They Haven’t Hurt ANYONE, So Why Are They in Prison? : One Libertarians Take On Ending the Drug War

Gary Johnson Libertarian nominee for President of United Sates said ““I’m going to be the only candidate that doesn’t want to bomb Iran. I’m going to be the only candidate that wants to get out Afghanistan now—and the wars. I’m going to be the only candidate that wants to end the drug war. I’m going to be the only candidate that wants to bring about marriage equality, believing that it’s a constitutionally guaranteed right.” Thats all stuff that I want to hear particularly the part about ending the war on drugs. To me if things are going to change , especially here in Detroit, that has got to happen. It seems though that the only political party that understands this and sees it as a priority are Libertarians and its one of the mains reasons I recently decided to become one. Its a party thats about standing up for ‘”individual” rights, the rights for individuals to be free to to able to live their lives HOWEVER THEY WANT as long as what they want as individuals DOES’NT HURT ANYONE ELSE. Its not just about promoting what society wants as a whole, its about what the different individuals want, as sometimes what society wants and what a individual wants, is different.

Take drinking alcohol and smoking weed or some other drug, for example. They are all things that a lot of people like, but for me as an individual, its never been anything that as an individual, I wanted to see in my life. My father was an alcoholic, died of cirrhosis of the liver. I’ve seen people become totally different people when they’re high (from alcohol or whatever). They fight and argue, hurt people, say things they shouldn’t. Seeing all this growing up made me realize if people want this life they can have it but as an individual “..this is not the life for me”. So now as an adult I don’t allow any of it in my home ever not even when I entertain. I don’t hang with people or go places where its done in excess. It doesn’t excite me and Its just not my life. That doesn’t mean however that I think other people shouldn’t have it in their lives. Whatever people do in their homes, in their circles of friends is alright with me AS LONG AS it doesn’t interfere with my life . Thats what libertarianism is all about.

Unfortunately most people don’t think that way. Their thinking is ” I don’t want it in my life, its bad,(and here’s where they cross the line)”and nobody else should be able to have it in there’s”. How arrogant is that? Whats worst is ..then they’ll go out, form groups and get people to pass laws to make sure it doesn’t happen, ultimately taking away somebody else’s individual freedoms. Somebody who is not doing anything to hurt THEM at all. They might be hurting themselves, but they are NOT hurting us or forming groups to take away OUR freedoms. Yet people are working to take the freedoms THEY enjoy, away .Then when laws are passed against what they do, it classify’s what they do as “criminal activity” and ultimately for that activity (which hurts no one else) gets them locked away. Yet they never did anything in that crime that hurt another. The laws calls them “non-violent” offenders and they already make up 60% of the United States prison population which cost our country billions and the goal is pass laws to get more of these NON-VIOLENT offenders put away. Wow!! Unbelievable! They are not killers, they are not brawlers, they are not rapist, they are not robbing stores or banks. They have done none of those things but they are locked away with people who have done those things. 25% are in simply because they purchased a drug for themselves that they wanted with their own money …and somebody who didn’t like it passed a law and made that illegal and now theres a war thats costing our country billions to get as many of these NON-VIOLENT PEOPLE LOCKED UP. Whats more, the states that have the most of them locked up are all crying “BROKE” . Thats because they are spending billions of dollars for things like this that we don;t even need.

A lot of people ask today what would Jesus do? What would he say to people like these folks with these drugs who know they are blatantly breaking the law. Would he want the law enforced. Well, the woman caught in adultery, didn’t just sin she committed a crime and blatantly broke the law of the land (John 1-11). The law said she was to be stoned, just like the law says these folks should be locked up,. Well Jesus, rather than make her pay the price simply said to her, just don’t do it. I think we should do the same. Instead of just working to see that people pay these sever penalty’s who crimes that are actually harming no one, I think we’d come out more on top just telling them not to do it and why. No, it’s not going to necessarily stop them from doing it. If what they’re doing is not hurting you, why do you really care how often they do it anyway. If its because you love them then do like Jesus did and just tell them. Why be bent on making them pay a price, especially if they have hurt no one.

Don’t I see how buying and selling these drugs are bad for people? I definitely see it. But I also think drinking any kind alcohol is bad for folks but I’m not going to get out and start a war against alcohol and so that everybody that likes to drink gets locked up and INCREASE the prison population. If we did that, that would mean we’d be gunning for almost every guy we meet to get locked up because 9 out of 10 guys that we meet has a beer every now and then. I don’t think drinking is a good thing, but I don’t think there should be laws against adults who do it either, especially if they drink responsibly. Why would I feel any different about people who buy or sell drugs. Its only a disgraced community because we made laws against people who do it. If we’d stop passing laws against it we’d look at people who smoked weed the same way we look at people who drink wine because taking away the laws would take away the disgrace. Thats exactly what happened in the 1920’s in Prohibition when alcohol was legalized. It took it out of the black market, made it legal and legalizing it took away the shame. Now most don’t look at people who drink beer or wine as evil because now what was once illegal is now legal. When alcohol was legalized all the killings associated with it decreased as well. The same thing will happen if we can get this war on drugs to stop the way we did Prohibition

Half the prison population could come out and start helping raising their family’s. People could start now operating legitimate “drug” businesses and employ people legitimately with out shame. It’d save our country billions of dollars and once its made legitimate it’d be taxed like everything thats sold and purchased too. According to studies of the Cato Institute the State and local savings: would be $25.7 billion. Federal savings: $15.6 billion. Savings from legalizing marijuana: $8.7 billion.Savings from legalizing other drugs of addiction: $32.6 billion. As far as tax revenue the projected revenue from taxing marijuana would be $8.7 billion.Projected revenue from taxing other drugs of addiction: $38 billion. Yet making laws and locking up non-violent people is somehow more attractive than having this additional income. I wonder why all of this is?

