Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Positions on 45 Issues for My 2016 U.S. House Campaign (Abbreviated)

Written between July 30th and September 13th, 2016

Edited on September 14th and 22nd, 2016












Table of Contents

I. CORE PRINCIPLES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, & THE MILITARY
II. ECOLOGY, HEALTH, & SOCIAL & DOMESTIC ISSUES
III. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC ISSUES, & MISCELLANEOUS




I. CORE PRINCIPLES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, & THE MILITARY

1. ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
2. STYLE & STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
3. COURTS & JUSTICE
4. POLICE, CRIME, & PRISONS
5. LICENSING & PERMITS
6. SECOND AMENDMENT
7. ILLICIT DRUGS
8. BORDERS & IMMIGRATION
9. DIPLOMACY & STATE
10. FOREIGN POLICY
11. MILITARY
12. THE MIDDLE EAST
13. TERROR, SECURITY, INTEL, & SURVEILLANCE
14. VETERANS
15. SPACE


II. ECOLOGY, HEALTH, & SOCIAL & DOMESTIC ISSUES

16. ENVIRONMENT
17. INTERIOR, LAND, & WATER

18. ENERGY
19. FARMS, FOOD, & DRUGS 
20. HEALTH CARE & INSURANCE
21. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
22. WOMEN’S & LGBTQIA+ ISSUES
23. MARRIAGE & FAMILIES' ISSUES
24. CHURCH & STATE
25. CIVIL RIGHTS & DISCRIMINATION
26. SOCIAL SAFETY NET
27. EDUCATION
28. HOUSING
29. TRANSPORTATION
30. SOCIAL SECURITY& SENIORS' ISSUES


III. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC ISSUES, & MISCELLANEOUS

31. SPEECH & PRESS
32. ELECTIONS
33. FEDERAL WORKERS
34. WAGES
35. UNIONS
36. BUSINESS
37. JOBS
38. BANKS & CONSUMERS
39. TRADE
40. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
41. TAXES
42. BUDGET & DEBT
43. CURRENCY & TREASURY
44. THE POSTAL SERVICE
45. GAMES, SPORTS, & ATHLETICS





Content


I. CORE PRINCIPLES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, & THE MILITARY
1. ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Governments' powers derive from the consent of the governed. Governments should recognize natural rights and civil liberties, provide fair trials, punish aggression, and protect individuals from theft and fraud. The federal government should be involved in little besides the military, the treasury, the Post Office, punishing piracy, and regulating the naturalization of immigrants.

2. STYLE & STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
Restore the constitutional republic, and respect separation of powers by returning unconstitutional federal powers to the states and the people. Localize and decentralize political power as much as possible. Diminish the power of the executive; and revoke the powers of Congress to transfer powers to the executive, and to independent or private organizations.

3. COURTS & JUSTICE
Urge the Senate to vote on Supreme Court appointments in election years. Nominate and approve judges who support original intent and plain meaning. Limit Supreme Court justices' terms to 20 years. Shrink the budget of the Justice Department. Break up the 13th Federal District Court. Protect the rights of the accused, and fight for fully informed juries.

4. POLICE, CRIME, & PRISONS
Restore due process and the presumption of innocence. Strengthen Miranda rights. Fight general warrants, indefinite detention, and civil asset forfeiture. Repeal mandatory minimum sentences, end solitary confinement for juveniles, and abolish the federal death penalty. Advocate for the release of non-violent offenders. Get military equipment out of local police departments, require police to wear body cameras, and create civilian review boards for police.

5. LICENSING & PERMITS
Protect the rights to keep and bear arms, be free from unlawful searches, travel, practice an occupation, marry, and consume alcohol and tobacco; by supporting the Ninth Amendment. Curb governments' powers to pass laws that turn natural liberties into paid privileges that require licenses and fees. Many such laws have oppressed racial and other minorities in the past.

6. SECOND AMENDMENT
Repeal all federal gun control laws; and strengthen the Second Amendment to protect the right of conscientious objection to conscription (the military draft). Protect the right to keep and bear arms; whether for the purposes of hunting, or protecting against violent criminals, foreign invasions, and tyrannical governments. Restore due process to No-Fly and terror watch lists before considering “No Fly, No Buy” -type legislation.

7. ILLICIT DRUGS
Abolish the D.E.A. and repeal unconstitutional federal laws against drugs. Remove marijuana from the Class I narcotic schedule, in order to allow new testing. Devolve drug enforcement to the states, and urge the states to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Urge states to lower the alcohol purchase age to 18, and caution states against increasing the tobacco purchase age.

