Tag: Interview

Interview with Wisconsin LP Chair Phil Anderson

Jack Parkos | United States

Phil Anderson is the Wisconsin Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Wisconsin. Phil is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the current chair of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party. Phil is also a veteran and served in the US Army as a combat medic in a Patriot missile battalion in West Germany.

The following is a transcrip from an interview with Phil Anderson.


Parkos: Your campaign mentions a lot of how you wish to “drain the swamp” in politics. How have you seen political corruption specifically in Wisconsin?

Anderson: Well mainly in Wisconsin you see the corruption through the government giving tax breaks, tax incentives, and flat out grants to private businesses. Probably the most egregious example is the Wisconsin Development Economic Corporation giving grants to business to either move here, expand here, or to stay in some cases. Often times those are contributions to businesses that have made donations to the Walker administration. Previous to him it was Doyle administration. And often time they are businesses that don’t really even need those tax breaks like Kwik Trip for example.

Parkos: You have said that you would start pardoning people convicted of victimless crimes, could you fill us in on more about that process?

Anderson: Yes I’ve made a commitment to immediately pardoning people who are in jail for non-violent drug crimes, not all victimless crimes initially but non-violent drug crimes. Those tend to one where there is the most (I mean there’s a tremendous amount of injustice obviously) but specific injustice to people of color in Wisconsin. So the governor, among the other things I’ve committed to fighting for, the governor has the authority in the state constitution to pardon people who are in prison. So it’s pretty straightforward, you have to have the correct information about the person that’s incarcerated, their name, where they’re located, and probably there social security number just to verify it. Some basic record keeping that’s already in the system so it’s easy to pull that up. And then the governor just signs a little statement that says “I hear by pardon this person of these particular crimes” signs it, files it, and as soon as the state correction system can, which usually is a couple days they will release that person back to their community.

Parkos: Possibly one of the biggest issues of this election is the “Foxconn” a multi-billion dollar tax subsidy for a new (Electronics manufacturing) plant being built in Wisconsin. As governor would you keep, amend, or flat out get rid of this deal?

Anderson: Ideally I’d like to get rid of the Foxconn deal, the problem though is that as far as I know, that its a legally binding contract between the state and Foxconn. But they already have breached in a couple of cases in terms of environmental things and they’ve publicly changed the parameters of what they want to build, originally it was going to be large flat LCDs, now it’s going to be much smaller screens. Their projections have changed in terms of job creation and how big a building they are gonna build. So if those can nullify that contract (make it null and void) then it’s certainly outmoded. I am not renegotiating with them. So I’ll be very very strict on making sure that they follow their side of the contract, and at the point at which nullify or renegotiate it, I will do so because it is a bad deal.

Parkos: Another issue that has become popular is the people’s concerns about Wisconsin’s infrastructure, including the whole idea of “Scott Holes”. What would be your policy as a Libertarian governor towards infrastructure?

Anderson: The first problem with our infrastructure, and with roads and bridges specifically, is that the Wisconsin DOT is notoriously wasteful and corrupt. We don’t even know exactly what the state is paying for roads, because its been reported recently and exposed that they have been double paying for certain parts of road projects in the Milwaukee area and that it has been uncovered that that’s relatively routine, and I think its a warning sign as well that the contractors involved did not the payment or make note of that either. So it clearly looks like an avenue of corruption for the Wisconsin DOT to pay off certain road builders, who in turn make campaign contributions to the Walker administration. So the first thing I’ll do it to have an independent audit, a forensic accounting firm, people that go in and look for problems and to go into the entire Wisconsin DOT budget and figure out exactly where all the waste, fraud, and abuse is and get rid of that by virtue of using the Line Item Veto in the first budget that I author. Because it’s the Wisconsin Governors responsibility to write a budget right after they are elected for their first term. Once that’s done we will try to move as much control and tax authority over roads to as local a level as possible. Right now most of that funding flows through the state through the gas tax. But as much as we can move to the county level and to local level we will do that much as possible because that is where it can be more transparent, efficient, and accountable.

Parkos: The number one issue people tend to vote on is the economy, how do assure people the economy will be best off with you as governor?

Anderson: Right now there is a tremendous amount of resources being drained from the economy in terms of taxation. The biggest, most inefficient, most corruptible avenue is the state income tax, and we’ve mad a public commitment to fight for getting rid of the state income tax in Wisconsin. What that will do-along with getting rid of the Wisconsin economic development corporation, which is the mechanism the government uses to pick winners and losers in the economy. This will release a tremendous amount of wealth into the hands of individuals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. That coupled with our commitment to low taxation, low regulation, throughout the course of my term, and hopefully, more terms after that will give businesses that are considering growing or relocating here the certainty of a tax and regulatory environment. That’s almost as important, maybe more important, than having low tax rates, low regulation, because right now in Wisconsin what we have is rent seeking, so business come here, business exist here and they’re constantly seeking benefits from the government by making campaign contributions or threatening to leave or whatever. That’s not the normal state of affairs. Most big corporations wanna know exactly what their risk is, exactly what their costs are gonna be in terms of tax and regulation before they make decisions like that. If we can level the playing field, get rid of the state income tax, keep money in hands of individuals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who employ most of the people in Wisconsin, then our economy will flourish by virtue of low taxes, low regulations, and certainty of those two things as well.”

Parkos: What is your biggest concern with a Walker victory?

Anderson: So my biggest concern with Scott Walker being reelected is that he will be even more brazing in his picking of winners and losers in the economic sense. That’s one thing if he returns to office, then the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will continue to pick winners and losers, continue to take taxpayer’s money and give it away to this who are political favorites for some reason or another and that will continue. The other thing about Scott Walker is that he seems to be completely ignorant of canibus issues the things he’s said over the last couple of years when the issue cannabis legalization has come up have been so scientifically dumbfounded so the opposite of what’s true and what we really need in Wisconsin-along with a powerful economy- is a criminal justice reform and that cannot happen without legalizing marijuana.

