Saturday, October 21, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #138 “Liberty And Gambling”

image                Should we regulate and control gambling, or should we continue with most of it being illegal?   Today the federal Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibits any states – except Nevada – from regulating or controlling gambling.  Maybe the federal law was passed with good intentions, because the government was logically concerned by the prospect of athletic competitors being bribed to “throw” their matches.  But the law of unintended consequences once again prevails because not only has this law ushered in an enormous Black Market, it actually has made it more difficult to detect and prosecute corruption.  How so?  Because illegal betting makes it much more difficult to detect betting patterns, which increases the ability to fix athletic contests.  And now eSports gambling is upon us, where people bet on online video game competitions, and already one player has been found to have made large amounts of money by betting against himself and then throwing his match.  As of now it is estimated that this business garners about $700 million in profits, which is predicted to explode to $1.5 billion by 2020.  The facts are that people have always gambled – always have and always will!  So the only practical question is: shall gambling be controlled under the law, or by people outside of the law?

Going back to our roots, there is simply nothing in our Constitution that allows the federal government to pre-empt any state from governing gambling within its own boundaries.  (As has been asked before in this series – show of hands – how many of you believe that the federal government has all of the answers?)  In addition, all studies, as well as common sense, show that fans who bet on a sports event are more engaged if they have placed a bet on the outcome.  As a result, betting is rampant and normal virtually everywhere, and illegal betting has pushed tens of billions of dollars into the shadow economy – all of which is uncontrolled and untaxed.  So bringing gambling back under the law would take away lots of money from the criminal element, provide tax money for local governments, and allow investigators the heightened ability to detect fraud in sports.  Thus Liberty in allowing adults to engage in legal gambling would once again provide greater benefits to society at large than government restrictions and prohibitions.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Saturday, October 14, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #137 “Safety Net vs. Welfare System”

Judge-Jim-Gray        Recently, I received the following information from a recipient of these weekly 2 Paragraphs. She had, in turn, received the information from www.UrbanCure.org., which is a religious-based, free market news organization for the black community.  From my standpoint, this information is probably accurate, but even if it isn’t, it describes the pitfalls, unfairness and extremely expensive nature of our nation’s welfare system.  Here is what we received:

For a guy and his girlfriend with two kids all you have to do is follow these proven steps:

1. Don’t marry her!
2. Always use your mom’s address to get your mail.
3. The guy buys a house.
4. The guy rents out the house to his girlfriend with his 2 kids.
5. Section 8 will pay the girlfriend $900 a month for a 3 bedroom home.
6. Girlfriend signs up for Obamacare so guy doesn’t have to pay for family health insurance.
7. Girlfriend gets to go to college for free being a single mother.
8. Girlfriend gets $600 a month for food stamps.
9  Girlfriend gets a free cell phone.
10. Girlfriend gets free utilities.
11. Guy moves into home, but continues to use mom’s address for his mail.
12. Girlfriend claims one kid and guy claims the other kid on their tax forms.  Now both get to claim head of household for a $1800 credit.
13. Girlfriend gets $1,800 a month disability for being “crazy” or having a “bad back,” etc., and never has to work again.

This plan is perfectly legal and is being executed now by millions of people.  On the other hand, an honest married couple with a stay-at-home mom yields $0 dollars.  But an unmarried couple with stay-at-home mom using this approach each year nets $21,600 disability + $10,800 free housing + $6,000 free Obamacare + $6,000 free food + $4,800 free utilities + $6,000 Pell Grant money to spend + $12,000 a year in college tuition free from Pell Grant + $8,800 tax benefit for being a single mother, which equals $75,000 a year in benefits!

Fully as harmfully, there are no incentives for recipients to get a job or otherwise improve their lives.  And that is why welfare has been a trap for people for generations!  Instead, adopting the changes to the income tax system proposed several times in this 2 Paragraphs in combination with the Safety Net would both encourage honesty and always provide incentives for people to earn the extra dollar.  That would be beneficial for everyone, and would completely replace all other welfare programs – as long as allowances were made for those with special needs. Under this approach, no one would pay any income tax on their first $30,000 per year. But there would be a stipend of $15,000 per year for everyone in our country who is over 18, here legally and earns no money – probably broken into monthly payments of $1,250.  But, all importantly, the recipients would lose 50 cents from the stipend for every dollar earned up to $30,000 per year, so they would always have an incentive to earn the extra dollar.   (By the way, this would also materially reduce the homeless problem, because the free market would quickly provide inexpensive room and board facilities which could be paid from that stipend.)  So what do you think?  How does the Safety Net approach compare with the Welfare programs?

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Thursday, October 5, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #136 “Who Says Life Is Fair”

7357379_orig          As I said in the first sentence of the introduction of my book on judging*, “the best decision I ever made in my life was choosing my parents.”  And, of course, I have been the beneficiary of that so-called choice ever since.  Obviously, I could have been born to a single mother with AIDS in Nigeria.  But I believe that my good fortune has given me the moral obligation to help those people who did not “choose” quite so well.  So all of this gets me around to one of my favorite reminders, which is “Who says life is fair?”  My children were raised on that saying (just ask them!).  Socrates was forced to drink hemlock.  Tchaikovsky was forced to commit suicide when it was discovered publicly that he was gay.  Many more innocent men, women and children are also randomly killed and otherwise harmed by terrorists, hurricanes, earthquakes or diseases.  Sometimes a baseball player hits a sharp line drive that is caught for an out, and other times he duffs one that falls for a double.  No, life simply is not always fair.

