Tag: end the drug war

Morality Should Not Determine Legality

By Ian Brzeski | United States

For many people, morality is relatively subjective. To some, sex before marriage is a sin, and to others, it is perfectly reasonable. Some people love taking drugs, and others are appalled by them. People of all kinds differ in their values on these issues and on many others such as access to guns, homosexuality, and prostitution. Whether or not committing a particular act falls under someone’s values, everyone should realize that committing victimless “crimes” should not be punished by the state.

What are Victimless Crimes?

In essence, a victimless crime is a “crime” under the law where there is no identifiable victim. It is performed when no other person or party is involved in the action taking place beside the perpetrator or consenting adults. Consuming drugs is a prime example of a victimless crime. The only party that person would potentially be harming in that act alone would be himself. He or she willingly chose to engage in this act; thus, there is no victim. The same goes for that person when they engage in obtaining the drugs through consensual means. These means include joining into a contract with his “dealer.” The two adults here both agree on terms in this exchange. The dealer provides the drugs, and the consumer provides a means of exchange for his desired goods, presumably money.

Freedom of Choice

Locking people up like caged animals for committing victimless, nonviolent crime is complete nonsense. It does not matter what a person’s morality says about drugs. One could think that they are awful and downright immoral, but that does not change the fact people can do as they please as long as no other person is harmed or brought into unwanted affairs. Those people, out of their own free will, chose to engage in that exchange and then go on with their lives as they please. Nobody was hurt, and everything was purely consensual. Fundamentally, it is not that much different than going out and buying groceries.

If you do not like drugs, don’t do them. Nobody forces you to take them, and if somebody does force you, then that is a crime in itself as it takes away your freedom to make those decisions for yourself. Just as people want the freedom to decide to say no to drugs, others should also have the freedom to take drugs without fear of being imprisoned by the state. It is inconceivable to think that drug abusers belong in a prison cell. Drug abusers need help, not prison time.

While incredible amounts of funding have gone towards decreasing drug use, the drug addiction rate is the same as it was about 40-50 years ago. Instead of spending over a trillion dollars in incarcerating these people, spending should be focused on helping these addicts. Portugal decided to do this about 17 years ago, decriminalizing all drug use and focused their spending on rehabilitation for drug users. At one point, about 1% of Portugal’s population were drug abusers, and now that number has been halved.

The same decriminalization practices should be used for prostitution, pornography, owning guns, and any other victimless crime. If you do not like any of these things, then don’t partake in them- it’s as simple as that. Not to mention that decriminalizing and accepting all of these would make them safer. No more back alley pimps who abuse and drug their prostitutes to make a quick buck. No more sketchy and untrusting drug dealers who may lace their products. No more massive cartels as the majority of their products would be legally imported in the country; thus, losing the majority of their funding. Everything listed here would run as a legitimate business which would then promote competition, naturally making these businesses safer. Interdiction on all of these things is no different from the prohibition of alcohol, and we all know how well that went.

Legalization in Amsterdam

I recently went to Amsterdam where marijuana, certain psychedelic drugs, and prostitution are all legal. The prostitution is all kept in one sector of the city, known as the Red Light District. The Red Light District was bustling with people and seemed as if it were just another business center. These businesses are basically “forced” to care for the health of their laborers as they would have an incentive to because it would be horrible for business if one of their workers had some disease such as an STD. One could find drugs anywhere, but nobody is forcing others to take them. If you want to smoke a blunt, then you can, and if you do not want to, then you do not have to.

The overall cleanliness of the city was surprising. One would think that by allowing drug use and prostitution, the city would be pretty dirty, but that is not true in the slightest. Homeless people and garbage on the streets were not to be found, at least from my experience. Amsterdam has experimented with decriminalizing some of these victimless crimes, and it seems to be going pretty well for them.

Victimless crimes are not real crimes. People should not be punished for doing things that do not harm others or their property, and we must put an end to decades of government control over people’s choice of how they treat their bodies.


