An Iowan helping Botswana celebrate their Independence!

“How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute.”

John F. Kennedy in a speech upon arriving at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14, 1960, at 2:00 a.m. Members of the press had retired for the night, believing that nothing interesting would happen. But 10,000 students at the university were waiting to hear the presidential candidate speak.

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I spoke to one of these Americans that has contributed in such a manner about his recent journey to Botswana, Africa to help them celebrate 50 years of independence. I happened to have had many prior conversations with this person, as it happens to be my father and Des Moines, Iowa resident, Thomas Andersen. I will briefly put into writing that I took a stage name over a decade ago, as is common among radio announcers and musicians, I chose Battaglia to pay homage to my mothers native land of Italy and to strike a blow at the patriarchy. I did not think patriarchy was best battled with matriarchy, so I did not take my mothers exact birth name either. Long story short Tom is my blood father and I could not be more proud of him so I decided to put our talk about his return to Botswana in an article.

Marco Battaglia: How did your return visit to Botswana come about?

Thomas Andersen: I was there originally in the Peace Corps teaching, from 1966 to 1969, in the village of Mochudi. I had plans to return at some point but the 50th anniversary of their independence seemed like a wonderful time to get back because it also was the 50th anniversary of my time there as well. One of my friends, Gary Whisler, resettled in Botswana and built a home there. My other friend Sheldon Praiser let me know he was going, so it seemed like a great opportunity as the three of use were there living in the same village fifty years ago. We were invited to the American Embassy for multiple events. We were considered among the guests of honor. We were surprised by the presence of former President Quett Masire and by the presence of national media. We were asked to speak and ended up on national television. There were people from a lot of different countries. I was very happy to participate in these events. There was also a Peace Corps exhibit that was opening at the Botswana National Museum, and I attended this as well. They had displays of projects that the peace corps had been involved in over the last fifty years. It really made us feel good to be among the thousands of volunteers that had helped Botswana get through the years since their independence.

MB: Were you among the first Peace Corps presence in Botswana?

TA: We were. We were the first Peace Corps presence south of the Sahara Desert in Africa. We first got to Botswana about two months after their independence. They became independent September 30th 1966.

MB: What perspective did you have in relation to the developments over the half a century?

TA: When I was first in Mochudi it did not have running water, electricity, or paved streets. The primary housing was mud huts, these were thatched roof rondavels. The only light you would see at night were from from fires, lanterns, and candles. There was no television and radios were even scarce during my first few years there. During this time the country broke ranks with the front runners to independence; whereas the norm was to adopt a one-party democratic system as a standard form of democracy, Botswana opted for multiparty democracy. Now there are paved roads, modern housing, wifi, and the teachers there share a concern with teachers all over the world in that their students are on their cell phones too much, or taking in some form of media constantly. We were amazed because 50 years ago the biggest issue for us was that kids would not have light to do their homework after sunset. We actually had set aside time for students to do homework at school before going home because of this. My travels this time were much easier. Botswana is about the size of the state of Texas. Trips I took in 1968 in a four wheel drive jeep took seven or eight days, this time, the same trips in a standard sedan took about 7 or 8 hours. There are larger homes and an emerging middle class. There was not much of a middle class to speak of back in the sixties. Botswana now has a pension for retirement, tuition aides, and universal healthcare. Botswana provides universal health-care to all citizens through a public healthcare system, but privately-run healthcare is also available. In fifty years Botswana went from being the third poorest African country to the third wealthiest. Because of this stellar performance, political economists called Botswana an “African Success Story.” This was in major part due to the existence of rich diamond fields.

MB: What travels did you go on aside from the independence celebrations?

TA: I went diagonally across the Kalahari Desert. Botswana is about 80% desert with about 6 to 8 inches of rain a year. I traveled to the Okavango Delta for a few days, one day by boat, another day we rented a four wheel drive vehicle and went out driving around the delta. We saw hundreds of zebras, elephants, giraffes, impalas, wilder-beasts and much more wild life.

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As is now tradition after interviewing fellow Iowan, Maribeth Savage, on her journey out of the country to Pakistan last year, I shall tell you some of what I learned about Botswana over the years. Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on the 30th of September, 1966. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted, multiparty, democratic elections. Botswana is roughly the size of our countries state of Texas, the population is approximately 2 million people. Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world. Since my father’s first visit there, Botswana has transformed itself into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
The country has been among the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world. The original inhabitants of southern Africa were the Bushmen (San) and Khoi peoples. Both speak Khoisan languages and lived as hunter-gatherers. The official language of Botswana is English although Setswana is widely spoken across the country. In Setswana, prefixes are more important than they are in many other languages. These prefixes include Bo, which refers to the country, Ba, which refers to the people, Mo, which is one person, and Se which is the language. For example, the main ethnic group of Botswana is the Tswana people, hence the name Botswana for its country. The people as a whole are Batswana, one person is a Motswana, and the language they speak is Setswana.
Other languages spoken in Botswana include Kalanga (sekalanga), Sarwa (sesarwa), Ndebele, !Xóõ and, in some parts, Afrikaans.
In June 1966, Britain accepted proposals for democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved from Mafikeng in South Africa, to newly established Gaborone in 1965. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the claimant to the Ngwato chiefship, was elected as the first president, re-elected twice, and died in office in 1980. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Ketumile Masire, who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. The presidency passed to the sitting vice president, Festus Mogae, who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. In April 2008, Vice President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama (Ian Khama), son of Seretse Khama the first president, succeeded to the presidency when Festus Mogae retired.
My father’s travels took him through the Kalahari Desert, which is a large semi-arid sandy savanna in southern Africa extending 900,000 square kilometers (350,000 sq mi), covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia, and regions of South Africa. He also explored the Okavango Delta. The delta is a very large, swampy inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari. All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired, and does not flow into any sea or ocean. Some flood-waters drain into Lake Ngami. The Moremi Game Reserve, a National Park, is on the eastern side of the Delta. The scale and magnificence of the Okavango Delta helped it secure a position as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, which were officially declared on February 11, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania.
My father spent most of his time teaching in Africa in the village of Mochudi. Mochudi is one of the larger villages in the country of Botswana. The tourist destinations of note inside Mochudi are the Phuthadikobo Museum at the top of the hill, which contains old photographs and historical texts relating to Mochudi and the history of the Bakgatla people. It is housed in a building that was originally the first school of Mochudi. Nearby is the hulk of the first tractor owned by a Motswana and huge footprints that legend says belongs to “Matsieng”, a giant and ancestor of the Tswana, who led his people and the animals from the center of the earth to inhabit the world. While in Mochudi my father lived in a rondavel. The rondavel is a hut that is usually round or oval in shape and is traditionally made with materials that can be locally found in raw form.

