Automated Speed Enforcement Systems

by Aaron Gardner

The [Michigan State Libertarian Party] Legislative Committee would like to inform you of a bill that has been introduced in the Michigan House that we believe represents a clear threat to individual liberty.

The proposed bill would add a section to the Michigan vehicle code, that would allow various levels of government to establish “automated speed enforcement systems”. These systems would take photographs of alleged speeding cars that would be used to issue citations against vehicle owners.

Aside from the fact that this bill makes it easier for governments at all levels to further extort individuals, the biggest problem with it (there are many), is that it establishes a de facto guilty-until-proven-innocent scenario, in which a registered owner of a vehicle is presumed by law to be the driver without proof. Owners would be forced to provide sworn testimony in defense of themselves.

This is likely a violation of the 5th Amendment which guarantees that no one is compelled to testify against oneself. This law would allow courts to penalize individuals who exercise their right to remain silent, under the guise that a civil infraction is not considered a crime. We recognize that this is functionally a difference in semantics only as a failure to comply with a court’s ruling on a civil infraction leads to criminal charges.

This is complete bullshit and sets a dangerous precedent.

This is a call to action for our party members to contact everyone on this Committee to get the following bill REJECTED. Please call and email these committee members and tell them that not only should they vote down this bill, but they should also ceremoniously burn a printed copy on the steps of the capital, as a show of support for the rights of the constituents they were elected to represent. The bill to amend 1949 PA 300, entitled “Michigan vehicle code,” is HB 5284. Committee on Judiciary Members Graham Filler (93rd District), Mike Mueller (51st), Steven Johnson (72nd District), Bronna Kahle (57th), Daire Rendon (103rd), Ryan Berman (39th), Douglas Wozniak (R), 36th District, TC Clements (56th), David LaGrand (75th) Tenisha Yancey (1st), Kyra Bolden (35th) Kara Hope (67th), Kelly Breen (38th).

Call or email these legislators today to ask them to vote Nay on HB 5284.

The Budget of Michigan State

by Joshua Jongema – Secretary

While Michigan’s budget promises to help small businesses and the little people, every action by the state has crushed those very people and small businesses without relent. The semi-permanent coronavirus state of emergency has been a windfall for the state of Michigan and the mega corporations that operate here. These companies benefit from the policies of the state which destroy the economic liberty of small businesses and individuals.

Despite claiming a deficit for the state in early 2020, and a need of billions in emergency assistance, last year Michigan pulled in a surplus of over 3 billion dollars. Michigan has yet to spend about 1.8 billion of its federal dollars, and has passed a 70 billion dollar budget for the next fiscal year. The state can hardly spend your money fast enough, and is now placing 500 million dollars of it away for a “rainy day.”

With money poured into the coffers of the state and big business through bailouts, it is amazing that two years into the largest theft in American history, the state cannot seem to come around to spending money to help people in the Upper Peninsula. From up here, it is easy to imagine beautiful shining cities of vast wealth downstate. Otherwise, where would all that money really be going?

The new budget promises to be the injection of capitol into the economy that is needed during this time of need, but with a massive surplus it is hard to see why intervention by the government is even necessary. It funds important things like schools, but has in the past shut down schools that elect not to follow decrees and mandates by unelected bureaucrats.

This budget gives free pre-college classes and childcare to a few hundred thousand children and adults, but this hardly seems like more than window dressing. It fixes only a few hundred bridges. This all seems like run-of-the-mill stuff for a state. Why the large price tag for this bill?

The new budget also raises the wage for direct care workers. While this seems like a popular move, fixing the wage of employment denies those workers and their companies the right to negotiate their own contracts freely. Wage fixing harms people because employers will not simply raise the wage of all the people it employs. It will fire some portion of them to keep its bottom line fixed. Less people will have jobs at that higher wage, and that won’t benefit them due to inflation.

If the government cannot tighten its belt and save money then we will all be more broke than before. This taxation without due representation is theft.

Covid Camps & a Closed Society

by Joshua Jongema

Freedom of movement is a natural right that is written in our Constitution in Article 4, and it has been upheld by our courts for hundreds of years. During the coronavirus state of emergency, federal and state governments have shamefully and ironically declared that they need the power to protect their citizens, by taking their rights away from them. Government should be reminded that the only protection it should offer, is from manageable emergencies, and otherwise, its own overreach and abuse of power.

There is simply no way for a government to protect anyone, except through the use of force against them or someone else. To initiate force against people who have not first used force is a violation of the Non-Aggression Principle, which is adapted from Utilitarianism’s Harm Principle.

