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Lee Wrights: No number is greater than one (August 4, 2012, 12:01 AM)
by R. Lee Wrights
When it comes to individual rights, no number is greater than one. One person, one hundred people, one thousand people, one million people do not have any more rights than the individual. Nor are the rights of a group greater or more precious than the rights of an individual — because they don’t exist. All rights are individual rights. There is no such thing as “group” rights.
Thomas Jefferson called individual rights “self-evident truths.” Fredrick Douglas said, “One and God make a majority.” Some call this principle the sovereignty of the individual.
The late David Nolan, a founder of the Libertarian Party, called this idea self-ownership. In his classic essay “The Essence of Liberty,” he said “you own yourself” was the first of five “indispensable” beliefs held by all libertarians. “You own your own body and mind; no external power has the right to force you into the service of ‘society’ or ‘mankind’ or any other individual or group for any purpose, however noble,” he wrote.
Whatever you call it, the belief that there is nothing greater than individual rights is the fundamental philosophy of libertarianism. It is the foundational principle of the Libertarian Party. If groups of people have more rights than one person, there would be no such thing as individual rights. They vanish immediately, sacrificed on the altar of democracy for the mythical ?greater good for all.?
Individual rights encompass everything a person is, does, and creates. Property rights are individual rights. As James Madison put it, “… as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.” And correctly understood, property rights embrace not just material possessions but whatever a person creates with their hands or with their minds. Just as no individual or group, not even government, has the right to use your material possessions without your permission, no individual or group, not even government, has the right to use your creative possessions, your spoken or written words or thoughts, without your OK.
Nor does any individual, or group, including government, have the right to do anything a single person does not have the right to do. No individual or group has the right to tell another what he or she can eat or drink or what they can do with their body. No one has the right to tell another how he or she can spend their money, or use the physical or intellectual property they have created.
Individuals are free to associate and cooperate with others, to work together, pool their resources and combine their talents and treasures to form a private organization to do whatever they like, so long as they do not harm or threaten to harm others. Whether these private groups are called corporations, political parties, or fantasy football leagues, the process is the same. People voluntarily join them, and by their own volition agree to abide by a set of rules while in the group. And they are free to leave at any time, if they don’t like the rules, no longer agree with the group’s goals, or for any other reason.
The belief that all rights belong to the individual, that you are born with them and that no power on earth can take them away from you, is the foundation of the Libertarian Party. This is what makes us different from the Republicans and Democrats, who differ only in the degree that they would have government regulate your lives, restrict your rights, and seize the fruits of your labor without your consent.
If you believe this as well, come be different with us. Join the Libertarian Party. In this election, be libertarian with us one time and help us be the difference that makes a difference.
R. Lee Wrights is an editor, writer and political activist living in Texas. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party national committee. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Greens? Stein and Honkala arrested in protest of foreclosure giant Fannie Mae (August 3, 2012, 12:35 AM)
From a media release sent to IPR by the Stein campaign:
(PHILADELPHIA) Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her vice presidential running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested today during a protest at the offices of mortgage company Fannie Mae on Banker’s Row in Philadelphia.
Among those arrested along with Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala were labor lawyer James Moran and Sister Margaret McKenna of the Medical Mission Sisters. An attorney who supports civil disobedience cases is providing legal assistance. All of those arrested are expected to come before a judge on Thursday afternoon. At that time bail will either be set or they will be released on their own recognizance.
The protest was originally called for by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign to demand that the giant mortgage company halt foreclosure proceedings against two Philadelphia residents in danger of losing their homes. Stein joined the protest after Cheri Honkala joined her as Stein’s vice presidential running mate. Honkala, a former homeless single mother, has been confronting banks and mortgage companies for decades demanding that they adopt policies that will, “keep families in their homes.”
At 1pm today about 50 protestors gathered outside of Fannie Mae’s Philadelphia headquarters. They heard from Miss Fran and Rhonda Lancaster, the heads of two families evicted by Fannie Mae in its refusal to negotiate an alternative to foreclosure. Fannie Mae executive Zach Oppenheimer had previously promised in writing to meet with the two women in order to discuss other options. Yet no followup meeting ever took place, and so protestors today entered the Fannie Mae building and vowed to stay until Mr. Oppenheimer’s word was honored.
