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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Homeschooling Advocate Runs for Governor

One of the more interesting proposals in this year's political races has surfaced in Alabama with the candidacy of Libertarian Loretta Nall, who is running for Governor of the state. Nall has proposed significant tax breaks for parents who decide to homeschool their children or send them to private schools. This is significant news since she opposes the voucher program. Tax credits, she says, are the answer.

No doubt the public school system is failing our children. The voucher program does nothing but keep the nose of government in the business of parents and their children. Nall's proposal helps families who wish to opt out of public education but do not want the government to control any part of the education of their children.

You can read all about this proposal, as well as the other planks in the Nall platform, by going to her website at and clicking on the link on the left to 'platform.' It is a very interesting read and should be of great interest to those fed up with the Democrat/Republican scheme of growing big government.

Perhaps it is time for votes to give Libertarian candidates a new look....

Prohibition Does Not Work--A Plea From a Non-User

Let me say at the very outset that I have never used illegal drugs in my entire life. I say this because there are those who would like to think that my endorsement of Libertarian candidates in general and Alabama Gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall in particular is some sort of indication that I must be a pot-smoking dope-head.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

My Baptist upbringing and deep sense of Christian values have always prevented me from going down that path. However, I am also the first to say that prohibition does not work. History proves the point.

Our nation's experiment with Prohibition early in the 20th century launched one of the biggest and messiest crime sprees in our history. Alcohol went black market. Speak-easies were on practically every street corner, with law enforcement officials on the take to prevent any legal hassles. Prohibition did nothing but encourage the very behavior it sought to squelch and catapulted crime to epic proportions in the process.

Apparently we have not learned our lesson. The 'war on drugs' is an abject failure. The crime that it produces is not worth the money and effort to keep this senseless prohibition going. The decriminalization of non-violent drug offenders is a step in the right direction to correcting this terribly misguided program.

It is time we learned our lesson. Prohibition was repealed. Our nation was much better off for it. It is now time to do the same thing with drugs.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Libertarian Loretta Nall Speaking Engagements

Just a quick note to alert readers in Alabama that Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall has some interesting upcoming speaking engagements, one being the Libertarian forum at Auburn University. You can find a list of these engagements by visiting her website at

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Anti-Gun Bigots to Blame for School Shootings

As I have stated several times in a couple of earlier posts, Alabama gubernatorial candidate, Libertarian Loretta Nall, is one of the few candidates anywhere that is calling for an end to gun control. And this is one of the many reasons why her candidacy is so important--it provides voters with a clear choice between a rational, realistic, Constitutional solution to criminal violence, as opposed to the lunacy we now have, perpetrated by the anti-gun bigots. In fact, the anti-gun bigots are to blame for the school shootings.

Gun control advocates have succeeded in convincing certain sectors of the population that guns alone, and not personal behavior, are responsible for violence in our streets. This alone should highlight the sheer fallacy of their argument. Blame the gun and not the one pulling the trigger. The next time you see a murder take place with a gun spontaneously firing without a thug on the other end of the trigger, let me know. Yet many in America have bought into this nonsense, advocating for such things as 'gun free zones,' among many other proposals aimed at loading up the state laws with so many restrictions and limitations that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is rendered impotent.

Thus, with many jumping on the 'gun free zone' bandwagon we find ourselves in a situation where peaceful, law-abiding citizens are left as defenseless sitting ducks for the thugs to pick us off at will, one by one.

Take the recent tradegy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for example.

The school was a 'gun free zone.' All of our public schools are now 'gun free zones.' This is the result of the anti-gun bigots who have succeeded in convincing our powers that be that if we enact such restrictions on firearms, our children are much safer.

Now let me see...five dead in Pennsylvania, two dead in Colorado, and a principle dead in the Midwest, ALL WITHIN A MERE TWO WEEK TIME SPAN. It seems that the schools are 'gun free zones' only until the thugs enter the premises. And thus, with no fear of anyone in the school building having a gun to thwart their reign of terror, they can start picking off students and teachers, one by one, with no opposition.