Parkos: What is your biggest concern with an Evers victory?

Anderson: Tony Evers is making a lot of promises right now-both he and Scott Walker have triangulated towards the middle. Tony Evers is talking about things like not changing concealed carry laws, though he has privately said and his running mate said about mental health test in order for people have licenses to carry weapons. Which is completely out of the question and unconstitutional. But also his promises about taxation probably won’t happen either. What he’s talking about that is particularly concerning is his 1.4 billion dollar (I think that’s the accurate number) school funding program. Which will greatly increase the amount of funding to k-12 schools, we know that throwing money at the problem does not work. States that have some of the worst educational outcomes-like New Jersey for example, spend the most per pupil. It’s a bad idea. That’s basically a handout to the teachers and the teachers union and those people that are helping him get elected. In the case of Tony Evers (just like with Scott Walker), they will be awarding favors with our tax money and regulations overuse to those who help get them elected and to help them possibly get reelected in the future.

Parkos: How do you feel President Trump is doing as president so far? What have you liked, what haven’t you liked?

Anderson: In regards to President Trump, the fact that he’s been rolling back regulations I like and I know that’s been going on I’m not really familiar with the bulk of the regulations that have changed so it is possible that some of that regulatory roll back has not been in benefit for the economy in general but it has been in the benefit for some business or entities in specific so I don’t really know. But the idea of deregulating I really really like so that’s good. He has mentioned recently (although I don’t know how serious he is about it) about audit or doing somethings about the federal reserve. So obviously I like that. As far as negative stuff-there’s actually a lot. His foreign policy has been all over the place, he is still pretty much an interventionist, although he mentioned during his campaign the idea of possibly withdrawing from NATO and potential from drawing from the UN or whatever it might be. I don’t think he’s serious about that otherwise it probably would’ve happened already. I also don’t think he does a good job at expressing, whatever good he is doing he is not really talking about that. He is all over the place in terms of his interactions with the public and it’s confusing, and I don’t really know if that’s just who he is or if that’s his intentional way of interacting with the public. But I don’t think that’s productive, I think it’s distracting, and for those who might wanna support him-the people who voted for him, it just makes it even more difficult to support him.

Parkos: How do you feel about the issue of the caravan from Honduras?

Anderson: So the issue of the Caravan-first of all, American foreign policy has been messing with Central and South America for a long long time and been actively destabilizing those regions for the purpose of (initially) 30-40 years ago keeping the communists out of power, but basically so that we could continue to have dominance in that region and not have to deal with actual legitimate governments. So thats part of the reason that the caravan exists in the first place because we have destabilized these regions. Second of all, I think the caravan issue is overblown. There are people that are trying to get into the United States all the time. The idea that these folks are criminals waiting to get into the United States in order have criminal intent sorta defies common sense. If they were criminals they could commit crimes where they are, they don’t need to walk 2,000 miles and then try to get into our country to do that. I think it’s more likely that they are people that are just absolutely desperate in their home countries and I think the thing to do, since we know that in Wisconsin especially but also in other parts of the country that unemployment is so low and that there is a market for to work low wage difficult jobs that Americans simply haven’t been interested in doing because they’ve got better choices. We should have a process whereby those in the Caravan (or in any situation) that we can document and haven’t been terrorists in their homecountries that we should let them in and help them find work right away. They’re not dangerous to society and the economy needs them. So we need to facilitate them coming in. While that issue seems like a national issue it relates to Wisconsin in a couple of ways. 1. We need immigrants in Wisconsin to work on farms. I spoke at the Rock County Agriculture Candidates Forum about a month ago. One of there concerns was not only having those immigrants available to work but should those immigrants get drivers licenses, because you need to drive in most cases for farm work, and my response was maybe that’s a way for them to become apart of a more integrated part of our society and if they get drivers licenses they are no longer undocumented anymore-there documented. They may not be in terms of citizenship, but they are documented and they are more productive at working for the farms in Wisconsin that we depend on. Secondly, it wasn’t that long ago when our Wisconsin National Guard went to serve on that Southern Border and I would resist those efforts as Governor. I can’t say that the National Guard can’t go because the federal law requires that in those kind of cases the federal government can just call up the National Guard from Wisconsin. But I would make a lot of noise about it because we don’t want our friends and neighbors and loved ones going to patrol the border in some political exercise, we want them to stay here unless there’s an actual emergency and honor the sacrifice that they’ve offered to make in serving their country and not treat it frivolously by sending them to the Texas border on a political exercise. I think that’s a tragedy.

Parkos: How do you feel about the aftermath of the Synagogue shooting? Do you think anyone is to blame for it?