Prior to coming into the knowledge of the Libertarian party this year I never realized how much money our government waste’s on so many things we really don’t need. Everybody cries “deficit” and “broke”. One of the reason we’re there is because of this unnecessary war we have going on right here in our own country against our own people on drugs and minorities are the the main people who are getting hurt in this war. It needs to end and the only political group that seems to have it at the top of their agenda are Libertarians

Just an opinion of a new Libertarian

Non Intervention Does Not Mean You Shouldn’t Engage in War: ONE Libertarians Perspective on Foreign Policy

A few months back now I, learned that the first element of libertarian foreign policy was “neutrality” or as some call it “non-intervention” and when I heard that, I was 100% with it. I think it originated in libertarian philosophy from its idea that no individual, NO GOVERNMENT, anywhere has a “moral” RIGHT to INTERVENE in my private, personal, “INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS” , as long as my freedoms are not interfering with another’s freedoms. Thats what the libertarian concept of non-intervention is all about. I was with that concept UNTIL I LEARNED that in regards to war and military action, many libertarians were interpreting non-intervention to mean that our country (or our country’s government) should never engage itself in a war, with OR “on behalf of” another country for ANY reason. My immediate thoughts were, I could never stand with anyone who believed in something as strict as that. To me its impractical and a contradiction to the universal laws of non-intervention (which I’ll explain). It also totally ignores the fact that war is sometimes a very necessary evil and I’m sure many libertarians don’t agree and thats quite alright.

Almost ever libertarian I had seen blogging and preaching libertarian philosophy online up to the time I heard this, all seemed to be anti-war (against engaging in war) and total pacifists, carrying this same belief. It also seemed like any libertarian who supported war at all (like Gary Johnson) was somehow considered not “really libertarian” by other libertarians. Being so new and seeing that my own personal beliefs on this issue were turning out to be so very different than the people who prreach this philosophy , I thought it best that I stop publicly documenting my walk here and what I was learning and how I’d apply the principles, until I got a better handle of where I’ stood on what seems to be such a mainstay regarding foreign policy.[Other than two post back in March I haven’t documented anything here in over 5 months -thats how strongly I felt about no longer identifying as libertarian]. After months of pondering and study and knowing how frimly I believe in all the other libertarian principle’s , I am now back, and ready to start posting weekly again about my personal journey and ideas as a new libertarian and an avid believer of the concept of non-intervention. I just now have a very different perspective of it than most and its taken me all of these last 5 months to develop where I stand on the issue.

I see it this way: Non-intervention, in my personal opinion (for whatever its worth) is a universal law of nature meaning … lets see … when I say universal law I mean … a concept which which must be upheld, and whether its understood or not, honored or dishonored, it almost always initiates some consequence in a persons life, be it a negative or positive. Whenever or wherever the law of non-intervention is dishonored or violated the intervenor violating it almost always gives an account or will find themselves with continued unsolicited intervention. It’ not a written law. It is a universal law of nature though, just like “cause and effect” and “sowing and reaping” and almost always brings about some consequence when violated and applies to every man, woman, boy, girl, old or young. Where the law of non-intervention is not upheld it almost always breeds unsolicited intervention. So to benefit from this law, it must be honored and one truly honoring it will hold intervenor’s accountable, as, where intervenor’s are not held accountable, unsolicited intervention is always invited, whether consciously seen or not. Its a universal law in nature.

The biggest believer in this concept of non-intervention is God himself according to scripture. You see it very early in th Genesis where he did not intervene in bad choices to be made by Adam and Eve. He did not intervene in Cains “plan” to murder Abel , BUT when Cain actually intervened in Abel’s life and ended it, God intervened in Cains life and held him accountable. God is a big believer in the laws a non-intervention . He would not have ever intervened in Cains life had Cain not violated the laws of intervention and INTERVENED in the life of Abel … and for that … Cain had to give an account. You see God upholding the laws non-intervention all throughout scripture. He ONLY intervened where the law of intervention had been violated and in Ephesians 5 :1… it says we are to “be imitators of God “. I believe that means we are to honor the laws of non-intervention in the same ways that God does himself and our honoring this law will ALWAYS work to protect our individual freedoms AS LONG AS as intervenor’s are held accountable. Its the “holding intervenor’s accountable” in honor of non-intervention, that so many folks can’t get with. However, how can value be given to a policy of non-intervention if intervener’s are never held accountable and allowed to continually intervene.[This is the only kind of non-interventions policy that I myself will personally ever support …one which will esteem the value of non-intervention and see that intervenor’s are held accountable for intervening ]

I am not an expert in any way or fashion AT ALL regarding any of the wars we are in, are contemplating or have been involved in but as a laymen, new libertarian and now strong believer in the concept of non-intervention, I have formed some surface opinions about some of them.

