Pastor Neil Carrick Files Civil Rights Lawsuits in Federal Court

November 21, 2017 by

Pastor Neil Carrick has long been an advocate of people’s right to structure their families according to their spiritual and personal beliefs instead of government mandated templates.

He is most known for his efforts to actualize the separation of marriage and state by suing to decriminalize private religious marriage ceremonies that do not meet the license standards for Michigan.

These links give some background that help put this latest effort in context.

Pastor Neil Carrick and related parties including his daughter, couples and church will file Civil Rights Lawsuits in Federal Court. Pastor Carrick was the Pastor who brought a lawsuit against the state of Michigan will be bringing two lawsuits with other parties.

The first one is against the Wayne Country Count regarding adult adoptions. in 2007 Neil tried to adopt an adult who he has known as his child since 2001 when he began care of her when she was 16 and her 1 year old daughter. The Wayne County Courts process creates a higher bar and special rules beyond that the code of Michigan provides. He was told by Wayne County Court employees he would not be able to meet the requirements because of these special rules.

The state law or codes for Adult Adoption has minimum rules.

n Michigan that state code appears to suggest that:

The Requirements for Adult Adoption are very minimum: 
  • Both individuals are adults, that is, 18 years of age or older;
  • Both the adoptee and the adoptive parent are competent;
  • The adoptee gives his or her consent to the adoption.
  • If a legal parent of the prospective adoptee is alive, he or she is given notice of the proceedings, but consent is not required. The only one who needs to consent to an adult adoption is the adoptee.
Pastor Carrick and his daughter will be filing the lawsuit in the coming weeks.

Pastor Carrick along with other parties will be filing a lawsuit regarding the marriage laws of Michigan. The suit will seek to decriminalize private religious marriage ceremonies that do not meet the license standards for Michigan.Pastor Carrick will be joined by a congregation and potentially religious organizations and couples.

You can find out more at carrickfamily.com in the coming days.

 


Forgive me for the complexity and length of this email. This is regarding to potential upcoming lawsuits.

I will try my best to explain this. But if you do not have a good understanding of the difference between de-factor and de-jure I would highly suggest that you spend a few minutes understanding the differences between the two.

As many of you know I filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan some time back regarding Marriage. In particular Religious Marriage vs State Marriage.

In the end the typical issue of standing become problematic. The state arguing I did not have standing over the lack of harm basically.

I have advocated for some time that Family life should have limited governance involvement.

I have a daughter that is not my biological or adopted daughter. But I established as being my de-factor daughter in minor but significant ways in the Michigan Court as part of other cases.

Michigan has code regarding “Adult Adoption”.

In most counties I would most likely be able to file for adult adoption and successfully be granted it. But because of issues not related to this adult child it will most likely be thrown out and I be denied. I have an arrearage from another family court case that I have made arrangements on that happened during a period when I was disabled after a series of strokes. And another that is actually a result of the local administrative Friend of the Court system making continual mistakes because of a flawed IT system.

I have already contacted the Court Administrator for the Wayne County Court who is asking their General Counsel to respond to me.

My thoughts are they are going to in typical (court) fashion not find a solution that is reasonable but will kick to the Judge who would have to make a decision and deny my motion/petition regarding adoption. If they do it will create a “standing” for a lawsuit. If the Judge does so based on a reading of the local court rules I will be left with having to file for an appeal within the state court. If the Judge denies it based on a reading pf the state law than I will walk a civil lawsuit into the Federal Courthouse in Detroit.

Having said that I have performed weddings involving situations that I believe could end in me having standing.

Kindest Regards,

Neil Carrick

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Please Blame Me! I Voted Libertarian.

November 15, 2016 by

Last Tuesday was the greatest election in my lifetime.  Finally we libertarians have statist politicians right where we want them. If we play our cards right politicians will be supporting more policies that respect individual liberty, while distancing themselves from those that don’t.

At first glance this may appear to be a celebration of Donald Trump’s victory.  It isn’t.  Rather, it is a celebration of libertarians attaining the balance of power at the Federal and state level. Here the phrase “balance of power” refers to the attainment of a greater number of votes by an alternative party candidate, then the margin of victory between the two establishment party candidates. For people trapped in the bipartisan paradigm, this is a situation to be avoided.  For those who have broken free, it is cause for celebration.

In the days leading up to the election, Donald Trump supporters kept pushing the idea that a vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson was a vote for Hilary Clinton, while Clinton supporters kept pushing the idea that a vote for Johnson was a vote for Trump. Taken literally, either one of these statements is blatant nonsense, and is an outright contradiction when taken together.  But at their core, these remarks were a symptom of fear by devotees of both establishment parties that the Libertarian Party’s nominee would attain a balance of power in the election, and they thought libertarians would be afraid of this as well.  To some extent they were right; many people who thought Gary Johnson was the best choice chickened out in the voting booth, and voted for one establishment party candidate out of fear of the other.  I addressed the folly of this mindset in my previous Blog post, “Voting Your Hopes And Not Your Fears In 2016” where I wrote:

If your vote (and the votes of others for the same candidate) is more than the margin of victory for either establishment party candidate, then your vote is more powerful than ever!  Now you and your comrades have done much more than send a message that you want change in a direction that is consistent with the platform of your candidate and his or her party. You have become a voting block that the winning party must prevent the opposition from recruiting in the next cycle.  The winner must appease you by incorporating some of your policies.  At the same time the loser will actively seek out those who are of like mind to secure future victories, and this can only be accomplished by adopting some of the policy positions that your favorite candidate and party advocate.  A win-win for you.