Anderson: As regards to the tragic events at the Synagogue in Pittsburg over the weekend-our hearts and our minds and prayers go out to those victims. But there is a lot of finger pointing going on as well. A lot of people are saying that the president in practical has been inciting racial hatred and violence by using not necessarily overt terms, but by using terms like “nationalism” and “enemies of the people” and things like that. I don’t think it’s necessary or productive to point fingers at him, because he is not the source of the problem, he’s a symptom of the problem. I agree that those terms are charged with meaning and when a person who is a white nationalist hears the terms “I am a nationalist”, they think something. They embolden in the same way that other people that hold those anti social political positions might feel embolden by other terms. But those people are out there and we need to recognize that while they’re a very small percentage of the population, they people that tend to carry out acts of violence, we saw that in Charlottesville and other places. But it’s not Donald Trump or any other politician thats causing that. They are a symptom of that. What we need to do is take a look at our politics in practical. We have a political system thats dominated by two parties and in the math of having only two parties, it’s very political efficient, in order to continue to get elected, to point fingers at the other party. Because there is only two sides. There’s your side which is the lesser of two evils. The other side, which is much more evil. Once the two-party system in broken open, ideally by libertarians, but really by anybody if there is a third viable party. Then the calculus of “Us vs Them” completely changes. Governments have to work together, two of the three parties have to work together. They can’t demonize each other, they have to get things done, otherwise, government comes to a halt (Which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing). But in the short term, it would create chaos in our American economy and society. So the real culprit here is a politics that is dominated by money, which constructs this two party system, dominates it and campaigns on the “Us vs. Them”, “Good vs. Evil”, demonizing the other side sorta political rhetoric that creates and emboldens people to act like that as a opposed to a politics where libertarians are represented (or at least 3 parties) where that sort of political rhetoric that’s decisive, hateful, and angry isn’t as productive. Therefore, the money powers that are behind the two parties wouldn’t invest in that sorta advertising because it wouldn’t be productive. If they had to come up with good ideas to win they would do that. In a two party system they don’t have to come up with good ideas they just have to demonize the other side. We see that playing out not only politically through this election cycle, but through every election cycle. I think that’s what makes people who are hateful a little more bold and little more excited to the things that they do such as the killings in Pittsburg.”

Parkos: What is the best course of actions that libertarians can take to help the liberty movement?

Anderson: So the best things that libertarians can do to help the liberty movement, which is-as I define it, doesn’t just include the Libertarian party but anyone who seeks liberty for people and smaller more transparent government or more constitutional goverment. There’s two things, number one is to support the Libertarian Party wherever there’s a candidate running. Now, once people are elected, I think it’s fine-in fact productive (I do it myself) to point out when a president or a person serving in the senate or congress or governor or whoever does something that’s liberty minded and I think that’s good once they’re elected. Because we need to point out that those are things that we would also do if we were in office. So when people like Justin Amash or Rand Paul, Thomas Massie whoever that might be-Scott Walker for example when he got behind the idea of petitioning the FCC to loosen up some UHF bandwidth so that Rural broadband would be something that the market could enact in rural Wisconsin. That was a market based solution and he was behind it so I applaud him for that. So pointing those things out is great and show what we would support if we were in power, and those things that are happening that are liberty minded. But on the other hand, we need to support the party and the party is growing, there are diverse aspects of our party. We actually both the benefit and liability of being philosophically grounded because Democrats and Republicans can modify their issues based in what the public is saying and based on what the other party is saying. For example, we see radical changes in what the Democrats were supporting in the 1990’s visa vi the drug war or immigration vs what they advocate for now I have no philosophical connection to! So we always have that tensions between what we are purposing and our base philosophy-which I think is healthy but also allows for some internal discord. But the Libertarian party will always always always be better, vastly better, on liberty issues than Republicans and Democrats. That’s our best pathway forward and in so far as people who are “small l libertarians” can support the libertarian party, help candidates who are running for office, get involved in politics on local level-run for school board, county board, run in non-partisan races, run for sheriff. Our candidate in Massachusetts just got the endorsement of the Boston Globe I think it was for Auditor, which is a statewide position It is partisan but because he had great qualifications he got endorsed. So anywhere that we can put our people forward and hold positions that people can recognize and say “this is a libertarian and they’re doing a good job”-that really really helps. But in any case support your libertarian candidates, don’t get sucked into the lesser of two evils conundrum because that’s a false dichotomy that presented by people that wanna suck back into normal two-party politics. We don’t want that, we need to support our canidates and point out when members of the other two parties in office and do things that are liberty minded. It’s okay to point that out. We aren’t claiming that they are libertarians, we are claiming that in this case they approaching some nugget of the truth.

Special thanks to Phil Anderson for the opportunity to interview him. Remember to get out and VOTE libertarian on November 6th.
For more information on his campaign, check out his website at https://www.teamguv.org
For information on the Wisconsin Libertarian Party check out https://www.lpwi.org


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Interview With Brent DeRidder of the Liberty Coalition for Disaster Relief

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

71 Republic’s Indri Schaelicke had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Brent DeRidder, the founder of the Liberty Coalition for Disaster Relief. He discussed the organization, its accomplishments, and how the people can help it meet its goals.

Schaelicke: What is the Liberty Coalition for Disaster Relief? What is your mission?

DeRidder: LCDR is a disaster relief organization. We were formed during the landing of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and endeavor to fill the gaps that government relief leaves. Our goal is to provide emergency aid during disasters and relief after. We work with other relief organizations, private individuals, and community groups to fill specific needs.

Schaelicke: What made you want to start this organization? Was there a specific event where you realized this was your calling, or did it just seem like a natural next step for you to take?

DeRidder: When my daughter, Emily, heard about the storm hitting Texas, she walked into my bedroom and demanded, sternly, that we take immediate action. She clearly pointed to the principles I hold dear and told me to “Do what you’re always telling everyone to do.” I picked up my keyboard and we got to work. Within minutes liberty advocates from across the country were joining our ‘team’ and soon we were crossing political lines.

Almost immediately liberty advocates were volunteering both physically and virtually. We lucked out and had a great administrative team that we still work with today. It wasn’t long before we had volunteers driving in with their own vehicles, towing their own boats, and loaded down with rescue and relief supplies. Within days we had entire communities making huge donations. We had volunteers going into places other organizations wouldn’t. This isn’t my calling. The movement is my calling. This is something the movement has called me to do.

Schaelicke: What does running the LCDR entail?

DeRidder: Working as a team! Nobody really ‘runs’ LCDR. We’re a network of volunteers. We’ve got a board and team coordinators, but none of us are in charge. As far as running a specific relief effort, it’s mostly facilitation. We figure out the need, come up with a plan of action, and organize volunteers. There’s a lot of organizing phonebanks to solicit supplies, finding volunteers a place to sleep, and coordinating with other relief groups.