8. BORDERS & IMMIGRATION
Instead of building dividing walls and fences, support the freedom of travel and the free movement of labor. Minimally vet refugees and legal immigrants, and increase the number of work visas for high-skilled working immigrants. Provide a path to legal work, citizenship, and voting. Support congressional deferred action for childhood arrivals and their parents; not executive orders effecting the same. Get the federal government out of welfare, devolving the issue of welfare for immigrants to the states. Do not require immigrants to learn English, nor serve in the military, as a condition of citizenship. Don't establish a national I.D., nor e-Verify -type programs.

9. DIPLOMACY & STATE
Establish diplomatic relations with, and goodwill towards, all nations and peoples; while being wary of entangling military and trade alliances. Strengthen our diplomatic relationships; by curtailing human rights and worker abuses, and by ceasing to spy on our allies. Withdraw from N.A.T.O. and from most United Nations programs, and remove the U.N. headquarters from the United States. Significantly shrink the budget of the Department of State. Augment the political representation of Americans living outside the fifty states.

10. FOREIGN POLICY
End intervention in foreign civil wars and elections. Require congressional declaration of war as a condition for intervention. Curtail the military powers of the president by amending the War Powers Resolution. Stop arming militants in Eastern Europe, and cease storing American nuclear weapons with our Western European allies. Continue strategic arms reduction negotiations with Russia. Engage with China on North Korea.

11. MILITARY
Abandon regime change and nation building. Cut between 20% and 40% of the total Pentagon budget, reducing the military to its year-2000 size and budget. Dismantle some domestic military bases, and most overseas military bases; and remove troops from 150 countries. End our presence in Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Allow women and homosexuals to serve in the military; but abolish the draft, do not require draft registration, and do not make civil service mandatory. End all foreign aid.

12. THE MIDDLE EAST
Withdraw troops and bases from Iraq and Afghanistan. Do not commit boots on the ground to defeat I.S.I.S. in Syria, do not oust Assad, and do not cooperate with Russia to defeat I.S.I.S.. Re-evaluate who our friends and enemies are in the region. Urge the Senate to re-negotiate the Iran deal, so that the U.S. is not obligated to either provide financial assistance, nor to protect the country's nuclear program. Work with the State of Israel to set a good example in the peace process.

13. TERROR, SECURITY, INTEL, & SURVEILLANCE
Protect all suspects’ rights to fair trials, regardless of citizenship or enemy combatant status, but give military trials to non-citizen accused enemy combatants. End the use of torturous “enhanced” interrogation. Close the prison facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Repeal the Patriot Act. Abolish the Department of Homeland Security, placing the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and the N.S.A. under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and / or the Department of Justice. End the collection of phone and internet metadata by the N.S.A..

14. VETERANS
Reduce spending slightly and gradually as bureaucracy is eliminated and the department is streamlined. At the Veterans Health Administration, improve wait times for doctor visits, achieve lower prices on medications, and increase the availability of specialized medical services. Allow veterans to explore private-sector health care options. Improve the delivery of disability assistance, pensions, housing, education, and job training services to veterans. Fight for the rights of veterans to keep and bear arms.

15. SPACE
Continue funding N.A.S.A. at current levels, and consider increasing funding; unless other major budget cuts cannot be made. Allow the private sector to compete in advanced flight and space travel and exploration. Work to prevent the militarization of space.



II. ECOLOGY, HEALTH, & SOCIAL & DOMESTIC ISSUES


16. ENVIRONMENT
Reduce the budget of the E.P.A.; then abolish it, while devolving to the states the responsibility to govern sustainable development, air cleanliness, and emissions standards. Urge localities to experiment with resource-backed currencies and citizens' dividends. Replace most current tax revenue sources with carbon taxes; and taxes on pollution, land neglect, unsustainable development, and undeveloped land value. Urge states to achieve zero non-offset carbon emissions by 2030.

17. INTERIOR, LAND, & WATER
Shrink or abolish the Department of the Interior, and disarm the Bureau of Land Management. Hand most federal lands over to states, and urge the Senate to honor treaties with tribes by affording them land and sovereignty. Oppose the abuse of the Eminent Domain clause, fighting non-consensual property takings. Urge local governments to consider establishing community land and water trusts, and urge states to experiment with legalizing land ownership in full allodial title.

18. ENERGY
Abolish the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eliminate all taxpayer subsidies and supports for energy companies and technologies. Caution states against building the Keystone Pipeline, but do not interfere with the rights of states to regulate natural resource extraction and energy production. Do not prohibit drilling for new oil, but urge states to ban fracking. Urge communities to fund governments and residents' dividends through imposing fees upon companies for the privilege to extract natural resources.

