Volume 3, Issue 9 | June 2023
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." ― Ayn Rand
In this issue…
It's time to fight back against oppressive central authority, and petty politicians with little man complexes. We need your help to do so! Today, I am asking you to join us, and telling you how.
We are all in this together, and so one of the most important responsibilities I see myself as having, as your Chair, is to communicate with you honestly, without spin, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Of course, I prefer sharing good news with the state, and I imagine people prefer it as well, but I am not naïve. I know things will go wrong, because of our missteps and because of things outside of our control. If we are not honest about what happened, we have no hope of fixing it.
Occasionally, though, something happens that supersedes all pretense of rational response, and we are reminded that we are fighting a machine with near limitless power that has learned and evolved for decades, perfecting the cruel art of subjugating anyone who stands in its way.
If you have not heard already from Mike Ross, it is from a position of equal parts rage and sadness that I want to tell you all that the City of Gastonia has hit Pastor Moses Colbert with fines of over sixty thousand dollars. This is in addition to all the fines and citations he has been forced to endure over the last three years.
If you need a refresher, Pastor Moses runs an entire ministry dedicated to helping those in greatest need. He feeds and shelters the homeless. In fact, for three years of Pastor Moses operating his shelter, there had not been a single homeless death from exposure.
But then Pastor Moses had the audacity to speak out against the two Gastonia police officers who assaulted, tased, and falsely arrested homeless veteran Joshua Rohrer, and also tased his service dog, Sunshine, who was killed the next day as a direct result of police negligence.
For this grave sin of giving a voice to those without one, Pastor Moses was punished by the city (who swear it was totally unrelated), and his meager shelter shut down because of fire code violations found during a surprise inspection shortly after he came to Joshua’s defense publicly.
The entire saga is long, horrific, and ongoing; we have covered it extensively if you are interested in learning more. At the beginning of this year, members of the LPNC worked with You Are the Power and Pastor Moses to get two shipping containers that could be used as a shelter that passes inspection. And we all thought, at least on that front, the city was quieting down. Apparently, we underestimated their propensity for heartless cruelty and evil.
There is no such thing as a “bad cop,” there are only criminals who masquerade as cops. Public servants are here to serve. Yet it seems that every time the administration and the law enforcement sides of our state apparatus join forces, the results are bleak.
Look at the unresolved case of Monica Ussery, arrested to settle a score for protesting. Or the case of Jada Johnson, who was shot 17 times, but the cop was exonerated by a grand jury and we are forbidden from seeing the body camera footage. Or Jason Kloepfer, a disabled man who was awakened by a SWAT team ordering him outside, and then shot as soon as he opened the door. The police were laughing and joking until they realized he had it all on his video camera, and they couldn’t control that.
But we will not sit back idly and accept this oppression and tyranny. We have several plans to push back, starting with this Saturday, June 17. We will gather at noon at Pastor Moses’ Faith, Hope and Love Ministry for a rally and a march. We need you there.
We do this because it matters, and because it is the right thing to do. But our task is daunting, our challenges massive. We need everyone reading this to do what you can. Call the City of Gastonia and let them know what you think. Join the LPNC, or your local affiliate. Make a donation. Come to one of our rallies. Don’t get discouraged by the enormity of what we face; those who pull the levers are counting on you getting disheartened.
Starting by showing up this Saturday.
-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair
|elections">Running for Office this Year?
We need candidates. It's time to register. We are here to help!
Liberty lovers! If you want to register to run for political office this year, 2023, it is almost time to do so.
Then reach out to let us know you're running, at [email protected]. You might be surprised how much success you can have. Our interview in County Corner is with Tate Mayo, elected mayor of Tarboro, NC, and Libertarian success story.
If you need some more insight, check out Season 3, Episode 3 of Liberty iNC, where Larry Sharpe specifically talks about running for office as a Libertarian.
We need candidates. We have resources to help. But you won't know if you don't try.
Your rights, all the time. Nothing more, nothing less, no exceptions. Simple as that.
Welcome back to the third season of Liberty iNC, your Liberty-lynchpin, constitutional-crossroads, posh-porcupine-perspective podcast. This season, we have an extraordinary lineup of guests that some people are saying might be the best lineup in the whole history of podcasting, which we can neither confirm nor deny.
If you like it, let us know at [email protected]. And if you don’t like it, let us know then too. We welcome feedback, critiques, ideas, and suggestions. And if it's something you think might interest you in helping out, we have plenty of interesting stuff to do.
Keep an eye out for a new episode each weekend.
by Joshua D. Glawson
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.
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 not seen.
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)
Rally to Save Faith, Hope and Love
Saturday, June 17, 12 Noon.
Come make your voice heard and stand up for Pastor Moses Colbert against the tyrants in Gastonia! We have said so much about this terrible situation. If you aren't convinced now, we have nothing more to say. It is time to make our voices heard. Come to the Rally to Save Pastor Moses' Faith, Hope, and Love ministry.
NC Stop Torture Now
The Libertarian Party of NC (LPNC) supports North Carolina Stop Torture Now (NCSTN) as an organization. NCSTN is holding an event which is also sponsored by LPNC.
WHAT: Vigil for Torture Accountability
WHERE: Johnston Regional Airport, home of Aero Contractors, the CIA's "torture taxi" airline
WHEN: Monday, June 26, 2023, 4:00 to 6:00 pm
WHY: June 26 is UN International Day in Solidarity with the Victims of Torture. The U.S. has never held itself accountable for its program of systematic kidnapping and torture in the so-called "war on terror." North Carolina has never acknowledged its vital role in providing pilots and planes to kidnap people and haul them to torture chambers. The CIA used Aero Contractors, its proprietary aviation company headquartered at the Johnston County Airport, for at least 49 of these kidnappings.We insist that the state investigate Aero Contractors, which may still be carrying out human rights abuses using public infrastructure.
PLAN: On June 26, 2023, we will join thousands of people across the U.S. and around the world in demanding that the U.S. close Guantanamo and hold itself accountable for the terrible acts of disappearance and torture it has committed. We will rally from 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the corner of Highway 70 and Swift Creek Road, just outside the Johnston County Airport. Then we will process with banners along Swift Creek Road to Aero Contractors' gates at the south edge of the airport.
For more information, send email to [email protected].
Mises Institue Event Speech
This is a condensed version of the speech given by Jared Wall at the most recent Mises Institute event in South Carolina.
