Libertarian Skeptics Network: Presidential Candidate Questionnaire

LSNprofileThe Libertarian Skeptics Network Presidential Candidate Questionnaire is presented to all candidates seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States in 2016, to assess their opinions and positions on questions of importance to Libertarian Skeptics. The questions have been compiled from suggestions from LSN members. 

1. Would your administration respect and duly consider scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practice evidence-based decision-making?

2. The Libertarian platform supports the prohibition of fraud, as being no different than theft. In your view does this include the selling of fake, mislabeled, or scam medications under deliberately false claims of therapeutic effect?

3. Do you support the development of private industry and a free market in the field of aerospace, including commercial launch services based in the United States, commercial manned spaceflight, and competitive bidding in NASA procurement?   

4. Do you support a free market in pharmaceuticals, and oppose laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of modern medical science, such as the length and corruption of the FDA approval process?   

5. Do you oppose regulations mandating an arbitrary definition and punitive label for genetically engineered crops, and the associated implication that this life-saving technology is harmful and should be banned?

6. Do you plan to campaign on advocating the belief that the September 11th attacks, or any other recent mass shooting or terrorist attack, was a hoax staged by the United States government?

7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?

8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investigating “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?

9. Do you oppose laws restricting or banning research in the field of genetics, including regulations that would ban consumer products derived from such research?

10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?


The Libertarian Skeptics Network will report all candidate answers in a graded summary, as well as publishing the full un-edited responses. Responses will be scored by LSN as meriting 0, 5, or 10 points towards a possible total of 100.

150 thoughts on “Libertarian Skeptics Network: Presidential Candidate Questionnaire

  1. George Phillies

    An excellent series of questions for sorting out good people from not good people. snake oil advocates.

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I like most of the questions and believe if I were a candidate and answering them, I would score well. I dislike some of the wording as overly loaded.

  3. LSN PCQ: John McAfee answers

    The following responses were received from John McAfee:

    >1. Would your administration respect and duly consider scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practice evidence-based decision-making?

    I founded an ran a multi-billion dollar business, (McAfee Inc.) and founded many other businesses which earned, or are worth tens of millions (Tribal Voice, Voice Command, Future Tense Central.). I invested in and was on the board of directors of Zone Labs, which we sold to Check Point Inc. For $400 million after just one year of operation. Scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practical, evidence based decision making are paramount in the success of each of these projects in my life. I am fully aware of their importance.
    However, life is never as simple as these few issues. Scientific evidence is worth only as much as the scientist providing the evidence. The scientific texts are full of contradictions and in every field of science, there are competing theories and even competing empirical evidences.

    Expert consensus is likewise plagued with competing “experts”, each with their own personal biases.
    Cost-benefit analyses run the gamut and are and are fully dependent on the assumption set that each analyst subscribes to. They are, again, fully dependent on the analyst, rather than the reality if the thing being analyzed.
    As to evidence based decision making, it can only be made based upon the evidence that is presented. Who is presenting it? What motes might the presenter have to omit facts, or to color the facts that are presented?
    I wish life were simple enough that there was such a thing as pure truth – a complete set of facts that we could objectively peruse – a book that gave us the unadulterated truth, as viewed from every possible perspective. However, I have not found such a book. In my experience, the truth that we receive is filtered, colored, changed, omitted or even reversed, by the minds through which truth travels. And these minds belong to humans – a remarkable species plagued with greed, jealousy, fear, anger, judgment and a whole host of other afflictions. Our saving grace is that we also are possessed with live and grace.

    It is not just using facts and truth as a basis for making decisions. It is using people with an overwhelming portion of love and grace as advisers and informers. Someone possessing these qualities will tell you the most important piece of information – “I don’t know” – when you most need it.

    > 2. The Libertarian platform supports the prohibition of fraud, as being no different than theft. In your view does this include the selling of fake, mislabeled, or scam medications under deliberately false claims of therapeutic effect?

    The question has an obvious answer – YES. But is this helpful?

    Deception is a quality that is universal throughout all living species. Orchids in the Jungles of the Amazon grow stamens that look identical to certain species of wasps in order to lure male wasps to help pollination. Non-poisonous snakes mimic poisonous snake markings to convince predators to avoid them. Predatory fish grow protuberances that look like worms in order to lure their food. Birds Kay eggs in the nests of other species of birds so that they can avoid the energy expense feeding their offspring. Deception is a tool of evolution.
    Of course it is fraudulent to mislabeled medications or to suggest cures for which the medication has no effect. But the solution to this problem has led to the FDA. The Food and Drug Administration tells us what we can or cannot do with our bodies. It tells us we cannot take certain substances and it demands that companies go through unbelievable testing to prove that heir drugs are “safe”.

    There is no safety in life. None of us get out if it alive. This is the only certainty in this world.
    If you want the government to protect us from fraud, then I cannot help you, nor do I have the desire to do so.

    We must take responsibility for ourselves. We must do our own research, and make decisions based on our own experiences and our best judgments.

    > 3. Do you support the development of private industry and a free market in the field of aerospace, including commercial launch services based in the United States, commercial manned spaceflight, and competitive bidding in NASA procurement?

    I support the development of private industry and a free market in all areas, all technologies, and all industries.

    > 4. Do you support a free market in pharmaceuticals, and oppose laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of modern medical science, such as the length and corruption of the FDA approval process?

    Yes. I answered this fully in your “fraudulent labeling” question above.

    > 5. Do you oppose regulations mandating an arbitrary definition and punitive label for genetically engineered crops, and the associated implication that this life-saving technology is harmful and should be banned?

    I oppose call regulation. Period.

    > 6. Do you plan to campaign on advocating the belief that the September 11th attacks, or any other recent mass shooting or terrorist attack, was a hoax staged by the United States government?

    If there was a hoax, neither you, nor I, would ever know about it. The US government is in full control of what information is released. The government exists behind an impenetrable curtain. This curtain must he torn down. My campaign will not include any suspected hoax or deception by the US government.

    > 7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?

    Our bodies belong to ourselves. What we choose to do with our bodies cannot be interfered with by any person or agency. If you want to be vaccinated, the do so. If you don’t want to, then don’t. This is how it should be.

    > 8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investing “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?

    Taxpayer money should be spent on national defense. All the rest is suspect.

    > 9. Do you oppose laws restricting or banning research in the field of genetics, including regulations that would ban consumer products derived from such research?

    I opposed all laws that do not directly relate to interference of one person or agency in the affairs of another person

    > 10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?

    Obviously. Otherwise, what are doing? (If anyone answered no to this question I will eat one of my shoes)

    That being said. People who cannot laugh at themselves overpopulate our current government, and the governments of most nations. Humor is the defining difference between beasts and mankind and we, as a culture, are slowly eroding that difference. Determination, without humor, becomes oppression; Confidence becomes arrogance; influence becomes dictatorship; intelligence turns to judgement, and the heart disappears.

    I have made an art out of laughing at me. Otherwise I could not tolerate myself. If you doubt this, please watch this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bKgf5PaBzyg

    {edit- final paragraph and video was accidentally cut off]

  4. LSN PCQ: Steve Kerbel answers

    The following responses were received from Steve Kerbel:

    1) They key to this question is “respect and duly consider”. Of course my administration would do this. One important part of the due consideration is the consideration of the motive of those providing evidence and consensus, so the result of our consideration might end up to be adverse to those providing the evidence, should the evidence be suspect.

    2) Fraud is fraud. Any intent to receive financial gain based upon purposeful misrepresentations is wrong.

    3) yes, I support a free market and the ability of private industry to compete in these fields. Regarding NASA, I would prefer that these endeavors be funded on a more voluntary basis rather than taxation.

    4) I believe that the FDA provides no protection for the people, and actually is detrimental to the terminally ill in their lengthy and inefficient approval process. As judged by the number of class action lawsuits agai! nst most medicines, the FDA is clearly no protection at all, so the free market should rule.

    5) I oppose most regulations. In reality, the free market will take care of this. Those manufacturers which do not use GMO products will clearly label these products as GMO free. Consumers that see products without this labeling can make the safe assumption that there are likely to include GMOs, and have the choice not to buy.

    6) My belief regarding 9/11 is simply that we were not told the truth by our government about this event. Not having enough evidence to pinpoint the reality of the situation, I would not campaign on this statement. We need to establish credibility with the entire voter base, and to spread unsubstantiated information would not only make us just as bad as our government, it would cost us votes.

    7) As previously stated, we are the fastest growing party in the USA, and we must grow credibility with the! voter base for us to win elections. While there is conflicting data regarding vaccinations and both sides can argue with data, I find this unnecessary to include as a basis for medical freedom and personal autonomy. Self ownership is enough to say regarding this issue. we own our bodies… period.

    8) There is no reason that private enterprise cannot investigate unexplained phenomena. I see no reason to steal from the people for this.

    9) I oppose all laws restricting a free activity, paid for voluntarily in a process that harms no one.

    10) Absolutely. As I stated previously, without a clear and credible delivery, the voters will not consider us to be a realistic alternative.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Steve’s answers are exactly as I expected them and support.

    McAfee’s answers were a pleasant surprise. He is more militantly libertarian than I expected.

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Re: McAfee

    ==If you want the government to protect us from fraud, then I cannot help you, nor do I have the desire to do so.==

    I am not sure of this answer. I think I know the way it was intended, and I think he means proactively protecting from fraud through regulation, and I agree with that. But that is not the only way it can be taken, so I am a bit oochy. IF we are to have a government, protecting life, liberty, and property is its only functions that our SoP allows, and fraud is an aggression against property (and potentially against the other two). But is there a place for preemptive protection. Now , in that I agree with him, there isn’t.

  7. Andy Craig Post author

    I’ll withhold my thoughts for now since I’ll be one of the five people scoring these responses, but I appreciate the prompt and thoughtful replies.

  8. langa

    I like both sets of answers so far.

    I had the same confusion as Caryn when it came to McAfee’s answer to the fraud question. It would have been nice if he had specified whether he is opposed to government preventing fraud, punishing fraud, or both.

    On the whole, however, I like McAfee’s responses to these questions much more than the platform posted on his website.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I like his answers a whole lot better than his platform. This is why I was surprised.

    Kerbel’s were consistently what I expected, and that is a good thing.

