On Oct. 26, President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a public health emergency and promised to redirect federal resources to
the problem. In his speech announcing yet another war on drugs, Trump told a story about his brother Fred’s addiction to a completely legal substance: alcohol. We all know how disastrous alcohol prohibition was in the early 20th century, so could a
new government battle against opioids be any more successful?
“Of course not,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “Drug wars have been failing for over 100 years. The role of government is to deal with people who hurt other people, steal from them, or violate agreements. That’s it. Futile attempts to prevent people from harming themselves with drugs don’t fall under that umbrella.”
According to drug abuse historian David Courtwright of the University of North Florida, there were an estimated 300,000 opioid addicts at the peak of addiction in the 19th century, representing an addiction rate of 0.48 percent of the population.
“This is a stunningly low percentage for a time when there were essentially no drug laws,” Sarwark said. “Morphine, opium, marijuana, cocaine, laudanum, and other currently illegal drugs were freely available, with or without prescription and in many unregulated patent medicines. Today, according to the rehabilitation specialists at Addictions.com, there are 12 million illegal users of opioids. That’s 3.9 percent of today’s population — an eightfold increase.”
Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a small but stable correlation between opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths from any opioid, legal or illegal, between 2006 and 2010 — roughly one death per 13,000 prescriptions. In 2010, federal pressure caused a decrease in legal opioid prescriptions. The correlation between opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths turned sharply negative. Fewer legal prescriptions led to more overdose deaths.
“Reducing the supply of legal prescriptions for opioids is pushing people into black market heroin/fentanyl abuse,” pointed out Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer, a Phoenix surgeon and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “The no. 1 cause of drug deaths is drug prohibition. We need to change our focus to harm reduction. We need to change from a war on drugs to a war on drug deaths.”Read more
Front page story in Wisconsin Gannett newspapers reports how politicians from the Fox Valley treat home owners and young adults.
"A new law has closed Wisconsin's "social host" loophole and could allow local law enforcement to once again go after parents who enable underage drinking... Now, a recently-passed state law gives municipalities the authority to pursue these cases again." [Story here: http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/2017/12/21/punishment-underage-party-hosts-reinstated-law-closes-loophole/969422001/ ]
“Fixed” a “loophole? The social hosting laws are nuts.
- “Underage” drinkers refers to young adults aged 18-20. They have reached the age of majority. They aren’t hurting anyone.
- Telling parents or anyone else that they can’t decide who is invited to a party on their property or what refreshments may be served is just wrong.
- If the young adults are prevented from attending a supervised party in someone’s home, what are the chances that they may find an unsupervised venue? Unintended consequences?
The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, the Party of Principle, thinks Wisconsin has enough punishment. We need more common sense in Madison.Read more
Libertarian candidate for governor says he offers a break from two-party bickering
by Lisa Speckhard, The Cap Times
There are a lot of declared Democratic contenders for governor of Wisconsin in 2018, but Republican Gov. Scott Walker thinks they’re all pretty much the same. "For me, it really doesn't matter who comes out of that primary; it’ll be more of the same," he said right before announcing his run for re-election.
Phil Anderson, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin and another gubernatorial candidate, agrees. But he thinks voters will get "more of the same" whether they vote for a Democrat or Walker.
“People know what the two-party system is. They resign themselves to it, but they know that it’s corrupt. They know that no matter who’s the governor, a Democrat or Republican, spending goes up and up and up and up,” he said. “More intrusion into our lives increases all the time. And they’re really, really tired of it.”
Anderson appeared on the Sunday political talk show “Capital City Sunday,” to talk about his bid for governor. As a libertarian, he advocated for small government, small spending and a big emphasis on local control. “We want to give the state of Wisconsin back to the people of Wisconsin,” he said.
Veterans Day, a day to recognize veterans and their service, was called Armistice Day when I was a child. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, my classmates stood, faced the east, and had a minute of silence to remember the signing of the armistice which ended “The Great War"
On November 11, 1918, the world finally had enough of the irrational killing spree known as World War One. Twenty million individual human beings had perished in what was the largest military conflict the world had yet seen. Many thousands more died of starvation and disease after the war. World War I convinced much of the world of the insanity of war.
America had lost 112,000 of its soldiers in a conflict which had little to do with American interests. Americans found themselves extremely disenchanted with war, and, like the rest of the world, they observed Armistice Day as a time to remember veterans and appreciate the blessings of peace.
