Mississippi’s gulf coast is buzzing with the announcement of Zackary Redmond’s candidacy for Ward 4 councilman in Gautier. The Libertarian Party of Mississippi is excited to have young adults like Mr Redmond involved in their local government and helping to improve their community.
Not only will he graduate as an honor student from Gautier High School and prepare to enter community college, he will most likely be the youngest candidate in this city’s municipal elections.
“I plan to turn in my paper work next week to run for Ward 4 councilman,” he said. “Then it will be official.”
Yes, America is ready for a 3rd party such as the Libertarian Party. A new Reason-Rupe mobile and landline phone poll of 1,200 people shows 80% said they “80% of Americans say they would or might consider voting for an Independent or third-party presidential candidate in the 2012 election” in the 2012 Presidential elections.
Specifically, 60% said they would consider voting for an independent or third-party candidate, 20% said they might consider, 17% said they would not consider, and 3% said they did not know whether they would consider voting for an Independent or third-party presidential candidate.
To be clear, considering and voting are two separate things. Nevertheless, the high percentage tells us something about the current political climate. It means that individuals are willing to at least consider candidates who do not necessarily fit the cookie-cutter molds of Democrats and Republicans and suggests that the electorate is receptive to unconventional candidates.
More from Freedom Watch with Andrew Napolitano:
More about Reason-Rupe Polling results and methodology:
TheStreet.com recently published an article titled, “5 Jobs That Are Under Government Attack“. Along with the professions listed were some ridiculous laws requiring college degrees and licenses for certain professions:
Texas requires computer repair technicians to get a private investigator’s license, which could require a degree in criminal justice or three-year apprenticeship.
New Jersey told yoga teachers and martial arts instructors two years ago that they had to get a state license or face fines of up to $50,000.
In Washington, D.C., unlicensed tour guides can be punished for historical chitchat for up to 90 days in jail.
In Florida, officials threatened an interior designer with a $25,000 fine if she didn’t complete a six-year apprenticeship and pass a test required to be recognized as a legal practitioner of that profession.
Under Louisiana law, it is a crime for anyone but a licensed funeral director to sell “funeral merchandise.” To sell caskets legally, the monks say they would have to “abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home, learn unnecessary skills and take a funeral industry test.” They would also have to convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming human remains.
Why do you ask the government for permission to do what you’re perfectly capable of doing without the government’s permission? When will Americans stop giving up their freedom to do business in their community in exchange for a government-issued license?
WASHINGTON – While Republicans and Democrats battle in Wisconsin over a bill to reduce the collective bargaining power of state employee unions as a means of balancing their budget, Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle points out that the problem lies with government control of activities it has no business running.
Hinkle comments, “Libertarians are neither pro-union nor anti-union. We believe that the right of association and freedom of contract allows any group of people to choose to bargain collectively rather than individually. Naturally, we oppose violence and threats of such, but unions per se can play a major role in a free society. The problem is that the battle between the Wisconsin state government and state employees isn’t even remotely a free market.
“Government monopolizes many services that could and should be provided in the voluntary sector by profit-making and/or non-profit organizations. This also gives them a ‘monopsony’ as virtually the only potential employer for workers in these fields. Once someone has trained to be a teacher or prison guard, they are essentially at the mercy of government for their employment in that field. Blaming them for wanting collective bargaining representation would be comparable to siding with the Polish government against the union Solidarity headed by Lech Walesa that freed Poland in 1989 from Soviet rule. The problem is with the employer: the government.”
Hinkle considers the education budget to be the best example of a solution only Libertarians have offered:
It’s redistricting time again and Mississippi law-makers are hard at work redrawing district lines while pretending it’s only the other party that’s drawing lines in their favor.
Because of violence and other abuses on minorities by state and local government’s around the country (mostly in the south) the Voting Rights Act of 1965 required these states, including Mississippi, to have their redistricting maps get a final stamp of approval by the US Justice Department, among other provisions.
The federal government’s selective oversight over Mississippi’s redistricting nearly 50 years later “offends” Lt Gov Phil Bryant. From MSBusiness.com:
“We’ve got a Justice Department, we’ve got people in Washington, D.C., saying, ‘We’re going to look over your shoulder and tell you where every line is supposed to be, where every dot is supposed to be,’” Bryant told dozens of Republican women at the Capitol. “So the Obama Justice Department’s going to tell us how we ought to be doing things in Mississippi?”
“That happened in 1965, and I’m offended by the fact that the federal government does not trust members of this Legislature to draw these lines,” Bryant said.
Bryant said people shouldn’t expect the law to be repealed anytime soon.
Lt Gov Phil Bryant has every right to be offended that the federal government picks and chooses how it treats some states and localities over others. I’m offended too. But Bryant cleverly words his speech to infer that the USDOJ’s oversight on Mississippi’s redistricting is a product of the Obama administration – no doubt an attempt to rally support behind his campaign to be Governor.