  10. George Phillies

    Having run for our nomination myself, I suggest a series of answers:

    1. Would your administration respect and duly consider scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practice evidence-based decision-making?
    YES In particular, form my administration anthropogenic global warming deniers will receive extremely little support other than protecting their freedom to speak their lies.

    2. The Libertarian platform supports the prohibition of fraud, as being no different than theft. In your view does this include the selling of fake, mislabeled, or scam medications under deliberately false claims of therapeutic effect?
    YES People selling snake oil with the defense that it’s a natural product are fraudulators getting people killed. Remember, botulism is a natural product outcome.

    3. Do you support the development of private industry and a free market in the field of aerospace, including commercial launch services based in the United States, commercial manned spaceflight, and competitive bidding in NASA procurement?
    YES with respect to legal issues. No if “support” means “spending my own money”.

    4. Do you support a free market in pharmaceuticals, and oppose laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of modern medical science, such as the length and corruption of the FDA approval process?
    For example, if a European company develops something that passes German safety controls, we should let them sell it in the United States. I also support IP rights for inventors and authors.

    5. Do you oppose regulations mandating an arbitrary definition and punitive label for genetically engineered crops, and the associated implication that this life-saving technology is harmful and should be banned? This appears to be the GMO question, but “GMO” is not arbitrary or punitive.

    6. Do you plan to campaign on advocating the belief that the September 11th attacks, or any other recent mass shooting or terrorist attack, was a hoax staged by the United States government?
    NO. I will, however,. campaign that the FBI will stop preying on mentally handicapped people via entrapment so as to inflate their performance numbers.

    7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?
    YES

    8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investigating “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?
    YES. As an aside, the original Project Sign investigation of unidentified flying objects was based on a legitimate concern that the alleged observations corresponded to Stalin’s Air Force flying aircraft over the US for reconnaissance purposes, which after all we were doing to the USSR.

    9. Do you oppose laws restricting or banning research in the field of genetics, including regulations that would ban consumer products derived from such research?
    YES

    10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?
    We should come across as serious people, not conspiracy kooks.

  11. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    These are not honest, open-ended questions. They’re loaded, the wording slanted so that only agreement can sound reasonable. It’s like Alicia Mattson’s poll on the LP platform some 10 years ago.

    7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?

    No, I believe that medical decisions should be based on false and disproven claims.

    8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investigating “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?

    No, I support wasting taxpayer money.

    10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?

    No, I think libertarianism should be presented in a manner that is without credibility, without honesty, without seriousness.

    Not that all the other questions are perfectly worded. I’m only using these for example.

  12. Andy Craig Post author

    @RTAA

    Complaining about bias seems to be rather obviously missing the point. Of course the questions implicitly convey our position. That’s how these things work. Read any other candidate survey from any other sort of issue-advocacy group, that is how they are written. They’re aren’t pretending to be objective or neutral, it’s asking if the candidate agrees with the questioners or not.

    As for being open-ended, you are right they aren’t that. They’re yes or no questions, but the candidates are invited to elaborate on their answers as they see fit. We didn’t even impose a word count limit, which is the usual for these things since they’re often printed and distributed as voter guides.

    I was ambivalent about even doing this, or focusing on the presidential candidates in particular. But I think that two already replied with answers people found interesting, with at least one more indicating he’ll send in a reply, proves it worthwhile to me. You don’t even have to agree with LSN on these issues, to want to know what the candidates’ positions on them are. If you’d rather ignore those answers, that’s your call.

  13. George Phillies

    Editorial from Liberty for America, April 2013
    Out with the Crackpots!
    Most Libertarians have natural hesitations about trusting govern-ment operations. Mind you, I am surprised if my mail does not show up or if the water system fails (catastrophic mains failure), but Libertarians have reasonable skepticism.

    Alas, this skepticism means that we attract people who are congenitally unable to believe anything, at a level that exceeds all reason. These people are a detriment to our party, and should be deported to the Republican Party, where they will fit right in. Let me take a few examples:

    #1. There is no more scientific debate about the reality of anthropogenic global warming, no matter how many far right Republican billionaires endanger our country’s future by funding global warming deniers. The people holding contrary views are simply denying reality. Ditto for the evolution deniers, like the morons who ran for the Republican Presidential nomination. And when someone says ‘evolution doesn’t matter’, the answer is, “Yes, it does matter that your candidate is crazy”.

    #2 Then there are the people who think that the United Nations is threatens American liberties. Your editor is old enough to remember far right Republicans ranting, 50 years ago. They have not become more believable in the intervening half-century. Indeed, since the State Department nonsense about never vetoing Security Council resolutions was tossed over the side, the claims have become even less believable, assuming this is possible. I am reminded of the Republican Congressional Candidate who appeared at a Pioneer Valley Libertarian meeting some years ago. He was a nice guy, well-spoken. Then he remarked that he had gone to Amherst to collect nominating signatures, put up his “US Out of the UN” signs, and suddenly people stopped being interested. He could not understand why. He was in the right Party.

    #3 Vaccination deniers at least had the excuse that there was one scientific paper that claimed a link between vaccinations and au-tism. That paper has been retracted by its authors, who explained out why they were totally wrong. Remember: A non-vaccinated child endangers your vaccinated children, because vaccination not perfectly reliable.

  14. Jill Pyeatt

    Phillies said: “I will, however,. campaign that the FBI will stop preying on mentally handicapped people via entrapment so as to inflate their performance numbers.”

    WHAT???

  15. George Phillies

    You missed that, Jill? There have been a number of “terrorist plots” stopped in which the conspiracy appeared to be a bunch of FBI gents and one fellow who was not entirely with it, who did not seem to have been a danger to anything, but did a fine job of inflating the FBI success rate.

  16. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    ==Complaining about bias seems to be rather obviously missing the point. Of course the questions implicitly convey our position. That’s how these things work. Read any other candidate survey from any other sort of issue-advocacy group, that is how they are written. They’re aren’t pretending to be objective or neutral, it’s asking if the candidate agrees with the questioners or not.==

    Yep. If the LPRC ever did such a thing, you can bet our questions would be heavily biased towards our agenda.

  17. wolfefan

    Hi Andy –

    ==Complaining about bias seems to be rather obviously missing the point. Of course the questions implicitly convey our position. That’s how these things work. Read any other candidate survey from any other sort of issue-advocacy group, that is how they are written. They’re aren’t pretending to be objective or neutral, it’s asking if the candidate agrees with the questioners or not.==

    This is true, but it is also why most of these surveys are worthless no matter what group presents them. As RTAA pointed out, no one is going to disagree with these premises, as the questions are for the most part not specific enough to bind a candidate to any particular view. Take question #7. I know that your group is pro-vaccination, and the claims referred to are those in opposition to vaccines. However an anti-vaxxer would believe that mainstream pro-vaccine claims are false and discredited. The question essentially can be read to support whatever position anyone wants to take on vaccines. An honest, balanced question might provide some insight; as it stands, everyone will agree with the stated premise whether they agree with your group or not.

  18. Pingback: John McAfee and Steve Kerbel respond to Libertarian Skeptics Network questionnaire | American Third Party Report

  19. Jill Pyeatt

    George said : “There have been a number of “terrorist plots” stopped in which the conspiracy appeared to be a bunch of FBI gents and one fellow who was not entirely with it, who did not seem to have been a danger to anything, but did a fine job of inflating the FBI success rate.”

    Of course I know this. I also knew about this post of yours from several days ago:

    “It is now revealed by the ACLU that the Federal Government has been using no-fly lists to turn people into Federal spies, planting them in religious institutions and community groups. For much more aclu.org/feature/unleashed-and-unaccountable (You may need to use a search engine to find this wonderful report).”

    Both of these are absolutely, definitely in the “conspiracy theory” category. Those of us who have been saying such things have been, and still are, labelled “conspiracy kooks”.

    I just thought you’d like to know that.

  20. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I do not believe in man-made global warming. I am a Denier.

    Do I believe that climate change is occurring? Well, no more or less than it has been changing for the last few billion years. Climate always changes.

    Do I believe that Man causes climate change or can stop it? NO. Earth’s climate has been changing, cooling and warming, since long before the Industrial Revolution. Long before puny Man had any alleged impact on the climate.

    The sun has more impact on Earth’s climate than does puny Man: http://www.space.com/19280-solar-activity-earth-climate.html

    My rejection of the theory of man-made climate change is based on proven science, reason, and evidence.

    Because I am a “man-made climate change” skeptic, I am less likely to vote for any candidate who believes in man-made climate change.

  21. steve m

    “7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination? ”

    I am skeptical that the that the claims that vaccinations are proven unsafe and ineffective, are true. Does that make me a Skeptical Skeptical Libertarian?

  22. Andy Craig Post author

    Both of these are absolutely, definitely in the “conspiracy theory” category.

    No. That the government does sting operations that many argue are tantamount to entrapment might be controversial, and I agree with George about the practice, but that they do it isn’t a secret or something you’d learn about from a CT-ist. It’s something you’d learn about by reading the newspaper. It’s only a “conspiracy” in the hyper-technical sense that any action of two or more people is, and it’s definitely not a “theory” (but of course most CTs aren’t).

    Not every bad government action is a ‘conspiracy theory’ as that (inaccurate) term is used, much less an example of la-la-land conspiracism. Nobody denies that the government does bad things, just that any resemblance between those real bad things and the assertions of CT-ists is, at best, random, and more often, non-existent.

  23. Andy Craig Post author

    I am skeptical that the that the claims that vaccinations are proven unsafe and ineffective, are true. Does that make me a Skeptical Skeptical Libertarian?

    Sounds like you’re agreeing with us. Any “claims that vaccinations are proven unsafe and ineffective,” are indeed untrue.

  24. Matt Cholko

    I agree with the above opinions that McAfee’s answers were surprisingly awesome. Kerbel’s were good too. But, if I had to choose between the two, I prefer McAfee’s answers.

  25. George Phillies

    Root’s Teeth 1:19

    As you are apparently unaware, the sun is visible in the sky. We can measure how bright it is, and have been doing so for generations. Thanks to NASA and space satellites, we have ultrahighprecision measurements of solar brightness at different wavelengths.

