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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Institute for Justice wins asset forfeiture case


    
Yesterday, IJ won our fastest victory ever.  Just hours after we launched our latest civil forfeiture case with an exclusive feature in The Washington Post, the government agreed to drop all charges against our clients and returned every cent that it had wrongfully seized.   
 
This case involves one of the most outrageous forfeiture actions we’ve seen yet.  During a routine traffic stop for a broken tail light, the Muskogee, Oklahoma, sheriff’s department seized more than $53,000 from our clients—a church and a Burmese Christian band on tour in the U.S. trying to raise funds for charity.  The full Washington Post story is here, and you can find more information about the case, including IJ’s video, on our website.
 
Law enforcement nationwide continues to use civil forfeiture to steal property and hard-earned cash from innocent owners.  But with your support, we were able to act quickly and marshal resources across time zones—and, in this case, continents—to come to their defense.  Despite its short duration, this case involved a great deal of work and hustle by IJ attorneys.  Indeed, I suspect this is the first time anyone has had to chase down notaries in Burma, rural Thailand, Omaha, and Dallas all on the same day.  This victory brings us one step closer to our goal of abolishing forfeiture, and we are grateful to you for making it possible.   
 
Scott
 



Scott Bullock | scott@ij.org | Institute for Justice | 901 North Glebe Road, Suite 900 | Arlington, Virginia 22203




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Libertarian Movement

Was the “Libertarian Moment” Wishful Thinking? A Debate


Debate 
March 16, 2016 
6:00PM to 7:30PM
Hayek Auditorium 
Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Featuring David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute; and Matt Welch, Editor in Chief, Reason; vs. Ramesh Ponnuru, Columnist and Senior Editor, National Review; and Conor Friedersdorf, Staff Writer, The Atlantic; moderated by David Kirby, Vice President and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute. 
Less than 18 months ago, a cover story for the New York Times Magazineasked, “Has the ‘libertarian moment’ finally arrived?” From public suspicion of the surveillance state, to increasing tolerance for marijuana legalization, to marriage equality, to weariness with war—the article argued that after years of intellectual work, “for perhaps the first time,” libertarianism has “genuine political momentum on its side.” However, the Rand Paul presidential campaign failed to catch fire. The two breakout candidates of the presidential campaign have been a socialist and an authoritarian. The idea of tolerance seems increasingly quaint, as Mexicans and Muslims have become the target of public frustrations. And the public seems to have forgotten its weariness with war, as the Islamic State continues its brutal terrorism. Was all this talk of the libertarian moment simply wishful thinking? Or was the libertarian moment never about politics in the first place? Join David Boaz, Matt Welch, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Conor Friedersdorf for a wide-ranging conversation on the future of libertarianism.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ted Cruz crushes Donald Trump in Kansas caucuses

Ted Cruz crushes Donald Trump in Kansas caucuses: Sen. Ted Cruz crushed his opponents in Kansas’ Republican presidential nominating caucuses Saturday, and was flirting with becoming the first candidate to top 50 percent in any of the contests so far as the votes were being counted.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Today is also filing deadline for candidates in Virginia



Tuesday, March 1 is the filing deadline for many offices that are on ballots across the Commonwealth on Tuesday, May 3.  Those offices include:

City Council in 17 cities:
http://elections.virginia.gov/Files/Media/Calendar/CityCncl14-18-May-November.pdf

City School Board in 10 cities:
http://elections.virginia.gov/Files/Media/Calendar/City_School_Board.pdf

Town Council, Town Mayor and other Town Offices in 114 towns:
http://elections.virginia.gov/Files/Media/Calendar/TC14_18_MayandNovember.pdf

Many of these offices require 0 or 25 valid signatures to get on the ballot.  None require more than 125.  Details can be found here:
http://elections.virginia.gov/Files/BecomingACandidate/CandidateBulletins/2016CityTownOffices.pdf

Which means there it is still possible for many of our members--maybe you--to file to run for a City or Town office up for election on May 3.

Thank you for all you do for the Libertarian Party of Virginia.

Bill Redpath
Chairman
Libertarian Party of Virginia



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Monday, February 29, 2016

What if Hillary's indicted?

What if Hillary's indicted?: It's less unlikely than it was, and would throw an enormous wrench into this primary season.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Conservatarians

Join Rare Politics editors Jack Hunter and Matt Purple for a thoughtful discussion with National Review writer and author of “The Conservatarian Manifesto” Charles C. W. Cooke and political commentator and YouTube influencer Julie Borowski.

Thursday, Feb. 25
6:30 p.m. Networking/cocktails
7-8 p.m. Discussion/Q&A
DC Lottery Live Studio: 1015 Half Street, Washington, DC

This event is free, open to the public, and first come, first serve (venue seats 100)!

The event will be broadcast via Facebook Live on Rare Politics.

Rand Paul for Senate




I think it’s time we do something about it about our $19 trillion dollar debt, don’t you?

We need cuts.

We need reforms.

And I need to get to Washington for another term to make sure I’m there to fight for them.

