Why Libertarians should be supporting Vivek Ramaswamy and RFK Jr

by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

So often, we confuse being principled with gate keeping, and the party suffers for it. When people are succeeding in politics on Liberty messages, we should own that. We can do so without betraying who we are. We just need to understand how and when to do it.

Being a Libertarian is not a choice. Call it being red-pilled or black-pilled (or some other catchy thing), it means that you are aware of things of which you can no longer be unaware. Once you see it, there’s no amount of bourbon in our ABC-tyranny-ridden state that can erase that memory. Trust me on that one.

A downside of this is that we have incredible distrust of institutions, with more distrust reserved for larger organizations, especially as they drift further from being subject to moderating market forces, making government institutions those that are the least worthy of trust. This extends to representatives of the government, from unelected bureaucrats to celebrity candidates, and everyone in between.

This perspective makes it very difficult for us to really support candidates from the uniparty. On a local level, it probably matters less in specific cases, as we can hold individual’s feet to the fire in their commitment to Liberty, regardless of the letter before their respective names.

But at higher levels, federal especially, giving credit to any politician who comes with an R or a D is a different pill, one that we generally have more trouble swallowing than John Fetterman has forming a complete sentence.

We do this to our detriment, and we are doing it currently. And I hope you will bear with me as I explain why, but right now, we should be fully supporting Vivek Ramaswamy and RFK Jr.

I will respectfully pause while a number of you yell at the screen, or curse my name, or disavow me and all my future generations. I get it. One of our favorite things to say is that someone isn’t a “real Libertarian” because of some belief that doesn’t align with our own. I think that this sensitivity comes from the huge number of people who really aren’t Libertarian but love to say that they are, like it’s some flex, and then turn around and support the Iraq War, or corrupt cops, or imprisoning people for smoking pot, or banning gas stoves, or asserting the right of the state to make medical decisions for a child, and so on.

And we’ve been burned. False ambassadors who market themselves as Libertarian while bowing at the altar of the almighty state, proving themselves beholden to their political careers and not Liberty through actions grossly at odds with individual freedom. See Jared Polis, Bill Richardson, Bill Weld, and Paul LePage. All four of them deserve our contempt and nothing more.

So, when some new political figure garners national attention, riding on Liberty messages, and members of our party began to support that person, our collective recoil is justified. We don’t want scarce financial and volunteer resources to be redirected from actual Libertarians to support some random republicrat because that person said taxes are too high (or something like that). Sometimes, things even go as far as endorsements, and the blowback is warranted.

Before I explain why it’s different here with Vivek and RFK, there is one point I have to establish. I am firmly convinced that our primary goal is to spread Liberty, not to get politicians elected. If we lived in a country that respected the NAP and individual Liberty, but a bunch of uniparty narcissists wanted to play “government” while leaving us alone, I can’t imagine caring. Unfortunately, we have ceded so much of our power and freedom to the government, though, that getting Libertarians elected is by far the biggest way to advance Liberty, so I don’t see advancing Liberty and electing officials as mutually exclusive.

What it means is that we have to be aware of the moment, and take advantage of every opportunity given us. This is where Vivek and RFK come in.

I am well aware of the policies they have proposed that should be antithetical to every single person in this party (honestly, if you support any of these, then you really aren’t a Libertarian). Vivek wants a massive estate tax, he’s staunchly anti-immigration with no hint of irony, he weaponizes the culture war to drive support, and he has proposed invading Mexico. RFK loves celebrity rep AOC’s Green New Deal, he’s called for his political opponents to be jailed in a way that makes the Biden administration jealous, he’s advocated for wealth redistribution plans, he has stated that fraudulent speech (i.e., “misinformation”) is not protected speech, and he is historically anti-2A with only a tepid backtracking in recent months.

To these things I say, so what.

Vivek and RFK Jr. have captured the attention of much of the nation, and they have done it not based on those policies listed above, but on a message of Liberty. At a moment in time when it appears we are careening toward another shameful election battle between an incontinent dementia patient who heads a crime family and a megalomaniac sociopath who also heads a crime family (think this is hyperbolic? I bet you know exactly who each one is…), it is foolish and counterproductive to not embrace the zeitgeist around these two and the Liberty message that is propelling them.

This is not an argument that we should abandon our candidates. We have a few intriguing Libertarians who have entered the race. In particular, Lars Mapstead has set a goal of winning one electoral vote, and has the strategy and finances to make it a real possibility. Not two weeks ago, Lars registered over a percentage point on a WSJ poll, and we are more than a year from the election.  

But that’s the important context. We are, in fact, more than a year from the election. Lots is going to happen, and lots is going to change. (He who shall not be named) D*n@ld Tr*mp could run from a prison cell. Prez Joey B could actually dissolve into dust while wandering off stage to the sound of an ice cream truck. We are likely facing a significant economic crash – it’s more a matter of when and how bad it is. So look at the situation right now.

Vivek wants to abolish the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, and the Department of Education, among ten total departments he would eliminate, he wants to crush the Fed down to almost nothing, he wants to implement national constitutional carry, he wants to pardon Snowden and Assange, and he wants to aggressively roll back and limit the bureaucratic state. RFK Jr. has made a career challenging the revolving door between industry and regulators, and he wants to destroy the FDA and the CDC, and hold mass murderer Mr. Anthony Fauci accountable for his blood money crimes, as well as abolishing the CIA. Both of them are virulently opposed to Central Bank Digital Currencies, want to pursue a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war, and generally oppose foreign military intervention and imperialistic policies.

All of those are squarely Libertarian policy positions (except the Fed thing doesn’t go far enough #AbolishtheFed). And it is messaging specifically for those policies that is behind the messengers’ surge in popularity. How is it possible that we are losing ideological ground to a Republican on military intervention or to a Democrat on regulator overreach?

So understand the moment, be aware of the context, and react accordingly. Right now, we should unapologetically be supporting Vivek and RFK Jr. Not completely, not through defending their awful policies, and certainly not with money or volunteering. But we need to be aggressively owning the messaging that is driving their popularity, and right now, we do that by supporting them in a way that drives productive conversations. Back Vivek or RFK Jr. and point out to their non-Libertarian supporters how much they love those two candidates’ Libertarian messaging.

Then, when the zombies who somehow get to vote on my freedom inevitably put us back into a fever dream reality show where we are expected to choose between, on one hand, a soulless, racist, rapist career politician who turned his first wife’s death into a campaign opportunity and leveraged his position to enrich himself and his family only to finally become president when the beta amyloids in his brain took over, and, on the other hand, a soulless, racist, rapist stay-puffed marshmallow man with weird orange hair who uses lawsuits to never honor contracts and eats steak well done with ketchup, we can say, “there’s another choice…”

Instead of choosing between these two poor facsimiles for human beings, we can tout the great, principled, moral, pro-human defenders of Liberty we have in our party. And we can do so in a way that resonates with people, supported by the fact that we backed their candidates previously based on Libertarian messaging. The only difference is the person saying it.

