Washington Libertarian Review

Political commentary from the State of Washington with a libertarian perspective.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Solving issues the libertarian way - Washington Times Book Review

William Peterson, adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, offers a review of the 6th edition of the Cato Handbook on Policy.

Says Peterson, "Nominally this biennial 6th edition is aimed at members of the new 109th Congress, but of course its broader aim covers a far larger universe: the outs as well as the ins, the states as well as the federal government, the courts, the bureaucracy, the GOP and Democrat parties, special interests, and ordinary Americans worried about homeland security, war and peace, and why total federal, state, and local government annual spending heads doggedly for the $4 trillion mark and beyond."

For serious policy wonks, this book may be worth the investment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

DOJ says the Second Amendment secures an Individual Right

In an August 34, 2004 report to the US Attorney General, the US Department of Justice has concluded that "the Second Amendment secures a personal right of individuals, not a collective right that may only be invoked by a State or a quasi-collective right restricted to those persons who serve in organized militia units."

Finally, the Bush administration gets something right!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

When in doubt, blame somebody else

Relatives of deceased peace activist Rachel Corrie are suing Caterpillar Inc., maker of the tractor that ran her over in the middle east a few years ago. "The federal lawsuit, which was to be filed Tuesday, alleges Caterpillar violated international and state law by providing bulldozers to Israeli Defense Forces that it knew would be used to demolish homes and endanger people."

Hmmm. Lessee, when is ANY heavy equipment NOT used to do heavy work? When is the use of any such equipment NOT dangerous?

Can anybody think why there needs to be an international law against selling tractors to run people over? Oh yeah. I can see it now.


"Hello, Caterpillar Tractor company."

"Yes, I'd like to buy some tractors so I can use them to run over some peace activists."

"Sure, how many do you want? And let me tell you, we are currently running a discount for terrorists and wartime uses of our equipment."

"Great! I'll double my order."

Story here.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Manhatten LP sues NYC over campaign finances

The Manhatten LP has sued to overturn New York City's lavish campaign finance law.

"Today we are putting Gifford Miller and all the other political welfare queens on notice that we are taking them off the dole," Plaintiff and attorney Jim Lesczynski declared. "The city's obscenely extravagant six-to-one matching funds program is not only fiscally irresponsible, but it violates our Constitutional protections against compelled poLitical speech."

The press release is here. A copy of the complaint is here.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Libertarian congressional candidate dies in skydiving accident

Spencer Garrett, longtime LP activist and candidate, died recently in a skydiving accident. The Seattle P-I story is here.

May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Spinning the spin

The Daily Olympian has this transcript of a live chat with Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt. Of particular interest to Libertarians is his comment that his research suggests Libertarians take more votes from Republicans than from Democrats. Setting aside our own research to the contrary, I can report my own conversation with Paul several years ago in which he opined that "it's a push" to conclude the Ls take more from either side.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Life imitates art dept.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports Treasury Secretary John Snow on Sunday would not rule out the idea of Irish singer Bono, an activist on debt relief and AIDS, making the short list of potential candidates to lead the World Bank even though an American is expected to get the job.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The coming crackdown on blogging?

In a chilling interview on CNET, FEC member Bradley Smith says the FEC is considering regulations that would severely limit the ability of bloggers to exercize their free speech rights, by promoting, or even linking to, political web sites.

Well, maybe. The Commission has not put out any options for consideration yet. But the devil will be in the details. How does the FEC distinguish between political candidate or party Internet expenditures and completely unregulated activity by bloggers, Internet news services, and citizens acting on their own?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Montana bill would keep Feds in line

Apparently the federal government thinks it owns Montana, and certain of Montana's citizens think otherwise.

Liberty Post reports a bill has been introduced in the Montana legislature designed to regulate arrests, searches and seizures by federal employees, by requiring that they obtain the permission of the local county sheriff before proceeding. It even provides for prosecution of those federales if they violate the act.

If passed this bill could provide the groundwork for an interesting showdown over state's rights and the police power, the latter being historically understood to be a state (and not federal) power.

The full text of the bill is here.


Further research reveals the bill got a hearing but also got tabled in committee, and has since missed the deadline for passage this legislative session. So much for state's rights in Montana.

Still like the idea, though.