War in Afghanistan: Regardless of the many different opinions there are regarding who or what triggered that war, on September 11, 2001 there , we were not warring nor had anytime “recently” been at war with Al Qeada terrorist when they came in and broke the law of non-intervention killing hundreds and hundreds of individuals here in our country. As result of their disrespecting the law of non-intervention and being able to hide out in Afghanistan it was inevitable that they had to give an account for that and had they not been allowed to hide out there, the war wouldn’t have been there. So in order to wipe out them out … that war there WAS very necessary. The Talliban or no one else there surrendered them them accountable. We did. The question is … since they have now so long ago been wiped out, and we’ve killed its leaders, why are our troops still fighting there … years later?

War in Iraq: SAME.We were not warring with them at the time this last war began and yes it was communicated that there were “weapons of mass destruction” there which brought along paranoia. Truth is though …. even if we had found their “weapons of mass destruction” we were not warring with them and they had not been interfering with us AT THE TIME, so there was no need for our country to violate the law of non-intervention and make anyone there give an account. So then since we’ve also now killed their leader too who we thought was the threat at the time, and have realized that we were wrong about the WMD , WHY did we stay on?

Comtemplated War in Africa: Joseph Koney Head of the Lord Resistance Army over in Africa has, and is infringing on the individual freedoms of thousands of defenseless women and children there continually raping and killing them for years now and no one over there or anywhere is making him or his army of thousands give an account for their actions. Many say its not our affair but I say it should be an affair for all who honor Non-Intervention as if that army is not made to give an account, it will become empowered and found continually in unsolicited intervention situations that I believe, if continually is gone unchecked, will spread throughout all Africa and other parts of the world. This army is boldly violating what I believe is the universal law of non-intervention and it should be brought down.

Libertarianism to me is all about protecting the freedoms of all individuals and those who value that freedom will stand against those who violate the laws of non-intervention and will work to make them to give an account. No, we are not the worlds police but as libertarians we all should be fighters for individual freedom.

Well …this is a first for me … I have the rest of my life to see if this is a theory I can stand by.

The thoughts of a NEW libertarian on non-intervention.

Will Government Protect Trayvon? He Had A Right To Stand His Ground Too!

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In listening to all the talk regarding the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Florida, I keep hearing people say that George Zimmerman (Trayvons killer) is protected by the “Stand Your Ground Law”. What about Trayvon?…why are they only saying Zimmerman had a right to stand his ground? Trayvon had a right to stand his ground as well! It just seems strange to me that they are all talking about Zimmerman’s right, yet not Trayvon’s …and hes’s the one thats dead.

Part of that law there in Florida says “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony”. From Zimmerman’s own account, he was following Trayvon. A person doesn’t usually follow someone who they believe is going to do something to them. I can understand “stand your ground” if someone is approaching you. The problem is according to the first story’s out, Zimmerman was following Trayvon and Zimmerman was not approached. Thats according to Zimmerman’s recorded testimony. It sounds to me the person who had the right to stand his ground is a person who is being approached and according to every report I’ve heard up untill today, it was Trayvon that was being approached. As I’m typing this however I’m hearing a new report.

What they’re sayng now is that Trayvon turned around and asked Zimmerman ‘why he was following him’ and then there was a scuffle and Zimmerman shot Trayvon after Trayvon retaliated. I don’t know if thats true …BUT … lets just say that it is. Well according to this law (which I just stated above)  a person has that right IF they “believe it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm”, and if someone was following me and I turned around and felt they were too close and might have a gun , I would definetly think their intent is to do bodily harm to me. Zimmerman not only followed him (against police orders who he was speaking with as it was happening), but Zimmerman also approached him with a gun. Anybody who thinks a stranger walking up on them to close in the night, does not mean them harm … is a fool. Its just not something that you would do because you don’t want to scare them. Zimmerman was too close. Even with all of these new things coming out saying that it was Trayvon that was the aggressor,I’ll even go there. Even if he was the aggressor, according to this law, he had the right to be aggressive, IF HE BELIEVED IT WAS NECESSARY to do so to prevent bodily harm and Trayvon had the right to suspect something like that may have happen. Just like Zimmerman saw a black kid in the neighborhood who he thought shouldn’t be there, Trayvon saw a strange white man approaching him , who shouldn’t be that close, who very well could have had a gun or a knife (and in this case he did). So IF Trayvon was the aggressor, as they are now saying he was, then let it be, as he had a right to be an aggressor. He was not doing anything illegal, a strange man had been following him that he felt could mean him bodily harm and according to the law,. that meets the conditions for Trayvon to stand his ground. I have no problem with the “Stand Your Ground Law” at all … my only question is why isn’t anybody saying that Trayvon had the right to stand his ground as well. Had Zimmerman not followed Trayvon and merely called the police like he should have, which was his only duty, he and Trayvon would not have come face to face and Trayvon would still be here. He shouldn’t have followed him, he shouldn’t have approached that close and he definetly should not have asked him why he was there. It was none of his buisness and Trayvon had every right to be there. He was not on anyones private property. He was on a public street. Zimmerman encouraged the whole situation. Even if he did finally decide to walk away, as they’re now saying (still defending him), he never should have done any of it on the first place. He had no right, he is not a police and Trayvon was doing nothing wrong.

