Reflections on Pints and Politics: Rise of the Third Parties

by: Chad Stall, LPNC Guest Writer

The thought of bringing together as many political parties as possible was an inspiration from the French Revolution, one of the bloodiest revolutions that lasted for years and remembered for heads being severed from bodies. The French were not trying to free themselves from another nation, but from each other. This desire of France wanting a Republic and needing to eliminate their Monarchy started with hunger and ended with a supreme leader.  

In America, there is a hunger for political change, a hunger for a revival back to the great nation we all once knew, and there is a growing hunger for literal food. The separation of our classes is becoming more and more apparent, and the separation of citizens and their government continues to widen. I am not sure what is causing this phenomenon, or the reasons why, but most people I talk with can see it as well as feel it. This observation sparked curiosity in me. “Who are these third parties and what do they believe in? Why are we seeing efforts to bring new parties into North Carolina?” I feel the answer is simple. Too many people believe they have no representation. I would suggest those people are correct. The distance between citizens and government is too great. Maybe you have thought to yourself “Where is my representation?”

I began reaching out, having discussions and extending the invitations. Some accepted straightaway, others needed a little convincing. I did hit a couple of snags along the way finding Republican and Democrat representation. Nevertheless, my efforts paid off and we created a panel of eight individuals from seven parties. The Green, Forward, We the People (Kennedy), Veteran, Republican, Democrat, and two from the Libertarian parties all came together to share space and civil discourse. 

As people arrived, they began mixing and mingling. The panel took their places and began introducing themselves. One highlight was when Wayne Turner, Green party governor candidate, stood up and suggested we could all hate him because he is a "Socialist" and yet he was listened to and accepted for exactly who he claimed to be. I am not a believer in socialism, but the goal was to gather and share.  He made some good points.

As the event moved to public engagement, I could see heads from different political parties shaking in agreement with those I thought would be in opposition. This was something I didn’t think was possible, and yet there it was, happening in real time. When the topic of government transparency came up, there was very little disagreement, if any at all … a triumphant idea that is needed in our country more than ever. So, what is stopping us from transparency being provided? The answer is easy … lack of representation to the citizens.

Another great example was when Mike Ross (firetheuniparty.com) began sharing his inspiration to run for governor. The story of a military vet, who would ask for money from others; this veteran was arrested, and his service animal was tazed and taken away from him and killed by a car. You could see the consensus being made with no words being said other than Mike’s story. We all knew this was not fair treatment. 

Our media, and sometimes even our own political parties and elected representatives will only give us one angle or one side of a story. In politics these angles usually result in one fighting with the other over a topic they might not even understand.  The design to keep citizens fighting one another is purposeful and poisonous to our society. We must continue making the effort to maintain the element of humanity with each other. The existence of third parties is becoming more and more imperative if we want to keep our Republic.    

A revival of our great Republic is needed. Some of us witnessed a Republic in real time this week. May the third parties continue to rise and continue filling the void where representation has been stripped from citizens.

Thank you to all who participated, attended, and supported this event. Keep checking in at www.Pintsandpolitics.social for future events.

Feel free to email if you want to connect. [email protected]  

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LP National 2024 Convention Journal

by: George Autry, Mises Institute

THURSDAY

My train from Raleigh to DC pulled into Union Station two hours and one minute behind schedule. This left me less than an hour and a half to wait in the cab queue, negotiate downtown DC traffic to the hotel, check in (I saw Scott Horton check in just ahead of me), and register for the convention. I tried to attend the welcome reception, but there was no food and very few attendees while I was there. I gave up and went back to my room and had room service about 9:30.

FRIDAY

This morning, I went back to registration to check up on some questions I had. I also went to the credentials committee to see if there was a possibility of getting seated in a delegation that was not full.  This is how I became a delegate at the 1996 and 2000 conventions, but competition for LP delegate slots has tightened considerably since then. I didn’t attend the NCLP state convention this year to get elected as a delegate. I was told that I would have to talk to different state chairs to see if they needed and accepted delegates after the convention had started.

At nine I went to the main ballroom where the delegations are seated and the convention was scheduled to start. I went to talk to the NCLP delegation chair and learned that our bylaws prohibit the addition of delegates after the state convention. Next I talked to Virginia, but their bylaws don’t allow out-of-state delegates. I got some hints about other states that might need delegates, and ended up talking to the Oklahoma delegation chair. He had vacancies and his state’s bylaws allow adding delegates, including out-of-state delegates. But he had to do some checking and I haven’t heard yet whether I will be accepted. Stay tuned.

Because I am reporting for the Mises Club of the Carolinas, and am a sustaining supporter of the Mises Institute, I intend to focus the rest of my report on the fortunes of the Mises Caucus of the Libertarian Party,  of which I am also a member and supporter. The Mises Caucus, organized by Michael Heise and supported by Tom Woods, Dave Smith, Scott Horton, and many other supporters of Austrian Economics, swept the elections for Libertarian National Committee positions at the last national convention in Reno (the “Reno Reset”). This created a firestorm of controversy within the party which puzzled me at first. But I have come to understand that the schism in the party is between so-called left libertarians, who believe that the focus of libertarianism is to insure that every alternative (i.e.  non-traditional) non-aggressive lifestyle is supported if not celebrated, and the Austrian School libertarians who willingly tolerate every non-aggressive lifestyle, but who believe that the realities of economic law favor most traditional lifestyles for very cogent social reasons.

The first three hours of the business of the convention was consumed in a battle to seat delegates who had been submitted by a state but had somehow been disqualified and not included on the credentials committee list. Michigan had a list of 34 delegates and 41 alternates, of which only 7 had been seated when the credentials committee reported. I don’t know the details of the Michigan case, but I suspect it has something to do with machinations of either the Mises Caucus or their opponents.

Several delegates had signs saying “Mises Caucus Vote No” or Mises Caucus Vote Yes”. These signs were held up as standing votes were taken, so it is safe to assume that those who stood for No when the No signs were up and voted Yes when the Yes signs were up were supporters of the MC position. No other group seemed to have that level of coordination, but the group in favor of seating the contested delegates was a rowdy bunch. Whenever they stood to vote for or against a motion, they loudly chanted “SEAT THEM ALL! SEAT THEM ALL!”