At about 2:30pm, an hour after entering the building and beginning a sitdown protest, lower level Fannie Mae officials agreed to meet with Miss Fran and Ms. Lancaster. These meetings proved inconclusive, ending only with promises of more meetings. With Philadelphia police on hand with six paddy wagons and plainclothesman, a smaller subset of protestors stayed inside the building and risked arrest. Five were arrested, including Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala.
In explaining why she joined the protest, Stein said that almost half of Americans now live in poverty or near poverty, eight million families face eviction from their homes due to foreclosures, and over a third of mortgage holders are “underwater” – meaning that they owe more to the lenders than their properties are worth on the market.
Said Stein, “The developers and financiers made trillions of dollars through the housing bubble and the imposition of crushing debt on homeowners. And when homeowners could no longer pay them what they demanded, they went to government and got trillions of dollars of bailouts. Every effort of the Obama Administration has been to prop this system up and keep it going at taxpayer expense. It’s time for this game to end. It’s time for the laws be written to protect the victims and not the perpetrators. It’s time for a new deal for America, and a Green New Deal is what we will deliver on taking office. ”
“The laws and the budgets and the procedures are designed to protect the lenders and to extract as much money as possible from the victims,” Honkala explained. “This isn’t the way it would be if we really had a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The first goal of government should be to keep families in their homes, and to provide restitution for the deception and fraud that has robbed millions of Americans of financial security.”
Stein laid out a number of steps that will be part of a new deal for homeowners when and where the Green Party wins power. First, as President, Dr. Stein would issue an executive order establishing a moratorium on foreclosures of occupied dwellings. Second, municipalities governed by Greens will get homeowners out of underwater mortgages by seizing mortgages through eminent domain and letting non-profit community development organizations – not Wall Street banks – reissue the mortgages.
Noting that the Obama administration has only released 10% of the aid that Congress had promised to homeowners, Stein asserted that “There is much more interest in Washington in protecting the profits of banks than in getting this aid out to the families whose lives are falling apart. President Obama held a big press conference to announce a program that would supposedly help 1.5 million homeowners and so far it has actually helped only 1 per cent of that number. Real help goes to the CEOs who play golf with the President and the people get lip service. This will change only if the people stand up and say we’re not going to put up with it anymore.”
Statement from RHONDA LANCASTER (Excerpted from People?s Tribune):
My family has lived in this home in Germantown for over 35 years. When my mother got ill and could not afford her health care, a reverse mortgage idea was presented to me. They made it look like it was a great thing. It was going to take care of my mother, and when my mother passed away it would be just fine.
The nightmare started after my mom died. I notified the bank she had passed away, and two days later I was getting ready for her funeral. Relatives and friends were coming in from all over the country. The bank told me to stop everything and let them come in and do an appraisal.
The bank refused to accept me as the executor of her estate, although the proper papers had been filed at City Hall. From that point on it was a complete nightmare. I could get through to no one and no one could help me. They denied me my legal US rights as heir to my mother?s property.
Statement from MISS FRAN (Excerpted from People?s Tribune):
I have lived in Philadelphia all my life, and in this house since 1988. Once when I was forced to file for bankruptcy, my mortgage holder, Chase Bank, suddenly came to court and objected to my bankruptcy plan. Although the law requires them to notify me in advance, I had no warning of their action, so I had no lawyer and no time to prepare my evidence. The judge dismissed my file for bankruptcy and Chase began foreclosure proceedings.
I participated in Philadelphia?s Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, so I was able to keep my home off the sheriff sale list. Then they claimed I missed a Conciliation Conference even though they had never notified me about it. When I complained, the court rescheduled the sheriff sale of my home from July 1, 2008, to September. I attended that sale on July 1 and was shocked to hear them put my house up for sale anyway. I was in the back of the auditorium and ran to the front making so much noise the sheriff?s lawyer had to stop the sale. Finally they brought in a letter from the sheriff saying they had obtained a court order that same day to sell the house. They had gone to court without even notifying me. The same judge who postponed the sale in the first place had turned around and vacated his own order, all without telling me.