I believe one of my most important jobs in the Senate is to rein in the wasteful spending in Washington.

I take my responsibility to expose waste and save taxpayer dollars very seriously.
 
Our country cannot to continue business as usual with the budget.

I’ve been labeled the “most frugal lawmaker in Congress” and I’m happy to uphold that title.

Earlier this week I asked the budget committee to include my findings from ‘The Waste Report’ in the 2017 budget.

We should be protected from waste. When the government spends our money, we deserve to know exactly how it was spent.

As it stands, the Federal Government has racked up over $19 trillion in federal debt, over 100 percent of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product. That comes out to over $60,000 per person alive today.

They’ve been spending $1000 here, and a couple thousand there, adding up to billions wasted. And we have to pay it back.

This is a real problem that cannot be ignored.

During my time in the Senate, I’ve proposed three budgets that balance within five years.
 
Today, I’m asking for your support to make sure these critical proposals are put on the desk of the Budget Committee in my next term.

I will continue to fight for taxpayers for more oversight, more transparency, and less spending.

I hope I can count on you to stand with me today to help make sure I am elected to another term for Kentucky this November.

In Liberty,
Rand Paul


Paid for by Rand Paul for

Hillary Clinton is Her Own Worst Enemy

Hillary Clinton is Her Own Worst Enemy

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Apple on encryption



February 16, 2016A Message to Our Customers

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. 
This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

The Need for Encryption

Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.
All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.
Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.
For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case

We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.
When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.
We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.
Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.
The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.
In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.
The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.
The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.
We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.
The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.
The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.
Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.
We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.
While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.
Tim Cook
---

According to the AP, soon-to-be-heroic technicians have uncovered 22 million email messages from the George W. Bush administration—far more than the Bush White House said they'd lost in the first place.
That's a lot of emails—but not as much data as you might first think. Berkeley estimated in 2003 the average email size to be around 18,500 bytes. That's about 379 gigabytes of lost email, give or take a few Powerpoint attachments with slides missing in the "Find a reason to invade Iraq" section.
Mother Jones had details of the recovery process:
Restoration of missing emails promises to be the trickiest part of the settlement agreement. The White House first ran into archiving problems in 2003, but didn't begin to address the problem until October 2005. Only in the final days of the Bush administration did the White House begin working with contractors-including software giant Microsoft-to find missing messages.
Don't expect to see these for a while. The National Archives have to sift through the emails before they'll be released to the public. But expect a thousand Freedom of Information Act requests to let fly towards Washington in the meantime. [Telegram/AP]

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Obama threatens Justices in his SOTU, and then they die





Was Scalia Murdered ? 

Forget "Conspiracy Theory" This is Real

by Jon Rappoport
February 16, 2016

"Scalia's Federal Protection had been removed while he was at the Texas ranch."

Let's jump right in with quotes from the Washington Post, 2/15, "Conspiracy theories swirl around the death of Antonin Scalia". 

The Post published extraordinary statements from the Facebook page of "William O. Ritchie, former head of criminal investigations for D.C. police":

"As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia."

"You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician. 

You have a non-homicide trained US Marshal tell the justice of peace that no foul play was observed.

You have a justice of the peace pronounce death while not being on the scene and without any medical training opining that the justice died of a heart attack.

What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infarction?

Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?"

"How can the Marshal say, without a thorough post mortem, that he was not injected with an illegal substance that would simulate a heart attack..."

"Did the US Marshal check for petechial hemorrhage in his eyes or under his lips that would have suggested suffocation?

Did the US Marshal smell his breath for any unusual odor that might suggest poisoning?

My gut tells me there is something fishy going on in Texas."

If this isn't enough, the Post goes on:

"Scalia's physician, Brian Monahan, is a U.S. Navy rear admiral and the attending physician for the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court.

He declined to comment on Scalia's [prior] health when reached by telephone Monday at his home in Maryland.

"'Patient confidentiality forbids me to make any comment on the subject,' he said."

"When asked whether he planned to make public the statement he's preparing for [Texas Judge] Guevara, Monahan repeated the same statement and hung up on a reporter."

As long as no law-enforcement investigation of Scalia's death is launched, the doctor is justified. 

Confidentiality applies, unless Scalia's family lifts it. 

But if such an investigation is opened, all bets are off. 

Confidentiality no longer applies.

There are reports that, after Scalia's body was transported from the celebrity ranch in Texas, closely guarded and shielded by a bevy of marshals, it was rapidly embalmed. 

If so, that would apparently make toxicological tests far more difficult or impossible. 

As for a murder motive, try: upsetting the voting balance of the US Supreme Court. 

Try: a push to appoint a new Justice now, thus ensuring the appointee's political persuasion, regardless of the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election. 

Try: attempting to shift the Court's voting balance in upcoming cases on Guns, Abortion, Immigration and Obamacare.

Dismiss the comfortable notion that "this couldn't happen." 

JFK couldn't have been murdered, but he was. 

High political figures don't carry special immunity. 

Dismiss assurances from incompetents in Texas that Scalia died of natural causes, and dismiss the press repeating these assurances - -which add up to: nothing.