The largest group of contested delegates were from the Michigan delegation. They were eventually credentialed and seated, which I understood as a setback for the MC. I later was able to get some of the details of the Michigan situation. After their state convention it was alleged that 13 of the voting delegates at that convention were not actually qualified to vote under state party bylaws (probably because they had not been party members long enough). The state party judicial committee ruled that these voters had not been credentialed, and also ruled that only seven of the previously elected delegates would have been elected on the assumption that all 13 bogus votes had gone to them and were then removed from the equation. This may not be an entirely accurate account but it is the best I’ve been able to piece together.

This is purely speculation, but it is not unreasonable to think that the entity that tracked down the technicality in the Michigan LP bylaws and brought the violations to the attention of the judicial committee is most likely the Mises Caucus. If the leaders of the MC thought that the Michigan slate of delegates posed a threat to their party dominance, and found a legal method to mitigate the threat, they would be remiss as leaders by taking no action. But I also think that attitude would be seen as undemocratic and therefore un-libertarian by many, including even some MC members or allies, so the party remedied the situation by overturning the ruling of the judicial committee.

My observations from the morning session makes me think the Mises Caucus represents roughly half of the convention delegates, but I don’t think they hold a majority, and I have no idea what other factions may be aligned with or against them or on which issues. What has surprised me is the strong support for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at this convention. After a luncheon at which Gabriel Shipton, younger half-brother of Julian Assange spoke about his brother’s trials and the history, purpose and significance of WikiLeaks, I attended a speech by RFK Jr. His speech emphasized the Bill of Rights and was very well written to appeal to libertarians. One of his promises is to pardon Edward Snowden and drop all charges against Julian Assange on Day One, bringing applause from the crowd. But he ignored Ross Ulbricht, even as shouts of “Free Ross!” filled the air.

Actually, between lunch and the RFK Jr. speech, I skipped the business meeting, grateful that I was not a delegate and not obligated to attend. I spent the time writing much of the foregoing. I am a little sorry I didn’t attend, as it was reported to me that the session degenerated into obscene invective shouted into multiple microphones simultaneously. One delegate was “physically removed” (ala Hoppe) by the Sergeant-at-Arms. I’m looking forward to seeing the YouTube clips.

After RFK’s speech, I got dinner, then attended the Vice Presidential debate between Larry Sharpe and Clint Russell, the MC endorsed candidate. Dave Smith moderated. After the debate, a straw poll was held and Clint was favored by 52%, which meant that he then debated Vivek Ramaswamy, also moderated by Dave. Before the debate began, Vivek was granted time to make a short address, which went over very well with the audience. But in the actual debate he eventually moved to suggesting a merger of the libertarian movement and the MAGA movement, which didn’t go down as well, particularly since he was suggesting that our goal as a party should be to gain influence in the upcoming administration (assuming Trump wins). He made some solid arguments, but Trump will never be acceptable to purist libertarians. Vivek elicited many boos defending Trump, which makes me concerned that a significant part of the convention will just try to boo Trump off the stage tomorrow evening.

There was a comedy show scheduled at 9:30. I planned to go, I thought it was going to be Dave Smith but it wasn’t and I’m too old to stay up that late anyway, so I’ll finish for the night.

SATURDAY

At breakfast I heard speaker Peter McCollough, an American cardiologist. His talk was about the Covid regime and particularly about the history of harm associated with vaccines. After breakfast I had to run an errand, then I checked in on the morning business meeting. When I arrived, the presidential candidate debate, originally scheduled for this afternoon, was already underway. I noted that Michael Rectenwald, the MC endorsed candidate, got the most enthusiastic audience response, even receiving standing ovations for several points. This was a further indication to me that the MC is the most dominant faction at this convention.

One of the candidates, a surgeon named Charles Ballay, while strongly condemning mandated vaccinations, also defended the use of vaccines administered voluntarily. He was drowned out by boos from the delegates.

I also learned from an article forwarded by Kent Misegades, that the cause of yesterday’s chaotic afternoon session was the Trump invitation. The person removed by the Sergeant-at-Arms was shouting “F*ck Trump” into the microphone and shoving people. I am even more concerned that tonight’s Trump speech could devolve into a fiasco.

I just returned from lunch with Dave Smith as speaker. Needless to say he was supportive of the MC, and admitted that he was one of the main causes of the division in the party stemming from the Takeover (Dave was the first to use the term). He also stated that his reason for joining the party and the MC was in response to criticisms of Ron Paul coming from a former LNC chair (Nicholas Sarwark, but Dave never named him). He addressed an issue that had come up in the Presidential candidate debate, what is the purpose of the Libertarian Party, is it to win elections or to spread the libertarian message. He strongly disputed the idea that the party should always come first, pointing out that compromising on principle to gain electoral success gains you nothing but compromised office holders. I was able to chat with Dave after the talk and got a selfie.

Dave took a few questions at the end, and one delegate asked him to exhort the audience to maintain decorum at tonight’s Trump appearance. Dave said we should certainly treat him with respect and applaud if he makes a good statement, but to boo the really bad ideas. He also added that he knew libertarians were going to do whatever they want, regardless of his advice. I have about six hours until the Trump speech. I may spend a little time in the business meeting.

At the business meeting, I met a young lady in the Connecticut delegation, who invited me to sit in a vacant chair in their section. As we listened to the LNC chair candidates give their campaign pitches I got some more details from her perspective about the seating of contested delegates. She adamantly maintained that there was no justification for the National party organization, specifically the LNC under MC leadership, to interfere in state party vetting of its delegates. I have to agree with her on that score. She also insisted that it was the LNC under MC leadership, that brought the case to the Michigan judicial committee, as I speculated earlier. But though decidedly not a MiCauc, she insisted that she gets along well with her other delegation members who are.

Incidentally, the delegate on the other side of me was Michael Rectenwald’s campaign manager, so now I have a “Rec the Regime” pin on my badge. Before I could have a conversation with her, the vote for LNC chair was called and non-delegates were requested to clear the floor, so I left and came back to my room to retrieve my phone and write this. I’m going back down to the meeting now. The Secret Service is putting up barriers on escalators and stairways. I also ran into a Trump impersonator on the way up to my room.

