Friday, May 5, 2017

Revised Position on Discrimination and Interstate Commerce

      Private businesses should be free to do whatever they want on their own property, free to refuse service and job offers to anyone they please, and free to charge any price they want for the goods and services they provide.
      ...As long as they aren't involved in interstate commerce, and their state says it's okay; and as long as they don't receive any taxpayer funding (to support subsidies, small business loans, intellectual property protections, trade promotions, corporate liability limitations, bailouts, police and military protections, professional licensing considerations favorable to already existing businesses, and other privileges granted by the public).
      We can only have full private property rights, and a real free market (with easy entry into competition and trade) when businesses give up all of these artificial privileges and protections (which are funded, in part, through the extortion of taxpayers' earnings)
      Until companies are willing to give up all of these privileges and protections, we should regard at least 99% of these businesses as our property; that is, public property. Until they give up their mercantilist protections – constitutional though they may be – they should do whatever we tell them to do.
      Since we, the public, fund the Secretary of States' offices that grant these companies their charters, and their corporate status (with the limited liability protections which come with that) in the first place, these businesses should hire and serve whomever we tell them to hire and serve. If they want exemptions, the public has every right to condition the terms of those contracts.
      If the public tells its property – the businesses – to give away the goods they sell, they should comply. At the very least, they should refrain from getting in the way of people who are attempting to obtain, access, or use these goods themselves.
      Consider this
patria potestas (“I brought you into this world, I can take you out”) applied to the relationship between government and enterprise. We the People created the government, so it is our right to alter or abolish it if and when it ceases to serve the purpose for which we created it. Moreover, it is our duty to abolish government that becomes destructive of these ends.
      Likewise, We the People created the government, which in turn created the businesses (through charters). Therefore, it is the right of the people – through their property, the government – to revoke companies' privileges (if and when they abuse those privileges). When companies form business alliances - which impersonate government Departments of Commerce - to steal from taxpayers to subsidize them and bail them out, it is the people's
duty to revoke their charters, or even to abolish the Secretary of States' offices, so that no new corporations (and no new corporate privileges) can be created.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

100 Articles About Arrest and Abusive Treatment of Students

   At least 90% of these articles were published about incidents in the U.S. that occurred between 2009 and 2017. Most victims were under 18 years old. Only a few articles refer to high school seniors aged 18, or incidents in Canada and the United Kingdom.



1. 'I Don't Like to Be Touched': Video shows 10-year-old autistic boy getting arrested at school
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/04/19/i-dont-like-to-be-touched-video-shows-10-year-old-autistic-boy-getting-arrested-at-school/

2. 'I'm Pregnant!': Teen mother screams in agony as NYPD officers shock her with Taser in the Bronx
http://www.scoopnest.com/user/PIX11News/831722161580732419

3. 'It's Kidnapping': Hospital Takes Custody of Teen Because Her Parents Were 'Too Active in Pursuing'Her Care
http://www.theblaze.com/news/2013/11/20/its-kidnapping-hospital-takes-custody-of-teen-because-her-parents-were-too-active-in-pursuing-her-care/

4. 'Over 12,000 school kids were arrested in Florida. It makes Florida the nation's leader in that area,' says Dream Defenders
http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2013/jul/30/dream-defenders/over-12000-school-kids-were-arrested-florida-it-ma/

5. 10-year-old suspended over finger gun
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/us/ohio-boy-suspended-finger-gun/

6. 10th Circuit Oks School Arrest & Strip Search
http://www.courthousenews.com/10th-circuit-oks-school-arrest-strip-search/

7. 16-year-old hit with taser outside Long Island high school
http://abc7ny.com/news/16-year-old-hit-with-taser-outside-long-island-high-school/1781687/

9. 19 Crazy Things That School Children Are Being Arrested for in America
http://www.copblock.org/22616/19-crazy-things-that-school-children-are-being-arrested-for-in-america/

10. 2-year-old taken away from parents because they used marijuana, killed by foster mother
http://fox43.com/2014/11/06/2-year-old-taken-away-from-parents-because-they-used-marijuana-killed-by-foster-mother/

12. 34 New Jersey high school students arrested during post-prom party
http://6abc.com/news/34-nj-high-school-students-arrested-during-post-prom-party/1941425/

14. 6-Year-Old Suspended For Pointing Fingers In The Shape Of A Gun
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/06/6-year-old-fingers-shape-of-gun-suspended_n_6813864.html

17. Boy, 3, died after police handcuff and taser his stepfather to STOP him from running into burning home to save his child

20. Charlton Library Sends Police to Collect Overdue Books from-5 Year-Old
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/01/02/charlton-library-sends-police-to-collect-overdue-books-from-5-year-old/

22. Common Core math experts say teachers need to stop using shortcuts and math 'tricks'
http://hechingerreport.org/common-core-math-experts-say-teachers-need-stop-using-shortcuts-math-tricks/

23. Dad arrested trying to pick up kids at school

25. Family Crushed After Autistic Teen is Tasered by Burbank Police
http://abc7.com/news/family-crushed-after-autistic-teen-is-tasered-by-burbank-police/1429360/

27. Family of teenage girl tasered in groin by Pennsylvania cop in 2011 settles for $100,000
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3448759/Family-teenage-girl-tasered-groin-Pennsylvania-cop-2011-settles-100-000-court.html

28. Florida is officially nuts: 13-year-old arrested for farting
https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4532760

34. Girl's arrest for doodling raises concerns about zero tolerance
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/18/new.york.doodle.arrest/

35. Girl, 10, Arrested for Using Knife to Cut Food at School
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/12/18/girl-10-arrested-for-using-knife-to-cut-food-at-school.html

