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Libertarianism is…

09/06/2011 Leave a comment

an underlying belief that an individual ought to have the freedom to live his/her life as he/she likes as long he/she respects the individual rights of other hes/shes. Critics always seem to ignore the latter half of the idea. Imaginary anarchy, racism, and hedonism ensue.

I grabbed this line from this article. Thanks David Harsanyi.

Categories: Consider This

illegitimi non carborundum

08/27/2011 Leave a comment

I recently changed the name of the website. I didn’t like the apostrophe.

I also withdrew from the Libertarian Controversies class at Mises. I have too much on my plate currently. Hopefully, I will have more time this winter when all outdoor activities cease chez moi.

Categories: Consider This

Here Come The Judge

10/21/2010 Leave a comment

The vote for Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals will not be an easy vote. I doubt it ever has been. There isn’t much information out there for any candidate and unless you are heavily involved in the court system, you may have no idea anyone is up for election until you step into the booth on election day.

The following are the individuals running for the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The info is limited, but may give you a little more insight into each candidate. I would suggest using your search engine skills to find out more about each of these individuals before you vote.

Associate Justice – Supreme Court Seat 2

Helen Meyer – Judgepedia; Project Vote Smart; Campaign web site

Greg Wersal – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

Associate Justice – Supreme Court Seat 6

Alan Page – Wikipedia; Project Vote Smart; Campaign web site

Tim Tinglestad – Judgepedia; Project Vote Smart; Campaign web site

Judge – Court of Appeals – Seat 13

Randolph Peterson – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

Roxann Klugman – Judgepedia

Judge – Court of Appeals – Seat 14

Larry Stauber, Jr – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

Dan Griffith – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

November 2 is less than two weeks out. Please don’t wait until you get into the voting booth and flip a coin or vote for the party. Due diligence does not disappoint.

Thanks for reading,

-RJP

Suggested Reading

10/20/2010 Leave a comment

No one should ever proclaim they are bored. Reading not only expands the vocabulary and increases knowledge, it could possibly save sanity. This prompts me to proffer a few items you might consider reading today.

A Minimum Let-Down – How Congress can even ruin American jobs employing foreign workers. (Washington Times)

Tax Cuts Won’t Cut It – Peter Schiff on the real impediment to economic growth. (Liberty Maven)

A View of Eco-Terrorism – These are the people who damage the environmental movement. (Mises)

Enjoy,

RJP

The Trees and The Axe

10/19/2010 Leave a comment

During my reading today, I came across an article in The Art of Manliness about Aesop’s Fables. One of the tales retold was of The Trees and The Axe, which follows below.

A Man came into a forest, and made a petition to the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The Trees consented to his request, and gave him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted from it a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it, and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest. An old oak, lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said to a neighboring cedar, “The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges, and have stood for ages.”

Beware of small concessions.

We often have no choice but to lay aside certain qualifications when looking for the right candidate to win the election. However, let us not forget this fable and the possible consequences of making small concessions. You may just be providing the handle for someone’s axe.

Thanks for reading,

RJP

The Next Minnesota Governor

10/15/2010 4 comments

I must say, I am not excited about our choices for governor here in Minnesota. I have spent the past few months viewing and reviewing candidate web sites in attempts to find an eligible candidate worth a vote. It has been interesting, if not boring. Instead of writing an article that would simply aggregate debate material (being that Minnesota Public Radio has already done that for us), I decided to write why I’m voting for Tom Horner.

I should mention now that I considered a write-in for none of the above (NOTA), but concluded that Mr. Horner is the only candidate present that could move the state at least a few steps toward constitutional freedom; more than all other candidates combined. I could not ignore that statement, even if I do not agree with Mr. Horner on other issues. I should also state that Mr. Horner has a shot at winning the election. I would never vote for a candidate just because he is not the other, or in this case others. I know that my conclusion will not fit everyone, but thought I should give account here for anyone still on the fence.

Mark Dayton is wrong.

  1. He views the income tax as the government’s personal slush fund. He has talked about raising income taxes and increasing teacher pay. This tells me two things:  income taxes will increase across the board and Mr. Dayton would be giving the teacher’s union de facto control of income tax levels by extension.
  2. He would play host to government-run health care.
  3. He would vote amnesty for illegal immigrants.
  4. Mr. Dayton is wrong for Minnesota for more reasons than these three.

Tom Emmer is wrong.

  1. Most of my GOP friends have stated that Emmer is a picayune candidate. He simply appears uninterested in creating real world solutions. I have to agree. He is a party parrot.
  2. He would vote to abuse our U.S. Constitution by advancing a ban on same-sex marriage. I hold that no form of government should have the authority to define, license or restrict an individual’s personal relationships. Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no effect on the rights of individuals.
  3. He would fight to remove the rights of women to have an abortion. As sad and horrible as abortion is, when all the political smoke clears, it still remains a woman’s reproductive decision. No system of government should be allowed abilities to pass legislation that would instruct its citizens how to manage and operate their own bodies.
  4. Mr. Emmer is wrong for Minnesota.

Tom Horner is wrong.

  1. He would continue to support the public funding for abortions. I don’t want to pay for abortions and don’t think you should either.
  2. He has discussed using public funds to build a state-run racino. This is not an answer to our deficit. It’s a penalty tax for gambling.
  3. Coupled with his plan to ensure $25 million to combat homelessness, the racino could serve to further the welfare-state.
  4. Furthermore, it is my opinion that an increase in the public jobs created by the racino is not an answer to job loss in the private sector.