It is now 4:28. I just returned from the business meeting, where Angela McArdle received 49.2% of the vote for LNC chair. Like I said earlier, about half but not quite a majority. But I will be surprised if she doesn’t get elected on the next ballot. Meanwhile, people are already queuing up to go through security for the Trump speech at 8:00. I grabbed a sandwich on the way up. I guess I’ll get changed and head back down in about an hour to try and get a decent seat.

It took 20-30 minutes to get through security and find a seat at about 5:24. The general public was invited to the event, so about half the attendees were Trump fanatics. After about an hour, Angela McArdle came to the mic and announced that the first few rows had been promised to delegates and asked that any non-delegates (i.e. Trump supporters) in those rows please move back. There was a large central aisle dividing the room in half, front to back. I was seated behind the aisle, so I ended up surrounded by Republicans. I had a nice conversation with the lady sitting next to me, who was curious about libertarianism.

Trump finally took the stage at 8:37. His speech seemed less off-the-cuff than some Trump speeches I’ve seen. He basically ticked off all of the things he had accomplished during his term that libertarians would agree with, while emphasizing that Biden is the worst president in history and will destroy the country with communism and Marxism if elected to a second term. This made me remember that RFK Jr. and Vivek had not really mentioned Biden at all in their talks.

My fears of the delegates disrupting the talk proved unfounded, but the Trump fans were a different matter, frequently leaping up and shouting “We want Trump! We want Trump!”. I occasionally heard boos from the front, but not loud enough to drown out the speaker. But when the Trump fans got going, you just had to wait it out. The delegates did respond so that “We want Trump!” sometimes morphed into “End the Fed! End the Fed!”.

Trump concluded by saying that if we Libertarians wanted to be winners, we should nominate him. This did not receive a favorable reaction from the delegates.

SUNDAY

Breakfast was with Mark Skousen, financial publisher and organizer of FreedomFest. After breakfast, I spent a little time in the business meeting. The morning was taken up with nominations of presidential candidates, then nominee speeches. About 10:30 I left to walk a few blocks to a local market. When I got back, it was about time for lunch. The speaker was Spike Cohen, the Libertarian VP candidate in 2020, Jo Jorgensen’s running mate. Spike is a very impressive communicator.

After lunch, the delegates embarked on the first of six ballots, finally coming down to Chase Oliver, Michael Rectenwald, and NOTA (None Of The Above, a choice on every Libertarian ballot). After the vote was tallied, there was a razor thin margin but neither candidate had 50%+. Under the bylaws, the lowest vote-getter is eliminated, but since the highest vote-getter, Chase Oliver, did not have a majority, the last ballot listed Oliver and NOTA, and if NOTA had won, the Libertarian party would not have had a presidential candidate this year. Of course, that did not happen, Chase Oliver is the LP presidential candidate for 2024. This was announced around 9:30.

I watched most of the afternoon session on C-Span in my hotel room. I dressed for the Gala scheduled for 7:30, but when I arrived the convention was nowhere near breaking up. I popped into the convention hall again and got a selfie with Spike and another with Clint Russell. I also had a nice talk with Jeff, (I’ve forgotten the last name) who is the national coordinator for the MC. This was well before the announcement that Rectenwald had been defeated, so that was not a topic of discussion. We did discuss the factionalism in the party and I told him what I had written on Friday about the difference between left-libertarians and Austrian School libertarians.

About 8:00 I went back to the “Gala” and had dinner at a table for 10 with a father whose wife was a delegate and his 7 or 8 year old daughter, in a huge room with seating at tables for 200, with about a dozen and a half other people. Came back to my room to finish this off, and watched the announcement of Oliver’s election, and listened to his victory speech. The convention is probably still going on (it’s 11:35), they have not elected a VP candidate or the five at-large representatives on the LNC, but C-Span cut their coverage at 10, so I’ll have to find out what happened tomorrow before I leave to catch my train.

So for the second time, the Mises Caucus candidate for president was not selected by the convention. I didn’t spend much effort learning about Mr. Oliver since I was already committed to Rectenwald and am not a delegate anyway. I did not hear anything in his victory speech that indicated that his victory was any way a repudiation of the Mises Caucus, or that his priorities would differ much from the MC.

So I hope the MiCaucs will support him wholeheartedly in this election cycle and get the best result possible in November. Unfortunately, with RFK Jr. to soak up the protest vote, the reality is that we could come in fifth, behind Trump, Biden, Kennedy, and either Jill Stein or Cornell West.

MONDAY

I spoke to two delegates from Georgia and learned that the convention continued until 1:30 am. There were three ballots for VP, and the winner was Mike Ter Maat, one of the unsuccessful POTUS candidates. Out of 800 votes, Rectenwald lost by 6 votes, and Russell (VP candidate) lost by 31. So the support for the MC was not enough to get those candidates over the top. It is interesting that on the final ballot for POTUS, NOTA got 36%, which means 36 percent of the delegates were willing to risk not having a candidate in 2024 to electing Chase Oliver. I don’t know if these were all MC delegates who were angry over the elimination of Rectenwald with such a slim margin, of if there is some other reason they object to Oliver. It is safe to say that the divisions in the party were not healed at this convention.

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My Take on the 2024 Libertarian National Convention

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

This was my first LP National Convention, in my home city of D.C. I love that city, and much of my early disdain for politicians was seeing them ruining it. Walking into the belly of the beast to the backdrop of #BecomeUngovernable was a personal treat. I want to impart my experience to you all.

Before I get into the details, a few acknowledgments are in order. Angela McArdle (LP Chair) ran a fantastic convention, decisive but fair, keeping things moving as best as could be expected. Ryan Brown (LPNC Chair and Delegate Chair) was a machine - first on the floor and last off, counting delegates, managing votes, tracking changes, and ensuring that the NC delegates were by far the most organized and prepared in the country. And Susan Hogarth was a fountain of help and information, willing and available to give background or direction for all the strange twists and turns of this most Libertarian of gatherings.

I drove up to D.C. with governor candidate Mike Ross. Between us in the car and a few phone calls with Kim Acer (Mike’s Campaign Manager), we were able to hold roughly 10 hours of campaign meetings. Exciting, productive, and necessary as we enter the peak campaign season.

We got in mid-afternoon Thursday. Check-in at the Hilton was smooth and quick. The hotel is old but pretty, right in the heart of Northwest DC, with some amazing views of the city. No time to linger, though, we had things to do.