Since the founding of our party more than 50 years ago, there has never been a moment like right now. The country hates the uniparty, but they don’t see another option. People are so afraid if they don’t vote for their side, then the other side will win and hell will be unleashed on earth. In reality, it doesn’t matter who wins, the government still gets in, and we lose more incremental rights.

If someone asks me what I think of Vivek, I am going to say, “I love him. He is great on eliminating useless agencies, pardons for Snowden and Assange, and second amendment protections. You know what’s even better? You should check out our platform.” And if someone asks what I think of RFK Jr., same thing. I will say, “He’s fantastic. He’s especially good on exposing the racket that we are told is regulatory oversight of big Pharma. As long as there is incentive, there will be regulatory capture, but market forces can fix this. Let me explain.”

So stop with the natural recoil when someone mentions Vivek and RFK Jr. Instead, support them, but be clear why you are doing it. Stick with it. Keep at it. Transition the discussion from the person to the message. Then show people there is a better way. This is how we win votes, and, ultimately advance Liberty.

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Policing in America - A Libertarian Perspective

by: Trevor Miles, LPNC

Criminal justice, and related reform, has been a divisive, hot-button topic in the United States for more than a century. From corrupt cops getting rich with tyrannical prohibition enforcement, to racially disparate law enforcement, into Rodney King through Georg Floyd, and so many others who have suffered under the crushing yoke of qualified immunity and prosecutorial discretion, the conversation about restricting violations of life, Liberty, and property by the police has always been subject to the balance of a populace that wants to live in a safe environment, free from violent crime. I believe the conversation would be aided by the opinion of someone who has both worn the badge, like myself, who also believes that the system is in need of substantial improvement. I intend to provide that opinion in this article.

First, to understand the heart of the issue, one needs to understand the beginnings of policing in the United States. In colonial America, up to the 1800s, policing was placed in the hands of magistrates, sheriff, and citizens, in the form of temporary deputization, night watchman, and slave patrols (and sometimes angry mobs). The first professional police force was the Boston Police, formed in 1838, followed shortly thereafter by New York and Philadelphia. From the very beginning, policing in the United States was used to harass the minorities of this country, from African Americans to poor people to Eastern European and Catholic immigrants. I only point this out because, unfortunately, the state has seen fit to continue this tradition into the 21st century. To be clear, that isn’t to say that all police are discriminatory, nor that all police actions are unnecessary. I would wager that most police don’t even realize the laws they enforce have the consequence of targeting both the poor and ethnic minorities of this country, or that they’re unconstitutional.

However, in order for there to be any substantive change in the way policing is done in this country, we must enact several key reforms to the criminal justice system overall. The first reform is stated above. We need to repeal all unconstitutional laws. This includes immigration laws, gun laws, and all laws which create victimless crimes, including drug laws. This will have the instant effect of reducing negative police contact with the public, which will in turn reduce police uses of force and consequently, excessive force. It will also keep more cops safe. Secondly, we need to end this concept of qualified immunity for all levels of law enforcement. It has no no legitimate legal basis in either statutory law or common law, and is actually in contradiction with both Section 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and Section 1983 of 42 U.S.C, as it effectively prevents citizens from exercising their legal right to bring a civil action against a government agent who violates their rights. By removing this legal protection, and forcing law enforcement to carry liability insurance, we would essentially render uninsurable all cops who continue to violate rights unconstitutionally, which would force them out of the law enforcement field entirely.

We also need to end the militarization of the police, which would require ending the war on drugs, the original impetus for the militarization of police, as well as ending the 1033 Program, which permits the transfer of supplies and material from the DOD to civilian law enforcement agencies. We also need to restrict the involvement of police in non-law enforcement issues. The reality is that police should exist to enforce laws, not serve as counselors and social workers. Other, non-law enforcement, community-run programs could easily supplement this.

Now, to inspire more trust from the public, it would behoove law enforcement to do three things immediately. One, provide better access to police records to the public, including body camera footage and disciplinary records, which would enable everyone to observe the enforcement patterns by law enforcement agencies. Two, require all officers to use body-worn cameras anytime they interact with the public, and make it a crime to fail to do so for any reason. Three, transition all unelected law enforcement leadership positions into elected positions. The leaders of all law enforcement agencies in this country need to be accountable to the general public, not a gaggle of bureaucrats and politicians.

Finally, we fundamentally need to change the way police are trained. When I was trained, an “Us vs. Them” mentality was taught, with them being anyone who isn’t a police officer. This is unacceptable. The police are not a standing army. As a matter of fact, the legal precedent in the United States firmly places the military and law enforcement in two distinctly separate camps, as they should be.

Having explained the reforms that I feel are necessary, I now want to take a moment and clear the air. I don’t hate the police, I do consider their job as necessary, and I don’t regret my time wearing the badge. I also appreciate the knowledge that was bestowed to me by my FTOs and instructors, and the friends that I made through that season of my life. It is this appreciation of law enforcement that makes me want to advocate for reforms in the way policing is done, and I won’t stop until I draw my last breath.

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Big Moves for Liberty in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

North Carolina has a long history of autocratic control, especially regarding individual liberty. Whether that be freely pursuing the career one wants, building where one would like, or consuming what one wishes, North Carolina is not known for its freedom. When it comes to indulging in marijuana, North Carolina has been notoriously despotic. 

Marijuana, which is hemp especially prized for its nonlethal psychoactive properties, has been controlled since 1937. Democrat U.S. Congressman Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina was at the forefront of spearheading an aggressive campaign against Liberty and the consumption of marijuana at the state level as well as the federal level. Doughton’s program was known as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which was only one year after the propaganda film Reefer Madness (1936). With the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, came the heavy prohibitory taxation and destruction of the marijuana and hemp industry in the United States. 

In 1971, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon (R), who was a graduate of Duke Law class of 1937, began one of the most aggressive campaigns against Liberty and the consumption of marijuana in United States history. Nixon’s notorious War on Drugs has actively criminalized anyone who grows, buys, sells, transports, or consumes marijuana-related products. Some have speculated over the years that Nixon’s outright criminalization of marijuana and other drugs was directly targeting African Americans, Mexican Americans, and "hippies" who had a culture of consuming marijuana and butting against the overreaching government.

Over the past 10 years, many states have begun resisting federal government laws to control marijuana with Colorado being among the first states to legalize it in 2012 (#BecomeUngovernable). Since then, a total of 23 states across the country have legalized marijuana for recreational use and 38 states have legalized it for medical use. Even the states that have not completely legalized have turned a blind eye to small quantities of marijuana possession or consumption, including the state of North Carolina.

In 2023, North Carolina was presented with an opportunity to legalize marijuana for medical use. However, the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 3) was turned down. Perhaps the wording, intent, or another aspect of the bill were why it was rejected, but North Carolina went another year without even medically approved marijuana.

Just weeks after that bill was turned down, as of September 7, 2023, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) have stepped up and approved growing, selling, buying, consuming, and distributing marijuana-related products on their reservation, regardless of tribal status or affiliation (with some exceptions and steps required). Notably, the EBCI is the only Native American group to have been an LP affiliate. 

