header-image

Queens Libertarians

Libertarian News, Views, Discussion and Advocacy from Queens County, New York

News

2024 LP Candidates for President: Lars Mapstead

Third in a series. Officially declared LP candidate Mapstead, from his website:

Lars Mapstead is a tech entrepreneur, road racing enthusiast, and 2024 Libertarian Candidate for President. He grew up in poverty, living out of a small barn in Big Sur, California until the death of his grandfather in a hit-and-run accident. Bounced around from relative to relative, he overcame alcohol, drugs, and incredible odds to found and co-found multiple internet startups. The largest of these startups was FriendFinder Networks, which he grew into one of the world’s largest social media companies before he sold it in 2007.

As Lars built his businesses, he has watched as in election after election third parties and American voices are being silenced. Americans are being forced to vote for the same two parties, and nearly the exact same candidates, over and over again. Lars is running for President in 2024 to unrig the system, bring fundamental change to our elections, and return our government back to the American people – where it belongs.

Download Full Press Kit

 

What Did the Trump J6 Indictment Leave Out?

From Reason Magazine’s notes on the August 1 indictment of Donald Trump on January 6 related issues:

…Here, I would like to highlight what Special Counsel Jack Smith left out:

The most significant omission was that Trump was not indicted for insurrection, 18 U.S.C. § 2383. This decision was not particularly surprising, since none of the January 6 defendants have been charged with insurrection. Stuart Rhodes and the Proud Boys were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Federal prosecutions for insurrection are extremely rare, and there were many open questions about how to obtain a conviction.

The decision not to seek an indictment for insurrection has several immediate consequences. First, the punishment for violating Section 2383 includes being “incapable of holding any office under the United States.” Seth Barrett Tillman and I wrote in early 2020 that even if Trump were convicted of violating this statute, he could not be disqualified from serving a second term as President. Now that Smith has not indicted Trump for violating this statute, we will not need to decide the scope of Section 2383.

Second, if Smith had indicted Trump for violating Section 2383, he would have had to lay out in a systematic fashion why Trump’s conduct amounted to insurrection. Regardless of whether Trump was convicted of violating that statute, state election boards could have relied on that indictment as the predicate to disqualify Trump. In other words, there would have been a common nucleus of operating facts for a Section 3 claim against Trump. Smith’s indictment could have been copied-and-pasted nationwide. But we do not have those facts. Indeed, based on my quick read, the word “insurrection” appears nowhere in the statute…. More

 

Does the LP Address Child Exploitation?

The surprise box-office hit film The Sound of Freedom has certainly raised awareness over child trafficking, and shown that “faith-based” movies have matured to the point of being able to take on serious issues while still attracting regular audiences. But the controversy over child exploitation may have exposed problems with a proper Libertarian response to the issue, as discussed recently in the Libertarian Republic:

Joe Burnes, of the Texas Libertarian State Committee, wrote in defense of this assessment:

“Off the cuff, possession of ANY video is a victimless crime.  The crime happened when the producer created the video. Forest for the trees.  This is like going after everybody that smokes pot but leaving alone the distributors.  Sure, it’s disgusting that anyone would own child porn, but jailing them for it won’t stop a damn thing.  Up the penalties for creating child porn and there won’t be any around to be able to be owned.”

There are several things this particular viewpoint completely ignores.

First, the pornographic media content was the intentional final product. The consumer creates the demand. It was produced specifically for distribution and consumption amongst pedophiles. It absolutely has a victim, and continued consumption and distribution continues to perpetuate that child’s victimhood.

Second, this is erroneously likened to marijuana consumption in Burnes’ statement. It’s not a valid comparison because throughout that entire transaction of purchasing marijuana, there is no victim.

And this is where relying on the Free Market to fix every ailment in the world falls horribly flat.

“Prohibition leads to Black Markets. That doesn’t solve anything!”

This line works great for actual Victimless Crimes, such as the failure of the alcohol prohibition, personal drug use, and voluntary sex work. Removing prohibition from these activities is to make them tolerable or acceptable to society, as they don’t cause harm to other parties. The Libertarian Party is, and always has been ahead of their time on that front.

This is not, and should not ever be the case where a real victim is being exploited. Especially a child who does not have the ability to consent. That’s where Libertarians are far behind the curve, and have yet to leave for the boat that they’ve already missed.

The Libertarian Party appears to have a difficult enough time as it is holding members accountable to their NAP Pledge, let alone entrusting that experiment to an entire society who never bought in to begin with.