Get awesome merchandise and help end the media duopoly by donating to 71 Republic on Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

Advertisements

71R Exclusive: Interview with Lyn Ulbricht of Free Ross

By Ryan Lau@agorisms

Lyn Ulbricht is the mother of Ross Ulbricht, who created the Silk Road, a deregulated online market built around Bitcoin. She is currently the head of Free Ross, an organization that seeks to reduce or end Ross’s sentence by encouraging the president to grant him clemency. She agreed to this interview with 71 Republic’s Ryan Lau to discuss the American justice system, its mistreatment of Ross, parallels to other figures such as Cody Wilson, and what courses of action supporters of Ross should take to make the world a better place for him and for all.

71R: Throughout most things I’ve read, Ross describes himself as a libertarian. Some sources go so far as to call him a crypto-anarchist. What do those labels mean to him, and what do they mean to you?

Ulbricht: You know, somebody asked him that when they were visiting him in prison; he said he doesn’t really feel comfortable with labels. So, he didn’t really specify, and I don’t really feel I can say what it means to him. I know that he is still committed to the principles of liberty, autonomy, and choice, as am I, as were our founders. In general, Ross is someone who is grounded in the principles of liberty and privacy. Because Silk Road was created to protect individual users, not to be a drug website.

71R: Of course.

Ulbricht: It became, not completely, but predominantly a drug website, mostly small, user amounts of marijuana. You wouldn’t know that from the media or the government, but that’s accurate. There were lots of other things on there. The point was privacy, and that goes hand in hand with freedom. How can we be free if we live in a surveillance state?

71R: Do you think that there is a compatibility of liberty and privacy with a state, or do you think that those two entirely oppose each other?

Ulbricht: I would have to think about that. I think that a lot of things the government is doing now are in direct opposition to the Constitution, to our Bill of Rights, and the principles that this country was founded on. Whether or not we need any government at all is something I am not completely sure of, but I’m not speaking for Ross. I think there are arguments on both sides, but we’ve gone so far away from what it was intended to be, that I think we’re in a lot of trouble.

71R: I would agree. Would you suggest, then, that we should adopt a model that moves away from the strong, centralized government of today and shrinks it as far as is practical?

Ulbricht: Yes. We can start by abiding by the Constitution. For example, take the drug war. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that the government has the authority to throw people in cages for using drugs. The fact is, when they prohibited alcohol, they had to amend the Constitution, and then when they realized it was only creating violence and more problems, they had to amend it again to repeal prohibition. Now with the drug war, they didn’t even bother with an amendment. They just gave themselves the authority and are doing this on a federal level, and a state level, in many states. This is not in the Constitution. That is just one example of the overreach that government is propagating now.

71R: Is the Constitution, then, an acceptable means of limiting government growth, when it hasn’t really done so in the past? Or should we look for a different model?

Ulbricht: Again, that’s a debate that I don’t know if I am prepared to speak about. A lot of people I really respect are not fans of the Constitution. However, a really good step would be to abide by the Constitution, which is what the government is supposedly legally obligated to do. Let’s see how that goes. It’s a tough question, but it seems like that would be a good start.

71R: For sure. Shifting gears a little bit, the actions of Free Ross surely occur, in part, out of your own love as a mother, as well as a desire for individual liberty, as you’ve said. Before this mistreatment occurred, did you have the same philosophy regarding rights and privacy? Essentially, how has Ross’s trial shaped your view on government and society as a whole?

Ulbricht: I would say I leaned libertarian. I took a test on where you fall on the political spectrum, and I fell pretty close to libertarian. My husband and I are entrepreneurs, we just like to be left alone for the most part, to live our lives and make our own choices. So, that’s always been my outlook. However, with what I’ve gone through with Ross, I’ve seen up close how the government operates now. I’m very alarmed – it’s hard to believe, until you actually see it. I went into this thinking, well of course, trials are fair, and everybody acts with integrity, and keeps their oath of integrity, and this will all be fine. And, that is not true.

71R: Right.

Ulbricht: Much of what’s going on now is so un-American, immoral, and counter to our values, that it’s shocked me. Once you’ve lived through something yourself, you can’t deny it, so yes, I see things differently.

71R: That’s completely understandable. So, you were saying that there was not a lot of integrity in the trial. Given the existence of the current legal system, what do you believe would have been the best action for the judge and the jury to make?