I wonder what would have happened in Columbine if the teachers had been armed? I wonder how the scenario would have been different if the perpetrator in Pennsylvania had been met with a school principle with a firearm? A case can be made that it would have been highly doubtful that those misguided and dangerous youths in Columbine would have even attempted their reign of terror had they known that each principle and teacher were armed and trained to use their weapons. And even if they had gone ahead and attempted their shooting spree, they would have probably been shot dead long before a single student was murdered. The same can be said for Lancasster County, Pennsylvania.

The rash of shootings that we have witnessed in our schools for the last decade should be a lesson to us all concerning the dangerous and ill-fated notion of 'gun free zones.' In short, such a policy has not saved a single child's life. We are creating a society where only the thugs have the guns. As I said, a 'gun free zone' is not gun free when an armed thug enters the building and starts shooting. Citizens who are stripped of their Constitutional right to carry and bear firearms are sitting ducks for armed thugs who are NOT concerned in the least with the law. It is almost like we are allowing irrational and misguided policy makers to lead us to self-destruction. If we buy into their little social experiment and lay down our guns, we are simply allowing thugs with guns to kill us and our children. Is this what we really want as a society?

I am with candidates such as Loretta Nall who call for an end to gun control and an immediate repeal of all laws that limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. The Libertarian Party is also in favor of such a policy. In light of a 'no gun zone' social experiment gun awry, this is the only reasonable approach to a major national problem.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Time to End Gun Control, Part 2--Can the States Negate A Constitutional Right?

There is big news this evening from the blogosphere. I'm sure that anyone reading this will be astounded to know that the Bill of Rights affirms and protects no individual rights! Well, at least that is the viewpoint of one blogger I read. The problem is that this point of view is not so unusual. In many sectors of our society today, it is THE politically correct point of view, at least as it applies to the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. I have been informed that there are Harvard Law professors who advocate the very same viewpoint.

Here is the way the argument goes. The 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution does only one thing and one thing alone--establish a militia. There is no guarantee whatsoever of an individual's right to keep and bear arms, period...or so the argument goes. Are you with me so far? In the BILL OF RIGHTS, which are designed to delineate the individual rights of citizens in this country, I am not guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms. So, I am afforded the right to what, exactly? A militia? How is that an individual right?

No matter. Stay with me here. Remember that one has to engage in suspension of disbelief in order to understand this horrid fiction.

The argument further maintains that the individual States have the power to regulate, limit, and restrict whatever supposed rights that are guaranteed in the BILL OF RIGHTS. In other words, the States can override and negate Constitutionally protected rights.

Remember, I never said this argument was rational....

This, according to those who advocate this point of view, can mean that any State can enact any law it chooses to take away the supposed right of any citizen to own firearms. After all, since the Bill of Rights do not protect any individual rights, the States are free to pass whatever laws they wish, including confiscation of firearms. In fact, the particular blogger I mentioned earlier stated that the Bill of Rights applies to the Federal government only and NOT to the individual States. HUH? Since all U.S. citizens live in one State or another, then why have a U.S. Constitution at all if it has no authority?

Now it's my turn.

Let's take this argument and apply it to some other rights as delineated in the Constitution. Can your State shut down a newspaper because it consistently prints editorials that are in opposition to the State Government? What do you think would happen if it attempted to do so? This is not rocket science here. We all know full well what would happen, and we all know the legal argument that would ensue in support of that newspaper, i.e., that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the protection of the freedom of the press, AS STATED CLEARLY IN THE 1st AMENDMENT IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS! And the anti-gun bigots would be the very first in line raising howls of protests, citing the 1st amendment to the Constitution as their justification. It is amazing as to how this all changes by the time we get to the 2nd amendment in the Bill of Rights! The States must abide by the principles of the 1st amendment, but not the 2nd?

Methinks that someone has taken leave of their brain cells!

Here's another example. Can your State decide that it wishes to return to segregation? Why not? By what legal standard can we make the claim that a State does NOT have this power? The answer is Constitutional law. The States do not have the power to enact or enforce laws that stand in opposition to the principles of the U. S. Constitution.