Schaelicke: How do you receive funding for this massive operation?

DeRidder: People want to help. We’re working on our tax status and eventually, we’ll work year-round to raise funds and grow our network. We did raise a fair amount of funds during Harvey but, right now, we depend on the grassroots efforts of volunteers. We’re mostly facilitators. People want to do good. Sure, some people just want to donate money and that’s fantastic. We’ll be ready for that as soon as possible. Without money, though, we’ve still had great success and the future is bright.

Schaelicke: Do you have a memorable experience or favorite story from your relief efforts?

DeRidder: Absolutely. During the Harvey effort, Zach Garretson put together a team of volunteers. He coordinated supply donations and drops. The guy was a superhero. He loaded down his truck and made his first drops outside Houston, but heard Beaumont was impossible to get to and needed help. Zach risked his life making it through the flood zone to help get people what they needed. He’s a good friend of mine and was one of the first people to jump on board as boots on the ground. I’m a little biased, but that’s my favorite story so far.

Schaelicke: What lessons have you learned from your involvement in this organization?

DeRidder: LCDR has taught me that people really do want to help each other. We argue about politics, economics, philosophy, religion, and the order of operations for pouring a bowl of cereal, but when things are looking dark, we take joy in shedding light. We’re willing, even happy, to work together. It gives me hope for the future and it makes me want to do more.

Schaelicke: What is your biggest challenge right now?

DeRidder: Right now our biggest challenge is getting the word out. When people know there’s still a need, they volunteer and donate. Unfortunately, Florence hasn’t been given the attention that was needed from the mainstream media and it’s not a presidential election year so… Right now our biggest challenge is getting the word out that the Carolinas aren’t okay. There was a massive amount of flooding. It was more than I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived here my whole life. When we were driving home from through the mountains, we were seeing mud on trees several feet high form all the flooding. Major roads and highways are washed out. They’re just gone. Bridges are gone. Communities are wiped out. There’s a housing crisis because so many people have been displaced. They’ve lost everything. The water took it all.

Schaelicke: What is the LCDR’s biggest accomplishment so far?

DeRidder: The Coalition’s been able to create a network of volunteers from so many different walks of life. We have people from all sorts of belief systems and political leanings. Coordinating the efforts of such a diverse network of people isn’t always easy to do. For us, though, it’s been worth the effort. People who otherwise have a tendency to butt heads have learned to unify and work together on a common goal.

Schaelicke: What donations are you most in need of?

DeRidder: Right now, we need non-perishable food, water, medical supplies, baby items, hygiene items, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, bug spray, and volunteers. We usually fill up pretty quick on clothes.

Schaelicke: If someone would like to help in the relief efforts, how can they get involved?

DeRidder: We’re always looking for extra boots on the ground, but even if you can’t get here in person, there are tons of ways to volunteer. You can coordinate a local supply drive and get with a trucking company or truck rental company to help get it here. Lots of businesses are willing to help if you just ask. We also need phonebank volunteers. Our phonebank volunteers work between local organizations and individuals doing supply drives and trucking companies and our supplies chains to facilitate supply drops. We have areas with good shipping connections. We just need folks to call businesses and organizations in those areas to have supplies collected and donated.

Schaelicke: Is there anything you would like to share with the readers that you have not already?

DeRidder: There’s always something you can do. It may be small. It can seem insignificant but, as a disaster victim myself, I can tell you it means the world. You making a quick phone call today very likely means a family won’t be hungry or cold tomorrow. Don’t ‘want’ to help. Help. That way when the world asks you, as an activist, “Without government, who would?” you can answer “We will!”


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Justin Tucker: All Politics is Local

Justin Tucker, Chair of the Chicago Libertarian Party, is running for Illinois State Representatives in District Four.

71R: With thousands of career options, what inspired you to seek a career in politics?

Tucker: I have been interested in politics since I was a teenager. I have been a libertarian since I learned about Harry Browne, the Libertarian Party nominee in 2000. It was only in 2015 that I jumped into activism and joined my local LP chapter. What inspired me to join was the gross misconduct of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago amusement tax imposed applying to Netflix. I felt enough was enough. I could no longer be willfully apathetic or believe I couldn’t make a difference.

I am currently the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Chicago, serving since 2016. I also worked on the Gary Johnson’s 2016 campaign as Volunteer Coordinator in Illinois. This year, I collected over 1600 signatures for our statewide candidates to be on the ballot this November.

I choose to run for Illinois House of Representatives in District 4 with the purpose of telling my neighbors about our candidates and maybe getting a few signatures for myself. My energy, however, was better spent circulating petitions for the statewide slate than circulating my own.  Also, as a Libertarian, I didn’t want to deal with all the government paperwork to get on the ballot. I will instead be running a write-in campaign to have a platform to talk about why our candidates are the best choices for Illinois and to share our ideas with the electorate.

71R: Many people when they think of government they think of Congress or the presidency. Why is politics at the state level, and in the state House of Representatives, so important and motivated you to get involved?

Tucker: It is often said that all politics is local. Politics at the state and local level are so important because they are closest to the people, and thus easier to make an impact on policy. That’s why I chose to involve myself in a run for a State House seat and also why I support statehood for Cook County.

I’m a fan of local control. It’s easier to hold the crooks accountable when they’re in your neighborhood as opposed to far away legislature.

71R: For over 150 years the United States has been locked in the two-party duopoly. What attracted you to the Libertarian Party?

Tucker: I was attracted to the Libertarian Party because it’s the only party that is for small government and means actually means it. One of the biggest issues for me is getting the government out of the way of my LGBT friends. Republicans claimed to be for smaller government but fought against the right of gender and sexual minorities to marry. When I discovered the Libertarian Party, I saw they were consistently for small government across all areas of life. I’ve been a fan ever since. My only regret is that I didn’t get involved with activism sooner.