Ulbricht: Well, it would have been nice if the judge had allowed all of the evidence to be known to the jury, for a start. There were two corrupt agents who used their access to the Silk Road to steal over a million dollars. With their high level admin access, they also were able to act as different aliases, including Dread Pirate Roberts, who they led the jury to believe was solely Ross. They could act as Dread Pirate Roberts, they could change chats, pin numbers, passwords; they had keys, they had complete run of that site. And they could plant evidence, delete evidence, etc. And this was not permitted to be known to the jury. That’s outrageous to me! I didn’t know this at first. Nobody knew until two months after the trial, when it went public. But then it was too late.

71R: Of course, at that point.

Ulbricht: There were other things. The government’s narrative was very carefully crafted, and that’s what the jury was spoon-fed. And the defense was shot down, again and again, when they tried to challenge it. To me, it just seemed very unfair. I couldn’t believe it, actually. It was shocking. How about we get to hear all of the evidence? That would be a good start.

71R: Do you have any suspicions as to why the trial was done this way, why the evidence was denied and removed?

Ulbricht: No, I have nothing to say about any accusations of corruption or anything like that. I do think there was bias, though, on the part of the judge, Katherine Forrest. Chuck Schumer was behind this case. He recommended Forrest to her position on the bench. The lead prosecutor, Preet Bharara, was Chuck Schumer’s special counsel for years and owed his job to Schumer. Ross was brought from California, where he lived and was arrested, to Schumer’s state (New York). So there appears to be a political bias here. I think the prosecutors were dishonest, too. The trial prosecutor, Serrin Turner, didn’t even let the judge or the defense know about one of the corrupt agents until after the trial. He didn’t disclose that.

71R: And he did have knowledge of the agent’s corruption?

Ulbricht: Absolutely.

71R: The Free Ross website also mentions that there was a clear double standard, as most of the other higher-ups within the Silk Road were given lesser sentences than Ross, if any at all. Do you think that Ross’s case was more of a rule or an exception?

Ulbricht: It was an exception. He was the only defendant in the case that got this unbelievably barbaric sentence. Even Blake Benthall, who ran Silk Road 2.0, which the government called identical and actually said sold more drugs in a month and had more listings, was in custody for 13 days and then was released. He never went to trial, and now nobody knows where he is. I’m not saying I want him in jail, I’m saying that this is not equitable. We’re supposed to be treated equally under the law.

71R: Right.

Ulbricht: Ross is not actually in prison for dealing drugs. He’s in prison for running a website. The guy who was convicted for being the biggest drug seller on the Silk Road got ten years. He has the same offense level as Ross, but he got ten years. The government said to Ross, we’re making you an example. And the judge also said, you’re the first, so you need to be the example. You need to be the one who is sacrificed. This is not what you’re supposed to do in the justice system of the United States, just because you’re the first. It’s not even the law, they just said it.

I became convinced it was political, and about Bitcoin, not drugs, when I saw all of these other sentences. I thought, wait a second. This is so inequitable. What is this really about? And I believe it was about Bitcoin. Chuck Schumer was a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, and the banking committee, and I think that they were alarmed about this currency that they couldn’t control, that they couldn’t tax. It was suddenly becoming kind of big, and I think they had to stop it.

71R: What does that say to you about the current state of the American justice system, if they have to resort to those means?

Ulbricht: It says to me that we are in very great peril of losing our freedoms, and that more and more of us are in danger of being thrown in a cage. There’s a book called Three Felonies A Day that talks about how a person breaks laws every day and doesn’t even know it, because there are so many on the books. Nobody even knows how many. Between the government’s conspiracy laws, which is all of what Ross was convicted on, except for their kingpin charge, which is pretty absurd.

You can be in a conspiracy with very little connection to what was going on, and be given the same punishment as a person committing a crime. Conspiracy laws expand the criminal umbrella tremendously, and there are also things like the Three Strikes Law, which is absolutely evil. Thank you, Bill Clinton. So many people are languishing in prison for decades and decades because of that law.

There’s a guy named Jose that Ross knows in prison, and one of his strikes was residue on a dollar bill. Well, I can have residue on a dollar bill, if I get change at a 7/11, right?

71R: Sure thing.

Ulbricht: It’s absurd.

71R: And he was sentenced for that?

Ulbricht: Yes, it was one of his strikes in his life sentence. He’s a friend of Ross in there. Ross says he’s a totally peaceful, nice guy. He is one of the nonviolent drug offenders in there with him.