    It is literally true that the sun has a large effect on the earth’s temperature. if the sun were not there, the earth would have a temperature of about 4 Kelvin (rather colder than minus four hundred Fahrenheit). The statement that sun does more than people do is a standard conservative lying point.

    However, the sun has not changed what it is doing in a way that would cause the ongoing global warming.

  26. Jill Pyeatt

    “No. That the government does sting operations that many argue are tantamount to entrapment might be controversial, and I agree with George about the practice, but that they do it isn’t a secret .”

    Yet, somehow, it’s an impossibility, apparently, that the FBI might be staging some of the shootings?

  27. Jill Pyeatt

    Apparently, deciding what is or isn’t a “conspiracy theory” is based on personal opinion.

    “It’s something you’d learn about by reading the newspaper. ”

    Oh, really? Apparently you are unaware of our local publications here in Southern CA. Mandatory vaccinations are a big controversy here, as they should be, and many true scientific studies have shown areas of real harm due to vaccinations.

    And the shooting in San Bernardino was so suspect that the local media has had no choice but to backtrack and make up more stories or change the “official” story to counter the demands for answers.

    Of course not everything bad that happens is a “conspiracy theory”. That doesn’t mean none of them are.

  28. Chuck Moulton

    I am very impressed by McAfee’s answers.

    And I am very unimpressed by Phillies’ inability to follow the scientific literature on global warming, choosing crowd mentality over actual science.

  29. Chuck Moulton

    Matt Cholko wrote:

    I kind of want to declare myself a candidate for the nomination just to say stupid shit and troll everyone.

    Cholko for President!!

    Where do I get my bumper sticker?

  30. Darryl W. Perry

    Here are my answers:

    1.
    I would consider the information. However I would not necessarily implement the recommended course of action, especially if the recommendation suggests increasing the size, scope, or power of government.

    2.
    Yes. For instance, if someone is selling rat poison as a cure-all or a pill to regrow amputated limbs, I believe we could all agree the person is committing fraud. There is however nuance that needs to be considered, and trying to define what medical claim is or is not a “ deliberately false claim of therapeutic effect” is not easy to do; and would probably be left to a jury, judge, or panel of judges.

    3.
    I support a free market in every aspect of the economy, and believe that all functions currently performed by governments should left to market demands.

    4.
    I support the existence of free-market certifications and believe such certifications are helpful to those looking for qualified health care.
    I believe that individuals should be free to choose the medical care they believe is best for themselves. This includes the freedom to seek alternative forms of treatment, such as holistic, homeopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, shaman, or any other form of treatment they choose. Governments should not mandate what qualifies someone to give medical treatment, nor should any government use force, or the threat of force, to prevent an individual from seeking treatment from an “unqualified” practitioner.
    I support the repeal/abolition of the FDA, Medicare, Medicaid, forced vaccination, mandatory health insurance laws, and any other governmental dictate that interferes with than individuals right to choose the medical care the wish to seek.

    5.
    I believe people have a right to know what’s in their food. However I don’t believe in forcing anyone to do anything. Forcing businesses to label their products is not freedom. Businesses should be free to list or not list the source of their product, and people are free to buy or not buy products that are not labeled to their preference. One thing that I find to be an interesting parallel is the “certified organic” label. I’ve heard reports of things being labeled “certified organic” that are not what people would generally consider to be organic. This exists because government is involved in determining who is allowed to use that label. If the FDA or USDA mandated GMO labeling, it would be the FDA or USDA that determines what is and what is not a genetically engineered crop.

    6.
    I do not.

    7.
    Medical decisions should be based on informed consent, and vaccination should not be an all-or-nothing set of procedures. However, as I understand them, current laws allowing for either philosophical or religious exemptions to vaccines mandate an all-or-nothing approach, and remove the ability for the patient, or their guardian, to opt-out of individually mandated vaccines. This leads to the larger issue of governments mandating medical procedures/treatment; which should not happen in a free society!

    8.
    I agree, and believe that all functions currently performed by governments should left to market demands.

    9.
    I oppose all laws/regulations that either mandate or prohibit any action.

    10.
    Certainly.

  31. Jill Pyeatt

    Matt, it would be interesting if you chose to answer the questionare sent out by the Libertarian Gullible Caucus. Phillies helped himself to it. Why don’t you?

  32. Jill Pyeatt

    The global warming thing is an issue which might help prove my point that it depends on the opinion of each person what a “conspiracy theory” is. Many, if not most, Libertarians do not believe it is caused by man’s actions. Yet, all the media and everyone in our government and many of the governments of the world insist it is a real phenomenon and needs to be dealt with immediately.

    So, who should we ridicule and send the tin-foil hat to?

    I’m actually unclear on this issue, partly because the scientific data is above my pay grade, and it’s hard to trust a study until I know who funded it. For example, Andy Craig admits that their questionaire makes it clear what answers they want to hear. Don’t you think the same thing happens with a lot of the “scientific” studies that are done?

  33. Jill Pyeatt

    Also, many people throw out the term “conspiracy theory” when someone points out the many dangers in Agenda 21. It is not a “CT” by any standard. It’s an actual plan that has been adopted by many cities and is creating the “green” and “sustainable” programs being adopted.

  34. Jill Pyeatt

    I don’t participate in the chemtrails discussions. It’s not my issue, although I know Michael Murphy , who has made the movies about it (“What in the World are They Spraying?”). However, geoengineering is an actual program being done many places, and is actually offered as a college course in many schools. Aren’t chemtrails simply geoengineering?

    Once again, it has to do with someone’s interpretation.

  35. Andy

    Why should anyone care what thia group of fake “libertarian” skeptics says about anything? It is obvious that these Cass Sunstein “libertarians” are trying to browbeat Libertarians who question what the government says, as in people who are real skeptical Libertarians, into silence,. Anyone who wants to turn questioning what the government says into being a taboo is no friend of liberty.

  36. langa

    Perry’s answers were also very good. So far, I’ve been impressed with the responses of all three candidates.

    I did not like some of the responses provided by George Phillies. Fortunately, he’s not running this year.

  37. steve m

    “Don’t you think the same thing happens with a lot of the “scientific” studies that are done?”

    This rarely happens in peer reviewed scientific studies and papers. Doing so would end your scientific career.

  38. Pingback: Darryl W. Perry responds to Libertarian Skeptics Network questionnaire | American Third Party Report

  39. Steve Scheetz

    1. Would your administration respect and duly consider scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practice evidence-based decision-making?

    Being a candidate for Congress, I will not have an administration, but I can say that I am always respectful of all evidence, analysis and expert consensus. I will not, however, go forward using only what the expert consensus happens to be saying. Consensus does not mean infallible, and consensus toes not mean that a solution will work from a cost/benefit analysis standpoint. Also, if the expert consensus states that people are unable to live their own lives, their own way, but should have a small group of elites making decisions for them, I will be shopping for another panel of experts! My decision making is always based on evidence/facts, but it is also tempered by the philosophy of maximum freedom / minimum government.

    2. The Libertarian platform supports the prohibition of fraud, as being no different than theft. In your view does this include the selling of fake, mislabeled, or scam medications under deliberately false claims of therapeutic effect?

    Fraud is fraud. For example, the products created by Big Pharmaceutical are constantly mislabeled. In some instances, particularly when they are labeled as being “safe” for humans, while the fine print says something entirely different, one must question the motives of those who have invested billions to bring that specific product to market.

    3. Do you support the development of private industry and a free market in the field of aerospace, including commercial launch services based in the United States, commercial manned spaceflight, and competitive bidding in NASA procurement?

    I am not certain why this is even a question for Libertarians. The answer is a resounding: “YES!” Private industry has always led the way with innovation. For example, Apple Computer was started in a garage, not a government facility. Space exploration is no different, and those pioneering the way are doing so without government. On a side note, let’s keep government out of their way!

    4. Do you support a free market in pharmaceuticals, and oppose laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of modern medical science, such as the length and corruption of the FDA approval process?

    I was going to bring this up in question number 2, but the way things are set up, companies are required to spend tens of billions in order to bring a drug to market. The only companies able to make this happen are the giant corporations whose lobbyists were responsible for writing the legislation requiring these regulations that essentially eliminate competition and stifle innovation. It is time to remove the oppressive regulations that still manage to allow dangerous drugs, many with horrible side effects, into the market place.

    5. Do you oppose regulations mandating an arbitrary definition and punitive label for genetically engineered crops, and the associated implication that this life-saving technology is harmful and should be banned?

    Frankly all products grown should be labeled in how they were created, and by whom. This is not punitive; it is simply truth in advertising. I oppose government involvement, and would instead prefer the free market to sort these things out. Personally, I will spend the extra money for organic products. I won’t choose to starve if none are available, but I prefer organic, and I expect that many have this same thought process.

    6. Do you plan to campaign on advocating the belief that the September 11th attacks, or any other recent mass shooting or terrorist attack, was a hoax staged by the United States government?

    No, I plan to campaign on advocating Liberty.

    7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?

    Frankly, I believe that Medical Freedom needs to be absolute, even if vaccination is proven effective. Neither children nor their parents should be injected with drugs, medication, or vaccinations, without consent.

    8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investigating “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?

    There are so many things that Taxpayer money should not be wasted on, this is barely a drop in the bucket! To be absolutely clear: No Tax Money to be spent on the investigating of paranormal phenomenon. Leave these things for private industry.

    9. Do you oppose laws restricting or banning research in the field of genetics, including regulations that would ban consumer products derived from such research?

    Before answering this question, it must be stated that I believe in self ownership, that crazy notion that nobody owns anyone else. Provided that the raw material and test subjects are come by in a voluntary manner, it is not the business of government what research is done to improve the quality of life.

    10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?

    Definitely. To go a step further, those presenting the Libertarian Message need to be philosophically consistent. This will help with the credibility aspect, and nothing is more serious than removing the burden of government from people’s lives.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  40. Andy

    Darryl Perry said: “6.
    I do not.”

    Steve Scheetz said: “No, I plan to campaign on advocating Liberty.”

    I can’t say that I completely agree with Darryl and Steve here. Exposing government lies/false flags IS a part of campaigning for liberty.

    Now if you don’t plan to make things like this a part of your campaign platform, I don’t see that as a big problem, as there is some room for candidates to emphasize or de-emphasize some issues, but when you are a candidate on the campaign trail, issues that you did not plan to talk about could be brought up by a reporter, or by a member of the general public who attends an event where the candidate is speaking.