Well now the selection of the electors is over and Clinton supporters are blaming those who voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party Candidate Jill Stein for Trump’s victory.  If the results had been reversed, Trump supporters would be placing the blame on us instead. Unfortunately, many Johnson voters are feeling guilty, or dodging culpability by arguing that Libertarian votes affected both establishment parties equally. Whether or not the numbers support this last claim, the mindset that views citing such numbers as necessary is ultimately defeatist and condemns alternative parties to indefinite irrelevancy.

If all libertarian leaning voters held their ground and voted for the Libertarian nominee, I have no idea who the current President elect would be, but I do know that we would be a much greater force to be reckoned with. I do know that Libertarians would have earned Federal recognition as a minor party, and more states would recognize us a major party.  Most importantly, for the point I’m making here, supporters of the losing establishment party would still blame us.

In 2000 Ralph Nader and the Green Party finished with only 2.75% of the vote, but were blamed for the defeat of Al Gore by George W. Bush because of the narrow margin of victory in some states, especially Florida. Neither Ralph Nader nor the other Green Party Presidential candidates have done nearly so well since.  Though the claim that their participation in the election tipped the outcome in Bushes favor has been largely disputed, I think it is a good bet that many left-leaning voters have coward away from alternatives to the Democrat because they fear the so-called Nader effect.  By contrast, Johnson won 3.28% of the national popular vote while Trump and Clinton’s votes differed by less than a percent.  In Michigan Gary Johnson’s vote total was thirteen times as great as the difference between Trump and Clinton!  So if attempting to deflect blame didn’t work for Nader, how can it possibly work for us?  In my humble opinion it won’t and it shouldn’t.

We are at a crossroads.  We can either move full speed ahead and become players on the national stage, or retreat back to obscurity, cautiously avoiding the risk of tipping the scales in favor of the worst candidate.  If we are to move forward, we must be willing to be blamed for every electoral outcome until we finally win.  We must convince others that this course is a righteous one, and that our mission is more important than which of the establishment party candidates, wins a particular election.

No matter how bad the winner is, that winner will need to draw from the libertarian voting block to win.  This time that appears to be Donald Trump. As long as the Libertarian Party sticks to principal and doesn’t coddle the “lesser-of-two-evils” game he will need to go out of his way to win over libertarians if he doesn’t want the Libertarian Party to receive their votes in 2020.  The Democrats will be doing the same if they expect to defeat Trump.  It remains to be seen if they will be courting Green voters or Libertarians, or both on certain issues where Greens and Libertarians agree like marijuana, privacy, militarism and civil liberties … The more we refuse to chicken out, the harder they will try.

Down-ticket, a strong libertarian party can have leverage even in races it is unlikely to win.  If there is a critical piece of legislation we need passed, or rejected, we can make a deal.  We can strategically chose to run or not run a candidate in a given contest.  What about libertarian-Republicans or libertarian-Democrats?  If they are really all that libertarian (and some are) they will have no problem attracting libertarian votes and will have no reason to fear the participation of a Libertarian Party opponent.  Libertarian participation might even help them stick to principle; when establishment insiders try to lead them astray, libertarian-Republicans and libertarian-Democrats can pragmatically point to the participation of the Libertarian Party “spoiler” as a reason they can’t make an exception and vote for the tax increase or regulation that the establishment insider is trying to push.

So we win even if we lose, the establishment parties can decimate the Libertarian Party by championing a libertarian agenda, or they can ignore us at their peril and watch us grow until we become a major party nationally, but either way libertarians win.  Because we will have more liberty.  More importantly, America wins, because everyone will either have more freedom in a two party system that bent to the wishes of libertarians, the way they once did to the socialists, or Americans will have a three party system where candidates will no longer be able to win elections by simply making us fear the other candidate.  Instead they will need to give people a reason to vote for them, not against an opponent.

So take pride in your Libertarian vote.  Take the blame!  Embrace it! Own it! You have the power to demand more liberty, and don’t be shamed into doing otherwise!

Voting Your Hopes And Not Your Fears In 2016

November 4, 2016 by

The 2016 Presidential election is upon us, and once again the establishment parties are telling us that a vote for a third party candidate amounts to a vote for the “other candidate” who is supposedly much worse the their candidate.  If you’re excited about the prospect of a Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump Presidency, read no further; I’m not writing anything here that is likely to change your mind… Now for the rest of you…

If the thought of both a Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump Presidency turns your stomach, you may be thinking of voting for one of these two in order to stop the worst candidate from winning.  But don’t take the bait; this very thinking is the reason you are faced with such an abominable choice to begin with.

If you are leaning toward a third party candidate like Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrel Castle or somebody else, you have probably been approached by Hilary Clinton supporters who insist that a vote for your favorite candidate is a vote for Trump, and Donald Trump supporters who insist that voting your conscience is a vote for Hilary.  This is a logical fallacy. There are two possibilities, either your vote determines the outcome of the election, or it doesn’t.

If your vote (and the votes of others for the same candidate) is less than the margin of victory for either establishment party candidate, then at least you and your comrades sent a message that you want change in a direction that is consistent with the platform of your candidate and his or her party. A minor victory.  If you vote with either establishment party candidate, you would be giving a nod of approval to that candidate.  In the case of an over-whelming victory by the “lesser evil” you chose, you would be giving a “mandate” to enact that candidates policies. A lose-lose for you.