Regarding the racism they are talking about. I’m not going to say that Zimmerman is a racist, and as a Libertarian I’m definetly not going to say he shouldn’t have had gun. What I am saying however is that he was over zealous, out of control and broke police orders which stirred a situation into something that it shouldn’t have become. The racism thats involved however is coming from the powers that be. A young black child was killed and the person they know killed this boy was right there and police allowed that person to go home. Everybody knows, had it the roles been reversed and Zimmerman been laying on the ground dead, and Trayvon was standing there with the gun, even if he hadn’t shot Zimmerman, he would have still been the one carried away to prison but instead Zimmerman was allowed to go home and they are trying to protray Trayvon as a bad boy.

I’m not sure if its really Zimmerman thats the racist here. He’s just an over zealous “wanna-be” cop and his excitement took him to a bad place. He’s still got to pay though. The racism however is in the powers that be who once again are doing nothing but ignoring the crys of its citizens and only protecting itself . No drug or alcohol test were ever done on Zimmerman (and they are now saying Trayvon earlier had maryjuanana). No one is asking …Why it took so long for them to notiify Trayvon parents (2 days I heard). Nobody is saying anything about the sloppy police work that was done, why not even a preliminary arrest was done, why the police were not there until after the shooting, when they were called before. Why its was almost a month before the nation learned about it. Why despite crys all around the country no warrant has been issued. There are a number of things that went wrong here that the government is still avoiding. Zimmerman is being protected while they’re looking for reasons to tear Trayvon down, who was minding his own business and doing nothing wrong that night (although they’d love to be able to prove he was) . Just a young kid walking down the street with a pop and bag of skittles, and all they keep saying is Zimmerman is protected by the stand your ground law. They are not saying that Trayvons rights were covered in that law too. Digging up nothing but good things about Zimmerman and continually looking for bad things about Trayvon, to justify why Zimmerman and the police were right in all of their actions and why Trayvon was wrong in his. And todays photgraphs of Zimmerman are different of the ones that had been showing. They are now pictures of a clean shaven man with a close cut and a suit and tie. They are also  showing a different picture of Trayvon too . The picture they are showing of him shows him to fit the bill of a gangster with a gold grill. Working to defend Zimmerman the murderer and to discredit Trayvon the deceased. Unbelievable!! Zimmerman doesn’t have anything to do with that . Thats all the powers that be working overtime to make their make point clearly letting us see who the real racist are. They have no shame.
Its the same old story and the utter failure of government to working to protect the civil liberties of some and not the civil liberties of all.

Happy 100th Birthday Bayard Rustin! The World’s Greatest African American UNSUNG Civil Libertarian!

Bayard Rustin, the namesake of this blog, was a passionate very active African American civil rights leader who’s works came to fruition in the mid of the 20th century. His contributions to America were phenomenal but today they’ve gone unsung simply because he was gay. This tribute, on what would have been his 100th birthday, will share some of his greatest works . It will also show a spiritual connection that I believe had a great influence on his life, that is very rarely, if almost never or ever, spoke on by anyone . There are many different kinds of libertarians which I spoke of in my first blog here at Bayards S.O.U.L , a few months back. Those considered “civil libertarians” believe that government has no right to pass laws that restrict, oppress, or selectively fail to protect people in their day-to-day lives, and those who are true civil libertarians will fight against any government laws established that do it. This is what Bayard Rustin dedicated his entire life to doing and was very succesful, yet so very few still don’t know him. When you read his story you’ll see why I call him in this tribute “The Worlds Greatest African American American UNSUNG Civil Libertarian.
I also have included a video that will briefly comment on one of those epic contributions.

Bayard Rustin was born in 1912 in West Chester, Penn to Florence Rustin who was unmarried and very young at the time, so young Bayard was raised to believe his mother was his sister. Both Bayard and his mother lived with her parents, Janifer and Julie. They raised the children up in the A.M.E. church which they attended there in West Chester. This church (The African Methodist Episcopal Church), was the VERY FIRST “official” African American bible believing church in the history of the United States. The church was founded by the Reverend Richard Allen who sensed a compelling drive to change lives in his community and he believed he could do it through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ which he did, not just in his community but around the world. After he was freed form slavery he developed an underground rail road for fugitive slaves and despite consistent prejudice and resistance, he launched a flourishing ministry which ultimately reached thousands around the country in his time and thousands more in generations that were yet to come. His commitment to ministry was seen ferverently continued on by those who were still following his teachings just before Bayard was born. In 1906 the A.M.E. church became even more affluent in West Chester as its leaders spoke out against injustice regarding the very famous lynching of George White. The convictions of the believers in this church which Rev Allen started, was infectious and transfered to Bayard’s grandparents and more in particular his grandmother Julia, who Bayard said had the most powerful influence on his life. Julia, although she was raised as Quaker before marrying her husband, was very much involved in this ministry. Bayard would often see his grandmother, a true activist, take her commitment to upholding the gospel a way beyond the church walls there in West Chester. She’d attend NAACP meetings and often times they’d have many famous leaders at their home such as the famous William Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson. So having such a powerful spiritual base so connected, so bold and unafraid to speak out, stand up and stand out against injustice as the leaders of his church had who went before him had done, one can clearly see how ALL THE THINGS Bayard grew up witnessing as a child, could so easily inspire this young man to become the strong effective civil rights leader that he became.