I shall include a link here to a National Geographic documentary on the Okavango Delta
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqC9g7tkrEc

If you have a question or a suggestion for an interview or a story please do not hesitate to message me on social media or to email me at, marcobattaglia@protonmail.com

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“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle
Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

Interview with Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson

A candidate attempting to talk about the issues. An interview with Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Shakopee, Minnesota
October 27 2016

Marco Battaglia: What role do you think the constitution and the bill of rights should play in a modern Presidency?

Gary Johnson: I believe that the bill of rights and the constitution protect the minority against the will of the majority. I think that a politician should respect this dynamic in all that they do.

MB: How do you think that a President could best help the country work back to a sound currency?

GJ: I think that you start with a balanced budget. What we are currently doing is going to continue to lead to more and more inflation. The money we have in the bank is devalued significantly due to current practice of spending beyond revenue, due to current federal reserve policy, and due to a government that prevents backing currency or competing currency.

MB: Are we at the end of the two party system yet?

GJ: I think this election will be the unmasking. I think we have unmasked the Presidential debates commission and many polling flaws in this election cycle and I think that this will help any parties outside of the big two from this election forward.

MB: What do you think the fastest way to reign in the military industrial complex would be?

GJ: One way to help is to vote for myself and Weld. We are against the countries participation in regime change, the military should have no right to drone, or any type of strikes, without a Congressional declaration of war. The Pentagon itself says that it has 22 percent more base capacity than it needs.

MB: What message do you have for undecided voters?

GJ: I think that an undecided voter should look to our backgrounds to decide for themselves if we are qualified. I think we would serve a majority of citizens in terms of being fiscally conservative, socially inclusive, being skeptical of what our military is currently being used for, and supporting free markets. I believe that no matter what happens after election day that we will have an historic vote count.

MB: What are two ways that a Johnson presidency would improve American lives?

GJ: The Federal government will have a figurehead that does not want to spy on you without a warrant and that does not want to arrest you for choosing your own vices or medication.

MB: People like Congressman Thomas Massie to this day appear to have to talk in hushed tones about the Federal Reserve, this issue seems curiously absent from this election cycle, what do you see as the best way to take on the Fed going forward?

GJ: I think that the Federal Reserve should return to it’s original mandate immediately. I would support Fed Transparency, I think that transparency at the Fed may even be enough to end the fed, certainly as it currently operates.

MB: What do you think of the current movement to reinstate Glass-Steagall? Would you be positive towards the current legislation in congress if it got to your desk as President?

GJ: Certainly, I think that it is obvious that the repeal of Glass-Steagal contributed to the collapse. Financial institutions should fail if they do poor business. They should be punished the same way a small credit union or local bank would be punished for crimes and market rigging. When I say I want to end corporate welfare I am of course talking about bail outs too. The Fed Banks have a safety net and a way to make profit when making abysmal and unethical business decisions. In whose mind is this right? Financial institutions should pay the price for bad decisions and I think good legislation in this vein can actually help us work towards a much more free market for all citizens.

GJ: Another issue absent from the debate is the war on drugs. Drug policy needs to change certainly in terms of personal choice of medication and criminal justice reform, immediately. I am the only one on the ballot in every state that I feel understands this issue and that has a proposal to deal with it.

MB: The TPP is a hot button topic. Apparently Clinton and Trump both claim to be against it. Some are concerned that you have been on the fence about this issue, can you clarify your position?

GJ: Listen, when you have a President of a country that is traveling around the world, going behind closed doors, to be the PR person for a trade deal, something is wrong. I think trade deals should be negotiated openly in congress. I would certainly try to renegotiate anything not up to my standards in any trade deal. I have heard from people that I respect that it actually advances the ball in terms of free trade, so I would keep an open mind, but certainly many details in the agreement are troubling. So much of the legislation that we pass is not free market at all. In reality it ends up to be working against competition and working against free trade.

MB: What are the plans between now and election day?

GJ: We are going to do as many rallies as we can. Talk to as many voters as we can. I believe both parties are going to start to embrace a lot of what we are saying. My goal is to keep them talking about these issues to election day and beyond.

MB: You stated you are not running again, how do you plan to stay involved with the Libertarian Party?

GJ: I plan to keep fighting to get a representative debate system in place for our elections. I believe that this well help all future candidates and all citizens of this country. I think that everyone will be pleasantly surprised of all of the candidates that the Libertarian Party has debating eachother in the next cycles. I intend to support the party and our candidates as a member of the party.

Note from Marco Battaglia

I want to make it clear that Gary Johnson did not vet my questions, he did not know the questions beforehand. I asked for the interview and he accepted I would encourage anyone running for President to give answers related to these items that we touched on. I would gladly give equal time to anyone running.

You can read more about Gary Johnson at https://www.johnsonweld.com/ and you can interact with the campaign directly via that site or at https://www.facebook.com/govgaryjohnson/ or at
https://www.facebook.com/GovBillWeld/

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“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate and the American political debates of 2016 and your 2016 state and local candidates!

“The two-party system has given this country the war of Lyndon Johnson, the Watergate of Nixon, and the incompetence of Carter. Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life-rafts.”
Eugene McCarthy
Chicago Tribune (10 September 1978)

“Well, where there is freedom doubt itself must be free.”

Garet Garrett

As of press time the Commission on Presidential Debates is deciding if there is going to be a third person in the Presidential debates for 2016. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) sponsors and produces debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and undertakes research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit corporation controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties, has run each of the presidential debates held since 1988.

The Commission’s debates are sponsored by private contributions from foundations and corporations. The Commission is headed by Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the Republican National Committee, and former White House press secretary Michael D. McCurry. As of 2014, the Board of directors consists of Howard Graham Buffett, John C. Danforth, Charles Gibson, John Griffen, Antonia Hernandez, John I. Jenkins, Newton N. Minow, Leon Panetta, Richard D. Parsons, Dorothy Ridings, Alan K. Simpson, Olympia Snowe, and Shirley M. Tilghman.

In 1988, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship of the presidential debates after the George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agreed to a “memorandum of understanding” that would decide which candidates could participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists (and therefore able to ask questions), and the height of the podiums. The League rejected the demands and released a statement saying that they were withdrawing support for the debates because “the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.”

In 2008, the Center for Public Integrity labeled the CPD a “secretive tax-exempt organization.” CPI analyzed the 2004 financials of the CPD, and found that 93 percent of the contributions to the non-profit CPD came from just six donors, the names of all of which were blacked out on the donor list provided to the CPI. During the last week of September, 2012, three sponsors withdrew their sponsorship of the 2012 debates for not including third parties: BBH New York, YWCA USA and Philips Electronics. In 2012 the debates wound up being sponsored by Anheuser-Busch Companies, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq., Crowell & Moring LLP, International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), The Kovler Fund, and Southwest Airlines.