71R: They are in a picture together on his Twitter, right? Eight or so men lined up, all sentenced for non-violent crimes?

Ulbricht: Yes. And there’s another, also in the picture, named Tony, who is serving life for selling marijuana.

71R: Serving life for it?

Ulbricht: Yes, he’s already been in there for thirteen years, and the prison is in Colorado! So what it says to me, is that the criminal justice system is not about justice. The correctional system is not about correcting anything, in fact, it’s a criminal training ground. And, it’s about, as far as I can see, a tool for power and money. That’s what I think the drug war is, and mass incarceration. They’re making money and extending their power through human beings, and to me, that’s human trafficking.

71R: I would have to agree with you on that. Very much like Ross, Cody Wilson is also a firm believer in individual liberty and privacy. He currently stands uncharged, despite the fact that the state continues to hinder his progress. Do you believe that there is a parallel between the men, in goal, or outcome? In what ways are their actions similar?

Ulbricht: It reminds me of the people who fought the American Revolution. They were mostly the age of Cody, and Ross, and others. They were in their 20s, they were young, most of them. Some were even in their teens. And they were idealistic, and willing to take risks. I think that is at the core of Cody and Ross. They’re idealistic and care about big principles. You could argue about both of them, and how they chose to do those things. But at the core, I believe that that is who they are, and what they’re really about.

71R: If much of Ross’s sentencing, as you were saying, was to set an example and show control, do you believe Cody has reason to worry the state will treat him in a similar manner, for the same reasons?

Ulbricht: Sure he does. I am concerned for Cody, although hopefully that won’t happen. Hopefully he will be safe from that. But yes, he is very defiant, and is stepping up and challenging them. My experience is they don’t like that.

71R: Right. I have to say I have a very similar concern. The only thing left is something to charge him with.

Ulbricht: Right. I do think he’s very aware of it as well, so hopefully he’s being careful. Cody has this reputation as the most dangerous man in the world. I know Cody personally, and he’s a wonderful person. He’s a stellar person and I regard him very highly, and he’s not a dangerous person at all. And he cares about humanity. Just to say, Cody’s image in the media, which I think he somewhat promotes, is not really who he is, just like Ross’s image. The media portrays Ross as a kingpin, thug, all that, but he’s really one of the most laid back, sweet, peaceful guys you’d ever want to meet.

71R: Do you believe that Ross’s new presence on social media will help change the public’s view on him?

Ulbricht: I hope so. It was completely his idea, and I’m not really involved with it at all. At first I was nervous about it, because I’m always worried the government’s going to use something against him, because that’s pretty much how it is. Mainly, he said, look, I want people to know who I am. I’ve had to be silent all these years and let everybody else say who I am. He just wants to be like a regular person on Twitter. I don’t expect him to get political, or anything like that. I think it’s more about just communicating who he is as a human being, and a regular guy.

When it comes down to it, we are all individuals, we’re all who we are. And so, I think that he felt so cut off, and now he is really enjoying having the interaction. Now, he’s not on the internet. This is through someone else, who is posting, and the comments are mailed to him. I hope it does help people understand him better. Ross’s whole philosophy is peaceful, use no force, voluntary interaction. I don’t think there are many kingpins who have that philosophy! It’s pretty much about force and violence for them. I hope it helps, because it’s been very damaging. A lot of the media just cares about sensationalism and clickbait and then it gets to be how people think it really is.

71R: To wrap up, what is the best course of action, if there is one, for someone trying to promote privacy rights and individual liberty? Is electoral politics a legitimate route? Or should they take more voluntary action through a social movement or create some sort of program like Ross or Cody?

Ulbricht: I’m no expert on this, but I think it’s a blend. I’m trying to do this now, for Ross. We’re out of the judicial realm now, and into the public arena more. At the end of the day, it is the politics that’s going to determine law, and have the force behind it. At the same time, public opinion influences politics. So, the two really go hand in hand.

I would, though, urge anyone who is thinking about this kind of thing to please stay within the bounds of the law. Do not break the law. You need to do your work, for your principles, within the law. I think it’s a dual approach, at least what I’m trying to do. I think one influences the other. Public opinion influences politics, which then influences the law. It is up to Congress to change the law, and they respond to public pressure.