Nevertheless, even taking these external forces into account, each one of us is in charge of our responses to those forces, how we think and act, and the choices we make.  In other words, falling back on the lament that we are victims of whatever has befallen us is a losing proposition.  But one of the things that does work is Liberty, because how we respond to what befalls us is up to us.  People who live their lives holding grudges, claiming they are victims, or adopting any other approaches centered around the concept of “Woe is Me,” are self-defeating.  Of course, most good people often help others when they are in need, and that is a good thing.  But those who play and rely upon victimization involve themselves in a losing proposition.  Instead, we are the captains of our own ships, and it is only we who bear the consequences for the life we lead, the choices we make and the attitude we take.  And, if you think about it, we shouldn’t want it any other way.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

Wearing the Robe: The Art and Responsibilities of Judging in Today’s Courts (Square One Press, 2009)




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2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #134 “Liberty And The Minimum Wage”

Gray                The whole issue of the minimum wage brings in a conundrum: we see people working for wages that would not provide enough revenue to pay for an apartment, and think it wrong.  But we also see that the more laws we pass to rectify that situation, the deeper the problems become.  So what’s to be done?  The answer is to listen to Dr. Milton Friedman, who said that we should judge programs by their results instead of their intentions.  In that regard, the fact is that when the government mandates that workers’ wages be increased, it obviously makes that labor more expensive.  And the result of that is for many employers to lay off some employees and replace them by automation (think self check-out machines at stores like Home Depot and self-ordering kiosks at fast food stores like McDonald’s).  For example, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that nationally increasing the minimum wages even to the level of $10.10 per hour would cause 500,000 workers to lose their jobs.  And for the employees that remain, employers will also try to reduce their number of hours of work – particularly for overtime.  As a result, minimum wage laws actually result in victories for robots and defeats for most employees.  (Sorry, the callous fact is that in today’s world some workers are simply not worth $10.10 per hour.)  And these are only just some of the problems that result.  Thus, almost literally, the only good thing that results from minimum wage laws is that legislators get to feel better about themselves.

So what is a better approach?  Liberty.  Let the free market control the process by allowing employers and employees to negotiate their employment contracts – of course with allowances for safety in the workplace and for the courts to enforce the agreements reached.  That will result in increased employment, which will overall be beneficial because it is healthier for society to have, for example, 100 people working for $10 per hour than 65 people working for $15 per hour.  Then if society concludes that there should be a Safety Net of minimum income that everyone legally in our country over 18 years of age should be receiving, let government establish one.  Again as Dr. Friedman said, the difference between the wealthy and the poor is that the wealthy have more money.  So give the poor some money – up to a basic amount (with allowances made for those with special needs).  This would probably be revenue neutral, because we could repeal all other welfare programs, along with the enormously expensive bureaucracy needed to administer them.  But, critically, there should always be an incentive for people to earn the extra dollar.  This would result in better situations all around: greater employment, greater flexibility, less complexity, an enormous reduction in homelessness (because the free market would quickly create low-cost room and board facilities for the homeless who received their monthly stipends), lower government expenses, and incentives for people to improve themselves – which is not at all true for today’s welfare recipients.  So, yet again, Liberty works!!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, September 24, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #135 “Liberty Requires A Balance Of Powers”

images          Regretfully, but not surprisingly, most people are outcome-oriented in both their thinking and their voting.  This means that, regardless of the process used, if they like the outcome on an issue they are for it, and if they don’t like it they are against it.  An important and timely example of that is the present controversy about the issue of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA.  Virtually everyone agrees that these “Dreamers,” who were brought into this country illegally by their parents before they turned 16 years of age, are blameless, and that it would in so many ways be an unfair tragedy to deport them.  Accordingly, upon balance, the outcome that almost everyone favors is to work out a situation in which those who have been studying and working hard, and have stayed on the right side of the law, can remain in this country, and often even have a pathway to citizenship.

So what is the problem?  The first thing that must be done is to fix the immigration system itself, and the best way to do that is to provide work visas rather liberally after a background check for such things as mental, criminal justice and terrorist issues.  But no welfare will be attached!  The failure for this system not being fixed is laid directly at the doorstep of Congress because, although they talk about it, many of them don’t actually want to!  Why?  Basically because numbers of influential Republicans continue to want the cheap labor, and influential Democrats continue to want people coming into our country who are anticipated eventually to vote for Democrats.  In the meantime, millions of people have been harmed.  But the responsibility also is laid at the doorstep of President Obama who, according to his own statements, had no authority unilaterally to change the laws and create the DACA program.  He himself said, as late as July of 2011, that he would like to change the system on his own, “but that’s not how our system works.  That’s not how our Constitution is written.”  So the current proposal to send the issue back to Congress with a six-month window to devise a workable system is one based upon the Constitution.  Allowing unilateral actions to pass laws is a direct threat to Liberty.  Maybe many people might like the results of those actions this time, but what about next time?  Re-instituting segregation, as done by President Woodrow Wilson?  Re-instituting internment camps for Japanese-Americans as done by President Franklin Roosevelt?  Those were unilateral acts of which no one today is proud.  So, along with obtaining desired results, we must also protect the process – our separation of powers – to protect the Liberty of us all!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #133 “Liberty Sidelined In Education”