In the book Green Tyranny—a fantastic history of the environmental alarmism movement—author Rupert Darwall lays responsibility for the beginning of this movement at the feet of the Germans and the Swedes.
In 1967, a Swedish scientist published the first ever "theory" on acid rain. Four years later, Bert Bolin, a Swede who would go on to chair the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), wrote the first-ever government report on acid rain. It was a typical government report. Ninety pages long, it starts out with certainty: "The emission of sulfur into the atmosphere . . . has proved to be a major environmental problem." Fifty pages later, however, Bolin does admit to some doubt when he says, "It is very difficult to prove that damage . . . has in fact occurred." Nevertheless, the government report concludes decisively, "A reduction in the total emissions both in Sweden and in adjacent countries is required" (emphasis added).
It was in Germany where environmentalists and antinuclear activists entered into holy matrimony. Scaling back on nuclear power, making life difficult for owners of fossil fuel power plants, and subsidizing unreliable and inefficient solar and wind farms has been Germany’s consistent policy in the decades since. The result has been skyrocketing energy prices and an increasingly unreliable electrical grid. German engineers—having designed a bit of redundancy into their system—had historically never had problems with their electrical grid. However, by 2012, the country experienced one thousand brownouts. In 2013, that number was up to twenty-five hundred, and it has continued getting worse since. As a result, Germany’s industrial base, always a world leader, has been sadly declining as businesses choose to leave the country in search of more reliable electrical pastures.
In 1988, the IPCC was established during a meeting in Geneva, presided over by many of the same characters who’d been leading Sweden and Germany's environmentalist movements during the preceding decades.
One of the primary tasks assigned to the IPCC is to issue periodic "assessment reports" about the state of global climate change. These reports are hundreds of pages long and can be extremely technical. For attention-deficit-challenged politicians and journalists, these reports are issued with an accompanying summary. As a matter of routine, this summary mischaracterizes the substance and even the conclusions of the actual report. It is also regularly subjected to political meddling; for instance, when the IPCC issued its fifth assessment report in 2014, the German delegate to the IPCC insisted that language related to a pause or hiatus in the rise of global temperature be removed because "it would confuse German voters."
Moreover, the leaders of the environmentalist movement have historically been wrong on just about everything. For laughs:
Despite all this stupidity, corruption, and failure, the emotional pull of "save the world" propaganda remains powerful, and the environmentalist agenda marches on.
One of the biggest goals of this agenda has been to get us off fossil-fuel-generated electricity and onto wind-generated and solar-generated electricity. Admittedly, environmentalists have been extremely successful at installing large numbers of wind turbines and solar panels. They've been stunningly unsuccessful, though, in the pursuit of their primary goal of "getting us off" fossil fuels. Despite massive growth in the generating capacity of wind and solar farms, fossil-fuel-powered electric plants remain an irreplaceable component of a reliable electrical grid. Wind and solar power, as technology currently stands, cannot adequately substitute for power from fossil fuels. This is because wind and solar power suffer from the insurmountable problem of intermittency—wind turbines don’t work when it’s not windy, and solar panels don’t work when the sun's not shining.
Some have suggested that we could build large-scale battery storage facilities that, on sunny or windy days, could be used to bank excess electricity for later use and thus overcome this problem. Elon Musk recently even floated the idea of building a large-scale battery storage facility powered by wind and solar farms. It was going to cost $5 billion, require more lithium batteries than currently exist in the world, and be capable of storing about five minutes of United States’ electricity demand. Large-scale battery storage is simply not viable.
Another fun fact about wind and solar power and battery storage is that storing electricity in batteries is ten thousand times more expensive than storing oil in tanks or coal in piles.
Wind and solar farms have clearly added nothing of value. But it’s worse than that—they actively work to our detriment. For an electrical grid to work reliably, the supply of electricity must be constantly equalized with demand. If power plants are generating more electricity than is demanded by consumers, the electrical grid can be overloaded, and critical infrastructure can be catastrophically damaged.
On the other hand, if supply is unable to keep up with demand, the result is blackouts and brownouts. To deal with this physical constraint, power plants have historically been designed to serve two complementary purposes: baseline-load generation and variable-load generation. Given that a certain amount of electrical demand can be taken as constant, baseline generators are designed to operate reliably and inexpensively to meet that demand. Spikes in demand are handled by variable generators.
Wind and solar power function as neither. As opposed to baseline-load or variable-load generators, wind and solar farms are random and unreliable generators of electricity.
It’s true that on sunny or windy days, they can produce MASSIVE amounts of electricity. The problem is that this drives up supply regardless of demand—so when demand is not sufficiently high to account for the power generation from wind and solar farms, variable-load and even baseline-load power plants must throttle down their power generation to protect grid infrastructure from overload.
For baseline-load plants especially, which weren't designed to operate that way, the negative effects on maintenance and equipment lifetimes are significant. In real time, we are seeing the reliable portion of our electrical grid wearing out faster than it otherwise would.
The state of Texas makes the point. Texas holds the title of being the number one wind state in the US. For years, they have been investing billions of dollars into the installation of thousands of windmills across the state. To connect these wind farms to the grid required thirty-six hundred miles of transmission lines. Just the cost of those transmission lines was greater than $6.5 billion. The reliable portion of Texas' electrical grid was starved for funds to pay for this political misallocation of resources.
As a result, routine maintenance has increasingly been ignored, and emergency maintenance has become more and more routine. When Texas was hit by a winter storm in the winter of 2021, it caused an unexpected increase in winter electric demand. Unfortunately, at the time, a number of critical power plants were down for emergency maintenance, the grid was unable to keep up, and hundreds tragically died.
As if all that weren't enough, there is also the corruption and crony capitalism aspect of wind and solar. During times when wind and solar farms are ramping up supply, the wholesale price of electricity naturally falls. This leads to the owners of coal and natural gas power plants making very little money or sometimes even losing money on windy and sunny days.
On the other hand, because politicians want to force wind and solar power to work regardless of market realities, wind and power farm owners earn a subsidized rate for the electricity they generate regardless of the wholesale rate. Owners of wind and solar farms are therefore insulated from the consequences that their arbitrary and politically incentivized production of electricity has on the market.