Also, our petition to grant Ross clemency is a key part of blending the social and the political movements. We want to influence the president and convince him that commuting Ross’s sentence is a worthy thing to do. If we have half a million people signing it, I think it would have impact. Our goal is to say that this sentence is wrong, and to please commute Ross’s sentence. If people would please share it and sign it, that would be great. We would really appreciate it. That’s a very important focus right now. Clemency is one of Ross’s last chances, and we need to get the president’s attention.

71R: You believe that it can be done, with enough signatures?

Ulbricht: I think it would certainly help.

71R: Thank you very much for all of your time!

Ulbricht: Thank you for doing this, for caring about getting the truth out there. I really appreciate it.


Please sign the petition to grant Ross Ulbricht clemency, which you can find here.

More information on the fight to free Ross Ulbricht is available here.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source

The Libertarian Party Can Win, and Here’s How

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

The Libertarian Party, and the libertarian ideology as a whole, are fighting an uphill, losing battle. Government is only continuing to grow, and the wars are not coming any closer to an end. On the contrary, President Trump just bolstered the military more, signing into law a $717 billion military budget. Despite this, though, it is still possible to begin setting the country back on the right track, towards liberty. The one thing standing in the Libertarian Party’s way is the Libertarian Party.

Now, admittedly, the party has faced a number of challenges in its fairly brief history. They have struggled to obtain ballot access, and rarely, if ever, make the debate podiums on major networks. The two-party system and its duopoly over government surely contributes, but it is also the party’s scapegoat. Just like everyone else, the party needs to have some agency and take responsibility. Part of the reason that the party is not more popular is simply because they have not made the right political decisions.

At the very least, if they cannot accept this, they must recognize that the two party system is not going anywhere. Rather than complain about unfair rules, the party should fight around the rules and prove they can’t be held back. They need to find the right track and find it fast. The Libertarian Party is deeply flawed, but these important changes could turn it around faster than a student of Mises that hears an argument against property rights.

1. Reassert Dominance on Social Liberalism

At the party’s founding in 1971, it was the only one to support gay marriage and legalized marijuana. As such, the party was enticing to members of those groups, who otherwise had no home. But in the last decade, most politicians, beginning with Democrats, have begun to accept both of these practices. As a result, Libertarians have lost their advantage on social liberalism.

So, as a reaction to this, it is time for the Libertarians to voice strong support for important social issues that the major parties do not condone. A prime example of this is the decriminalization, and ultimate deregulation, of all narcotics. Using Portugal’s success as evidence, the Libertarian Party could seriously bring a new wave of social liberalism to the country. They simply need to steer clear of moderation, avoiding Gary Johnson’s policy of only legalizing marijuana. Libertarians need to use their uniqueness when it comes to social policy as a strength and a defining factor, not something to shy away from.

This uniqueness should also extend to new areas of social liberalism that have yet to catch on in the public eye. As new, voluntary ideas form, it is the job of the Libertarian Party to welcome them with open arms. Perhaps, in the next few years or decades, cloning will become mainstream. Currently, a vast majority of Americans do not find the idea of cloning moral. Naturally, this would suggest that those in power would agree and ban the practice. But by using this unique social tolerance, Libertarians can give a voice to those in support of unorthodox and unsupported social practices.

2. Begin to Explore Politics of the Future

The average American right now probably thinks that cyber-chips and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology are things of the future. However, they are beginning to slip into the mainstream. Already, RFID is used extensively in several areas, including the skiing industry. Moreover, a company in Sweden is implanting its employees with microchips that they use for everything from paying for lunch to opening the door. So, just how long will it be before we combine these technologies, and micro RFID implants are as common as essential as cell phones?

Probably not very long, as the technology would be incredibly convenient and profitable. Despite this, nobody in politics, save transhumanists like Zoltan Istvan, is talking about it at all. Whether the people like it or not, society will continue to progress, probably to the dissatisfaction of a lot of conservative traditionalists.

In fact, one of the most common errors of society is the inability to see that it will always change and evolve. George Gilder puts it excellently in his recent book, Life After Google. One of the fatal flaws of communism was that Marx believed his early industrial society to be the peak of human accomplishment. Likewise, politicians today entirely ignore the technology of the future.