Credentialing had a long line, but it moved fairly quickly, and registration took just a few minutes, and soon we were having drinks at the Radical Caucus suite, where Lars Mapstead's campaign manager was displaying his hidden talent as a bartender. It was a festive and optimistic atmosphere, filled with the sort of mirth that only Libertarian friends can muster when reuniting after a long time and immediately jumping into raucous disagreements about literally everything. We saw plenty of familiar faces and met some new ones, as we enjoyed a couple of excellent Old Fashioneds.

After about an hour, it was time to leave the hotel and head to Penn Social for the LP comedy night, featuring Lou Perez, Robbie Bernstein, and Dave Smith. As we were getting ready to go, I learned that, while I'm more of a fashionably late sort of person, Mike takes punctuality seriously - another reason he should be governor.

The show was excellent – the perfect psychological apéritif for the lunacy we would manifest the next day. Back at the hotel we had a quick night cap and then called it a day, hoping to get rested for a long day of business on Friday.

The next morning, business started at 9 AM promptly, and we sort of almost hit this target. Things went smoothly for about ten minutes, which is good, I guess? During the credentialing part of the agenda, which I am pretty sure is the first official agenda item, things started to go off the rails a bit.

Basically, there were significant disputes over the validity of some of the potential delegates credentials. If anyone wants to know the details, reach out, and I can try to explain or direct you to someone with a more fully vested interest in the outcome. If I’m being honest, it all seemed like a giant waste of time to me, and there seemed to be plenty of opportunity to avoid the conflict from all sides. Nevertheless, we went back and forth over several states, with lots of motions, points of order, chair decisions, and all the other super exciting parliamentary procedures that we fight about following to the letter (#BecomeUngovernable). That was basically Friday. Including a break for lunch, that initial argument lasted until we adjourned for the day at 5 PM. There was a stretch of about an hour where I'm pretty sure the argument was over whether a proposal required 2/3 or 7/8 support to pass. We did settle that absolutely critical point of contention, thankfully, freeing us to stop all foreign wars, I assumed. In reality, though, it just meant we were able to approve the agenda – which had been modified at least twice that I counted – and then the day was done. One day down, agenda approved, mission accomplished?

Friday evening dinner and drinks was energetic with discussion of the day’s events, which had garnered the excitement of the people present in a way that could only happen with a group of Libertarians. Nevertheless, spirits were high and we were all anticipating the next day when we could actually do something. The planned events on Friday evening featured a comedy night in the hotel, but first, Clint Russell, vying for the VP nomination, debated Vivek Ramaswamy, edging out Larry Sharpe for the honor.

A lot of people thought Clint went after him pretty hard. And I mostly like Vivek, for a Republican. But, to me, with maybe two exceptions, it was more of an affirmation circle than a debate. You can watch and decide for yourself.

Anyway, when that "Debate" ended, we headed down for more stand-up. Lou Perez went on again, and, once again, he was hilarious. Funny, dedicated, and a good dude, I had the good fortune of hosting him on Liberty iNC and getting to spend some time with him this weekend. I urge you to check him out if you are unfamiliar.

For some reason, Lou was not headlining, that was an honor reserved for Alex Stein, known for playing obnoxious characters while giving histrionic speeches at city councils around the country and for almost being arrested by Capitol police for screaming “Big Booty Latina Hoe,” at AOC (the last one is actually kind of funny). Commenting that I was unaware that Alex Stein was a standup comedian as he went on, I learned that he is not, in fact, a stand-up comedian, by any interpretation of the word. I stayed for about 15 minutes, thinking he had to say at least one funny thing, but he just got louder and more aggressive. If he was doing anti-comedy it rang more hollow than a politician’s campaign promise.

Anxious and confused from what we had just witnessed, we ducked into the karaoke thing across the hall for a few drinks and socializing, and then called it a night.

Saturday opened with the presidential candidates debate. I have had several of them on Liberty iNC and watched many of their other debates at our convention and other states, and I have to say, they were all in top form; this was the best debate I'd seen among them. I am linking to the video if you want to watch, but I left thinking it was going to be an interesting decision by the delegates.

That took most of the morning. I had a ticket to the lunch with Dave Smith. I know Dave is controversial to some in the party. He certainly has some takes with which I disagree, and his influence and voice have been a hard pill for many to swallow. I like Dave, though, unapologetically. I think he is one of our best messengers currently, second only to Spike Cohen, and he has gained a foothold in the normie space that is not something we come by easily. At this lunch in particular, Dave was in top form. He was relaxed and funny, but reflective and poignant. He talked about his decision not to run for president, the success the party has had, and things he might have done differently. Then he took a few questions and a few pictures, and it was back to the floor for the delegates.

This time, we were more productive, voting on *gasp* more than two items until 3:30, when we recessed for RFK Jr.’s speech.

RFK came on a little late, to accommodate the delegates finishing some business, no worries, I got to meet the best representative we have in the federal government, Thomas Massie. I told him about Crosley Green, and he took the name down to see if he could do anything. I won't hold my breath, but I will press the issue, and it's better than nothing.

When RFK finally came out, it was worth the wait. Doesn’t matter what you think of the man, his speech was absolutely perfect for this crowd. He should seriously give his speechwriter a bonus. He went into history through a Liberty lens, talked about the importance of the 9th and 10th amendments, decried the deep state and the oligarchy that runs us, and waxed poetic on the beauty of freedom and individual Liberty.

We went back to the room to vote on some of the LP Executive Committee positions, a task which would take until the next evening to finally complete, but we did not stay late as everyone prepared for the event that had generated by far the most press and controversy, the speech by President Donald Trump.

Rumors were already flying around the room about secret service lockdowns, closed hallways and elevators, and aggressive MAGA supporters. In the end, I made it through security in about 90 seconds, and got a really good spot to the side of the stage. There was a small dust up when MAGA disciples took front row seats, which had been reserved for LP delegates, I guess hoping that they could absorb some of the power of their messiah. They all, or at least most of them, moved, and the only other incident was the violent removal of LP mainstay and longtime activist, delegate, candidate, and previously EC member Starchild by hotel security, although for what is unclear.