If your vote (and the votes of others for the same candidate) is more than the margin of victory for either establishment party candidate, then your vote is more powerful than ever!  Now you and your comrades have done much more than send a message that you want change in a direction that is consistent with the platform of your candidate and his or her party. You have become a voting block that the winning party must prevent the opposition from recruiting in the next cycle.  The winner must appease you by incorporating some of your policies.  At the same time the loser will actively seek out those who are of like mind to secure future victories, and this can only be accomplished by adopting some of the policy positions that your favorite candidate and party advocate.  A win-win for you.

The reason that the choices keep getting worse is because the establishment parties and their accomplices in the mass media have found a strategy that works.  Ironically, It only works with the acquiescence of those who are most disgusted by it.  As long as there is the illusion of only two choices a candidate only needs to show his or her opponent is so horrifying, that anyone is better… and there is only one other choice.  The media keeps emphasizing the bi-partisan horse race with rigged polls that leave demographics out of the sample who would vote for a third-party alternative, or the polls will only ask about two candidates at first.  So this way, frustrated third-party supporters will feel increasingly marginalized, and begin to think they are “throwing their vote away” by voting their hopes and not their fears.

Here’s where things get really ugly.  If the establishment parties candidates were simply lame, but not scary, then many voters might still be willing to “throw their vote away” to send a message, but not if they were horrified by one of the establishment candidates, then all that matters is stopping that candidate.  This goes both ways.  SO THE WORSE THE TWO ESTABLISHMENT PARTY NOMINEES ARE, THE MORE THEY CAN COUNT ON YOU VOTING FOR ONE OF THEM!!! Taking the bait and voting for a lesser evil out of fear of the greater evil reinforces this atrocious bi-partisan political machine, and drives a race to the bottom whereby we can keep expecting worse and worse candidates.

Now the above seems to imply some level of collusion which smells of tin-foil hats and conspiracy theories right?  Well sort of.  Wherever two people and greed are gathered there is a conspiracy, and yes, there is genuine collusion.  The most visible and obvious example of this collusion is the Commission on Presidential debates.  It was created by the establishment parties to keep out other candidates. Before then, the League of Women voters hosted the debates, but they were no longer willing to limit the forum to two candidates.  Since the time of Ross Perot they have raised the bar to prevent any future three-way debates.  However, even without planned collusion, this mindset is bound to be encouraged by each of the major campaigns, and the outcomes are likely to be just as abysmal as long as voters take the bait.

But isn’t this election different?  Are the stakes much higher than a few policy issues?  Absolutely!  Especially for libertarians.  If you are a libertarian it is absolutely essential that you cast a vote for the Libertarian nominee in this election.

For the first time since the election of Abraham Lincoln, we have a chance to break the two party system for the foreseeable future!  Some might argue that Ross Perot’s Reform Party presented such a possibility and withered away quickly, but this is different. The Reform Party was really a ballot access vehicle for one independent candidate, whereas the Libertarian Party has been a nationally balloted party since 1972.  It has been on the vast majority of state ballots in every election since then and has been on the ballot in all fifty states on previous occasions.  Since the party’s founding about 600 Libertarians held elected or appointed offices . Since the party’s creation, 10 Libertarians have been elected to state legislatures. The Libertarian Party has a platform based on a specific ideology, libertarianism.

In Michigan, a political party whose top of ticket candidate earns over 5% of the vote caste for Secretary of State in the previous election is treated the same as a major party.  The only difference being that that Michigan election law reserves the phrase, “major party” for the top two vote getters, but other than that, there would be no difference.  So if Gary Johnson’s electors receive 154,040 votes in Michigan, the Libertarian Party of Michigan will effectively become a major party!  Most other states have similar laws.

In addition, Federal election laws will kick in that will make large sums of money available to the Libertarian Party thereby enabling it to overcome ballot obstacles in states where these problems still exist.  This last benefit is controversial among Libertarians, but I think Michael Emerling made the same points I would make.  Even being in the enviable position of being able to reject these funds would be a game changer. Being a federally recognized “minor party” is just a stones throw away from being a “major party.”

Having three major parties instead of two, would improve the candidates of the Republican and Democrat parties too; they would need to appeal to our hopes and not our fears.

Then there is the Holy Grail of Presidential elections… The Oval.  This is the first time in the Libertarian Party’s history when there is a reasonable probability of winning the election.  At first this claim may seem outrageous since even the most favorable polling doesn’t bring us to within a margin of error of earning a majority of electoral votes.  Here’s where the contingencies of the Twelfth Amendment of the US Constitution come into play.  If no candidate gets a majority of the electoral vote, then the election is up to the US House of Representatives, which must pick from the top three electoral vote getters. Given the fact that they are mostly Republicans who can’t stand Trump or Clinton, their would be a reasonable chance they would nominate a two-term Republican Governor turned Libertarian.  For the first time a number of Republican leaning major dallies, including the Detroit News, have chosen to endorse Gary Johnson because of their disgust with Trump.  Even former Republican nominee Mitt Romney who won’t vote for Trump, won’t rule out voting for Johnson.  So the idea of the House picking Johnson may not be that far-fetched.

How could Johnson get electors?  The untold story on the evening news is that there is enough support for Johnson in some states, that a plurality is not out of reach for the former New Mexico Governor.  Given the mass defections by Republicans who can’t stomach Donald Trump, a few disloyal electors can’t be ruled out either.

Another reason Republicans might settle on Johnson is that they would still be able to get their Vice Presidential nominee elected.  Under the Twelfth Amendment, only the top two electoral vote getters for Vice President could be considered.  This would probably be Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. The Republican Senate would probably choose Pence.  This leaves Bill Weld without a probable path to victory.