The Libertarian Party, by looking at topics of the future, can assert dominance over the other parties. When the ideals come to fruition, as they will, the Libertarian Party will be the only ones talking about them. By supporting the right to modify one’s body, while condemning possible coercive government use of this technology, they can be the leading voice in technology politics, attracting both supporters and skeptics with this two-sided policy.

3. Become the Party of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is not dead. Though the value bounces up and down, the market as a whole has a definite future. But much like futurism, nobody is really talking about it. Occasionally, the government makes a move and begins to regulate the blockchain. While this all occurs, the Libertarian Party does nothing.

Estimates vary about the number of total Americans that use cryptocurrency. One survey suggests that roughly five percent of Americans hold bitcoin. Of course, there is another significant portion of people that hold altcoins and not bitcoin. For the sake of simplicity, assume that the figure rests at a conservative five percent. Those five percent sure aren’t going to like when the federal government starts regulating their money, considering that crypto is known for its lack of government regulation.

Of course, an increase in regulation may leave all of these people feeling disenfranchised with the parties doing it. Yet, there is no real alternative at the time. In their official 2018 platform, the Libertarian Party does not mention Bitcoin once. That’s right, the party of decentralization and free markets has missed a huge opportunity. By favoring cryptocurrency and all other money that evades the state, they could do wonders in paving the way for future action in regards to it, as well as attracting more people involved in cryptocurrency to the movement and the party.

4. Stop Acting Like a Political Party

Political parties, like many other organizations, are filled to the brim with bureaucracy. Meaningless banter and semantics dominate discussion and limit discourse. In this case, the Libertarian Party is no different. Party member and 71 Republic writer Spencer Kellogg explains it in great depth in his review of the 2018 national convention. At one point, the members spent an hour or so debating whether the chair candidates should speak for five or ten minutes. Yes, they saved a half an hour, but not before wasting an hour debating, and netting a loss of time.

Moreover, the party relentlessly fights, to be frank, like a bunch of children. Just today, Caryn Ann Harlos, the Libertarian Party National Secretary, bickered senselessly with James Weeks of the socialist caucus. The former stated that it was a mistake to have socialists in the party, while the latter, of course, denied this. But while they fought, the bombs kept dropping, and the tax collectors kept collecting taxes.

Thus, it is time for the party to stop arguing, as long as there are so many areas of common ground. Before worrying about which economic system to adopt in a libertarian society (which does not matter at all, because all are free to form communities with the economic system of their choice), end the wars. End the central banks. End the systemic oppression that the federal government brings with nearly its every action. Stop looking at whether to fight Bill Weld or Adam Kokesh or James Weeks, and start fighting the government that has wronged all three.

5. Support Enemies of the State

The previous points have largely talked about ways to secure more votes and win an election. However, if securing a vote and winning an election are the eventual goals, there’s the door. Don’t let it slam on the way out. The battle goes far beyond winning one election or ten elections. Rather, it continues until we extirpate from the world the very thought of coercion. This isn’t to say that elections cannot be useful tools to bring about liberty, as they definitely can. The thing is, though, individual citizens have done more for this in five years than the Libertarian Party has in nearly fifty.

Just recently, Cody Wilson won a lawsuit against the federal government, and the files for a number of 3D printable guns are widely available. This avoids the painstaking process of registration, and the coercion that meets those who do not comply. Ross Ulbricht, by creating the Silk Road, has offered a platform for those who deal in substances the state does not approve of. Edward Snowden has revealed a great deal of information about the government’s corruption.

What do these men all have in common? None of them sought out a public office in order to accomplish their goals. On the contrary, all of them sought to make the world a better place by freely expressing themselves and their ideas. None have any affiliation with the Libertarian Party, and hence, the party says little about any of them. Occasionally, they voice support for Snowden or Ulbricht, but it is not a consistent message. Allying with enemies of the state is a powerful strategy, and if the party uses it properly, they may find themselves more able to foster more individuals who will also make the world a freer place.

The Future of the Libertarian Party

So, what does the future of the Libertarian Party look like? Following these steps, they could transform themselves from an irrelevant sect wrought with infighting to a major force that improves lives. But if they change nothing, well, ‘irrelevant sect’ just might be a good description for a whole lot longer than it needs to be.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source

Michigan at a Crossroads – John Tatar for Governor

By John Keller | United States
John Tatar is a libertarian campaigning to be the next governor of Michigan.
Keller: Running for governor is no easy task. What inspired you to run for office and pursue a political career?