To make this point one final way, in places where solar and wind power are pervasive, both the quality of the electrical grid and the cost of electricity rank poorly against places where solar and wind are scarce. Germany has increased its wind and solar generating capacity by thirteen times from 1999–2012; they've also recently announced the shutdown of their last nuclear power plant, and their cost per kilowatt-hour has risen to nearly fifty cents.
In the Carolinas, we pay between six and ten cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Households and business owners would no doubt be hard hit if their power bills were to increase by five to eight times. Unfortunately, that seems to be the direction we’re going. In North Carolina, we pay 18 percent more for electricity than do our neighbors in South Carolina, simply because North Carolina politicians insist on increasing solar production, while South Carolina remains primarily reliant on fossil fuel and nuclear power.
Certainly, there are very real problems related to the current state of things. However, the problem is not that we’re facing fossil-fuel-induced climate change so bad that drastic action is necessary to "save the planet." Rather, the problem we’re facing is the reaction to this fake crisis, which is leading to the degradation of the electrical grid we depend upon for our modern lifestyles.
A promising path forward in finding a solution to this problem is found in Alex Epstein’s great book Fossil Future.
His book’s overall thesis is that our strategy should be to pursue a change in rhetoric. To do this, we should frame our arguments about this issue from the standpoint of what is best for human flourishing.
On that front, he lays out three facts:
Therefore, rather than insist on working to scale back our consumption of fossil fuels, we should actively seek to increase it—especially in the poorest parts of the world.
Beyond this brilliant thesis, Epstein's book is a fantastic scientific and historical refutation of all things environmentalist alarmism. Perhaps the best example of that is his demolition of Al Gore's infamous "hockey stick" curve. First, he demonstrates clearly that Gore’s graph, which shows Earth’s temperature as being constant for centuries only to spike up since the Industrial Revolution of the 1850s, is false. Second, he demonstrates that there is a hockey stick curve that is true and that people should be stupefied by—the graph of human flourishing over time.
For centuries, human flourishing had been flat in terms of life expectancy, standard of living, access to electricity, and caloric intake. Only since the 1850s, when humanity started burning fossil fuels, has all of this changed. Since then, we’ve seen human flourishing—by any measure one would choose—spike up in exactly this same "hockey stick" fashion.
In conclusion, market economics leads to business owners making informed and calculated investments in things like LED lighting technology for purposes of raising their bottom line as well. Market economics will also lead to the development of a robust and reliable electrical grid. Political economics, on the other hand, leads to corruption, cronyism, an electrical grid on the verge of failure, higher costs of energy, and a top-down "solution" to a fake crisis that is causing diminished human flourishing.
Just like everything else, in the case of energy efficiency as well as energy production, it is best to trust the market.
Jared Wall is currently employed as a Sales Engineer working for Southpoint Solutions based out of Fort Mill, SC. For more, follow visit jaredwall.com for semi-regular anecdotes from his decade+ career in energy efficiency.
Apparently our rulers in local government failed elementary-school arithmetic.
They are proposing a county property tax rate of 0.61 and a city rate of 0.47, per $100 of assessed value.
Suppose you had a house assessed at $200k in 2022, and the assessment went up by 66% in 2023 (as mine did).
In 2022 you would have paid property tax of $1620 to the county and $1040 to the city.
But in 2023, our “leaders” say you’ll pay $2062 to the county and $1589 to the city, up 27% and 53% respectively, for a total tax bill increase of 37%. In
But of course our rulers aren’t stupid. Avaricious, yes; stupid, no.
So we COULD all be obedient little subjects, and continue to vote in Republicans and Democrats, ignoring Einstein’s line that the definition of insanity is
doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Or is it time to elect Libertarian Party candidates?
David Hoesly, Member of Gaston County Libertarian Party
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.
Bryce Acer, Pendar County LP Chair
This month, the Tarheel caught up with Pender County LP Chair, Bryce Acer. Bryce is soft-spoken and mid-mannered, one of the kindest people you will meet. But don’t be fooled; he’s quicker than a politician taking a bribe; Bryce has served as the LPNC IT Director, and has his own IT company that has taken on some huge clients like US Foods and SAS as well as some heavy hitter libertarian sites such as You Are the Power and Gold New Deal. His love for music ranges from the classics (Beatles, Rolling Stones) to modern chart toppers (Tame Impala, MGMT) and even a taste for the heaviest of metal (Opeth, In Flames).
Quite a discussion with the Chair from the leader of one of our more active counties. Bryce, Pender and the surrounding areas, in particular, put on FireFest last year, arguably the most heralded internal LPNC event besides convention. Enjoy this interview, and remember to keep and eye out for details about FireFest 2023
Tar Heel: Bryce, thank you again for sitting down with us. Before we get into the politics of things, we ask every month, tell the readers a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, what brought you to North Carolina, and what kept you here?
Bryce Acer: I’m a born and raised Buckeye, growing up in Columbus, OH, before making my way to Dayton where I attended the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!). Kim [Acer, fellow active Libertarian, and Bryce's wife] and I lived in Dayton for 10 years until we finally got fed up with the grey Ohio winters and decided to move to the coast. We spent time in Wilmington, Myrtle, Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville and found that we loved Wilmington’s charm and people the best. We’ve been in the coastal Carolina region now for 9 years and are thrilled to call it "home!"
Tar Heel: That’s quite a story, and an interesting progression. Outside the politics, what drives you? What are your interests, your passions, and what do you do with your down time?
Acer: I’ve been a technologist my whole life and knew I’d be in the computer industry since I was in elementary school. I love learning about open source software and how we can leverage the collective tools being built to enable us to control our own data footprints. In my spare time, I set up many tools to help my friends and family divest from typical "cloud" platforms such as running our own chat servers (Mattermost) and our own "box" syncs (Nextcloud). I also have been running my own "Spotify" (Subsonic) for 10+ years which allows me (and 100s of friends) to stream our own music collections wherever we are in the world.
Speaking of music… I'm a huge live music junky and have been to hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of live shows. I collect set lists from these shows and have recently passed the 100 setlist count. Some of my favorite setlists are The Who, Tame Impala, Paul Simon, 311, Weezer, My Morning Jacket, Styx, Gary Clark Jr, and many, many more.
Tar Heel: OK, getting into the political side, what specifically was your "red pill" moment? When did you realize you were Libertarian?