I am still waiting for these self-proclaimed experts in Constitutional law to apply the same standard to the 1st amendment that they apply to the 2nd amendment. Undoubtedly, I am in for a very long wait.

The 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution, contained in a section known as the BILL OF RIGHTS, is a two-fold statement--one, that a militia is necessary for the defense of life and property, and two, that the right of the people, the individual citizens, to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged. From a historical perspective, the line of reasoning was that since a militia was needed to be ready at a moment's notice to defend this Republic, the right of the citizens to own and use guns would not be squelched since the government depended upon these citizens for its defense.

Is there historical justification for this view? One need look no further than Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, or Benjamin Franklin to find that it was their assumption that the citizens would be armed. The notion of an unarmed citizenry was totally outside their frame of reference. So why, then, are these latter day revisionists attempting to claim that there is no such right that is protected in the Constitution? Hamilton certainly believed it did. So did Jefferson and Franklin and all the rest.

The fact of the matter is the revisionist anti-gun bigots wish to disarm the citizens of this country. They wish to make you defenseless against intruders into your home. They wish to render you impotent in keeping a home invader from killing your spouse or children. They believe that this somehow makes the world safer, that in confiscating your guns we will not have school shootings such as the one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They do not realize it, but this is slap in the face to the 80 million LAW-ABIDING gun owners in be lumped in together with the likes of a lunatic child killer that goes on a shooting spree. This kind of thinking is demented at best.

The thing that would have prevented the killings in Lancaster would be for the teachers to be armed and trained to use those firearms. The would-be child killer would have been dead before he got off a single shot. However, due to the brainwashing of the politically correct anti-gun bigots, the only person around in the school building that day who was armed was the murderer himself.

Time to End Gun Control

'The right of THE PEOPLE' to keep and bear arms shall not be abridge.' Those words which are found in the U.S. Constitution seem pretty straightforward and clear. They form the heart of the 2nd Amendment, which is part of what is known as the 'Bill of Rights'--the first ten amendments to the Constitution. It cannot be stressed enough that these words are part of the BILL OF RIGHTS. The first 10 amendments were inserted to preserve and protect basic individual rights. The right to keep and bear firearms is one of those protected individual rights.

This is of extreme importance because, simply put, most of the gun control laws on the books in the various states are blatantly unconstitutional. The reason is quite simple--these laws are designed to limit and in many cases discard a basic individual right as delineated in the U.S. Constitution. As long as I am not committing a crime with my gun, then I have the right to keep and bear that gun, 'unabridged.'

Only one candidate in the state of Alabama has as a plank in her platform that calls for the ending of gun control laws. That candidate is Libertarian Loretta Nall.

I can just hear the protests now, and I am ready.

I will cite these protests, one by one, and provide a rebuttal to each one.

Protest Number One--'Gun control, licensing, and registration is no threat to an individual right. We do the same thing with driving. Registering and licensing drivers is prudent, and no one loses their right to drive.'

One big problem exists with this argument. Driving an automobile is not a right. It is a privilege afforded by the states. It is not a basic right afforded to individuals in the U.S. Constitution. I do not need a license to exercise a basic right. Do I need to be registered to exercise free speech? Do I need a license to voice my opinion in the letters to the editor in the local newspaper? The citizens are free to exercise their rights unabridged, unless and until they commit a crime in doing so.

Protest Number Two--'The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to establish a state militia and not to give individual citizens the right to bear arms.'

This statement is contradictory. The first part of this protest has at least some truth, and that is that the 2nd Amendment does, indeed, establish a militia. But it is at this that the argument breaks down. The militia, as envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, was made up of all citizens. As a new country attempting to forge a trail of freedom in a dangerous world, its government had to be able to raise a fighting force at a moment's notice in order to protect itself. The best way to do this in the frontier age was a citizens militia that would be already trained and ready to fight at the drop of a hat. The citizens by and large already had guns. They had to. Life was hard on the frontier. Hunting was a way of life. The early Americans not only had guns but they knew very well how to use them. And thus, the underlying reasoning of the 2nd Amendment was that you use the armed citizenry that was already in place as your means of defense, i.e., the militia. The notion that the 2nd Amendment does not give individual citizens the right to bear and keep arms automatically makes null and void the concept of the militia as the Framers understood it.