36. Here's Why a Zero-Tolerance Policy in Our Schools is a Terrible Idea
http://www.alternet.org/books/heres-why-zero-tolerance-policy-our-schools-terrible-idea

37. How Kentucky's child-protective agency abandoned an 8-year-old girl in hel
http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article130534864.html

38. How kicking a trash can became criminal for a 6th grader
https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-10/how-kicking-trash-can-became-criminal-6th-grader

40. How Zero Tolerance Policies Hurt Kids
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/05/how-zero-tolerance-policies-hurt-kids

41. In Texas schools, response to misbehavior is questioned

44. Judge upholds suspension of the Pop-Tart Gun Kid
http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/16/judge-upholds-suspension-of-the-pop-tart

45. Kids Create Salt Black Markets in Cafeterias Due to Michelle Obama's Lunch Rules
http://freebeacon.com/issues/kids-create-salt-black-markets-in-cafeterias-due-to-michelle-obamas-lunch-rules/

46. Kids Suffer Panic Attacks After New York School Locks Them In Padded Cell To 'Calm Down'
https://www.sott.net/article/269990-Kids-suffer-panic-attacks-after-New-York-school-locks-them-in-padded-cell-to-calm-down

48. Landry Thompson, 13, Taken Into Custody After Dozing Off In Dance Instructor's Car
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/landry-thompson_n_4372573.html

49. Lawsuit: 12-Year-Old American School for the Deaf Student Tasered by West Hartford Police
https://patch.com/connecticut/westhartford/lawsuit-12yearold-american-school-for-the-deaf-student-tasered-by-west-hartford-police

50. Let's put a stop to school lunch shaming in Texas
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/04/27/put-stop-school-lunch-shaming-texas

51. Louisiana elementary teachers arrested for allegedly bullying, pushing student
http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_2c1c1b6a-2b82-11e7-997a-abdd39a3dad2.html

53. Michelle Malkin has the facts about Common Core every parent in America needs to know

55. Mom of boy Tasered in high school cafeteria files lawsuit (documents)
http://www.middletownpress.com/article/MI/20110614/NEWS/306149975

57. Mother and Daughter Arrested for 'Dangerous Drug' Ibuprofen
http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/16/mother-and-daughter-arrested-for-dangerous-drug-ibuprofen/

59. No charges for officer who body slammed female student

65. Police Handcuff, Charge 6-Year-Old Girl for Misbehaving
https://www.infowars.com/police-handcuff-charge-6-year-old-girl-for-misbehaving/

66. Police tase, shoot and kill 90-pound schizophrenic teen
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/police-tase-shoot-and-kill-90-poundpolice

67. Police Taser boy with broken back 19 times
http://www.wnd.com/2008/08/71096/

68. Report: Florida Schools Scanned Children's Eyes Without Permission
http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2013/06/03/report-florida-schools-scanned-childrens-eyes-without-permission-eyeswipe-nano-iris-scan-biometric-data-collection-big-brother/

69. San Antonio schools' test of student ID 'locator' chips faces religious suit
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2012/11/27/san-antonio-schools-test-of-student-id-locator-chips-faces-religious-suit

70. School Force Feeds Garbage to Kid With Healthy Lunch, Parents Fined
http://www.activistpost.com/2013/11/school-force-feeds-garbage-to-kid-with.html

71. School Guards Break Child's Arm And Arrest Her for Dropping Cake
http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=23886

72. South Carolina high school student faces jail time over paper airplane incident
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/23/south-carolina-high-school-student-faces-jail-time-over-paper-airplane-incident.html

76. Student suspended for “revealing” prom dress; mom says it's because she's plus sized”
http://fox4kc.com/2015/05/03/student-suspended-for-revealing-prom-dress-mom-says-its-because-shes-plus-sized/

77. Student Suspended For Butter Knife She Brought to Middle School in Packed Lunch
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/29/student-suspended-butter-knife-lunch_n_2979808.html

78. Tampa teacher spit on student's face, slammed boy's head onto desk
http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/tampa-teacher-charged-with-spitting-on-student-and-slamming-head-on-desk/2318601

79. Taser used on 8th grade student who was disruptive, assaulted officer

80. Taunton second-grader sent home over drawing of Jesus
http://www.tauntongazette.com/article/20091215/NEWS/312159872

81. Teen Girls Sent Home From High School For 'Distracting' Boys With Their Visible Bra Straps
https://thinkprogress.org/teen-girls-sent-home-from-high-school-for-distracting-boys-with-their-visible-bra-straps-3c318393a5b1

82. Texas boy crying after being locked in 'focus room' for 90 MINUTES

84. Texas Police Officers Shut Down Girls' Lemonade Stand Because They Didn't Have a Permit
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/11/texas-cops-shut-down_n_7562278.html

85. Texas school clashes with parents over bizarre anti-pedestrian pickup policy
https://www.treehugger.com/culture/texas-school-clashes-parents-over-bizarre-anti-pedestrian-pickup-policy.html

86. Tennessee judge who vetoed Messiah as baby's name is fired
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tennessee-judge-who-vetoed-messiah-as-babys-name-is-fired/

88. Texas Student Gets $637 Fine for Swearing
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-student-gets-637-fine-for-swearing/

89. The Common Core is today's New Math – which is actually a good thing

91. There's Only One Country That Hasn't Ratified the Convention on Children's Rights: US
https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/theres-only-one-country-hasnt-ratified-convention-childrens-rights-us

93. Three black students arrested while waiting for school bus in Rochester

94. TSA agent seizes gun from sock monkey in St. Louis before flight
http://fox6now.com/2013/12/09/tsa-agent-seizes-gun-from-sock-monkey-in-st-louis-before-flight/