judgejimgray_portrait2            The logical extreme has happened in New York City!  According to an August 19, 2017 article on the front page of the New York Times, teachers who either had disciplinary problems or bad teaching records or who worked in schools that had either been closed or were experiencing a decline in enrollment were paid $150 million in salary last year alone – not to teach!  That constituted a full 822 teachers, more than 200 of whom had been receiving those payments for at least five years!  At an average salary of $94,000 per year!  They could have been re-engaged as teachers, but their performance was so poor that none of the school principals wanted them.  So, since the teacher’s unions were so strong that they couldn’t be fired, they were being paid their full salaries mostly not to teach.

How can a society that holds itself up as the Land of the Free tolerate such a result?  And how many other school districts around the nation are in the same situation?  In today’s world, imagine how much of a benefit it would have been to the students to have had that money for smaller classrooms, extra labs, field trips or tutors?  In too many places around our country our schools are failing our children.  So, as had been stated several times in this column, we must decide what the purpose is for our educational system: to educate our children?  Or to protect below-average teachers?  Liberty means that our children’s interests must be placed ahead of supporting teachers who cannot teach!  Thomas Jefferson famously said that we should have a bloody revolution every generation to keep the vested special interests at bay.  Fortunately, our Constitution has given us a means for the revolutions not to be bloody. But how long has it been?  When witnessing outcomes like this, maybe it is time for another of these revolutions!  How about trying it out with the Libertarians, who would never allow this result to occur!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Friday, September 8, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #132 “Frederick Douglass — Champion Of Liberty”

untitled          The truth is the truth, regardless of when it is spoken.  And who better to speak about timeless racial truths than Frederick Douglass?  A former slave and premier abolitionist writer, Douglass spoke and wrote often and forcefully that “It has long been the desire of our enemies to deepen and widen the line of separation between the white and colored people of this country.”  In literal effect, the only minority that counted for Douglass was the “Minority of One,” which was the individual.  And with what we have seen in the last few months and years in our country, we truly need to keep his teachings fresh in our minds because so many people from so many different standpoints are trying to separate us.

Douglass emphasized that America was a nation founded upon “human brotherhood and the self-evident truths of Liberty and Equality.”  In that regard, he went on to say that the designation or protection of specific groups or classes of Americans would lead to a focus upon benefits and burdens of class members at the direct expense of the protection of individual rights.  But, as he timelessly reminded us, “The Constitution knows no distinction between citizens on account of color.”  Instead, the “burden of our demand upon the American people shall simply be justice and fair play.”  Thus “We utterly repudiate all invidious distinctions, whether in our favor or against us, and only ask for a fair field, and no favor.”  In other words, Frederick Douglass was a champion of Liberty, and asked for no more nor no less – for everyone!  Each one of us today should simply and stalwartly demand and enforce the same!  That is fundamentally what America is – and should be – about!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Sunday, September 3, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #131 “How Liberty Saved The Bees”

Bees working on honeycomb            Last week we talked about how Government is Money.  In other words, people in government have their own biases and, often, personal desires for power and influence.  So Liberty —in this context defined as instituting a system for private individuals to have incentives to prosper by producing (legal) goods and services that other people will desire and purchase – will almost always triumph over government bureaucracy, controls and regulations.  And that is what has happened over the past few years with the survival of bees.

According to an article by Shawn Regan in the August/September edition of Reason, large numbers of honeybees started disappearing in 2006.  And not only were they dying, they were mysteriously abandoning their hives.  The situation became so widespread that in 2013 some experts predicted “a world without bees.”  In response, the Obama administration set aside $82 million in funding and formed a task force to deal with this “crisis” by creating a “national pollination strategy.”  But this crisis was averted because of Liberty, which rendered the federal monies and efforts unnecessary and even wasted.

What happened?  Commercial beekeepers, who make a profit both by “renting” their bee colonies to orchards during the blooming season, and also selling the honey that is produced, had incentives to deal with the losses of bees.   So they responded in two ways.  First they privately determined that two parasitic types of mites were killing the bees.  So they countered by the use of miticides, fungicides and other treatments.  Second, they artificially stimulated the production of thousands more queen bees which, in turn, generated hundreds of thousands more honeybees.  The advocates of Big Government felt good about themselves in spending the taxpayers’ money and “rallying to the cause,” but no government involvement was really needed.  What is needed instead in to nurture a climate that supports Liberty!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

(Okay, I know this was three paragraphs.  I could have combined the last two together, but I didn’t want to make my 9th grade grammar teacher, Ms. Menazian, mad at me!)