In addition, the wording of the 2nd Amendment is quite specific. It does not stop with the establishing of a militia but continues to state unequivocally that the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall be unabridged.

Protest Number Three--'No other developed, industrialized nation considers carrying a gun to be a basic right.' Forgive my bluntness at this point, but, so what? When this nation was formed, no other nation on earth considered free speech to be a basic right. This nation set the standard for Republican styled Democracy as we know it. The fact that other nations around the world do not afford their citizens the right to bear and keep arms is no argument in the favor of gun control. We as Americans have historically believed this is a basic right.

I had an argument on this point several years ago with someone who was determined to prove that my ideas about guns were wrong. When I brought up the aforementioned point, she said, 'Well, then, perhaps it is time to get the Constitution changed.' I said, 'Have at it. If you think you can get enough support to strike the 2nd Amendment from the Constitution, then be my guest. Good luck.'

And thus, the bottom line views of the anti-gun bigots is exposed. It is not really that they 'interpret the Constitution differently,' as they claim. They truly do disagree with the U.S. Constitution and want it changed. Since any forthright proposal to strike the 2nd Amendment from the Constitution would be met with howls of protest and harsh opposition so strong that the proposal would never get off the ground, the anti-gun crowd has decided to attack it from the back door, i.e., load up the law books with so many regulations, controls, and limitations, that you render the 2nd Amendment meaningless without saying a word about repealing it.

This is precisely what opponents to the 2nd Amendment have been doing for several decades now. They have almost succeeded in their goal...but not yet.

It is up to us, the individual citizens, who care about personal rights and the Constitution to see through this Trojan horse ruse and stop it dead in its tracks. It is time to bid farewell to gun control laws. Our first step in that direction is to support candidates for public office who will go on record as opposing gun control.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Of Riley, Baxley, and Nall

What is it that leads most people to decide to vote for one candidate over another? Unfortunately, sometimes it is nothing more than voting for the proverbial 'lesser of two evils,' that is, assuming there are only two viable candidates. Even then, however, there is yet another dynamic at work that is even more important, and that is the dynamic of 'differentiation.' In other words, one candidate has stood out over another in the voter's mind. The candidate has thus 'differentiated' himself/herself from the pack, showing the voter that they are indeed different and better.

At no time in the history of our nation has differentiation been more important. Republicans and Democrats typically fall all over themselves attempting to show how they are different and better. Yet there is an alarming homogeny and monotony to it all that gives one pause to consider whether or not a vote for one or the other is truly based upon differentiation.

Take, for example, the Alabama Governor's race.

The two major parties have made their choices. Republican Governor Bob Riley is running for a second term. His Democrat opponent is Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley. In what way can one truly differentiate one from the other in terms of basic ideology? Are there major differences in their views on public education? On taxes? On illegal immigration? What about an education lottery? How do they view the war in Iraq?

The fact of the matter is that the differences between the two major candidates are negligible. Only one choice remains for those who are truly interested in a candidate who has demonstrated that they are different and better. Loretta Nall is certainly not your average, run-of-the-mill candidate. But the standard-bearer for the Libertarian Party has certainly differentiated herself with fresh ideas. The fact that she failed to garner enough petition signatures to be placed on the ballot is an unfortunate tragedy in Alabama politics. As a write-in candidate she has an uphill battle. But writing in her name on the ballot is an act of voting FOR fresh and innovative ideas as opposed to continuing with business as usual.

Nall believes that public education has failed our children, and thus, she has a plan that bolsters private and homeschool education even among the most economically disadvantaged. She believes that private enterprise is to be preferred over government control, and thus, should a lottery ever be approved by the voters Nall would contract with private enterprise to manage it. She believes that it is ludicrous, unfair, and unreasonable to have nonviolent drug offenders occupying upwards of 60% of prison space when a program of decriminalization would result in a massive easing of prison overcrowding, saving the taxpayers millions, not to mention that such a program would keep violent criminals behind bars as opposed to the present policy of early release due to prison overcrowding. Nall believes in the Jeffersonian ideal of small government that is manageable and responsible to the people. She believes that the place of government is not to control or to bully or to be the 'grand guardian' over the private lives of citizens. And thus, public policy should be developed accordingly.