As Bayard grew, becoming established in the faith his church sought so diligently to instill in its followers, he was able to find his call and purpose to public service very early in his life. He, like Julia, also moved in fulfillment of that call outside the church walls. We see this as he attended Wilberforce University in Ohio (another entity of the A.M.E. denomination which he was raised), where he first found himself working with the Religious Society of Friends and F.O.R. (Fellowship of Reconciliation). He also worked with the American Friends Service Committee. As pacifists, when he and other friends from college were called to a military draft, one of his very first activist events was his refusal to go into military and as a result of that refusal they found themselves imprisoned for 2 years. After coming out he joined the War Resisters League. After that, Bayard found himself forming many protest. He formed a protest against the British rule going on in India and Africa. He then concentrated his efforts on working with those defending the Scootsboro boys who were believed to be falsely accused of rape. He later formed a protest with Norman Thoma , A. Phillip Randolph and A.J. Muste against the racial discrimination going on in the armed forces. From then he went on to California to fight for Japanesse Americans who had been imprisoned in internment camps. On a bus trip from Louisville to Nashville Bayard staged a protest sitting on a seat designated for whites only. After that, he was once again arrested. He then moved on to work with George Houser, James Farmer and Bernice Fisher in forming C.O.R.E. (The Congress of Racial Equality) . He also worked with Houser to form what was called Journey of Reconciliation, in which they staged the country’s very first freedom rides,. On one of those rides, he and 14 in his group were arrested. The spirit in which Bayard pursued his public call was undeniably a double portion of the spirit Reverend Allan worked in and through his work he was able to see far more justice for his people than those leaders who established the A.M.E. church could have ever even imagined.

Up to this point in Bayard’s life, his arrests were strongly supported by the groups he fought for and with, but in 1953 when it was found that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with two white men from one of his organizations, once again he found himself arrested, but this time the rallying for community support he had given for others, was not there. That was not yet a cause during this era that people organized largely to fight for, which Bayard clearly recognized and when he was released from jail he simply went back to fight for the things he believed demanded more attention for those times. Not long after this, Bayard was moved to a new level and took took a great interest in civil rights leader, Mahonda Ghandi and so much so that he traveled to India where he was, to learn from his followers all about non violent civil resistance. When he got back in 1956 he met Dr. Martin Luther King, another man very much involved in the fight for civil rights, then working in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and upon meeting him shared with him and his followers the many things he learned in India, which set Dr. Kings mission on the non-violent path. Soon after Bayard and Martin began to form what is now called the S.C.L.C. (Southern Christian Leadership Conference).

In 1963 Bayard was asked by Dr. King to assist in planning the 1963 March on Washington which was to be one of the biggest protest the country had ever seen. Bayard agreed and while he became one of its chief organizers pulling together everything from all of its speakers, to rallying all of its police support, cots for thousands to sleep on, lunches and he did it all while facing much resistance. Seeing that the arrest for his earlier sexual activity with men had become a matter of public record, those who were unaccepting of his being gay, used it to work against him. One of the most vocal men who used this to very publicly undermine his efforts, was the minister, Adam Clayton Powell. Senator Strom Thornton was another who even went as far as to work to produce pictures of Bayard in a bathroom with Dr King while he was bathing, to suggest that they too had a sexual relationship. While there were a number of others who publicly stood against him, the march still went over very very successfully, landing Bayard a picture on the cover of Life magazine as one of the civil rights movements chief leaders. The controversies and scandals however were becoming a big distraction away from the movements main purposes and Bayard ultimately stepped away from the movement publicly working in much quieter settings.

He went on from there to politics, advocating that the Democrat Party work more closely with the civil rights movement and then he worked to encourage blacks to work more with white unions and churches to help strengthen their causes. He wrote many public articles , gave speeches around the country and talked with many notable public leaders. Earlier he even recorded several spirituals. In the 70’s he changed his direction somewhat and began working with those in the gay community and in 1986 he spoke out publicly in favor of New Yorks Gay Rights Bill .At the late age of 65 after many years Bayard finally found the love of his life. He found that love in a person much younger then him, Mr Walter Naegle who lived with him and shared that love with him from then on in throughout his final days. It was from there in New York where they lived that Bayard worked along in developing what was called A. Phillip Randolph Institute in Washington D.C. an national institute that although is very different today then when it started, is still very much alive. In 1987 he went to Hatti on behalf of an organization he worked with called Freedom House and while there felt unwell from what was diagnosed as a “perforated appendix “. This ultimately led him to make his earthly exit and on August 24th, Bayard went on to be with the Lord.

Today Walter, who now heads the Bayard Rustin Fund, works with many around the country to share and preserve Bayard’s epic contributions to society. While Bayard was such a powerful influence we believe his work goes unsung by the masses today simply because he was an openly gay man, but my my my , what an example of faith he employed in the face of so much rejection. So so many times he faced harrassment , which for many would have been unbearable. In one instance when a group of hecklers intensely stood in a concentrated effort to intimidate him he spoke back and said “I am fortified by truth, justice, and Christ.” “There’s no need for me to fear.” This is the kind of strong faith in Jesus Christ that Bayard exemplified throughout his entire life which the Reverend Richard Allen sought to instill in the followers of the A.M.E. church. The same conviction of this church’s very spiritual teachings can be heard in Bayard’s many speech’s, in the music he recorded and the activism he displayed in different places throughout the world. Its also seen echoed throughout the thousands of African American congregations that continue in the church’s ministry today. Its May 17th 2012 and if Bayard would be still physically walking with us on this earth today, this would be his 100th birthday and since those of us of the faith believes he still lives on, we sing to him “Happy 100th”