Acer: I always have been as far as I can remember. Some of my earliest political memories are of watching the Ross Perot presidential debates and realizing that there were third parties that weren’t the big Rs or Ds. I enjoyed hearing that he had a different perspective than the mainstream (although I didn't agree with everything he stood for). I actually am more interested in the economic systems vs the political ones but understand that the political sphere can and does influence the economic sphere (sometimes very heavily!).
The Libertarian Party is a great fit for me because I am a huge fan of ideas winning the day vs needing to use force to get political means accomplished. If I had my way everything would be opt-in and no one would be forced to participate in something they disagreed with without giving their consent. I find it very frustrating that my own personal labor and that of all my employees is stolen and used either against us or for aims that do not align with our morals and values. Stop stealing our wealth to bomb weddings in Yemen!
Tar Heel: Following up on that, what issues are the most important to you now? Specifically, on a broad scale, and then in North Carolina and your locale, if the answer is different, and why are those important to you?
Acer: The most important issue to me is to stop the death and destruction we (and most governments) are wreaking across the world. Although the wars we've engaged in over the past decades have a huge debt cost to us, the more worrying part to me is the violence and death they create in their wake. We can make more things, we can’t bring people back from the dead.
In North Carolina I would like to see laws enacted to prevent the executive branch from ever putting in place the draconian mandates that Cooper enacted with his [Bryce made quote fingers here] emergency powers. One person should not have the power to shut down the economy and prevent people from living their lives and earning their wages.
Locally, we're happy with how free Hampstead, NC is. We are unincorporated and I'm on the board of a local group that fought those trying to incorporate our "town" five years ago. We love that the first point of government overlords is Pender County vs a local municipality. We only have sheriffs and they must run for election, which gives us at least some modicum of power.
Tar Heel: One final repeat question, that we discussed with Matt [Clements – Orange County Chair], Travis [Groo – WakeLP Chair], Jeff, and Steve [Scott and DiFiore, prior and current MeckLP Chairs]. I asked them, how do we make progress in areas where the Liberty message is facing strong headwinds, and I want to ask you the same question, but I think it is a different angle, as they all Chair deep blue counties, and Pender skews pretty hard team red. What challenges do you face and how do you address them?
Acer: We find that many people we interact with in Pender have very strong Libertarian views. Our main goal is to educate them that their goals of freedom and liberty actually don’t align with the Republicans. Our local representative, David Rouser, is one of the most RINO of all those in congress. The sad part is that most people we interface with haven’t actually heard of and/or understand the Libertarian party and its ideals. Our top priority is education and showing people how their true beliefs are actually trampled on by "team red" and that it would behoove them to either switch to Libertarian and/or to independent, and stop blindly supporting a party that sells them out when push comes to shove. Case in point this current debt limit bill called, of course, the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Tar Heel: Pender isn’t entirely Liberty-averse. Can you tell our readers more about the story of fighting the effort to incorporate there a few years ago?
Acer: I'm on the board of a group called Save Our Community, which is actually a nonpartisan group with Libertarians, Republicans, and a Democrat on the board. We banded together because the proposal would cost our area millions of dollars and would only add roadblocks with zero net benefits. The group proposing to incorporate did several town hall presentations in which they quoted Karl Marx, no joke! They drew some very racist borders, specifically cutting out a section of town where many descendants of enslaved people live while expanding the other side to include a very wealthy neighborhood, and tried to sell the police state by saying we'd get access to "drones, security cameras, and K9 units!" I'm not sure how they thought this would align with the residents of Hampstead, NC, but apparently where they came from, which was mostly New York and New Jersey, these were seen as positives?
We then hosted a rebuttal town hall to give our side of the story and our LP treasurer, Stratton Lobdell, presented the case on behalf of the Save Our Community group. We had about 150 people attend and it went very, very well. From initial polling it was about 85-15 against and the issue never went to vote. Sadly, with the recent influx of people coming to the coast, we expect this issue to come up again in the next couple of years and it might not be as easy of a win.
Tar Heel: That’s a crazy story, and it takes committed people. It’s no surprise how friendly and supportive the organizational environment is in Pender, and some of the surrounding counties. What do you do to keep everyone engaged and working together?
Acer: The Libertarian Party of Pender County actually has a Meet and Greet in Pender every Thursday. We’ve been meeting in person weekly for several years, more than five, and it keeps us all engaged. It was tough to get this rolling and there were many times in the first year where only one of us was holding down the fort. Now that we have a good core group of Libertarians, and friends, we are able to meet and have great liberty-minded discussions on a regular basis. This keeps everyone informed and involved as well as provides a great starting point for anyone joining us for the first time. Whenever we have new people, we try to have one person from the group focus on them and engage in a liberty-focused conversation without overwhelming them with a whole team focus.
We have a great relationship with a liberty-supporting local establishment and they know we are there and are able to direct anyone new to our table. They also kept open and let us continue to meet in person, and without masks, since early May 2020.
Tar Heel: Another interesting thing about Pender is that isn't a small county, at sixty thousand, but it isn't big either, and it's fairly spread out. What challenges does that structure present, and what opportunities are there?
Acer: Admittedly, we don't do a great job focusing on some of the more rural western portions of the county. We try to switch our meet and greet locations every so often and head to restaurants within those areas, but one of our shortcomings is that we do tend to focus on the more populated coastal areas more. Hopefully we can recruit some Libertarians from the other side of the county to host events and provide a good support system with those regions.
We also created a "super group" called the Cape Fear Libertarian Party which encompasses Pender, New Hanover, Brunswick, Duplin, and Onslow counties. With this group we are able to partner and pool volunteers across counties for events. One that has been a big success has been Duplin’s Blues, Brews, and Que’s festival which we have tabled several years. We also bring a lot of our Pender team down to Wilmington for festivals in that area. This regional party helps each county share resources, people, funds, and ideas.
Tar Heel: You're a tech wizard, and you have been engaged in the Liberty movement from that perspective both as a volunteer and as a professional. What technology solutions are we potentially missing that could be helpful in spreading our message and reaching people?
Acer: Switch from Slack to Mattermost!!!
I would love, and have advocated for, for the LPNC to own all of its data. We currently store everything on a Google drive, we use Slack for chat, we heavily use Facebook for marketing and event coordination. We do not own our own data at this point and it can, and will, be used against us in the future whether it is de-platforming, data mining, censoring, and/or just charging us for our own data. It isn’t free or easy to take control of your digital footprint but I feel it is necessary and will allow us to grow and be in control of our data. We are at a time where there are now a lot of open source tools that can enable us to make this a priority.
