Liberals embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President

Joe Kent Blog, Civil Liberties, Crime and Self-Defense, Uncategorized

Liberals in the US are beginning to embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President. BBC News reported that liberal gun purchases may be rising, and liberal gun clubs are seeing a big boost in membership. Some liberals say they are buying guns to defend themselves against potential tyranny from the Trump administration. Gwendolyn Patton, a member of Pink Pistols, a club for gay, lesbian and transgender gun owners, told the BBC, “There are people who have professed to carrying a gun now because Trump made them feel unsafe . . . I think their fears are groundless but I can’t make them not be afraid, so whatever they need to do to feel safer, I don’t have a problem as long as they do it responsibly.” The change in attitude is a stark contrast to liberal views about gun ownership during the Obama years, when CNN host Piers Morgan scored high ratings calling for a ban on assault rifles. In 2013, Piers Morgan asked Ben Shapiro, “Why do they need those weapons?” Ben answered, “They need them for the prospective possibility of resistance to tyranny.” Piers asked, “Where do you expect the tyranny to come from?” Ben answered, “The tyranny would come from the government.” Piers asked, “Barack Obama’s government?” Yes, back then, it was almost impossible for liberals to imagine why anyone would be afraid of Barack Obama’s government. But now that Donald Trump will be president, many people see him and his administration as tyrannical. So will liberals become more pro 2nd amendment? For some people, the tyranny may not be so far fetched, as Trump said that he would deport 3 million undocumented immigrants after his inauguration. Some liberals may wish to defend against this — perhaps even with a gun, or an AR-15 rifle. For some people, …

Libertarian Feminism: Brief Insights from South Asian History

riyabasnet Civil Liberties

For long decades, our ancestors have fought for freedom and peace, and yet the many contributions of liberal women often go unrecognized. In fact, preconceived mindsets regarding feminism as a whole (including the idea that feminism is inherently anti-male or pro-government) have led many generations to attack feminism and ignore liberal feminists’ contributions to the fight for freedom. Here I will attempt to bring forward some examples of eminent women freedom fighters from South Asian history. Subsequently, I will try to construct a general understanding of how these feminists approached the struggle to secure a better world for all individuals. Historically, many social structures (ranging from family, to religion, to social groups) relied on biological differences and scientific gender stratification to legitimize the subjugation of women through discriminatory customs, many of which are more or less continuing to date. Extreme religious fundamentalism was often a key factor in denying women autonomy and condemning them to cruel treatment. Women’s freedom of movement (central to economic well being) was particularly restricted and widows were even cremated on the funeral pyres of their deceased husbands as a part of ritual purity. The Industrial Revolution marks a great turning point in this history. Data shows, for instance, that women’s participation in the labour force increased thanks to high demand from the inflow of trade and commerce during late 18th century. And the stories from our mothers and grannies about how their lives have changed between then and now also tell a story of increasing access to employment and the market. The credits here goes, of course,  to the outbreak of a market system, which brought both opportunity and innovation. Markets gave birth to many new products that have made lives more productive and freed many women from traditional chores. Our part of the world …

An Innocent Man May Die This Week

stephenbrown Civil Liberties

By the time this goes to press I may be watching an innocent man die for a crime he did not commit. Richard Glossip is scheduled to die at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester for the murder of Robert Van Treese in 1997. And I will be in the press pool. Glossip was convicted in two trials of hiring motel handyman Justin Sneed to kill Van Treese, owner of a motel in Oklahoma City Glossip managed. Sneed is serving a life sentence for beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat. Under questioning Sneed confessed that Glossip hired him to kill Van Treese for the money from the motel receipts he kept in his car. Unless Oklahoma governor Mary Falllin grants a requested 60-day stay of execution, Glossip will die by lethal injection at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16. This story landed in my inbox a week ago when I was asked to cover a meeting of a group at the University of Central Oklahoma called, Conservatives and Progressives United Against the Death Penalty. I still haven’t had time to do research in depth. I’ll also add the disclaimer that I’ve heard almost entirely from people who passionately believe Glossip is innocent or have doubts of his guilt. Those people include the usual assortment of bleeding hearts such as Sister Helen Prejean and actress Susan Sarandon who played Sister Helen in the movie “Dead Man Walking.” But they also include rock-ribbed conservatives such as Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and legendary football coach Barry Switzer. That said, this case stinks. Glossip was convicted solely on the testimony of a meth head and thief, given in return for life in a medium security prison. Understand, Glossip was no angel. His lawyer Donald Knight admitted Glossip was dealing meth, or …

How Many Lies Does “The Good Lie” Tell?