95. Two Sisters Seized by Phoenix Hospital, Mother Ordered Not to Talk – Another Medical
Kidnapping?
http://www.inquisitr.com/1524122/two-sisters-seized-by-phoenix-hospital-mother-ordered-not-to-talk-another-medical-kidnapping/

96. Video Shows Texas Police Talking a 14-Year-Old Student With a Chokehold
https://mic.com/articles/126600/video-shows-texas-police-tackling-a-14-year-old-student-with-a-chokehold#.CH13LEJ6R

97. VIDEO: Students react to Ed Schultz sandbag “slave labor” comment
http://www.inforum.com/content/video-students-react-ed-schultz-sandbag-slave-labor-comment

98. Was a Canadian Student Punished by His School After Stopping a Knife-Wielding Classmate?
http://www.theblaze.com/news/2013/06/06/was-a-canadian-student-punished-by-his-school-after-stopping-a-knife-wielding-classmate/

100. Why Colorado may require teens who were caught sexting to register as sex offenders
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-colorado-sexting-child-pornography-20160416-story.html

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tredecuple Taxation

Author's Note #1:
     A just government would only draw revenues from sources #4 and #10. An extremely just government would draw revenues from source #2, in addition to #4 and #10.
     However, this does not mean that none of the other sources should be taxed. Sources #1, #3, #5, #6, #7, #8, #11, #12, and #13 should be taxed only as they extend to land (sales of land, income from land, etc.), and except as given voluntarily (i.e., through sales taxes, or income donated to the Treasury).
     This policy would create ideal geolibertarian conditions.

Author's Note #2:
     The list of taxes enumerated in this image is not intended as an exhaustive list of all types of taxes. Tariffs, imposts, and duties comprise another category of taxes entirely, and there are others.




Click image to expand



Image created April 21st, 2017
Author's Note #1 added on April 23rd, 2017, and edited on April 26th, 2017.
Author's Note #2 added on April 26th, 2017.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Evolution of the Political Spectrum

      The idea that Democrats represent the Left and Republicans represent the Right is even more ridiculous than the idea that the left-vs.-right political spectrum can explain politics. But of course, we all know this. However, what many of us don't know is how the traditional left-vs.-right “political spectrum” or “political compass” got the way it is, and exactly how and when it outlived its usefulness. Understanding the history of the spectrum, and how the modern two-dimensional square political spectrums developed, are vital keys to understanding what the real map of politics and anarchism looks like.


Figure #1: The Left-vs.-Right Model


      The concept of a linear, one-dimensional, left-vs.-right model evidently originated in the late 18th century in the French National Assembly, during the French Revolution (see Figure #1). It was the press who gave the “left” and “right” labels to the representatives, who were seated on the left or right of the chamber according to their support for either the monarchists and those loyal to the Ancien Régime (on the right), or the Revolution (on the left). This arrangement continued after the body's replacement with a Legislative Assembly, and through a National Convention, to today. In the mid-19th century, influential economists Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Claude Frédéric Bastiat sat on the left of the chamber at the same time.
      Today in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Democratic Party representatives sit on the left, while Republicans sit on the right. It's similar, but that does not necessarily mean that Republicans are more likely to support monarchy, nor Democrats revolution. And it certainly doesn't mean that the Republican Party is conservative, nor that the Democratic Party is Leftist. Additionally, the existence of totalitarian socialists and libertarian and “anarcho-” capitalists show that the old left-vs.-right paradigm is no longer relevant.
      But that was true back when Proudhon and Bastiat both supported the French Revolution. That's because according to the modern, common perception, Proudhon is regarded as a Mutualist of the left, while Bastiat is considered a classical liberal of the right. Bastiat influenced Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari, the author of The Production of Security, and the first person to articulate what is now called “market-anarchism”. The Molinari Institute bears his name, and many self-described libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, and Agorists are influenced by Molinari, including self-described Aristotelian objectivist Roderick T. Long, who has written on the difficulty of classifying anarchists on the traditional left-vs.-right spectrum.
      After the Paris Communes of 1848 and 1871, and the careers of Marx, Proudhon, Bastiat, and Molinari, the early 20th century saw the rise of synthesis-anarchism; people like Rudolf Rocker and Voltairine deCleyre wanted individualist anarchists, socialists, and anarcho-communists to work together to fight capitalism and the state. Some modern variants of “Anarchy Without Adjectives” integrate the most anti-capitalists elements of libertarian-leaning anarchism, such as contributions from left-Rothbardianism and left-wing market-anarchism, mutualist anarchists, Geo-anarchists (anarchist students of Henry George), and others.
      In the mid-20th century, the rise of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Japanese imperialism, and the U.S.S.R. gave rise to Horseshoe Theory (see Figure #2). The pre-WWII Molotov-Ribbentropp treaty (to carve-up Poland between Germany and the U.S.S.R.) and the late 20th century Stasi of East Germany, showed the public that liberalism is a moderate center, while the extreme left of communism and the extreme right of fascism met at an evil authoritarian center. However, Horseshoe Theory only goes so far; it only shows the top half of the political compass, leaving anarchism out of the mix (see Figure #3). Thus, anarchism is considered “fringe” by most Americans, and even as “extreme” as totalitarian systems (partially owing to the widespread perception of anarchism as necessarily chaotic or violent).


 Figure #2: Horseshoe Theory



Figure #3: The Full 2-D Political Spectrum


      It's not entirely accurate to describe Adolf Hitler as a socialist snowflake art student who hated privilege and capitalism, nor Barack Obama as Adolf Hitler. Nor is it accurate to describe Nazism as socialism just because “National Socialism” has “socialism” in the name. It's also inaccurate to describe Gregor and Otto Strasser as Nazis, because although they were the Nazi Party's socialist propaganda arm, they were betrayed and assassinated by the party's leadership. Just as National Socialism was capitalist, today the closest descriptor for Strasserism that we have is “social-nationalism”, which makes it sound more nationalistic than National Socialism. But the Strassers were to the left of the larger segment of the Nazi Party that betrayed them; the Strassers were German socialists who opposed both Jewish and German capitalism, and they were more socialist than the National Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazis).