Tatar: I am tired of the Democrats and Republicans promising everything and delivering NOTHING!  Each “public functionary” has no clue about our Republic and has no clue about the US Constitution and the MI Constitution.  These “public functionaries” have no idea that their power to govern comes from the people who delegate power to them to rule.  If we don’t delegate it,  they do not that the authority to do it.  Yet their responsibilities to take care of the infrastructure has been seriously neglected,  They claim they have no money so they must raise taxes,  yet they have enough money to purchase a 17 million dollar building for 48 Million, and they get away with it.  The “public functionaries”  are over paid and under worked while the people they represent are over worked and under paid,  This REPUBLIC is upside down.  The Candidates that are presently running are ALL part of the SAME ilk.  I could go on and on about what is wrong, but complaining will not fix the problem RUNNING for governor will..

I have always been involved with politics, I have tried to correct some of the problems as a citizen but educating the masses is very difficult.

Keller: When entering politics, what drew you to the Libertarian Party over the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?
Tatar: The Libertarian party has not been compromised at this time.  If you haven”t been a delegate to either of the other two parties that is a true eye opener,  They are corrupt and compromised as the candidates who are running.  I was a delegate at one time to the Republican party, during the Ron Paul run for president.  When Ron Paul met the criteria for speaking at the convention, that is getting 3 states that supported him, then he would get a chance to speak at the Republican Convention.  Well, at the Republican Convention, in front of everyone that was watching on TV saw the chairman of the republicans change the rules to 10 states.  What a criminal behavior! 
Keller: In Michigan’s history, since 1842, there has been 17 democratic and 28 republican governors – no third party governors. Why is the time for a libertarian governor now
Tatar: I believe that many of the Citizens who are involved with the electoral process is fed up with the present political graft and corruption system.  Many have given up, and so when I was out personally gathering the 18,800 signatures, many people who signed for me signed for me because I am running on the libertarian ticket.  I think it is time for a change,  The candidates presently running are running for an office they have no idea what that office is about.  They trample on the Constitution and the peoples rights without any consequences.  Lansing has become totally cloaked in darkness.  We need to change this.
Keller: Libertarians commonly follow the motto, “Less government is better government.” What is one area in which you think more government would actually be better?

Tatar: Less government more liberty.  This government is much too large and too many rules, ordinances, and enforcement officers,  Consequently too many fines, and too many people incarcerated for non violent crime.  Much to much government. Have you been to Lansing lately?  This is a mega city.

Keller: In continuation of the last question, what is one area of government you want to see cut or even erased?

Tatar: Dept of education, Dept of transportation cut, Dept of State cut, Eliminate the Senate, part time legislature on and on.

Keller: What would a libertarian governorship look like in Michigan? In other words, what policies would you want to see enacted?

Tatar: Follow the US Constitution, Follow the Michigan Constitution, re write the oath of office to include if anyone in the legislature, executive or judicial takes a bribe or promises anything that is a felony.

Seriously cut back the size and scope of government. More liberty to the people.  Also eliminate the state income tax and cut back on many other taxes if not eliminate them.  Concentrate on fixing the MI infrastructure.  See my website: johnjtatar.com

Keller: The “Flint, Michigan” story was national news for sometime. How do you view the handling of this issue, and what would you change, if anything?

Tatar: Flint is in the national news because the government was caught “usurping” authority.  All of Michigan water is polluted. That is a sin.  The infrastructure in MI has not been kept up.  All citizens must do house keeping from time to time and so the government needs to do house keeping also.  Instead, the “public functionaries” line their pockets and walk away laughing at the people in MI.

Keller: As Governor, what would be more important to you: following federal mandates from Washington D.C. or serving the state of Michigan?

Tatar: All federal mandates if unconstitutional are “null and void”!!!  Michigan is its own country, we are not a colony of Washington.

Keller: If someone was interested in your campaign, how could they get involved?

Tatar: Go to my website johnjtatar.com and there are ways of contacting me.

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the audience?