But who’s really to blame for this federal oversight nearly 50 years later? The fact is, every so often the Voting Rights Act of 1965 comes up for renewal – most recently in 2006 – when George Bush was President and Republicans held a majority in the House and Senate. Seems to me like 2006 would’ve been a pretty good time to rid Mississippi of the federal oversight that supposedly offends Phil Bryant.
Unfortunately, Phil Bryant’s own Republican colleagues in Washington DC don’t “trust members of the MS Legislature to draw these lines” – in Bryant’s own words. The fact is that when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 came up for renewal in 2006, 192 out of 230 House Republicans and 52 out of 54 Senate Republicans voted in favor reauthorizing it before George Bush signed it into law. This include both of Mississippi’s Republican US Senators and both of Mississippi’s Republican US Congressmen:
Yea – Thad Cochran, MS [R]
Yea – Trent Lott, MS [R]
Aye – Roger Wicker, MS [R]
Aye – Bennie Thompson, MS [D]
Aye – Charles Pickering, MS [R]
Aye – Gene Taylor, MS [D]
In fact, the bill to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was sponsored by a Republican and co-sponsored by 27 other Republicans, including Republicans from states and localities that were under the federal government’s oversight.
According to Section 4, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 also extended federal oversight over Mississippi for another 15 years. That would be July 27, 2021 – after the 2020 census and after another round of redistricting:
Extends: (1) the time for reconsideration of federal oversight of jurisdictions which once used suspended voting tests or devices until 15 years after the enactment of this Act; and (2) related requirements for such jurisdictions until 25 years after the enactment of this Act.
If you think Mississippi’s Republican leaders really mean what they say and say what they mean, and if you think they really want to limit the federal government’s intrusion into Mississippi, you’re wrong (see the federally-funded SLDS too). We can’t continue to shovel the federal government out of the state with one hand while shoveling the federal government back in to the state with the other.
After 10 years of incarceration, and seven years after a jury sentenced him to die, 30-year-old Cory Maye will soon be going home. Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell signed a plea agreement Friday morning… read more from Radley.
This video from Corey Maye’s appeal (windows media player) is from 2009, but it’s an interesting case that has drawn national media attention. It involves issues such as person’s right to protect his family, the war on drugs, obtaining & serving warrants, and a person’s constitutional right to be tried in his own community. You can bet the MSLP will be following Corey Maye’s new trial and the updates from the person who first shined a national spotlight on the Corey Maye story, Radley Balko.
If you’re interested in following the case, the appeal video (above) details some of the errors made by the state as well as some of the issues that will be addressed in the new trial. For more background, watch the video below from Reason TV.
UPDATE: After passing the House, HB 168 died in the Senate Jud A committee on March 1st’s deadline. For the 2nd year in a row, Senator Joey Fillingane (R) killed the bill all by himself by refusing to allow the Jud A committee members to vote on it.
Don’t let Joey Fillingane’s authoritarian move stop you from filming your interactions with law enforcement officers. If you don’t relentlessly assert your rights and ensure your rights aren’t being violated – you don’t have any. See #2 and #3 below.
Some of our legislators get a little confused when a bill comes across their desk that would actually limit the government’s power. These bills usually invoke a “I don’t know why this law is necessary,” response from the authoritarian-leaning legislators. Such is the case with Senator Joey Fillingane (R) when HB 168 landed on his desk.
HB 168 would reaffirm every individual’s right to hold law enforcement personnel accountable for their actions by making it clear that it is, in fact, perfectly legal to video-tape them while on duty. But Joey Fillingane doesn’t see the need for such a law and he hasn’t heard a legitimate claim for it.
Fillingane says he hasn’t seen the bill, and although he doesn’t want to judge it before reading it, he sees no use for it.
Fillingane says so far he hasn’t heard a legitimate claim for the need for citizens to record law officers and says police dash cameras do the job.
Maybe Senator Fillingane should re-read the Mississippi Constitution he swore to support. It makes a pretty clear argument in support of HB 168. Section 13 of the Mississippi Constitution clearly states the individual right to free speech and a free press is a sacred right:
The freedom of speech and of the press shall be held sacred
Yes, sacred. Furthermore, an individual’s right to free speech is no more and no less sacred than the freedom of the press. They are equally sacred and the laws, as well as the individual actions of our public officials, ought to reflect this since every law-maker and every public official swore an oath to “…faithfully support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Mississippi”.
The MS Constitution also addresses the relationship between individuals and the government and it’s police powers. Because government originates with the people, the people have the inherent right to regulate the government and it’s police powers. Since the people have the inherent and constitutional right to regulate their government and the government’s police, we ought to be allowed the peaceful tools to do so without fear of being tossed in a cage:
All political power is vested in, and derived from, the people; all government of right originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
The people of this state have the inherent, sole, and exclusive right to regulate the internal government and police thereof, and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they deem it necessary to their safety and happiness; provided, such change be not repugnant to the constitution of the United States.