Admittedly, some of Nall's views are difficult for the people of Alabama to stomach. She is against the war in Iraq and would call for the return home of all of Alabama's National Guard. However, one must remember that Nall's campaign is for Governor and not for national office. Her views on Iraq have very little consequence outside of how the war impacts the state. And thus, a vote for Nall is not necessarily one of voting against the war in Iraq. A vote for Nall is a vote for fresh ideas that are based upon our commonly accepted and sacred rule of law in this country--The U.S. Constitution.

The choice therefore is clear. There IS differentiation in this campaign. On one side is Riley and Baxley. On the other is Loretta Nall.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Alabama Libertarian Loretta Nall

Spending the past week immersed in Alabama politics has been a real eye-opener on many fronts. I was lured here by the fascinating story of the dismissal of Russ and Dee Fine from their morning talk show on 101.1 FM, 'the Source.' I have already commented at length on this debacle by Crawford Broadcasting (see my two earlier posts), and I can only say that many are eagerly awaiting further news from Russ and Dee, which can be found on their website at No further comment from me is in order until we get the latest news directly from the Fines. I will, however, post a few observations on Alabama politics, particularly as it relates to the Libertarian candidate for Governor, Loretta Nall.

At this point it appears Governor Bob Riley is cruising to an easy re-election, despite the obvious drawbacks of belonging to a no-Blacks-allowed Lodge and there being question marks all over his conservative credentials, having proposed the single largest tax increase in the state's history. The state's taxpayers saw through the scheme and voted down the measure, only to find vindication in a multi-million dollar surplus a mere three years later--all without any tax increase whatsoever. Riley's only serious challenge was mounted by Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley, whose campaign never really got off the ground. Much can change in two months, however. And thus, the final verdict is still out and rests in the hands of the voters.

The most intriguing story in the campaign, however, revolves around the Libertarian candidate, Loretta Nall, a 32 year old mother who found herself in the middle of a legal nightmare in 2002 with regard to a charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Nall subsequently launched the 'Marijuana Party' in an effort to highlight her belief that U.S. drug policy is long overdue an overhaul. Nall, nonetheless, has plead not guilty to the charges.

Nall's campaign for Governor has been fraught with roadblocks along the way. In addition to her legal battles over marijuana, she failed to receive the number of signatures on a petition to have her name placed on the ballot. Alabama law makes it very difficult for anyone outside the two major parties to find a place on the ballot, and thus, voters are left to decide between Riley and Baxley, or write in the name of Loretta Nall. Write-in candidates typically have a very difficult time garnering a significant number of votes.

In spite of these seeming insurmountable odds, the Nall campaign has provided Alabama politics a refreshing dose of candor. One may disagree with her unorthodox views, but one cannot question her integrity or valor. Nall opposes the war in Iraq and has indicated that as Governor she would call for the Alabama National Guard to withdraw from the war. She supports the decriminalization of the possession and use of illegal drugs. She states unequivocally that she is not religious, yet she speaks with great love and admiration for her 'precious Christian mother.' She supports the concept of gay marriage, claiming that nothing in the Constitution prohibits such a thing.

It goes without saying that none of this plays well in conservative Alabama, to say the least.

Nonetheless, the Nall campaign gives Alabama voters a definite choice. Increasingly one hears the complaint that the Republicans and Democrats are simply two sides of the same coin and that as time goes by one can find very little significant difference. This is certainly the case this year in the Alabama governor's race, with the Republican being charged with being a 'closet Liberal' and the Democrat trying very hard to appear conservative. Loretta Nall, however, has carved out a distinct position for herself among the candidates. Her guiding philosophy is one of limited government, personal liberty, complete separation of government and religion, free markets, and war being reserved for defense only. Whether or not one can embrace the specific ways this philosophy is carried out in terms of public policy is the key question.