However, I read that apparently there were already enough votes to approve a state-run gambling facility in the last legislative session. Any one of the major candidates elected have stated they would either approve, or seriously consider approving such a bill if it were presented to them. Regardless my opposition, the racino is a moot point this election. Mr. Horner also stated that he would like to find ways to reduce the number of abortions occurring in the state, which puts him on even ground in my opinion. Therefore, Horner is right…for now.

Tom Horner is better set to work with all political frequencies to stop government spending. He is decisive on rewarding preventative care and good health habits. He supports gay rights. He believes in paying teachers on a competitive level with the private sector. He wants to lift the moratorium on building new nuclear power plants, while streamlining environmental oversight to make it quicker, more predictable and more consistent. He may not wholly represent me in all areas, but I think he is worth my vote.

I ask you to educate yourself on every vote. Do not vote because of party. Do not vote for a name. Do not vote for your friends or family. Read what you can about every candidate in your local area. Find information about every state candidate that represents you. Do your part in creating a better America, and you will be rewarded in kind.

Thanks for reading,

-RJP

First Congressional District Debate – 10/13/10

10/14/2010 Leave a comment

NOTE:  If you would rather watch this debate than read about it here, it will be aired on KAAL, the ABC affiliate in Rochester, Minnesota, on Sunday, October 17 at noon.

There have been multiple debates over the past several months among the District 1 Representative Candidates, but this was the first I was able to attend in person. There were oration winners, issue losers, and a crowd of supporters behind each. There were ten questions total, each candidate given respective time to answer, and then 90 seconds for rebuttal. The candidates, and a few highlights are given below in alphabetical order.

Randy Demmer (R):  Minnesota Rep. Demmer spent more time picking a fight with U.S. Rep. Walz than discussing valid answers to issues. When Demmer did manage to answer a question, it was always conditional and seemed a simple, glossy sound bite with no reasonable force behind it. In short, they fell flat. I do not think this reflects the whole of the man, but if I were to judge Demmer on his web site and that debate alone, he would hardly get a vote.

  • Social Security:  Demmer’s points all pointed toward a privatization of Social Security, but when pressed by Walz for a response on Demmer’s plans for SS privatization, Demmer said he would do whatever is best.
  • Education:  Should be localized. Should focus on early childhood education. “Our schools need stability” and not simple reformatting or killing, restructuring and then the re-institution of No Child Left Behind.
  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – The repeal or further enforcement of DADT would depend upon a military study, heretofore unknown.
  • Cap and Trade:  Against.
  • Closing:  It’s not about us. It’s about vision and representation.

Lars Johnson (No Party Affiliation):  Mr. Johnson began and ended with the same idea, if it’s not a federal issue, the government should return that power back to the state. He was the only candidate who mentioned the Constitution and provided the ideas to match. He was the only candidate that followed wholesale forum requests by the moderator. He also used the phrase “gee whiz;” not once, but twice. Overall, the soft-spoken Johnson could have been more bullish in making his point on issues, but perhaps it just seemed that way due to the level of Walz-Demmer brouhaha.

  • Jobs:  Individuals need less obstacles in their way so they can create jobs. The government does not know what a company should be doing to be successful in their respective market, nor do they know the wages they should be paying.
  • Iraq/Afghan Wars:  End them now and bring the troops home.
  • Education:  “What is more important, public education or an educated public?” This is not a federal issue. The money that’s being funneled into the Federal Department of Education could be better used if it stayed within Minnesota’s borders.
  • Job as Representative:  “I do not answer to a party. I do not answer to the President. I answer to the people of the first district.”
  • Every decision made as a representative would be first held to the standard, “is this a federal [Constitutional] issue?” Everything not within that realm, Johnson says, should be given back to the states.

Tim Walz (DFL):  Rep. Walz won the oration award hands down. He was polished, his timing was impeccable, and he was ever-ready with a rebuttal when handling Demmer’s assault; he never hesitated. While his oration skill was impressive and he sounded well-intentioned, Walz’s answers always seemed to spell out more government control and higher taxes. He agreed with Candidate Wilson too often, and at one point jokingly offered him a job. Still, he stole the show overall. I’m sure that will win him some votes.

  • Social Security:  This is a safety net that requires no change, but can be repaired as needed. Congress must act to save this program.
  • Health Care:  We should pay up front when care is cheapest, rather than on an as-needed basis, when it’s most expensive.
  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:  Yes, it should be repealed.
  • Supports Cap and Trade.
  • Closing Statement:  Work to export things – not jobs.

Steven Wilson (Independence Party):  Mr. Wilson was not short on facts, not lacking in answers, and mentioned often how he is a nice guy. He had his web site PDFs at the ready for anyone who had questions about his positions. He was quick to jump in the fray amongst Walz and Demmer to offer his view, though his hand holding with Walz on most issues only further muddled his Independence from the DFL. Perhaps he should take Walz’s job offer. Did I mention he’s a nice guy?

  • When ranking the importance of what he would tackle day one, given these three choices, he chose the following order:  deficit, jobs, and Social Security.
  • Education:  Create an endowment fund for public schools that would create “a third option” for needed monies.
  • Against Cap and Trade.
  • Called Social Security a self-funded system.
  • Against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • Closing Statement:  I’m a nice guy.

I knew going to this debate would solidify my vote. I decided years ago that my representation in Washington D.C. should be one that answers the needs of my district, and not party politics, special interests, nor career politicians. There is little doubt that Lars Johnson will get my vote on November 2, and I think you should give him an honest review before you wholly decide. I would highly encourage everyone to watch the broadcast of the debate on Sunday, review the candidates websites, and educate yourself on the issues before you vote.

Thanks for reading,

-RJP

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