It is time to break the two party system and you have a chance to do it.  Furthermore, you would be voting for the most qualified candidate.  By himself, Governor Johnson has more executive experience than all of this years opposing Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates combined.  Unlike his opponents he is not likely to corner Russia and flirt with Nuclear war in Syria, nor is he a loose cannon who is likely to push the proverbial button in the midst of a temper tantrum.  Rather he supports a strong defense and a non-interventionist foreign policy. He is not under criminal investigation for endangering the national security or sexual assault. He has a positive message based on reducing the scope of government and affirming individual liberty.  He is a successful businessman who did not use repeated bankruptcies to avoid paying contractors.  He won’t be putting people in Prison for non-violent drug offenses.

He is a moderate, but here’s the biggest benefit to us more radical libertarians.  With the rise of the Libertarian Party, the new paradigm will no longer be left-versus right; rather it will be liberty versus authoritarianism, paving the way for a more clear cut ideological dichotomy moving forward.  Eventually this may devolve into another entrenched bi-partisan paradigm, but that tragedy is a way off.

Thomas Jefferson suggested that 20 years was too long to go without a revolution, the revolution we can win this Tuesday is way overdue.  Don’t blow this once in a lifetime opportunity by falling for the same old scare tactics.

My Michigan Primary Endorsements

July 29, 2016 by

I am a very active Libertarian. So when the general elections comes along, I will be voting for Libertarians. However, we are in primary season until August 2nd. So I am taking a break from my endless push for Libertarian Party candidates to chime in on Tuesday’s primary.

First of all, I will address why there are no Libertarians in the primary. By state law only parties who reach a specific threshold for their top-of-ticket candidate are included in the primary system. We have not yet reached that threshold. So all of our candidates are nominated, at no cost to taxpayers, in Conventions and primaries.

I live in Detroit’s Second State Representative District. In this solidly Democratic district Bettie Cook-Scott stands out as best qualified. She has served in the state house before and has a demonstrable record of being an advocate for the residents of her district. One distinction is that she is a retired police Sergeant, who was supportive of the late Ron Scott and his efforts in the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality. She correctly articulated the fact that all police should oppose police brutality, because it is their job to serve the public and prevent violence, not excuse it. She was a law-enforcement officer who chose her job because she cared about people, and that is also why she wishes to return to the Michigan House.

On the topic of police, there are good cops and bad cops. I just endorsed one of the good ones. When I was awaiting trial, as a result of the conduct of a bad cop, only a couple friends showed up in support. One of those was Republican State Representative candidate Matt Schonert. I have known Matthew over the years as principled advocate for individual liberty. We first met through the 2008 Ron Paul campaign, and he has continued doing Paul’s work of trying to steer the Republican Party in a libertarian direction, as a Campaign for Liberty delegate, and now as a candidate for the fourth State Representative District.

Also, through Campaign for Liberty I have come to know an incumbent State Representative from the Forty Fourth District. He is Jim Runestad. Representative Runestad has consistently supported legislation that is designed to make Michigan’s government more transparent, and more respectful of individual rights, and more respectful of individual privacy. Before being elected to the Michigan House, Jim Runestad was on the Oakland County Commission. While there, he introduced the “Liberty Preservation Resolution,” which stated that Oakland County would not be complicit in indefinite detentions as defined in the 2012 NDAA.

Another incumbent State Representative from Oakland County is Martin Howrylak. Representative Howrylak is the type of conservative who truly believes in smaller, less invasive government. He has frequently introduced and supported legislation that shows he is willing to walk the walk. His principled support for liberty earned him the support of Oakland County Libertarians when he successfully ran for the Troy City Council in a non-partisan election. Opponents attempted to use this against him by claiming that Libertarians supported him because he was into drugs (A serious distortion of the Libertarian Platform). The attacks backfired since Howrylak’s personal commitment to conservative family values was beyond reproach; he is as clean as they come. Over the years I have found Howrylak to be a person who never compromises on matters of ethics decency, and honesty. If re-elected he will serve his constituents in the Forty First District with integrity.

During my visits to Lansing on behalf of Brass Roots and Our America Initiative, I have become acquainted with another outstanding State Representative, Triston Cole of Michigan’s One Hundred Fifth District. Cole is a principled supporter of the right of citizens to own and carry firearms. He is a sportsman who believes in protecting the environment with out infringing on private property rights. He believes in fixing roads without raising taxes, and he knows that entrepreneurs, not government, creates jobs. If re-elected I am sure he will be an asset to his district.

The Fifth State House District is a Democratic stronghold.  One of the candidates in the Democratic Primary is the host of the talk show, Stand Up Now. She is Cynthia Johnson.  Through her show, she has raised public awareness of the need for electoral reform in Detroit, a cause that I made the centerpiece of my City Clerk run in 2013.  She has also brought attention to police brutality problems in Detroit and has organized walks to draw attention to the lack of adequate public lighting in Detroit neighborhoods.  I am sure she could shine some light on Lansing politics as well.

At this point my fellow Libertarians might be feeling a bit worried about me. Won’t saying these nice things about candidates in other parties hurt their Libertarian opponents in November? Not to worry…

… their are none. There will be 69 Libertarians on the ballot in Michigan’s general election. None of them will be running against the above candidates.

Ramblings Of A Pro-Johnson Radical

May 26, 2016 by

I’ve been a Libertarian since the eighties. I am of the variety who believes ALL human interaction should be voluntary. Each election season, I have yelled at the TV while crumbling up proverbial newspapers and pelting the pundits who followed every move of “BOTH” candidates.

The World-wide web gave us a bit of a voice, but (in the average voters mind), the so-called MSM (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, AP and UPI) remained the final word on which candidates were credible. Anyone could post stuff online, and everyone does. This paradigm of the establishment media as curators of truth is dissolving, but not gone.