 
      The work of the Strassers – as well as that of Egoist Max Stirner, Ernst Junger, Charles Maurras, Georges Sorel, Austromarxist Otto Bauer, Nestor Makhno, Enver Hoxha, the National Bolsheviks and national communists, other “proletarian nationalists”, and patriotic socialists - only compound the difficulty of mapping all political philosophies on the traditional left-vs.-right axis (especially authoritarianism and fascism and their variants). This difficulty owes itself to the existence of nationalist-leaning communist and socialist philosophies on one hand, and progressive and Marxist-influenced philosophies oriented towards markets and free enterprise (such as those of Adam Smith, the Physiocrats, and the Chicago School) on the other. The difficulty of mapping all the strange and new philosophies – often bearing such absurd names as “National-Anarchism”, “Anarcho-Fascism”, “Anarcho-Monarchism”, “Anarcho-Statism”, and the bizarre Marxist-Stirnerite philsophy of “EGO DIKism” which perhaps unintentionally synthesizes the post-Left with the alt-Right - prompts us to look at politics in a new way.

      In middle school biology, we were taught to use Punnett squares (named for Reginald Punnett, who devised them). A Punnett square is a variation of the Pournelle chart; it it used to predict the chance that certain dominant or recessive genetic traits would be inhereted by offspring. This is done by displaying two aspects of one parent's genes on the X-axis, against the other parent's genes on the Y-axis (see Figure #4). We can do the exact same thing with anarchism and totalitarianism on one axis, and communism and capitalism on the other. The result is the two-dimensional development of the one-dimensional left-vs.-right axis; the “Nolan chart” (see Figure #5), popularized by Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan in 1971. In the previous several years, similar political spectrums had been published by Maurice C. Bryson and William R. McDill (in their article “The Political Spectrum: A Bi-Dimensional Approach” in The Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought in 1968), and Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer (in The Floodgates of Anarchy in 1970).




Figure #4: A Punnett Square



Figure #5: The Nolan Chart

 
      However, the two-dimensional map does not fully solve our problem. If we consider that we have communism on the left and capitalism on the right, and totalitarianism on top and diffusion of power and chaos on the bottom, then there's no reason why we can't have a third dimension. Why not moderate compromise vs. radical discord? After all, the goal of anarchism is, more or less, to work together, and if we can't, then for different anarchist schools to leave each other alone. If anarchists can live with only working together when we agree, then not only does that make sure nobody is harmed when people voluntarily cooperate, it also shows that what the anarchists want is the opposite of the goal of politics.

      Of course, what politicians want is compromise by any means necessary. But moderate compromise has not worked for us. That's why the “radical center” has emerged, and so has the “progressive-libertarian alliance” that began ten years ago between Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and others. With the third dimension of moderate political compromise vs. radical (whose Greek root radix means “root”) centrism, we can now show how where the East German Stasi are in relation to market-tolerant Anarchists Without Adjectives. My 62-sided, color-coded, three-dimensional political spectrum – which my friend Charles Poston named “the Politosphere” (see Figures #6 and #7) - attempts to map these three dimensions onto a globe.


Figure #6: The Politosphere (View from Top)


Figure #7: The Politosphere (View from Bottom)

      Anyone interested in finding out more about political spectrums can visit politicalcompass.org, Jacob Asplund's asplundchart.blogspot.com, or iSideWith.com; Google-search “The World's Smallest Political Quiz”; read the Wikipedia article “Left-right politics”; or go to my blog www.aquarianagrarian.blogspot.com and type “political spectrum” into the search field on the top-left. You may also wish to look for the three-dimensional cubic political spectrum at NationStates.net, the site of an online video game that allows players to make political decisions to run their own fictional e-nations, complete with flags and mottos.

      The discovery, delineation, and enumeration of economic schools of thought bearing implications in politics as well as anarchism make it possible to expand the number of economic categories which may be shown on any particular spectrum (see Figure #8), for, as anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker explained, anarchist tendencies are “only different methods of economy”. But the left-vs.-right economic axis aside, tools like those listed in the above paragraph will help make it possible for more people to understand that we live in a three-dimensional political continuum, not a black-and-white, left-vs.-right false dichotomy. Venn diagrams and Euler diagrams are also helpful learning tools (see Figure #9).


 Figure #8: A Political Spectrum with
12 Economic Categories and 5 Power Categories


Figure #9: An Euler Diagram of
Statism, Socialism, and Capitalism



      Not only that, these tools will make it possible for more people to fully understand anarchism and totalitarianism, and it could also enable collaborative efforts to create more detailed political spectrums, perhaps even with radically different axes and shapes from the figures shown here.