If RFK should pay his speechwriter more, Trump should fire his. The crowd was less anti-Trump than was portrayed. As I tried to explain, we didn’t boo Trump. We also didn’t cheer him. We booed bad ideas and cheered good ones. He just had a lot of bad ideas he wanted to talk about. He finished strong, though, drawing cheers when he committed to putting a Libertarian on his cabinet if he wins the presidency (though I suspect he considers Mike Lee a Libertarian), and then eliciting a thunderous and sustained applause when he promised to free Ross Ulbricht on day one of his administration.

It had been a long day, and the hotel kitchen was backed up, so I headed out with Mike Ross for dinner. We ran into Lou Perez, and we had a delicious seafood dinner at a place nearby that used to be The Russia House, pre-covid. I was glad to see it turned into something else cool.

Back at the hotel, we hung out in the veranda out front, sharing whiskey and wisdom, until the day caught up with us, and we went to bed, no way of knowing what fate awaited us.

On Sunday, we had to, at the bare minimum, finish electing our officers and nominate our president and vice president candidates. We started pretty close to 9 AM. At that time, I don’t think anyone had an idea what was in store. I mean, how could they?  I had checked out of the hotel and packed my car. The plan was to probably stay a bit late, but hit the road right after. At around 11 that night, I had to book another room.

We ended up going from about 9 AM until nearly 2 AM on Monday. We took a break for lunch (Spike was the speaker, and he did his Spike thing, where we all left ready to take over our local government right then and there), but not for dinner. Most delegations ordered pizza to their tables. We missed the gala, the Ladies of Liberty event, the auction, and I think a couple other things. But I’ll be goddamned if we didn’t finish the elections, all of them, after seven rounds for president, a showdown between finalist Chase Oliver and NOTA (None of the Above), a last-minute VP switch (I still want to know what happened to Kristin Alexander), intermingled voting on other members of the EC, and lots of other incredibly boring technical details.

There were some high notes, as well. Spike Cohen gave a speech. I would say it was fantastic, but it’s Spike, it would be redundant. He talked about how he had warned in Reno against letting a duopoly form in the party, but we had not heeded his warning, and then gave us some wisdom and some hope for potential unity and a way out.

North Carolina’s own Dan Johnson and Sarah Brady got engaged, when Dan put a ring on it in quite literally the most romantic possible proposal achievable at a Libertarian convention, which, it turns out, is pretty good goddam romantic. I definitely noticed a little extra dust in the room when she said yes.

And, of course, the venerable Ron Paul, the OG, the reason so many of us joined this Liberty movement, came out and rocked the place. I can’t, in good faith, attempt to recreate his speech, you just have to watch it.

But then, yes, alas, quickly approaching 2 AM, the business portion of the convention adjourned. Most people in the party had earned at least a couple of significant wins, and we had proven that, even when we were most divided by factions, we could still come together and pull off this amazing event, and so everyone left with a smile on their shoulder and a kind word for their neighbor.

Except we’re Libertarians, so none of that happened. At best, 30 percent of the people left, not happy, but not despondent, another 30 percent left happy it was over, and the remaining 40 percent left full of piss and vinegar, announcing they were going to do all the things they accused the other side of doing (this is not targeting anyone. All of you did it).

For me, it was too short and then too long, and we spent an absurd amount of time on things that might qualify us as insane (#BecomeUngovernable). I hate sitting, and I am pretty sure the people sitting next to me will never choose that spot again, because I talk way too much, and am fairly disruptive. I drank too much and slept too little, and I am still recovering. But I got a lot done with people from around the country, and plans we made to work together are already taking shape just a few days after convention. We represented well for NC, and the whole event, in the belly of the beast, my homecoming, is one I won't forget.

All-in-all, it was an amazing experience. I love my Liberty family, and I am proud to work with any and all of you. You are obnoxious, stubborn, self-righteous, petty, uncooperative, and reactive, but you are also principled, loyal, unwaveringly dedicated, smart, fun, funny, passionate, curious, brilliant, and eclectic in a way that can only be described as “Libertarian.” And, seeing as I am the only real Libertarian, I am qualified to make that determination.

Thank you all for a great convention. See you in Michigan.

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Mises Club Carolinas Summer Trip Update

Sugar Mountain Event - August 9-11

The Mises Club Carolinas, affiliated with the Mises Institute, is united by the principles of Austrian economics. Not just a club, they're catalysts for market-led solutions. Be the movement, Lead the Change!

Dear friends - the initial response to our announcement of the Sugar Mountain Meetup on August 9-11 has been enthusiastic! Register now by sending an email to [email protected] with the number in your party.

Paul Cwik, Professor of Economics at the University of Mount Olive, has kindly offered to lead a Mises Book Club discussion at the nearby Grandfather Vineyard and Winery at lunch time on Saturday, August 10th. We'll discuss Ludwig von Mises' booklet from 1979, "Economic Policy," also known as the "Six Lessons" mentioned recently by Brazilian wrestler Renato Moicano. It may be read online at this link, or purchased from the Mises Bookstore for a mere $8, a real bargain. It is a small booklet of about 100 pages, and can be read in a few hours. If you plan on joining us, please start reading now!

A few questions have arisen we'd like to address:

Q - What is the fee to attend?
A - Nothing. The only cost is for what you consume at meals during the event.

Q - Where is the lodging?
A - That is up to attendees to decide. Many options abound, see links to accommodations in the event details below.

Q - What will be served at meals?
A - We are working on this now and hope people will be pleased with the menu and the cost.

Q - Must participants pay for all meals?
A - If you do not like what is being served, bring your own. If you can only attend part of the event, that is fine, also. Meal tickets will be sold online prior to the event as last year.

Q - Is camping available?
A - Yes, at many area campgrounds, from backpack tent camping to RV camping with all the frills. Search online for what suits you best, and see the links to accommodations in the event details below.

Q - May my children attend with me?
A - Absolutely! But they may be bored during some of the talks. Just outside the meeting room door however is an entire mountain to explore, the base of the ski slopes with many hiking paths. Bring some outdoor toys (Frisbees, balls, gliders, etc.) to share with other young Miseseans.

Q - May we use the facilities at Wildcat Lake?
A - Yes. Part of the Lees-McRae campus, Wildcat Lake features a sandy beach ideal for small children, canoes for paddling, a fishing pier, a nice playground, and picnic tables. It is located only a few minutes away from the Sugar Mountain Resort where we'll be meeting. There is no cost to Mises Club members for use of Wildcat Lake.