71R: Illinois is often brought to the political forefront and were put into the national spotlight during the gun control debates, a debate that still exists today, due to Chicago’s crime. Where do you stand on this critical issue?

Tucker: As a Libertarian, I believe in the right to protect yourself. Chicago residents like Otis McDonald stood up to the city’s infringement on the right to self-defense and ended up changing the course of history. The fight, however, is not over. In Illinois, we need to abolish the Firearm Owner’s Identification card, conceal carry licensing and waiting periods. The Second Amendment is the only permit anyone needs.

Drastically reducing gang violence in Chicago is more of a complicated task. We can start by ending drug prohibition, cutting taxes and regulations to attract economic development, and reforming education.

71R: Our Founding Fathers even disagreed on how to interpret the Constitution, shown in the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates. What is your interpretation of the Constitution, and how does that influence your view on government?

Tucker: The Constitution has, without a doubt, contributed to the development of liberal thought. It was a document designed to limit the power of the federal government and protect the rights of the people. I have a tremendous amount of respect for it. The problem, however, is that it hasn’t prevented the federal government from overstepping its authority.

If our federal government followed the Constitution literally as it is currently written, the size and scope of government would be drastically reduced. I certainly wish that’s how it operates today.

Ideally, the feds are allowed to do only a handful of things. They get out of the way for the rest of the stuff and let the communities in the several states do their things. That’s how I interpret the Constitution. Local control is key and the Constitution influenced me in that regard.

71R: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. What is one area of government, however, you would like to see operating?

Tucker: I believe that the purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people. That would include courts, peace officers, and a defensive military.

On a municipal level, I think there’s a little more flexibility in what the government can do if its available to all people. Chicago has gorgeous parks, stocked libraries, and an extensive mass transit system, all of which I use.

Ideally, all these things should be paid for by the most voluntarily or least coercively means possible. In the case of the parks, the libraries and the transit system, these could be fully or partially privatized.

71R: Branching off of the last question, what is one area you think there should be cutbacks or even elimination in the state of Illinois?

Tucker: It’s hard to pick just one, but in Illinois, it would be taxes. We should cut or eliminate as many taxes as we can. Property taxes, incomes taxes, sales taxes, taxes on vices, taxes on bags. Let’s take a chainsaw to as many taxes as we can.

71R: What can the people of District Four expect should you be elected?

Tucker: If enough of the people of District Four write me in, they can expect me to work many things that would help to reduce the size and scope of government. My major initiatives include establishing 401(k) plans for all new state government employees, slashing spending, cutting taxes and or abolishing as many taxes and regulations as possible, legalizing cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms and reforming the criminal justice system. I would also make the case for Cook County statehood any chance I could.

71R: If someone was interested in getting involved or donating, how can they reach out to your campaign?

Tucker: Folks can reach out to me through my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JustinTuckerforIL) if they want to get involved. Since I don’t want to deal with government authorities, I am not accepting donations; however, I highly recommend donating to Kash Jackson’s campaign for Illinois governor (www.kash2018.com/donate) or to the Libertarian Party of Illinois (www.lpillinois.org/donate).

71R: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Tucker: The Libertarian Party is not possible without our candidates, our volunteers and our donors. Please consider volunteering a few hours a week to a Libertarian candidate. Be an activist in your local chapter, or if there aren’t any available, get a few friends together and form a LP chapter yourselves. If you want to share the LP with your neighbors, consider running for office or becoming a precinct committeeman. If you can’t donate your time, please donate your money. Every volunteer hour and every dollar helps us fuel the fires of liberty. Thank you!

I would like to thank Justin Tucker for his time. Be sure to visit his website for more information.


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71R Exclusive: Interview with Polish Libertarian Konrad Berkowicz

By Daniel Szewc | Poland

Konrad Berkowicz is the Vice Chairman of the biggest libertarian party in not only Poland, Europe, but arguably the world, when it comes to support within the country. The “Liberty” party reached a peak level of support at close to 5% during the last parliamentary election. It only appears to be growing, as the party that took most of its votes is diminishing. Mr. Berkowicz, an energetic 33 year old, is running for President [mayor] of Kraków. “The point is not to change the prison guard, but to walk out of prison towards liberty!”

• Hello. First things first, I’d like to ask you- Which libertarian theorists reflect your views the best?

Berkowicz: My views are best reflected, from the canonical theorists of libertarianism and liberalism [In Europe, “liberalism” is the equivalent of “Classical liberalism” in the USA], by Hayek. When it comes to his actual propositions and style of solving problems, not so much. As for the, let’s say, philosophical and economical basis, definitely the Noble prize winning F. A. Hayek. But the development of the theory of the free market, as well as economical essays by Rothbard, are also priceless. I also largely appreciate many elements of Ayn Rand’s objectivism.

• So you probably wouldn’t support a negative income tax, proposed by Hayek?

Berkowicz: Absolutely. Actually, I’m talking more about the very important theoretical base created by Hayek- for example, his theory of spontaneous order, or even the theoretical development of freedom itself. As for his policy proposals, they should be looked at via the prism of what they were intended to do, as well as through the historical context. Hayek wasn’t only just some theoretical philosopher, but a Nobel prize winning economist, who had a real influence on how world leaders implemented policies

• Do you think that [EU] internet censorship has died alongside Article 13, or will it pass via some other legislative method, bypassing the European Parliament?