Utilitarianism is the basis of law and justice. John Stuart Mill wrote in his essay Utilitarianism, that humans are ends in and of themselves, and that to use humans as a means to an end, is unethical.

The term ‘Open Society’ was coined in 1932 by Henry Bergson, who defined it as one which has respect for everyone’s beliefs. A Closed Society then, is one with a closed system of law, morality, or religion. Today, society has become very closed through the state and federal governments’ insistence that your beliefs are no longer important, and that the truth will be given to you on your television set; that all you have to do is accept it, to be free.

Smedley Butler was famous for his book and 1935 speech, “war is a racket.” He spoke of a Protection Racket, which is defined as a way for gangs of powerful people to prey upon groups of vulnerable people. These gangs of criminals do this by manufacturing or spreading fear about a purported threat to the vulnerable population, or by promising not to harm them, but usually both. In the 80’s and 90’s crime was that threat. In the post 2001-era, ideological terrorism has been that threat, and as that threat is perceived to have died down or changed, a new threat has emerged- mouth breathing humans. Early last year, governments initiated lockdowns on common citizens, with the exception of those who were deemed ‘essential’ to society. All humans are essential to society, and so this was a great threat and slap in the face to anyone suddenly shut out from every aspect of life they previously enjoyed. State governments eventually allowed people to leave their homes, but many began systems of Hotel Quarantines.

This involved turning private property into a state-controlled business, which is inherently communistic. The way that common citizens have been treated is immoral and unethical, and illegal it seems, but the way migrants have been treated is far worse. The way we treat those outside our borders, will become the way we treat those inside as well. Migrants are not inherently a threat. Some individual migrants may be a threat, but they’d be easily dealt with by a vigilant and armed populace should they decide to commit a crime.

Migrants are not covid-carriers anymore than the nice old lady at the grocery store. There has been a large increase in migration from Haiti this year, due to natural disasters, as well as governmental and gang oppression that has increased there. If you haven’t heard, the leader of Haiti was assassinated recently. Yet when they and others risk their lives to come to the place that promised them freedom, both the Trump and the Biden administration have been happy to use their emergency Title 42 powers to expel these people without allowing them to make a claim of asylum. Those who do get processed through the border are now being characterized as ‘illegals’, despite at least most of them having finally made it through the border legally. And it gets much worse.

Texas is now running quarantine facilities, and rounding up new immigrants to hold them there without due process. Simultaneously, the Afghan withdrawal has led to the federal government building these facilities to hold Afghani people. Some of them are on military bases. So just like that, without most people so much as noticing, our government has rapidly shifted to using military bases to keep humans in camps, that have barbed wire around them, in the name of fighting a virus.

Governments cannot control a virus through the initiation of force against humans. The fact that they claim to be able to do so, is an indicator of their deception. The only way to solve this government-cause crisis is to allow people to make their own choices. To echo the words of Jacob Hornberger, the only way to solve the crisis at our borders is to enact an open borders policy.

The UPLP in 2021 – A Year in Review

by Joshua Jongema – Secretary

Thanks to the support of volunteers and donations, the UPLP has had a very successful second year. Our regional affiliate of the state LP, covering the 15 counties of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, has grown and has taken every good opportunity to get out and advocate for the sake of liberty and justice for all.

In April we held our yearly Convention in L’Anse, where officers were elected and delegates were selected by a vote, to attend the Michigan LP Convention on June 26th and 27th in Mt. Pleasant. Our Guest Speaker was Prosecutor Joseph O’Leary, who spoke about the Baraga Manifesto and his county’s commitment to protecting the lives and liberties of its citizens.

UPLP delegates attended the state LP Convention, where they heard speeches from Spike Cohen, Justin Amash and Larry Sharpe. They voted on state-level policies and participated in candidacy training and other seminars.

We attended four county fairs to spread the word of liberty, in Schoolcraft, Gogebic, Baraga and Dickinson counties. We distributed books, newsletters, policy cards, and bumper stickers among other things. We had a lot of great conversations with people who had great questions, and made connections with new contacts.

We have had a presence at several protests and rallies, from Marquette to Iron Mountain, and beyond. While there, we were able to bear witness to the movements for freedom that have grown in the Upper Peninsula over the last couple of years.

Last week we met as an open society, at our 2nd Annual Cookout which was open to the public, and made possible by the kind donations of members. Overall the cost of the event was about one-hundred and fifty dollars.

For the first time, members and officers were able to come together, some with family present, and cease the toiling of business in trade for the leisure of food and good conversation.

In looking back at our last fiscal year, I am filled with hope for, not our nation necessarily, but for humanity overall, that a group of people might come together for liberty. Wherever such a group exists, liberty will spread.