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Sunday, August 27, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #130 “Proof Once Again, Government is Money”

99a3f0e6e2ac09e2d96145fe3d41c7ef-350x196       Government is Money!  As Shakespeare said in a different context: “’Tis true ‘tis pity; ‘tis pity ‘tis true.”  But this dreary fact was recently brought home to me once again when I learned that each Republican member of Congress is expected each quarter to raise several tens of thousands of dollars for the National Republican Party.  Furthermore, before a Republican member of Congress can be appointed to chair a committee that member must “tithe” up to $100,000 to the party’s coffers, the exact amount depending upon the importance of the chairmanship.  I have no direct information as to what the Democrats do, but anticipate that it is equally discouraging.

So what is the answer?  Nothing is perfect, but my suggestion is to support the Libertarian Party.  Libertarians are classic conservatives: they really do want to reduce the size, cost and complexity of government.  In other words, Libertarians believe that you and I are better able to decide how better to spend our money than is the government.  But we are also classic liberals: we really do want to get the government out of our bedrooms and protect and defend our liberties.  And Libertarians would never engage in a “little honest payoff” in order to become a chair of a committee!  As has been written often in this column, we get the government we deserve.  And if this is happening on our watch, shame upon all of us!!  This is not Liberty!  This is not the honest government of “We the People.”   So we should contact the media, take to the airwaves, and otherwise pass the word that this is not what we condone!  And we should support political parties and candidates that would eschew such practices!  Thus we should show ourselves and the world that our government is not, or at least should not be, for sale!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Saturday, August 12, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #129 “Install A Statue of Responsibility?”

Screen Shot 2012-06-01 at 1.05.41 PM         Regretfully, our great country has strayed away from a climate individual responsibility and instead fallen back into one of victimization.  For example, numbers of years ago a man who had been drinking too much one night dove headfirst off the Newport Pier into three feet of water, hit his head on the sand below and, tragically, became a paraplegic.  So then what happened?  He sued the City of Newport Beach on the theory that it should have posted a sign warning people that there was sand under the water.  (As if, under those circumstances, it would have mattered.)  And he won!  (At least partially.)  So he received some money, and the city posted the sign in self-protection. Recently, my sister sent me some pictures of similar public warning signs.  These included signs:

  • in a grocery store sitting on top of large numbers of peanuts in the shell saying “This product contains peanuts;”
  • a ten by four-foot picture advertising a hot dog, saying at the bottom “Not Actual Size;”
  • over a lit barbeque saying “Caution: Fire is Hot;”
  • floating in a swimming pool saying: “Caution: Wet Floor,” and another saying “Caution: Do Not Breathe Under Water;”
  • a picture of a metal clothes hanger saying: “Caution: Do Not Swallow;”
  • in front of a door saying: “If Door Does Not Open, Do Not Enter;”
  • on a public street saying “Wet When Raining;” and, finally,
  • in front of a public beach saying “No Swimming If You Can’t Swim.”

Maybe some of these are simply meant to be funny, but all of them are at least unintentionally so, because they show how far astray we have come.  So in response to that reality, I suggest that we should balance the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor by creating and installing a Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco Bay.  At least that would be a start!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Monday, July 31, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #128 “More Liberty In Elections”

100_1437          There are two ways we all could have more Liberty in our elections.  The first is called “Approval Voting,” and the second is called “Instant Run-off” elections.  Approval voting means that people could vote for all of the candidates of whom they approved for every office.  That means that, for example, if there were five candidates running for an office, and a voter would be content to have any three of them win, the voter could vote for all three of those candidates (but no one could vote more than once for any particular candidate.) Then all of the votes simply would be counted up, with the candidate receiving the most votes winning the election (see www.Electology.org.)  In instant runoff elections, otherwise known as Ranked Choice Voting, people could vote for their first choice, but then they would have the opportunity to vote for their second choice as well.  Then all first choices from all voters would be counted.  But if no candidate won 50 percent plus one vote, with a flip of a computer switch, the candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated, and a second tally would be completed.  All voters who had voted for the eliminated candidate would have their second choice counted in this “runoff” election.  That procedure would be continued until one candidate won a majority of the votes (see http://ift.tt/1fQQa85).  This process is now utilized by a dozen states and cities in our country, and those people seem to be happy with it.

Both of these approaches would almost completely eliminate the “spoiler” or “lesser of two evils” issues, because people could vote their consciences.  In other words, people could vote their dreams, but they could also vote against their fears.  In addition, the more radical candidates would be forced to moderate their positions, because they would have more direct information about the preferences of more of the voters.   Actually, in many elections we have seen numerous voters casting their votes against candidates by voting for their opponents, instead of actually voting in favor of anyone.  Both of these approaches would change that equation, which would bring more Liberty to our elections.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, July 30, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #127 “Civil Asset Forfeiture: A Direct Attack Upon Liberty”

judgejimgray_ocregister         One of the most flagrant attacks upon Liberty and the due process of law is the federal government’s program of civil asset forfeiture.  This program allows the police to confiscate people’s cash and other property if they “suspect” that it is linked to criminal (mostly drug) offenses – even if the subjects are never even charged with a crime!  And, of course, the police have incentives to seize people’s property, since they get to keep part of the booty.  Furthermore, when seizures occur, it is up to the owners of the property to file a lawsuit to get it back, and even then they have the burden of proof to show that it was not gained from a criminal offense.  Some of those programs were pared down under President Obama, but US Attorney General Sessions recently announced a policy that will remove many protections from these “policing for profit” programs.