This is fantastic news for those who wish to consume marijuana products and a small win for liberty in the region. Furthermore, it is a win for medical freedom, because where the state of North Carolina only wishes death and misery upon the good citizens, the Cherokee Native American tribe of the Carolinas is here for the rescue. 

Marijuana has been used to aid in pain relief while not having the risks that come with opioids and opiates, reducing the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures, assisting those wanting to stop consuming alcohol, used as a form of stress and anxiety reduction, to relieve insomnia, creating a sense of hunger and reduced nausea for those on chemotherapy, reducing inflammation, and more. And, to this day, no one has been reported as having died from consuming marijuana-related products. 

In fact, the federal government is finally coming around to possibly reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I (associated with heroin and meth) to a Schedule III (associated with anabolic steroids and ketamine). 

All while Republican U.S. Congressman Chuck Edwards of North Carolina wants to push to continue having marijuana illegal at the state and federal level with his proposed Stop Pot Act. It is doubtful that Edwards’ Act will get very far, but it is frustrating and disheartening to see yet another North Carolinian politician stomp on the Liberty and autonomy of peaceful individuals. 

While Liberty is being attacked by authoritarian politicians like Doughton, Nixon, or Edwards, people find ways to circumvent the overreach of a draconian state. If there is one thing that prohibitions of all sorts have shown us throughout history it's that freedom will prevail. Whether that freedom is for the recreational imbibing of a joint with loved ones, or a cancer patient suffering through pain and the detrimental effects of chemotherapy in need of medicinal properties from marijuana, peaceful Liberty will overcome the state’s death grip.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have taken the right step to legalize marijuana on their reservations. This will help their own people, as well as those in the North Carolina and Tennesee area that connects to the Cherokee, North Carolina, area. This could encourage business development in the region, as well as help save or ease the lives of millions in the region. This was a win for the Cherokee and the people of North Carolina, and a small win for liberty in North Carolina. 

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)

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Reflections on a Year (part 3)


by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

In the last two months, I have shared some of my broad observations after serving as your Communications Director for a year. This month, in the final part, I try to tie my last two observations together in a way that some people might find useful going forward.

A suggestion on how to put things into action

In the last two parts of this series, I first looked at some truths about human psychology that explain some of the more troubling outcomes of human behavior in a way that might present some solutions. Next, I tried to make a case that Libertarians quite literally have our own language, even though we’re all speaking, mostly, English.

This month, I want to take that further, and make the case that we actually have an entire ecosystem which we have sealed more hermetically than we might be aware. If we understand why people do certain things, and then look at how we might appear to those people, we are in a much better place to respond to their words and actions in a way that is at least informed.

Before I get into it, though, I want to make one thing crystal #*^% clear. I don’t think what I am writing here is particularly controversial, though I suspect some could read it as such. That’s certainly not my intent. I am, however, extremely concerned about one specific possible misinterpretation of what I am saying, so I want to make one point, up front and unambiguously. I am not, in any capacity, at any level, advocating for us to violate our principles in any way. In fact, I don’t think my idea works if we operate counter to our principles.

What I am suggesting, though, is that we completely reframe the way we communicate with non-Libertarians when in a political capacity. I have argued that we have our own language, and now I am stating that we have our own subculture. That observation, alone, is roughly as interesting or insightful as the Harris / Pence debate. Libertarian subculture is as obvious as any other passionate subculture, apparent to all of us.

Where I hope to provide some novel insight is in my observations on how our subculture is perceived by those not immersed in it. If we understand that, we can communicate in a way that plants a seed of Liberty and fosters it until we have another new member who has abandoned the uniparty.

In the first part of this series, I talked about how powerful and determinative for behavior the human fight-or-flight response really is. Combined with the instinct most people possess to avoid solitude, people unconsciously see a bad email from a boss, or a newscast with sensational language packaged as “Breaking News,” as a mortal threat like a tiger attacking. They are then easily polarized into what amounts to teams.

Pushed to the extreme, these teams become gangs, and politicians take advantage of this to get votes, painting the other party as a blood feud enemies, and making nothing more important than preventing the other side from getting elected. Then, when elected, they quite literally ignore every single thing they said during the campaign, and pass laws that suit the fancies of their various donors.

The important thing to note here is that almost everyone is aware this is going on. They will acknowledge it readily at a macro level, but then immediately shut down any hint of open-mindedness as soon as they hear a suggestion that their party, specifically, bears responsibility. Democrats agree that the system is corrupt all around, but Joe Biden did absolutely nothing suspicious ever in any of his and Hunter’s international dealings. And Republicans "love" the soldiers and pretend-hate the military industrial complex, and they swear Donald Trump is the only one who can drain the swamp, his first term and his war crimes be damned.

Essentially, there is not enough cognitive dissonance between what they know to be true confirmed by their own observations and their desperate and innate loyalty to the side they choose. Democrat and Republican is an identity and point of pride. Loyalty is important to both and dissent is not tolerated much, and even less so lately. For someone to abandon the comfort of that team, we need to give them the confidence that we can reply a soft landing place.

One thing more incumbent to the Libertarian subculture than almost all other elements combined is our delight in argument. We debate, fight, troll, and critique. Occasionally, it goes too far, but overwhelmingly we do it in good faith and good spirits, a fact that we can obfuscate when we get intense. If we are perceived as continually in conflict, as incorrect as that might be, why would someone leave the comfort of their team to get away from conflict?

Now, I am not a complete idiot, so I am not suggesting that we should stop our debate and philosophical fracas. Nor would I want to; we do it because we like it. It’s one of my favorite parts of being Libertarian. I have a few debates that have been going for years (my slack name is “intellectual property stan,” and I confidently maintain that position).

What I am suggesting, though, is that we not approach political disagreements with non-Libertarians, especially those who are committed to their own set of principles, with a “win/lose” mentality. We can learn a lot of we approach every discussion like this with the assumption that we have something to learn. Not that we’re wrong (I am confident we are right, and I am notoriously way too cocky in general. If I can reframe that mentality, I promise that you can.), but that we approach these interactions as if we are learning something.

It gets difficult when we hear the same tired and readily debunked arguments we have heard so very many times before, but just as we aren’t inclined to hear those arguments, again, the people making those arguments are committed to them, and their core identity is based on that. To change someone’s mind who is that engrossed, you have to first earn that person’s trust. When they trust you, they will listen to you, and then our job is easy, we have better ideas.

But when you immediately tell someone why his/her argument is absurd and has been disproved countless times, you do nothing to gain that person’s trust. You signal, unconsciously, that you are part of the enemy class, and that person becomes nearly incapable of relaxing and opening his/her mind.

If I am not convincing you, I would strongly suggest watching these three videos, showing in horrifying clarity and simplicity, how easily this aspect of human psychology is manipulated.

We don’t generally get a lot of positive press, and this gets more true at higher levels. Libertarians in the news, with a very few exceptions, have generally done something that can be spun as crazy, phobic or -ist of some sort, extremist, dumb, uncaring and callous, dangerous, or even immoral. To be fair, that spin is often true, though the mainstream narrative around Libertarians tends to eschew nuance and reinforce polarizing tropes.