After the Korean War, President Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 that changed the name of the national holiday to Veterans’ Day. There were good intentions: America’s veterans of wars other than World War I deserved some recognition.
[Note that the State Journal headline was not "Victory" but "Peace."]Read more
Interesting. Three Wisconsin Republicans are circulating a bill to lower the minimum drinking age to 19. Libertarians object! Surprised?
Our Wisconsin Libertarian Platform of Beliefs reminds us that “Because only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed ‘crimes,’ we favor the repeal of federal, state, and local laws restricting our fundamental freedom to govern our own lives.In particular, we advocate:… The repeal of laws regarding a minimum drinking age which are in conflict with the legally recognized age for maturity and responsibility.”
College students, married couples with children, combat veterans, and working, voting citizens are among some of the many “underaged” adults discriminated against by the state of Wisconsin.
Who came up with the 21 drinking age anyway? Not the Wisconsin Legislature. Not Congress (That would violate the Tenth Amendment which gives all powers not listed in the Constitution to the states). It was a “highway safety” bureaucracy in Washington.Read more
Why are we here today?
We refuse to live in a bubble, in an echo chamber, understanding and believing in what we know to be right, and true, and best, and we also refuse to merely remain comfortable among others who agree with us. There are many libertarians who express their beliefs online, on social media, in clubs, in local affiliates. That’s all well and good, as far as it goes. A libertarian can be inspired by Tom Woods podcasts, Jeffrey Tucker speeches, Murray Rothbard, the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, John Locke, Frederic Bastiat, whoever. There are many current libertarians who became libertarians because of Ron Paul.
Now let me tell you why Ron Paul is important, actually maybe the only reason he IS so important- HE RAN FOR OFFICE. Now, he did run as a Republican, and I forgive him for that. I’m partial to the Libertarian Party, and I have pretty good arguments as to why libertarians should run as Libertarians, but that’s for another speech. My point is that Ron Paul is important NOT because he’s brilliant, there are other brilliant libertarians. Not because he’s articulate, because he’s not always articulate. He is important because he is an APOSTLE for liberty. He walks and talks among the enemy, among the uninformed, among those who connive, berate, cheat him, or spit in his face rather than open their minds and consider the truth. He walks among the bought and paid for. And so must we.
We know what it's like, and it’s fitting that we’re kicking off this campaign at the spot where every Saturday, all spring, summer and fall, libertarians stand right here, promoting liberty and truth, while suffering sneers, dirty looks, derisive comments, and occasionally, actual literal spitting. We do this because we love peace and liberty, and despite the interference, despite being illegally excluded from the debate stage by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, whose office is right over there, we want our fellow Wisconsinites to enjoy the peace, prosperity, and privacy that will wash over our beautiful state if we can win at least a majority of voters to the idea, that the best government is the least government, that they have the right, the expertise, and the energy to govern themselves- as individuals, and local communities. We believe in people, and because of that belief, we DON’T want power over them, we seek to EMPOWER them.
It has become the common practice of the 2 big parties, to play identity politics, to highlight the differences between us, to sow suspicion and envy, fear and loathing, to drive people toward the worst in human nature, in order to get their votes, and thereby control them. They practice the old imperial tactics of the Belgians in Rwanda and the British in India- creating hate and fear between people who previously got along just fine. It’s no wonder that these parties attract the sort of people who will say anything to get elected, bend any ethical constraint to get a donation, sell the power they accrue to the highest bidder. Politics in America, and Wisconsin, has become a sick cycle of misdirection, deception, deflection, and I, as a libertarian and resident of Wisconsin, take exception to all that. Libertarian candidates offer a rejection of that cycle, and of that sick culture. My constant message has been that we have much more in common as human beings, here and all over the world, than the differences corrupt parties love to point out. It’s time for politics, and policies, that respect that, instead of seeking to bury it.
We believe in people’s and communities' rights to make their own decisions. There is nothing more fair, more humane, more accountable, and more transparent, than that.
Furthermore, and finally,
We understand that a truly unselfish belief in the principles of liberty requires ACTION.
A truly unselfish understanding and care for not only ourselves but our friends, neighbors and society requires ACTION.
A truly caring and loving regard for not only the PRESENT but also the FUTURE requires ACTION.