    What if somebody asks you if you believe the official government story about 9/11? What if they ask you whether or not you support re-opening the 9/11 investigation?

    What if they ask you if you think that the government is staging shooting events like Sandy Hook, the Charleston Church shooting, the Aurora Batman shooting, the Isle Vista shooting, the San Bernardino shooting, etc…, in order to be able to pass more gun control laws and more mental health laws?

    What if somebody asks you about Operation Northwoods, where declassified government documents from the 1960’s said that government officials talked about staging false flag events like hijacking airplanes, shootings, and bombings, so they could blame it on Cuba to get a war going?

    What if somebody asks you about Operation Mockingbird, where it is admitted that the CIA infiltrated the mainstream media?

    I think that candidates need to be prepared to answer questions like these, even if they do not plan to make any of this stuff a part of their official campaign platform.

    Now before anyone says something like, this sounds crazy, governments would never stage a shooting event, watch this video below, which clearly punches a big hole in the official government story about the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Yes, I know that this happened in France, but the same principle applies.

    The official story says that the “terrorist” in the video shot the cop in the video in the head, yet if you zoom in the picture, you can clearly see that the shot fired from the AK-47 did not hit the cop, and there was likely not even a bullet in the guy, as it looked more like residue from a blank, and there was no blood after the cop was supposedly shot. If that cop had really been shot in the head by an AK-47 at that range, his head would have been blown to pieces and there would have been blood all over the sidewalk.

    Watch the video:

  41. Andy

    “there was likely not even a bullet in the guy,”

    Should read, “there was likely not even a bullet in the gun…”

  42. Andy

    Those of you who think that the government would never use actors to lie to the public, remember the, “Iraqi troops are ripping babies out of incubators and leaving them on the floor to die” LIE that was told to the American public to gain support for the first Gulf War?

    The Kuwaiti girl in the video was ACTING. Her performance reminds me of one of the “grieving parents” (or more accurately, Crisis Actors) at Sandy Hook.

    This LIE was repeated by then President, and former head of the CIA, George HW Bush.

  43. Andy

    Description of the video above about the Iraqis ripping Kuwaiti babies out of incubators and leaving them on the floor to die LIE:

    “Uploaded on May 3, 2009

    Do you remember Gulf War 1?

    Behold the lie that put the public behind the war – The Kuwaiti Incubator Babies…LIE. This entire story was manufactured. The “innocent” girl who testifies “tearfully”, is, in reality, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family and her ‘story’ has been given to her – she was coached.

    Behold the former head of the CIA and then current President of the United States, George H.W. Bush,…LIE…through his teeth, about the incubator babies. Do you think that the former head of the CIA would make up such a story?

    The Incubator babies of 1990 – LOL!!!

    How many lives and how many bilions did this lie cost?”

  44. Andy

    Don’t believe that the mainstream media puts out fake news?

    This is raw footage of a CNN reporter pretending to be in Saudi Arabia, but in reality this raw footage shows that he was really in the CNN studio in Atlanta, GA.

  45. Matt Cholko

    I don’t see any proof that they’re in Atlanta in that clip. There is some stuff that looks suspect, but nothing even close to proof, as near as I can tell. (I watched the video once completely, and spent a couple of minutes giving some parts close attention).

  46. Chuck Moulton

    Matt Cholko wrote:

    I don’t see any proof that they’re in Atlanta in that clip.

    You’re doing it wrong. You need to drink the conspiracy theory Kool-Aid first to make you very gullible. Then you need to drink 20 beers to drop your IQ.

  47. Andy

    Elliot Rodger allegedly blew his own brains out in his car, yet mysteriously, there is no blood in the car.

    Also, there are pictures of mini-market employees moping up the blood from when Elliot Rodger allegedly blew people away in a mini-market, yet under California law, it is illegal for anyone without a Hazmat license to do this? What were mini-market employees doing messing up a crime scene? Wouldn’t the police have prevented anyone from messing with the crime scene until after crime scene investigators finished their investigation? Even then, the crime scene would not be cleaned up by mini-market employees, it would have to be cleaned up by people with Hazmat licenses. Did these min-market employees have a Hazmat license, and if not, what penalties did they receive for altering a crime scene?

    Absolute Proof Isla Vista Massacre was Staged

  48. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    You’re doing it wrong. You need to drink the conspiracy theory Kool-Aid first to make you very gullible. Then you need to drink 20 beers to drop your IQ.

    Matt Cholko wrote:

    Does anyone know what flavor Kool-Aid is most effective for this purpose?

    Andy wrote:

    [spammed a bunch of kooky videos from fellow crazy, gullible people]

    Andy,

    What flavor Kool-Aid did you drink to get this way?

  49. Andy

    A troll posting on a message board attacking people who were questioning the official government story about Sandy Hook got busted, and the troll traced back to the CIA. I bet we’ve had some of the same piece of shit scumbags from the same place trolling here at IPR over the years.

    Wanna Learn Who Did SANDY HOOK?

  50. Andy

    This video does an excellent job of pointing out that bullshit that the government wants everyone to believe about 9/11, and which this group of supposed “Skeptical Libertarians” do not want Libertarians questioning.

    Libertarian Skeptics Network is not an accurate name for this group. This reminds me of Orwellian Doublethink. Libertarian Gullible Network, or Bootlicking Statist Propaganda Supporters Pretending to be Libertarians Network would be a more accurate name for this group.

    9/11 Explained in 5 Minutes…

  51. Andy

    Who can forget the 5 dancing Israeli Mossad agents who were caught celebrating as the WTC was going down? Well, I guess most of the American public can forget about this as it got flushed down the Memory Hole by the mainstream media not long after it happened.

    911 – Dancing Israelis

  52. Andy

    Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta on Dick Cheney’s mysterious behavior on 9/11 as Cheney violated standard protocol by ordering fighter planes to stand down and not intercept supposedly hijacked airplanes that had entered restricted air space (the planes were most likely military drones and not hijacked passenger planes).

    Mineta and the secret orders of Cheney

  53. Art Olivier

    When I joined the Libertarian Party in the 80’s, I was impressed with the intelligence of my fellow Libertarians. Now we have a group that believes in magic bullets and disappearing jumbo jets and is using their ignorance to try to weed out the critical thinkers from our party.
    If we want to grow the party, we to reach out to the millions of Americans that know it was not 19 losers with box cutters that destroyed those buildings on 9/11.

  54. George Phillies

    No, Art, it was not 19 fellows with box cutters. It was several large, heavy jet airliners loaded with fuel and being flown well outside their “Do Not Exceed” envelopes”

  55. George Phillies

    And saying “some” scientists say there is global warming, and “some” say there is not, as if the two groups were comparable, is fraud.

  56. Art Olivier

    George,
    In every modern commercial jet crash, serial – numbered, time-change parts are gathered up at the crash site. On 9/11, not one single serial – numbered, time-change part was found from the alleged fights.

    And Building 7 was not even alleged to have been hit by an airliner, yet it collapsed into it’s own footprint, over two seconds of the collapse being at absolute freefall. It is not possible that an office fire can make a modern steel frame building collapse at freefall.

  57. langa

    Now if you don’t plan to make things like this a part of your campaign platform, I don’t see that as a big problem, as there is some room for candidates to emphasize or de-emphasize some issues, but when you are a candidate on the campaign trail, issues that you did not plan to talk about could be brought up by a reporter, or by a member of the general public who attends an event where the candidate is speaking.

    I think it is possible to answer these sorts of questions in a very libertarian manner, without taking a position one way or the other on whether any particular theory is true or not. Just answer like this:

    What if somebody asks you if you believe the official government story about 9/11? What if they ask you whether or not you support re-opening the 9/11 investigation?

    “I don’t believe anything the government says, until I see evidence to prove it, and I would recommend that you not take the government’s word for anything either. As for having the government investigate itself, that’s a waste of time. However, I would strongly encourage private individuals to thoroughly investigate every claim the government makes before accepting it.”

    What if they ask you if you think that the government is staging shooting events like Sandy Hook, the Charleston Church shooting, the Aurora Batman shooting, the Isle Vista shooting, the San Bernardino shooting, etc…, in order to be able to pass more gun control laws and more mental health laws?

    “I have no idea whether the government played a role in any of those incidents. However, it is undeniably true that they have used those events as an excuse to pass the kinds of laws that you describe, and if elected, I would do everything in my power to oppose such laws.”

    What if somebody asks you about Operation Northwoods, where declassified government documents from the 1960’s said that government officials talked about staging false flag events like hijacking airplanes, shootings, and bombings, so they could blame it on Cuba to get a war going?

    “These are just a few of the many examples of government lying to its citizens. These examples just reinforce my earlier point, that you should never take anything the government says at face value.”

    What if somebody asks you about Operation Mockingbird, where it is admitted that the CIA infiltrated the mainstream media?

    “You should also take anything the mainstream media says with a grain of salt, as they are frequently shilling for the government. You should never assume anything is true just because you heard it on TV.”

    I think that candidates need to be prepared to answer questions like these, even if they do not plan to make any of this stuff a part of their official campaign platform.

    I agree. However, I think it is better to give answers like the ones I just provided, in order to keep the focus on the general libertarian message, instead of getting bogged down debating the minor details about various issues. If you want to give people a link to your website, where you can provide more in-depth discussion of these kinds of events, that’s fine. But during media interviews and such, I think it’s usually a mistake to get bogged down in these sorts of debates. In fact, members of the MSM will often use controversial issues like these to try to distract libertarian candidates, and take the focus off the basic libertarian message.

  58. Art Olivier

    “And saying “some” scientists say there is global warming, and “some” say there is not, as if the two groups were comparable, is fraud.”
    This is true. On one hand you have a group that receives massive government grants while those that tell the truth are risking their careers.

  59. Moses Austwin

    The truth will come to light, but we need investigation for that. How can we get to the truth if we can’t campaign for investigation?