Written on March 18th and 19th, 2017

Figures #1-#4 and #6-#9 Created by Joseph W. Kopsick

between 2011 and March 19th, 2017

Figure #5 came from
http://nolan.jimeyer.org/nolan_example.php

Friday, March 10, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Alternatives to Obamacare (Part 3: A 12-Point Plan to Replace)

Abstract / Summary

      POINTS #1-5: CHANGES TO OBAMACARE: Repeal the individual and employer mandate, and other mandates. Repeal Obamacare in its totality, and replace it on the same day. Repeal the provision of Obamacare that lets people stay on their parents' insurance plans until they turn 26. Allow total state control over Medicaid and Medicare, advocating significant means-tested tax credits that are refundable for those living in poverty.
     POINTS #6-7: INCREASED ACCESSIBILITY OF INSURANCE: Expand health savings accounts. Make health insurance portable by addressing employer- and location-based discrepancies in coverage. Legalize the interstate sale and purchase of non-group and small-group health insurance. Account for the resulting need to increase policyholders' price leverage by allowing people to join into group insurance pools, including on the basis of profession or trade. De-link employment from insurance by keeping all types of health insurance taxes low, and dismantle health firms' privileges in order to curb cronyism.
      POINTS #8-12: INCREASED AFFORDABILITY OF CARE: Liberalize drug importation by reducing tariffs and patent protections. Repeal taxes on the sales and profits of medical devices to increase affordability and diminish the apparent necessity of tort reform. Repeal the Obamacare provision that prohibits denial of care on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Address the resulting pre-existing conditions coverage gap by encouraging state solutions, incentivizing free care through non-refundable tax credits, and allowing the implementation of professional consequences for breaking promises to never deny care on the basis of inability to pay.



The 12 Points

      1. REPEAL THE MANDATES: Stop playing political games, solve the issue already, and repeal all of the Obamacare mandates. Repeal the individual insurance purchase mandate, the employer-sponsored insurance purchase mandate, the minimum coverage standard mandate, and the benefit mandate in-full. Also address community regulations and the manner in which health insurance plans are categorized.
      2. FULL REPEAL, & REPLACE SAME-DAY: Repeal each of the even key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Repeal the entirety of Obamacare, and on the same day, replace the rest of Obamacare with Points #2-12.
      3. REPEAL THE 26-YEAR-OLDS PROVISION: Repeal the provision of Obamacare that requires health insurers offering family coverage to allow young people to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26. Oppose Paul Ryan's proposed tax credits that benefit the elderly and married people, providing tax credits on a different basis.
      4. STATE MEDICAID SELF-DIRECTION: Oppose extending the expansion of Medicaid; but choose block-granting Medicaid to the states over reforming Medicaid at the national level. Allow states to reinstate Title 1 of Obamacare, and / or any other provision of the A.C.A. they wish. Allow and urge states to self-direct their own health policy and health plans. Urge states to explore private and non-profit solutions, as well as community-, worker-, and consumer-oriented solutions.
      5. STATE CONTROL AND TAX CREDITS: Allow states to choose whether to replace their Obamacare subsidies to extend Medicaid with state-level tax credits. Urge states to consider means-tested tax credits – deductions for health insurance premium expenses, as well as care-related expenses - refundable up to $5,000 annually for people who are living below the poverty level, regardless of whether they work, earn income, or are required to pay taxes, and regardless of their age or marital status. Federal and state poverty levels should also be raised significantly, so that refundable tax deductions may reach the lower middle class as well as the poor.
      6. EXPAND HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS: Make contributions to health savings accounts completely tax-free, and remove limits on the amount of money which can be donated to H.S.A.s. Make health savings accounts inheritable, accessible to families, and able to be rolled-over to family members. Make it possible for H.S.A.s to follow people throughout their lives, even from state to state and job to job; and allow people with H.S.A.s to enroll in lower-deductible plans.
      7. LEGALIZE INTERSTATE INSURANCE: Make health insurance portable for people who move to new states, lose their job, travel for a living, and are unemployed and non-employed. Legalize the interstate purchase and sale of small-group and non-group non-employer-sponsored health insurance, as well as small-workplace employer-sponsored insurance. Account for the resulting need to increase policyholders' price leverage by allowing people to join into group insurance pools, including on the basis of profession or trade. De-link / de-couple employment from insurance not by beginning to tax employer-sponsored insurance, but instead through lowering taxes on non-employer-sponsored insurance through means-tested refundable individual tax credits for health care and insurance expenses. Additionally, dismantle taxpayer-funded privileges and supports for health care and insurance companies, and restore the Enumerated Powers, in order to remove the temptation to pass mandates that let companies get away with high prices.
      8. LIBERALIZE DRUG IMPORTATION: Remove tariffs on, and barriers to, the importation of pharmaceutical drugs; lower importation fees will mean lower drug prices for patients. Give the Food and Drug Administration thirty days to approve Rx drugs that have been approved in other industrialized countries. Reduce the duration of time for which medication and medical device patents are enforced; this will help swiftly end prohibition on cheap knock-offs that may be safe alternatives to expensive name-brands. Oppose any and all measures which would aim to establish price transparency through compulsory means; instead, urge insurers to be more transparent about their prices and rates, and allow states to enact price transparency laws.
      9. REPEAL MEDICAL DEVICE TAXES: Repeal taxes on income, sales, etc.; replacing them with Land Value Taxation, in order to reduce tax burdens on ordinary people, including health care workers and patients. Most importantly, on hospitals that are trying to affordably purchase medical devices. Repeal taxes on the sales of medical devices and equipment, and repeal taxes on profits therefrom, in order to decrease prices. When hospitals can afford up-to-date equipment, they can diagnose diseases earlier. Oppose efforts to enact tort reform (medical malpractice reform); do not limit juries' abilities to award damages for non-medical traumas through legislative means. Instead, repeal medical device taxes, in order to help hospitals avoid medical negligence lawsuits brought on grounds that a practitioner's lack of up-to-date equipment impaired or hindered a proper diagnosis.
      10. REPEAL PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Sick people primarily need care, not insurance coverage. Repeal the “consumer protections” provisions of Obamacare that prohibit health insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions, and prohibits insurers from “overcharging” policyholders. Allow states to consider providing uninsured sick people with an 18- or 24-month transition period in which they can obtain coverage, or to consider prohibiting denial of coverage of afflictions which a health insurance customer does not already have. Don't prohibit denial of coverage; instead, increase sick people's ability to access care affordably by enacting Points #11 and #12.
      11. INCENTIVIZE FREE CARE: Health care workers don't show up at work because they look forward to denying people care; they want to do their job, and they want to help people. Allow doctors and nurses to decide whether to donate care for free, and enact non-refundable tax credits for health care workers who decide to donate care. Government doesn't get to tax or regulate a hospital if it doesn't generate any revenue. Let hospitals choose whether to operate on not-for-profit bases by refraining from charging people for, and profiting from, care. Do not subject non-profit hospitals to the same taxes and regulations that come with the territory of for-profit health care models.
      12: ADDRESS HIPPOCRATIC OATHS: If health care were free, then health insurance would be unnecessary. Make the health insurance industry obsolete, and health insurance coverage unnecessary, by allowing doctors and nurses to choose whether to submit to their Hippocratic Oaths. Urge health care network to implement guidelines that require the termination of health care workers who voluntarily vow not to withhold care on the grounds of inability to pay, but who then break their oaths by turning away people in need of treatment.