Which is exactly why, when we act in a way that someone has been programmed to believe confirms that we fit those tropes, we lose any real chance of changing that person’s heart and mind. We don’t have to actually do anything extreme or subversive, simply appearing adversarial is enough to drive subconscious confirmation to people that we are an enemy.

It’s more important now than ever to effectively fight for the cause of Liberty. The rise of social media amplified unimaginably by the covid lockdown tyranny, has created a country that is more polarized than anytime since the Civil War, with both sides equally committed to taking our Liberty away and shaping an authoritarian state in their respective image and likeness.

The prior two major conflicts that have taken place on this land since the founding of the modern United States have been for Liberty. Even when our response fell short, we have always been a country with no tolerance for involuntary servitude, and we were willing to shed blood to prove it. This conflict is similar in scope and stakes, but the battlefield is far different.

I hope that violence doesn’t erupt. I don’t think it will, not on a massive scale, at least, but I do think it’s possible. But conflict has started, in earnest, and forces are in play to drive that conflict. To win that battle, we need to play a different game. We have 14 Libertarians running for office this year. If everyone who reads this got involved, we could realistically get ten or eleven of them elected, maybe more.

We are all ambassadors of the Libertarian Party, whether we asked for that responsibility or not. There are a few ways out of our current mess, and most of them are less than desirable. If we decide to be good ambassadors, and active stewards of Liberty, we get to the other side by creating a free state, and we watch everyone prosper equally.

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Libertarian Solutions in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

“The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.” -Ludwig von Mises


Liberty in North Carolina is under constant threat from the political left, right, and everyone in between. There are a plethora of issues plaguing freedom, and human rights, in the state that claims “First in Freedom.” The good news is that there is a Libertarian solution.

North Carolina is widely considered a purple-voting state, meaning there is greater active political crossover between the Democratic blue and the Republican red, with more registered Independents than other political parties. Where we find agreement and disagreement between Democrats and Republicans, where issues are painted purple, we can likely find Libertarian gold.

There are four key areas of concern we can hyperfocus on to help protect Liberty while promoting the North Carolina Libertarian Party's solutions to common problems in the state of North Carolina.

  • Housing Regulations

  • Healthcare Regulations

  • Occupational Licensing

  • Alcohol Policy

In this article, I will go over the following:

  • An opportunity for promoting Liberty and solutions by the Libertarian Party throughout North Carolina.

  • This applies to anyone moving to or already living in North Carolina, and those that wish to conduct business in North Carolina or with North Carolinians.

  • I’ll explain what Liberty means, why Liberty is an important measure for economic and social prosperity, explain how to find Liberty-winning solutions, and provide 4 suggestions for improving Liberty in North Carolina.

What is Liberty, and Why Does it Matter in North Carolina?

Depending on a person’s philosophy, you can generally expect slightly different definitions of what Liberty means. Without being overly philosophical, the North Carolina Libertarian Party offers a general definition.

Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views; freedom from arbitrary and unreasonable restraint upon an individual; the quality or state of being free; state of freedom; the absence of obstacles, barriers, or constraints to act freely; the state of being free from unfair rules and restrictions imposed by government or other authority on one's way of life; and, the freedom to live as you wish and go where you want.

Without Liberty, people are subjected to the arbitrary directions of other people. In a heterogeneous society, with more people moving from other states, regions, and countries, people have mixed ideas as to how to live.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to a top-down approach. In a mixed culture, people need the freedom to act independently in their pursuits. Without Liberty, everyone is put into a restricted box telling them how to act, what to think, how to conduct business, and how to live their peaceful lives.

A centralized, rigid, government approach to problem-solving creates new problems at higher costs with restricted elasticity and slower mobility for workarounds.

If North Carolinians do not protect Liberty, not only will we be living in perpetual contradiction with our North Carolina license plate slogan and the state motto, but we are also at risk of higher prices, restricted market options, less affordable housing, costly and limited healthcare, fewer jobs, and reduced happiness or flourishing overall.

How to Find Liberty-Winning Solutions

North Carolina has more registered independent voters than registered Democrat or Republican voters. Some of this has been a generational transition from yesteryear when almost everyone was registered as Democrat in North Carolina and now find themselves agreeing more with Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians than the DNC.

Independent voting is also seeing an increase since the Covid-19 era (2019-2022), and people’s frustrations with government “solutions.” Tons of businesses and people were harmed because of the real problems caused by government intervention, mandates, laws, and restrictions. Neither of the mainstream parties did much to help protect Liberty in that period, and this incited people to leave their party affiliations.

North Carolina is now considered a purple voting state, with the crossing of colors red and blue. This creates an opportunity for Libertarians to find common ground with those that have frustratedly abandoned their Democrat or Republican status. Seek the gold lining in a mine of purple amethyst; find the commonality, and use the art of persuasion to find a solution that promotes each person’s individual liberty to act without encroaching on the freedom of others.

Liberty-Solution Formula:

  1. Find the problem

  2. Find common ground

  3. Creatively cooperate to find private or volunteer-based solutions

Now, let’s take a look at 4 problems threatening Liberty in North Carolina.

Housing Regulations

North Carolina is going through record growth with people moving from other states and countries. Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte (NC) have especially seen significant growth over the past few years. With more people arriving and fewer leaving, there are quickly becoming housing issues. Some of those housing issues include affordable housing options, zoning restrictions, building codes, and state and county development/building regulations.

Democrats are concerned with low-income families not having the appropriate housing they need. Republicans are concerned with retirees needing affordable housing options to not become reliant on the state. These each impact employment, business development, tax revenues, and population density.

Libertarians want reduced red tape and fewer regulations for housing. By showing successful models of reduced government intervention in housing and development around the country such as that in Houston, Texas, are a great step in the right direction. Also offering solutions such as private communities or cities, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), and forward-thinking construction options can really help bridge the political gaps while offering a Libertarian solution in North Carolina.

Healthcare Regulations

North Carolina is one of the most expensive states when it comes to healthcare costs. This is caused by several reasons including Direct Primary Care, Certificate of Need laws, limitations on nurse practitioners, and more. As more people come to NC, it is extremely important that their diverse medical needs are met.

Democrats are concerned with low-cost healthcare options to the point that they will force everyone to pay for it or share the cost through taxes. Republicans want doctors and healthcare providers to benefit without pushing them out of the state.

Libertarians want to provide unhampered market solutions to healthcare and insurance. By demonstrating that fewer healthcare regulations do not necessitate a lack of humanity or governance, Libertarians have a chance to offer a win-win solution. With a freer market approach to healthcare, people can receive lower-cost healthcare while providing a market that entices doctors and healthcare providers to come and stay in North Carolina.

Occupational Licensing

North Carolina has continued to fall in ranking on polls and surveys across the country when it comes to occupational licensing issues. With occupational licensing, the state creates a monopolistic barrier to entry for people of lower income, necessarily restricts market competition, and effectively reduces the happiness and flourishing of peaceful people in North Carolina.