The sale of my home went through on July 1, but my battle was just beginning. Although Chase Bank foreclosed on my home, I found out the sheriff changed the name on the documents to Fannie Mae. There is no bill of sale from Chase to Fannie Mae and no record of any transfer. Fannie Mae has no legal standing to evict me. But that didn?t stop them from trying. They sued to evict me in April 2011. I filed an objection, it was overruled, I answered them, and we were supposed to go to trial in February 2012. Then they filed for a summary judgment against me, which is only supposed to be granted when there is no dispute in the matter. I told them we most definitely do have a dispute: a district court order was ignored and Fannie Mae has no standing. But the judge granted the summary judgment anyway. They obtained a writ of eviction and scheduled my eviction for June 12.
See the original article on Stein’s website, here.
Oregon: August 1st 2012 Reeves Group Motion Immediately Dismissed (August 2, 2012, 07:34 PM)
An email received by IPR, sent by Annie Jhun, Judicial Clerk for Presiding Judge Robert D. Herndon in the Reeves et al. v. Wagner et al. Libertarian Party of Oregon lawsuit, indicates that following the initial denial of a Reeves Group request for an Expedited Trial (first covered on IPR here, http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/07/johnson-in-ballot-in-oregon-expedited-trial-motion-denied/) — a “Renewed Motion To Expedite Trial” filed by the Reeves LPO group yesterday, 1 August 2012, was dismissed today, less that 24 hours later.
The Renewed Motion To Expedite Trial which was filed yesterday can be read here:
The Reeves Group responses to the Wagner Group’s Amended Answers can be found here:
LASPAC: Gary Johnson gets 19% in nationwide poll (August 2, 2012, 12:00 PM)
The Libertarian Action Super PAC (LASPAC) sent the appeal below:
We just conducted a nationwide telephone poll of registered voters. Here’s what the poll sounded like:
You may be thinking, “Why does that matter, since it doesn’t include the Republican?”
Here’s why it matters:
Gallup has been conducting presidential polls just like this:
Note the wording of their question:
It includes the incumbent, Obama, plus one selected challenger, Romney — and no one else.
Now here’s our question:
It’s exactly the same question, except we picked a different challenger.
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) wants candidates to get at least 15% in nationwide polls. But most of those polls only include Obama and Romney. So, if those polls count, then our poll counts too.
We did this poll cheaply (but scientifically) using a less-known robocall firm. Now we want to do it again, on a bigger scale, using a well-known polling organization like Public Policy Polling, SurveyUSA, or Gallup. If we ask the question the same way (just like Gallup), Gary Johnson has a very good chance of getting more than 15%.
Let’s show that to the Commission on Presidential Debates! They can’t have it both ways — they can’t include biased polls that only name Obama and Romney, and then ignore polls like ours.
We’d love to push the CPD into a corner. If they have to accept polls like this, then Gary Johnson has a great chance of getting into the debates. At worst, they’ll have to start demanding that all their polling organizations include Gary Johnson — and that would be a good thing too.
Please donate today. (When you make your donation, type “poll” in the comment box.) We estimate the larger poll will cost about $3,000. If we can raise just $1,500 for this poll, LASPAC will kick in the rest to run the poll.
Also please forward this message to your Libertarian friends and post it on Facebook. Send people to this address: http://bit.ly/PoAPhE
We’ll keep you posted on how much we’ve raised periodically on the LASPAC homepage.
If we don’t raise enough to run the poll, we’ll return your contributions designated for the poll.
LNC/Johnson Campaign Fundraising Letter Mailed (August 2, 2012, 11:19 AM)
After a nearly incomprehensible delay of over 2 1/2 months, the LNC and Johnson campaign have apparently exchanged their lists of names and landmails.
The following landmailed letter was received by this reporter on 1 August 2012.
I have no reasonable explanation to offer for the 85 or so day time period between the Gary Johnson nomination, and the successful mailing of this letter, except to say I am certain there was a stated desire to have mailed it much earlier on the part of the campaign. However, I have no explanation or insight to offer as to the cause of the delays.