  60. Steve Scheetz

    Andy, I was not at any of those locations, therefore, I cannot come to any conclusion as to what actually happened. Instead, It is my assertion that we SPECIFICALLY discuss Liberty and Taxation, for example, I am opposed to the government allowing giant corporations to have a leg up against competition from smaller companies with better ideas. All conspiracies may be real, but without any evidence, (which none of us actually has), there is no point in discussing them.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  61. Rob Loggia

    Just as interesting as the answers themselves is the roster of candidates that will take the time to thoughtfully answer these questions. The act itself is an important tell for the American People. All available information indicates that a majority of Americans feel marginalized by a government that does not hear them or listen to them. It therefore makes sense to identify candidates that demonstrate attentiveness to The People with actions rather than just lip service.

    I have some recent experience with this question. In my capacity as a citizen and blogging journalist I have put a question to every Libertarian candidate for the office of POTUS via their contact point of record. It has now been 10 days, and I have received a reply from a small minority of the candidates. After an appropriate level of followup to ensure that no one has slipped through the cracks, I will be publishing my results.

    There may be any number of reasons why a candidate may see my question and choose to ignore it. Perhaps they do not believe me important enough to command a reply. Perhaps they don’t like my question, or deem it to be unimportant. Or perhaps they choose to speculate about my motives. Their reasoning isn’t actually very interesting to me.

    What is interesting is that they are showing me that they represent more of the same. They do not care to hear from me, do not care what I think, and my concerns are not their concern. I suspect that if a New York Times journalist or Fox news reporter sent them the very same question they would answer it. But the little guy deserves no answer – not even an acknowledgement that the question was received.

    Rude. And telling.

    Congratulations to the candidates that have taken the time to give a thoughtful answer to the legitimate questions posed in this survey. One of them still owes me an answer, but I have hopes 😉

  62. Robert Capozzi

    L: As for having the government investigate itself, that’s a waste of time.

    me: Seems overstated. WaterGate worked out pretty well. Iran Contra, too.

  63. George Phillies

    Olivier: “This is true. On one hand you have a group that receives massive government grants while those that tell the truth are risking their careers.”

    A standard far-right-wing slander point. The Federal government has no interest one way or the other in the outcome. The people who are telling the truth are in absolutely no danger. The fringe elements who claim there is no global warming are protected by academic freedom, and are quite adequately funded by private interests. Climate research, after all, is just not that expensive; unlike a particle accelerator, the planet comes free.

    Hopefully we will not in the future run a kook denialist for national office.

  64. Andy

    Watch this video where Larken Rose reads Operation Northwoods, a declassified government document where government officials talked about staging false flag attacks and using them to gain public support for a war against Cuba.

    Wacky Conspiracy Theories!

  65. Andy

    Here’s the wikipedia entry for Operation Northwoods:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

    From the article: “Operation Northwoods was a proposed false flag operation against the Cuban government, that originated within the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other US government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The proposals were rejected by the Kennedy administration.[2]

    At the time of the proposal, communists led by Fidel Castro had recently taken power in Cuba. The operation proposed creating public support for a war against Cuba by blaming it for terrorist acts that would actually be perpetrated by the US Government (so called “false flag operations”).[3] To this end, Operation Northwoods proposals recommended hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government. It stated:

    The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere.

    Several other proposals were included within Operation Northwoods, including real or simulated actions against various US military and civilian targets. The operation recommended developing a ‘Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington’.

    The plan was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer and sent to the Secretary of Defense. Although part of the US government’s anti-communist Cuban Project, Operation Northwoods was never officially accepted; it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. According to currently released documentation, none of the operations became active under the auspices of the Operation Northwoods proposals.”

  66. Andy

    Notice how Andy Craig’s “debate tactic” whenever these threads come up is to ignore any evidence that is presented, and post some stupid picture where he mocks the people who ask questions and bring up actual evidence, without ever addressing the evidence or answering any questions.

    Andy Craig is like a kid on a playground who sticks his fingers in his ears and says, “Nanny, nanny boo boo! You’re a poopy head!”

  67. Andy

    “Steve Scheetz
    January 30, 2016 at 23:01

    Andy, I was not at any of those locations, therefore, I cannot come to any conclusion as to what actually happened.”

    Steve, you don’t have to actually be at any of these locations to ask questions and to see that the government is lying.

    I posted a video above about the Kuwaiti girl who testified that Iraqi troops were ripping babies out of incubators in Kuwait and leaving them on the floor to die. This was done to get the American public behind the first Gulf War. It later came out that the Kuwaiti girl was a member of the Kuwaiti royal family and that she had been coached on what to say and that this story was a complete fabrication. This LIE was repeated by then President and former Director of the CIA, George HW Bush.

    Is it necessary for you to have been in an Iraqi hospital to know that this was a lie?

    Is it really necessary for you to have been at the WTC complex in New York on 9/11 to question how WTC 7 mysteriously collapsed, given that it was not hit by a plane, and was on the opposite side of the WTC complex from the Twin Towers, and was hit by less debris than other buildings that were closer to the Twin Towers that did not collapse, and when there is plenty of evidence that WTC 7 was not a blazing inferno (which, even if it had been, would still not explain the collapse, but the fact is that it was not a blazing inferno), and that it in fact sustained less damage that other buildings in the are that did not collapse?

    Do you really have to be in the same location as a politician or other government official to know that they are lying?

    Also, like I said above, I don’t think that a candidate necessarily has to include any topics like this as a part of their platform, as I think that candidates should have some discretion on their platforms, and on which issues they want to emphasize and which issues they want to de-emphasize, but also like I said above, candidates ought to be prepared for everything, because you never know which questions a reporter or random member of the public is going to ask.

    I think answering a question about say the collapse of WTC 7 with, “Gee, I don’t know, I was not in New York that day.” is kind of lame.

    A better way to answer the question in my opinion, even if this is not a part of your campaign platform, would be to say something like, “I have not spent a lot of time studying this issue myself, but I know people who have, and they have a lot of questions about what happened that day. I believe in transparency in government, and if elected, I will do whatever I can to make sure that government is transparent, and I fully support criminal investigations into people in government who lie to the public, or who engage in other criminal acts. I know that lots of Americans have questions about what happened on 9/11, and if I am elected, I will help them find answers to these questions.”

    Instead, It is my assertion that we SPECIFICALLY discuss Liberty and Taxation, for example, I am opposed to the government allowing giant corporations to have a leg up against competition from smaller companies with better ideas. All conspiracies may be real, but without any evidence, (which none of us actually has), there is no point in discussing them.

  68. Chuck Moulton

    Andy wrote:

    Notice how Andy Craig’s “debate tactic” whenever these threads come up is to ignore any evidence that is presented

    Why should he dignify your crazy rantings with any response or waste his time reading / watching your drivel?

    You are bat-fucking-crazy. I, for one, have better things to do with my time than reading the ravings of a madman that have been repeatedly debunked by others.

    You implicitly assume there are two sides, and people ought to hear “the other side”. That’s nonsense. If someone tells me the earth is flat, I have no obligation to read his 1,000 page manifesto before declaring that he’s a loon.

    I was curious about the 9/11 “truth” stuff in the few years after 9/11. I was even duped by the building 7 meme. But there has been enormous research systematically debunking every assertion from the 9/11 “truth” movement. One can be forgiven for buying into it early on, but still believing crazy theories despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is wacko. You still spout nonsense despite everything you say being demonstrably and conclusively proven false.

    I trust people more and less based on their previous track record. If I heard a conspiracy theory from someone generally logical who rejected earlier conspiracy theories that had already been debunked, I would be more inclined to listen to him and personally look into his allegation. In contrast, everything you say is wacko loon, so I make a time saving assumption that future theories you subscribe to are similarly wacko loon. That’s just common sense.

    In China we have actual government conspiracies locking people up and manipulating the media portrayal. Word still gets out through firsthand sources. You subscribe to a litany of crazy conspiracy theories despite firsthand sources debunking or disagreeing with them. Do you really think all the people killed in Sandy Hook were made up? Go talk to their parents.

    I know you’re going to continue holding bat-fucking-crazy theories and spamming them to people who don’t give a fuck because you love wasting everyone’s time and want more people to be as bat-fucking-crazy as you are, but NEWSFLASH: we don’t owe you any obligation to read your crazy lunatic rants or watch your crazy lunatic videos.

  69. George Phillies

    @13:54 Chuck, very well said!

    To which I would add:

    There is no obligation of state parties to use evolution deniers as petitioners , because they might convince voters that Libertarians are crazy.

  70. George Phillies

    @ 12:21 No, Art, that’s being tactful. I have an extremely large vocabulary of castigatory phrases.

    By the way, the non-government-funded work, for the most part gets to the same conclusion.

  71. Jill Pyeatt

    Perhaps we can shut off comments for this thread. I don’t see anything good coming from this thread.

    I know we don’t do this often, but we rarely have this level of disagreement and disrespect for each other, either.

  72. Art Olivier

    God help the Libertarian Party if a self-proclaimed genius like Moulton ever became our presidential nominee. Like most people that defend the official 9/11 conspiracy theory, he cannot cite any evidence to support his theory, instead he goes into a long diatribe of sophomoric insults against those who do present evidence.

    Everyone knows that people who are on TV are actors and that politicians lie, yet when you put the actors and the liars on a TV show called the News, it magically becomes reality.

  73. Andy

    Jill, I encourage you to not shut off comments in this thread. Discussion of issues we are facing is important, even if that discussion gets heated.

  74. George Phillies

    The original investigation of the 9/11 collapse was carried out in purely libertarian manner, namely it was done by private researchers and insurance companies, showing that we understand rather clearly how the airliners took down the buildings. There was then a second FEMA investigation, which came to the same conclusions. At far higher expense.

    50 years ago the conservative movement did something very sensible. It through the John Birch Society out of the conservative movement. We now need to do the same, with the conspiracy theorists.

  75. Jill Pyeatt

    Andy, I don’t know if anyone is watching your videos. Go back and read the comments–all that’s happening is that people are ridiculing you (us). I think it’s time to let this thread die.

  76. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt
    January 31, 2016 at 15:27

    Andy, I don’t know if anyone is watching your videos. Go back and read the comments–all that’s happening is that people are ridiculing you (us). I think it’s time to let this thread die.”

    Let them ridicule. They are the ones who are fools.

    I will continue and I will never give up.

  77. Andy

    ” They are the ones who are fools.”

    Actually, the other possibility here is that they are intentionally lying.

    Whichever the case may be, people like this are bad for the Libertarian Party, and they are a big part of the reason why the Libertarian Party is in such poor shape right now.