Most people agree that cash and property gained by illegal means should be forfeited to the government or otherwise returned to the victims.  But that should only occur with two conditions.  First, forfeiture could only occur after the subjects have been charged with and convicted of a criminal offense, with the same jury concluding that the property was obtained as a result of that illegality. Second, the forfeited property should go into the general fund, and not to any particular agency.  That will remove improper incentives.  Otherwise, at the very least, all of these forfeitures should be considered to be a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits the imposition of excessive fines.  Liberty demands that Attorney General Sessions rescind this new policy!  Fortunately, all of us have the opportunity to have our voices heard by contacting our members of Congress and demanding the passage of the FAIR Act to reform federal asset forfeiture laws and stop incentivizing law enforcement seizures without a criminal conviction!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Thursday, July 20, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #125 “Is ‘Be Yourself’ Good Advice?”

image         Mark Twain once supposedly said that “Be Yourself” is not good advice for many people.  Yes, in most regards each of us, as adults, has the Liberty to act as we wish, as long as that does not wrongly affect the abilities of others to do the same.  But how do we act with that Liberty?  The great UCLA basketball coach Johnny Wooden once said that “Character is how we act when no one else is looking.”  So every once in a while it should be helpful for each of us to pause and reflect upon how we act with that Liberty, which is to say: what really is our character?  How do we act when no one else is looking?  Is that the person we wish to be?

Many people have come to the conclusion that the greatest thing in life is not power, love, wealth or success, it is gratification.  Not the short-term shallow stuff, but deep down.  We can receive gratification by being involved with power, love, etc., but they are not ends in themselves.  For example, worshipping the false god of materialism, i.e., the religion of “My yacht is bigger than your yacht,” is ultimately unsatisfying.  (And you can always find somebody with a bigger yacht!)  Instead, gratification can come from anonymous acts for family, friends or society in general that help to make the world a better place.  The areas for most of us in which we can make these contributions are almost boundless: we live in the greatest country the world has ever seen and at the most exciting time, and we have so many opportunities to expand our knowledge, experiences, relationships and contributions.  So think of the small and large acts of kindness that each of us can do – every day in our normal lives.  Not only will that bring gratification to us and often to others, it will also demonstrate a character of which we can be proud.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Friday, July 14, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #124 “You And I Are Now The ‘We'”

iStock_000009330394_Full       “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union.”  The Preamble to our Constitution, the greatest document in the history of the world that was ever inspired by man, decreed back in 1787 that “We the People” are in charge of our government, and thus our own destiny.  And to a person, each of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention believed that the most important function of government was protecting our individual liberties from the encroachment of government.  And now that power – and responsibility – has been passed down from the Founders to us.  So now it is you and I who are “We the People.”  Would the Founders be proud of us?  Do we agree with them about the fundamental importance of individual liberty?  Or, even worse, do we actually care?

We are coming once again to the Fourth of July!  Happy Birthday America!  But let each one of us celebrate this birthday by resolving not to take our great country – and all of the freedom and hope that it represents – for granted.  Let’s resolve to do our part – on a regular basis – to stand up for Liberty whenever we think, talk, act and vote.  We deserve the government that we get and recently we have not been doing a particularly good job.  The Founders are relying on us.  So Happy Fourth of July, in all of its ramifications!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #123 “Look What Liberty Has Done!”

Judge1       There is much talk today about the disparity of earnings between the “top brass” and the regular workers and, somewhat obviously, a lot of it is true.  But if we think of it in a different fashion, we should have many fewer complaints.  Put it this way: how many of us would trade places with Henry VIII?  Henry was the King of England for about 37 years.  But he had undiagnosed gout, lived in a drafty castle, and if he wanted to travel he had to take a jolting coach ride by which he could travel only about 20 miles per day.  And he died at the age of 55!  (And who really would want to have 6 wives?)

So the point is that most people living in our country today have a much better life than Henry VIII.  Almost all of us have better health, life expectancy, comforts and enjoyment of life by far than even the epitome of life in the 16th Century.  And the difference between today’s rich and “poor?”  Your barber’s Timex watch keeps as good time as any CEO’s Rolex, his used Ford gets him here and there as well as the CEO’s Tesla, and his clothing is almost the same quality as the CEO’s designer brands.  Plus today almost everyone has cellphones, big screen televisions, computers and access to healthy foods and medicines.  Even airplane trips are available to almost everyone.  So even though there is a marked disparity in incomes, when it comes down to it, the difference between the lives of the wealthy and poor is so much closer today than it has ever been before.  So look what Liberty and the Free Enterprise System have done for us all!  That is not to say that we should not work to narrow today’s disparity of wealth.  But maybe along the way we should also focus on the life of Henry VIII, and be more thankful of what we have!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #122 “They Have Been Punished Enough!”