Democrats claim to be worried about the poor and destitute, yet there are active restrictions in place preventing people from getting themselves out of the harms of poverty. Republicans claim a freer market approach enables individuals to enrich their lives and “pick themselves up by their bootstraps,” yet occupational licensing with its fees and bureaucratic red tape stifles growth and wounds individuals, families, and communities all for the privilege of a relative few.

Libertarians want reduced government interference in markets and the private lives of people. Libertarians tend to hold entrepreneurship as one of the noblest achievements a person can do for themselves, as entrepreneurship is an act of freedom and creates a sense of freedom in and of itself. Libertarians also believe an unhampered market approach will enable people to make more money, improves lives, and creates more happiness and flourishing for the aggregate. North Carolina needs a Libertarian solution to occupational licensing to allow less barrier to entry, improve market competition, and improve happiness and flourishing for the state and region.

Alcohol Policy

North Carolina is one of only 17 states that have strict laws on alcoholic beverages in the United States (U.S.), which is known as being an alcohol control state or an alcoholic beverage control state. In NC, this is controlled top-down by the state government in the form of nepotism and cronyism under the guise of state protectionism. This department is known as the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, locally known as The ABC or The ABC Control System. This horde of plunderers controls the manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and sales of all alcoholic beverages to varying degrees in the state of North Carolina.

Democrats tend to want people to enjoy their personal lives as they see fit, no matter the substance or preference, as long as it does not harm others. Republicans are usually laissez-faire these days when it comes to personal consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially if a successful business model can be created representing North Carolina in the state and Southern region.

Libertarians want an unhampered market approach to alcoholic beverages that allows individuals the opportunity to responsibly consume what they wish while also freeing people to create business models that serve public demand and needs. A Liberty-based solution enables people to act autonomously while holding them accountable for wrongs. Allowing the private market to compete in alcohol will reduce prices, and create more product variety, while also spurring economic growth via manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and sales of alcoholic beverages. Libertarians understand that a divergence between state ethics and the public’s ethics creates unnecessary tension while it also restricts Liberty, happiness, and growth.

Liberty in North Carolina

If we desire to protect Liberty and promote Liberty in North Carolina, we must be actively searching for solutions that bring people together as opposed to merely telling everyone they are wrong. We cannot win in the short or long term if our only response to government infringement on Liberty is our mere objection to every suggested intervention.

Libertarians are philosophical skeptics, not cynics. A skeptic questions things, while a cynic always says, “No.” We can universally reject government intervention, but our wins will only come when we also offer viable free-market solutions to very real problems in North Carolina.

Our solutions can involve Democrats and Republicans, we can help create Liberty-based solutions while answering their respective concerns in the purple state. The Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC) has a golden opportunity to protect Liberty in North Carolina while increasing the number of people who register as Libertarian in NC.

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)

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Reflections on a Year (part 2)

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

Last month I shared some of my broad observations after serving as your Communications Director for a year. This month, in part 2, I have a few more-concentrated things that I want to share, and I hope to spark some further conversations. There is one final part to this, coming next month.

Some specific observations on communication

Perhaps the biggest specific thing I've noticed over the last year in observing interaction between Liberty-minded folk and those who aren’t wired quite the same is that we aren't speaking the same language. Same alphabet, same words, sure. Even the same definitions (though not always). But not the same meaning, and this is crucial.

"Woke," "racist," "fascist," "groomer," and a whole host of other "verboten" words, are leveled in accusations of the greatest sin the accuser can imagine. Repeatedly, words are used to dehumanize those who don't share our perspective exactly. Pure (in their own minds) morality is the reward as these words provide absolution when a friendly cohort hears you say them, like a religious chant. And so they are beaten into the ground with misappropriation, overuse, and weaponization, until they are worthy of nothing more than an eye roll, maybe, in objective reality.

Yet these words and others like them hold substantial power in certain places where they are still uttered like a medieval curse at the heretics who dare not share the same religious convictions. Libertarians should not bend to these words that carry only the weight of the reactions they cause that we are willing accept, nor should we acquiesce to the demands of the missionaries who wield them.

However, we are foolish if we ignore the power some words have in the right place. We are prone to confusing being principled with speaking someone else’s language, and this makes it extra difficult to build inroads.

See, to get to that beautiful place where politicians are so inconsequential that no one wants to pay for their campaigns, we will need to change a lot of hearts and minds. And we can, if we work for it. We have the better message and application of our philosophy leads to better outcomes for everyone. Our Achilles heel is willingness to message to the audience. We have long been willing to respect and fight for everyone’s rights to have differing viewpoints. No we need to embrace the people who have those viewpoints, even as we categorically reject their current philosophy, and trust that we will win them over in the end.

If you want to find sympathetic ears to spread our message, you have to put aside all ego, ignore your argumentative impulses (something else I learned about Libertarians – wow, do we love to argue!), and revive the art of communication. Gaining someone's trust, deservedly, leads to more engaging conversations where the best ideas flourish on their own merit. I like our chances in that setting.

Our approaches to communicating and sharing our language have not led to anywhere near the level of effectiveness that we need to drive any sort of meaningful changes over time. To me, this clearly means we need to change our approach, dramatically.

Maybe a little bit of sympathetic understanding, or even undeserved compassion and forgiveness would itself present such a stark, but positive, contrast with how the other two parties operate that fear of reprisal would dissipate and more people would start speaking or language fluently. You don’t have to affirm actions you find wrong, or even pretend to like people. You just have to give them the benefit of the doubt, even when they might not seem to deserve your faith.

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Egbert v. Boule


by Trevor Miles

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)

Those three letters should make any libertarian tremble with the fear of Constitutional rights being violated. They certainly make me tremble, despite the fact that I live in North Carolina, nowhere even close to the southern or northern borders.

Why am I writing this?

Well, I live within 100 miles of the US border, and in June of 2022, the Supreme Court provided a nearly impenetrable shield to federal immigration authorities operating within the 100 mile border zone when it comes to the 4th Amendment. In the case Egbert v. Boule, the court chose, in a majority 6-3 decision, to set the precedent that only Congress can authorize lawsuits against federal agents for violation of 4th Amendment rights resulting from immigration operations. This essentially means that no one can sue federal immigration authorities for violating their 4th Amendment rights, despite the fact that Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents (1971) provided for this exact remedy in a similar violation of the 4th Amendment by federal narcotics agents.

So, what is Egbert v. Boule?

In Egbert v. Boule, the plaintiff Mr. Boule owned and operated the “Smugglers Inn”, near the Canada-U.S. Border. Mr. Boule routinely worked as a confidential informant for the Border Patrol, and notified them when persons of interest were staying at the inn. On the day in question in 2014, Mr. Boule informed Agent Egbert that a Turkish individual would be staying at the Inn, and had arranged transportation. When Mr. Boule returned with the individual, Agent Egbert followed them onto the property, at which point Mr. Boule told Egbert to leave. Egbert then proceeded to allegedly throw Boule to the ground, and after determining the visitor's paperwork was in order, left. Boule then filed an administrative claim against Egbert, after which Egbert reported Boule to the IRS.

