Monday, January 30, 2017

Libertarian Pub Opens in Toronto

A brand new venue on Queen Street East called the Libertarian Public House. We will bringing in a lot new events, live music, meetings, and a great new menu all homemade. We are free to conversation, opinions, spirit, and life. Libertarian welcomes you.

Libertarian calendar for January 2017

  • January 28
  • Middletown, MD

Libertarian meeting
2:00 pm

  • 3 Hollow Creek Cir, Middletown, MD 21769-7723, United States
  • -----
  • Dallas, TX
  • January 29

Libertarian Trivia
7:30 pm

Trinity Hall Irish Pub
5321 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, Texas 75206
Washington, DC
January 30

Immigration conference
9 am

901 K Street NW

With Donald Trump going on a tear today in announcing his executive orders, the future of immigration policy in this country has assumed a new urgency. To take TrumpGage Skidmore via Foterstock of these orders and also offer President Trump more humane ways to achieve his objectives of national security and economic growth that are consistent with freedom and limited government, Reason is assembling a top-notch roster of immigration experts to weigh in on January 30, Monday. Editor-in-Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward will kick off the conference with opening remarks and Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia will discuss the leviathan state President Trump's harsh enforcement approach will require.
Other speakers:

Stuart Anderson, Executive Director of the National Foundation for American Policy
Theresa Cardinal Brown, Director of Immigration Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center
Linda Chavez, Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity
Dan Griswold, Co-Director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University's Program on the American Economy and Globalization
Tamar Jacoby, President of ImmigrationWorks USA
Tim Kane, Fellow in Immigration Studies at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Matthew La Corte, Immigration Policy Analyst at the Niskanen Center
Liz Mair, President of Mair Strategies
Alex Nowrasteh, Immigration Policy Analyst at Cato Institute
Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University

What will they discuss?
Panel discussions on how President-elect Donald Trump can most effectively move ahead with Congress on immigration reform; the best policies to deal with undocumented workers already in America; and how immigration policies will impact economic growth.
The event starts at 9:30 am ET on January 30, 2017. Complimentary lunch will be served. The full schedule is here.
Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center
To get more details and register, RSVP:

Patrick McMahon
Communications Specialist
Reason Foundation, Reason magazine,

Monday, January 23, 2017

Left suppress Trump voters at Inaugural

A group of men wearing Black Lives Matter t shirts assaulted people going to the Trump Inaugural, including one disabled woman walking with a cane.

No mainstream media have covered it, though she was interviewed this morning on the Chris Plante Show.

The woman, a Shannon from Alexandria, VA, was pulled to the ground and then kicked repeatedly.  Her husband, who had made it through a security checkpoint just before she was grabbed, was then grabbed by 5 men when he tried to help her.

She is now being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

WRETCHED LIBERAL HAG Removed From Plane After Harassing Trump Sup...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

FaceBook Relish

This was published yesterday at The Daily Caller.

In ancient times a virtual reality was a hypothetical discussion by philosophers and their students.

Plato has Socrates and a group of young men discuss what the just city should be like in the Republic and they quickly spell out what it would be like: simple, agrarian, egalitarian, self-sustaining, producing all the things it needs for everyone to lead a wholesome, healthy, peaceful life.

That is until one of the students asks about relish.  In order to produce condiments more land is needed and the economy becomes more complex, leading the friends of Socrates out of their hypothetical Eden, to ever more complicated regimes, each found wanting, until the symposiasts end up with a somewhat totalitarian state in which the rulers are philosophers who want to live the life of the mind and don't want to rule, and the ruling political class of "guardians" unlike any historical ruling class we've ever met (excepting people named Kushner or Trump) denies itself any wealth, private families, or even knowledge of the identity of their own children - who are given up for adoption at birth.

Today we have virtual polities again, which we call social networks.  Now they aren't so much the message - about how we should live or what justice is - but the medium by which we discuss this.

Like the hypothetical just city in the Republic our social networks keep evolving and getting more complicated.  And just like Eden, there are snakes in the grass.

The snake everyone is concerned about now is "fake news."  FaceBook in December announced a plan to combat "fake news" that will soon be implemented.  FaceBook's 1.7 billion users will be allowed to flag stories or links they think are fake news, which will then be sent to a small list of centrist liberal "fact checkers" who will decide if the story is not factual, and label it so.  If a user then wishes to share a story labelled as fake news they will receive a warning in a pop-up dialogue box asking them if they really want to share it.