As of this moment if a third person is going to be on the debate stage this year it is looking like the person that stands the best chance of meeting that criteria is former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson. One way or another Gary Johnson will be making history in 2016. For one, Saturday will mark the first Iowa appearance by an active Libertarian candidate for President. Johnson will be speaking this coming Saturday, September 3rd, at the Grand View University Johnson Wellness Center located at 200 Grandview Ave, in Des Moines, Iowa 50316. According to the Johnson camp RSVPs are not required, but appreciated. Doors open at 1:00 pm. All are welcome.

Presidential candidates are where the hoopla typically stems from but when it comes to governance that is in your face and influencing your everyday life, local and state politics are where it is at. I figured we should look into the people running locally and for the state here at home. Since the media seems to have the D’s and R’s covered I will focus on the people that are not affiliated with the two big gangs. I will give a quick rundown of the national candidates but then we will get to our fellow Iowans and our neighbors.

If you choose to cast a vote this election day the names that you will see on the ballot that will not be Democrats or Republicans will be as follows….

From the Constitution Party you will see for President, Darrell L. Castle and Scott N. Bradley.
Darrell Castle believes in adherence to the constitution, a withdrawal from the United Nations and NATO, and end to the Federal Reserve, and a withdrawal from Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030.

Castle grew up in northeastern Tennessee in a small town near Kingsport. He attended Ketron High School and East Tennessee State University (ETSU), graduating from each in 1966 and 1970, respectively. At ETSU, he earned a B.S., double-majoring in political science and history. Castle then became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for four years and attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He cites his military service as fostering his belief that war should not be entered into capriciously nor without congressional approval. After his discharge, he returned to ETSU and began his graduate study of history. He then attended the law school at University of Memphis, then known as Memphis State University, and earned his Juris Doctor in 1979.

Scott N. Bradley ran for the United States Senate in both 2006 and 2010. In 2010, he received 5.67% of the vote, which was the second highest percentage for a Constitution Party nominee for Senate against both a Democrat and Republican. Bradley has a bachelor of arts from Westminster College, masters of public administration from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in constitutional law from George Wythe University.

From the Green Party you will see Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. Jill Stein believes in guaranteed economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity. She believes in establishing an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality healthcare, at huge savings, as well as in the abolition of student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude, including guaranteed tuition-free, world-class public education from preschool through university.

Jill Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where she studied psychology, sociology, and anthropology. She then attended Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1979. After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Stein practiced internal medicine for 25 years.

Ajamu Baraka served in the U.S. military. From 2004 to 2011, Baraka served as the founding executive director of the US Human Rights Network, a national network that grew to over 300 U.S.-based organizations and 1500 individual members. He is currently an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Baraka has served on the boards of several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Africa Action.

From the Legalize Marijuana Now Party you will see Dan R. Vacek and Mark G. Elworth. Legalize Marijuana Now is a single-issue political party in the United States. Established in 1998 to oppose drug prohibition. They believe in and end to prohibition of hemp and cannabis.

Dan Vacek formerly ran for election to the office of Minnesota Attorney General. Mark Elworth is the State Chairmen for Legal Marijuana Now Nebraska and the President of the Peace Garden of South Omaha.

For the Libertarian Party you will see Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Gary Johnson believes in reigning in the national debt, simplifying the tax code, internet freedom, ending mass spying on American citizens, ending the Fed, ending prohibition, and in criminal justice reform. Gary Johnson served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. Bill Weld served as the 68th Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997.

From the New Independent Party Iowa you will see Lynn Kahn and Jay Stolba. Lynn Kahn believes in bringing Iowa’s schools into the 21st century. They want our schools, colleges and universities to be number one in our nation and internationally. They want rural economic development to be a top priority in Iowa. They want to bring 100,000 small diversified micro family farms to Iowa in the next ten years. They believe that we should take the national lead in creating a legal path for undocumented aliens to get a work permit, then a visa and after a period of time citizenship. Lynn Kahn has a Ph.D. is in clinical psychology. Jay Stolba is from Cedar Rapids. Stolba is the semi-retired owner of Iowa Discount Shippers and he has more than 30 years of experience in government.

You will see the Party for Socialism and Liberation featuring Gloria La Riva and Dennis J. Banks.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is a communist party in the United States,created as the result of a split within the ranks of the Workers World Party (WWP). The PSL’s primary objective is to form a revolutionary workers’ party based in Marxism–Leninism. La Gloria La Riva has translated Fidel Castro’s book Cuba at the Crossroads (1997) ISBN 1-875284-94-X, and produced the documentary videos NATO Targets, Workers’ Democracy in Cuba (1996), Genocide by Sanctions: The Case of Iraq (1998) and Let Iraq Live!. Dennis Banks a Native American leader, teacher, lecturer, activist and author, is an Anishinaabe born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. Banks is also known as Nowa Cumig (Naawakamig in the Double Vowel System). His name in the Ojibwe language means “In the Center of the Universe.” He has been a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, which he co-founded in 1968 with Native Americans in Minneapolis.

On the Iowa ballot there will be six candidates nominated by petition.

Rocky Roque De La Fuente and Michael Steinberg
Rocky Roque De La Fuente is an American businessman and political activist. Michael Steinberg, Esquire, has practiced law in the Tampa Bay area for 30 years.

Evan McMullin and Nathan Johnson
Evan McMullin is former Republican policy chief in the House and ex-CIA officer.
Brian Henderson, Utah Director for McMullin for President, said people shouldn’t read too much into Johnson’s name being included. Utah laws require that a VP candidate be named and Johnson’s name will be replaced once McMullin reaches a decision.

Lloyd Kelso and John Fitzgerald Johnson
Lloyd Kelso is an attorney with his own practice. John Fitzgerald Johnson is a recording artist, and as founder of the GMJ International Entertainment multimedia company, has produced music for a variety of companies large and small under the stage name “The Real Grandmaster Jay”. Johnson is an ardent civil rights activist.

Phew. Did you know you would have all of those options for President and Vice President? Gee, it is almost like the media wants to tell you a story of two big gangs. But we have more pressing matters to worry about here! On to the state and local candidates! These are the people that you are really going to want to pay attention to, regardless of what those other media characters tell you.

United States Senator for the Libertarian Party you will see Charles Aldrich.
Charles Aldrich is an engineer. He believes in ending the Fed, respecting the bill of rights, and giving Iowans complete medical freedom, as well as ending all prohibitions on hemp and cannabis.

For Senator from the New Independent Party Iowa you will see Jim Hennager. Jim has a BA from Morningside College with majors in sociology, philosophy and theology; his MBA with an emphasis in organization and MA in sociology from the University of Kansas; and his Ph.D. in future community planning from Walden University. He has also held licenses in real estate and life insurance in Iowa.

Nominated By Petition for Senator you will see Michael Luick-Thrams. Michael is from Mason City and he is an Independent candidate. Luick-Thrams said he would advocate for term limits of no more than 12 years for legislators, more transparency in government and campaign donors and a 10 percent pay cut for those in congress.