There are many small groups that work for their own lives and liberty in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Everyone has their own interests, and diversity is the strength of human society. I hope more people work together in the next year to help bring liberty and justice to all in the UP!

Homeschooling – A Way For Liberty

by Joshua Jongema – Secretary

The LP Platform 1.1 on Self-Ownership states, “Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.”

Whether you disagree with a school’s policy in one direction or another, every person’s child is theirs alone to protect and direct until that child grows to become capable of protecting and directing itself. The child’s education is solely the decision of the parent, and not the state.

Our wise government has pushed policies that have in effect been divisive, and have turned common people against each other with cycles of fear mongering on both sides of the aisle. While the situation may seem bleak, many people from all sides have come together for liberty. Libertarians believe in the adaptive potential of the free market to provide a solution for any social issue, from private security and courts, to ending regulatory licensure altogether.

Homeschooling is a libertarian solution for people who may opt to take their children out of public schooling for any given reason this September. Last spring, the US was reported to have doubled in the number of students home schooled.

Last fall, Michigan public schools were reported to lose over 60,000 students, with numbers continuing to drop. The Upper Peninsula has a number of homeschooling organizations available for those who seek it, both religious and non-religious.

As we continue to spin in this world of uncertainty, what’s rather clear is that individuals will care for themselves better than others are willing to care for them, and that parents will care for their children better than any unelected bureaucrat, special or foreign interest group, billionaire, stock owner or investor. Consider homeschooling as an option for your children this year, and remember that where there is a will, there is a way for liberty.

Justice & The 20th Anniversary of 9/11

by Joshua Jongema

Families’ of 9/11 victims in Philadelphia wrote an open letter to Joe Biden recently telling him not to visit events to honor the dead at 9/11, unless he first releases all classified information on the event, to reveal the real reason(s) for the deaths of so many Americans that day. Many may be too young or unaware of the contested nature of the collapse of three World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, or its continued importance in all of our lives.

On ‘Crime and Justice’ the LP Platform says, “Government force must be limited to the protection of the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and property, and governments must never be permitted to violate these rights.” Platform 3.2 states, “The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war.” A government found violating the rights of its own citizens, is certainly the kind of tyranny that America’s founding fathers warned of happening to those who did not carefully mind the midnight oil. Never forget the harm that can be caused by a government with too much power.

Never forget September 11th, 2001, when a great crime occurred to America, for which no real justice has been served, and many important questions remain unanswered. Emotions overwhelmed reason that day and many went into shock and panic by news clips of a man jumping to his death from a high window, for example. Terrorism was blamed immediately, and while conflicting information surfaced as well, the pieces that appeared convenient to justify war were shown in mass quantity all over the world.

Then-President G. W. Bush went on TV to speak for the nation the next day. With tears in his eyes, he held the badge of a fallen firefighter in his hands, and swore “revenge,” for what was claimed to be several thousand deaths. Although we went to war in two countries almost immediately, it took seven years for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to conclude that WTC building 7 was the first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely as a result of normal office fires. A request for a reversal of this claim is pending.

In March of 2020 a final report by the University of Alaska in Fairbanks concluded that fire could not scientifically have caused tower seven to have collapsed, and that the collapse at near free-fall speeds into its own footprint was directly caused by the “near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.” Much information about that day almost 20 years ago has been hotly contested. However, some details are very clear. What happened afterwards was without question, illegal, immoral, deplorable, and completely failed to achieve any objective promised. In the end various people in many countries of the world were greatly harmed, include our own.

In all the confusion of that day in 2001, Americans bought into the fear and the notion that angry Arabs were around every corner and under every bed. Their opinion of war was manipulated, and they allowed their country to unilaterally imposed a sort of neo-Imperialism across the earth, training and equipping other nations to fight this thing called “terrorism,” while changing the leadership of those that refuse our new form of order. They overlooked the Patriot Act 1 & 2, and many other bills which were not reported on in the news, or appeared in the end half of a National Defense Authorization Act.

After 20 years Iraq split in two along the Sykes Picot Line. The weakened Baghdad government has made deals with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. The Kurdish leader and his family have made millions from transfers of wealth and oil rights to his administration.

After 20 years, ISIS-K has remained a convenient excuse to stay in Afghanistan to continue drone assassinations, and the Taliban have been given control of the country. Billions of dollars have been transferred from the US taxpayer to Para-Military Corporations.

Revenge is not justice. Attacking people resembling the people who hurt you is the basis of racism and other forms of discrimination, but is not justice. Killing people that may or may not be guilty of a crime that is not well understood or investigated, is not justice.