Not Facebook posts, not clever tweets, not luxury cruises with like-minded people, not vacations in Acapulco with like-minded people, not reading a book, or writing a book.
Action means running for office, and I am honored and grateful for the candidates here with us today, as well as those who couldn’t join us: Matt Bughman running for State Assembly in District 7, Mike Hammond running in Assembly District 6, Rick Braun in District 14: Larry Kaufman running for Congress in District 1, Liam Coughlin in Congressional District 5, Nate Gall running for Sawyer County Board, and many others soon committing to running for office.
Action means volunteering for these campaigns, serving as treasurer, hosting events, donating money to our campaigns, distributing literature, attending events, even going so far as to SHARE a post rather than just LIKING it.
All of these actions are welcome, and necessary. None are too great or too small. It’s all hands on deck.
Because for those of us up here, and those of you out there, and all liberty-loving people across the state, it is time to act.
We are apostles, but not sent by anyone in particular. We are inspired by the TRUTH. The TRUTH is so compelling that people of good conscience MUST ACT. And what is this truth?
That people have the right to live their lives as they choose, loving whom they choose, raising their children as they choose, expressing themselves, worshipping, loving, trading, and defending all these rights, as they choose, as long as they don’t interfere with others’ rights to the same.
Let’s act on this, starting now, starting today.
It is all over the newspapers, magazines, and television; we have an Opioid Crisis!
According to Healthy Wisconsin, “Over the last ten years, opioid related hospital visits and deaths in Wisconsin have doubled, especially among young adults. Prescription opioids are the most common culprit, but using heroin—a strong, cheap and easily available alternative to prescription drugs—is also on the rise. In fact, three out of four heroin users started by abusing prescription painkillers.” (Not marijuana.)
Unfortunately, then this state agency, as well as our President, promote more government “solutions.” The real cause of this “crisis” goes back to many government policies which must be dismantled.
Why do we have an Opioid Crisis?
- Big Pharma (large pharmaceutical companies which have a powerful, negative influence.) has influenced doctors and government agencies to accept increased doses of prescription drugs. When addicted and their prescriptions run out, some patients then switch to black market drugs (more pills or heroin). Big Pharma also influences legislators to prohibit cannabis (marijuana) as a safe, natural, non-addictive alternative to the chemicals they sell. Recent bills in the Wisconsin Legislature to permit more adults to use licensed cannabis have been blocked.
- Drug Prohibition. Until the Harrison Act was passed in 1914, heroin and cocaine were both perfectly legal and easily obtainable over the counter. There was no opioid crisis because there was no war on drugs. With drug prohibition, the black market took over and the availability of the drug one wanted from a clean store in a specific strength in a safe, legal transaction disappeared. Thanks a lot, Washington. Why does this failed program continue? Follow the money.
On Friday October 20th, the president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, spoke at Fox Valley Technical College in his hometown of Appleton. His talk focused on “digital inclusion.” Wisconsin is ground zero when it comes to the challenges of digital inclusion. The internet revolution has failed to reach much of rural Wisconsin, leaving hundreds of thousands of state residents without important economic, educational and networking opportunities.
In an era when it’s all but impossible to thrive in global commerce without the internet, 768,000—or more than 13 percent—of Wisconsinites do not have access to wired broadband 25mbps or faster. Over 200,000 reside in areas without any wired internet providers at all. Thankfully, Smith is among the innovative leaders committed to addressing this issue.
Earlier this year, Smith announced that Microsoft would pursue a new, non-profit Rural Airband Initiative to expand broadband to rural America. The concept would essentially leverage blank TV channels—“white spaces”—to transmit internet signals to rural communities. These signals would function like a powerful wi-fi signal that could blanket even the most remote areas. To facilitate the plan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would simply need to reserve three unused channels in every market language for private companies to provide broadband access.
Even though the federal government has invested over $4.5 million in grants to expand broadband in Wisconsin and a broad, bipartisan coalition in Congress has endorsed the white spaces proposal, the effort remains stalled by regulatory bureaucracy.
FCC regulations designate certain frequencies for non-commercial use, which make it impossible for Microsoft and others to get the empty TV channels they need for the revolutionary wireless internet project. The rule—originally enacted to prevent signal interference with licensed users—has become outdated amid technological advancements. But the regulation still serves the interests of a powerful broadcast special interest that has acquired a monopoly over the white spaces and is now waging an all-out campaign to preserve their privilege.
