of the press in America. The famous Zenger trial was decided based on judging the law itself: the defense admitted that John Peter Zenger broke the law, but the law itself was wrong.

As St. Augustine said, “An unjust law is no law at all.” I stand by my pledge to pardon those convicted of victimless crimes on my first day, and ask you to apply the same principle through jury nullification.

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Teenage Earthquake in ‘Orleans: The LP’s Geiger Counter Reads “One”

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Down in The Big Easy, Libertarians gather for the biennial Libertarian National Convention. The various New Orleans venues are featuring numerous key speakers, from Former Governor William Weld to anarchist activist Adam Kokesh. There are parties in the streets, and voters in their seats. The 2020 election may be two years away, but that doesn’t stop the campaigning.

The Future of the Libertarian Party

However, there are a couple of more pertinent elections at this year’s convention. Over the past couple of nights, Libertarians voted on their party chair and vice chair. The winners of these races will have key roles in defining the party’s direction for the next 2 years.

In an unsurprising victory, LP Chair Nicholas Sarwark won a third consecutive term, the first time this has occurred in party history. The incumbent graciously thanked his party for choosing him for the role.

After conceding defeat, runner-up Joshua Smith announced a bid for an at-large seat on the Libertarian National Committee.

The Vice Chairman election, on the other hand, has been less straightforward. Incumbent Arvin Vohra has faced backlash in recent months for controversial comments about rape and the age of consent. With these stains, among others, Vohra was unlikely to perform well. In fact, The Libertarian Vindicator‘s polls showed the incumbent to have between five and ten percent of the vote.

In the end, favored outsider Alex Merced won the first round of voting. He eventually went on to also win the position. However, the most interesting candidate perhaps was the one with the least votes in round one.

Enter Matthew Geiger, Libertarian Youth

At a mere 16 years old, Matthew Geiger is no ordinary teen. The Maryland resident already owns his own business, that of course being 71 Republic LLC. He also has deep roots in the national Libertarian Party.

Connections with Austin Petersen, Rep. Caleb Dyer and many other notable libertarians have enabled him to do a number of jobs for the party, including managing the national party’s Instagram account. Thus, it should be no great surprise that New Mexico delegate Spencer Kellogg nominated the adolescent for another key party position.

Geiger, in the first round of voting, received only 11 votes out of 732 total. Eight voters selected “None of the above”, and 260, or 35.5 percent, chose Merced. Only 66 people, just over nine percent, voted for Vohra.

Image from iOS
Official first round LP Vice Chair votes.

Finishing lowest of the declared candidates (excluding “none of the above”), Geiger did not advance to subsequent rounds of voting. Despite this, his inclusion is still significant.

Matthew Geiger announced no campaign. He did not try to win the position, and persuaded no voters. He simply accepted Kellogg’s nomination over the phone. Still, he received the support of one and a half percent of all delegates present.

In a brief nomination speech, Kellogg praised Geiger for being “one of the most forward-thinking” young minds in the party.

Senior Contributor Spencer Kellogg nominating Matthew Geiger

Of course, such a stunt shows the increasing involvement of libertarian youth in the party’s affairs.

With a real campaign, which may occur in the future, Geiger will already have some name recognition within the party. Without a doubt, this will lead to greater success for the young entrepreneur if he decides to seek this position or another.

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#FinallyFreeAmerica – Interview with Adam Kokesh

By John Keller | United States

Adam Kokesh is a libertarian political activist, known for his show Adam vs. The Man. He announced his desire to run for President of the United States in 2020 on July 18th, 2013 and officially filed the paperwork on January 16th, 2018. Adam Kokesh is working to #FinallyFreeAmerica.

Keller: You are a veteran of the war in Iraq and a former marine. What was the moment that you decided you were changing from a marine into a political activist?

Kokesh: Some things are just decided for you! When I got out of the Marines, I moved to DC to study at GWU. While I was there, I came across the website for Iraq Veterans Against the War and I realized that I had to have my name on that list and joined right away. I really fell over backwards into full-time activism because I of the welcoming nature of the organization and the movement behind it. When I realized that the story of my experience in Iraq could be used to save lives, I had no choice.

