Friday, August 25, 2017

Venezuelan Dictator Liquidates Judiciary

Published yesterday at the Daily Caller.

Dictator Nicolas Maduro is liquidating Venezeula's independent judiciary as well as replacing its popularly elected National Assembly, Venezuelan Supreme Court Justices Miguel Angel Martin and Ramsis Ghazzaoui reported to an audience at the non-partisan humanitarian watchdog group Freedom House in Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon.

The two Justices, soon to be joined by other judges in exile, plan to lobby the Trump administration this week, and meet with Venezeulans who have fled to the U.S. and other countries.

The two Justices reported that Maduro has appointed 33 new judges to replace the existing judiciary that had opposed as unconstitutional his expansion of government power and executive authority.  They also report that many have had their assets frozen and their family members harassed.  In the past two years the Maduro regime has arrested many opposition political leaders, with the whereabouts of many unknown after they disappear.  Citizens conducted massive anti-Maduro protests for over 4 months, with 100 civilians killed while protesting Maduro.  In August elements of the Venezuelan military began to rebel, and attacked a military base.

Before Maduro's dictatorship, Supreme Court Justices were appointed by the popularly elected National Assembly.

They were joined via Skype by Julio Borges, Deputy to the National Assembly, whose connection was intermittent, which Freedom House moderator Carlos Ponce attributed to deteriorating communications infrastructure in Venezuela.

As many as a million Venezuelans (population 31 million) have fled the country, according to Borges:  500,000 to Columbia, 200,000 to Chile, 200,000 to the U.S. (mainly Florida), 20,000 to the Dominican Republic.  Three thousand a month were fleeing to Panama, which began requiring Visas for Venezuelans to enter the country.

The Venezuelans who remain behind are searching through trash in the streets for anything edible, and dying of curable and manageable diseases, Ghazzaoui charged, with, for example, no insulin available for diabetics.  This despite millions in Euros in Germany and other countries banked by Maduro and other members of the ruling party, the profits from narcotics trade, according to Justice Martin, and with mineral rights companies now owned by military officers loyal to Maduro, said Ghazzaoui.  Venezuela recently transferred control of its oil sales to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a way of shielding revenues from bond holders it is defaulting on.

The judges in exile hope to lobby more countries to break diplomatic ties with Venezuela.  They also hope to formulate a way to impose sanctions on and freeze the assets of members of the Maduro regime, without hurting already impoverished average Venezuelans.  Finally they say they hope to organize a representative government in exile from the huge and growing Venezuelan refugee community, to help with the country's eventual transition back to democracy. 

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.  It publishes two rankings of countries Freedom in the World 2017 and  Freedom of the Press 2017.  Venezuela dropped from "partially free" in the 2016 rankings to "not free" in 2017, joining Cuba, the only two countries ranked "not free" in the Western Hemisphere.

Update:  The Trump administration announced new sanctions on Venezuela the next day.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Libertarian questions on Charlottesville

Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict on Charlottesville (


Libertarian open letter:
non-violent "Antifa"



Paul Jacobs on Governor Terry McAuliffe and the city of Charlottesville's failure to provide police protection and crowd control (Townhall)



Jeffrey Tucker on the history of fascist ideology (FEE)




NeverTrumper David French says Trump should have said more (National Review)


Thursday, August 10, 2017

America's Future Foundation seeks new director

Outgoing director Roger Custer writes:

After six years at America's Future Foundation, I've accepted a position as director of foundation relations with the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), starting September 5, 2017.  It's an incredible opportunity to grow their work to educate students for liberty and empower faculty to make long-term change on campus.  As you know, this is a personal passion of mine all the way back to my days as a YAF activist at Ithaca College. 

We have grown AFF to record levels, both quantitatively and qualitatively.  This is evidenced by the launch of the 27th and 28th chapter this month, and the pipeline of talent that is emerging to influence the Millennial generation with free market solutions.    
For more than two decades, AFF has incubated the talents not just of our members, but of our leadership as well. Former AFF executive directors and senior leaders now serve in executive positions at leading think tanks, activist groups, and in the private sector. Thousands of other AFF alumni are in positions of influence thanks to your investment in their education and development. 

You can read about the search for a new executive director here.  In the mean time, Heather Pfitzenmaier will serve as interim executive director.       

It has been an honor to serve AFF these past six years. I am proud of the growth of the organization and everything we’ve accomplished. It’s very exciting to think about all the talented people you and AFF have touched, and the impact they will have over the next 20 to 30 years in the world of ideas.  This month's chapter launches in Portland and Jacksonville are just the latest examples. 

The board and I are fully committed to finding AFF's new CEO and equipping him or her with the tools necessary to bring AFF to the next level.  Together we can inspire the Millennial generation to embrace free markets, limited government, and personal responsibility.  

Again, thank you for your support, and I look forward to working with you in a new capacity soon. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

FaceBook, Google, continue support Maduro's dictatorship?

Google is in the news again for firing an employee for the thought crime of writing a memo criticizing Google's "diversity" policies.

This is not unexpected, as Google routinely bans, or makes unsearchable, or unmonetizable, politically incorrect accounts, blogger blogs (including this one, which has been deleted when an associated gmail address was suspended for months - and when de-suspended all blogs were deleted), and YouTube accounts.

FaceBook behaves similarly.

Most recently FaceBook has banned advertising from the libertarian movie review website MissLiberty.

The proprietor of Miss Liberty, who wishes to remain anonymous, often advertises the website and its associated FaceBook page on FaceBook.

Most recently MissLiberty has had a number of targeted ads about movies on totalitarianism or movies of interest to Latin Americans, which had been targeted to Venezuelan FaceBook users.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Libertarian calendar for August 2016

August 25-27
Lancaster, MI

NH Cannabis Festival

Roger's Campground & Motel
10 Rogers Campground Rd, Lancaster, New Hampshire 03584

August 27

Libertarian birthdays:

Libertarian National Committee chair Nicholas Sarwark

Ballot Access Maven Richard Winger

Author Brink Lindsey

August 27

Matt Welch, reason magazine editor at large, on Real Time with Bill Maher.
1:45 pm and 4:45 pm (on HBO signature)


August 28
Grand Rapids, MI
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?
New Holland Brewing The Knickerbocker
August 27
Dallas, TX

Libertarian Trivia
7:30 pm

Trinity Hall Irish Pub
5321 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, Texas 75206

August 28

Austin Petersen
 Due to the hurricane coverage they had to push  interview to Monday, Aug 28. I will update everyone as soon as I have the exact time.
I will be sitting down on Fox News' American News HQ program to discuss why I'm running as a Republican for U.S. Senate! Watch live here:

August 29
Charlottesville, VA

History of libertarian student movements
(Tim Palmer lecture)
7 pm

University of Virginia

August 31
Arlington, VA

James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: A Rational Reconstruction

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

George Mason University, Fairfax
Buchanan Hall (formerly Mason Hall) D100
Fairfax, VA 22030

Falling asleep in front of the TV