Q - How can I sign up for the Saturday tour of the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center?
A - Details on the time and group size for this are still being worked out with the center's director, Nina Fischesser. Stay tuned for details.

Q - Can I bring my mountain bike?
A - Sure! The nearby Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk has a nationally-ranked cycling program for both road racing and mountain biking. Mountain bike trails may be found in the area. Sugar Mountain holds mountain biking events throughout the year and even has bikes for rent. You can even take your bike up to the top of the mountain on the chair lift and then let gravity bring you back down.

Q - I have never been to Sugar Mountain. How far away are area attractions?
A - The simple map shown here provides some answers. Nearly everything is within a half hour of Sugar Mountain, from Linville Falls to Boone.

Q - Won't this event conflict with Mises University or College Move-in at Lees-McRae or ASU?
A - No! This date was chosen to avoid conflicts with both Mises U (July 28th - August 3rd) and college move-in (the week after Sugar Mountain).

Q - What is the weather like in early August in Sugar Mountain?
A - Splendid. Air conditioners are rare up there, for a good reason. Bring a sweater for the cool nights, ideal for star-gazing.

Register now by sending an email to [email protected] with the number in your party.

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David Hoesly's Lifetime Liberty Project

David has been a Liberty warrior for more than 50 years. Here, he tells the story of completing his greatest Liberty project, a lifetime passion project and a concrete contribution to the Liberty movement.

by David Hoesly

LPNC

As many of you know, I've been active in the Libertarian movement for the last five decades, and one of my projects was to publish the book A Liberty Primer, which was authored by Alan Burris, a fellow key activist when we lived in the Rochester, NY, area.  Our aim was to provide, in layman's language, an introduction to the ideas supporting individual liberty. Alan and I created the first edition (July 1981) in 58 8.5x11 duplex-printed pages, bound by a plastic ring, and then in July, 1983, we did a much-expanded Second Edition, some 558 pages in a trade paperback format.

Since there are, to my knowledge, only two or three unsold copies of the Second Edition, and since I wanted to get more mileage out of the project after I've bought the farm, I decided in July 2023 to create a Third Edition, which corrected a few typos in--and did some updates for--the Second Edition (including, e.g., listing websites which weren't yet available in 1983 for many libertarian organizations). It also includes curricula vitae for Alan and me. My plan was to see if some libertarian organizations would publish this Third Edition on their websites.

Recently, I received notification that the Cato Institute has posted the book on their website, libertarianism.org, accessible by this link.

It's also available on the website of Students for Liberty, at this link.

Lastly, Biblioboard, a website that helps people to create and publish books through their "Indie Author Project" has also posted a link to A Liberty Primer.

If you choose to look at any of these, I highly recommendpurchasing from Cato's libertarianism.org, because the site includes a blurb from me about how the book came about.

I regard this as the single most important contribution of my life to the advancement of the ideas that undergird individual freedom, and I'm glad that after ten months, the project has been successfully completed!

For Freedom---

David Hoesly

PS: if you're a Twitter/X fan, you can scroll down here and that will bring up Cato's link to the book also!

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U.S. Representative Introduces Bill to End Federal Taxation on Gold and Silver

This article originally appeared on Money Metals Exchange

U.S. Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) has re-introduced sound money legislation to remove all federal income taxation from gold and silver coins and bullion.

The Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act (H.R. 8279) backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Money Metals Exchange, and free-market activists – would clarify that the sale or exchange of precious metals bullion and coins are not to be included in capital gains, losses, or any other type of federal income calculation. Gold and silver would be treated as a non-entity for tax purposes, putting it on par with the U.S. dollar.

Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Randy Weber (R-TX) joined as original cosponsors.

"My view, which is backed up by language in the U.S. Constitution, is that gold and silver coins are money and are legal tender," Rep. Mooney said.

"If they’re indeed U.S. money, it seems there should be no taxes on them at all. So, why are we taxing these coins as collectibles?"

Acting unilaterally, Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats have placed gold and silver in the same "collectibles" category as artwork, Beanie Babies, and baseball cards – a classification that subjects the monetary metals to a discriminatorily high long-term capital gains tax rate of 28%.

Sound money activists have long pointed out it is inappropriate to apply any federal income tax, regardless of the rate, against the only kind of money named in the U.S. Constitution. And the IRS has never defended how its position squares up with current law.

Furthermore, the U.S. Mint continuously mints coins of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium and gives each of these coins a legal tender value denominated in U.S. dollars. This formal status as U.S. money further underscores the peculiarity of the IRS’s tax treatment.

A tax-neutral measure, the Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act states that “no gain or loss shall be recognized on the sale or exchange of (1) gold, silver, platinum, or palladium minted and issued by the Secretary at any time or (2), refined gold or silver bullion, coins, bars, rounds, or ingots which are valued primarily based on their metal content and not their form.”

Under current IRS policy, a taxpayer who sells his precious metals may end up with a capital "gain" in terms of Federal Reserve Notes and must pay federal income taxes on this "gain."

But the capital "gain" is not necessarily a real gain. It is often a nominal gain that simply results from the inflation created by the Federal Reserve and the attendant decline in the Federal Reserve Note dollar’s purchasing power.

Under Rep. Mooney's bill, precious metals gains and losses would not be included in any calculations of a taxpayer’s federal taxable income.

"U.S. inflation is not caused by CEOs of grocery stores or by outside world leaders, it is caused by the Federal Reserve and federal policy," said Jp Cortez, executive director of the Sound Money Defense League. "The federal government has a responsibility to remove disincentives for people seeking alternatives to the Federal Reserve note dollar to protect their savings."

"The IRS does not let taxpayers deduct the staggering capital losses they suffer when holding Federal Reserve notes over time," said Stefan Gleason, president of Money Metals Exchange, the U.S. company named Best Overall Precious Metals Dealer by Investopedia.com. "So it’s grossly unfair for the IRS to assess a capital gains tax when citizens hold gold and silver to protect them from the Fed’s policy of currency debasement."

The Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act aligns with a broader national trend. With most states having already eliminated sales tax on the purchase of precious metals, state legislatures are increasingly introducing and approving measures to eliminate state income taxation of gold and silver.