Coercing Catholic Institutions Into Providing Contraceptives Is a Violation of Civil Liberties: A Libertarian Point of View

A couple of weeks ago the White House (via correspondent Jake Carrey) issued a mandate that would require all hospitals by August 2012, to prescribe contraceptives when requested of all its employees and clients. That mandate also forces those institutions to provide contraceptives at no charge. Many of those institutions are owned by catholics organizations that have discouraged the use of contraceptives among their followers for years. This mandate, if it holds, will force their entire institution to now have to give up their stance and to participate in something which they have never upheld.

So … I thought this was … “the sweet land of liberty”… “land of the free” ? I guess the only thing we really have liberty to do here is what government tells us we can. And if you can only do what you’re told .. then how is it then that we’re really free if we’re forced ?

And …is their still religious freedom in this country and do we no longer get to choose what we want to believe, practice or uphold? Or are we going all the way back to the old ancient days where people were forced to by government to worship in ways they don’t believe, in the same way that Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys were, in scripture (Daniel 3:13-19).

These are the thoughts that ran through my head when I learned about this mandate. What really gets me, are all the people who believe … this is a good thing. Now … let me say this … I have absolutely no problem with a womans right to choose. I am a libertarian and definitely believe in that freedom BUT that doesn’t mean that gives someone else the right to violate someone else’s freedoms which is what people are looking to do here with Catholic hospitals. The government is clearly violating THEIR “civil” rights , not to mention the freedom our constitution grants us  of religious expression.

Some may say …what about the rights of those who want to use contraceptives? Well … no one has ever said they can’t use contraceptives. There are many many hospitals that have no problem with having to offer contraceptives. Catholic Institutions don’t want to  and according to our constitution they have the right to uphold what THEY believe too. We all do. I wouldn’t patronize a hospital that shows no interest in what I want, nor would I feel obligated to go to a church, school or work on job that doesn’t offer what I like. I’d look to going somewhere else. And I definitely am not going to use the government to force an organization into doing something that it doesn’t want to do. I would hate it if someone used the government to force me to do something, especially if it was something that I didn’t believe in.

“Whatsoever ye would have men should do to you, do ye also to them” (Matthew 7:12)

Libertarians stand vehemently against coercive government (a government which forces people, who are not hurting others, to participate in things they don’t agree with), and these catholic institutions are not hurting anyone or saying they anyone can’t use contraceptives. They’re just saying “its not what we do we and shouldn’t have to just because someone else wants us to”.

People in the supermarket business sell food to the general public, but the government does not require them to cook it just because someone wants them to. NO ONE ELSE EXPECTS THEM TO. Its not what they do. There are other places that do that. The same with catholic hospitals. They are not in the contraceptive business and shouldn’t be forced into it. Libertarians are all about voluntary cooperation. If there is a demand for contraceptives and the catholic hospitals WANT TO meet that demand, then it should THEIR CHOICE to provide it. Government should not be allowed to coerce anybody or any entity ,who is not hurting anyone, to do something they don’t agree with. Its a violation of their civil liberties and every effort should me made to keep anyone (especially someone in government) from that kind of force.

While this is an issue a religious institution is faced with, this is not about standing up for a religious right, a religious group, and definitely not a special right which people think that is only given to the religious. Its not. Nor is it a about any majority or minority. Its about standing up for the civil liberties that our constitution GRANTS US ALL  …. whether we are religious or not.

This is a libertarians point of view.

A Libertarians View On Michigan’s Emergency Managers Challenge

One of the bedrock philosophy’s that I have learned about the libertarian view since coming over to the libertarian side is : YOU OWN YOURSELF.

So if we own our owns selves, that means that we are responsible for our own success’. That also means, if what we are in control of fails, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY and ours alone to fix it, and no one else’s. Its something I’ve always believed in personally, long before I learned this libertarian bedrock. Its also clearly reflected in Joshua 1:8, which lets us know that it is our OWN responsibility to “make our way prosperous” .

I believe this should apply to every citizen in every state. If we believe we own our own selves, then WE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE for our own selves and not our governments and we definitely should not allow any one official to control the directions OUR communities will go in. It is our responsibility.

Continually yielding those kinds of responsibilities over to government officials has continually failed us time and time again. Case in point: I live in the Metro Detroit area and I was dropping a friend off the other day in Highland Park and I noticed all the lights were out on the street. I thought perhaps it was just a power outage or something but my friend told me they had been out for months and not only were they out but the light poles had all been cut down. I did a little investigation to find out why and I learned that the lights were out and the poles were down because the officials at Highland Park hadn’t been paying their bills. Highland Park had a $4.5 million dollar debt with “DTE Energy” and when they didn’t pay it, DTE came in and turned the service off of 1400 street lights in the city and not only that but cut their light poles down as well.

I can’t imagine being a person who has purchased property in the city, paying for my property, sweating hard to get those big property taxes paid and then finding that the lights the city provided to keep me and my neighbors house lit, I can no longer have, not because I didn’t pay, but because elected officials didn’t pay. They say many in the community didn’t even know there was a problem until they saw the utility trucks cut down the poles and now the streets are pitch black in a high-crime area.

