Tag: Bake the Cake

Is Bill Weld the Best Thing Libertarians Can Get?

Jack Parkos | United States

The mainstream libertarian movement is dying. It could be speculated that libertarianism will never come to significance under today’s system. Mainstream libertarians have abandoned private property rights and decentralization for a so-called “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” platform focused on “tolerance” and weed.

Bill Weld puts the final nail in the coffin. Bill Weld was the vice presidential candidate under Gary Johnson in the 2016 Presidential Election and has joined the Republican Party in a possible attempt to primary Trump in 2020.

As a libertarian, I can only stand back and laugh at what’s happening. If Bill Weld is the best we can do, then is libertarianism dead? While he is running in the Republican Party, he no doubt has the views of the Libertarian Party. Many of his views are an insult to libertarianism.

Admittedly, Bill Weld does hold some good views, such as decentralizing education and being more dovish on foreign policy. However, he does have some views that many libertarians cannot get behind.

Weld’s Blatant Anti-Libertarian Agenda

Bill Weld has been quoted as comparing AR-15’s to “weapons of mass destruction,” and is indeed pro-gun control. Even many mainstream Republicans are fine with the AR-15. In an interview, he was quoted as saying,

“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle. The problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon. And those are independent criminal offenses. That’s when they become essentially a weapon of mass destruction. The problem of handguns is probably even worse than the AR-15.”

That statement sounds more like something one would hear from the Democratic Party, but this is coming from a so-called “libertarian” running in the Republican party. It’s an embarrassment to all libertarian whether they support the party or not.

A Right to Abortion

There is plenty more he can be criticized for. Bill Weld has little respect for property rights or the Constitution. On the issue of abortion, he stated that the federal government must ensure everyone has access to abortion.

“I think it’s OK for the government to be involved in ensuring clinic access because that’s guarding a fundamental constitutional right of the individual. So that’s not the nanny state; that’s good government, not bad government.” However, Weld is wrong, this is a nanny state. Furthermore, nowhere in the Constitution does it state abortion as a right. Weld is buying into the leftist lie that abortion is somehow a “right”.

Endorsing a Violation of Property Rights

Weld and Johnson ran a campaign in 2016 that seemed to be simply social liberalism and not libertarianism. Weld’s running mate Gary Johnson supported forcing a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding, furthermore, explaining that he would force a Jewish baker to bake a cake for a Nazi. This is a complete violation of property rights, a key tenet of libertarianism. Much speculation points to Bill Weld holding similar views to Johnson based on his past rhetoric, one, in particular, being his support for affirmative action.

Furthermore, Weld supports an open borders policy. Right now, under a massive welfare state and the current state of politics, immigration restrictions are needed. This isn’t an anti-libertarian stance but rather an overall net gain for liberty. Moreover, he compared Trump’s immigration plans to Nazi Germany, making holocaust references and comparing Trump’s wall to the Berlin wall. This is all from the leftist playbook.

An Endorsement of the Opposing Side

Perhaps worst of all was when Bill Weld practically endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

“Having said that, I’m not taking back anything I said about the massive difference between the two establishment party candidates. One would be chaos for the country, I think. And the other would be a very business-like and capable and competent approach to our affairs.”

In this interview, Bill Weld explains how Trump would be chaos for the country and that Hillary would run it better. Furthermore, he endorsed Obama for president as well. No libertarian in their right mind would endorse Hillary or Obama, so why did Weld support them? It could be said that Trump was maybe the better option for libertarians as many thought that way. However, he did not have to support either of the candidates in any elections. After all, Ron Paul didn’t.

Ron Paul is retired from politics, and right now there does not appear to be another charismatic libertarian to lead the movement. Rand Paul will likely not run for president either.  However, libertarians should not look to Bill Weld to be a leader of the movement.


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Larry Sharpe Is Wrong-There Should Be No Compromise Between Baker and Gay Couple

Kaycee Ikeonu | United States

In an interview on the Rubin Report, talk-show host Dave Rubin, and Libertarian candidate for New York Governor Larry Sharpe discussed whether a baker should be compelled by law to bake a cake for a customer. The conversation sprung up due to the fact that Gary Johnson, a libertarian and good friend of Larry Sharpe, stated in his presidential candidacy that the baker should be forced to bake the cake.