Alabama and Nebraska each passed their version of this policy this year. Arizona, Arkansas, and Utah approved similar measures in recent years. And Iowa, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas also considered income tax exemptions in 2024, with several approving the bill across multiple committees and chambers.

The text of the H.R. 8279 can be found here and additional information on its current status is located here.

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Art by Karla - May 2024

by Karla Nemitz:Petty Officer to pinup artist and everything in between! Featuring comics, artwork, and adventures. Karla is a Liberty warrior and brilliant artist who has graciously allowed us to run a few of her comics this month.

Check out all of Karla's Liberty focused and brilliant art on her website and Instagram.

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Happenings - May 2024

PorcFest Ride Share

Traveling to PorcFest this year? LPNC members looking to carpool

The 21st annual PorcFest will take place this year from June 17-23 in New Hampshire. PorcFest, or the The Porcupine Freedom Festival, is an annual liberty camping event organized by Free State Project. This year, North Carolina Libertarians will be attending, and have reached out about carpooling or ride sharing. If you are interested, send an email to [email protected], and we will connect you with others who are going. 

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Dave Smith to Debate Chris Cuomo

Later today, Dave Smith and Chris Cuomo will go toe-to-toe on Patrick Bet David's show

Patrick Bet David will host a debate between Libertarian comedian, host of Part of the Problem, and advocate Dave Smith and CNN washout and noted covidian Chris Cuomo, whose brother Andrew is arguably responsible for the deaths of roughly 20,000 elderly people when he was governor of New York and decided that they not be allowed to leave their retirement homes where covid ran rampant. (He later left office under significant accusations of sexual harassment). 

The debate will cover the covid regime, CNN and journalism, and a number of other issues. It will be live, in front of an audience, hosted on Patrick Bet David's podcast, from 6-9 PM ET. 

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Guest OpEd: The Chaotic 2024 LP National Convention

by Ben Weir
The "Emo Ancap"

Ben (X: @TheEmoAncap), longtime Liberty warrior, musician and songwriter, host of Shut the Punk Up!, and founder of the LP Emo Caucus (X: @LPEmoCaucus), provides some reflections on the convention and each of the candidates as an outside of NC observer with no loyalties to any faction or caucus.

First looking at the presidential candidates.

Regarding Michael Rectenwald (@RecTheRegime), who is someone I consider a friend now. I greatly appreciated a lot of his views, but I wish he had focused more on talking points and building a platform that resonates with people in the Party.

Overall, his platform was virtually non-existent compared to other candidates (on his website). And while his podcast interviews were pretty great most of the time, I think he needed more of his promised media coverage prior to the convention taking place. He knows he messed up Friday night, and he deserves the harsh criticism that he has received for that. I am not going to be the guy that continues to throw blows at the guy though, because half of the people complaining about it would laugh their ass off when Gary Johnson did the same thing on national media just a few years ago. I do think he would have won if that hadn’t happened.

I also think Clint Russell (@LibertyLockPod) would have been a great dynamic duo for his team and would have been able to carry his message across the finish line with strong results.

I don’t think any of our candidates would have topped 1 percent of the vote, so this ticket was my second preferred choice out of the lot.

Rec is extremely intelligent, and I hope he continues to stay involved with the Party after this gut wrenching blow. I know a lot of people revolved their lives around this campaign with no plan B, and I hope they stick to the decentralized plan for Libertarianism and local activism. This is their greatest strength.

Then there is Lars Mapstead (@LibertarianLars), who was my first choice throughout the night. He had a great team, best website, and best plan of attack to disrupt the duopoly while the rest of the candidates were still going to be chasing 1 percent of the vote. Stop 270 was an awesome concept that many people agreed was the best overall strategy for the Party.

I am glad he didn’t participate in the caucus wars. He drove a “middle ground” campaign that should have appealed to people on both sides of that. Unfortunately, many people aren’t able to be independent thinkers and need someone else to tell them how to vote.

He ran an honest campaign, and never attacked his opponents (despite the baseless shots fired at him).

If Lars had won this weekend, I don’t think we would be where we are today with the fallout. Some people might not have liked it, but he was never a divisive candidate and doesn’t have many of the awful public takes that so many of his opponents had.

Larry Sharpe (@LarrySharpe) made the ticket just that much sweeter. I think he would have been great as Lars’ running mate. He did a great job at his VP debate against Clint, and is almost unanimously loved throughout the Party. There’s a good reason that Josh, Rec, and a few others approached him about the VP opportunity before the people they ultimately settled with.

We aren’t gonna get 1 percent of the vote, but stopping 270 is an achievable goal that would give us more success down ticket as Libertarians and disrupt the corrupt electoral college. It’s punk rock as fuck.

My friend Joshua Smith (@JoshuaAtLarge) had one of the best platforms out of all the candidates… hands down. He brought the most energy and had the best speeches when the opportunities arose.

I think ultimately that he might have overestimated his support within the Party. I think overall, he wasn’t going to get any of the caucus support because of previous conflicts he had with them… which is fine. Like I said before, our Party lacks original thinkers and if people were thinking for themselves instead of collectively as a slate… I think Josh would have probably performed almost as well as Rec.

He’s a family man and just started a new job, so I know he’s happy to be home with them. Overall, I don’t think his campaign was ever equipped to handle 5 months of long winded campaigning after this past weekend anyway. Money raised wasn’t where it needed to be to make that happen, and family life should absolutely take priority for him.

I hope he decides to run for something again at some point, and I think he could have a lot of success running one of these campaigns at a more localized or State level.

Oh boy… then there’s Mike ter Maat (@terMaatMike). I’ve talked with Mike many times, and he raised two emo daughters. Admittedly, I can never get past the fact he was a cop for 10 years. To me, that means he voluntarily was prosecuting people for victimless crimes… and feeding into a system that is literally destroying communities and families. I can’t get past that.

I’ve had fantastic conversations with Mike, and I do think he was one of the best communicators while on his campaign run.

I spoke with him in the hallway after he pulled what I thought was a less than honorable move and betrayed people he claimed to have supported within the last a week, and really burned a lot of bridges. I told him I was extremely disappointed in what happened and how he handled that. I thought he over promised. He told me, “This wasn’t what was best for me… it’s what I believe is best for the Party” and seemed very depressed/disappointed throughout the brief conversation. Regardless, I walked away very unsatisfied with the answers he gave me.