Tatar: We are on the very edge of losing our Republic and sliding back to a Democracy where the Oligarchs will become kings and we will become slaves to those in charge.  What way do you want to go?
I would like to thank John Tatar for his time. Be sure to visit his website to learn more.


To help support 71 Republic, donate to our Patreon, which you can find by clicking here.

A New Hope for Congress – Jason Hope for House of Reps

By John Keller | United States
Jason Hope is the libertarian candidate for Congress in Texas’ 31st Congressional District.
Keller: What inspired you to pursue a career in politics?
Hope: I have thought about running for office for many years, I was first inspired by Ron Paul.  Ron Paul showed me that you could be a politician and stand on principles.  When I realized that you could be a principled politician and could actually help people in the quest for freedom I was all in!
Keller: With such a political duopoly by the Democrats and Republicans, what made you join the Libertarian Party?
Hope: I joined the libertarian party because it is the party of principle, they believe in the non-aggression principle which means I can live my life as I please as long as I don’t harm anyone else.  This is a great philosophy, which extends to so much that the government has overreached on.  If it is wrong to take something from someone by force than how do we allow taxation of any form?  The only thing the other two major parties believe is how to attain more power and money.  After considering all of that it was a very easy decision.
Keller: In your own words, what is a Libertarian?
Hope: A libertarian is a voluntarist who believes people should be free to live their lives how they choose to live, as long as they don’t try and impose there way of living on anyone else (that’s the best part I think, we can have gun restrictions that I don’t agree with just do it somewhere else away from me and I probably wont go there and visit but that is freedom).
Keller: What policy and change do you hope to bring to Congress?
Hope: There is several things I want to change with congress.  I would like to drastically reduce spending especially on the military budget.  I would like to reschedule Cannabis so it is no longer considered class 1 felony.  I would heavily push to audit the federal reserve so we can take our currency back and end the income tax.  I would also push to reduce regulation on business and commerce to allow the free market to thrive better so we have a better economy. Lastly I would like to end many government agencies including but not limited to the department of education, EPA, DEA, CIA and I’m sure I could go on for a while with this list.
Keller: Although Libertarians tend to believe less laws and less government is better, what is one law you would like to see passed?
Hope: If I had to come up with a law I would want passed it would have to be that the president or anyone who can be held liable that aided in the attack/waging of war on another country without congressional approval would be arrested and subject to criminal trial.
Keller: If elected to Congress, how will you see legislation passed through the duopoly majority?
Hope: The only way I have ever been able to get anyone to aid in the quest for liberty is stand on my principles and speak out hoping the rest will hear the message and realize what they are doing is wrong and correct the mistake.  I was a die hard republican for many years until I was shown there is a better way of liberty and true individual freedom, so if I can hear that message so will others.
Keller: Donald Trump has been very controversial to say the least. In Congress would you work with President Trump to get his agenda passed?
Hope: That is a broad statement, first we have to figure out what his agenda is.  He campaigned on bringing troops home and ending wars abroad but so far I have heard the drums of war only get louder. He has flip flopped on many things just like so many presidents before him.  I would work with him if it was to reduce government or something of the like, but to say I would help get his agenda passed 100% would be a lie.
Keller: What is the key to winning your election? If someone wanted to get involved, how would they do so?
Hope: Getting the message out to the people of District 31 in Texas that they have a principled candidate with their freedom in mind.  Go to my Facebook page you can message me and we can figure something out to help, also like and share it with others in that district tell them to vote libertarian.  I am self funding this campaign so I don’t really have any money for the campaign but if people want to make a sign or whatever I encourage individuals to speak out in their community on my behalf as long as it aligns with what my message is. 
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
Hope: I believe the time has come to take our liberties back, the people are tired of politics as usual and Donald Trump being elected speaks volumes to this. Regardless if he has stuck to his word or not, the message he put out of ending wars and eliminating federal overreach with regulation and reducing welfare etc is why he was elected.  If the people realize there are people running for office who really mean what they say, the Democrats and Republicans will have no chance.   Also my district is a military district which has Fort Hood as part of it, so I have decided that if elected I would give $100,000 of the $174,000 congressional yearly salary to help veterans coming home from these illegal wars with PTSD and also help organize local militia to have local protection against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Thank you Mr. Hope for your time. Be sure to visit his website if interested in getting involved.