This is what happens when government officials are allowed “sole” control over the destinies of our communities. What makes it bad is they can force you to pay taxes but you can’t force them to provide service yet if you don’t pay them, they can force you out of a home you’ve paid thousands for. You’ve elected someone who has put you solely at their mercy. Once you elect them … its now in THEIR control, your control is over.

Mind you, Highland Park just had a Emergency Manager appointed by government just a couple of years ago, and now their own elected officials are back in office. Both were/are paid tax payer money, yet neither of them were able to avoid the taxpayers lights being taken away. Not because the taxpayers didn’t pay but because the government did not provide the services they promised. Yet we continue to make ourselves believe they will. Michigan’s state governor tried to remedy it by sending in an Emergency Manager and Highland Park tried once again through their elected officials. Both failed.

This is happening in cities all around Michigan and usually cities ran by officials in one party. What gets me is, these cities keep voting for officials in the same party, who keeps promising them that they will fix things FOR them. Libertarian influence would empower the citizens and work to keep government controls out of the way, so the citizens can fix it themselves. It is their OWN RESPONSIBILITY and not the responsibility of any government official especially when that official will not adhere to the things we say. We afford them the opportunity to be in those positions. They are paid by our tax dollars and since we pay them, they are to do what we tell THEM to do. It is not their jobs to tell us what to do and when we say NO EMERGENCY MANAGER , their response should simply be … “Okay you’re the boss. You’re the one that pays me.” Thats exactly why citizens should protest “Emergency Manager Laws”. It is our responsibility to control the destinies of OUR OWN COMMUNITIES, not an emergency manager, nor any government and we as citizens should be allowed to do it without any government interference,

If we want to see things change we’ve got to get things going ourselves and quit thinking “it’s up to the government to fix it”. Dr King, Bayard and the others didn’t wait on the government to fix it , they just moved on those situations and got them taken care of themselves. We’ve got to do like they did then . Get some stand-up Community Coordinators, that can round some folks up to get out and protest. Stop the emergency manager laws. Stop yielding all this control to the government officials who continually fail us. Knock on our neighbors doors. Tell them “We’re going to find out how much it cost to put lights on our lawns and then we’re going to pool our own resources together, have some fundraisers and then launch the career of a good entrepreneur to get them up. Since our officials have no plans to do it, we’ve got to do it ourselves and we’re going to protest everything that will get in our way to stop it from happening”.

We own ourselves ….and since we own ourselves we are responsible for our own success. Thats a real Libertarians way of doing things

Vows of Powers Vs. the Marriage License/ A Libertarian Alternative to Marriage

People who are in my family and those who know me well and are in my church and circle of friends know that one political issue that  I’m very passionate about ,which is very close to my heart, is the marriage issue, and they know why.

The marriage debate is very interesting in that, in my opinion (and in  a lot of others opinions ) is very lop-sided and only seems to support people of one religious sect. Yet we’re supposed to be a country of “freedom of religious expression” but yet there are people of many religious sects that are not allowed that freedom. Unfortunately every religious persuasion doesn’t believe that marriage should be just between “one man and one women”.

History (even biblical history) shows marriages that are more than just “one man and one women”.

Genesis16:3-And Sarai, Abrams wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. Vs. 4 and he went into Hagar and she concieved.

Today there are many religious sects that believe in marriage between people  of the same sex, yet their freedoms to have marriage, as their sects believe, are discriminated against in laws all around the country, “forcing by government” people to accept other religious beliefs and to denounce their own. How would christians feel if government laws were instituted here in our country, that forced them to denounce worship of Christ. Yet others are being forced to denounce practices which they uphold and believe. So much for “freedom of religious expression”.

In the meantime while this fight goes on millions of people in strong loving relationships around our country are openly discriminated against by the law, yet they are expected to honor people who have absolutely no honor for them at all.

I ran across this video and it really got me to thinking. How unfairly people in the minority are treated (and this time its not minorities such as “the races” , it speaks of minority groups who also have rights).

Imagine how you’d feel if you were tossed out of a home you’ve lived in for years or tossed out of hospital while you’re trying to spend the last moments you have with someone you loved for a very long time … lets say even your mother or your grandmother … and you were told you’d have to leave because you are unrelated. Whether they are a relative or a just a long time girlfriend you still love them and should have a right to be with them in their last hours, especially if you know that person would want that.

(Look at this video)

Unfortunately, that is not the case in our country. If you are a legal very close relative, (husband, wife, son, daughter), you’d be allowed to stay. If you are not, in many states, you’d be tossed out.

I’m a firm believer in “marriage equality”. That any adult should be able to marry any consenting adult that they want to. I don’t believe a pastor or any religious sect should have to endorse a marriage that they don’t believe in, however I DO believe that no religious sect should be denied the right to honor the families their sects believe in. Here in Michigan many sects have been denied that right. That is what I call true “religious discrimination”. There are a lot of people in this country who want to keep that going. Your sect should be able to honor whatever your sect believes in and so should everyone else’s.

So while this fight is going on … I’d like to offer “a libertarian alternative to marriage” which doesn’t involve the word marriage or changing the definition of marriage at all (since that seems to be the big issue). It’s legal, its wouldn’t take long term lobbying and it can be done without changing laws. If its taken seriously it can be instituted in a relationship within the next hour and could be done without spending one red cent. It can also provide some support to a lot of relationships until those fights are resolved. I’m calling it, The Vows of Powers of Attorney.