I would support and recommend a campaign to raise funds to build out an IT team and infrastructure. The tech isn’t free and it would be good to have a paid person on staff, at least part time, to help take care of it.
Tar Heel: OK, closing questions... What’s next for Bryce?
Acer: I’m bummed that I had to step down from my position from IT director of the LPNC but I made the decision that I needed to put all of my efforts towards focusing on the two companies I run. Being a CEO isn’t easy and takes a lot of my time. I hope the transition is going smoothly for the new team and I know the LPNC is in great hands with Tim, James, and Matthew. Also, Brad Hessel is a rockstar! He has been so important in the LPNC IT space for years. Please go out of your way to thank him if you have not, lately. I actually made the decision to step down from all roles except my Chair position. I was treasurer of our local HOA, and many other volunteer positions. I hope to be back, but my two companies are growing quickly, in fact, I hired a new engineer just today, but that means I don’t have spare time this year.
Tar Heel: Thank you again for your time. One final question I ask everyone, what advice would you have for people just joining the Liberty movement, with passion but maybe looking for direction?
Acer: Educate yourself on Libertarian ideas. Our ideas are what truly shine. Although keeping up with the politics is important, realize it is not the most important. Our ideas and our love for our community will shine brighter than the rest of the pack.
Be kind to the Rs and Ds but don't make excuses for them. Most of them just haven’t had the time to learn about Libertarianism and understand why it actually fits better for them. Have patience but also stand firm. There is never a justification for force to get political means.
by Patrick Newton, Forward Party NC Director of Candidate Recruitment and Development
The Tar Heel is excited to introduce guest author Patrick Newton this edition. Patrick is part of the leadership team at the recently formed Forward Party NC. We have been discussing with them, among other things, opportunities to help them collect petition signatures to get on the ballot, and the subject of term limits came up. Given that I have yet to meet a Libertarian who is against government limitations, and also understanding that term limits are a nuanced issue with a number of different potential impacts and implications, we asked Patrick to make his case for term limits here. As he states, he is not representative of the Forward Party in this position, nor is this meant to reflect a position of the LPNC either way. Instead, it is meant to spur further conversation and discussion.
Whatever happened to term limits?
Seems we’ve been discussing them for decades. The large majority of voters are FOR term limits, and it is reflected in polling time after time. On the national level, even Ted Cruz sponsored a bill for term limits. I’m sure it will die a slow and painful death, but it’s a bill, which happens… but rarely.
I believe we should build a coalition of North Carolinians to focus on the issue of term limits. There are so many things our political parties, and our citizens, can argue about, while we ignore opportunities to drive change in areas where we all generally agree. What could be an easier place to start than term limits? Right, left, republican, democrat, urban, rural, libertarian - it doesn’t matter (unless you’re authoritarian, but that’s who we want to prevent from holding power). We can all agree we are sick and tired of career politicians and we, the citizens, want to do something about it.
Benefits of Term Limits
If we enacted term limits in North Carolina, it would allow elected officials to actually be… elected officials. Currently, they spend a large amount of their time as candidates, even while in office, where they prioritize re-election over public service. If an elected official was limited to two terms, for example, at least during his/her second term, re-election would not demand all that official’s focus, and we might see people vote based on conscience instead of how the party tells them.
Term limits also create a broadly more fair system. The way the system is setup now, it is very difficult to remove a seated representative. For example:
Imagine the improvements we could realize almost immediately with term limits in NC (and beyond). When a seat is filled by a representative who will be reaching his/her limit at the end of the term, the next election will be a free and open election. This will create space for candidates from NC Libertarians, NC Forwardists, and other parties to participate in an election where there is no incumbent, and will also force Democrats and Republicans to rely more on actual policy position for candidates, not personality and connections.
Then, of course, there is the beautiful result of no more career politicians. For example, NC Representative Mickey Michaux retired a few years ago at the age of 87, after holding office for 35 years. Many North Carolinians believe that is far too long for any one person to hold the same position in our legislature. It is hard to imagine someone like that consistently putting the needs of his constituents above his own and those of his long-time donors, though.
Senior members often secure key committee positions, resulting in the concentration of power and a strong incentive for more junior members to “fall in line.” Meanwhile, these same rookies are left on the outside looking in when it comes to having an impact on policy. If there were term limits the general assembly would be forced to start finding some middle ground. Their power would have limits. It could lead to meaningful dialogue between multiple parties to do what’s in the best interest of everyday North Carolinians.
If you want to really dig into it, Nick Tomboulides does an incredible job of making the argument, addressing the potential objections, and concluding we need term limits in America. Check out his testimony in Congress from a few years ago if you haven’t seen it.
I should point out I am part of the leadership for the North Carolina Forward Party. We are working hard to gather signatures so we can gain ballot access. I want to make it clear the opinions I have shared above are my own, and are not to be considered a statement from the NC Forward Party.
Thank you for taking the time to read this today. I believe there are so many good people in NC who can come together over the things on which we agree and really make a difference in our state. I look forward to having this conversation with you.
If you would like to share your thoughts on term limits in North Carolina, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at [email protected]
If you would like to help the Forward Party collect signatures for ballot access, go here for further instructions.
Interview with Tarboro, NC Mayor Tate Mayo
Think locally. Project decentralized revolution. These aren’t marketing gimmicks, they are real reflections of the values that we hold as Libertarians. It has sometimes been a slow march forward, but we are making gains, slowly but surely. It all starts with making change where we can immediately make a difference right in our own backyard.
Today, the Tar Heel wants to introduce you to Tate Mayo. Tate won the mayor’s race for his native Tarboro, North Carolina on May 17, 2022. Prior to that, he was elected to the town council, serving the same function as his grandfather before him. While the race was non-partisan, Tate is a Libertarian.
Tar Heel: Tate, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Tell our readers about yourself. What would you like North Carolina to know about Tate Mayo?
Tate Mayo: I'm no different than anyone else in this beautiful world; I'm just a kid from somewhere. I was fortunate in growing up on my family's farm just outside of Tarboro. Today I work the same land for a living that my family has tended since before the founding of our country. My sisters and I are currently working on a project to make textile products out of the cotton from our farm at the textile mill that we've operated since 1931.
Tar Heel: And of course politics. What is it that made you want to run for office?