For United States Representative District 3 you will see Libertarian Bryan Jack Holder. Bryan is a lifelong resident of Crescent Township & Council Bluffs. Bryan is has a Juris Doctor (Doctor of Law). He runs his own business Holder Photo & Video. He believes in the entire federal government needs to be reined in. He believes in the constitution and the bill of rights. Bryan would like to return to a system of checks and balances and he believes in due process.

There are two candidates for District 3 that were nominated by petition. Claudia Addy and Joe Grandanette. Claudia earned her BGS from Iowa City and went on to study medicine at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (now Des Moines University). She earned her diploma and worked until her retirement as a foot and ankle surgeon. She believes in fiscal reform, health care reform, and re-evaluating foreign aid. Joe believes in defining marriage as between one man and one woman, he does believe in any amnesty, and he is Pro life from conception until natural death.

For State Senator District 06 you will see Libertarian Nick Serianni. Nick believes in unconditional liberty and unrelenting freedom. He believes in criminal justice reform and in an end to prohibition of hemp and cannabis. Nick is pro 2nd amendment and he wants to break us away from a two party system.

For State Senator District 12 you will see Libertarian Don W. Brantz. Don believes in the Libertarian Platform.

State Senator District 14 you will see an independent candidate in Ruth Smith. Ruth Smith is from Lamoni. She has a Master’s degree in public policy and administration.

State Senator District 16 you will see Libertarian candidate Christopher Whiteing. Christopher believes in minimum government and maximum freedom. He believes in spreading the libertarian platform.

For State Senator District 28 you will see Troy Hageman. Troy will work towards a free market and sound money. He wants to be able to promote individual freedom and to protect civil liberties.

For State Senator District 38 you will see John George. John runs a 100% grassroots campaign fighting to give the power back to the people. He would be proud to represent Iowa Senate District 38 including Benton, Iowa, & Poweshiek counties.

For State Senator District 48 you will see Brian W. Cook. Cook received the Libertarian nomination earlier this year at the party’s state convention, which was held in Cedar Rapids. He garnered the highest percentage of votes by a Libertarian up to that point when he ran for the Iowa House in 2014. Cook was raised on a farm in rural Central City and graduated from Alburnett High School. His first job after college was as a reporter for the Linn Newsletter in Central City, where he was responsible for covering high school sports at Central City, Alburnett, Center Point, North Linn and Springville.

State Representative District 004 Nominated By Petition Jeff VanDerWerff. Jeff is concerned about the current political climate, the polarization and dysfunction that increasingly plague public life. He hopes to have the opportunity to practice what he preaches. He wants to bring local control back to education. He wants to focus on finding a solution to water quality.

State Representative District 020 Libertarian Bob Boyle. Bob became a Libertarian “basically because of Dr. [Lee] Hieb.” He owns a convenience store named BlueJay Market. In accepting the Libertarian nomination, Boyle said he is “fed up with establishment politic from both major parties. The leadership of both parties is clearly more concerned with maintaining a power base than doing what is best for the citizens of Iowa and America. Government has a moral responsibility to spend as absolutely little of the people’s money as possible,” Boyle said, “as opposed to the exact opposite, which is what they’re doing now.”

State Representative District 029 Stand up to bullies party Dan Kelley. Dan is a member of the self-created Stand Up to Bullies party, he has formely served in the Iowa House of Representatives. Dan has pledged to support small business in the past. He wants to continue to focus on strengthening Iowa’s schools.

State Representative District 031 Libertarian Joe Gleason. Joe is very passionate about being a voice for individual liberty, personal responsibility, and fiscal sanity in the Iowa Capitol.

State Representative District 033 Libertarian Jeremy Tomlinson. Jeremy is an attorney. He believes in the principles of the Libertarian Party. He believes in a free market and in sound fiscal policy.

State Representative District 035 Libertarian Jocelyn Fry. Jocelyn believes in school choice, vaccine choice, the 2nd amendment, and in an end to the war on drugs.

State Representative District 038 Libertarian Jeffrey Meyers. Jeffrey says that he will fight for your personal liberty, smaller government,and lower taxes. Jeffrey wants to help lead the charge in the legalization of medical marijuana and opening the door to the legalization of recreational use as well. He supports 2nd amendment rights, your right to defend yourself and your family. He believes that once you have served your sentence for a crime that your rights should be returned to you, including your right to vote.

State Representative District 038 Nominated by petition Brett H. Nelson. Brett is has a degree in political science. Brett is dedicated to improving water quality by partnering with communities, organizations and private landowners to create sustainable solutions on Iowa’s lakes, rivers and streams. Brett has focused on financial prudence and improving treatment of senior citizens.

State Representative District 045 Libertarian Eric Cooper. Eric believes that people in a free society should be allowed to have whatever relations with other people they would like, and they should be able to call them whatever they like without interference from the government. He believes that with a state with a motto like ours should be proud to have the fewest restrictions on private citizens using fireworks, and legalizing fireworks in Iowa is one of his priorities. He believes in ending the war on drugs.

State Representative District 049 Libertarian John Evans. John is mainly concerned with protecting individual rights, making it easier to open and operate small businesses, marriage equality, and limiting government intrusion into our lives at the state level.

State Representative District 049 Nominated by petition Mike Knox. Mike believes that Agriculture is key to Iowa’s economy and that it needs to be thoughtfully supported. He believes in protecting the environment and being a good steward to pass it along to future generations. Mike would focus on education and water quality.

State Representative District 059 Independent Nick Taiber. Nick wants to focus on water quality, improving education, and supporting local business.

State Representative District 062 Nominated By Petition John Patterson. John thinks voters in east Waterloo, Evansdale, Raymond and Elk Run Heights deserve a contest this November. He wants to makes sure that politicians are listening to the people that they represent. Patterson, said through meeting voters in the district, he recognizes their differing interests. He pointed to an economic development focus for the east side of Waterloo that is different from the concerns in the more rural parts of the district. But he also noted commonalities, like a concern for education standards in the state.

State Representative District 070 Libertarian Dave Cork. Dave is fighting for personal freedom and reduced government.

State Representative District 078 Libertarian Joshua Miller. Joshua wants to end the division in the house, and to unite in being left alone! He seeks to preserve and protect the rights and freedoms of our citizens and to help curb government waste, fraud, and abuse.

State Representative District 080 Libertarian Garrett W. Byrd. Garrett believes that any time the government can make life easier for it’s citizens by withdrawing from that aspect of their lives, it should. Garrett stands firm against civil asset forfeiture and eminent domain abuse.

State Representative District 097 Libertarian David Melchert Jr. Davis makes it clear that he is running to represent, not to judge or govern.