280x157-z71           Truly one of the most important factors affecting our country’s domestic tranquility is people’s ability to get a job.  In so many different ways, not being able to find lawful employment contributes greatly to a loss of self-respect which, in turn, leads to despair, crime and drug abuse.  And probably the ones most susceptible to those ills are people who have served time in prison.  Why?  Because if ex-felons cannot get a job, the odds are shown to be appreciably higher that they will commit another offense that will land them back in prison.

But what most people do not realize is that many state governments intensely and unfairly aggravate this situation!  How?  Because those states’ occupational licensing boards are empowered to – and often do – reject applications for as many as 118 different types of jobs simply because the applicants were previously convicted of a felony.  This includes applications for licenses to work as barbers, hair stylists, massage therapists and roofers, even though the conviction had nothing to do with those jobs.  Yes, maybe some applicants should be rejected based upon the specific circumstances involved, but the decisions should never be automatic!  In other words, after they have completed their sentence, the ex-felons have been punished enough and should be given a fair chance to be productive members of society!  And, of course, since this situation creates greater court and prison costs, the taxpayers are being punished as well.  So everyone loses (except the prison guards unions).  Thus, for all of our sakes, this deprivation of Liberty to pursue lawful employment should not be tolerated!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #121 “Liberty And Political Donations”

rsz_judgegray         Everyone knows that money is much too influential in today’s politics, so how can that influence be lessened?  To me the answer is to allow all natural people who are citizens or holders of Green Cards to contribute as much money as they wish to the candidates or ballot measures of their choice, with the firm provision that all contributions above a certain fairly small but fixed amount must be published in a timely fashion.  This would both be fair and consistent with freedom of speech.  Under today’s system, if Bill Gates were running for a public office he could contribute as much of his money to his own campaign as he wanted.  So why should he not be able to contribute to other campaigns as well?  And then if the voters feel that a candidate is beholden to Bill Gates or anyone else, they still would be free to vote for that candidate’s opponent.

But, critically, no organizations, including corporations and labor unions, should be allowed to contribute to any public elections whatsoever.   First of all, as a matter of basic fairness, since it’s the money of their shareholders and members, those shareholders or union members should not be forced to contribute to a cause with which they do not agree.  (And if they do agree, that’s fine, they can still contribute individually and also encourage other individuals to do the same.)  Of course, I understand that this idea conflicts with the ruling by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, but that is still my opinion.  Secondly, under today’s system with all of its purported contribution restrictions, the wealthy are still able to contribute virtually as much as they want to whatever cause they choose.  How is that?  Because wealthy individuals and special interests are able to “launder” their donations through Political Action Committees (PACs) or political parties, accompanied by their “private request” as to where the money should be spent.  And, of course, that is where the money goes, because the recipients are mostly in business to help those causes.  So why not make those contributions above-board, public and available to all?  And along the way, Liberty would be enhanced, as would more accurate information being available to the voters.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!

 




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Sunday, June 18, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #120 “The Most Important Function Of Government”

C15120D0000-00-00                At the moment I am finalizing a new musical entitled “Convention,” which is about our great country’s Constitutional Convention in 1787.  As a result, for the past few years I have been heavily involved with research about the thoughts, beliefs and principles of our Founders.  (In that group I include women like Abigail Adams.)  And, although the delegates obviously had different backgrounds, biases and beliefs, do you know what the most important function of government was for virtually each one of them?  The protection of individual liberties from the encroachment of government!  (The second most important was security.)  This thought might be somewhat controversial today, but it shouldn’t be.  And it has been the purpose of these “2 Paragraphs” editions for the past 119 weeks to help more people to think and focus about government in these terms, i.e. the terms of Liberty.

The Founders believed that the provisions of the Constitution were so clear that most of them felt that a Bill of Rights was not necessary.   For example, Alexander Hamilton (who never sang any rap songs in his life!) felt that if some rights were enumerated in such a Bill, it might mean that others which were not expressly mentioned were forfeited, and he didn’t want to take that chance.  So what are some of the liberties that we have lost to the government over time?  That list is long, but it includes no provision in the Constitution at all to justify the federal government’s intrusion into the fields of education, healthcare, or the prohibition of presently illicit drugs, not to mention Congress’ forfeiting of the issuance of declarations of war to the President.  And, of course, all of these intrusions have increased the cost of government by many levels of magnitude.  This lasted even up to the year 1913, when the architects of the 16th Amendment, which allowed the federal government to levy income taxes, considered limiting the amount at five percent.  But that was determined it to be unnecessary, since they were sure the tax would never exceed three percent.  So in your deliberations about how our government should be acting, and how you should vote in our elections, please consider the Founders, and the Constitution they created for us all.  And then be sure to vote for Liberty.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion.   And, by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, June 4, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #119 “Don’t Let The Bad Guys Win”