The district court ruled in favor of Egbert, and the decision was reversed by a panel of Ninth Circuit Appeals judges. After making its way through the court system, it was granted certiorari on November 5, 2021, with the Supreme Court later agreeing with the district court's decision, ruling in favor of Egbert and removing any avenue for Boule to receive compensation for the 4th Amendment violation.

What does all that mean?

Well it means that citizens lack any recourse to address violations of their 4th Amendment rights in the border zone, as we all know that Congress would never authorize a lawsuit against their agents of the state, regardless of how egregious the violation might be. By the way, nearly 2/3rds of Americans live within this border zone. It also means that federal immigration authorities have one less thing to fear when it comes to violating the 4th amendment, and essentially now have carte blanche to engage in the full scale victimization of all Americans within the border zone, including and especially those within racialized and marginalized communities.

What is the solution?

The solution to the issue is deceptively simple. Repeal the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952, and replace it with a simple security check at ports of entry. In doing so, it removes the legal basis for the 100 mile border zone, and the subsequent violations of the US Constitution that have been upheld by the Supreme Court, which will allow for agents to be held liable for violating individuals rights.

I urge all Libertarians, and indeed all Americans who care about their rights, to push this issue at all levels of government and society, and make your voices so loud that you can’t be ignored.

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The State on Your Plate: How Government Sabotages Small Farms and Censors Food


by Deborah Reese, Co-owner, Fox Knob Farm

I am a hog farmer. If you had known me before 2017, you would say, “No way, impossible, never in a million years.” It’s a story many people could tell, as I am by far not the first person to give up a career and comfortable life in the city to move to the country in hopes of realizing a farming dream. Most of us new farmers and homesteaders have an origin story that includes a health crisis of some sort and the dawning realization that our food (among other things) has been poisoning us our whole lives, making us sick and fat. It’s only after we try like heck to source good quality local food—a daunting task—that we realize the whole system is broken. The state is our enemy, sabotaging our ability to produce, purchase, and consume clean, quality food at nearly every turn.

One stunning example: As in many states, in North Carolina it is illegal to milk your cow and sell that fresh raw milk to your neighbor (or anyone). If you want to purchase raw milk, you first have to find a farm producing it (good luck!), then ask to buy their “pet milk” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) which must exclaim on the packaging “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION” in letters at least one-half inch in height and “IT IS NOT LEGAL TO SELL RAW MILK FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION IN NORTH CAROLINA.” Alternatively, you can join a formal herd share program, in which you technically own part of the cow, or, as many do, drive across state lines to South Carolina where you can buy raw milk in a retail store. Meanwhile, in Europe, raw milk vending machines are readily available. Don’t get me wrong, the state’s involvement in agriculture in Europe is devastating also, perhaps even worse than in the U.S., so this example merely shows the seemingly haphazard way various governments toy with our food choices. You don’t have to agree with me about raw milk being fantastic for your health, but I’m sure we can agree that each of us should be able to choose what we put in our own bodies.

If, like me, you’ve discovered the miracle of the carnivore diet, getting quality meat—and lots of it—will be your top concern. The USDA in combination with each state regulates how livestock must be slaughtered and processed in order to be sold to consumers. The processing facilities that meet the requirements are very few, because it is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to create and maintain a certified facility. The state of North Carolina offers a slightly less expensive and time-consuming alternative, but if you choose it, you can only sell your meat inside the state, and even these facilities have a serious backlog. The result is a bottleneck in meat processing that has small producers waiting months, a year, or more, and driving for hours to get their animals processed. The rising cost of feeding an animal even one day past their readiness can absolutely destroy a small farm.

If you’ve gone down the food quality rabbit hole at all, you quickly learned just how terrible most of the meat available to purchase at the grocery store and most restaurants is. The animals are raised in horrible conditions, packed into a small space with no sunlight, standing on top of their own urine and feces all day, getting drugged and vaccinated to combat diseases caused by the conditions they’re in, and eating poor quality feed. These facilities are called CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. These are the animals tying up the USDA processing facilities, getting the federal and state governments’ stamped seal of approval, and driving down the price of pork. North Carolina is the third largest producer of pork in the nation, made possible by a legislature that has a long history of supporting industrial pork production, primarily by allowing them to store and dispose of their waste through questionable methods. Three lawsuits resulted in juries awarding over $500 million to neighbors of hog facilities , in 2018, but have made little difference.

Meanwhile, the small producers who raise their animals on pastures where they can forage, get sunlight, and naturally spread their manure across a large swath of land (which is exactly what’s required to improve our soil quality and therefore environment, a technique known as regenerative agriculture) are struggling to get their meat to market. It’s worse than that—they are struggling to stay afloat, usually working another job or two so they can afford to keep feeding their animals while they wait for their processing dates, each day watching whatever small profit they hoped for drain away.

To combat this problem, some producers are taking advantage of a legal loophole put in place for deer hunters and people who raise animals only for their own consumption: custom exempt processing. If you shoot a deer, you can bring the carcass to a custom processing facility (still subject to inspection, but a lot less) and they will cut it up for you and package it, to be consumed only by you, your family, and your non-paying guests. Each package will be stamped with the words “NOT FOR SALE.” The same can apply for a hog or beef you raise, or a hog that you purchase “on the hoof” and have a farmer raise for you. Few consumers realize this option is available, and even fewer would know what to do with a whole hog or beef if they had it. (As hard as it is to believe, there is more to a hog than pork chops and bacon, and more to a cow than steaks and ground beef.) This is the route we have been taking, which has been somewhat working, until we got some bad news.

Transporting a pig for slaughter is not only extremely difficult and stressful, it can impact the meat quality. It is far better for the animal and everyone involved to do the slaughter on the farm. One amazing young man does this job in our area: he drives his truck equipped with a crane to our farm, quickly and humanely kills the animal while it is happily grazing, then does the skinning and evisceration before wrapping the carcass and transporting it to our processor. His skill is truly something to behold. It all works wonderfully, so of course the state had to step in. We found out last week that the North Carolina Department of Agriculture is trying to force this young man to shut down his on-site slaughter service unless he can conform to the USDA’s Mobile Slaughter Unit Compliance Guide, which after you read it you know is an utterly impossible task (unless you have about a quarter million extra dollars lying around, and only clients who are willing to invest an additional amount to prepare for the unit’s arrival on the farm).

Let this sink in for a moment: we are raising our own hog for our own consumption, and we cannot legally slaughter it and have it processed by the people we choose in the way we feel is the most humane. We sure as heck couldn’t dream of doing that and then selling the meat to you.