Berkowicz: You mean “Acta 2” [The unofficial name for the mainstream censorship law]

• Yes

Berkowicz: Well, the parliament will be voting on it again, in September. (…) Of course, it is very much possible for the commission to do this, since this governmental body is, in contrast to how it is painted by the media, very undemocratic, and they love using authoritarian methods. The establishing of the EU itself was originally supposed to happen through referendums in member countries. They were originally scheduled in the [Euro-integration] “sure” countries- France and The Netherlands, where the vote for a European constitution ultimately failed. After this, the method and name were just changed, and the European Union [in it’s current form] was established. I wouldn’t be surprised if such a backdoor method was used this time too, but I hope it won’t happen.

• And of course, the EU constitution was sent into space [by the European Space Agency].

• Where do you think that the relatively high support for the libertarian movement stems from in Poland? I’ve spoken to many people from Spain, Italy, etc- there, these movements have a one in a thousand support in society, in comparison to the Polish 5%.

Berkowicz: I think that for the most part, it is because of what this movement is usually criticized for, even by many libertarians themselves. What I mean, is that there is a person in Poland who uses very controversial methods, which are both- a blessing, and a curse, in a sense. What I mean, is that a person who doesn’t limit himself to using politically correct intellectual formulas about freedom, because using politically correct intellectual formulas causes you to be only understood by intellectuals, and that’s just about the amount which often times participates in libertarian parties in Europe, but he is a person who says, in such a provocative and controversial form, many things which can interest people not necessarily intellectually interested in politics, who often then join and strengthen libertarian and economical think tanks.

Besides, thanks to that, he can use his personality to convince people who aren’t proficient in libertarianism – he manages to touch onto their natural instincts of freedom, and engage them to vote for us. So I think that it’s mostly the controversies, for which Janusz Korwin-Mikke is criticized for – he is accused of creating a glass ceiling with his speeches, because of which we won’t get through. But as we can see, there’s no better method – the market has verified it. There’s no better representative of liberty not only in Poland, but in all of Europe.

• Do you think that calling Janusz Korwin-Mikke a Polish libertarian Trump would be correct?

Berkowicz: Well, if we add “libertarian”, then yes. But “Libertarian Trump” is not Trump anymore unfortunately [laughs]

• What plans for the future does the Liberty party have?

Berkowicz: Now we’ve had the longest non-electoral period, so it was very easy to shush us out. Even so, we managed to, using many campaigns, cause the latest polls to show that we garnered support at just below the electoral threshold [5%]. Now, an electoral marathon is upcoming. As a matter of fact, the last 2-3 years were full of preparations for this marathon, arranging a party oriented propaganda machine- now we’ll be using it. In the upcoming time, we will participate in local elections [Poland has all local elections at the same time], which aren’t actually that important for us- we cannot change the system much through local governments.

We also aren’t the most attractive party in this election- people going to vote locally do so to find someone to fix their roads, not to make a revolution in the system. Either way, we want to achieve a decent result, and get a few people into local positions of power. Besides, the Libertarian Party in the USA too has some people in local executive branches. On the other hand, the following important election is the one to the European parliament. It’s not influential because actually getting our people into the European Parliament is important, but because we are the strongest there, as the most expressive and substantial Union-skeptic [They refuse to use “Euro-skeptic”, because the EU itself is anti-European in values] power in Poland. If we get a good result, then on the wave created by it, we will surely manage to get into the Sejm [lower chamber] in the parliamentary elections. I’m positive about this.

• In which regions in Poland do you expect to get the best results?

Berkowicz: In which regions do we expect to get the best results in the local elections? I look onto the city of Łódź with hope as well as on Subcarpathia. Surely in Krakow too, nobody is a good judge in their own case, but in Krakow we are very strong, because as a candidate for the President of Krakow [the Polish equivalent of a mayor of a big city], I have better results than the party itself does nation-wide. Therefore, there is a base to build up on, and I believe that we will manage to use this properly. Also, in Kielce – where our national party committee member had a great result in the last parliamentary election [in 2015 – 5th in a non-First-past-the-post system], which I hope he repeats.

Oh, and I’m counting on Janusz Korwin-Mikke to get a good result in Warsaw. We’re also yet to see who will surprise us positively.

• Do you see any benchmarks in international libertarian movements, which the Liberty party could adapt into it’s structures in Poland? Or maybe should they learn from you?

Berkowicz: I think that we should all learn from each other. In some places in the world, such as the USA, libertarian movements are very well organised- with think tanks, they are quite meritocratic and very factual. For example, Mises institute- which is also developing rapidly in Poland. We must remember working with the grassroots and intellectual work isn’t everything though. Of course, developing an elite group is important, but you must garner support from people who won’t read The Constitution of Liberty, or Human Action.

Oh, and we must respect and admire how Petr Mach lead the Svobodní (Free Citizens’ Party) in Czechia [They received 2.4% in the last election] – Svobodni is the second largest libertarian party in Europe, after us, therefore you can observe and learn from how they do it too.

• Now, a bit more broadly – what are the biggest difficulties in fighting Marxist organisations on the global scale?

Berkowicz: Right now, the biggest difficulty is that Marxist and para-Marxist organisations, are wise enough for now not to boast directly about what type of organisations they really are. For example, masses of people who are in charge of the European Union do not use the term “Marxism”, and aren’t brave enough to talk about Marx himself, yet the solutions they propose are exactly that – only named differently, hidden under a slightly different narrative, with new vocabulary, and so on.

In relation to this, the danger is that like every other socialist idea, they base it on, simply put, the principle of human envy. What I mean, is that it’s easy to get to someone if you tell them that someone has it better, and that you’ll make it so that you don’t have it worse- that’s the biggest problem. Our task is to show, as our great poet Aleksander Fredro said, that “Socialism will take down everybody equally, with laughter- tomorrow it will strangle the rich, and the poor the day after” [Poetic interpretation of “Socialism will smear the noses of everybody equally- it will strangle the rich tomorrow, and the poor the day after tomorrow- it rhymes in Polish]

• What arguments would you use to convince a libertarian that neither republicanism, nor democracy can withold liberty in the long term?