maxresdefault         I am writing this just as the details of the Manchester explosion are coming forward.  Maybe this analysis will not be well received by some, but it is something that must be said and understood by civilized society.  Nevertheless, first I must say that without any doubt this is a tragedy, and sympathy must be given to the victims.  But having said that, we must focus upon what is happening, the type of beasts that are behind it, and what humanity’s best response should be to these inhuman acts.  And that response must be: Don’t let the bad guys win!  For instance, just after the explosion all major news networks I saw devoted uninterrupted hours to the story.  No!  Don’t give the bad guys the satisfaction!  Furthermore, some people were saying that we must respond by more surveillance of those who might cause such tragedies.  Does that mean that all Muslim immigrants are suspect and must be surveilled?  No, once again, that turns this into a fight between Christianity and Islam, which is exactly what the bad guys are trying to effect.

Instead, the best response is to focus upon the following five realities.  First, we must recognize that the best protection against these evil acts is prior intelligence.  Use whatever legal means and resources are necessary to infiltrate organizations that sponsor or advocate such beastly acts, and head off those people.  Second, we all must understand, as adults, that there is only so much that governments can do to protect us from random acts of terror.  Reality dictates that if someone wants randomly to do harm to others, there is little that can be done to stop them (other than prior intelligence).  How can we ever stop demented people who decide to blow themselves up at a local supermarket, bus station or crowded street corner?  We can’t.  Third, we can reduce these acts by stopping the glorification of those who are responsible.  How?  By never broadcasting their names, pictures or even the name of their terrorist groups.  We can call them the terrorists, cowards or losers that they are, but don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that they will be sensationalized.  This only encourages others to copycat them.  Fourth, don’t have all activity come to a stop when these beastly acts occur.  This just shows fear and, in turn, shows the bad guys they are having their way.  Instead, adopt the attitude of the people during the Battle of Britain, where hell was literally falling from the skies on a regular basis.  When the air raid sirens went off, those on the ground did what was necessary to protect themselves by going into a shelter, etc.  But when the “all clear” sounded, they went back to their normal lives without fear or whining.  And fifth, let these cowards know that they are never going to be successful in taking away our Liberty.  Fundamentally the terrorists want to show the world that our civilization is no better than any other, and we must not allow that to happen.  The great Viktor Frankl once said that there are only two races in the world, the decent and the indecent.  We must continue to show that we are in the former category.  And by adopting these five approaches we will ensure that, no matter what happens, the indecent race/bad guys are never going to win!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Saturday, June 3, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #118 “Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense”

Judge-Jim-Gray_600x300-590x300            “Zero Tolerance” laws and rules allow judges, bureaucrats, school principals and other officials to avoid having to make responsible decisions.  And they also frequently result in stark injustices.  For example, once a junior high school student went to a swap meet where he bought a sterile marijuana seed that was immersed in formaldehyde and encased inside a Plexiglas pen.  Then he took his purchase to school to show his friends.  But due to Zero Tolerance rules about bringing drugs onto campus, the student was suspended for a month.  Do you think that helped the students learn to respect authority?  Soon, however, the decision was revoked when his father showed up with an attorney.  What do you think the students learned from that result?

The better approach is to give people in responsible positions the discretion to make decisions based upon the laws or rules, the facts of the situation and the parties involved.  And then require them to explain their decisions.  Otherwise, we might as well put a judicial robe on a computer.  To state the obvious, life can be complicated, and we must not expect that “one size fits all circumstances.”  So we need the Liberty to use discretion at all levels of society and in almost all situations.  In summary, this means that arbitrary is incompatible with Liberty.  So keep this issue in mind when thinking, talking or voting about things like mandatory minimum sentences in criminal cases, and zero tolerance rules at home, your cities or schools or anywhere else.  In other words, think about and vote for Liberty.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, May 28, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty #117: “D-Day, June 6th, 1944”

maxresdefault            I greet you as my wife and I have just returned from experiencing the Beaches of Normandy, which witnessed the largest and most complicated military landing in history.  On that day, June 6, 1944, about 4400 Allied troops were confirmed to have been killed.   At our ceremony, which was led by Dwight David Eisenhower, II, the grandson of the Allied commanding officer, I literally got tears in my eyes, and believe that you would have too! So why did this landing take place?  Because the Allies believed in the triumph of Liberty over tyranny.   We all owe a major and lasting debt to those troops and their families!  And their efforts have helped to preserve Liberty for almost 73 years!