Keller: You wrote a book titled ‘FREEDOM!’. To you what is the message of freedom all about? Why is Libertarianism better than conservatism or liberalism?

Kokesh: Freedom is what you have when no one is forcing their will on you. That is to say that freedom is a state of harmonious coexistence. Freedom is peace. Freedom is love and respect and appreciation for people. A Libertarian is someone who opposes the initiation of force. Why would you settle for anything less? Conservativism and liberalism are just different flavors of statism. Statism is the incorrect belief that it is ok, positive, or ethical for people to force themselves on others. It’s really that simple!

Keller: Trump has taken credit for the booming ‘success’ of the stock market. Is he right to take this credit?

Kokesh: That’s hard to call and I don’t really care. The stock market is a highly manipulated racket. I’m sure some things he does manipulates it up, some things down. Either way, buy Bitcoin. Invest in innovation. Buy real property that can’t be manipulated by government like the stock market.

Keller: There has been a growing movement, often credited in its growing traction to Ron Paul, to ‘End the Fed’. What does this slogan mean to you?

Kokesh: Ron Paul definitely deserves credit for bringing the crimes of the Federal Reserve System to the attention of the American people and his supporters deserve credit for sloganizing his message into, “End the Fed” at his rallies that I attended going back to his 2008 campaign. The slogan has come to mean something much bigger now. To me, it means end the federal government entirely!

Keller: The #LetRonSpeak Scandal quickly went viral. What was your stance on this issue?

Kokesh: The people with the Libertarian Party who decided to decline to give Dr Paul an opportunity to speak at the 2018 convention, National Chair Nick Sarwark and Convention Chair Daniel Hayes, definitely do not represent the base of the party and I hope they are never in positions to make such an embarrassing mistake ever again.

Keller: Arvin Vohra has been stirring up quite a storm online with comments about rape and school shootings and many speculate his actions are harming the Libertarian Party. Where do you stand on this controversy? Should Vice Chairman Vohra step down?

Kokesh: It’s not so much the controversy about “inflammatory” that concerns me so much as his statements advocating for violations of the nonaggression principle. Those clearly go against what the party stands for. He should and will be replaced at the upcoming national convention.

Keller: Recently you were arrested in Texas, mere hours after official filing candidacy for President of the United States. What was this experience like? What charges did the police have against you?

Kokesh: I’ve been arrested over three dozen times relating to my activism, mostly in civil disobedience. This one was unplanned. I can’t say it was scary, but it was disturbing because, as you can see from the video, the officer who pulled me over was determined to arrest me even though I had not committed a crime. He broke multiple laws and violated police procedure in order to come up with an excuse to arrest me after unlawfully ordering me to stop recording. When he entered my vehicle, the first thing he did was turn off the other camera I had rolling. I was jailed for ten days and have still yet to be presented with any official papers regarding my charges or the police report despite my repeated requests. Welcome to the United Police States of America! Fortunately, with self-driving vehicles on the horizon, most of the excuses that police use to harass people will go away.

Keller: Your campaign is on the philosophy of voluntaryism, with a peaceful and prosperous people without the threat of government. When this idea is depicted it is often, almost exclusively, depicted as chaotic anarchism. What makes your vision different from the media portrayed voluntaryism?

Kokesh: I have no idea what you are talking about. I have NEVER heard anyone say that a voluntary society would be chaotic. It is contrary to the very definition. A voluntary society is one in which all human interactions are free of force, fraud, and coercion. As for my campaign, it is based on the practical policy of localization, the idea that political power should be localized as opposed to centralized. Voluntaryism is the philosophy that leads me to that practical policy.

Keller: Within the Libertarian Party there is a philosophical divide between minarchists and voluntaryists. As a voluntaryist, what do you have to say to the question of minarchism? In essence, how is anarchy preferable to minarchism?