Mayo: I ended up in local politics because I was called. When I first ran for Tarboro's Town Council it was because I was approached to do so. Just to get the people asking me to run off of my back I went to the Edgecombe County Elections office, paid my ten-dollar filing fee and ended up winning by less than ten votes.
When our previous mayor announced that he wasn't going to seek reelection, the same thing happened but by a different group of people when they heard who else was going to put their name in the hat. Agreeing that I would be a better fit for the role than the others that decided to run, I agreed to do it.
Tar Heel: Do you feel the connection to your hometown? What about to your grandfather?
Mayo: I have always loved my hometown of Tarboro. In my youth I wanted to get as far away as possible. As I grew older I came to the realization that I could go anywhere and do anything that I was capable of achieving but I was happiest at home. In April of 2018 I quit my job in Raleigh and moved home with no real plans as to what the next step was. It has been a struggle trying to make an honest living but I wouldn't trade my life in Tarboro for anything.
My grandfather, Columbus Washington "Lum" Mayo III, was my childhood hero. He was impatient as anyone, gruff as a bear but had a heart of gold and I was lucky enough to be his little buddy. He, like all of us humans, was imperfect. His strengths far outpaced his shortcomings and more than compensated for such. I often go by my grandparent's gravesite to this day to speak what is on my mind and ask them to look out for the matters in which I worry.
Tar Heel: And you’re a farmer. What is it about that connection to the land makes people tend to be Liberty-minded?
Mayo: Farming is not easy and that is why it is gratifying. The amount of time, physical labor, technology and reliance on the Earth teaches anyone willing to learn many hard-learned lessons. Ninety-nine percent of farmers are just trying to make ends meet by honest means. The disdain for folks out to make an easy dollar out of speculation, regulators, and encroachment of land by development hits hard when it's your livelihood that is slowly being chipped away an acre at a time.
It hurts my soul to hear how little people know about where their food comes from. There are a lot of hard-working people that get by on scraps to make sure that the country can eat three meals a day at an affordable rate. Farming is also the most regulated industry in the United States. We report everything that we plant in every field to the FSA. We have to get a license to spray what we must on our crops. All the while we get criticized en masse by the media, politicians, and the general public for doing the things that we must do to put food on the plates of the same people that speak ill of us.
Tar Heel: Can you talk about some ways the state has interfered with your right and ability to farm for your family?
Mayo: Trade agreements. Bureaucratic directives. Quotas. Buyouts. Labor. Education. Energy. Delisting chemicals. Mandated ten-year trials to bring new technologies to the market. You name something that the government does and I can find a way that it adversely affects farmers. Even the so-called Farm Bill does very little for farmers.
Trade agreements and tariffs can open or close entire markets overnight. They can also undercut or cut out entirely us or farmers elsewhere in the world. Short-term gains quickly level off and leave us with long-term deficits.
Through bureaucratic directives like the EPA's Waters of the US (WOTUS) our ability to do things as simple as cleaning out a ditch can quickly turn from hopping in the backhoe to paying an engineering firm to get the go ahead to keep our fields from flooding.
Quotas, like that given to tobacco farmers artificially prop up markets temporarily but eventually completely wipe out domestic markets when foreign competition is given incentive to catch up.
Buyouts like that given to farmers after the collapse of the American tobacco production are a nice "get better soon" from the government. However, measures like this are just the icing on the cake of an industry killed by governmental actions.
Trying to find someone to work on the farm in the age of social mdeia [finger quotes] influencers is near impossible. Rarely will anyone find someone young that is willing to do what it takes to be a farmer aside from growing a small garden or having some backyard chickens. Our industry has resorted to importing labor through the H2A program. We are being forced to pay people from other countries to come and work our farms. Their minimum wage is twice that of the Federal minimum wage, we are required to have the county and state inspect their housing annually that we provide, and they have no taxes taken from their paychecks. It is a great form of foreign aid as we actually get something in return for what we put into it.
Education in my county is particularly lacking. If you attend a public school in Edgecombe County, aside from the Edgecombe County Early College, you will leave at 18 completely unprepared for life in industry or academia. Luckily we have had a charter school for the last 10 years that offers much promise.
Energy policy touches just about every aspect of farming. When you fill up your gas tank and prices are high it hurts. Imagine having to fill up 2,500 gallons at a time rather than the 10-30 in an average car. That is just on the surface level. Just about all of our nitrogen is produced from natural gas and relatively little of it is produced domestically. Just about all of the precursors to the chemicals we need are also imported from China. We could do all of it domestically if our country wouldn't regulate the energy and chemical companies to death. Exporting a problem doesn't make it go away.
Tar Heel: As mayor, how have you been able to push back against that overreach, and what are some changes you would like to see in Raleigh to make it easier for farmers?
Mayo: The mayoral position is largely a figurehead. As such, there is little that I can do to push back other than speaking my mind. A good example of such is sitting through a meeting with state bureaucrats discussing progress of a thirty million dollar grant to help alleviate the flooding that has happened twice in my community over the last twenty four years.
Twenty four years after the first of the floods they have only gotten as far as to tell us where the water comes in at. There are a lot of non-engineers in our community that can say firsthand where we flood from. I told them that it is pure corruption on an institutional level that almost a quarter of a century after realizing that we have a real problem that nothing of substance has been done.
In 2011 we lost our ability to have franchise agreements with telecom companies. This has left our community with internet infrastructure that was put in in 1978, is completely unreliable and we have little say other than to pay or not pay for a service, although I would argue that it is a utility in this day and age. I have personally gone to our Attorney General, Josh Stein, about our townwide outages, lack of quality and timely repairs - I went nineteen days without service but still had to pay for it. The response was a meeting with the company in question from Mr. Stein's office that was largely overshadowed by a proclamation that he made against menthol cigarettes on the same day. Little changed after the meeting.
After hearing our Governor, Roy Cooper, speak to "bringing high-speed, reliable and affordable internet to rural communities" several times over a period of a couple of years I wrote down our problems, what we've done as a town, and an ask for help. When he came to town I asked him in person what was being done. There was no answer. Only a baffled look, a handoff of a letter and an awkward back to his state-funded transportation. If anyone says they're going to do something, hold them accountable to their claims. Our Governor is not.
Tar Heel: What was running for mayor like?