The problem with the Libertarian party as a whole is that through the years it has tended to resonate with people who are so far outside the mainstream that their candidates have had trouble with raising funds and gaining name recognition. Many have come to view the Party as synonymous with 'anarchy' in its most negative connotation. This is unfortunate in that most of the truly innovative and fresh ideas concerning the place of government in our lives have come from the Libertarian party. At the very least those ideas need a hearing.

It is thus unfortunate that name of Loretta Nall is not on the November ballot in Alabama. The citizens of the state could greatly benefit from being aware of the candidate and her views. It is hoped that she can make a difference in those venues where she is given a hearing.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Down in the Trenches with Russ and Dee

Nearly a week has passed since radio personalities Russ and Dee Fine were fired from their morning talk-show on 101.1 FM 'The Source' in Birmingham, Alabama. Having immersed myself for the past week in the trenches of this battle, it is clear that this is ground zero in the fight for personal liberty, freedom of speech, and the right of the citizens to be fully informed about candidates for public office.

But first, a quick run-down of the events that led us to this point is in order.

The Fines have been on the front lines of a political firestorm for several years now, ever since Governor Bob Riley proposed a massive tax increase in 2002, warning that the failure to pass the measure would lead to near-catastrophic consequences for the state, including the closing of schools, the release of dangerous criminals into the streets, and the eviction of scores of elderly persons from the state's nursing homes. The figures provided to support the measure by the Governor's office and others with a vested interest in the tax increase were shown to be erroneous and patently false. The Fines were among the very first to point out the discrepancies. In short, the measure was defeated by the citizens of Alabama, and rightly so, since the subsequent years have shown that no such tax increase was necessary, the evidence of which is a record surplus in the state's coffers.

Riley has since recreated himself as a tax-cutting conservative, citing the surplus as rationale for 'giving the money back to the taxpayers.' The Governor has yet to explain how there is such a surplus when just three years ago a supposed massive catastrophe was just around the corner unless his unprecedented tax increase were approved by the voters.

Make no mistake, the Fines are not oblivious to such political shenanigans, and this year they threw their support behind Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley in her run for Governor.

Enter the Grand Lodge of Alabama, an order of Freemasons with over 30,000 members in the State of Alabama. A report surfaced in one of the rural news outlets that Governor Riley is a member of the Grand Lodge. Normally this would be no big deal. Masons have been part of local, state, and national government ever since the founding of this Republic. This particular Lodge, however, is on record for excluding Blacks from its membership. The Fines picked up on the story and began commenting on it on their morning talk show in Birmingham. Their complaint was not that Riley is a Mason but that he is a member of a Masonic order in Alabama that excludes blacks.

Apparently this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, for in less than two weeks after breaking this story, the Fines were summarily fired by Crawford Broadcasting, the owner of 101.1 FM.

And this brings us to today. Several things can be observed after nearly a week since the Fines were relieved of their duties:
1. There has been surprisingly little said of this matter in local news media outlets. A brief story appeared in the local newspaper, The Birmingham News, on Wednesday of last week. But beyond that, nothing, zilch, nada. The place to find information on this story has been almost exclusively on Internet blogs.
2. This begs the question, is there a concerted effort to suppress news by the local news outlets? But more importantly, is there an attempt by these outlets to sit on this story until after the election?
3. It cannot be forgotten that nearly every major newspaper in the state of Alabama endorsed Governor Riley's failed tax increase proposal. Most of the TV news stations in the state gave their implicit endorsement of the proposal as well. The Governor has appeared to garner the support of every major media outlet in the state, which would explain their deafening silence concerning the Governor's membership in a racist organization.
4. Despite these seemingly overwhelming odds, there appears to be, just beneath the surface, a boiling cauldron of outrage among many citizens, particularly among supporters of Russ and Dee, who believe not only that the radio personalities got a raw deal from Crawford Broadcasting but that a sitting Governor who is running for re-election gets a pass from the media concerning his dubious associations.

Two questions to consider--will Governor Bob Riley be called to give an account by the mainstream media in Alabama for his membership in an overtly racist Lodge? And will Russ and Dee Fine find vindication for their heads-up diligence by being brought back to the airwaves in Alabama?