Kokesh: There is no such divide. When you join the party, you take a pledge that says, “” That is voluntaryism in pledge form. The people who take that pledge and mean it sometimes identify as minarchists, but they always want whatever the government does to be voluntary. So I’m a minarchist myself in that sense because I’m a voluntaryist. You can have as much government as you want, as long as it’s voluntary! The divide in the party is between people who believe in the Party’s Statement of Principles and take their pledge seriously, and infiltrators like Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, and Bill Weld, who pretend to not understand the pledge they took in order to misrepresent the party. Sadly, many Libertarians are fooled into supporting them, with the obvious disastrous results and negative consequences we saw in the last three election cycles, but the effectiveness of their infiltration would not have been possible without the support of hundreds who infiltrated the delegations of the last three nominating conventions. A big part of my campaign is to encourage people who believe in the principles of the party to be delegates so that isn’t possible again. Frankly, it’s embarrassing that they were able to take so many vacant delegate slots. If I have anything to say about it, they will all be filled with real Libertarians, not infiltrators. So far, our success this year is undeniable. We are halfway through state convention season, and only about a dozen (out of over 1,000) delegate slots are empty.

Keller: You campaign on the peaceful dissolution of the national government. What will that look like in office, how will you accomplish such a goal? What role will Congress play?

Kokesh: On day one, I will sign my one and only executive order declaring the federal government bankrupt and of no authority. I will resign to become “Custodian of the Federal Government” to oversee the process as a bankruptcy agent. The executive order will be as detailed as possible in laying that process out in a clear, legally binding way. Congress will have no authority, but may have some minor role to play in the apportionment of certain agencies and resources. Every federal agency will be either liquidated, localized to the state level, or spun off as a private institution.

Keller: You campaign on dissolving the national government, but often states can be more tyrannical than the national government. As president, what actions would you take against such injustices, if any?

Kokesh: I would have no such authority and will make no promises that I cannot keep. However, the premise of your question needs to be put into perspective. Yes, States can occasionally be more tyrannical than the federal government, but if you added up all the injustices committed by state governments and compared them to the injustices of the federal government, it would be like comparing a schoolyard bully to the mafia! And to be fair, you would first have to subtract all the State injustices made possible by the federal government. More importantly, when people see the benefits of localization, (which they will immediately, because on day one, federal laws will not be enforced) there will be a race among the States to dissolve down to the County level. Then a global race to localize. Eventually, government will be so local that it will be … voluntary.

Keller: Recently, you announced and have been working to implement “Operation Big Easy Book Bomb”. What is this operation and why was it enacted?

Kokesh: We are putting a copy of my book, FREEDOM! in every residential mailbox in New Orleans. 205,000 copies. We want to deliver the message of FREEDOM! directly to the people. Once we show that it can be done there, we will do it in every city in America.

Keller: As of late, the Democratic Party faces a small identity crisis and the Republican Party is losing faith in Donald Trump. What makes you the best candidate for 2020 and what should attract disillusioned voters?

Kokesh: I’m not the best candidate for President. In fact, asking who is the best candidate for President is like asking who would you most want to kick your ass? If your answer is, “NOBODY!” vote for me, because I will resign. I don’t need to attract disillusioned voters. The government is doing a fine job driving them away. We just have to show them that there is an alternative to government: freedom.

Keller: If people are interested in getting involved with joining your campaign, what steps can they take to do so?

Kokesh: Check out KokeshForPresident.com, click on volunteer, and fill out the form. But more importantly, don’t wait for direction and don’t ask permission to spread the message of freedom! Have fun waking people up and do something that you enjoy. Talk to your friends and family about why you care about freedom.

Keller: Do you have an final remarks to the readers, to supporters, and potential voters?

Kokesh: I’m the last President you’ll never need and I approve this message.

I would like to thank Adam Kokesh for his time. Be sure to visit KokeshForPresident.com and be sure to read his book “FREEDOM!”, which you can find here and follow his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for all updates.