Written between March 7th and 9th, 2017

Edited March 10th, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Libertarian Party of Chicago Vets Illinois Governor Candidates

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Candidate Bios
3. Education and the Budget
4. Drugs, Gangs, Courts, and Jobs
5. Jon Stewart
6. Kash Jackson and Matt Scaro
7. Conclusion



Content
1. Introduction
     On the evening of Tuesday, March 7th, the Libertarian Party (L.P.) of Chicago held a gubernatorial candidates' forum and media event as part of a chapter meeting, at Will's Northwoods Inn at 3030 N. Racine Avenue. In attendance were the three candidates for the state L.P.'s nomination for governor, in the race to unseat incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner in 2018. The meeting, attended by about three dozen people, was called to order at 7:15 P.M. by Justin Tucker, chair of the L.P.'s Chicago chapter.
     Each candidate was given five minutes to make opening statements, which were followed by questions from guests and press. The first candidate to speak was retired Navy veteran Kash Jackson of Antioch, whose favorite founding fathers are Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He was followed by two-time local candidate and professional wrestler, and current automobile dealer, Jon Stewart of Deerfield, whose favorite president is Teddy Roosevelt. Finally, the audience was addressed by entrepreneur Matthew C. Scaro of Chicago, whose favorite constitutional amendment is the First Amendment.
     Other attendees of the event included 2016 state comptroller candidate Claire Ball, and two-time congressional candidate David Earl Williams III, who towards the end of the evening announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor. Williams read guests his seven-point plan to reduce gang violence in Chicago, which involved legalizing marijuana and concealed-carry, expanding school choice, giving former gang members a second chance through military and job opportunities, establishing economic freedom zones, repealing the estate tax, and abolishing civil asset forfeiture.


2. Candidate Bios

      Kash Jackson, a former Republican who is originally from rural Louisiana, told the L.P. he never imagined he would run for Governor of Illinois. He described himself as a family man who can relate to ordinary struggling people, and explained how his twenty years of service in the U.S. Navy taught him leadership skills. A fond traveler, Jackson recently trekked 3,000 miles across the country to spread awareness about family courts issues, as part of his Restoring Freedom Movement. He also told Tuesday night's audience that he circumnavigated the globe by circling the Arctic Ocean.
     Jon Stewart, a native Illinoisan who ran for the 11th District Illinois House seat and the 10th District U.S. House seat in the late 1990s, told guests that politics is about changing people's lives. He cites his experience in political campaigns, his track record of getting media attention, and his personal wealth and fundraising potential as assets that will help him build a successful campaign. Stewart said he joined the Libertarian Party in 2011; he was a Republican for at least 15 years prior to joining the L.P..
     Matthew C. Scaro (pronounced “SCAR-oh”) a traveler and self-employed entrepreneur who lives in Chicago, told the crowd that he wanted to run a principled, honest, optimistic campaign. He added that although he is not wealthy, he can relate to average citizens because he is one. His interest in finance showed when he focused on state budget reform during the event, calling it “the single largest issue facing the state”. Scaro recommended abolishing taxes on small businesses, as well as the income tax and the estate tax, also noted that he enjoys discussing the Federal Reserve and Austrian economics.


3. Education and the Budget

      The candidates addressed the need for budgetary and education reform. On education, Stewart suggested making investments in charter schools, and Scaro criticized Common Core, while Jackson focused on teachers and pensions. Neither of the candidates went so far as to endorse abolishing public schools altogether, and all three agreed that the state is in the midst of a serious budget crisis.
     Matt Scaro said when it comes to schools, we're not getting what our municipal property taxes pay for, and that he'll work with Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Emanuel to fix education. Kash Jackson said the best way forward on schools is to have an open, honest dialogue with voters and teachers, saying that “good teachers” won't let our property taxes go “through the roof”. Jackson also explained that there are over 9,000 state administrators who receive pensions on top of six-figure salaries.
     Jon Stewart expressed desire to end the state Democratic Party's control of the state legislature, and resolve and reforming teachers' pensions, saying he plans on meeting with a teachers' union representative soon to discuss the issue. Stewart drew attention to recent increases in the cost of attending private schools, and even more significant increases in costs of attending private schools.
On budgetary issues, Kash Jackson said we need to hold our elected officials accountable, mentioning Governor Rauner's office in particular. He said the working people of Illinois are ready for budget reform, and that voters and candidates need “third- and fourth-party” solutions.
     Matt Scaro said he'd propose a balanced budget, and demand information on every single line-item on it. He also said budgets aren't partisan or political; they should simply balance, and balance now. He added that reducing debt is essential, and called the pension system a liability. Scaro also said reducing debt rather than increasing it is essential. Scaro noted that the stake is not bankrupt, but it is insolvent.
Jon Stewart said neither one of the two major parties has a solution to Illinois's $13 billion in unpaid bills and $139 billion in unfunded pension obligations. Stewart emphasized that his fundraising potential puts him in a unique position to go to Springfield without buckling to special interests, nor to the orders of party leaders.