Have I been alone in this frustration? Hardly. Until recently, this ideological shunning has been obvious to libertarians, and of no interest to people who were not minor party activists. For years the official political discourse had been about liberals, moderates, and extremists (meant in a scary-bad way).

Enter Ron Paul’s second Presidential run. Twenty years after being the Libertarian Parties nominee, he returned to Presidential Politics as a libertarian-Republican. While the  establishment did their best to marginalize him, they could no longer do so without being  called out.

Libertarians of all backgrounds were finding each other, and the Ron Paul campaign was the catalyst. Finally we were hearing the word “libertarian,” and people were using it correctly; but they were referring to the philosophy, not the party. Ron Paul supporters became the Campaign for Liberty, which has attempted to make the GOP more libertarian. I’ve been there, and can’t blame them for trying… but how’s that working out in this Presidential election cycle? Privately many C4L-Republicans have told me that in general elections, they vote Libertarian if no liberty-Republican made it through the primary.

So once again, I find myself throwing those proverbial crumbled newspaper balls at the TV and cursing at pundits who talk about “BOTH parties” or “THE candidates” and would go on on to talk as if only two parties existed. Sometimes they would ask if it might be time for a third party, as if none existed yet…

…but sometime between 2012 and 2016 change was underway. Those moments of hopelessness and frustration were punctuated by respectable recognition of the Libertarian Party by many of the mainstream broadcasters and publishers who had once shunned them.

The major parties continue to nominate hard-core statist candidates, but this time the idea of picking the lesser of two evils is no longer taken for granted. Mixed in with the idea that Americans need a third choice, there is an acknowledgement that the choice exists, and that choice is the Libertarian Party’s candidate. Most of the time they name that candidate, and when they do, it’s Governor Gary Johnson.

Something I have been working toward for about 30 years is finally happening. Conversations outside the echo chamber have included respect for the Libertarian alternative. This is beyond a token mention. There are interviews and analysis… even polling results indicate 10% of the voters being willing to support a Libertarian candidate. Most interviews with a Libertarian Presidential candidate are with Gary Johnson. He is also the candidate polling 10%. Of course there is one glaring omission to most of the hype, that Governor Johnson, himself, has to keep alerting people too: He has not been nominated.

DSCN0230

After years of stagnation and shrinking membership, the Libertarian Party is respected by regular people outside the movement. When Johnson was nominated in 2012, many Libertarians were overly optimistic about the effect of nominating a two-term governor. The fact was that the Libertarian brand was no longer taken seriously; most people found us to be irrelevant. In spite of that Johnson earned us a record number of votes, and in my home state of Michigan he earned the highest number of statewide write-in votes in the states entire history.

The Johnson-Gray team never went away. Through the non-partisan issues oriented organization, “Our America Initiative” they had been providing a libertarian network whereby activists, working on libertarian legislation, could unite and lobby for it on an issue-by-issue basis. This way we were gradually showing relevance. Also, through Our America Initiative, Gary Johnson, Judge James P. Gray and others have taken the Commission on Presidential Debates to court. Even if the lawsuit fails, Libertarians are winning; we are on track to regaining our long-lost 50-state ballot access. I can hardly keep up with all the news reports and interviews that have focused on the Libertarian Party and the Johnson candidacy. I can hardly contain my excitement either (so I blog about it). Recent polls have Johnson at 10%, but if the libertarian nominee reached that 15% threshold, the commission could just close shop, thereby exposing themselves as a fraud to the general public. At this point we would be the proverbial naked man running down the street. Ignoring us would be like ignoring the 800 Lb gorilla in the room. We would have to be recognized by the people covering the election, and voters could begin to think of us as a viable choice; the death of the “wasted vote” argument is upon us.

For years we have looked for the magic bullet. Little did we know that round was already primed in 2012, and if the Libertarian delegates are willing, it will exit the muzzle this weekend. This is our moment, but only if we seize it!

But what about the message? Has it been watered down? In a way, but it’s a good thing.
Here’s the Real Politik. A while back my late friend, Pat Clawson found that more people would support him petitioning to run as an independent rather than the much less costly option of being nominated at a Libertarian convention; they just didn’t feel right about the about the Libertarian Party. He said we needed to do some market research. Well, it’s been done for us.

The sucess Gary Johnson has had reaching people outside the movement shows that he is doing something right. Perhaps those of us who thought the logical elegance of libertarianism would be universally recognized for its crystalline beauty were distracted from a blind-spot.

People have different learning styles. The fact that they don’t readily agree with what ever we say, doesn’t make them sheeple. They think differently, and need to be spoken to in a way that makes sense to them if we are to persuade them to agree with us. To people who love to debate (as I do), he comes across as indirect. His policy positions often don’t go far enough to satisfy libertarian activists. This does not make him the perfect candidate at a Libertarian Convention. In 2012 Johnson was quick to credit R. Lee Wrights with out-debating him.

However, Gary Johnson is the perfect candidate, and an excellent spokesperson, on the national stage. People connect with him emotionally. He doesn’t scare people, and his policy positions take us in the Libertarian direction.

At an event in 2013 I asked why he supported a “harm reduction” approach to hard drugs, like heroin, rather than just legalizing them outright. His response was that everything he does must be “reality based.” I didn’t get this right away because I thought in terms of physical reality, but there is also the world of political reality. If one wants to affect change, one needs to get people on one’s side.