The only current language in the MS Legal Code that addresses filming law enforcement officers, public officials, and other people is § 97-29-63, which states:
Any person who with lewd, licentious or indecent intent secretly photographs, films, videotapes, records or otherwise reproduces the image of another person without the permission of such person when such a person is located in a place where a person would intend to be in a state of undress and have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, private dwellings or any facility, public or private, used as a restroom, bathroom, shower room, tanning booth, locker room, fitting room, dressing room or bedroom shall be guilty of a felony…
So if the Constitution affirms the natural right of “the people” to regulate the government and it’s police powers, and current law allows filming other people in areas where they have no reasonable expectation of privacy – then what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that when the unauthorized power of an armed agent of the government meets the natural, constitutional, and legal rights of an individual – the individual usually finds himself sitting in a cage. Law enforcement officers can, and often do, tell people to turn the camera off and if you don’t do as he says, he has the power to arrest you and toss you into a cage for the usual “disobeying an officer” or “disorderly conduct”. When such a case goes to court (usually without a jury), it’s the word of a uniformed law enforcement officer against yours.
A law, such as HB 168, that reaffirms every person’s natural right to self-preservation, supports Sections 5, 6, and 13 of the Mississippi Constitution, and is perfectly consistent with current Mississippi law, would specifically restrict law enforcement officers from forcing you into shutting off your camera simply because the law enforcement officer threatens you with arrest. If he does force you to turn the camera off, then you would have the language in HB 168 to use as your defense in court.
One legitimate concern of the opponents of video-taping police officers is that a camera or a camera operator could interfere with a police officer doing his job. However, HB 168 clearly states that it’s legal to video-tape an officer “…provided, that any person videotaping, filming or otherwise recording such duties shall not interfere with the performance of such duties.”
I don’t know of any other legitimate reason why anyone would oppose such a bill. Could you imagine the civil rights movement being any movement at all without the brave camera operators catching the abuses by government officials on film and sharing their images with the rest of America? The images of law enforcement officers using high pressure water hoses, cattle prods, and police dogs against peaceful people would have never reached the hearts and minds of others and it’s unlikely that the civil rights movement would have ever gained momentum had there not been cameras around.
Note: Check your volume before you play each videos below.
I’m not saying all cops use their power to violate your rights. Good cops generally don’t mind being recorded and some even see it as a means to improve the way they handle themselves during an interaction with individuals. Most cops are, in fact, good and decent people – no different than you or I. This law would simply protect folks from the handful of law enforcement officers that enjoy their power a little too much and then try to cover-up their actions by forcing a person to shut the camera off. You can dig around youtube or copblock and find plenty of these instances.
HB 168 is currently sitting in Joey Fillingane’s Senate Jud A Committee – the same committee where it died last year without a vote after passing the House. The Jud A committee members are:
Joey Fillingane (R), Chairman
W. Briggs Hopson III (R), Vice-Chairman
Sidney Albritton (R)
Terry C. Burton (R)
Kelvin E. Butler (D)
Tommy Dickerson (D)
Hillman Terome Frazier (D)
Jack Gordon (D)
Dean Kirby (R)
Chris McDaniel (R)
Walter Michel (R)
T. O. Moffatt (R)
Michael Watson (R)
Lee Yancey (R)
Remember, law enforcement officers and public officials aren’t above the law. One individual has no right to violate another individual’s rights whether he wears a badge or not. If a public official violates a person’s rights he ought to be held accountable for his actions. Often times, the only way to hold a public official accountable for their abusive actions is to capture the abuse on video. Don’t let Joey Fillingane and the members of Jud A ignore this bill again.
What Can You Do?
Contact the committee members, including Joey Fillingane at (601) 359-3770and let them know you support HB 168. “No one has spoken to me for or against this bill,” said Senator Joey Fillingane in the WDAM interview.
Know your rights and relentlessly assert your rights, including Section 13 of the MS Constitution. Peacefully asserting your rights to an armed agent of the government is only scary the first few times you do it. And, you’ll find that some law enforcement officers are receptive to the ideas of liberty so long as you’re respectful and courteous in presenting them.
Arm yourself with a FlipCam or a similar video camera for a round $100. Or, you can sign up for a Qik.com account and download the free camera app for your smartphone. Qik makes it more difficult for law enforcement officials to delete the video footage you’ve recorded by streaming the video, as you record it, to a secure online account. Remember, after you’ve been arrested your cell phone can be searched without a warrant – says the Supreme Court – and anything they find questionable can lead to a warrant issued to search your house and other property.
Connect with other liberty-minded people within the state and throughout the country. Network with others and help spread the libertarian message with friends and family. Networking with other libertarians is also helpful if you ever find yourself arrested for one of the many victimless crimes.
Consider making a contribution to the Libertarian Party of Mississippi. Your generous donations help us educate the public on the ideas of individual liberty and elect principled Libertarians to federal, state, and local office to repeal and block laws that are contrary to the ideas of individual freedom.
Freedom:The power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.
Libertarian:An individual that believes all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, provided they allow others the same liberty and freedom.