Switching gears for a moment, have you heard yet about just how toxic industrial seed oils are? We were conned into believing something that began as an industrial waste product was “heart healthy” and better than traditionally used fats like butter and lard. Fortunately, most people are aware of the truth now, and want to go back to cooking the way we used to, with healthy animal fats. Butter is fantastic, but burns at higher temperatures. Lard and tallow are better options for higher heat cooking, but where can you buy them? (Beware the lard at the grocery store, since it usually includes the same hydrogenated oil that makes Crisco so toxic.) Lard is made by slowly cooking finely chopped pork fat until the liquid lard is “rendered.” I have vast personal experience with this, and use my lard in just about all my cooking (including the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted), and in my homemade body and face creams. What if you wanted to buy some lard from me? Well, you can’t.

Value-added products used to be a staple of farmers’ incomes. They would take the fresh produce and meats produced with care on their farm and make them into delicious homemade items and sell them. Jams and jellies, canned goods, pies, stews… all the things I would love to be able to buy from my neighboring farms to make eating healthy local food a little easier. But selling value-added products like these requires having a licensed commercial kitchen, an expense and bureaucratic nightmare that most of us can’t afford. You can go to the grocery store any day of the week and buy products loaded with poor quality ingredients; high fructose corn syrup, chemical sweeteners, preservatives, toxic dyes, MSG, GMO/glyphosate-sprayed grains, and a host of other bad things. But because I process pork fat into lard in my unlicensed kitchen, it would be illegal for me to sell it to you, regardless of whether you know me, have personally inspected my kitchen, deemed it clean and safe, and signed a liability waiver. You don’t have a free market choice of food available because we the producers must risk fines and even imprisonment if we sell you something the state has disallowed.

But the problems are much worse than your choices being limited and my ability to sell meat. We’re all familiar with “the invisible foot of government” as Milton Friedman put it, but most people do not realize the extent of the damage done by the state’s involvement in our agricultural systems. Rather than lecture you about how bad for health high fructose corn syrup is (I’m sure you already know that), I’ll use it as an example to explain how American farm subsidies and price supports destroyed agriculture, the ability of small farms to compete, our soil quality, and our health.

As Saifedean Ammous writes in The Fiat Standard: “By subsidizing the production of the cheapest foods and recommending them to Americans as the optimal components of their diet, the extent of price increases and currency debasement is less obvious.” In other words, as a tactic to mask inflation, the federal government has been pushing farmers to grow cheaper nutritionally-poor crops, and then convince the American public to eat them using false messages of health benefits while steering them away from more expensive and nutritionally dense foods like meat.

In the 1970s, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz told farmers to “get big or get out.” Billions of dollars of subsidies flowed almost exclusively to large farms that conformed, and the monocropping of corn, wheat, and soy began in earnest, requiring chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified high-yield seeds. This type of industrial agriculture results in soils that are depleted of their nutrients and biodiversity, whose toxins are washed into ground waters and streams, and the vapid harvests produced are largely processed into products like high fructose corn syrup used in almost all sodas and processed food. Junk food and beverage companies are happy to use HFCS since it’s cheaper than sugar due to the federal subsidies, the overproduction of corn inspired by those subsidies, and the high quotas on sugar imports. Most wheat and soy crops share a similar fate, being processed into health-destroying products that can barely be called “food.” Obesity, heart problems, cancers, diabetes, and other chronic diseases now plague nearly half of Americans.

What’s the solution? Eliminate the state from your plate, of course. Make Harry Browne proud and live as if you were free. Bypass the government and big retail middlemen and go straight to the source. If you choose not to farm yourself, find farms close to you that meet your standards and buy from them. And I mean your standards, not the standards set by the state for what may qualify as “organic.” Many foods labeled “organic” have been greenwashed and are little to no better than the usual grocery store fare. A farm may not want the red tape, expense, strings, and moral quandaries that often come with official certifications, but that doesn’t mean they’re not raising high-quality food.

I won’t lie to you, it can be difficult, highly inconvenient, and time-consuming to get your hands on quality local food from multiple farms week-in and week-out, spend the time to prepare it, and make the necessary changes in your diet and expectations. You may not be motivated until you have a health crisis of your own, but that day is (sadly) inevitable. Start at your local farmer’s markets, and buy everything they can legally sell you first. Judge the quality of the food you’re eating by taste and how well you feel after eating it; nutrient-dense food reveals itself quickly. Sometimes looks can help, but sometimes they can hinder. While grocery store pork is usually almost white, our pork is so red you can easily mistake it for beef, an indication our pigs have been raised on pasture with room to roam, as exercised muscles have a higher myoglobin concentration. Fruits and vegetables grown naturally may have odd shapes, sizes, colors, or blemishes, but that just tells you it’s not from a large producer who throws away anything less than ideal looking, and covered in wax or Apeel to mask the fact that it was harvested before its time and has traveled for days or weeks to get to the store.

Establish yourself as a trusted regular customer, eventually asking to tour their farm and if you like what you see, place a large order. Be prepared to pay the true cost of the food, not the state subsidized cost that you see in the grocery store, and pay in cash (or alternative currencies, if your farmer is able). Perhaps even pay in advance to help front the farmer the cost of the production (CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture, often a subscription service that may include delivery) and herd shares are designed for that purpose). Don’t be one of the many customers that only want to buy bacon; the farmer has a whole animal that needs to get sold if they are to stay in business. Consider it a culinary learning opportunity. Perhaps one day you can convince your local farmers that you won’t rat them out for selling you unsanctioned goods, and you can start buying what you really want to buy from them. If they have enough customers like you, they can stay in business and produce more, but they may need some encouragement. With friends you trust, consider buying a whole animal together on the hoof, and with some money up front, the farmer can raise it for you. Eventually you, your neighbors, and your nearby farmers will be part of a community and food ecosystem that needs no outside subsidies-with-strings and tolerates no outside interference. That may not be the complete freedom we’re all longing for, but it’s a darn good start.

Additional resources to explore:

  • How to find your local farms: LocalHarvest.org and EatWild.com, among others. Or, find them in person at your local farmer’s market.
  • Books by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm: Folks This Ain’t Normal and Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
  • General healthy food resources and raw milk finder: The Weston A. Price Foundation, westonaprice.org
  • Book by Saifedean Ammous: The Fiat Standard: The Debt Slavery Alternative to Human Civilization, especially the chapter on fiat food
  • Book by David R. Montgomery: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations
  • 2009 documentary by Tracy-Louise Ward featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Pig Business
  • A must-watch cartoon originally made in 2005 by The Sierra Club, and now mysteriously removed from their main website (well, not so mysterious after you watch it): The True Cost of Food


  1. Raw Milk Legal States [Updated March 2023] by World Population Review
  2. NC Statute § 106-266.35
  3. A Campaign for Real Milk, A Project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Raw Milk Finder
  4. Raw Milk Vending Machines Take Over Europe by Sam Brasch, Modern Farmer, March 25, 2014
  5. A Big Look At Big Hog In North Carolina by Amanda Magnus, Frank Stasion, WUNC, May 29, 2018
  6. An Update on North Carolina Nuisance Lawsuits by Kitt Tovar, August 31, 2018, Iowa State University
  7. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  8. The Oiling of America by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD, Weston A. Price Foundation, January 17, 2019
  9. How Industrial Seed Oils Are Making Us Sick by Chris Kresser, M.S., February 19, 2019
  10. How Agriculture Bureaucrats Are Manipulating Food Prices—and Our Diets by Sammy Cartagena, Mises Institute, March 21, 2022
  11. The Secret History of Why Soda Companies Switched From Sugar to High-Fructose Corn Syrup by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, July 26, 2019
  12. Red or White: What Kind of Meat Is Pork? By Ariane Lang, Msc, MBA, Healthline, June 5, 2020
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Reflections on a Year (OpEd)

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

This month marks one year that I have had the honor of serving as your communications director. It has been quite a ride since speaking on behalf of Joshua at the Gastonia council meeting a year ago (unexpectedly, actually) which opened up a discussion about potentially taking on this role, and the rest, as they say, is history. To recognize one year of you all having to put up with me, I thought I might reflect on some of my observations and hopefully spark some new conversations. 