Mayo: It was a rollercoaster. Joys, sorrows and countless frustrations. I never asked for a donation and raised over six-thousand dollars. I never asked anyone to put up a sign and over 400 were requested. I never spoke ill of the folks running for the same spot publicly or privately, yet one candidate attacked me personally, my family, my family's business, family history, and honestly I'm surprised that she didn't go after my dog as well.
Due to redistricting and an injunction by the NC Supreme Court the election was held in May. This may be fine and dandy to most, but for a farmer in Eastern North Carolina it lands the race dead in the middle of planting season. I was only able to get out on the streets for four days, with one of those days being election day. To say that anything was easy about the campaign would be an outright lie.
I just want my community to be left better than it was when I started. Sadly, there was a split in my community caused by unnecessary means outside of my control. Despite the personal attacks lodged at me by a former friend and calls for her to be fired by the local school board in which she is employed, I wrote a letter asking for her to not lose her job and that policy not be changed to restrict the speech of employees of the school system on account of one incident. Only one person on the school board ever acknowledged receiving the letter.
Tar Heel: How different was that from your first campaign?
Mayo: The first campaign was a cake walk compared to the second. There was no negative attacking by anyone and we all got along just fine afterwards. The second required far more logistics, cooperation, and delegation.
Tar Heel: Any advice you can share for other people thinking about running for office and oping to emulate your success?
Mayo: It is a sad fact of politics that it requires a level of narcissism to think that you can do better than the next person. The same trait that compels one to seek any office can also destroy one from within if not kept in check. Be sure that you're running to make your community a better place rather than propelling yourself into "power." If your goal is to gain "power" stay at home.
Make friends, especially with people that don't think along the same lines as you. It is easy to say "this is the way it should be" before understanding how it actually is. Hearts and minds are won one person at a time. Honest discussions with people holding vastly different views are the best way of creating understanding and creating common ground. Despite all of our differences, there is no person that common ground can't be identified.
Tar Heel: Amazing, thank you again for doing this. We are looking forward to watching the star of Tate Mayo rise. Before we go, any final message you want to give to Liberty lovers in North Carolina?
Mayo: Be your own advocate. Show up. Be heard. Be known. Do not be anonymous.
There is a great deal that happens on a local level. In my opinion the most pertinent issues that we face are dealt with first at a local level. Go to public meetings in your town, city, county, school board, etc. Meet the people making the decisions that affect your daily life. Compliment when things go well. Bring solutions to the table rather than problems. It is easy to point out a problem but figuring the problem out is where the music is made.
Whatever it is that you do, do it with love. Wherever it is that you find frustration, show grace. Wherever it is that you see slack, take on the responsibility.
The LPNC affiliate team is seeking regional liaisons to assist counties or regions in becoming official affiliates of the LPNC. Liaisons are responsible for following up with local organizers, as well as keeping open communication with those already active. They serve as coordinators between local groups and the LPNC; offering guidance, sharing information and resources, and updating contact information. They should be organized, with strong communication skills, and the willingness to attend virtual, bi-weekly meetings and work collectively to give updates, resolve issues, and find new opportunities.
Meetings are every other Monday at 8 PM.
Please e-mail Kimberly Acer at [email protected] if you are interested!
Mike Ross Reflects on the Carthage Buggy Festival
Just a couple weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of attending the Carthage Buggy Festival. I was there meeting Christopher Nance from Moore County, our gracious host affiliate. I was also promoting my campaign, collecting signatures to help another party get ballot access, and spending time listening to the people of North Carolina.
When I started this campaign, I knew it would be long and grueling. I expected both peaks and valleys, and that it would test my endurance as much as anything else. And I assumed that the cost of visiting all 100 counties was going to be exacting.
And yet, now a solid few months into my campaign, I've found the opposite to be true. The people of this state really are what make it exceptional, and each hand I shake and story I hear, everyone who shares in the sorrow they experienced because of some uncaring outcome forced upon them from the government overreach of a faceless bureaucrat, or those who lift my spirits with tales of perseverance and do-it-yourself grit and self-sufficiency... you all are more amazing than you know.
I met one young woman from Carthage born and raised, She was in town for the festival, then headed back to college. She was telling me how she planned on moving back to Carthage when she graduated next year, something she had long promised herself she wouldn't to do. "The more I think about it, the more it just feels like home, if that makes sense," she told me. Believe me, it makes sense.
A town council member and I talked about the town for so long, as he took time out of his day to discuss all the local politics with me. He talked about struggles Carthage has faced and the challenges they faced down. He talked to me about how much he and the town were limited in trying to be effective stewards of Carthage, hampered by heavy handed and broad oversite and restriction from Raleigh.
I'm glad I got to explain my nullification plan. We discussed how, as governor, I would make sure that no municipality would ever be subjugated to the authority of a centralized government entity to their own detriment. I relish opportunities like that, where I can show exactly how my message translates to meaningful, useful change for North Carolinians.
I learned about Carthage, its history, and a little of its folklore. The festival was so much fun for my family and me, and we have already started making plans for next year. I got to connect with a promising, motivated affiliate in a wonderful part of our amazing state.
Carthage, thank you for an amazing day! I left with a smile on my face. Every one of you, every time I meet you, see you, or hear your stories, you reinforce why I am doing this. There are real problems that you have to deal with, exacerbated by a central authority concerned only with its donors and reelection bids. I am different, in a way no uniparty politician has ever been. I am concerned with you and your rights, no exceptions.
I'm doing this so you can live your life in a way that's best for you, with opportunity, good educations, safe streets, and nothing preventing you from chasing your little slice of the American dream, right here in North Carolina. With your support, I'll make sure that, for you, and your kids, and their kids beyond, it just feels like home.
Eric catches the police directly in violation of their own rules, arbitrary though they may be, but, as usual, it looks like no one will be held accountable. Read Eric's note below, and then check to see if your speeding ticket was given legally.
Government is made up of people, and people are not perfect. Some of these people in government have been granted the power to seize your person or property, so people in government should always be held accountable when they abuse their power.
This isn't exactly groundbreaking stuff for the readers of this newsletter, but the recent story involving a Huntersville Police Officer stopping motorists allegedly for speeding while having an expired radar certification is a good example of why we all have to be vigilant in monitoring abuses of power. I am a staunch advocate for being involved in your local government because this is where the majority of us can have the greatest impact in reducing the size of government (or at least limiting its growth).