4. Drugs, Gangs, Courts, and Jobs

     All three candidates addressed drugs, gang-related crime, judicial corruption, family law reform, and jobs as an integrated issue. Each candidate stressed the importance of decriminalizing drugs, while reforming family courts to keep families together. The goal is to build more cohesive communities that will become safe enough to begin attracting jobs, increasing economic prosperity for residents. But there's no way that can happen until we stop enforcing prohibition of guns and drugs, and shift the focus of law enforcement onto apprehending people suspected of committing violent crimes like murder, rape, and theft (and we all know what theft is another word for).
     Each candidate advocated legalizing marijuana to bring revenue and tourism into the state. Stewart seemed the most enthusiastic about the idea, advocating “full, utter, and complete legalization”. He added that cannabis should be sold in gift shops and casinos throughout the state, including downtown Chicago. Stewart was the only one of the three candidates who went as far as to specifically recommend taxing marijuana sales, although Scaro and Jackson hinted at it when they mentioned the revenue that it would bring in.
     Kash Jackson described being in Seattle when Washington State legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and said pot smokers are “no threat to anyone”. Observing the effects of Washington's and Colorado's legalization, Jackson commented that ending arrests and prosecutions of cannabis users and other non-violent offenders would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
     Jon Stewart described the drug epidemic as an issue close to his heart, noting that his family-owned car dealership hires recovering drug addicts and homeless people. He also said that lack of jobs increases drug use, and suggested after-school and community programs for at-risk youth as solutions. Stewart also said the National Guard should be called in to do something about the “holocaust” that's happening on the West Side of Chicago.
     Expressing a desire to “eliminate red tape” on the issue of marijuana, Matt Scaro advocated full legalization of the plant in Illinois. He added that the fact that drugs are illegal is what allows the black-market drug trade to flourish, and said drug policy should focus on giving people entrepreneurial opportunities instead of encaging people who haven't harmed anyone.
     Additionally, each candidate explained, in his own way, how the drug and gang problems facing our communities are the result of too many households lacking fathers. Scaro noted that the social safety net incentivizes single-parent homes, while Stewart said bringing in jobs could help solve the problem. Kash Jackson, who has made family courts reform one of the central issues of his campaign, noted that state Social Security taxes give an incentive for judges to take custody of children, separating kids from parents.
     The candidates also weighed in on judicial corruption. Jackson said the public entrusts judges with the responsibility to uphold the laws that maintain our society. He described judges who break the law as traitors and felons, and recommended hard labor in jail for public servants who take advantage of judicial immunity to routinely violate our rights. Jackson additionally criticized state concealed-carry regulations.
     Stewart and Scaro both said they would incarcerate judges who break the law; with Scaro recommending addressing the root cause of the problem. Jon Stewart said our family court system is broken, we need to hold judges accountable, and nobody is above the law. Stewart said he supported a measure that would make minute-by-minute information about judges' meetings available on the internet for public viewing.


5. Jon Stewart

     Each candidate was asked to weigh-in on what their candidacy for the Illinois Libertarian Party's gubernatorial nomination brings to the table. Jon Stewart listed name recognition as an asset. “The Illustrious Jonnie Stewart”, as he was known during his professional wrestling days, was once invited to speak at a charter school in Utah because organizers thought he was the eponymous comedian and former host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
     Stewart also said attracting media attention is the only chance the party has to “break through”, and noted that he has experience doing that, having appeared on radio and in print media. Stewart has also appeared on M.S.N.B.C., as well as FOX News's The o'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes. He plans to play up the “former pro wrestler angle”, which he says will resonate with the media.
     Stewart said that knowing automobile dealers will give him a fundraising advantage, and reiterated that this will insulate him from pressure from partyarchs and rent-seeking cronies. Stewart backed Donald Trump over Gary Johnson in 2016, saying that ordinary voters admire Trump's ability to resist special interests by self-funding. Stewart says he admires that about Trump too, saying that he thought Rauner was like Trump in that respect, but he's running for governor because Bruce Rauner disappointed him.
     During questions from the audience, Stewart addressed suggestions that he has never voted for a Libertarian Party candidate. He did not name names, but he did say he couldn't support the former New Mexico governor's presidential bid because he “couldn't support a guy who didn't know about the holocaust in Aleppo”. Stewart was referring to a fall 2016 installment of M.S.N.B.C.'s Morning Joe, in which Johnson asked “and what is Aleppo?” in response to a question about what to do about I.S.I.S. in the northwest Syrian city.
     To the surprise of attendees, Stewart also alleged that Gary Johnson “intimated oral sex on-camera”. Stewart was probably talking about a television appearance in which Johnson made a joke about “biting his tongue”. While being filmed talking to a female M.S.N.B.C. reporter Gary Johnson stuck his tongue out, bit down on it, and said (while still biting his tongue) that he could win a debate with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, even if he bit his tongue throughout the entire debate. The L.P.'s presidential nominee made no mention of sex during the interview whatsoever.
     During the Chicago L.P.'s event, Stewart called Bruce Rauner and Mark Kirk “friends” of his. In the interest of full disclosure, the L.P.'s vice-presidential nominee, Bill Weld, praised Kirk last year. That issue aside, hiring Kellyanne Conway to advise one of his campaigns in the late 1990s, and then supporting Trump over Johnson in 2016 as a five-year L.P. member, will not help him ingratiate himself to never-Trump Libertarians. Stewart's criticism of the L.P.'s nominee and his support of G.O.P. leaders might serve as baggage that could make it difficult for him to win the support of state L.P. delegates dissatisfied with Republicans.
     Although Mr. Stewart may have charisma and money on his side, his media accomplishments are somewhat dated, and party members might need some reassurance from Stewart on immigration policy and a few other issues that set Trump and Libertarians apart.