Governor Johnson knows how to reach people where they are. In the current political context. The reality is that we live in a popular soft tyranny, not a state of nature. The reality is that we are not ruled over by a few statists with fancy hats. Millions of people put leaders in office, and most people are comfortable with what they do.

The way to move from a soft tyranny to a relatively free society, is to appeal to that libertarian part of them that would like to remove government aggression from some part of their lives. Let’s give people a taste of liberty and hopefully they will want more. Respect the moderate Libertarians because we need them to move forward. They are reasonable, but cautious, people. They will vote for us, and we can expand liberty by getting government out of the way, one reform at a time.

I have renewed optimism that we may finally reach critical mass, and we might even win the oval. I hope my optimism survives past this weekend.

Don’t you?


Transracial People Define Themselves

June 17, 2015 by

Define yourself, or be defined
-Cass Corridor sidewalk graffiti-

I am deeply disturbed by lack of sensitivity people have shown toward Rachel Dolezal. For those unfamiliar with her plight, Rachel Dolezal was a Spokane Washington NAACP President who considered herself to be “African-American” or “black.” Recently, it became apparent that her biological parents considered themselves to be “White,” and using reasoning derived from Public Enemy’sFear of a Black Planet” lyrics, “White man, white woman, white baby” journalists concluded that if she was born “white” she must still be “white.” Next came accusations that she was lying about her race, and that her “True race” was “white.”

The implication here is that a person can’t change his, her, or its demographic. Put another way, the paradigm at work here dictates that you’re personality must adapt to the body you were born with, and any attempt to modify your body to externalize one’s inner sense of identity is somehow phony or dishonest. Most people are comfortable in their own skin and don’t wish to change it, but that isn’t any reason to be so harsh on people who are not so fortunate.

To some extent, changing the way one looks, in ways that bypass heredity, is common and accepted. Genetics determines hair color, but people who feel they are more blond, brunet, or red head can chose to be that. Even then there is a bit of snobbishness. Ever see a blond rolling her eyes as another one passes and remark “She’s not a natural blond.” When I was first asked to fill out an application for my drivers permit I was confused, because it asked for eye color. Knowing that my eyes changed color (normally based on what I was wearing), I asked nearby people what color my eyes were. After receiving multiple answers I was tempted to write “rainbow” in on the form, but was later urged to call them “hazel” Since then I have seen people with purple and yellow eyes. There are contact lenses for that.

Switching other traits is much more controversial. This may be because they are groups that politicians like to pander to; the divide and conquer strategy of the establishment depends on a lack of mobility between demographic groups. In these united states of America collectivist politicians love the categories of “race” and sex.

Mobility between sexes has achieved an unprecedented level of acceptance. Lately there has been a lot of buzz about Decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner having sex reassignment surgery and changing her name to “Kaitlyn,” but Jenner walks a path that has been blazed and cleared by a variety of other individuals. One of those people was, the tennis player Richard Raskind. While he was successful as a man, he chose to become a woman. She went on to be the Tennis player Rene’e Richards. When Richards was first outed as being born a male, she faced criticism that was very similar in content to the rhetoric used against Rachel Dolezal now. Richards was accused of pretending to be a woman in order to get an advantage by playing against male rather than female athletes. They would say she lied about her sex. Athletic organizations banned Richards from playing her favorite game because the United States Tennis Association, established an unprecedented women-born-women policy.

Of course Richards laughed off the notion that men would be lining up for the emasculating surgery so they could play professional tennis against men. Of course transsexual and transgender people face different challenges then transracial people. [Side note: Gender is not the same thing as sex. “Masculine” and “feminine” are genders, “male” and “female” are sexes.]

One distinction is that there are structural, functional and chromosomal differences that delineate sexes (though many people are born as hermaphrodites with intermediate or combined sexual traits). Race, on the other hand is a social construct, or a look. The belief in distinct races is a myth largely promoted by the likes of eugenicists and slavery apologists, to serve their particular agendas. Modern humans don’t exist as distinct subspecies, like say wolves and coyotes. So it would seem that changing races is even easier than changing sexes. From a medical perspective this is certainly the case, but social acceptance has ironically proven more difficult.

While Richards scoffed at the idea that someone would have a sex-change simply to gain some advantage, it is possible that someone would, but so what? As a libertarian I believe in peoples right to do as they wish with their property, and the most valuable piece of physical property individuals can own is their own bodies. As a matter of enlightened self-interest, I would hope that anyone choosing to change ones physical identity to such a degree, would be doing so to be true to one’s self. However, that’s not up to me. There are other cases where people have “passed as” members of another race in order to gain an advantage. Examples include Carol Channing, and reputedly Dinah Shore. By “passing” they were able to perform in venues that were off limits to those who held onto the look that was then called “negro” or “colored.” While this is less ideal then people taking on a look that matches their sense of self, such pragmatic “passing” is still morally defensible. If it is to ones advantage to change one’s sex or race, then it seems to me the fault is in the society that makes these changes advantageous, not in the character of the person who is trying to better one’s self.

I don’t know Ms. Dolezal personally, but it is my distinct impression that she is transracial. That is to say, that she has chosen a racial identity that differs from the one that she was supposedly born with. If this is the case, then she can’t be said to have lied about her race. She simply changed her public identity to harmonize with her inner self. I have often been confused when looking at Federal forms that ask people to categorize themselves into narrow racial categories. This is probably more confusing to an educated person who knows that race is mythical then it is to a person who has been duped by racialist politicians. There it defines black as follows, “A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.” These forms also ask what one considers oneself, rather than what one is. By the aforementioned definition, any human could honestly answer “yes,” based on current paleontological and mitochondrial evidence, which shows modern humans to have a common ancestry in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dolezal’s parents showed an attitude similar to the attitudes people used to have toward members of the LGBT community.  They said, “We hope she gets the help she needs.”  The implication was that she was sick, and needed professional “help.”