While corporations and D.C. politicians certainly aren’t blameless in the woes of rural Wisconsin, the Rural Airband Initiative is a case study in how innovative policy, championed by a broad cross-section of political interests, can be stymied by misguided regulations and entrenched, crony lobbies.
The onus is on President Trump’s FCC to deregulate the broadband industry and open the door to competition from Microsoft and other innovators committed to expanding opportunity to rural America. If he does, free market, limited government, libertarian ideas like using white spaces to bridge America’s digital divide will ultimately benefit everyone.
Despite a number of costly federal and state projects to bring internet access to remote areas, government has failed to meet the internet needs of rural Wisconsin residents. Fortunately, corporations like Microsoft, have a way to bring the internet to every person in Wisconsin. Now it’s up to bureaucrats at the FCC to get out of the way and allow it to happen.
Phil Anderson is the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, and a candidate for governor. He can be reached at phil@4PhilAnderson.org, or via www.TeamGuv.org.
For Immediate Release: October 19th, 2017
Contact: Phil Anderson
Anderson for WI Governor
SATURDAY’S BIGGEST KICKOFF
Madison, WI, October 19, 2017 - The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin will be getting a jump on the 2018 campaign with a Campaign Kickoff this Saturday at 4 pm on the steps of the State Capitol, headlined by Wisconsin Governor candidate Phillip Anderson.
Anderson, who was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016, will be joined by his selection for Lieutenant Governor, Patrick Baird. Speakers will also include 2018 LP candidates Tyler Danke, David Lautenschlager, Ian Syron, and more.
Professor Joseph Daniels, Chair of the Economics Department at Marquette University, will be the special guest speaker. Dr. Daniels was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Toronto, has authored two textbooks on international economics, and has received numerous awards for teaching excellence from Marquette and Indiana Universities.
“We offer common sense solutions for the Wisconsin with no ties to the broken partisan system,” said Anderson.
Anderson is currently the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, the host of “The Free People’s Show,” a realtor with First Weber Realty, a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, and a graduate of UW-Madison, currently residing in Fitchburg.
“Our platform is to increase local control, grow Wisconsin from within, and eliminate the state income tax” explained Anderson.
The event will be hosted by television personality Rich Reynolds, who anchors “The Sports News” on Wisconsin’s 57 in Madison.
TeamGuv 2018 is “New Leadership for Wisconsin!”
Event: Anderson for Governor Campaign Kickoff
When: Saturday, October 21, 4pm
Where: Steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E. Main, Madison, WI 53703
Cost: Free to all
The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin stands on the principles of Life, Liberty, and Property. The LP advocates: phasing out personal property, income, and business taxes; term limits on elected officials; the right to bear arms; a reduced size of the federal government; the abolition of victimless crimes; School Choice; and the end to government interference in the marketplace. Libertarians believe in defending each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest and they welcome the diversity that freedom brings.
The Libertarian Party of Wisconsin extends its deepest condolences to the victims of the mass violence in Las Vegas, as well as to their families and the witnesses so deeply traumatized by this event. As a matter of bedrock principle, LPWI abhors aggression and violence against anyone, especially defenseless and innocent people. We will continue to comment on our position as more facts are known, but as of 2:45 pm CT, this is what IS known, per CNN:
The Las Vegas Sheriff's office had no knowledge of this individual.
The shooter's brother did not notice anything amiss, nor did hotel staff.
The shooter had no known connection to any terrorist group.
The shooter had several legally purchased rifles in the hotel room, some purchased in California, which were reportedly modified to be automatic weapons.
Why are these facts important? Because, while tragic, and while we extend our deepest sympathies, others are using this tragedy in an attempt to dismantle peoples' right to defend themselves.
It is difficult to admit, on the day of such a tragedy, but making firearms less available to law abiding citizens would only have led this man to find criminals who would sell him weapons, or to choosing a different weapon. Prohibiting anything to which a person has a right only serves to enrich criminals.
I, personally, am praying for the victims of this crime, and on behalf of LPWI, we mourn this tragedy. The solution to this sort of violence is not restricting Second Amendment rights, but in trying to discover why, at the HUMAN level, such events occur, and with love and an open heart, try to help people before they happen.