Berkowicz: Very simply- in every country, either para-capitalist or post-capitalist, there’s no enforced system for a company to obey. For example, in Poland anybody can make a firm which is run democratically, one in which – let’s imagine a corporation – in which, starting from the cleaner, the janitor, every simple worker, technician, the manager, up to the management team, everyone meets up, let’s say, twice a year, and votes on the path that the company should take, how high the wages should be.

You’d see how quickly a three day work week would be installed, they’d vote for a double raise of the wages, and lastly, the firm would fail. That’s why there isn’t a single corporation on the market that’s run democratically – all that do exist are “market monarchies”, possibly aristocracies. Even the most die-hard socialists and other leftists or democracy proponents somehow don’t run their companies democratically, because such firms have no chance on the market. Therefore, countries run democratically also have no chance in the global market of countries, which causes them to fall sooner or later. That’s why democracy is just a dust particle on the pages of history.

• Do you think that libertarians could organise themselves the way Marxists did on their political internationals, to get into power?

Berkowicz: I suspect that the problem results from the difference in the type of people libertarians are, in comparison to socialists. Libertarians are often individualists. Libertarians are often people with natural urge towards natural elitism. I’m unconvinced that libertarians are capable of such formula, for example used by the Bolsheviks. So I would be skeptical of such an idea. For example, when we had the leftist long march through the institutions, [German: der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen, an idea coined by Rudi Dutschke, a German socialist activist], I reckon that such a march by libertarians would not work, because an anti-statist cannot create a revolution by becoming a state employee.

However, when I’m looking at what’s happening in schools, I feel that after high school, many people have quite healthy views, yet after university, in which economics are taught by Keynesians, and sociology is taught by lefties, then in the time following the higher education, after having such authority figures, remembering how popularly available studying has become, therefore it’s not just an exclusive, elite problem, most come out of it brainwashed.

So maybe, our chance is not so much a long march through the institutions, but a march through higher academia. We have a lot of very intelligent, well learned people, who are educating themselves in think tanks and foundations. Meanwhile, I think that they should all be getting PhD’s, and I’m positive that they will take over any leftists intelligence wise, and after some time, paradoxically, universities – even public ones – can become workshops for the forging of freedom.

• Which country do you think will fall the fastest by failing to experience a so called “rewakening” of its people, for example because of China or Muslims?

Berkowicz: I think that the USA is in the biggest danger. The higher you are, the harder the fall. For now, the USA is the strongest power in the world, but it’s position is under an ever increasing question mark. If its slip towards socialism continues, then it has no future. The fall of such an empire is a very serious, severe and tragic event.

• Do you think that it’d be more optimal for Poland for China to reach the status or global hegemony, or for America to somehow keep this status?

Berkowicz: It all depends on what America, and what China, simply put. Because of cultural reasons, it’d be better for us if the USA suddenly came back to its roots, back to what the Founding Fathers said, and the USA is such a beautiful country, that it was built upon, factually and constitutionally, the ideas that we are fighting for. All we need, is for the US to go back to it’s roots, to basics thanks to which they became an empire, to keep it’s hegemony.

Because they are culturally very similar to us, they are part of the same civilization. It’s better to have an ally from the same civilization. But if the USA is to become a new leader of a let’s say, statist bloc, then it’d be better for a free market China to prevail. Although in China, after the “turn in the right direction” [the expansion of bureaucracy in China, as well as the increase in state market intervention and increases in welfare in the last few years], it’s starting to worsen a bit, so I hope it will be be better than worse.

• Let’s imagine that Liberty comes to power tomorrow. How would you make sure that Marxists never come back to power, or that they won’t ever get into academia, universities or state institutions?

Berkowicz: Well, we’d first of all privatize all the universities, but everyone would be able to teach any ideologies they’d want. Of course, there are some boundaries, because supporting many Marxist ideologies is plainly calling for robbery, theft, rape and insults, so this would have to be stopped by an iron hand. I’m not an absolute advocate for freedom of speech – if someone was to urge publicly for people to rape women, then I’d lock him up. So if someone was publicly inciting the re-installment of an income tax, I’d have to think about it…

• There’s the risk that sitting next to each other, they’ll have something to talk about.

Berkowicz: Well, we can lock them up separately.

• Don’t you think that this could cause some sort of sympathy throughout the citizens?

Berkowicz: The problem is that we are always in danger of the masses becoming sympathetic with such voices, calling for a socialist revolution. I personally think that Kisielewski’s [a Polish free market economist] motto “Grab them by the neck, and install [classical] liberalism” is right, in so far as we’ll never manage to convince the majority of the masses to the idea of the free market, because very few people even understand it. Yet if we already install the free market, then people won’t let others take it away from them so easily again.

• Well, at some point the free market did exist in the West, and they did agree to it, at least partially, didn’t they?

Berkowicz: Exactly, that’s what we must act to counter balance. That’s why it isn’t as simple as just installing the free market, and leaving it to itself.

• What is your general opinion on Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s idea of physical removal of societal leftists, communists, for example via bottom up market discrimination?

Berkowicz: As a free market supporter, i’m neither against socialists discriminating against capitalists via market methods, nor against, let’s say, conservatives discriminating homosexualists, or vice versa – homosexuals discriminating against conservatives. So when it comes to libertarian tools of ostracism, then they should definitely be able to flourish. As I understand, you mean having the ability to economically discriminate people who promote one or another ideology – then yes, you should be able to organize as you wish, yet you must remember that this can go both ways.

But what I can say is the superiority of the idea of liberty over all other ideas, is that in a system of liberty, and this can be some sort of a catalyst of [left wing] revolutionary movements, in liberty, if someone necessarily wants to live in socialism, then he can join a socialist association or company, give in half of their money, and that company will do anything it wants with them.