But for my consistent focus on the local over the past few years, this story would have very likely had a different outcome for the 25 motorists involved who ultimately had their tickets dismissed by the DA when this evidence came to light. An anonymous source provided me information that lead directly to Huntersville Police having to admit their error and take corrective action.
By consistently holding local government accountable over the years, I have established enough credibility that people in the community reach out to me with concerns - you can become this person in your community. Start by making sure you know when your local town board meetings are, then make sure you're receiving notice of the agenda and agenda packets for upcoming meetings, start reviewing those agendas, know who your local electeds and department heads are, know what is in your local budget, start asking questions, start asking for records, and find somewhere to start gathering an audience to share information about your local government with.
If your efforts can result in protecting even one person from government abuse, it's time well spent.
Guns are not Cars
Analysis of a bad analogy
by Justin Hinckley, LPNC Second Amendment Issues Coordinator
Cars kill more people every year than guns! You need a license to drive a car! We register cars! A car is also a weapon!
Whether you are pro-gun, anti-gun, or some other prefix related to guns, you have probably heard and used analogies related to cars. I'm not sure why or how this comparison gained popularity, and I admit to using car-related analogies in the past, but we need to put an end to it. In almost every debate or discussion I have, it comes up.
Cars and guns share very little in common insofar as their typical usage and the nature of these tools. Even semantically, cars and guns share very little in common. Pick most of the varied metrics people choose for comparison of differing items and cars differ vastly from guns in average price, fuel used, size, commonality of use, demographic distributions, market annual revenue, and number of parts.
Perhaps most importantly, cars and guns are actively employed for totally different reasons. What do I mean when I say "actively employed?" I mean the tool is being operated mechanically in a way that its parts were designed to function. With that definition we immediately see the disjunction in analogies. In order to have performed their duty, cars must be actively used. We get in our car and drive from point A to point B. Without this transportation, your car has not helped you and has not performed its duty. Cars are active tools that require active employment to receive value from them.
Now take guns. How often does your typical concealed carrier say a gun has done its job? Everyday they carry it. Now, how often does your typical concealed carrier employ their handgun actively by firing it at a threat? What about pointing it a threat? Most data indicate firing or pointing a concealed firearm at a threat is a once-in-a-lifetime, or less, occurrence, far less if we look only at actually firing the gun. Most concealed carriers will never fire their gun at an aggressor. Yet those who carry still think of their gun as having done its duty at the end of every day.
This tells us that a concealed firearm (or home-defense gun for that matter) is a tool which can be passively employed. "Passively employed" means a tool which can perform its duties without being mechanically operated. Firearms are not carried everyday because we know that in order to successfully complete a task we need this specific tool, akin to a screwdriver or a laptop. No, firearms are carried in case of the need to complete one very specific task; self-defense.
Most of us do not find ourselves with the need to defend our life with any sort of regularity. In other words, we carry not because of the odds we need to use it, but because of the stakes if we need it. Should we need our gun, we know our life (and possibly the lives of loved ones) is on the line. Therefore, the defensive gun is a passive tool. It is on duty just in case. It is a fire extinguisher, an AED, a seatbelt, or an airbag. All devices designed specifically for a narrow set of circumstances and to accomplish one primary mission. Extinguish the fire, fix an irregular heart rhythm, prevent ejection, reduce the trauma of impact, and stop a violent attack. Mostly, they sit where they are supposed to sit and do nothing.
Except only to the uninitiated are those tools doing nothing. Those of us who envision and prepare for the worst know there is value to preparedness, even if the tools are never actively employed. Better to need it and not have it, the saying goes. I do not want to leave it up to the fire in my kitchen to decide how much of my house is destroyed. I want a vote, and my extinguisher gives me a vote. All safety equipment is of this nature. It exists for a worst-case scenario and provides you a tool to employ to influence the final outcome of the given circumstances.
In the same way, firearms provide us the tool for survival or victory. Guns are safety equipment, let us start comparing them to other pieces of safety equipment. All these tools are great in the moment, but require thinking ahead. So too, do guns. The first step in accomplishing their respective missions is to be present prior to the emergency. Without that prior preparation, no amount of wishing or running will provide us the reprieve a properly staged emergency tool would have.
Contrast this requirement to that of a car. For the true purpose of a car (easy and fast daily transportation), no such prior planning is required. We can predict and plan for work, school, errands, vacation, and socializing in a much different and less catastrophic way. Work does not jump out from a dark alley at a moment’s notice, contrary to the feeling of dread many people have on Sunday evenings. Errands do not kill me or my family if I am not prepared for them at a moment's notice. If I am unable to socialize because I do not own a car, I can decide to purchase a car and go socialize at some point in the future. The immediacy does not exist in the car ownership paradigm in the same way as guns.
Going forward it is time to put the cars versus guns analogy in the rearview mirror (groan away...). Let us leave such comparisons to rust in the field, ironically one of the few topics where cars and guns have similar traits. There are narrow areas where comparison may be useful between cars and guns, but the broad level with which we often analogize is inappropriate. When it comes to deaths, implementation, training, and general purpose we should find better comparisons. Cars are vital tools to vastly increase the efficiency of our lives. Guns are safety equipment which save lives in specific circumstances.
Do not let yourself be limited to the suggestions offered above for analogy. Find your own piece of emergency or safety equipment you stage in your daily life to save or protect you and use that as the comparison going forward. In this way, we can reclassify guns via our discussion. They are not neat tools that improve our life like a car, but the life-saving means we use to protect ourselves. Let’s talk about them as such.
"The right to own private property that cannot be arbitrarily regulated or confiscated by the government is the moral and constitutional basis for individual freedom"
Listen Live: Freedom Forum Radio
Podcast: Freedom Forum Radio Podcast Index
Nothing says "Freedom" like a freezer full of quality meat! Fox Knob Farm near Elkin, NC raises heritage breed pastured pork the old-fashioned way, no medications, and nothing toxic. Reserve your whole or half pork share today and select how you'd like your pork custom processed. If you haven't started building your locally-sourced food network yet, we can help get you started! Learn more at foxknobfarm.com and contact us at [email protected].
Whiskey and Wisdom Podcast
Check out New Hanover Affiliate member Tyler Yaw and his co-host Chris Kellum in their exploration of the world, its people, and its spirits. They smartly and succinctly cover a truly eclectic array of engaging topics, all while enjoying the quintessential American libation.
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