He had absolutely horrible takes on COVID, and everyone knew that walking into the convention. But, Mike was the ONLY candidate with a plan B. He didn’t get the Presidential nomination, so he went with the next best thing. He’s doing what’s best for himself. I guess I can’t blame him for that.

Good luck as VP, Mike.

Then we have Chase Oliver (@ChaseForLiberty). Chase was never a top choice for me. The COVID takes from his past and constant need to push identity politics (which I hate), are just a few of the big things I can’t look past.

I’ve had great conversations with Chase, and I definitely think he’s one of the best communicators we had. He will definitely appeal to normies and I hope he focuses most of his campaign on dismantling the police state… which is one of his strongest points. I’ve talked with him about this at length several times and his knowledge on the topic is impressive.

He’s a young guy, with a lot of energy. I think he will be able to handle the campaign trail and all of its trials very well.

My advice to him is this. Avoid identity politics (orientation, race, etc.), it’s a horrible look for you and even worse for the Party as a whole. If you look back at some of your takes on COVID with regret, please speak out publicly against them and recant your old position on it. Focus on your strengths. Slow down your speech when you get flustered.

As I’ve already said twice, we aren’t going to get more than 1 percent of the vote this year. The best thing Chase can do is just be honest, do everything he can to fix his past mistakes, and move forward.

Congrats to Chase! My line is open if you ever want to rebut my criticisms or chat about it.

Overall, this weekend was insane. Everyone was bound to leave it unsatisfied in some way. I’m an anarchist. I’m a libertarian. I’m proud of the work our Party is doing to bring a message of Liberty to the world. I think we are the best messengers for that.

I’m ready to move forward and focus on my new responsibilities as Region 8 alternate. I want to strengthen the New England region and give the State affiliates the training and tools they need to succeed. I want to emphasize decentralization through localized activism, and encourage State affiliates to develop more supporting county affiliates to strengthen their reach/decentralize more locally. This is our strength as a Party. Let’s use it.

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OpEd: Enforcing Victimless Crime Laws Leads to Victims

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

The shootout in Charlotte between the police and a desperate individual never had to happen. 

Yesterday, a nightmare scenario unfolded in Charlotte. Alerts were flooding people's phone and news stations were cutting into programming to follow the shootout that took place over nearly half the day. 

According to the latest reports, three federal Marshalls went to the home of Terry Clark Hughes Jr. to serve an outstanding warrant. Apparently, Hughes had previously been convicted and gone to jail on a breaking and entering conviction, but he had served his time successfully, and all his subsequent alleged offenses which initiated the warrant that led to the tragic deaths were for drugs, evading police, and possession of firearms. All of these things are victimless crimes.

Now I understand that these are, for sure, crimes under the law. Regardless of my personal feelings on the matter, I get that the police were following laws that many see to be reasonable. While at this time there do not appear to be any allegations that Hughes had engaged in violence against a person prior to yesterday, he had certainly committed violence against property, and there is a case that he should not be allowed to possess a firearm because of that, though I disagree with that perspective.

Without question, violent crime is a problem. While overall crime rates appear to be declining, and have been since 1991, there have been recent significant spikes in crime, especially violent crime. Even those appear to be back on the decline in much of North Carolina, although Charlotte is an exception.

This is not lost on the residents of Charlotte, either. When I ran for mayor last election cycle, in talking to people around the city, their top issues were affordable housing, transportation, and public safety, the last a refrain I heard repeatedly, and reflected in answers given by other candidates about their top priorities.

The role of police in society should be to protect person and property from violent aggressors, and I would argue that it is responsible to assist law enforcement in pursuit of that goal, provided they are held accountable when they violate people's rights. Unfortunately, when law enforcement is asked to enforce laws that exist solely to perpetuate a particular morality, bad things happen.

This is exactly what happened in Charlotte yesterday. Hughes had not committed, as far as we know, any subsequent offenses that would constitute acts of aggression against another's person or property. He was in possession of firearms. Unless they changed the Bill of Rights in the last few hours, I am fairly certain the Second Amendment reads "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

This is not an argument against gun control, though I should state I am unequivocally opposed to any attempt by the state to impede your right to defend yourself, whatsoever. Rather, I am making the point that five people woke up yesterday for the last time ever because the enforcement arm of the state is obligated to enforce irrational and counterproductive laws.

One quick way to reduce crime is to stop making everything a crime based on personal moral preferences. You don't have to support people doing drugs to support people being able to put whatever they want into their own bodies. You don't have to be a gun person to support people's right to defend themselves. You don't have to believe in something to support other people's right to do it, provided they don't hurt others or take their stuff.

The sad fact is that yesterday's tragedy is a tragedy of our own making. That outcome was determined long ago. Hughes opened fire first, and immediate culpability for the deaths lies squarely at his feet. But the situation that created the shootout never had to happen.

If we really want to see public safety and criminal justice reform and improvement, we should start by getting every single victimless crime off the books (I will caveat that there is behavior so reckless that it ought to be potentially considered a crime even if no one is hurt, like firing a weapon into a crowd with wanton disregard). Today, the U.S. announced that is likely to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III. This is absurd, as it still gives regulators and bureaucrats in some far away city the authority to deprive people of life and Liberty for ingesting a plant, even if no one gets hurt.

U.S. Congressional representatives from North Carolina introduced a bill to punish the Eastern Band of Cherokee for legalizing pot usage on their land. HB 189 189 continues to languish in legislative purgatory, as Republicans fail to act on making Constitutional Carry (as in legally carrying firearms as enshrined in our constitution) the law of North Carolina.

Understand this... neither political party has any interest in giving you back power or agency in your life. As entities, they are dedicated to consolidating their own, respective, power and enforcing the morality which they believe superior on the population they would claim to serve. Events like yesterday and the lives lost are collateral damage and photo ops for those politicians, and nothing more. They will issue vapid, meaningless statements, hold their moments of silence, maybe meet with a few families, and then move on, remembering the events only when it serves some purpose of theirs again.

This is a crucial year. For the first time in a long time, the cracks in the walled fortress the uniparty has erected are beginning to show. We have a chance to drive real, meaningful change, taking back some of our Liberty and helping create a more prosperous state. Events like yesterday should serve as a stark reminder of where things can go if we squander these chances.

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