So we aren’t for the banning of someone from building themselves a communist Kibbutz, within the liberty itself – as long as they don’t force anybody to take part in it. Meanwhile, the socialist idea does not assume the possibility of us making ourselves a ring of freedom, we have it forced onto us. That’s why our idea is morally superior. Everyone can organize like that- however, if someone would want to support the forceful imposition of market or legal discrimination, by means of coercion, of Laissez-Faire supporters or Marxists, then it isn’t libertarian anymore.

• Anarcho-communists could possibly agree to such an order of things, but they’d have to pay some sort of taxes – for example a land tax – which would probably cause them to disagree with the universal nature of liberty.

Berkowicz: Yes, of course – within the ramifications of the state, they’d have to – I mean, I’m a minarchist when it comes to it, and within the minimal state that I deem necessary to exist as to uphold liberty, everyone would have to pay very light taxes. What I am talking about is the other way round – if someone sees compulsory insurance as good, then they should join an association of people forced to pay insurance, so they can force themselves. Nobody’s banning people from doing it.

• What types of taxes d you think are the best- the ones that need the least bureaucracy, and cause the least trauma on the citizens?

Berkowicz: Probably a poll tax for example. The taxes must be easily collectable, and cannot be abusable. It can be, let’s say a para-tax on real estate, it’s up for debate. But when it comes to all sales taxes, income taxes, or any other type of taxes that would force people to have to explain who gave who, when and what amount of money are unacceptable.

• What role do you see the army having in the state run by Liberty?

Berkowicz: The role of the army is to, first and foremost, defend the citizens inside from aggression from other citizens – meaning that they must defend their liberty – as well as defend them from harm coming from external sources, and that’s all. Unfortunately, there are situations in which to defend the country from foreign aggression, you have to join some pacts against the aggressors. But we certainly shouldn’t because of some imperialist incentives, try invading other countries ourselves, but sometimes for the sake of maintaining liberty, you must engage in some conflicts.

• So you do see potential use of organisations like NATO in the future?

Berkowicz: Yes, of course. There are multiple means of international cooperation between states, it’s purely a technicality on how, with whom and under what principles should you make deals with to maintain peace and freedom.

• Assuming that Liberty comes to power, would private police and private armies form? To what extent would the freedom to bare weapons extend? For example, the stereotypical, anarcho-capitalist nukes?

Berkowicz: Well, the evaluation of real dangers, such as someone creating for example nuclear weapons should be done by the special services, finding out about such radical cases, so I don’t think it’s necessary to state it in the law that nuclear weapons are illegal [laughs]. If somebody really wants a nuke, the fact that it’s either legal or illegal won’t really affect his choices. This would be an action that could harm the whole country, and even elsewhere, therefore I think that a common sense approach rule that anybody can have a few automatic rifles and a cannon would be ok.

• People sometimes meet with the opinion from some Keynesians and centrists, that if it wasn’t for the laws installed at the end of the 19th Century and onward, because of which some companies/corporations gained unfair monopolies on the market, that it’d be ok to install the free market, yet because of them now growing to enormous sizes, it’s now impossible for small companies to rival them.

Berkowicz: That’s nonsense, the complete opposite is true. What I mean, let’s start purely theoretically – a monopoly can only exist when an element of socialism exists – when the state doesn’t intervene in the market, monopolies do not exist as a rule of thumb. There can exist a currently dominating company, but that does not mean they are monopoly holders – because there is a free market, and even if the firm is large, it cannot exert force on the market, therefore it is always endangered by all possible competition. Even the biggest giants have fallen, because as a side note, large companies are much harder to manage.

So in truth, on the free market, they are always, I mean always, threatened by small businesses, unless the government intervenes in the economy, at which time they go to the government having money and power, and then they shape the law in such a way, for them to always stay afloat. If we have, for instance the company Google, and we assume that we have a free market, then there’s no problem in the fact that Google is basically the only popularly used search engine, because Google must do it’s best for us, as to keep this position.

It isn’t a wrong doing against anybody that Google is the only one, as long as it must always do it’s best to keep it’s customer. And the only way to assure that they will keep doing their best, is if nobody can force us to use any given search engine. It’s actually been modern socialism that has caused the dictatorship of corporations, and we don’t really have any real capitalism as they say, but a dictatorship of corporations.

Giant corporations can afford bribes, lobbyists, etc. And that’s exactly why giant corporations want law to be as complicated as possible- the more complicated the law is, the more the small players can’t get through. “Law is like a web- a bumble bee will squeeze through, whilst a fly will get lost in it.” [Quote by Mikołaj Rej]. The simpler the law, the smaller the taxes, the less state intervention in the economy, the smaller the chance the giants will survive. So it’s an argumentation completely opposite of what reality is.

• Last question- when it comes to the right to property, how can we determine who should own for example real estate that was left by the original owner, and taken by a new one. After how many generations, how much time must pass, for the old family’s right to the property to be stripped from them, because the new family has taken care of the property over said time.

Berkowicz: So as I understand, someone leaves their house, and someone else comes over, lived there and builds a fence… In this scenario, I assume there are no original heirs?

• No, the heirs exist, but they have had no interaction with the property for a long time, whilst it was modified by the new line of succession.

Berkowicz: I think that this type of situation cannot be settled by philosophical measures, because we cannot determine how many generations must pass philosophically, or if a week or three must pass. We must just accept some reasonable, common sense solution, in short- we must decide on some standard, perhaps searching back into some tradition for this, and just keep to it. Then, if we for example accept that after 2 generations, the new owners take over legally, then if 2 generations in fact don’t do anything, then they would have legally given up the property. I think it must be decided upon through a Jury for example, but one thing is certain- the law must be clear, known and unchanged.

• Thank you for the interview.


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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.