People on the right are of course concerned that this will lead to rampant censorship of their opinions and news they think important, citing past reports that the Silicon Valley millennial cyber-guardians hired by FaceBook to "curate" its trending stories were accused of this in the past, with a rather lame rebuttal from FaceBook that this wasn't true.  The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway pointed out that the "fact checkers" who FaceBook had contracted with so far (FaceBook says they are not paying the fact checkers) have partisan leanings and a bad record of sticking to facts.  Though I cannot find any pattern of left of center FaceBook users who were banned or had their postings deleted by FaceBook (and one can find many right of center or libertarian victims), the World Socialist Web Site's George Gallinis doesn't trust the FaceBook fact checking regime either.

In December FaceBook sent a PR person who is a libertarian (not a liberal) to speak to center right groups and assure them that "fact checking" was not an attempt to censor their publications or suppress their views.  Indeed, she argued, by preventing the fake news produced by Macedonian teenagers or a California clickbait entrepreneur (who turned out to be a Democrat) from going viral and swarming the news feed, they would be freeing up more FaceBook "real estate" for everyone else.  This week FaceBook announced an additional initiative, where FaceBook staff will visit newsrooms and coordinate with mainstream journalists, local and national, including FOX News, to attempt to define which news is real and which is fake.

Which leads me to wonder if part of what motivates the fake news protocol is neither the need to suppress fake news, nor a desire to censor Trump (and Johnson etc.) supporters whose social media activities helped the candidate Silicon Valley supported lose her election (by keeping alive stories the legacy media had tried to quash).  Instead, Mark Zuckerberg is trying to free the best tables at his $17 billion restaurant from the low value customers using his internet for hours while only buying one cup of coffee, and make them available for paying customers, left or right, who want to buy some pricey relish.  Zuckerberg wants users to be clicking on links that paid to be boosted or advertised, not non-paying spammers who are clever with incendiary headlines.

As we know from Mr. Zuckerberg's biography, The Social Network, he never planned to limit himself to a simple menu.  FaceBook evolved from being a social network to being a data broker and online store and advertising platform - because Zuckerberg (and his investors) wanted relish.  FaceBook collects data on its users so it can market itself to those who want to advertise to targeted groups of users (or pay to boost posts to them).  FaceBook even demands data most Boards of Elections don't require:  FaceBook sometimes demands users email them a scan of a driver's license or other government issued ID.  FaceBook claims it is verifying that people are who they say they are.  But by demanding IDs its also making sure that the mineable data in your FaceBook profile (birth date, gender, name, address) is correct.

Another Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Mark Weinstein,  has created another social network, MeWe, that is a return to the original simple city, just a social network, not a data broker or advertising platform.  You can be connected to friends and you can join topical groups, but MeWe does not harvest your data.   (Weinstein is also a privacy rights activist and Edward Snowden fan who blogs at Huffington Post.)  MeWe has only 500,000 users today, but it was nominated in 2016 for a South by SouthWest award, the Austin tech venue that helped launch Twitter in 2007 (which now has 310 million users and $600 million in revenue).  Weinstein predicts MeWe will have 30 million users by the end of 2017 (around the size of MySpace, which still exists, unlike Friendster, the other social network that once competed with FaceBook, which went dark in 2015).  When I asked about how he will pay for the servers and engineers needed to scale up to what would still only be 2% of FaceBook's size, Weinstein says MeWe will begin launching additional subscription upgrades, beyond the social network, for those who want to pay for them - encryption for chats, or an app like Slack.   He's serving the relish - non-GMO, additive free - on the side.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 brings new talk radio

This was published yesterday at Breitbart.

If 2016 brought a shakeup in American politics, 2017 promises changes in talk radio, where some think American politics often begins.

Two new national talk radio shows launch this morning, one from the world of conservative talk radio, and one from the liberal world of National Public Radio.

Both also represent a "browning of America," as broadcasters of color - one Hispanic, one African American - move into prominence with new national radio shows.

The new conservative show, at 9 am Eastern, aims to join radio stars like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, is Washington, D.C. area broadcaster Chris Plante, whose "Chris Plante Show" has run on WMAL radio at 9 am for several years.