martvanderleer Civil Liberties, Economic Policy

In today’s Western society, with the overwhelming majority of us products of at least twelve years of mandatory government schooling, free market advocates are vastly outnumbered by defenders of the status quo. After all, what use does the state have for critical thinkers who are able to think things out for themselves and come to their own conclusions? A population full of such people could come to all sorts of outlandish ideas such as that the use of force and coercion is always reprehensible, even when committed by “officials”. We can’t have that! Instead, state-run schools cultivate the sort of hive mind of which we see many expressions in popular culture, perhaps most notably in Hollywood. The basic plot of many a popular movie or TV show has the good guys brandishing uniforms and badges while the bad guys are shady criminals out to destroy the peaceful lives we so happily live thanks to government. Other Hollywood productions, however, include more subtle references to the advancements supposedly made possible by – if not exclusively attributable to – state intervention. One recent example of the latter is the 2014 movie by the title “The Good Lie“. The film follows a group of orphaned Sudanese refugees lucky enough to escape their war-torn homeland to resettle in the United States. After finding a new home in Kansas City, Missouri, the three brothers Mamere, Jeremiah, and Paul have to start at the bottom of the societal totem pole. While Jeremiah and Paul start working a low-wage job at a local grocery store, the more ambitous Mamere decides to hit the books and study to become a doctor. Naturally the men experience quite the culture shock trying to adapt to life in the U.S. both in the personal and professional sphere. One scene has the …

Uzbekistan: How I broke 3 laws in less than 24 hours

aigulkubatbekova Asia, Civil Liberties, International Relations

On the 27th of April my friend and I got on a bus in Bishkek to take us to Chymkent (a city in Kazakhstan, 10 min of drive from the Kazakh and Uzbek border) It was late in the evening so we were both really tired, and fell asleep quite quickly. When we woke up in the morning we were both really excited so very soon we started talking with other passengers. A couple of minutes later one of them asked where we were from, to which we replied that we were from Kyrgyzstan. All of a sudden half of the passengers on the bus looked at us and said: “There is no way you are going to cross the Uzbek border! Kyrgyz citizens are not allowed to cross the border on foot.” We were shocked, but all we could do was hope for the best. A couple of hours later we arrived to Chymkent, took a taxi to get to the Kazakh-Uzbek border, which was crowded with lines of people eager to cross. We crossed the Kazakh border without issue and made our way to the Uzbek border where a soldier was awaiting us. As soon as we showed him our Kyrgyz passports he looked at us with a concern and he immediately called over another soldier. Once the other soldier arrived he showed him our passports, and the other soldier looked at us with even more concern. He told us to go back, because there was no way for us to cross the border. We tried to explain our situation to them and why we needed to cross the border. My friend had a TOEFL test scheduled in Tashkent for the next day, so she had a reasonable excuse. I had no official reason to cross the border, …

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Investigative Journalism, and How it Relates to Freedom

kenli Civil Liberties, Conferences

[button url=”http://isil.org/conferences/lausanne-2013/” style=”blue” size=”small”]See more videos from the Lausanne Conference[/button] [highlight type=”grey”]This is a transcription of Yaël Ossowski’s talk at the ISIL 2013 World Conference.[/highlight] [highlight type=”grey”]Transcription edited by Kenli S.[/highlight] Thank you very much, Christian. It’s a delight to be here and I am here on behalf of European Students for Liberty. I am on the executive board, and the reason that I would like to talk about the European Students for Liberty because we have plenty of francophones ici. We have plenty of people would be willing to go our regional conferences. You’re going to hear a lot more about European Students for Liberty by Aleksandar Kokotovic. He will speak tomorrow evening, and you heard from our co-founder Frederick Roeder just yesterday, I believe. So, on and on we go. We have regional conferences that are coming all over Europe. This year, we have ten of them! So, if you’re in any of these cities, or very close, we are going to have plenty of speakers. Monsieur Michel will be at in the one in Paris. We’re going to have, I believe Dr. Lark, and we’re going to have people everywhere. We’re going to have people in Poland as well. We’re going to have one very soon, so I have the dates right here so you can start planning and make your itinerary, all is good. I have some flyers in the back for our regional conference in Paris. That’s our first one in French. There will be some in Italian and even a German one in Munich. So, you guys put your plans together, contact your local travel agent, and we’ll see what we can do. Now, that is out of the way. It is a great organization. However, I am here to talk about journalism. Now …

Austrian Economics and Social Media in China

kenli Asia, Civil Liberties, Economic Policy, Internet Policy

In many places around the world we hear about the use of social media and mobile apps to help people communicate with each other in opposition to the state or against mainstream standards. From Egypt to Venezuela, social media has played an instrumental role in the organisation of protests. Fearing the same, the Chinese government has long sought to block the use of social media sites, thus Facebook and Twitter have a very minor presence in the country. Nonetheless, here in Shanghai I’ve learned about some of the innovative ways that local mobile apps are being used to spread ideas of liberty. While it is risky to talk about politics or to openly criticize the government in China, the field of economics provides somewhat safe ground to discuss ideas of liberty. Even then, one still must be mindful of one’s wording, because the terms ‘free-market’ or ‘capitalism’ are still blacklisted, whereas the phrase ‘market economy’ is perfectly acceptable. This past month a group of professors of Austrian Economics (a number of whom spoke at our 2012 Shanghai Austrian Economic Summit) got together and decided to create an online course entirely based on Hayek’s works. What’s exceptional about their approach is that the whole course is hosted on Weixin (known as WeChat for English users), which is like a Chinese version of Whatsapp. The lectures are given live, enabling students to tune in and respond in real time, while those who can’t make it at the time can still catch up later. The professor gives his lecture by leaving voice messages for the group. Each clip is limited by the app to being just a minute long, though they can be played consecutively. All the while, students can type in their questions, to which the professor can reply instantly. This style …