After 20 years, the victims and the families of 9/11 victims deserve not just the truth, but also justice. Justice should take the form of holding current and past leaders responsible for hiding the truth and if true, for actively taking part in those tragic events 20 years ago. Americans should refuse to die as mercenaries for special and foreign interests. Morality is subjective, but we should oppose new war authorizations, invasions of privacy, and violations of constitutions, laws and human rights.

General Meeting Minutes – Aug 27, 2021

Minutes for the Meeting of the Upper Peninsula Libertarian Party
on August Twenty Seven of Two Thousand and Twenty-One

Call to order
A meeting of the Upper Peninsula Libertarian Party (UPLP) was held on Zoom on August the twenty-sixth, two thousand and twenty-one, and began at ten after eight in the evening, eastern time. Attendees included Chair Ryan Roberts, Vice-Chair Daniel Wood, Secretary and Newsletter Committee member Joshua Jongema, Newsletter Committee Chair Dave Crockett, members, Krystin and Andrew, and our guest, Steve Fox. A quorum was had.

Approval of minutes
The minutes from the previous meeting, held on July the twenty-seventh of two thousand and twenty-one, were voted on and approved by a fifty-one percent majority vote. The current meeting minutes were approved by the same.

Ryan presented Treasurer Daniel Bowling’s Report in his absence, on the fiscal affairs of our society since our last meeting. As of this date, the balance between income and expenses is four hundred and ninety dollars and sixty-nine cents. We have had expenses totaling three hundred and ninety-two dollars and ninety-one cents. Our balance as of last meeting was nine hundred and sixty-seven dollars and ninety cents.

Joshua and Dave presented a report on the affairs of the Newsletter Committee’s activities, which to date include the planning and creation of the September issue of the UPLP Newsletter. The newsletter will be released on September the first at around ten in the morning. Our newsletter has been handed out in the dozens, at three of our four fairs this fair season. It has been read in increased amounts over time, and recently has had a lot of increased traffic where it is on our website.
Joshua and Ryan presented a report on the affairs of our social media activities, which to date include the management of our Facebook, Twitter, and website overall. Our website has exploded this month with ninety-nine more users visiting than last month. Twitter has steadily increased in followers with five hundred and seventeen to date. It has had increased and steady engagement, and some users are visiting and engaging very often recently. On Facebook, our volunteer team has, over last twenty-eight days, made extra posts every day, and seen our page views and reach increase. Our organic engagement has increased. We’re getting almost double the post engagement. We try to share at least two memes per day and two articles from a major news or libertarian source. We plan to get more engagement by following more libertarian organizations. We have a total of six hundred and four followers and five hundred and eighty-five likes, to date.

Unfinished Business
Ryan presented his wording for the position of Outreach Director, which was accepted by a majority vote of all present members.

Joshua withdrew his tabled motion.

A discussion about volunteers for the cookout was tabled without objection, until the next meeting.

Krystin motioned we should fund the purchase of another 6-foot table for about fifty dollars, like the last one we misplaced at the Schoolcraft County Fair, even if we get it back, and to potentially make this purchase before September second in time for the Dickinson fair, and it was seconded. The vote of yay won.

Joshua motioned to have the cookout at the suggested time of September the twenty-fifth, from eleven in the morning until four in the afternoon, eastern time, at Lake Mary’s Park in Vulcan, and that was seconded. The vote of yay won.

Joshua motioned to propose a resolution, which is as follows:

UPLP Resolution #1
Whereas, All humans have a right to bodily autonomy and informed consent;
Whereas, Human bodies are the property of those humans, and all children are protected by their parents until they are of the age to govern themselves;
Whereas, Property rights are human rights;
Covid emergency mandates and lockdowns have usurped the rule of law, used force and coercion against American citizens and indigenous peoples, and have resulted in collateral damage in their lives; and
Whereas, All humans are rational, having subjective values and independent goals, resulting in objective actions as means to attain ends;
Resolved, That an alliance of liberty be pledged to all humans in the Upper Peninsula, that we may all be united even in our diversity;
Resolved, That a committee of those allies be formed, to ensure that the liberty which is in the interest of all individuals residing in the Upper Peninsula can be reasonably achieved in a timely manner; and
Resolved, That we support and encourage all humans across all borders to take liberty over your own lives now!

Dave motioned to table the above resolution for one month, to give members and those attending more time to look at the wording and think about their response, and that was seconded. A vote of yay won.