19. FARMS, FOOD, & DRUGS
Cut the U.S.D.A. and the F.D.A., but only cut agricultural subsidies, Food Stamps, and the Child Nutrition Program if major proposed budget cuts are not passed. Consider block-granting some of such programs to the states, and urge states to consider expanding access to food assistance, and / or assistance to farmers. Advocate for voluntary food labeling that attends to consumer demand for accuracy and detail.

20. HEALTH CARE & INSURANCE
Cut the H.H.S. budget by 10%, and cap the growth of Medicare. Repeal employer tax credits and legalize interstate insurance purchase. Don't tax hospitals, hospital worker income, medical device sales, nor medical device profits. Oppose tort reform to avoid disempowering juries. Oppose mandatory vaccination. Repeal Obamacare and the individual insurance mandate. If Congress approves, abolish all H.H.S. functions not pertaining to federal employees' health. Devolve health care to the states, and consider block-grants.

21. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Life and humanity begin at conception, but legal personhood begins at live birth. Continue to prohibit partial-birth abortion and infanticide, but do not get involved in abortion at the federal level. Cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, but reduce the number of abortions by making contraception available. Urge states to keep abortion legal before viability; and not to require counseling; waiting periods, parental consent, nor fetal sonograms.

22. WOMEN'S & LGBTQIA+ ISSUES
Pass a new Equal Rights Amendment, extending 14th Amendment protections on the bases of sex, gender, and orientation. Ensure access to gender-neutral, third-option, and / or private restroom facilities; in federal buildings, and on taxpayer-supported and interstate commercial properties. Urge states to decriminalize or legalize prostitution; in order to reduce the risks of venereal disease, and violence to sex workers.

23. MARRIAGE & FAMILIES' ISSUES
Make marriage a contractual and / or religious institution, rather than a legal one. Allow states to decide whether to recognize and validate marriages, but urge states to regard such unions as already existing contracts that should not be impaired. Ensure gender pay parity and paid family leave for federal employees, and protect visitation and bereavement rights of federal workers in homosexual unions. Loosen cohabitation requirements for common-law marriage recognition.

24. CHURCH & STATE
Protect all faiths’ rights to worship in peace. Do not interfere with voluntary submission to religious law, nor ban clothing worn for religious reasons. Repeal the Johnson Law limiting political speech by pastors. Do not require religious organizations to provide or insure abortion nor contraception, and do not require churches to perform gay marriages. Protect the right of religious objection to the service of patrons in intrastate non-taxpayer-supported enterprises, and to the draft. Urge states to repeal laws against atheists running for office, and remove references to religion from national currency.

25. CIVIL RIGHTS & DISCRIMINATION
Abolish segregation, discrimination, and affirmative action and quotas by federal public-sector agencies and organizations supported by federal taxpayers. Support open access to enterprise by keeping public accommodations open to the public (including the disabled); but only if they are taxpayer-supported, and / or directly involved in interstate commerce. Do not interfere with exclusion of patrons for engaging in threatening or violent behavior.

26. SOCIAL SAFETY NET
Reform the system of social welfare benefits, but not before completely eliminating aid and privileges to companies large and small. Get the federal government out of welfare, and urge states to explore providing aid to low-income residents without requiring work, job training, or drug tests. Consider the Negative Income Tax, and an extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit, as possible solutions to eliminating the poverty trap, providing a smooth transition from welfare to work.

27. EDUCATION
Abolish the Department of Education and Sallie Mae. Devolve the issues of education, tuition, and student debt to the states. Discourage states from adopting Common Core, but allow states to adopt it, and to voluntarily implement national education standards. Urge states to explore voucher programs, distance learning, and online education; and to expand access to community colleges. Urge states to refrain from requiring public school attendance, and to keep home-schooling legal and free.

28. HOUSING
Devolve the issue of housing to the states. Abolish the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.). End government sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Stop giving tax credits to live in areas prone to natural disasters. Urge states to reform homesteading laws; lowering the required duration of occupancy, and allowing cooperative access to property.

29. TRANSPORTATION
End assistance and bailouts for the auto industry. Oppose Cash for Clunkers -type programs, but allow states to pass their own fuel efficiency and emissions standards. Hand abandoned federal transportation infrastructures over to communities for use. Urge states to fund road construction without taxing non-driving citizens.

30. SOCIAL SECURITY & SENIORS' ISSUES
In the short term, don’t means-test Social Security, nor tighten eligibility standards for disability. Consider block-granting the program to the states; but as long as Social Security is under federal control, curb its growth, cut waste and fraud, and allow young workers to opt-out. Gradually raise the retirement age, but only if none of the aforementioned proposals can be achieved. Urge states to explore non-profit-sector retirement savings account options.



III. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC ISSUES, & MISCELLANEOUS



31. SPEECH & PRESS
Oppose prior restraint of the press, as well as of speech and action. Oppose the confinement of free speech to “Free Speech Zones”, and do not punish speech unless it causes clear and present danger. Protect the rights of journalists to keep their sources confidential. Decriminalize protesting on public property. Open national records to public viewing. Advocate for immunity and pardons for whistleblowers. Oppose internet kill switches, and repeal legislation making internet a public utility.

32. ELECTIONS
Don't overturn Citizens United; instead curb government largesse. End public funding for elections, but support other measures to help make third-party candidates viable. Support algorithmic redistricting. Urge more states to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries. Allow felons to vote in federal elections. Provide free voter I.D. wherever voting requires identification. Require voters to sign ballots, make voting records public, and require elected officials’ oaths of office to be written and signed. Limit senators to two consecutive terms, and House members to four consecutive terms.

33. FEDERAL WORKERS
Eliminate several executive departments, and reduce the number of federal contractors, to reduce the size of the federal workforce by at least 30%. Repeal the federal minimum wage. Reduce the salaries of federal legislators by between 50% and 80% and curtail their pension, insurance, physical protection, and other benefits. Provide health care and insurance, and paid family leave to federal employees, ensuring gender pay parity. Allow federal workers to self-direct their retirement plans. Amend the Constitution to allow federal legislators to be charged with felonies.

34. WAGES
Don't increase the minimum wage; avoid the side effects on prices and employment by achieving reduced prices and increase purchasing power. Decrease tariffs and taxes on sales and income, stabilize and legitimize the currency, and balance the budget to curb inflation. Repeal federal minimum wage laws, but do not prohibit states nor localities from passing local minimum wage laws. Urge businesses and unions to remove limits on wages and raises in contract negotiations.

35. UNIONS
Devolve labor issues not pertaining to federal employees to the states. Urge states to protect concerted activity, and to lower union voting requirements necessary to prompt negotiation. Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, to allow wildcat and sympathy strikes. Repeal the Wagner Act: in order to end the free-rider problem; weaken the dominance of established unions; and make members-only collective bargaining, and multiple unions in a workplace, more common. Urge non- Right-to-Work states to require union-shop and closed-shop workplaces to inform prospective employees that they will be required to join a union. Oppose a national Right to Work amendment, but do not prohibit states from passing Right to Work laws. Make boycotts possible by eliminating business privileges.

36. BUSINESS
Abolish the Department of Commerce and end bailouts. Dismantle artificial privileges for small business and large corporations alike; including subsidies, tax credits, trade promotions, and intellectual property protections. Abolish the Small Business Administration; and urge businesses to form independent business alliances, divesting funds and membership from lobbying agencies acting as chambers of commerce. Urge states to abolish their Secretary of States' offices, in order to halt the creation of new corporations.

37. JOBS
Urge financial agencies and governments to explore zero-interest and zero-collateral business lending. Urge states to implement waiver programs, so that high-schoolers can acquire important trade skills under somewhat hazardous safety conditions without the school facing threats of lawsuits. Loosen licensing standards - and lower licensing fee costs - for lower-skilled occupations and jobs in emerging industries. Urge states to expand occupational safety and health protections; and to expand job training and apprenticeship programs, and access to technical schools.

38. BANKS & CONSUMERS
Audit the bailouts and consider prosecuting Wall Street and Treasury Department officials. Stop bank bailouts; but don't tax Wall Street speculation, nor reinstate Glass-Steagall. Insulate the public from risky investment decisions by either abolishing the F.D.I.C. or decreasing limits on the quantity of assets it can insure. Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; empower consumers to make decisions about financial products instead of risking moral hazard. Stop securitizing bad loans, and foster a regulatory environment conducive to independent credit rating.

39. TRADE
Free trade doesn't need a treaty; free trade agreements don't go far enough, and they go too far to protect intellectual property and potential profits. Real free trade is fair trade; reduce tariffs instead of increasing them, in order to reduce prices and reduce foreign worker exploitation for increased profits to offset the tariffs' costs. Establish free trade with all nations; do not implement sanctions, but do not interfere with private boycotts nor divestments. On Cuba, re-establish diplomatic relations, and maintain trade relations; while advocating for fair elections, more humane labor, and freer trade.

40. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Less protection of I.P. means lower consumer prices on medications and other products. Reform patent law to stop protecting mere applications of laws of physics (as opposed to actual discoveries), and shorten the duration of government protection of intellectual property (patents, copyrights, and trademarks). Oppose attempts to pass legislation similar to S.O.P.A., P.I.P.A., C.I.S.P.A., and A.C.T.A.. Stop prosecuting internet file-sharing and music sampling.

41. TAXES
Until major tax reform can be undertaken, tax all current sources at the same flat rate. Cut income taxes to between 12.5% and 14.5% within several years. If other tax revenue sources cannot be phased out, then extend the E.I.T.C. and / or pass a Negative Income Tax. Lower prices by reducing tariffs, sales taxes, and luxury taxes. Repeal taxes on capital gains and inheritances. In the long term, aim to fund government through user fees, voluntary contributions, and a full 14% federal Land Value Tax.

42. BUDGET & DEBT
Avoid debt ceiling increases and credit rating downgrades by getting the debt and deficit under control. Prioritize spending cuts over revenue increases, and efficiency streamlining over cuts to services. Pass Cut-Cap-and-Balance or Balanced Budget Amendment -type legislation. Balance the budget through at least $7 of spending cuts for every new dollar of revenues raised. Reduce federal spending by between $1.25 and $1.75 trillion; to spend $2.15 and $2.65 trillion annually. Adopt zero-base budgeting, and move more spending to the discretionary budget.

43. CURRENCY & TREASURY
Audit the private Federal Reserve System and the gold reserves in Fort Knox, as soon and as often as possible. Abolish the Federal Reserve by repealing the Federal Reserve Act. Exert congressional control over monetary policy, return to constitutional currency, and make money redeemable in precious metals. End Quantitative Easing, fiat currency, and fractional reserve banking; and get the budget under control as soon as possible, to make such efforts easier. Promote experimentation in backing money with energy and natural resources, and allow competition in currencies.

44. THE POSTAL SERVICE
Achieve fiscal solvency for the U.S. Postal Service, first by addressing retirement funding. Formally allow competition in letter delivery by repealing the Postal Express statutes. Repeal laws exempting the Postal Service from taxes, regulations, and prosecution. Stop abusing the Post Roads clause to justify such widespread federal involvement in transportation.

45. GAMES, SPORTS, & ATHLETICS
Repeal federal anti-gambling laws; allow states to govern gambling. Support union negotiation rights for athletes attending federally funded universities. Urge states not to build stadiums with taxpayer funds. Do not hold any additional congressional hearings on doping in sports. Do not use the next U.S.-hosted Olympics as an excuse to displace the poor, beef up security and surveillance, and allow politicians and private interests to set up profitable land development deals.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Libertarian Party Electoral College Strategy

Written on July 30th and September 7th, 2016

Edited on October 5th, 2016
Expanded on November 23rd, 2016



          Note: all information contained herein - with the exception of the final image - is based on 2012 vote totals. Similar data based on 2016 vote totals will be available soon; either on this page, or in a new blog entry.



     In order to reduce the Democrats to the 260-to-269-vote level that is necessary for the Libertarians' potential electoral votes to deny both parties the 270 votes necessary to win the electoral college, Trump would have to take Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and either or both Iowa and Nevada in order to reduce the Democrats to that level. That would prompt the House of Representatives to elect the president.

     The 6 electoral outcomes pictured below would deny Democrats and Republicans the 270 votes necessary to win.




     The next map (below) shows which states would go to which party - in the event of Gary Johnson winning just enough states to achieve the 270 electoral votes required to be elected - but only for the Democratic and Republican parties.



     Blue = Democratic Party, Red = Republican Party.


     The states shown in gray represent Libertarian wins. The darkest states represent the states most likely to be won by Libertarians first; with Florida 28th and last. The numbers represent each state's place in that ranking, ranked according to how many percentage points the Libertarian Party lacks in comparison with the highest polling presidential candidate in each state.



     Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, and Colorado appear to be the four states most likely to see Libertarian victories in the electoral college, with Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota in a three-way tie for fifth.
















     This third and final map (below) shows which states would go to which party, in the event of Gary Johnson winning just enough states to achieve the 270 electoral votes required to be elected to the presidency without the House of Representatives voting on the matter.


     Yellow = Libertarian Party, Blue = Democratic Party, Red = Republican Party.

     For Gary Johnson to win Florida would secure the Libertarian Party between 291 and 298 electoral votes (depending on the outcomes in Maine and Nebraska).











A map comparing Gary Johnson's total vote percentages in 2012 and 2016.
Some 2016 vote totals may reflect incomplete results.


Source:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/50-state-poll/#results-table-container