  78. Steve Scheetz

    Langa, EXACTLY.

    Global Warming – it is true that the Earth has warmed since the 1880’s, this is undeniable, and these facts are not in dispute, and one looks at ice core data from Huang et al’s study, there is a clear indication that there have been warming trends and cooling trends over the past 2000 years. What is in dispute, is whether or not humans were responsible for this particular warming trend, whether or not the seas are actually rising, and whether or not we actually need a solution, because it has not been determined that there actually is a problem. (I offer the fact that scientists found the remains of an agrarian community that was established for 500 years, under ice in Greenland.) Another point that is in serious dispute is what the spending of tens of trillions of dollars will actually accomplish.

    The fact is that all “evidence” pointing to some sort of conspiracy regarding 9-11 is speculative. I don’t know what happened, I only know what I was told. I generally have a problem believing what the government tells me given its tendency to lie to the general public, but until such time as some private investigator comes up with a smoking gun, I am not going to bring it up, and if asked, I will state something similar to what Langa said. Never believe what you are told unless there is real evidence backing it up, preferably from a private investigative source.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  79. Art Olivier

    We should not throw out people based on their knowledge of government corruption. But to allow someone like Phillies to remain in the party when their stated goal to throw out people that disagree with him is detrimental to the party.

  80. William Saturn

    Jill Pyeatt: “all that’s happening is that people are ridiculing you (us)”

    Have you not seen the posts from Mr. Olivier, 2000 LP VP nominee and former Mayor of Bellflower, CA?

  81. Andy

    Steve Scheetz said: “The fact is that all ‘evidence’ pointing to some sort of conspiracy regarding 9-11 is speculative.”

    Steve, you do realize that the official government story about 9/11 is a conspiracy theory, right?

    The official government story about 9/11 is that some guy in a cave in Afghanistan directed 19 guys with box cutters to hijack airplanes, and overcome NORAD to crash a plane into WTC 1, another plane into WTC 2, and another plane into the Pentagon.

    A conspiracy is when more than one person commits a crime.

    The guy in the cave in Afghanistan and the 19 alleged hijackers armed with box cutters is more than one person, and according to the government, the plotted and carried out a crime, so that makes the official government story about what happened that day a conspiracy theory.

  82. Andy

    Steve Scheetz said: ” I generally have a problem believing what the government tells me given its tendency to lie to the general public, but until such time as some private investigator comes up with a smoking gun,”

    There have already been lots of “smoking gun” pieces of evidence exposed by independent researchers that says that the official government story about 9/11 is a lie.

    Did you not watch any of the videos I posted above?

  83. Andy

    Ever since 2008, I have attempted to organize a debate to be held at a Libertarian Party National Convention over the issue of what happened on 9/11, and I put this challenge out multiple times right here on IPR for the LP National Conventions for 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, yet none of the official government story defenders ever accepted the challenge.

    Well, given the discussion on this thread, I suppose I should issue the challenge again.

    Perhaps we could have a panel consisting of say Art Olivier, Alan Pyeatt (Jill’s husband is a member of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth), Jim Duensing, myself, and perhaps some others, vs. a panel consisting of Andy Craig, Chuck Moulton, George Phillies, or whoever else.

    The debate could be livestreamed and then posted to YouTube, and I will be sure it gets emails to as many Libertarians and posted to as many websites as possible.

    So any takers, or is the other side going to chicken out like they have at every other National Convention when I posted this challenge?

    Time to put up or shut up.

    I will be at the convention, and I will be sure and bring a video camera.

  84. Andy

    “and I will be sure it gets emails ”

    Should read, “and I will be sure it gets emailed…”

  85. Jill Pyeatt

    Truth in Media: CDC, Vaccines & Autism

    "What I am about to share with you is not theory. This is a documented case of massive corruption within the CDC and an attempt to change research, protocols and ultimately hide their own findings."- Ben Swann investigates the Truth behind the CDC, Vaccines and Autism

    Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, January 28, 2016

  86. Andy

    Remember the 2008 LP National Convention when the Duensing family rented a room at the same hotel as the convention was taking place and they held a Libertarians for Justice meeting at that event?

    They had a guest speaker from Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth there, and they even hosted a debate between the few candidates who signed the Libertarians for Justice pledge in support of a new 9/11 investigation. I believe the candidates who signed the pledge were Steve Kubby, Mary Ruwart, and Michael Jingozian. There may have been one or two other candidates, possibly Christine Smith and Jim “Libertarian” Burns.

    They did have a video camera at that event, but I don’t think they ever posted the footage online.

    I put out a debate challenge well in advance of that convention, and the Duensing family would have certainly loved to have had such a debate at their event, yet none of the Libertarian Party’s official government story defenders bothered to show up.

  87. Andy

    “Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, January 28, 2016”

    I had the pleasure of talking to Ben Swann at the last LP National Convention. Great guy. Would love for him to speak at another LP National Convention.

  88. Andy

    “A conspiracy is when more than one person commits a crime”

    Actually, when more than one person plans to commit a crime.

    A guy in a cave in Afghanistan plus 19 supposed hijackers armed with box cutters is more than one person.

    The official government story about 9/11 supporters are not opposed to saying something is a conspiracy, because that is exactly what the official government story about 9/11 is, a conspiracy theory.

    They are opposed to people talking about conspiracy theories that differ from the one put out by the government, because gosh darn it, we all know that people in government never lie about anything, and we all know that they are always right, right?

  89. Andy

    Ben Swann does not buy into the official government conspiracy theory about 9/11.

    Ben Swann Truth in Media: More Americans “Rethinking” 9/11?

  90. George Phillies

    The most serious difficulty with the idea that global warming is a conspiracy hoax is, of course, that it is backwards form the directions that are of interest to the government, namely from the perspective of the government global warming might require them to do something, annoy the plutocrats, and, of course, might lead to public panic. No, if there were a government conspiracy, it would be to suppress belief in global warming.

    Indeed, given its incompetent nature, one might suspect that the government hoax is global warming denial.

  91. Steve Scheetz

    Did you not watch any of the videos I posted above?

    I watched all sorts of 9-11 truth stuff, and at the end of all of it, we do not hear about how this is brought before a grand jury to prosecute the offenders…. Why? Because none of it is a smoking gun. None of it is real legitimate evidence that could be used to prosecute anyone. At the end of the day, anyone who brings these arguments up during a political campaign deserves to be locked up in a mental institution.

    If, after 16 YEARS, your side has been unable to put anyone in jail for anything, (not even for double parking the Mossad van with the mural on it) , I will come out and say that the conspiracy theories are just that… theories.

    Do I believe the official account? NO, I am absolutely certain there were plenty of details that were left out… Do I have any idea what those details are or why they were left out? NO, but the government never tells the public “The whole truth” about anything. Do I believe the government staged all of this to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan? NO. Enough is enough with this bullshit.

    Here is an idea.. I will not tell anyone here how to run their campaigns, please do not tell me how to run mine.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  92. Chuck Moulton

    Jill Pyeatt wrote:

    we rarely have this level of disagreement and disrespect for each other, either.

    Jill,

    I’m all for treating others with respect and agreeing to disagree. I’d rather just let people keep their separate opinions and move on.

    Unfortunately, Andy doesn’t want that. He isn’t content with people disagreeing. He keeps ramming his opinion — which is completely unrelated to IPR — down everyone’s throats with his spam. Eventually it gets to the point where if Andy is going to insist on making an issue of it, all of us who have a strong opinion are going to stop keeping that opinion to ourselves in the interest of being amicable and instead lay out in no uncertain terms that we emphatically disagree.

  93. Matt Cholko

    I’ll second Chuck’s comment.

    It gets really tiring hearing over and over again that every event in the human history has a sinister conspiracy behind it.

  94. Caryn Ann Harlos

    My views are similar to Steve’s above. In fact, pretty much those are my views.

  95. Chuck Moulton

    Andy wrote:

    Perhaps we could have a panel consisting of say Art Olivier, Alan Pyeatt (Jill’s husband is a member of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth), Jim Duensing, myself, and perhaps some others, vs. a panel consisting of Andy Craig, Chuck Moulton, George Phillies, or whoever else.

    The debate could be livestreamed and then posted to YouTube, and I will be sure it gets emails to as many Libertarians and posted to as many websites as possible.

    So any takers, or is the other side going to chicken out like they have at every other National Convention when I posted this challenge?

    Time to put up or shut up.

    I will be at the convention, and I will be sure and bring a video camera.

    Why on earth would I debate you? That would mean subjecting myself to your insane ramblings, actively looking for other insane ramblings, and spending a lot of time gathering together and mastering all the refutations of those insane ramblings.

    You seem to be operating under the assumption that I am trying to persuade you that 9/11 was not an inside job, the Sandy Hook victims actually existed, we landed on the moon, etc. You’re wrong.

    Let me be clear:

    I … DON’T … GIVE … A … FUCK … WHAT … YOU … THINK.

    You can continue to believe crazy theories. It doesn’t affect me one bit. You can persuade others to embrace your crazy theories. That doesn’t affect me one bit either.

    Analogously, I am an atheist. I am surrounded all the time by hoards of people who have an imaginary friend in the sky that they believe created the world, is constantly watching them, and may send them to a paradise after death. If one of them gave me an ultimatum that I must debate them to prove their religion wrong, I would also decline. Why? Because spending hours and hours learning about their religion and all the evidence debunking it is a waste of my time. I don’t care if they have an imaginary friend in the sky.

    Contrast with a different analogy: my brother joins a cult. The cult insists that he sacrifice my niece and scatter her blood throughout Pennsylvania. In this case I care about my brother and my niece, so I would put forth a considerable effort to show him that the cult was wrong.

    The chances of the LP adopting a “9/11 was an inside job” platform plank are practically zero. If they do, at that point I’ll care enough to “debate”. Until then, I neither will participate nor attend any 9/11 “truth” debate.

  96. langa

    The most serious difficulty with the idea that global warming is a conspiracy hoax is, of course, that it is backwards form the directions that are of interest to the government, namely from the perspective of the government global warming might require them to do something, annoy the plutocrats, and, of course, might lead to public panic. No, if there were a government conspiracy, it would be to suppress belief in global warming.