As laws are punitive, they have effectively and will continue to punish people who engage in this activity. Libertarianism doesn’t have an answer to match this.

Imagine if you will, that you took your child to some daycare, or a dentist, and that person you trusted took pornographic photos of your 5 year old.

The person who did this goes to jail. Great.

But the photos they took are fair game. They get passed around the dark web, and now on the regular internetnow that distributing child porn is no longer a crime as long as you were not the individual who took the pictures.

Imagine that following your child around for the rest of their lives. Imagine people recognizing your child in the grocery store, now that the possession of child porn is acceptable, so long as a few select virtue signaling Libertarians get to hide behind “BuT i DiDnT sAy i CoNdOnE iT!”

This isn’t simply an appeal to emotion. This is actually the future some Libertarians want.

But even the ones who don’t proactively want this future still appear to settle for it. Because while Libertarianism is great on the Victimless Crime front, they are not equipped to handle crimes that involve a victim. Not just child exploitation, but any crime with a victim….More

 

Did Kamala Mean “Too Much Pollution,” Or Too Many People?

An intriguing question, discussed in Mises.org:

…That it is the government vs. the people rather than the government for, by, and of the people is clear in the former’s policies in practice as well as in the statements from its leaders. Very recently, Vice President Kamala Harris noted that “When we invest in clean energy and electric vehicles and reduce population, more of our children can breathe clean air and drink clean water.” Yes, she said “reduce population.”

The White House quickly posted an updated speech suggesting the VP had merely misread. She meant to say pollution, not population…The obvious reason is that this is something that is often discussed in politics and most likely also within the White House. Neo-Malthusianism, the idea that all problems in the present are due to “too many people,” and the seemingly obvious policy implication that we must “reduce” the number of people living on this earth, is alive and well. It’s a hydra that by now has plenty of heads, simply because we’ve already chopped off so many (and, as for the mythological creature, two grow up to replace each head chopped off).  Read the rest.

 

So, What WAS July Fourth All About?

In further anticipation of the meeting discussing “Midnight for Liberty,” here is historian Tom Woods on the meaning of Independence Day:

Independence Day is tomorrow, and I wonder how many people really get why it matters.

In school, we were told this: “No taxation without representation.”

Zzzzzzzz.

The real principles were more like the following.

(1) No legislation without representation.

The colonists insisted that they could be governed only by the colonial legislatures. This is the principle of self-government. This is what the War for Independence was all about: local self-government.

Yet today, when the Supreme Court says the federal government has no authority over a particular issue and that it is better decided at the state level, instead of being pleased that the decentralized American political order is once again being respected, tens of millions of Americans respond as if Frankenstein’s monster were roaming the land.

2) Contrary to the modern Western view of the state that it must be considered one and indivisible, the colonists believed that a smaller unit may withdraw from a larger one. Today we are supposed to consider this unthinkable.

(3) The colonists’ view of the (unwritten) British constitution was that Parliament could legislate only in those areas that had traditionally been within the purview of the British government. Customary practice was the test of constitutionality. The Parliament’s view, by contrast, was in effect that the will and act of Parliament sufficed to make its measures constitutional.

So the American colonists insisted on strict construction, if you will, while the British held to more of a “living, breathing” view of the Constitution. Sound familiar?

So let’s recap: local self-government, secession, and strict construction. Not exactly the themes you learned in school.

And not even what you’ll learn in graduate school… Read more

 

Midnight for Liberty? A Conversation July 8

Join QL (in its speaker event for LPQC) to hear Dr. Philip Schoenberg lead a group talk on July 8 on the topic of “Is It Midnight for Liberty?,” at OBA Grill on 104-02 Metropolitan Ave at noon (an exchange of ideas by attendees on the current path, or state of freedom in the US). This discussion will follow the monthly business session, covering Queens LP housekeeping and subcommittee updates.

Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg, a historian, will encourage people to choose topics of liberty to discuss. Discussion Questions are in honor of the 4th of July when we declared our independence to determine if we have been on the right path to liberty.

Directions: We will do a roundtable of discussion in which everyone can choose a question for us to discuss.