6. Kash Jackson and Matt Scaro

     As Matt Scaro noted, he doesn't have money on his side. However, he plans to draw on his experience running a door-to-door business, which he said equipped him to “get people out there” to “send messages”. It's worthwhile to note that Scaro is the only one of the three candidates who did not mention having a past Republican streak, although he didn't comment on his past political affiliations during the event. Scaro says breaking the 5% threshold in the gubernatorial election (which would prompt public funding of the L.P.) would be “the icing on the cake”, because he's “in it to win it” with a plurality of the vote.
     If Mr. Scaro is as ready to serve the people of Illinois as he says he is, then he should be able to retain his enthusiasm after weaning himself off of his sometimes noticeable reliance on written notes. If he can do that, and show that he's just as knowledgeable as Jon Stewart on the budget numbers (or more), then Scaro should be able to convince the party that he'll be worth the effort on fundraising.
     Libertarians believe that we're born free, and that our liberties are inherent in us. Things we can do without harming others are natural rights; rights that come from our humanity, or from “nature and nature's god”. This means Libertarians will want to hear a candidate say freedom of speech is the natural result of being born human, that government cannot and must not take it away from us, and that the inclusion of speech in the Bill of Rights in no way authorizes the federal government to legislate upon it.
     Kash Jackson arguably defended natural rights better than Matt Scaro did. In praising the First Amendment, Scaro said government “allows us” to have freedom of speech. It's difficult to tell, solely from this statement, exactly what Scaro's thoughts on natural rights are, but it couldn't hurt Scaro to explain to the L.P. where he thinks rights come from, and what he thinks about the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
     Kash Jackson, on the other hand, told the L.P. that public roads can interfere with natural freedoms. The comment seemed a little bit off-topic when Jackson said it, but as the public realizes that the newly adopted Safe Roads Amendment secures road construction contracts for years into the future, Jackson's transportation concerns will be proven valid, and Libertarians' oft-lampooned “hatred of roads” will slowly prove to be much more than just crazy talk. Additionally, although funding concerns surround Scaro, there do not appear to be such concerns about Kash Jackson's campaign.
     On social issues, Jackson said “I don't oppose” same-sex marriage, and said government should get out of marriage; this is a position most Libertarians can get behind. However, the fact that the party is split on the issue of abortion (perhaps 50-50, or two pro-choice members per pro-life member), a pro-life candidate might be something a liability. On the other hand, Jackson only briefly mentioned abortion, and no other candidate addressed the issue, so it wouldn't be appropriate to speculate on what Jackson meant when he described himself as “pro-life”. Of course, talking to the party about his views on the specifics of abortion policy would help the L.P. figure out whether Jackson equally values the right to life and the freedom to choose.
     On Tuesday night, Kash Jackson managed to allay fears that he is over-reliant, or perhaps even somewhat bitter about his own experiences, on his central issue of family courts reform. During a question about the heroin epidemic, he pivoted to the issue family courts unexpectedly, but he saved grace by explaining that kids whose families have been broken apart by courts are more likely to try drugs. Matt Scaro's and Jon Stewart's comments on those topics neither disputed nor detracted from Jackson's points; they only reinforced them.
     If Mr. Jackson - a veteran who traveled from coast-to-coast to talk to Americans about family courts reform, and stopped at Standing Rock on the way - could possibly make it any clearer that he's dedicated to the issue for everyone's sake and not just his own (and it's tough to say whether he can), then he'll get the support he needs. That is, as long as he continues to provide logistical assistance to local L.P. chapters, and puts a little effort into improving his ability to think on his feet, and into making sure he gets as much time to speak as the other candidates.


7. Conclusion

     All in all, we have three fine candidates, each with his own set of ideas, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses, and each of them a believer in entrepreneurial values. Two are self-employed, two are fathers, and two are former Republicans. And for the most part, not only are Stewart, Jackson, and Scaro the relatable, ordinary people they say they are; they are also the kind of receptive candidates we need to build public trust in the party.
     As long as Stewart delivers on his promise to “continue the friendship with my opponents”, and Scaro delivers on his similar promise to earn confidence without resorting to mudslinging, then the 2018 Illinois governor's race will be an amicable discussion of policy and strategy, rather than one mired in the controversial partisan politics which have regrettably spread from Chicago to the rest of the nation over the last fifty years.
     Even if we believe the election results show that pragmatism helped the Libertarian Party in 2016, we have no need to risk putting pragmatism over principle at a time when the L.P. is the fastest-growing political party in the nation. Choosing a candidate who supports the right principles and proposals would make for easy phone-banking, and turn fundraising into its own reward. After all, our pragmatic presidential ticket in 2016 may have broken party records with 3.25% of the popular vote, but we don't know whether Johnson and Weld got 3% because of their apparent pragmatism or in spite of it.
     The Libertarian Party is determined to choose the candidate who strikes a balance that optimizes viability and firm grounding in libertarian principles. If this race can be about ideas that save people's lives, not controversy and inanity, then Illinois Libertarian Party members can make an informed, educated, focused decision about who will be their nominee in the race for the governor's seat, and we can send someone to Springfield who will shake-up politics-as-usual. Only then will Illinoisans have a chance at seeing liberty in our lifetimes.



For More Information, Please See the Following Links:

Video from the Livestream of the Event

Libertarian Party of Chicago's Announcement of the Event

Information About Jon “Jonnie” Alan Stewart

Information About Matthew C. Scaro

Information About Grayson “Kash” Jackson



Written on March 7th and 8th, 2017
Edited March 8th to add details about the candidates' names