    This might be the craziest comment made on IPR so far in 2016. Clearly, for all his education, Dr. Phillies has absolutely no clue how government operates. None.

  97. langa

    To elaborate on why Phillies’ comment is so insane, here is a simple 3-step model of how government expands its power:

    A) Either find or create a problem.

    B) Convince the public that this problem represents a serious threat to their quality of life.

    C) Convince the public that government action (and lots of it) is the only way to solve this problem.

    If you can’t see how establishing the “scientific consensus” about the global warming “crisis” is a perfect example of steps A and B, then you are obviously clueless.

  98. Jill Pyeatt

    For the record, many of the people directly involved in the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon especially, HAVE come forward and talked about their involvement in the events of that day, voluntary or not. A high proportion of those people have already died, but as far as the belief that there couldn’t be a huge conspiracy because human nature would cause people to talk–you’re right. Many people have,
    Barry Jennings and April Gallop, for two. You’re welcome to not study this stuff, and I actually never try to convince anyone because it would have to be someone’s personal journey. Just please know that many, many–hundreds–of people have come forward with alternate stories of what happened on 9/11. I happen to believe some of them.

  99. George Phillies

    Langa,

    Your lack of understanding of government operation is amazing. First, you missed the most important aspect of most bureaucracies: Cover Your Ass. Upsetting important people is bad. Upsetting Congressmen is worse. Global warming will upset large numbers of important rich people, who will tell their Congressmen what to think, namely that global warming advocates should be slapped down. Indeed. on and off Congress bans using Federal funds to support some area of research, because it might upset the electorate. The important power issue is GS rank and the number of people who report to you,, not whether they do anything.

    There are also government organizations that have much power and use it effectively. The Allied Expeditionary Force comes immediately to mind.

  100. Art Olivier

    Andy,
    Even if you could get someone to accept your challenge to a debate, they would back out before the convention when they did some research to prepare and find out that there is no evidence to support their side.

  101. langa

    Upsetting important people is bad. Upsetting Congressmen is worse. Global warming will upset large numbers of important rich people, who will tell their Congressmen what to think, namely that global warming advocates should be slapped down.

    Clearly, you don’t get it. Anyone important enough for the government to care about upsetting knows better than to take what the media says at face value. It’s really no different than the “War on Terror” propaganda. After all, if important people really believed that there were huge hordes of crazy Islamic terrorists hellbent on destroying Western civilization, they would be upset about that, too. But they’re not upset about it, because they recognize it for what it is — thinly veiled propaganda designed to scare the public. The global warming hysteria is the exact same thing. The only difference between them is the target audience they are intended to scare.

  102. LSN PCQ: Austin Petersen answers

    1. Would your administration respect and duly consider scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practice evidence-based decision-making?

    Without a doubt it’s extremely important that the President rely on scientific evidence when making national policy decisions. However, one must also be willing to be skeptical of the skeptics, and to consider when those experts might be engaging in their own form of confirmation bias.

    Scientists have often been too willing to back policy proposals based on solutions that result in central planning. We must always remember Hayek’s Pretense of Knowledge. I’m not going to jump at every fearmongering scientists’ prognostications of total doom if we don’t adopt their policy proposals (and offer them lavish government research funding to save us all).

    I’m skeptical that government is the solution to the negative externalities created by industrial capitalism, but there must always be considerable peer-reviewed scientific evidence backing any government action, and that action’s stated purpose must only be to protect individuals and their property rights. As Dr. Michael Shermer has stated, we need economic triage, or a reprioritization of the types of challenges which humans face, and we must consider these challenges in order of their importance to our survival and future prosperity.

    2. The Libertarian platform supports the prohibition of fraud, as being no different than theft. In your view does this include the selling of fake, mislabeled, or scam medications under deliberately false claims of therapeutic effect?

    Absolutely. It’s a complete falsehood to sell homeopathic or natural remedies as if they were medicines. People should absolutely have the right to put whatever they wish in their bodies, but it is absolutely fraudulent to make claims of their efficacy which are not backed by scientific evidence. If sick people take something that promises to treat a malady, but in reality does no such thing, then there could be grounds for a lawsuit in my opinion. However, in some cases the person, being fully informed, must be willing to accept some measure of responsibility for themselves, and thus it’s perfectly reasonable to accept that any compensation for damages could be capped due to the fact that the individual knowingly took a risk to their own health. These are problems that must be solved as locally as possible and should not become a federal issue.

    3. Do you support the development of private industry and a free market in the field of aerospace, including commercial launch services based in the United States, commercial manned spaceflight, and competitive bidding in NASA procurement?

    We need to let the private market step in and take over space exploration. My primary concern for humanity is the fact that we are so focused on our own interspecies struggles, we are ignoring the fact that the rest of the universe is just waiting to finish off whoever is left after the fighting from these useless wars end. I don’t trust that, if there were a catastrophic crisis, that plans guided by governments wouldn’t be as corrupted by cronyism and special favors as the types of programs we have now. Earth’s history is littered with mass extinction events, and I believe that the more freedom we allow private space agencies to operate, the better chance we will have at creating human redundancy in the universe.

    4. Do you support a free market in pharmaceuticals, and oppose laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of modern medical science, such as the length and corruption of the FDA approval process?

    I support a totally free market in pharmaceuticals, so that patients can have easier access to treatments and medicines that they wish to take. I would like to see the FDA replaced by private ratings agencies who would be more accountable to consumers for testing the efficacy of medications. I would also like there to be options for terminal patients to have access to experimental treatments quicker.

    5. Do you oppose regulations mandating an arbitrary definition and punitive label for genetically engineered crops, and the associated implication that this life-saving technology is harmful and should be banned?

    I am opposed to government intervention into the free market. That being said, technically all food is genetically modified, since the only reason that the total human population as we see it now is sustainable is because of advanced agricultural techniques that have allowed us to thrive. Attacking GMOs is the epitome of a class-based, first world problem, and it’s truly an attack on the poor in third world countries, where 5 million children die a year due to Vitamin A deficiencies.

    Consumers have a responsibility to do their own research on the products they buy, and it’s not the government’s job to determine what food is or isn’t safe. Trusting our government to look after us in this way is what lead to the water poisoning in Flint, Michigan. If you don’t want genetically modified food, grow your own. Just don’t ask government to do the due diligence that you are too lazy to do on your own. It’s not your neighbor’s responsibility to be taxed to pay for government to inspect your food supply.

    6. Do you plan to campaign on advocating the belief that the September 11th attacks, or any other recent mass shooting or terrorist attack, was a hoax staged by the United States government?

    I have worked tirelessly to investigate and inform my fellow libertarians about the truth surrounding the events of 9/11. Because I believe that conspiracy theories often do great harm to our movement, I have done personally done full independent investigations into these events, even calling and interrogating the head of the 9/11 Commission Report Phillip Zelikow. While at Fox Business, I produced multiple journalistic pieces uncovering the blunders in national security that allowed our homeland to be attacked on that day. I was the point person on this topic on Judge Napolitano’s FreedomWatch, promoting how Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer believed that Operation Able Danger revealed the identities and locations of the hijackers before the events happened, and that they could possibly have been prevented if our national security agencies were not so overloaded with redundancies that they failed at doing their duty of protecting us.

    After years of exhaustive research, I have come to the conclusion that the government is so totally inept, that their abilities to perpetuate and keep secret a conspiracy of such vast proportions would be both economically and tactically impossible. I now happily provide my research and participate in public debates on the topic in order to inform my fellow citizens about the real conspiracy of 9/11, which was in the coverup and abdication of responsibility by the public officials who failed to do their duty to protect us.

    7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?

    I do agree.

    8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investing “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?

    I completely agree.

    9. Do you oppose laws restricting or banning research in the field of genetics, including regulations that would ban consumer products derived from such research?

    I do oppose laws that restrict research into the field of genetics as long as such laws do not violate individual rights or the bodily integrity of human beings alive in the womb.

    10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?

    Yes, but considering how subjective a question that is, I’d have to seriously consider the source of the criticism. As a matter of fact, I think libertarians are oftentimes too serious, showing a lack of empathy or humor. Part of the reason people think libertarians are nuts is because we are unable to laugh at ourselves. We do need to put forward a credible, honest, and serious campaign with purpose. But if we do not show a strong, ebullient personality, we will never win the game of elections, which is as much a talent show as it is a game of tactics and organization.

  103. Jill Pyeatt

    I was actually surprised by a few of Austin’s answers, but they certainly seem reasonable and well thought-out.

    There’s a lot to be said for how well Austin (or his handlers) write and articulate their positions. That’s certainly something in his favor.

  104. Art Olivier

    Austin Petersen,
    Since you have done years of exhaustive research on 9/11 and you happily provide your research and participate in public debates on the topic, would you be willing to participate in a debate on “Did Muslims Attack America on 9/11?”?

  105. Matt Cholko

    I agree, Jill. Frankly, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the responses I’ve seen to this questionnaire by the whole lot of our candidates.

  106. Alexander Peak

    1.  Sure.  I’m pro-science.

    2.  Um, obviously.  Is there anyone who thinks that making “deliberately false claims” for profit is not fraud?

    3.  Totally.

    4.  Positively.

    5.  Entirely.

    6.  Hell no.

    7.  Absolutely.

    8.  Uh-huh.  Although, to be fair, I don’t think taxpayer money should be wasted—period.

    9.  Why, yes I do.

    10.  Yes, although credibility and honesty are much more important than seriousness.  A bit of humour can be beneficial, if handled properly.

    In response to Mr. McAfee, Ms. Harlos writes, “I am not sure of this answer. I think I know the way it was intended, and I think he means proactively protecting from fraud through regulation, and I agree with that. But that is not the only way it can be taken, so I am a bit oochy. IF we are to have a government, protecting life, liberty, and property is its only functions that our SoP allows, and fraud is an aggression against property (and potentially against the other two). But is there a place for preemptive protection. Now , in that I agree with him, there isn’t.”

    I was thinking the same thing when I read that answer.  While I don’t believe the state apparatus is necessary for the prosecution of crimes, including the crime of fraud, and while I find regulatory agencies like the FDA to be deserving of immediate abolition, insofar as a state apparatus continues to exist and to prosecute crimes, fraud is one of the few that I am not appalled seeing it prosecute.