  1. How do you define being a libertarian?
  2. Should the American Revolutionaries be considered to be libertarians if they did not free their slaves?
  3. Should there be any government regulation of guns and gun ownership?
  4. Should people be allowed to discriminate against others on the basis of gender, handicap, color, race, or religion?
  5. Should compulsory school attendance be considered a violation of liberty?
  6. Should the states be able to nullify laws passed by the federal government?
  7. Should the states be allowed to leave the Union any time they want?   And other topics.  Details and Directions

 

Lionel on Biden’s Tyranny

It’s curious with all the attention showered unto Trump’s basket of presumed transgressions, that the more numerous and better documented scandals of the current President keeps on getting a pass.  Libertarian attorney and pundit Lionel comments on the incumbent Overlord in Chief (and P.S., Tim Pool and friends remark on the sudden turnaround of the mass media, who are now full-on confronting the administration about its corruption):

 

Can New York Even Get Selling Weed Right?

The state of the State’s handling of its new marijuana laws, according to the Queens Chronicle:

If you’re sharp and have lots of friends, it can be fairly easy to set up shop as a pot dealer. You might start out by becoming the person who picks up for your pals. They’re all throwing in, say, $50 for an eighth of an ounce, but when you buy for four of them at once, you’re getting a half-ounce, and maybe it’s $150 instead of $200. Prices drop when you buy in bulk, just like at the store. You just made fifty bucks.

The next step is to not wait for your friends to need weed. You go get it ahead of time. Maybe you get even more, so your volume discount is bigger and once you do sell it, you make even more. And maybe you take the further step of getting your dealer to front it to you: to give you the goods and trust that you’ll pay later. Congratulations, you’re a drug dealer. As long as things go well, you could do this for years. They don’t always go well, but at least the weed trade historically has been less violent than, say, the cocaine business.

Now let’s say you’re the State of New York. Think you can help some folks with experience in both weed and the (more or less) honest business world go completely legit? Can you give them licenses to sell weed and dress it all up by calling it cannabis? Can you let farmers upstate grow the stuff and help them get it to market while it’s fresh? Can you help fill state coffers the way it was done in the past by turning the numbers racket into something called the lottery and taxing the heck out of it? The answer to all this would be no. Not in any competent manner. Not like the guy who started buying weed for his friends and ended up with a Corvette.

It was more than two years ago that the state passed the laws setting up a system for legal recreational marijuana. We were to have hundreds of weed shops (er, cannabis dispensaries) by now; instead we have 12 statewide. What we do have lots of are illegal shops, more than 300 in Queens alone. Most have survived the legal threats made against them so far, while a handful have gotten busted — just as a few wildebeest fall prey to the lions but the herd thunders on…  Read the Rest

 

Are We Near the Fall of the Liberal World Order?

Join QL on June 10 (in its speaker event for LPQC) to hear retired Professor Robert Luster speak on the topic of “The Fall of the Liberal International Order and the Global South,” at OBA Grill on 104-02 Metropolitan Ave at noon. This address will follow the monthly business session, covering Queens LP housekeeping and subcommittee updates. Is the US and the Western order increasingly losing international ground under the increased influence of China, Russia, India, or their emerging alliances with each other? Is the future in a rising new order in Asia and the Global South?

Should our nation have or maintain hegemony or controlling geopolitical dominance across the East? Are many Western officials addressing these changes? How do recent elections, or the economic circumstances of these countries factor into their current relations? Is the US answer to these issues more, or less foreign intervention? Luster will speak 45 minutes, followed by discussion. UPDATE: Due to scheduling issues Luster’s presentation has been postponed until August 12. Dr. Philip Schoenberg will speak instead, discussing “Does the Deep State Exist?” on June 10. 

Details and Directions

P.S.: Schoenberg has further clarified his remarks on the deep state:

The Deep State from the Founding Fathers to Donald Trump and Beyond © 2023 by Philip Ernest Schoenberg, PhD

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “The deep state is defined as “a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.” However, this definition is not complete. The deep state consists of forces that promote injustice by being blind to what is right because the end justifies the means. We will take a trip through American history from the Founding Fathers to the present.

The Deep State is part of belief in a conspiracy theory in which anything that supports what he or she believes in no matter how doubtful, imaginary, and tenuous while anything that  does challenges this belief no matter  how grounded in evidence, reality, science, and truth. The US is the leader in conspiracies like so many else good and bad.

In our survey of the American history of the Deep State, Donald Trump is the epitome of the Deep State. While promising to demolish the Deep State, he has enhanced it. Any person or institution is part of the Deep State. Trump is no victim of the Deep State; he is the Deep State.