This is the first of two parts.

An overall look at the last year

My entire background - education and professional - comprises some combination of writing, communication, and marketing. It's why this role has felt very natural to me at times, leading to what I consider, on balance, a reasonably successful first year. The newsletter has re-launched, and it is improving, we have the podcast going again, and we've had a number of successful targeted outreach campaigns, to give a few examples. 

Despite any experience I have in communications, marketing, psychology, and writing, applied in what I thought was a wide array of forums, politics is a different world. I have also felt completely out of place, unsteady, and unsure more often than not. It's a weird social experiment, where we've created this team sport where winning, at any cost, is all that matters, and we ascribe life or death value to victory for no reason except we’re told to do so. We have so much left to accomplish, and I don’t feel like I have even really gotten started.

In business, the arts, and, in fact, in most places in the real world, communication is generally taken in good faith, and the intent is to convey meaning, which others earnestly try to grasp, process, and use to generate a response, sometimes beautifully. The greatest writers, lyricists, teachers, and salespeople alike are masters of this art form, which is how they become the greatest in all disciplines where the capacity to convey your meaning in a way that is recognized and adopted by the listener is paramount. 

Politics is exactly the opposite. Not that everyone takes everything you say in bad faith, ascribing the worst possible interpretation through a warped viewpoint. But a lot do. And it's always a possibility. Toxic environments like that are soul crushing, which is why most successful politicians are vapid caricatures of real people. 

But the politics are seeping out into the real world and poisoning everyday discourse so quickly, even Edward Bernays would advise caution. Your politics must be worn loudly as a symbol to the rest of the world announcing your morality, and battle lines are drawn. People face potential scrutiny, shaming, ostracization, vitriol, and other powerful society backlash, not l just for saying or doing something, but for not doing the opposite loudly enough. 

Human beings have evolved to have a strong need for companionship. We have an innate fear of being alone or banished, confirmed by study after study after study after study. Virtue signaling is the political version of flashing a gang sign; you are publicly reaffirming your commitment to that team so they don't kick you off. 

This isn't a silly example of weak-willed people. I don't think we, as a society, consider just how damaging anxiety disorders are to us as a population. The sheer number of people who live in a constant state of fight-or-flight has led to a pattern of behavior where each "team" desperately repeats behaviors which they believe will hurt the other team and help them. 

But politics is a zero-sum game. If winning is the only thing that matters, then anything is justified, as long as you get away with it. Politicians naturally take advantage of the fight-or-flight response-driven permanent anxiety and focus it against the "other" side. It's why our rights are blatantly ignored as corporate interests buy elected officials so routinely that we even have laws protecting their ability to do so. 

The answer, if we could wave the proverbial magic wand, is to get money out of politics. Of course, politicians aren’t keen to relinquish that gravy train. I am convinced that the only way to get money out of politics is to take back so much power that politicians don't matter anymore. To get to that point? We have a lot of work to do. 

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What Happens After Control Ends in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

I recently heard a friendly discussion about a really fun topic: economics in North Carolina. In their palaver, they came to a slight disagreement about one particular issue and how it should be handled.

Let’s imagine that the topic is "Y."


The entire Y market in North Carolina is controlled. The three-letter government agency XYZ controls it from every angle. XYZ controls how Y is made, who can make Y, fees for entering the Y market, how much Y is produced, where Y is from, how much Y costs, how much Y is taxed, and how much Y can be sold. XYZ centrally vaults all of the Y in North Carolina in XYZ’s warehouse, and only their approved distributors can transport Y to their storefront monopoly locations. XYZ goes as far as to propagandize why they must maintain total control of Y in North Carolina.

Now, let’s imagine what will likely happen when the total control of Y by XYZ in North Carolina dissipates.

Person 1: Consumption Junction, What’s Your Function

We cannot say how many jobs will or will not be created once the control of the Y market dissipates in North Carolina. It is quite often the case that governments have too many people working, with less efficiency than private markets. Governments do not have to operate efficiently as a business does, as their money is gained predominantly through taxes.

For example, a task that a private business may only need three people to accomplish, a government agency will inefficiently have five, or more, people. With greater efficiency and the assistance of labor and technology, a business is incentivized to save time and money, whereas a government's financial incentives and overall effectiveness do not concern them since they operate as though there is an endless pool of money to be exploited.

When complete control of Y no longer exists, there may be fewer jobs and a reduction in wasted costs. Undoubtedly there will be a greater variety of Y and functional market efficiency in North Carolina.

Person 2: Y is Seen, and Y is Unseen

We cannot say, with certainty, how many jobs will or will not be created once the control of the Y market dissipates, but it is more likely that more jobs will be created overall than lost. XYZ controls every aspect of the Y market in North Carolina. XYZ controls production, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, representation, sales, and profits of Y while there is still market demand. Due to a plethora of multitiered inefficiencies and a severe limitation on functionally efficient markets, XYZ has willfully reduced the opportunities for the free and peaceful markets of North Carolina.

The Y market is controlled and gravely restricted in North Carolina. Once these restrictions are removed, it is more likely that the market will become more efficient, increase prosperity, have greater variety, reduce operational costs, and increase sales opportunities. Since there is still demand for Y in the market, ending XYZ will encourage investment in the Y market, as well as Y’s direct and indirect markets. There is a sort of butterfly effect across the marketplace, and the aggregate benefits and positive effects of this fluttering are immeasurable.

When complete control of Y no longer exists, there may be more jobs and a reduction in wasted costs. Undoubtedly there will be a greater variety of Y and market efficiency in North Carolina. The benefits are likely to create more jobs and business opportunities in direct and indirect markets.

Final Causation

Whether a person believes fewer jobs or more jobs will be created once the control of the Y market dissipates, we can agree that greater variety and improved market functional efficiency will be the result. With greater efficiency comes greater savings of money, or taxes in the case of XYZ.

The free and peaceful people of North Carolina ought to actively end the government agency XYZ’s complete control over the production, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, representation, sales, and profits of Y. North Carolina’s growth potential depends on ending these severe restrictions. Ending the XYZ allows people to choose while they also benefit from what is seen and what is unseen.

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)

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