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2018: Making The Libertarian Party Great Again

By Austin Anderholt | United States

The libertarian party is often looked at as a joke. It makes a mistake and people laugh. “Haha! This is why the libertarian party will never work!” While they are obviously held to much higher standards than the two main parties, I do admit they make their fair share of large mistakes. At times they can make the future of the party look quite grim, but these mistakes will actually propel the party to new heights, even landing it the title of “major political party” (if we’re lucky). Here’s why:

Let’s take the case of Arvin Vohra. Mr. Vohra, vice chair of the Libertarian Party, recently came under fire for comments that many deemed “pro-pedophilia.” Many two party spectators saw this event as just another reason why the libertarian party will never grow but this was something very different. A huge amount of libertarians took to social media and other mediums to contact their local LNC representative to vote to remove Vohra from office. The libertarians were furious! When, days ago, the LNC failed to meet the two thirds majority vote to fire Vohra, libertarians became ever more disgusted!

Another example is Ron Paul not being allowed to speak at the 2018 LNC convention. Almost every libertarian is angry at the backstabbing that their party’s leadership has given them. They are sick of trying to defend these irrational decisions. They are sick of being “the joke party.”

What does this mean? The party absolutely despises the leaders that continue to do this to them! When these leaders run for re-election, they are going to be ripped limb-by-limb. The terrible guidance of the party has resulted in a huge amount of 2018 candidates vowing to “drain the libertarian swamp” and they are not going down without a fight. 2018 will be remembered in the libertarian party. 2018 will be the year that the LP started to become a major party. Mark my words.

Larry Sharpe Resigns Libertarian Party Leadership Post In Protest

Larry Sharpe, 2018 New York Governor candidate and early favorite for Libertarian Party (LP) Presidential Nominee in 2020, has resigned his Libertarian National Committee (LNC) in protest. The news leaked across the libertarian community after Mr. Sharpe made a Facebook announcement late Friday. Previously, LNC members voted on the future of current LP Vice Chair Arvin Vohra. A large number wanted to remove him after his controversial statement on age of consent laws.

From Mr. Sharpe’s statement:

The recent reaction from the LNC has clarified for me that Arvin does fit on the LNC. Clearly, the one who does not belong is me. I accept responsibility for this and I will remedy this incongruity by immediately resigning as Region 8 alternate.

In addition to Sharpe, many libertarian members and leaders saw the comments as tone-deaf and demanded his removal.

The Friday night vote decided whether or not Vohra would be suspended from his position. The vote required a 2/3 majority to pass a resolution to suspend. However, it totaled an 8-8 split and Vohra retained his position. Leaders barely confirmed a secondary vote of censure with a total of 9-7.

Mr. Sharpe advocated for Vohra’s dismissal in recent weeks. Thus, after the stalemate vote was announced, Sharpe relieved himself of his LNC leadership duties. Following this, some suggested his time-consuming governor race was reason enough for his resignation. However, other members pointed to the split vote and Sharpe’s decisive action as representative of a growing ideological divide within the party.

Sharpe, a pragmatic radical, is well-known and well-liked amongst both the leadership and membership of the party, and his decision signals a clear protest of business as usual. With Mr. Sharpe poised as the clear favorite for the Libertarian Presidential nomination in 2020, his resignation could prove a major rallying cry for disenfranchised and frustrated libertarians who feel that leadership is out of touch with the movement’s base. However, Sharpe’s announcement does not mean he is leaving the Libertarian Party.

The Friday night split vote echoes sentiments within membership that has seen both support and condemnation for Vohra and the party itself in recent weeks. The motion also comes days after contentious debate amongst membership regarding Ron Paul’s alleged exclusion from a speaking role at this summer’s Libertarian National Convention. As with many issues inside the LP, coming to a consensus among membership is a herculean task. With the 2018 Libertarian National Convention only six months away, major shifts in the party’s leadership and ideology could be coming.

For more information visit Larry Sharpe’s website: larrysharpe.com

(Image from thinkliberty.com)