Such a position, as one would assume, would be quite unpopular among libertarians and lovers of liberty. Larry Sharpe, however, insisted that Gary Johnson was misunderstood and went forth to give his case for why he thinks the baker should bake the cake. His argument is as follows:

“What he was trying to get at (addressing Gary Johnson), which is my policy, is to find a good, solid middle-ground. I do not want a baker to make a cake for someone who he doesn’t want to make a cake for. That’s his labor…that’s wrong, should never happen. Here is the good compromise: if a baker, or anyone creates a product and put it in to the retail market, whether that be online or a shelf on a store, if a person creates a product and puts it there, he must allow anyone who has the currency that he wants to purchase that product”.

In response to the arguments put forth by libertarians who believe that a business owner has the right to discriminate, Sharpe responded by saying:

“They are theoretically correct but realistically wrong. And if they don’t accept the compromise, they’re going to get worse… If you don’t take that first step you would get nothing—and just not nothing—those people who keep voting are going to keep voting our rights away.”

Prior to this statement, Mr. Sharpe alluded to past injustices faced by marginalized groups, thus, why he thought there ought to be a “compromise.” Moreover, Sharpe concluded that such clauses should only apply in retail, therefore, a customer cannot force a baker to bake a cake in a particular way outside the products that are on the shelves.

Among the multiple flaws in this argument, there are two specifically I would like to address: first, the fact that Mr. Sharpe uses past injustices as a levy for his argument in favor of government involvement in private businesses; second, how government involvement in private business, no matter how minute, would inevitably lead to the destruction of freedom in private enterprise.

In regards to the past injustices– and perhaps current injustices faced by some groups today– most reasonable people would acknowledge that such injustices are immoral, unfortunate and ought to be stopped as soon as possible. However, the problem arises when a duty is imposed on a third party who had nothing to do with the case, in an effort to correct for the past. Such line of reasoning has been used to justify affirmative action and quotas, all which seek to correct for past injustice by facilitating new injustices in our own times. Two wrongs don’t make a right. As Thomas Sowell put it:

“The past is a great unchangeable fact. Nothing is going to undo its sufferings and injustices, whatever their magnitude . . . . Neither the sins nor the sufferings of those now dead are within our power to change”.

Aside from Larry Sharpe’s references to past injustices, he specifies that compulsion to provide a service would only apply to retail, and only retail. A question that could be asked is what guarantees such confidence that bureaucrats would strictly adhere to those conditions? After all, it is very much in their interest to expand such laws. As James Buchanan said in his writings in Public Choice: Politicians, just like businessmen and independent individuals, have every incentive to pursue their own self-interest– which in this case would be to gain more power for themselves, create new legislation and expand current ones. Moreover, such a decision, to use the words of Scot Bixler, is just an “arbitrary decision”. Why interfere in retail and not customer service? Why a cake shop and not a hospital? If Larry Sharpe justifies the government making a minute compromise on this issue, then it follows that the government can interfere in every industry for the same reasons.

The role of government should be restricted to the protection of individual rights, and that only. If room is left for compromise, it would only lead to a slippery slope, one that we have today, of the government legislating every single aspects of our lives.


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Thomas Massie Suggests 2016 Libertarian Ticket Was “Never Really Libertarian”

Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

Earlier this week, President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia due to her support of the President’s stance on illegal immigration along the southern border of the United States. While the action by the Red Hen staff has drawn derision from both conservative and liberal commentators alike, principled libertarians have pointed out that private businesses possess a constitutional and free market right to not do business with a customer on the basis of ideological or religious preferences.

Reason magazine was among the first news outlet’s to point out the hypocrisy of ‘bake the cake’ liberals who believe the Red Hen staff has a right to pick and choose their patrons based on ideological preference but demanded a Colorado baker make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Representative Thomas Massie agreed with the magazine and went a step further on Monday when he condemned what he sees as an anti-libertarian platform pushed by Gary Johnson and Bill Weld during their 2016 bid for the White House.