The Vows of Powers of Attorney-

The Vows of Powers attorney, a term which I have coined, is a document that anyone can draw up that is very similar to a regular “Power of Attorney” document. (A lot of people say this is a very costly undertaking but that is untrue as there are regular “Power of Attorney” documents already pre-drawn and given free by Attorneys all over the internet). That document is generally just signed by the person granting someone power of attorney and then notarized.

The “Vows of Power of Attorney’ document is different in that it is (in my own definition) “an agreement between TWO people granting each other SEVERAL different powers of attorney that each person on the document has vowed/agreed to honor in behalf of the other”.

The regular “Power of Attorney” is not an agreement between two. Its simply a statement, wish, or will of “one” which sometimes the other doesn’t even know about. In the “Vows of Power” both parties know because both sign and the document holds because it expresses the wishes of the party not able OR available to express their wishes themselves. In some ways the “Vows of Power” are more powerful than a marriage license and definetly much more easier to resolve than a marriage.
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Where the “General Power Attorney” basically just authorizes someone to handle another’s financial affairs, the “Vows of PowerS of Attorney” would authorize a number of other powers as well. It would grant …

  1. GPOA /General Power of Attorney – which authorizes one to make financial decisions on behalf of the other when the other person is simply UNAVAILABLE.
  2. MPOA/Medical Power of Attorney – which authorizes one to make hospital and medical decisions on behalf of the other when the other is INCAPABLE.
  3. DPOA/Durable Power of Attorney –which authorizes one to make financial decisions on behalf of the other if the other person is INCAPABLE or DECEASED
  4. Guardianship – which expresses the wish of one to have another care for a family member who is unable to care for themselves (children ect) should legal caregiver or legal guardian expressing the wish be UNAVAILABLE, INCAPABLE or DECEASED to continue care.

Each “Power” on the “Vows of Power” document would be paragraphed separately and list several very generale details.

The GPOA for example would name the partys at the beginning of the document (Partner 1, Partner 2) and it would start something like this …

General Power of Attorney – If Partner 1 is unavailable for any reason to fulfill any responsibilities of the list below, General Power of Attorney is granted to Partner 2 to fulfill those responsibilities on his/her behalf, in Partner 1’s name. General Power of Attorney is also granted to Partner 1 to fulfill this list of responsibilities in Partner 2’s name whenever Partner 2 is unavailable. (I’m not a lawyer but if its worded incorrectly a good laywer could fix this)

The responsibilities being graned in this GPOA include the following:

  • Handling banking transactions
  • Entering safety deposit boxes
  • Handling transactions involving U.S. securities
  • Buying and selling property
  • Purchasing life insurance
  • Settling claims
  • Entering into contracts
  • Exercising stock rights
  • Buying, managing or selling real estate
  • Filing tax returns
  • Handling matters related to government benefits

If desired both parties would also have the option to grant the following additional powers to the other:

  • Maintaining and operating business interests
  • Employing professional assistance
  • Making gifts
  • Making transfers to revocable (“living”) trusts
  • Disclaiming interests (this has to do with estate planning strategies to avoid estate taxes)

The other powers being granted would appear on the document the same way, They would be listed MPOA, DPOA & Guardianship. (The powers typically granted for each one of theses can be found in many places on the internet). Guardianship issues can only be assigned by legal guardians and those to be guarded should be listed on the document. Each may have a different age up to which a child can make their own decisions.

Another unique factor of the “Vows of Power” document that I am proposing is,] that it can be much easier resolved than a divorce. Only one signature required.It would contain a clause such as, PLEASE NOTE: Only a revoke of power issued by one of the above vowing party’s can nullify the agreed upon arrangement. This can be done at anytime without the others consent. The “Revoke of Powers” document should read :This “revoke of powers” is being issued to revoke all powers granted on the Vows of Powers of Attorney  document on 00/00/2000

Now I did mention earlier but i will say again that I am not a lawyer but all of the language I’m proposing to be used are very general legal terms, already basically accepted in court of laws around the country. Any one attempting to draw such a document up for themselves however should seek legal advice or to the very least, take the document drawn up and have it approved by a lawyer in order to confirm its legality.

I’m currently looking for a lawyer to assist in drawing up a document like this that can be used by any body. It would be a “statutory document” in which blanks will be added so that individuals will only have to add their names and signatures to the document (I’m a pastor and once its approved I plan to have it on the backside of every certificate I grant when I do a wedding- It will be optional for those marrying to sign).

My next step would be, in order give some “added protections” to the document for the individuals, is to propose a bill requesting “state senate” legislators to create a similar “uniform statutory FORM” called “The Vows of Powers of Attorney”
and to have it distributed and filed by and with the “secretary of state”. This will give those who enter the agreement additional security in knowing that their rights to have such a contract are supported by the states which they live in.

This is not marriage, nor a marriage license, nor is it an attempt at all to re-define marriage. It is a simply a libertarian effort to bring some supports to relationships of individuals who have come together as family’s, whom the states don’t acknowledge. It also gives everyone the “individual rights” to secure the relationship they desire.

Seeing that “individual” rights are protected is, the Libertarian way.