Egypt Seeking a Path to Freedom

alimassoud Civil Liberties, Individual Rights, International Relations, Middle East

Dear My Americans, European, Japanese, French, and friends from all other nationalities, I am writing this post because by discussing what has been going on in Egypt, I found out that, unfortunately, the news does not tell the whole story regarding two issues. 1. The death penalty that was given to 529 members of Muslim Brotherhood. Regarding this issue, unfortunately the news only talks about the verdict, they do not talk about why these guys were convicted. So why were they convicted? Did you know that these guys killed fifteen policemen and 44 other Egyptians? Did you know that these guys burnt down eight churches and four mosques. Did you know that these guys badly injured more than 400 Egyptians? Did you know that these guys belong to a group that has been the source of all the radical Muslims in the world? If the USA and UK waged war in Iraq just to be sure that their oil sources were secured, do we Egyptians not have the right to make sure that our lives are secure? If you have a very well organized group that has hundreds of thousands of members that are very determined to rule you or kill you, what would your opinion be then? As an Egyptian that loves his country, I believe that people who do that do not deserve to live among us. If you think that these guys are defending their rights in power, do not forget that when young Egyptian people went in to the streets to send the message that the leadership’s way of running the country is against democracy and freedom, they killed many of them. Just few steps from the presidential palace. Moreover, a few hours later, Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the president of Egypt at that time, actually came …

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Singapore: A Case of Libertarian Orientalism?

kenli Asia, Civil Liberties, Individual Rights, Regulation

[button url=”http://isil.org/conferences/lausanne-2013/” style=”blue” size=”small”]See more videos from the Lausanne Conference[/button] [highlight type=”grey”]This is a transcription of Rainer Heufer’s talk at the ISIL 2013 World Conference.[/highlight] [highlight type=”grey”]Transcription edited by Kenli S.[/highlight] Good morning, it’s very nice to be here, I was not able to be here yesterday because I was in another program in Berlin. I came in last night. I am very happy now to be here. Thanks a lot to ISIL for the invitation. It is always great to come to the programs of the International Society, truly International, because earlier Ken, Kenli and Cris and a few others met in Bratislava. This was only a couple of weeks ago really. We also had the Shanghai Austrian Economic Summit over there. So, it’s really an International Society and coming to such a sleepy town here, but seeing all these international people is really just very delightful. Alphonse is here, which for me personally is very nice because when we started Think Tank MBA, Alfonse participated in the one in 2008 when we first started it. This November we have the next one. I’m here to talk about Singapore and at the end I will do a little bit of an advertorial of the Atlas programs as well, if you don’t mind. A little bit of a commercial on the end of that. Right now Singapore is where I have been based for the last two years. I created my company there and now that I am coming from Singapore, I always get the response, “Oh Singapore, great country isn’t it?” I am always a little surprised how often I hear that and where I hear that. So I started to wonder, do we have a case of Libertarian Orientalism actually? Who are among the admirers of Singapore? President …

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Interview with Giannina Raffo, a Young Venezuelan Activist

kenli Civil Liberties, Crime and Self-Defense, Economic Policy, South America

We’ve all been keeping a close eye on the latest protests in Venezuela. What began as peaceful student protests, soon developed into violence, with two young students being shot. In the days that followed, there have been even more casualties. The emotion and determination of the Venezuelan people has spiked as a result, and we all can only cross our fingers and hope not only that this will be resolved quickly, but that the result is freedom. Protests aren’t necessarily an uncommon occurrence in the world today, but not all protests are the same. Some push for freedom, whilst others agitate for more government control. Also, some may involve just a small group of people, with little chance of affecting the establishment, whilst others have the potential to really change their country’s futures. It seems quite apparent from photographs of the protests that this is no minor uprising, but to find out for myself what the people on the streets are really fighting for I had to speak with someone on the ground. Giannina Raffo, a young freedom fighter, who currently works for the Centre for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE) in Venezuela has herself been a part of some the latest protests and was able to give me the real scoop. In this interview Giannina discusses the motivations behind the protests, from Venezuela’s terrifying levels of crime in recent years to the beginnings of its complete economic ruin, she is confident that this time it’s different. This time the people are united in the fight for freedom. People have gained strength from protests in the Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere: Nobody had to go to those countries to fight for them, the people themselves fought for their freedom. That, for Venezuela is inspiring. Inspired by Ukraine, Libya, …