As a state we have more alternative party candidates running right now than ever before in history. As a country we are very close to having a Libertarian on the national debate stage for the first time ever. You can pin whatever you can prove with hard evidence on Libertarian minded thinkers, independents, or anarchists going all the way back through recorded history but we did not have a Libertarian Party until December 11, 1971. If we want to have a civil discussion we have to include the good libertarian minded thinkers like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, along with those that might not be remembered so fondly. The Bill of Rights is a libertarian document and I don’t believe that there has been a Libertarian in the party since December 11, 1971 that has wanted anything more than to have leaders that respect the whole bill of rights. I do not think that there has been a Libertarian in the party since December 11, 1971 that has wanted anything more than for world peace to break out. I am confident that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson will be able to debate effectively and respectfully leading up to this historic election. The others, I can only hope will do their best. George HW Bush was respectful enough to invite Ross Perot to the stage in their election. I can only hope that the current Democratic and Republican nominations will do the same. If you are a Democrat or a Republican and you feel that your party is not assisting your campaign I would be happy to add you to my article. If I have any inaccurate information about a candidate or I have missed anyone, please enlighten me. I will be happy to address any issues.

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“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate, The 2016 United States Of America Presidential Election, And A Case For A Modern Glass-Steagall Act in addition to Audit the Fed, and why no principled vote is a wasted vote.

“It is a wise rule and should be fundamental in a government disposed to cherish its credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the limits of its faculties, never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term.”

Thomas Jefferson

“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”

James Madison

“The right of self defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals, and whether the attack be made by Spain herself or by those who abuse her power, its obligation is not the less strong.”

James Monroe

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

John Quincy Adams

Robin: Don’t you think we should make these election posters a little bigger, Batman?
Batman: I think these are quite large enough, Robin. After all, the voters are interested in issues, not window-dressing.
Robin: Sure Batman, but a little showmanship wouldn’t hurt us any.
Batman: No Robin, I want to conduct a campaign that deals with the issues. I’m convinced the American electorate is too mature to be taken in by cheap, vaudeville trickery. After all, if our national leaders were elected on the basis of tricky slogans, brass bands and pretty girls, our country would be in a terrible mess, wouldn’t it?
Batman episode Hizzonner the Penguin (1966)

The United States presidential election of 2016, constitutionally prescribed to occur on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors who in turn will vote for a new president and vice president through the Electoral College. As of today we know that the presidential ballots in a majority of states are to include Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Lloyd Kelso, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump. Iowa, specifically, is one of 8 states that count write in votes without pre-filing. There are two ways that we could end up with a historic election in 2016. The first way is for Clinton or Stein to win, making the victor our first female President. The second way is to for anyone outside of the two major parties to win the 270 Electoral College votes needed to assume the Presidency. No matter who one votes for it is likely that the President will get to help decide on the next supreme court appointment and on a number of pressing bills in congress. As a proud member the fourth estate, I do not dwell on party loyalty, yellow journalism, fear mongering, and least of all on conspiracy so let us take a look deeper into what is actually at stake in this election shall we? Please bear with me as this peice is a bit of a doozy.

The closest third person to clinching a place in the debates with Trump and Clinton, is Gary Johnson. Johnson’s highest national poll result so far has been 13 percent, but he needs an average of 15 percent across five as-yet-unnamed surveys to be determined later by the Democrat/Republican-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates before debate season begins in late September. The Libertarian and Green parties filed suit last September with U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeking to get the 15 percent requirement waived on antitrust grounds, since the two existing market entrants have created an entity which has created rules designed specifically to blunt competition. It’s now just a month before the first presidential debate is scheduled to be held, and Judge Rosemary Collyer still hasn’t ruled on the motion. In terms of all other candidates, it is important to remember that the polls only recently starting including anyone still in the running besides Trump and Clinton. They do not include independents like Lloyd Kelso. An Evolving Strategies poll currently has Gary Johnson, Libertarian, with 16% in Iowa.

Evolving Strategies is a private, Virginia-based research firm that gathers data, performs complex analysis, and implements randomized-control experiments to gain insight into human political behavior. The firm’s findings provide its clients with guidance for the development of effective communications strategies. Ballotpedia is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professionally curated encyclopedia designed to connect people to politics and elections at the local, state and federal levels. Ballotpedia partnered with Evolving Strategies and surveyed voters across seven states (June 10 – 22) regarding their vote preference. In all seven states, Clinton polled higher than Trump. The tightest battleground race between the two frontrunners was in Iowa, where Clinton leads Trump by a weighted 4 percentage points. Clinton saw the largest lead in Michigan, where she leads Trump by a weighted 17 percentage points. Comparatively, John Kasich polls ahead of Clinton in five of the seven states, and Paul Ryan polls ahead of Clinton in three states. With 16% Gary Johnson is doing better in Iowa than in any other battleground state.

No principled vote is ever a wasted vote, nor ever a vote for candidate that you do not like. Abraham Lincoln would take umbrage with those who say a third party can never win. This two-term congressman from a six-year-old party beat the sitting vice president and a two-term senator, former War secretary, and speaker of the House to be president of the United States with almost 40 percent of the popular vote and 60 percent of the electoral vote. You don’t need a majority, or even a plurality, of electors to win the presidency. If no candidate for president receives a majority of electoral votes, then the House of Representatives decides the election—the next House of Representatives. So the third-party candidate wouldn’t need to win a majority outright so long as no other candidate does either. Trump likes to brag about winning more than 10 million votes. He leaves out the fact that almost 16 million people voted for someone other than Trump. Of the 27 contests Trump won before he became the presumptive nominee, he only received majorities in seven of them. If you recall, Iowa was not one of these seven. Bernie Sanders took more than 9 million of the nearly 22 million votes cast in Democratic primaries. The combined Not Trump and Not Hillary votes total more than 25 million out of the about 48 million votes cast, for more than 52 percent.

According to gallup, a new record of 43% of the citizens of the USA are political independents. While the two main parties nominations are fending off internal insurgencies, lawsuits, and potential felonies, the platforms for both major parties do share one glaring plank in common. A call for a banking act, as in a modern day Glass-Steagall Act. It is worth noting that President Bill Clinton publicly declared, “the Glass–Steagall law is no longer appropriate”, shortly before it was repealed in 1999. Many commentators have stated that the GLBA’s repeal of the affiliation restrictions of the Glass–Steagall Act was an important cause of the financial crisis of 2007–08.

The repeal of the original “Glass-Steagall Act” of 1933 was perhaps the single greatest criminal act committed against the economic welfare of the American people in the 20th Century. Following the financial crisis of 2007-08, the first act of Congress should have been to correct their folly by restoring Glass-Steagall, thus eliminating the massive bubble of gambling values and erecting a firewall between the uncontrolled speculation on Wall Street and the livelihood of the American people. Instead, under the threats and intimidation of the largest financial institutions, Congress passed an unprecedented bailout of the Wall Street banks. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned — and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious. The American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs. Thanks to heroic efforts of Congressman Ron Paul, Congressman Alan Grayson and Congressman Bernie Sanders to audit the Federal Reserve, we now know that the Federal Reserve secretly lent out over 26 trillion dollars’ worth of American money from 2007 to 2010 — much of it to foreign banks.