    Mr. Phillies writes, “For example, if a European company develops something that passes German safety controls, we should let them sell it in the United States. I also support IP rights for inventors and authors.”

    If the drug doesn’t pass German safety controls, does that mean it should be prohibited in these United States?

    (I used to believe in IP.  I entered the anti-IP camp around 2008, if I recall correctly.)  You support IP, so I wonder, where do you draw the line?  I had a friend back in college who suggested the line should be drawn wherever drawing it will lead to the highest production of creative goods, but he was never able to explain how it could be determined where that line is.  Currently, the government draws the line at life plus seventy years (generally speaking), but I find that particularly arbitrary.  It would seem to me that the only non-arbitrary lines would be (a) never, (b) life, or (c) eternity.  One who was Jeffersonianly inclined might suggest the duration of a generation (approx. 25 years), but although I find that to be less-arbitrary than life-plus-seventy-years, it still seems too arbitrary for my tastes.  Where do you draw the line?

    Yours,
    Alexander S. Peak

  107. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I just listened to the Anarchast podcast on the flat earth. I want to self-lobotomize to rid myself of that memory.

  108. George Phillies

    I view accepting German pharmaceutical safety controls as a possible step in the right direction. A pharmaceutical agent that does not pass European safety controls is going to have problems being allowed in the USA.

    With respect to flatness, some of you should give attention to the serious people, the Flat Sun Society. Accept no substitutes.

  109. Andy

    Austin Petersen said: “After years of exhaustive research, I have come to the conclusion that the government is so totally inept, that their abilities to perpetuate and keep secret a conspiracy of such vast proportions would be both economically and tactically impossible. I now happily provide my research and participate in public debates on the topic in order to inform my fellow citizens about the real conspiracy of 9/11, which was in the coverup and abdication of responsibility by the public officials who failed to do their duty to protect us. ”

    Ahhh, the government is too stupid to carry out something like 9/11 fallacy.

    Yeah, the government is so stupid, this is why they control everything and libertarians control nothing.

    Thousands of local government boards, yet libertarians do not have a majority on even one local government board.

    The government has millions of people duped into believe that they “owe” taxes and that without taxes, civilization would collapse.

    Are there stupid people in government? Sure, but they are mostly at the lower levels. The people who run government are not stupid, they are evil.

    Also, when people say the government carried out 9/11, it does not literally mean the entire government, it means a few rogue elements within the government.

    It would not have taken a whole lot of people. Just a few key people in a few key places.

  110. Jill Pyeatt

    Austin said he wants to: “inform my fellow citizens about the real conspiracy of 9/11, which was in the coverup and abdication of responsibility by the public officials who failed to do their duty to protect us. ”

    At least he’s conceding there’s been a cover-up. That makes him a Truther.

  111. Mike K

    Here are my responses. I’m not running for president but I might run for state house so please consider a donation!!!

    1. Would your administration respect and duly consider scientific evidence, expert consensus, cost-benefit analysis, and practice evidence-based decision-making?

    Of course. But remember in the 1980’s the Grace Commission’s suggestions went virtually unimplemented. My administration would cut government by 50% day 1, and 90% by day 1 year 2.

    2. The Libertarian platform supports the prohibition of fraud, as being no different than theft. In your view does this include the selling of fake, mislabeled, or scam medications under deliberately false claims of therapeutic effect?

    It’s not the government’s job to determine what’s “fake” or “mislabeled”. The market is the best way to arbitrate these issues.

    3. Do you support the development of private industry and a free market in the field of aerospace, including commercial launch services based in the United States, commercial manned spaceflight, and competitive bidding in NASA procurement?

    NASA would be one of the agencies with 0 budget if I was supreme leader.

    4. Do you support a free market in pharmaceuticals, and oppose laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of modern medical science, such as the length and corruption of the FDA approval process?

    Of course. I would abolish the FDA if I were supreme leader.

    5. Do you oppose regulations mandating an arbitrary definition and punitive label for genetically engineered crops, and the associated implication that this life-saving technology is harmful and should be banned?
    I do not support any mandatory labeling of any product. And to go further, I do not believe that genetic crops should be patented. I realize that genetically modified foods have saved millions of lives globally (this is a fact).

    6. Do you plan to campaign on advocating the belief that the September 11th attacks, or any other recent mass shooting or terrorist attack, was a hoax staged by the United States government?
    No, and that’s because even if they could have pulled off 9/11 as a hoax, governments worldwide have murdered millions of people in just the 20th century alone. Google democide. Not taking away from the people who died on 9/11, but Libertarians should focus on the widespread slaughter of innocent people rather than one particular incident.

    7. Do you agree that Libertarian defenses of medical freedom and personal autonomy, should not be based on false or disproven claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccination?

    I believe in individual choice. If you want to vaccinate yourself or your children, go for it. If not, then don’t. Simple.

    8. Do you agree that taxpayer money should not be wasted by the government on investigating “paranormal” phenomenon, such as alien abductions, ghosts, psychic abilities, and the like?

    I don’t believe in any taxation at all…. so…

    9. Do you oppose laws restricting or banning research in the field of genetics, including regulations that would ban consumer products derived from such research?

    I don’t believe government should be in that industry so….

    10. Do you agree that it is important for the Libertarian message to be presented by our candidates in a manner that is credible, honest, and demonstrating seriousness of purpose?

    I guess. Until people start saying that cutting government isn’t credible honest or serious.

  112. Andy

    MikeK, 9/11 is not just about the death and destruction from that youday, it is also about the aftermath, as in the foreign military Interventions and the increase in the domestic police state that happened because of 9/11.

  113. Andy

    Paul Craig Roberts: There Is No Freedom Without Truth

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/02/02/there-is-no-freedom-without-truth-paul-craig-roberts/

    From the article: “Conspiracies are real. There are many more of them than people are aware. Many government conspiracies are heavily documented by governments themselves with the official records demonstrating the conspiracies openly available to the public. Just google, for example, Operation Gladio or the Northwoods Project. These conspiracies alone are sufficient to chastise those uninformed Western peoples who go around saying, ‘our government would never kill its own people.'”

  114. Andy

    Disinformation Part 2: Detailed Tips for Trolls

    http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/02/02/disinformation-part-2-detailed-tips-for-trolls/

    Wow, some of the tactics mentioned here remind me of things that Andy Craig and some of the other posters here have said over the years.

    This is from the article: “Avoid, Avoid, Avoid

    Avoid discussing issues head-on. Rather, get your point across by implying it. Avoid the subject of proof or references documenting your own position.
    Deny, Deny, Deny

    No matter what evidence is offered, deny it has any relevance, credibility, proof, or logic. No matter what expert is named, deny his or her authority. Deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance. Deny that witnesses are reliable. Cite studies on eyewitness credibility.
    Present False Evidence

    Whenever possible, manufacture new “facts” to conflict with opponent presentations.
    Invoke Authority

    Associate yourself with authority, but avoid specifically discussing your credentials, while implying your authority and expertise. Present your argument with “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows.” Then simply dismiss your opponent’s comments without demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

    Quote Anti-Conspiracy Experts

    Depending on the situation, you may find it useful to point out that people have a psychological need to believe in conspiracy. A number of people — psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and journalists — have written books and articles on this theme. And some even have shown that humans are hard-wired to find connections between events that do not exist. You should familiarize yourself with this literature, and have a ready arsenal of quotes to post.
    Fit Facts to Suit Alternate Conclusions

    Think like the attorney who manages to make someone else look guilty of the crime his client is charged with — using the same evidence.
    Label it a “Wild Rumor”

    Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a ”wild rumor.”
    Change the Subject

    Find a way to sidetrack the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic, and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
    Demand Impossible Proof

    No matter what evidence is presented, raise the bar. Demand the kind of proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by.
    Demand Complete Solutions

    Avoid issues by requiring opponents to solve every detail of the issue.
    Label it ‘An Enigma with No Solution’

    Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes people to lose interest.
    Grasp at Straw Men

    Select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way that appears to debunk all the charges, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
    Become Indignant

    Focus on side issues which can be used to suggest your opponent is critical of some sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the ‘How dare you!’ gambit. For example, if your opponent criticizes the Israeli government, call him or her an ‘antisemite.’
    Hit and Run

    Briefly attack your opponent — then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon to make new accusations — and never answer any subsequent response.
    Goad Opponents

    Taunt your opponents. Draw them into emotional responses. Make them lose their cool and become less coherent. Then focus on how “sensitive they are to criticism.”
    Question Motives

    Twist or amplify any fact which could be used to imply your opponent operates out of a hidden agenda or bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
    Shoot the Messenger

    Label your opponents ‘kooks,’ ‘right-wing,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘left-wing,’ ‘terrorists,’ ‘conspiracy buffs,’ ‘radicals,’ ‘militias,’ ‘racists,’ ‘religious fanatics,’ ‘sexual deviants,’ and so forth. This makes others shrink from supporting you out of fear of gaining the same label.
    Play the Victim

    Select a minor error of your own that was among many, larger problems pointed out by your opponent. Then take the “high road and “confess” your ‘honest mistake, discovered in hindsight.’ Blame it on bad sources. Then accuse your opponent of blowing it all out of proportion and implying worse things which ‘just aren’t so.’ Later, others can reinforce this on your behalf, and ‘call for an end to the nonsense.’ You have already ‘done the right thing.’ This can garner respect, even sympathy, for “’owning up” to your mistake. And in the meantime, all of your opponent’s proof of the more serious issues will be discarded. People will be tired of the subject and will want to move on.
    Dirtiest Trick of All, So Far

    There is yet another tactic that seems to be in widespread use in forums on the JFK assassination, and it is the ultimate con: Disinformants earn trust by establishing themselves as conspiracy theorists. They often ‘prove’ it by recycling, then repackaging, the stolen work of others. (Since the information is already out there in the ether, they are not really damaging the cover-up.) Or they may present a new theory,one that sounds good but is actually nonsense.

    Once established, they abuse this undeserved trust in many ways, including the following: (a) they discredit the work of real researchers, mostly on their say so, rather than providing proof; (b) they attack the reliability of critical eye-witnesses; and (c) they support key points of the official narrative — points not related to their ‘own’ work. For example, while presenting a theory on JFK’s head wound, they may parenthetically slip in support for the single bullet theory, an issue that does not involve the head.”

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