Seattle Times: 45 minutes with Gary Johnson (August 2, 2012, 02:28 AM)
Yesterday Gary Johnson Tweeted:
He also hosted a 45 minute call conference call with over two dozen Libertarian candidates, and found time for an interview with Bruce Ramsey of the Seattle Times. The article by Mr. Ramsey based on that interview begins:
Governor Johnson’s answer and the rest of the interview can be found here:
Wayne Allyn Root: Media is Mad Because Mitt Told the Truth? (July 31, 2012, 11:58 PM)
July 31, 2012
Don?t Americans constantly complain because politicians lie? Barack Obama lies so much, his nose should be longer than Pinnochio. He says ?the private sector is doing fine.? He says to business owners, ?You didn?t build that.? He tells the middle class that ?none of the tax increases are aimed at you.? And he tells rich people who pay almost all of the taxes, ?You?re not paying your fair share.? It?s all lies and distortions.
Yet Mitt Romney tells the truth and he gets panned by the national media? All he said a few days ago is that Israel is a remarkable country?the Israeli people are remarkable people?and then compared the GDP of the average Israeli (about $32,000) to the average Palestinian (about $2000). Now this may be politically incorrect, but it?s certainly the truth. Forget the Palestinians. Israel is remarkable compared to any country, and the Jewish people are remarkable compared to any other tribe. Is Mitt wrong? Let?s look at the facts.
First, a disclosure. I am a member of the Jewish tribe. My grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Germany. I?m bursting with pride at the remarkable success of my tribe. And with America in decline?and the U.S. economy in shambles?the Jewish people are a role model we should be studying and emulating.
Jews are the most successful group to ever step foot on U.S. soil. They make up outsized proportions of every important and respected group in this country- attorneys, doctors, accountants, architects, bankers, stockbrokers, CEO?s, small business owners, the media, and of course the movers and shakers in the glamorous entertainment world.
But, don?t take my word for it. Ask one of the most liberal and intellectual colleges in America- Columbia University, a bastion of socialism and Marxism. I attended Columbia with many of the most famous symbols of liberalism in America today- including my classmate President Obama. Yet it was at Columbia that I took the course, ?Ethnicity in America.? Here I learned the most successful group in U.S. history is?drumroll please?the Jewishpeople.
But the biggest miracle of all is the success of the state of Israel. Mitt Romney is simply the first politician to ever state the truth out loud.
The rest of the article can be found here .Wayne Allyn Root (W.A.R) is a former Presidential candidate, the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, and a Tea Party favorite.
Johnson On Ballot In Oregon; Expedited Trial Motion Denied (July 31, 2012, 11:14 PM)
Gary Johnson’s name appears as the Libertarian Presidential Candidate on the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.
In other news the motion for an expedited trial was denied.
The attached PDF file is a letter from Judge Herndon dated July 26, 2012, stating that plaintiffs’ motion to expedite trial will not be scheduled because the case is not at issue.
The Chronicles Magazine Chuck Baldwin Debate (July 31, 2012, 05:39 PM)
Someone who was aware that I was a Chuck Baldwin and Constitution Party supporter and a Chronicles Magazine reader directed me to a debate about the merits of Chuck Baldwin and third party voting going on at the Chronicles Magazine website. Go take a look. The debate starts about a quarter of the way down the comments section.
Chronicles, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is the flagship magazine of paleoconservatism.
Johnson Endorsement Update and Invitation To Candidate Conference Call (July 30, 2012, 07:32 PM)
Salt Lake City — For Immediate Release;
In an email to over 300 Libertarian Candidates sent earlier today, the GaryJohnson2012 campaign announced its next conference call to be held this Wednesday evening among those candidates endorsed by the campaign, Governor Johnson and other key campaign staff. Updated information was also provided about the process for requesting an endorsement, a new Facebook Page for endorsed candidates to connect with each other via social media, and the distribution of Yard Signs and other campaign materials.
The email to candidates is as follows:
In a followup email to campaign staff the following additional information and requests were provided:
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