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By tweeting the 2016 LP presidential ticket was “never really a libertarian ticket” Massie is putting his finger squarely on the button that has energized so many within the libertarian base to push for new leadership in the party ranks ahead of their bi-annual convention this weekend in New Orleans. Libertarians, by their very nature, are a contrarian bunch that enjoys debating the nuances of liberty that crop up across the country and in 2016 the major ideological quarry inside the party’s membership was regarding a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Johnson, the front-runner, and eventual nominee stood firm in his belief that government has a right to force association by private businesses regardless of religious belief.

In a 7-2 ruling released in early June, The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Masterpiece Cakeshop and owner John Phillips. The ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, stated that Phillips had a right to refuse service to customers based on religious freedom: “The religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.” Two of the major tenants of libertarianism are freedom of association and free market capitalism. To follow each of these to their logical conclusion is to believe that private businesses possess a right to refuse service on the basis of religious or ideological grounds and that the market, instead of the state, should be the ultimate arbitrator in that businesses’ windfall.

It remains to be seen if the tweet made by Massie is an indication of any Presidential aspirations that the Representative may have himself. Regardless, Massie’s statement is a stark refutation of Governor William Weld, who is assumed by many in the Libertarian Party to be one of the candidates running for its Presidential Nomination in 2020.


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The Free Market: Everybody Wants It, Everybody Hates It

By FritzCast | United States

Over the course of the past two weeks (and if we want to get technical, even longer than that), two major subjects have taken the national spotlight, both of which are heavily involved in the marketplace.

One was a Supreme Court Decision in a case of one man and his bakery refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple for their wedding; the other was regarding the end of Net Neutrality regulations of the President Obama era.

It was odd, to me, that both subjects take on such heated, passionate debate. Many were upset over the Supreme Court’s narrow 7-2 decision in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop; some will even argue that the court essentially voted that it is ok to discriminate against the LGBTQIA community, but there are ways I humbly disagree with such a sentiment.

First, and foremost, it should be noted that this case, in particular, went to the Supreme Court in a battle against not the same-sex couple, but the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips felt as though that Commission was inappropriately hostile toward him, his first amendment freedom of expression and his freedom of religious practice; including statements from a representative of the commission who stated that freedom of religion was often used as a basis for discrimination and also directly stated “it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use” (See this good Op-Ed considering Justice Kennedy on the matter).

Regardless of the statements and the situation as a whole, I always wondered what was wrong with the free market approach to the problem. In this case, let me present my argument:

I do not believe Jack Phillips or Masterpiece Cakeshop discriminated against a same-sex couple solely on the basis of them being a same-sex couple; on the contrary, as I argued in my latest FritzCast Podcast episode “Survey Says,” that the same-sex couple could probably frequent the cake shop on a regular basis buying deserts all the time, like delicious blueberry muffins, for example. Masterpiece Cakeshop only refused the service when the same-sex couple requested a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony (meaning that if a straight person had wanted to come in and solicit Masterpiece Cakeshop to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony, they too would have been declined).

That being said, that does not mean I agree with Mr. Phillips reasoning, nor would I be willing to support his business with my dollars. I merely mean to say I would not, at Government Gunpoint more or less, make him bake a cake for a ceremony that he did not wish to participate in. I imagine the same-sex couple, even if they had frequented Mr. Phillips shop and bought delicious desserts every day, probably would wish to no longer support him either (there is, however, a distinct possibility that same-sex couple may just love the blueberry muffins so much, they keep going for them). Mr. Phillips then faces the market force, and if you want a highlight of that, just Google Masterpiece Cakeshop…their overall rating has plummeted from consumer response, some of which are strictly reviews from people who have never even been to the shop and experienced the product. And that is fine.

I would probably feel differently, for example, if Mr. Phillips refused to serve any LGBTQIA people solely on the basis that they are LGBTQIA people, however the same concept applies: A private establishment can make a set of rules it states it will follow, and the market force, in turn, can respond to whether or not they support that establishment. I once heard Austin Petersen, former Libertarian Presidential Candidate and current Missouri Senate Candidate, say in the Libertarian Debate “let the bigots out themselves. Who wants to buy a cake from someone who hates them?”

Now, for Net Neutrality, first we must look at the fact that the subject itself is not a simplistic topic. Net Neutrality, though first initially spoken of and declared in 2005, is heavily an Obama-Era regulation of the internet (our most prized commodity), which generally seemed to argue that there needs to be some amount of Government Regulation to ensure the Internet remains open, and that all data be treated the same so that a service provider (such as Comcast, or Verizon) couldn’t block, filter, or “throttle” internet speeds and services.