There is one thing I have put on the back burner: She lied about her father. Lying is wrong and I don’t wish to defend it, but it is understandable. In an age of discrimination against transracial people, as is evidenced by the harsh rhetoric she has faced, she may have felt compelled to lie about her past. I suspect many transsexuals may hesitate to tell people they used to be a different sex, often as a matter of self-preservation. Perhaps unintentionally, Ms. Dolezal has opened the way for another wave of diversity acceptance. People who have been labeled “Oreos,” “wanabees,” and “wiggers” for instance, may soon be recognized as transracial. At least, that is, until we move past this categorical mentality altogether, and see people as individuals, and not members of politically defined categories.

The ACA: Washington’s Assault on American Labor

December 24, 2013 by
Medical Symbol

Medical Symbol

Obama’s so-called “Affordable Care Act” (BKA Obamacare) is devastating to many working class Americans.  Unfortunately, the unions we pay to represent us, are not speaking up about this since they have become tools of the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party along with some Republican accomplices have betrayed labor, but labor would rather betray the rank and file then break the chains that keep them beholden to their political masters.

I am one of Obamacare’s victims.  This is my story.  If I am the only victim, then it’s no big deal…. but I have a feeling I have lots of company.  I have never read about this in the mainstream media, but this is the truth.

As a part-time college professor, I have been teaching at two institutions to earn a decent income.  I have been able to use that money to buy my own insurance.  Since the law passed my premiums have increased significantly with no significant new benefits.  But that is the least of my problems.

The ACA requires employers to buy health insurance for any employees who work three-fourths of full time or more.   So many employees are having their hours slashed by employers who don’t wish to face penalties for giving their employees too many (sic)  hours.  Most people would expect this to force employers to restrict their part-time employees to 29 hours per week, since most people think of 40 hours as full-time.  Such an intervention is bad enough, in principle, and a person struggling to make ends meet in the current depression may not be able to afford any loss in income.  Nonetheless, the reality is even more outrageous.

According to the ACA college faculty who teach over 11.5 hours per week are categorized as three-fourths full time.  No, that’s not a typo.  According to bureaucrats, the law says eleven and one half hours are three-fourths full time!  Since my regular course load involved two six hour classes (12 hours total) per week, my hours have been nearly cut in half at one of the places where I teach.  Fortunately, the union local at the other college refused to cave in and I still have all of my hours there.

If I can’t find additional work in the next couple weeks, I may be faced with bankruptcy. Meanwhile I have had to forgo Christmas shopping in preparation for this impending financial crisis.

The rank and file need to stand up and tell their unions to withhold endorsements from any candidates who supported the ACA or any part of it’s implementation.  Workers of the USA unite!  We have plenty to loose.

Carl Levin Recall Language Passes Clarity Review

July 8, 2012 by

[This is the text of a press release that went out on July 3rd.  In spite of the historical nature of the subject, no major publications have yet written about it.]

Nothing Personal: Representative Sander and Senator Carl Levin at the Clawson 4th of July Parade shortly after speaking with Libertarian Congressional candidate Jim Fulner, and Recall organizer Scotty Boman.

Nothing Personal: Representative Sander and Senator Carl Levin at the Clawson 4th of July Parade shortly after speaking with Libertarian Congressional candidate Jim Fulner, and Recall organizer Scotty Boman.

Detroit, MI – Activist are free to begin circulating petitions to recall Senator Carl Milton Levin starting this Independence Day; their petition language has been deemed clear in the manner described by Section 168.952 of Michigan Election law which states:

“(3) The board of county election commissioners, not less than 10 days or more than 20 days after submission to it of a petition for the recall of an officer, shall meet and shall determine whether each reason for the recall stated in the petition is of sufficient clarity to enable the officer whose recall is sought and the electors to identify the course of conduct that is the basis for the recall. Failure of the board of county election commissioners to comply with this subsection shall constitute a determination that each reason for the recall stated in the petition is of sufficient clarity to enable the officer whose recall is being sought and the electors to identify the course of conduct that is the basis for the recall.”

Notarized certified letters containing the most recent language were signed for on June 11th, and Wayne County Election Chairman Milton L. Mack acknowledged receiving the language on June 14th in a letter written to the petitions sponsor, Scott Avery Boman.  In the letter Mack wrote that, “…the Wayne County Election Commission will not accept petition language directed to a United State Senator.”  According to Boman, Director of Elections Delphine Oden told him (by phone on June 22nd) this meant they would not be holding a clarity review hearing.  Section 168.121 (United States senator; recall) reads: “Persons holding the office of United States senator are subject to recall by the qualified and registered electors of the state as provided in chapter 36 of this act.”

On May 1st the commission held a hearing to review the clarity of previous language and found the prior language to be unclear.  The new approved (by default) petition language reads,

He co-authored and introduced an amendment regarding detention provisions (Subtitle D Section 1031) to S.1867 (the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012). He voted in favor of the final version (H.R. 1540) which contained the detention provisions in section 1021.”

Sponsors cite Levin’s pivotal roll in provisions they describe as “de facto martial law,” as their reason to initiate the recall effort.  The recall will require 468,709 signatures.  Boman said, “Warren and I can’t do this on our own.  We can get this started with a build-it-and-they-will-come approach.  In 2008 1,810,234 people voted against Carl Levin.  We need to have about a quarter of these people sign the petition, and a much smaller portion to step up and be activists.”