Dismiss calls for "propriety in a time of grief." 

Dismiss whatever opinions, pro and con, circulate now about Scalia, his points of view, his decisions, his character, his life. 

They're irrelevant to the facts of his death. 

Those facts are as clear as mud.

Dismiss the typical accusations of "conspiracy theory." 

It's no theory when key facts are unknown and incompetents supplied the current "information."

In addition to what I've cited above, count as relevant the fact that Scalia's Federal Protection had been removed while he was at the Texas ranch. 

We're told Scalia [supposedly] didn't want that protection. 

Maybe yes, maybe no. 
[Isn't is a fine "coincidence" that he dies the very same day he is not under Federal Protection?]

We're also told Scalia's family [supposedly] didn't want an autopsy. 

Again, maybe yes, maybe no. 

The family has been silent. 

Or if not, their statements aren't being reported.

Consider, as potentially relevant, the report that Scalia was found with a pillow over his head.

Consider, as relevant, that Judge Guevara, deciding without seeing the body that Scalia died from natural causes, ruled against doing an autopsy - -and a counter-opinion, offered unofficially by another Texas judge, Bishop, that she would have wanted an autopsy.

Concerning Judge Guevara, this may or may not be relevant - heavy.com reports, "Judge Cinderela Guevara: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know":

"This isn't the first time Guevara has been the source of controversy.

In 2013, Melaney Parker Rayburn was found dead after being hit by a train in Marfa, Texas...

Liz Parker, Melaney's mom, questioned how Guevara handled the investigation of her daughter's death, The Daily Kos reported.

Melaney was hit by a Union Pacific Railroad train and, Liz [her mother] wrote, a Union Pacific representative told her that it appeared that her body had been placed on the tracks while she was unconscious.

Liz asked the Justice of the Peace and the Sheriff to open the case as a homicide investigation, but they would not.

Guevara, who was a Justice of the Peace at the time, did not order a rape kit or an autopsy, Liz wrote, because a doctor at the scene said the cause of death was obvious.

"Liz later wrote a letter to the editor, published on Big Bend Now, in which she said that Guevara had asked for God to give her an answer about whether Melaney's death was suicide.

Liz wrote that Guevara told her: 'Yes, this was a tragedy, but the true tragedy was that she died without accepting Jesus Christ as her savior.'"

Bottom line so far: Any reasonable law-enforcement agency would immediately open an investigation into Scalia's death. 

Failing to do so would rate as aiding and abetting a concealment of the truth, whatever that turns out to be.

You can find this article and more at NoMoreFakeNews.com.


Please pass this on...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Intern Workshop

Conservative Intern Workshop
Date: Thursday, March 10
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: LI's Steven P.J. Wood Building at the Clarendon metro (orange line)
Cost: Free (includes lunch)
 
Sign Up Today

Following the workshop, put your new networking skills to the test and join your fellow interns, including Leadership Institute interns, at a networking Happy Hour and Debate Watch Party at Hard Times Café.

During this workshop, you will learn to:
  • stand out in your office
  • edit your resume effectively
  • transition from your internship to full-time employment
  • interview with confidence
This training is the perfect opportunity for you to network with young professionals and meet established professionals in Washington, DC.

Your internship is more than getting coffee and filing papers.  Your internship is about seeking out opportunities and accepting opportunities -- all while enjoying what Washington, DC has to offer.  Space is limited, so register here to reserve your spot.

Best,

Paul Alfonse
Intern Coordinator

Monday, January 25, 2016

January 2016 Tea Party Calendar


January 26
Alexandria VA
Arlington VA
Louseville KY
Huntsville, TX
(check local listings)

Liberty Karyaoke


Join the Rand Paul campaign on January 26 for #StandWithRand Liberty Karaoke!

This event brings supporters from every major United States city together to flex our grassroots muscle. At the event we will ask all supporters to chip in $5 and sign up to volunteer for the campaign.

Post photos from our event on the event wall and chip in to donate here:tiny.cc/sfrdonate

To host an event in your town, find a local bar with karaoke this Tuesday and submit the information here: www.randpaul.com/karaoke


  • *********************************************************************
    January 26
    New York, NY

    Liberty Happy Hour

    Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel
    7:00 pm

687 Lexington Ave, New YorkNY (map)
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January 27
Google Hangouts

Gary Johnson Hangs Out
7:00 pm

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January 28
Concord, New Hampshire

Americans for Prosperity Lobbying Day
9:00 am



Join AFP-NH at the State House (Rep's Hall) next Thursday for a hearing on continuing the failed experiment of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion in NH! House bill 1696-FN would continue a failed program taking resources from the people medicaid was designed for and giving it to abled-body childless adults creating an unsustainable future of government spending in Concord.

We will be giving t-shirts to all AFP activists who attend.

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January 28
Dulles, VA

Loudon Libertarians
7:00 PM

Ocelot Brewing Company
23600 Overland Dr Ste 180
Dulles, VA

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January 29 - 31
FEE Annual Retreat

5001 Coconut Road 
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134


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