So how much could this figure have done if it were redirected into the United States economy, on behalf of the people — rather than rewarding the banks and financial institutions who started all this mess in the first place? To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that the GDP of the United States is “only” $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” around $19.5 trillion. The last budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate was “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world. In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed — and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie — considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As it turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.

Here is a small part of the letter where Congressman Alan Grayson reveals how he found this number, in the newly-audited Federal Reserve balance sheets, to John Hively — “The World’s Most Accurate Economic Forecaster Since 1989”.

Breakdown of the $26 Trillion the Federal Reserve Handed Out to Save Incompetent, but Rich Investors

CONGRESSMAN GRAYSON: I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I’m dramatizing or amplifying what this GAO report says, so I’m just going to list some of my favorite parts, by page number.

Page 131 – The total lending for the Fed’s “broad-based emergency programs” was $16,115,000,000,000. That’s right, more than $16 trillion. The four largest recipients, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, received more than a trillion dollars each.

The 5th largest recipient was Barclays PLC. The 8th was the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, PLC. The 9th was Deutsche Bank AG. The 10th was UBS AG. These four institutions each got between a quarter of a trillion and a trillion dollars. None of them is an American bank.

Page 205 – Separate and apart from these “broad-based emergency program” loans were another $10,057,000,000,000 in “currency swaps.” In the “currency swaps,” the Fed handed dollars to foreign central banks, no strings attached, to fund bailouts in other countries….

These currency swaps and the “broad-based emergency program” loans, together, totaled more than $26 trillion. That’s almost $100,000 for every man, woman, and child in America.

That’s an amount equal to more than seven years of federal spending — on the military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest on the debt, and everything else. And around twice America’s total GNP….

If the Fed had extended $26 trillion in credit to the American people instead of Wall Street, would there be 24 million Americans today who can’t find a full-time job?

Congressman Bernie Sanders revealed that in addition to handing out 16 trillion dollars, (not counting the ten trillion in “currency swaps” Congressman Grayson pointed out), the Federal Reserve also owns the financial agencies they are supposed to be regulating:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/the-veil-of-secrecy-at-th_b_1072099.html

The GAO [audit] also revealed that many of the people who serve as directors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks come from the exact same financial institutions that the Fed is in charge of regulating.
Further, the GAO found that at least 18 current and former Fed board members were affiliated with banks and companies that received emergency loans from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis. In other words, the people “regulating” the banks were the exact same people who were being “regulated.” Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse! For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Getting this type of disclosure was not easy. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve fought it every step of the way. But, as difficult as it was to lift the veil of secrecy at the Fed, it will be even harder to reform the Fed so that it serves the needs of all Americans, and not just Wall Street. But, that is exactly what we have to do. This next part makes me angry, and it should make you angry to, but I ask you to please channel your anger and focus it into your own personal activism and aim it at the right individuals!

Imagine if your family had a quarter million dollars saved — and then someone robbed you. What if the thief then told everyone what he did – but no one cared enough to do anything? That’s what just happened to every single family in the United States of America. Every single adult in the United States who was unemployed or on public assistance could have been given a job – so they can lead a happy, fulfilling and prosperous life – with plenty of money to spare. A vast public works program could easily have been created to stimulate the economy – so that the money would become an investment, not a one-time gift.We could have built high-speed bullet trains to make it easier and faster than flying to travel through congested urban areas — such as the East Coast megalopolis — and other corridors between nearby cities. We could have secured the borders, and restored our archaic, battered fleet of passenger airliners, (which still have ashtrays in the bathrooms,) with all new jets – and bigger, more comfortable seats. (Many flights are delayed or canceled for maintenance. This is a consistent problem when I fly.)
We could have restored our crumbling roads and bridges – increasing comfort, safety and gas mileage.
We could have transformed the inner cities with massive construction and refurbishing projects, and dramatically improved public transportation – making it easier for people to work. We could have massively upgraded the nation’s fiber-optic capabilities – bringing our Internet access up to speed with most of the rest of the developed world. We could have completely modernized public schools with enough computers for every kid. We could have trained or hired teachers to educate our children in the skills and software needed to be competitive in today’s evolving workforce – including touch typing, word processing, spreadsheet, Photoshop, web design, video editing, motion graphics, computer animation and music sequencing. We could have noticed the enormous popularity of Guitar Hero and RockBand and built sound-proofed music studios in schools, where kids earn lessons and studio time on real musical instruments as an incentive for good grades. If they sign a record deal, a figure such as 25 percent of their advance would be paid back to help finance the school. We could have boldly invested in clean energy technologies to heal the environment – as China is now doing, to the tune of half a trillion dollars. And, as Foster Gamble revealed in his groundbreaking independent film Thrive, we could have ended poverty and environmental destruction for as little as 200 billion dollars a year.
Instead of doing any of this, the “one percent” continued to live the lifestyles of the rich and famous — while the poor sank ever deeper into the Next Great Depression, as economist Paul Krugman recently called it. Thanks to deregulation, such as the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, these institutions were allowed to hold one dollar in the bank, but then spend like they had 5, 10, 30 or even 100 dollars.
To put it in perspective, if you had ten thousand dollars in your checking account, you would suddenly become a millionaire if you could leverage it at the “100X” point in one single “trade”.

These financial institutions have manipulated and abused this system to do casino gambling, on a global scale — to the tune of hundreds of trillions of dollars. I personally do not think it is a bad thing to let these companies fail. I fight back with facts – and think for myself instead. The real money of ordinary people holding accounts in those banks could have been protected for much less than the cost of even the first public TARP bailout. Just to prove the point, let’s go to billshrink.com and get some provable statistics:

http://www.billshrink.com/blog/10053/how-much-do-american-save/

The average American household income was 50,000 dollars in 2010. The overall tax rate is 19 percent, leaving $40,500 in disposable income. Overall, Americans spend an incredible 94 percent of their disposable income. The remaining 6 percent is saved in the bank. This adds up to a mere $2,400 dollars per household. This is not a guess, but a provable statistic. With 114,825,428 households in the US, it would only take one payment of 275 billion, 581 million dollars to guarantee the savings of all American citizens. The Fed’s secret bailout of 26 trillion dollars was nearly 100 times greater than that.
Again, the Federal Reserve is a private corporation that prints money for the United States. The US then pays interest for the rights to use these “Federal Reserve Notes.” The Federal Reserve secretly handed out 26 trillion dollars in bailout money between 2007 and 2010. The top four bailed-out banks are now doing 95.9 percent of all the gambling. Their total risk adds up to 600 trillion dollars – ten times more than all the money in the world. At this point, it may seem that all we have to do is dismantle the Federal Reserve, let the US Treasury print its own money, back up everyone’s bank accounts for 275 billion dollars, and then allow a handful of “too big to fail” financial institutions to collapse — and be restructured in smaller pieces.