But now we all must truly ask ourselves: do we deserve this gift of Liberty?  Do we take it seriously?  Even, are we worthy?  If so, what are we doing to preserve the Liberty that those soldiers bequeathed to us?  Particularly today when we have discovered that our government has been surveilling us and monitoring our emails and telephone calls for years, where in some states criminal defendants, mentally fragile people and parents are not provided with skilled attorneys to represent them in often life-changing judicial proceedings?  Yes, this is a complicated world, but the hallmark of Liberty must be to protect each one of us from the wrongful and arbitrary intrusions of government.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that if the Liberty of any one of us is reduced, it is reduced for us all.  But he was the one who ordered thousands of Japanese Americans to be placed in internment camps.  So no, do not solely look to those in government for the protection of Liberty, because fundamentally it is the responsibility of “We the People!”  And if we fail, those lives lost on the beaches of Normandy will have seriously reduced meaning.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration and to further the discussion.   And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Sunday, May 21, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #116 “The Hoax Of Government Control”

image           Being dependent upon government is a cruel hoax: good for politicians and bureaucrats, but over the long (and often even short) run, terrible for the recipients.  As a stark example, consider our Native Americans.  We can start with an observation by Henry Ford who, although certainly not my favorite person due to his social views, said something that all people should have emblazoned upon their thought processes: “Anyone who thinks people can prosper by relying on the government should talk to the American Indian.”  Fact: Native Americans have the highest poverty rate of any minority group in our country.  That comes as a result of having been controlled by the federal government since the early 1800s.  Their lands are held in “trust” for them by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or BIA (which most Native Americans refer to as “Bossing Indians Around), which has a budget of $3 billion per year.  The Bureau of Indian Education spends $850 million of that money per year on educating 42,000 students, which comes out to more than $20,000 per student per year – while the national average is about $12,500 per student.  So money is not the problem.  And, by the way, those two government agencies have about 9,000 employees, which pencils out to one bureaucrat for every 111 Native Americans still on a reservation.

           What is the answer?  End the trust system and government supervision, and bring in Liberty!  As everyone knows, trusts are generally only used for children and incompetent adults.  So that represents the low regard our system holds for Native Americans.  Instead, transform the system slowly but steadily to disband these “protective” federal agencies and let the various tribes begin to make their own decisions  (Can you imagine having a Bureau of Irish Descendants’ Affairs?!  What arrogance, and how transparently silly!).  Let Native Americans pursue and enjoy the benefits of the Free Enterprise System.  Institute a system that allows the tribes and/or individuals to own their own land, which they then could improve, sell or use as collateral for loans to underwrite start-up businesses.  Today, even though reservations contain about 50 percent of all of the potential uranium reserves and 20 percent of oil reserves in our country, Native Americans are prohibited from pursuing their development.  And if they try to do things like that with their land, it takes 49 steps among four different federal agencies, thousands of dollars in application fees and about four years to get government approval.  Furthermore, they should be empowered to take over the education of the children still remaining on reservations.  It might in some ways have been justifiable in the early 1800s to give Native Americans “special government care,” but not today!  Not now!  Instead give them Liberty!  What do they have to lose?

* Taken from The New Trail of Tears by Naomi Schaeffer Riley

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty!




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Friday, May 12, 2017

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #115 “Liberty Requires Foreseeability”

judge-jim-gray-1024x686        As has been said several times in this series, Liberty does not at all mean that “anything goes.”  Instead, Liberty implies responsibility which, in turn, means that we must have laws which are enforceable and enforced. So what is the purpose of the law?  Of course there are many, but one of the main purposes can be answered with one word: foreseeability.  Obviously every action cannot be litigated, but with foreseeability, we all will generally know that if we act, or don’t act, in a particular fashion what the likely legal result will be.  

            So that is where attorneys come in.  Attorneys study the laws and the past recorded cases that have been adjudicated in the courts which can be used for our guidance.  Then attorneys both give advice about possible future actions, as well as opinions and strategy about how they believe present disputes about past actions would be resolved if they were to be litigated.  So by and large, our Justice System is working.  Yes, it could always be better, faster and less expensive, but in most instances it is providing the necessary foreseeability for us and our system to thrive.   And this, in turn, promotes a society in which Liberty can also thrive and people can prosper.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration, and to further the discussion. And by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejimgrayOAI, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.




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Monday, May 8, 2017

Liberty in Action in Nepal

UntitledI simply had to share this with my “2 Paragraphs” recipients, because it demonstrates what Liberty is doing in Nepal.  Please read the enclosed explanation from my friend Ron Kohut, who is instrumental in bringing this clinic into being, and take a look at the YouTube video.  You will once again be impressed and gratified what the private sector can do and is doing!  Big time thanks to each one involved, and if you would like to learn more, feel free to contact Ron.

-Jim Gray

____________________________________________________________________________________

From: Ronald Kohut
Sent: Friday, April 7, 2017 3:52 PM
Subject: Nepal

Dear friends,

This video, which is focused on the work of the NRH’s, explains better than I can the work that you are making possible through your generosity. I am amazed that we can together accomplish so much from so far away. Our ability to do so is, in large part, as a result of 26 years of devoted and tireless spade work by Olga, Som, and the rest of the NYF family.
I had dinner last night with Olga and Som at Olga’s home in Sausalito. Olga lives in Sausalito six months a year and in Kathmandu the remaining six month. At 92, Olga is still going strong. You will see Olga and Som in this video. They both have the most unbelievable stories to tell…the rewards of long  lives devoted to the betterment of the lives of others.

During dinner, I learned that the NRH is still on schedule to open on July 15th. We may be traveling to Nepal in November. Anyone interested in going should let me know.

https://youtu.be/84xaK2P5UNE

All my best,

Ron




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