Petitions can be downloaded from:

http://committeetorecallcarllevin.com/2012/06/25/three-easy-steps-to-recall-carl-levin/

County officials also have standard recall petition forms that may be filled out by hand.  Co-sponsor Warren Raftshol said, “We are building an internet campaign via Facebook, and these petitions are legal and official.  I invite people to forward the link to Carl Levin’s Facebook page and tell him they object to NDAA detention.”

Boman said, “Independence Day is the perfect day to launch this effort.  The tyranny Levin has brought us with this law rivals the oppression imposed on the colonists by the British in 1776.”

My Choice for President (The Sequel)

June 22, 2012 by

June 22, 2012

In February, I endorsed libertarian-Republican Ron Paul.  My confidence that, if elected, he would be the best president in generations is unshaken.  Naturally, I voted for him in Michigan’s presidential primary.  Unfortunately, by Dr. Paul’s own admission, his nomination at the Republican Convention in Tampa is extremely unlikely.  In fact nothing short of Romney’s exit from the contest would make it possible.

I don’t wish to discourage Ron Paul delegates.  They have an unprecedented opportunity to give the Republican Party a more libertarian national platform, and they have the numbers to do it; delegates are committed to a candidate on the first ballot, but no such restraints apply to matters of policy.

So where do we go from here? There will be a number of choices on the ballot.  The typical approach for supporters of a Republican candidate is for those people to rally around their party’s nominee, but Ron Paul supporters are not motivated by a love of politics as usual.  Rather, they are motivated by a message of maximum liberty in the context of a constitutionally limited republic, and a desire to elect a president who feels as they do.

Gary Johnson and Scotty Boman

Gary Johnson and Scotty Boman at Libby Fest.

The good news is that they still have an opportunity to elect such a president! The Libertarian Party has nominated New Mexico’s former two-term Governor Gary Johnson as their presidential candidate.  Governor Johnson has been the most libertarian governor in United States history:

  • He vetoed 750  of the bills that were passed by the New Mexico legislature; more than all other governors combined.
  • He cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone.
  • He got government out of the way thereby allowing for the private creation of 20,000 more jobs.
  • He left New Mexico with a budget surplus.
  • He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them.

…the list goes on.  Throughout the early Republican campaign for the nomination he repeatedly advocated libertarian solutions for national problems, and as a two-term governor he enters the race with stronger political credentials then any other Libertarian nominee, and he has more executive experience then Barack Obama and Mitt Romney combined.

Furthermore, a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for the party of principal.  The Libertarian Party has been the choice for advocates of individual liberty and limited government for 40 years.  Many of it’s founders were Goldwater Republicans who were disgusted with Nixonian statism.  In 1988 Ron Paul was the Party’s nominee President.  At the 2012 convention, delegates nominated Judge Jim Gray as Gary Johnson’s running mate.  Judge Gray is an outspoken critic of the war on drugs.

For these reasons, I wholeheartedly endorse the Libertarian candidate, Governor Gary Johnson, as my choice for President of these United States.

Tea Party Welcomes Boman. Hoekstra Snubs Tea Party.

May 23, 2012 by

5/22/2012

Shelby Township, MI – United States Senate candidate, Pete Hoekstra backed out of a candidate forum after

Boman Speaks as Hoekstra looks on in Grandville on May 14th.

Boman Speaks as Hoekstra looks on in Grandville on May 14th, at the Eternal Word Church.

learning he would have to face Libertarian hopeful Scotty Boman.  The forum was held by the Romeo Area Tea Party at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township and was moderated by WJR Radio Personality Frank Beckmann.

During introductory statements, Beckmann explained the absence of former Congressman Pete Hoekstra by saying that Hoekstra was uncomfortable with the format, and objected to the inclusion of Scotty Boman in the forum.  Boman commented that he expected Hoekstra to have a “…thicker skin than that.”  The following morning (May 22nd) Beckmann addressed the snub again during the first segment of his 9:00 AM to Noon radio program on WJR AM.  He specifically cited comments made by Boman at a forum held on May 14th as making Hoekstra uncomfortable.

At the May 14th forum in Grandville, Boman speculated on who he would vote for in the Republican Primary if he didn’t qualify to be in it saying, “We’re still a little short and if these are the only candidates I have to choose from, I’m going with Clark Durant…He’s a person that really sticks to principle. He’s a man who has professional talent to get things done.” This forum, at Eternal Word Church, was only attended by Pete Hoekstra, Gary Glenn, Randy Hekman, Clark Durant, and Scotty Boman. Peter Konetchy (who qualified for the Republican primary) did not attend.

On his May 22nd radio broadcast, Beckmann said Hoekstra viewed Boman and Durant as “a slate,” due to Boman’s favorable remarks about Durant.  When asked, Boman has clarified this as a comment about his Republican Primary preference and that he would be voting Libertarian in November.

In September of 2011 libertarian activist, Scotty Boman announced his effort to seek the Republican Party nomination for United States Senate, but fell short of the 15,000 signatures needed to file for the Republican Primary.  As a result, Boman’s name cannot appear on the Republican Party’s Primary ballot.

In 2008 Boman was on the general election ballot as a Libertarian.  He placed third in the election.  Libertarians nominate their State-wide candidates by a self-funded convention rather than a tax-payer funded primary. As a result, Libertarians can select their candidates at conventions, while also voting in major party primaries.

The Libertarian Party will hold it’s convention on June 2nd at:  Embassy Suites Livonia/Novi. 19525 Victor Parkway. Livonia, MI 48152

Another candidate, Erwin Haas, is also seeking that nomination.