However, we now have scientific proof that this problem goes much deeper than just the Federal Reserve and a few of their closest banking buddies. Instead, the Federal Reserve appears to be at the epicenter of a vast “interlocking directorate” of companies that may earn up to 80 percent of all the world’s wealth. Swiss scientists quickly found a total of 43,060 trans-national corporations in the Orbis 2007 database. From this group, Glattfelder’s team revealed that a ‘core’ of 1,318 companies directly controlled 20 percent of the world’s wealth. However, these corporations also appeared to own and control the stock in a majority of the world’s largest companies — whose profits added up to an additional 60 percent of global revenues:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

Although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 [corporations] appeared to collectively own, through their shares, the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms — the “real” economy — representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues. [This] core of 1318 companies [had] interlocking ownerships. Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20 [other corporations]. If that isn’t surprising enough for you, then how about this? Glattfelder’s team then crunched the numbers even harder – and found a very deeply hidden “super-entity” of only 147 corporations – and “much of it” was connected to the 1,318-company ‘core’. These 147 companies were all interconnected with each other in an “even more tightly knit” pattern than the 1,318 corporations in the ‘core’. To put it simply, they all owned each other’s companies. [Specifically, each company within the “super-entity” owned shares in all 146 others.] Together, this super-elite, good-old-boys-club of 147 companies directly earns a whopping 40 percent of all the wealth in the world:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies — all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity — that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network.Without the advanced technology of supercomputers and chaos theory, no one would have been able to discover this. History has caught up to the Powers that Were. Next question: What kind of companies do you think these top 147 corporations are? Remember – they control a staggering 40 percent of the world’s wealth. As it says on page 6 of the paper, 75 percent of the corporations within the “super-entity” were financial institutions. The top 20 financial institutions within the “super-entity” should sound pretty familiar to you by now. They include Barclays Bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Merrill Lynch, UBS, Bank of New York, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Our results show that, globally, top holders are at least in the position to exert considerable control, either formally (e.g., voting in shareholder and board meetings) or via informal negotiations. “Informal negotiations” would be one way to describe the Federal Reserve System secretly handing 26 trillion dollars to the “top holders” within the “super-entity” of 147 corporations. Remember what we learned from Congressman Bernie Sanders after they audited the Federal Reserve? The directors and board members of the 12 Federal Reserve banks are also running the top financial institutions. They just printed 26 trillion dollars of American money and gave it to themselves. There’s nothing “natural” about this at all. Our next task is to “follow the money” – and see if we can find out what corporations and industries are owned, either publicly or in secret, by the Federal Reserve “super-entity”. (Glattfelder’s team has not yet published the full list.) It’s not that hard to do. If 80 percent of all the world’s profits are going to the Federal Reserve “super-entity”, then they would need to control many of the most profitable industries. As Glattfelder’s team already said, this entity controls “the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms.” In case you are unfamiliar with the term “blue chip,” it refers to any large company that consistently draws profits. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tracks the top 30 “blue chip” companies. The Number One industry on the list is Network and Other Communications Equipment, earning a 20.4 percent profit margin. Number Two on the list is Internet Services and Retailing, at 19.4 percent. Financial Data Services do not appear until sixth place – at 11.7 percent. Pharmaceuticals squeak into third place at a 19.3 percent margin. However, this is misleading – because the overall healthcare / pharmaceutical industry is broken up into fully seven different categories: Pharmaceuticals – 19.3%. Medical Products and Equipment – 16.3%. Insurance: Life, Health (stock) – 4.6%. Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services – 3.0%. Health Care: Medical Facilities – 2.4%. Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care – 2.2%. Wholesalers: Health Care – 1.3%. There are only 43 industries on the Fortune 500 list that actually generated profits – and seven of them are healthcare. Healthcare therefore accounts for 16.28% of all the money-making industries on the Fortune 500 list. Nothing else captures that many different categories. The second most-profitable American industry, based on the number of categories it has on the list and how high of a percentage they make, is the petroleum and energy business – which controls six out of 43 spots:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/performers/industries/profits/

Mining, Crude Oil production – 11.5 percent. Oil and Gas Equipment, Services – 10.2 percent. Utilities: Gas and Electric – 8.7 percent. Petroleum Refining –2.1 percent. Pipelines – 1.5 percent. Energy – 0.9 percent. The oil companies therefore enjoyed 13.95% of all the most profitable categories of American businesses in 2008. Together, oil and pharmaceuticals occupy 13 out of 43 slots on the Fortune 500 list of the most profitable American industries – or a stunning 30.23 percent of all the money there is to be made. 80 percent of the world’s profits are being earned by a ‘core’ group of 1,318 corporations. As we look even deeper, we find this ‘core’ is mostly run by a “super-entity” of 147 companies that are totally interlocked. 75 percent of them are financial institutions.The top 20 companies in the “super-entity” include Barclays Bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Merrill Lynch, UBS, Bank of New York, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Many key Federal Reserve personnel work for these companies – and they secretly handed themselves trillions of dollars in free money between 2007 and 2010. The 147-part “super-entity” has controlling interest in the 1318-part “core”, which in turn has controlling interest in 80 percent of the world’s wealth. It would be utterly essential for the Federal Reserve corporations, and their beneficiaries, to be heavily invested into oil and pharmaceuticals — as well as the United States defense system — in order to earn such a tremendous percentage.Is there any proof that the Federal Reserve elites are, indeed, invested in these and other top businesses? Absolutely.

Let’s now do some historical research on the top two Federal Reserve names we always read about – the Rockefellers and Rothschilds – and see what we find. John D. Rockefeller, one of the top architects who founded and bankrolled the Federal Reserve System, also owned and ran Standard Oil Company, beginning in 1870. He soon became America’s first billionaire. Rockefeller’s spectacular oil profits ultimately allowed him to be in a position to essentially buy the United States government — and its ability to print money – via the Federal Reserve. Standard Oil had a virtual monopoly on producing, transporting, refining and marketing oil up until 1911, when it was broken up by an alarmed United States Supreme Court in antitrust legislation. Standard Oil of New Jersey became Esso, later to be renamed Exxon – which became a key part of ExxonMobil, currently the most profitable company in the world — earning 30 billion, 460 million dollars. Standard Oil of California became Chevron – currently the third most profitable company in the world at 19 billion, 24 million dollars per year. Continental Oil Company became Conoco, now a part of ConocoPhillips – currently the sixteenth most profitable company in the world at 11 billion, 358 million dollars. BP Amoco is a conglomerate of several Standard Oil splinter companies. Yahoo Finance currently lists BP Amoco’s gross profit at 16 billion, 28 million dollars. Therefore, four out of the six “supermajors” in the oil industry are direct Rockefeller spinoffs – BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. Our Swiss scientists proved that these companies never really broke apart. The 1,318 in the “core” and 147 “super-entity” corporations are extremely interlocked with one another.