New Business
A discussion was had on the subject of the recent state libertarian party executive committee, voting to form a legislative committee. Guest Steve Fox joined us to go over plans for the committee, to bring legislation to the floor of the House of Michigan’s Congress. Ryan, who is a member of the executive committee, is now also a member of the legislative committee, giving our group the ability to bring legislation forward to the House as well.

A discussion was had on the subject of call campaigns. Josh showcased his call campaign script, and mentioned one campaign might take several hours, for which he will accept volunteers but is not needing any at this time. The first call campaign will focus on driving for members and donors, volunteers, and candidates for local and state office.

Ryan announced that the UPLP will have a booth at our fourth fair soon, in Dickinson County from September second to the sixth, and that any and all volunteers are welcome to help Daniel Bowling who will be there perhaps every day of the fair. Joshua and Ryan both volunteered to man a table one some days.

The meeting adjourned at nine twenty in the evening, eastern time.

*These minutes are approved by the UPLP Secretary, Joshua Jongema

James Hudler – Libertarian Legend

by Joshua Jongema – Secretary

Dr. James Lewis Hudler, born in 1952 in Michigan, is a man that has had a relationship with politics his entire life. A founder of the Michigan and national libertarian parties in 1971-72, he is an icon of our movement and has deep wisdom from the past, and for the future of the liberty movement.

While attending the University of Michigan, he ran for office with a student party called Screw Student Government Council (SSGC). Their hijinks were explosive and notorious, and the Michigan Daily Digital Archives holds records of some of their most memorable moments from October 6, 1973, among others. According to Hudler, “We were the bad kids on campus.”

Moving through many circles, Hudler gained more than the attention of the Daily. “I was on a list,” he revealed, and, “they called me a subversive. It was called the Red Squad.” The covert dragnet Red Squad program run by the Michigan State Police after taking it over from the Detroit Police Department, was spying on and targeting social groups and subsequently was exposed by civil liberty activism itself, and ended in 1974. Hudler was later given his Red Squad files and said, “it was all blacked out with marker. You couldn’t read it.”

In rising above the conflict brought on him by the State, Hudler went on to lead a productive career as a statesman in various offices and positions, including a seat on the Libertarian National Committee with Austrian Economist Murray Rothbard. Hudler championed gay rights with a group which eventually dissolved in 2002 called the Libertarians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns (LGLC), and was succeeded by another called Outright Libertarians. He most notably stood toe-to-toe with the Secretary of State’s prejudice in 1976 and won the case, getting the LP on the general election ballot.

Dr. Hudler recalls a time decades ago when the Michigan LP went for Major Party Status, while not having enough membership, and just how disastrous that effort became. He remarked, “We’re too small to win big elections. You’ve got to do stuff locally.” He remembered the words of Tip O’Neill who said, “All politics is local.” In reflection on these words, it is clear that as we grow the party, we must do it from the ground up. When we are ready for Major Party Status again, it will be a movement that keeps rolling and growing, bringing greater liberty to Michiganders.

July 4th is Independence Day

by Joshua Jongema – Secretary

The Declaration of Independence became the basis of the US Constitution, and enshrined the radical notions of equality, liberty, self-government, individual rights, and lawful power. Government itself is based on the concept of a social contract, which protects people from theft, murder, and other ill acts. Unfortunately today, the government has amassed the power to become that which it is meant to protect against.

In the time before our country’s founding, a group of people who opposed the new idea of a federation argued that its power would be too strong, and would threaten the self-governance of states and the liberty of the people. A leader of the Anti-Federalists, Patrick Henry, was most famous for yelling “Give me liberty or give me death,” during the 2nd Virginia Convention. He believed that the seat of the President would one day transform into the seat of a Monarchy. The Bill of Rights was offered as appeasement for people like Henry to accept a Federalism.

In response to the worries of many, Federalists like Hamilton and Madison argued in favor of the federation. They promised that the government would be the greatest guarantor of civil rights, and would protect all American life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Madison specifically argued that the power of the federal government could never eclipse that of the combined number of armed citizens and states, but today that is no longer the reality. The federal government has decided to pay states that implement its policies and withhold pay to all who oppose their dictates, which is in effect a sanctions and divestment campaign against liberty itself.

We live in a realm of uncertainty. Strong claims to the contrary require strong evidence. It is natural to be afraid, but do not be ruled by fear or use it as justification for doing unwarranted harm to others. We all value life, liberty, and justice for everyone, when we aren’t forced to act in desperation. When the government becomes a tool of oppression, rather than a vehicle for protection of life and liberty, it becomes the responsibility of all to protect themselves and each other, and to resist tyranny in all of its forms. Totalitarianism in any shape or size is not American, and has no place in America. So remember that this July 4th, and boldly live your life, because nobody can live it for you.