On the surface, the intentions seem vital and noble, and arguably they are. We all love the internet, most all of us even have mobile devices that remain linked to the World Wide Web. Is access really that equal though? Geographically speaking, some of us are stuck with a sole provider, one-speed options, while others may have multiple companies they could solicit. Back when I lived in my Apartment circa 2012, I had Verizon FiOS, a nice bundled package with really fast upload/download speed on a fiber optic network.

The neighborhood where I bought my house? Verizon isn’t there. No, there is only one internet provider outside of satellite service from DISH, and that is Comcast. Even the higher data plan that I have purchased doesn’t really scratch at what I used to have with Verizon, and the price definitely is skewed, paying a lot more for less than I had with Verizon.

By free market standards, as there is no legitimate other option, the only thing I can do (and often do), is solicit Verizon and those in my neighborhood to make the endeavor worthwhile for Verizon to speed up their process, set up the hardware in my neighborhood and buy services from them.

We can take it a step further, however. Let us say Verizon was in my neighborhood, and they could directly compete with Comcast. Maybe Verizon packages a “streamers internet deal” for people who stream video games, use Netflix and Hulu, and that was some bundle thrown together for $30/mo. So they broke down some of the internet services…maybe that is all I want? Maybe they have an “all-inclusive” package that encompasses every last bit of internet access. Is it THAT horrible an idea?

I’m not suggesting it is the best idea, but I am suggesting that the free market and competition can often bring desired results, and the consumer in both of these cases yield a lot more power than the masses seem willing to admit. In the 21st century, it isn’t the consumer that buckles to “big business,” it’s big business that has to justify to the consumer why its the best product or best provider.

That is the free market: it’s a lot less of a gamble than you think it is.


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Supreme Court Decision Preserves Religious Freedom

By Kaihua Zhou | United States

Recently, the Supreme Court determined that Jack Phillips, a baker, had a right to refuse to produce a wedding cake for a gay couple. This decision is based on sound reasoning.

By recognizing Phillips’ freedom of self-expression, the Court honors the right to express themselves. This principle extends to unpopular and even offensive speech. Consider the case of a woman who made highly racist comments to James Ahn, an Asian American, while driving. Such speech is despicable. It is immoral, but not illegal. However, there are situations where moral choices are illegal. Is an individual’s choice to follow their religious beliefs immoral? Most would assert that this choice is praiseworthy. Yet, Sikh service members were forbidden to wear beards and turbans in 1981 despite these gestures being sincere expressions of their faith. Thankfully, two Sikh service members regained this right in 2016. As Americans, we treasure diversity and inclusion. By protecting the Sikhs, we ensure universal protection for all minorities.

This principle extends even farther. In wartime, states have an obligation to protect their citizens. Occasionally, states choose to enact drafts to fulfill this duty. Honoring the principle of self-expression, the United States has exempted consciousness objectors on the basis of “religious training and/or belief.” War presents a clear threat. Yet we honor self-expression even in such dangerous circumstances.

This brings us to Phillips’ case:

David Mullins, one partner in the gay couple, has argued that Phillips denied him “basic access to public life.” This is a compelling argument. Can the state coerce an individual to grant access to public life? Surely, LGBT individuals have a right to particapate in public life. This principle extends to all. Reviewing the Ahn example, Ahn deserved to have his dignity respected. However, he was not. Even if one considers Phillips a bigot, the state respects a bigot’s rights to self-expression, under certain conditions.

Does baking a cake count as self-expression? It certainly is a creative act with an implied message. Phillips considers it to be one:

“I don’t create cakes for Halloween, I wouldn’t create a cake that would be anti-American or disparaging against anybody for any reason, even cakes that would disparage people who identify as LGBT. Cakes have a message and this is one I can’t create”

By creating cakes, Phillips participates in public life. The same can be said of the Sikh service members and conscious objectors. By compelling him ( or any other group) to refrain from self-expression would be limiting his access to public life. Compelling him ( or any other group) to engage in a expression would similarly limit his access. Freedom is for all, not just for those who hold popular opinions. This is true in Phillips’ court case and it is true for all.


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