Plante, a former CNN reporter who covered the Defense Department, is from a family of broadcasters, including both brothers and his step-father, CBS reporter Bill Plante.

Plante lives across the street from National Cathedral with his "best gal," as she is frequently discussed on the show, Tricia Messerschmidt, a Washington, D.C. realtor.

Plante has two recurring themes for which he has two tag lines: political hypocrisy - "if they didn't have double standards, liberals would have no standards at all," and media bias - "Democrats, and the media...but then, I repeat myself."

Plante, who has described himself as being somewhat libertarian (though he has in most cases ridiculed Gary Johnson and local Libertarian Party candidates when mentioning them at all), a sometimes reluctant Republican voter, and an independent with a wait and see attitude on Donald Trump's policies, was a vociferous critic of Hillary Clinton and the DNC in the 2016 election cycle. For a year or two Plante has been appearing occasionally on FOX News paired with a liberal in point/counterpoint panels, or as the "one lucky guy" on "Outnumbered," FOX's newsy (almost) all woman noon answer to "The View."

WMAL radio's recent line up was a morning show, "Mornings on the Mall," featuring former FOX reporter Brian Wilson and former Breitbart editor Larry O'Connor (who is also launching a new local radio show), followed by Plante, Rush Limbaugh at noon (eastern time) , and Sean Hannity and then Michael Savage at 3 pm.

Hannity and Limbaugh are at the top of the talk radio firmament, each along with NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition" having an audience of a little over 13 million people daily. For comparison, the most popular cable news shows, like "The O'Reilly Factor," reach 3 million people, and major morning broadcast shows like "Today" and "Good Morning America" reach an audience of fewer than 5 million.

Sean Hannity currently has a $100 million multi-year contract and Limbaugh's multi-year contract is for $400 million.

If Plante, whose maternal family and birth father are Hispanic, can duplicate their successes, he'd be one of the few non-white broadcasters breaking into Oprah territory by earning more than $10 million a year.

Sylvie Rivera, who runs a facebook fan page for WMAL (The Real Housewives of WMAL) thinks Plante will succeed nationally: "This is so exciting for Chris and for his longtime fans, who've seen him rise from an unknown evening radio talk show host in 2006, to national and international prominence. We look forward to sharing Chris' wit, dry humor, vast political & pop culture knowledge and absolute control of the facts with the rest of the Nation!"

One hour later, at National Public Radio, Joshua Johnson, launches a new show, at 10 am Eastern time, "1A," the show's name referring both to the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and to the front page of newspapers "1A" replaces the almost 37 old "Diane Rehm" show, which had an audience of 2.8 million.  

Rehm, a Palestinian American, began her career as a volunteer, also at a local DC radio station, WAMU. Rehm's show proclaimed itself dedicated to civil discussion and offering multiple points of view, especially on its Friday news round up segment where a panel of American and British, liberal and conservative, journalists discussed the events of the week in advance of the similar Sunday TV programs. But her career was marred by lapses into bias, as when in the 1980s she alone on her panel was unaware of the author Joan Peters, who had received death threats from Palestinian activists for publishing a book, "From Time Immemorial" (1984), whose thesis was that the economic activity of Jewish settlers had attracted Arab immigrant labor to Israel who were not an original Palestinian population. In 2016 Rehm was forced to apologize to Presidential candidate Bernie Saunders when she was fooled by a fake news story circulating on leftist websites into believing that he was a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen.

Johnson, who is replacing Rehm, co-created Truth Be Told, one of several NPR shows (like Snap Judgement) that are attempts to find an audience beyond the white upper middle class liberal one so often spoofed even by other "progressive" media programs like Saturday Night Live. Truth Be Told, produced at KQED in San Francisco, aimed to be conversational, low key, and previously uncovered reports on race in America, like the plight of African Americans facing employment discrimination in Silicon Valley, or of white students enrolled in black colleges. Though Johnson only created that show a few months ago (he'd previously been a reporter at an NPR affiliate in Miami, where he graduated from college in 2002, for a few years), NPR was impressed enough to hire him to replace one of their flagship national shows.

Chris Plante was off the air for the past week and mum on what his first order of business will be. For Johnson's maiden show he's inviting listeners to give him their New Year's Resolutions for the country:

Falling asleep in front of the TV