Though this information is a closely-guarded secret, there have been enough leaks to confirm the identities of the key banking families who founded the Federal Reserve. By now, many of them should sound familiar to you – since they used the Federal Reserve to bail themselves out:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25080

J. W. McCallister, an oil industry insider with House of Saud connections, wrote in The Grim Reaper that information he acquired from Saudi bankers cited 80% ownership of the New York Federal Reserve Bank- by far the most powerful Fed branch- by just eight families, four of which reside in the US. They are the Goldman Sachs, Rockefellers, Lehmans and Kuhn Loebs of New York; the Rothschilds of Paris and London; the Warburgs of Hamburg; the Lazards of Paris; and the Israel Moses Seifs of Rome. CPA Thomas D. Schauf corroborates McCallister’s claims, adding that ten banks control all twelve Federal Reserve Bank branches. He names N.M. Rothschild of London, Rothschild Bank of Berlin, Warburg Bank of Hamburg, Warburg Bank of Amsterdam, Lehman Brothers of New York, Lazard Brothers of Paris, Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York, Israel Moses Seif Bank of Italy, Goldman Sachs of New York and JP Morgan Chase Bank of New York. Schauf lists William Rockefeller, Paul Warburg, Jacob Schiff and James Stillman as individuals who own large shares of the Fed. [3] The Schiffs are insiders at Kuhn Loeb. The Stillmans are Citigroup insiders, who married into the Rockefeller clan at the turn of the century. Eustace Mullins came to the same conclusions in his book The Secrets of the Federal Reserve, in which he displays charts connecting the Fed and its member banks to the families of Rothschild, Warburg, Rockefeller and the others. [4] Foster Gamble’s “Fact Checking” section of the Thrive Movement website reveals that the American Medical Association was financed by the Rockefellers (Federal Reserve). If you own and control the pharmaceutical industry, it would certainly make sense to secretly run the agency in charge of regulating your products:

http://www.thrivemovement.com/fact_checks

Fact: The American Medical Association (AMA) is largely funded by the Rockefellers, who in turn use their funding to influence AMA research and decision-making. The Rockefeller Foundation website points to various connections between the American Medical Association and the Foundation. Here are a few examples:

Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report, 1932
Rockefeller Foundation Annual Report, 1957
Making the eHealth Connection: Participants
The Long Road to Universal Health Coverage

The American Medical Association has been accepting money from the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations from as early as 1910. In The World Without Cancer G. Edward Griffin makes the argument that the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations began to support the AMA in an effort to control the medical schooling establishment and to gain power over this “large and vital sphere of American life.”

If the pharmaceutical industry is putting profits over people, and gouging money out of an already strapped economy, then why would we keep it? Johann Hari reveals the answer – they literally bought the government.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-horrifying-hidden-sto_b_251365.html

Why would we keep this system, if it is so bad? The drug companies have spent more than $3 billion on lobbyists and political “contributions” over the past decade in the US alone. They have paid politicians to make the system work in their interests. If you doubt how deeply this influence goes, listen to a Republican congressman, Walter Burton, who admitted of the last big health care legislation passed in the US in 2003: “The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill.”

This is where the lines between government, military, finance, defense contractors and corporations all begin to blur. At the core of all this is a “super-entity” of 147 companies – 75 percent of which are financial institutions. A hugely popular Rolling Stone article by Matt Tabibi systematically revealed how Goldman Sachs is at the center of an incestuous relationship between Wall Street, the elected government and the Federal Reserve. This article earned 23,000 Facebook Likes and 268 written comments, within a week, as a result of its stunning journalism – most of which I won’t include here due to its complexity:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-people-vs-goldman-sachs-20110511

[Goldman Sachs] seemed to count on the unwillingness or inability of federal regulators to stop them — and when called to Washington last year to explain their behavior, Goldman executives brazenly misled Congress, apparently confident that their perjury would carry no serious consequences….Goldman… [is] a powerful, well-connected firm, with the ear of the president and the Treasury, that appears to have conquered the entire regulatory structure — and stands now on the precipice of officially getting away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history. The fact that this evidence [covered throughout the article] comes from a U.S. senator’s office, and not the FBI or the SEC, is itself an element in the worsening tale of lawlessness and despotism that sparked a global economic meltdow. If the Justice Department fails to give the American people a chance to judge this case — if Goldman skates without so much as a trial — it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are.

Most people go with the “gut” rather than with scientific facts. Go ahead and try to tell someone that a “super-entity” of 147 corporations appears to be running the world, and those corporations are completely interconnected with the Federal Reserve – which handed out 26 trillion dollars in bailouts, without any regulation or oversight from the American government.You may find yourself coming face-to-face with very strong denial, ridicule and attack — even in the face of undeniable evidence.
Our Swiss scientist James Glattfelder, who used supercomputers to prove that a small number of companies control the majority of the world’s wealth, spoke directly to the skeptics in this next quote:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

“Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.”

The Federal Reserve created the National Education Association via the Rockefeller family:

http://www.thrivemovement.com/fact_checks

In the early 20th century both the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations were donating large sums of money to education and the social sciences. They supported, in particular, the National Education Association.

By way of grants, they spent millions of dollars — money which was used to radically bend the traditionalist education system toward a new system that favored standardized testing over critical thinking, toward “scientific management” in schools. This was part of a calculated plan to make the schooling system benefit corporate America, at the expense of the American school child. Powerful foundations with private interests, such as the Ford Foundation, continue to support, and thereby influence the policy of, the NEA to this day. Additionally, an unprecedented U.S. Congressional investigation into tax-exempt foundations identified the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations engagement in an agenda for vast population control. Norman Dodd, Research Director for the Congressional Committee, found this statement in the archives of the Carnegie endowment:

“The only way to maintain control of the population was to obtain control of education in the U.S. They realized this was a prodigious task… [so] the portion of education which could be considered as domestically oriented [was] taken over by the Rockefeller Foundation and that portion which was oriented to International matters [was] taken over by the Carnegie Endowment.”…

In order for such a vastly interconnected group to avoid detection for this long, it would also be an absolute requirement for them to buy, own and control the media. You will soon see compelling, documented proof that the power elite were already bragging about this accomplishment by 1815 – the same year Nathan Rothschild won the British government on a bet. However, we will review recent history first, so as to better understand how today’s world of seemingly hundreds of independent media sources is actually quite tightly controlled. In 1983, there were 50 different independent media companies in the United States. By 2004, this number had reduced to five key players: Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation (FOX), Bertelsmann of Germany and Viacom (formerly CBS). Ben Bagdikian expertly lays out all the proof for this media in his updated 2004 edition of The New Media Monopoly.

http://benbagdikian.net/

These five huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States….These five are not just large — though they are all among the 325 largest corporations in the world — they are unique among all huge corporations: they are a major factor in changing the politics of the United States, and they condition the social values of children and adults alike. A more recent investigation by FAIR.org revealed that the vast majority of media in the United States is dominated by six mega-corporations: General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom and CBS. [As you delve into the individual categories of cable, television, print, telecom and radio, you find a few more companies chasing behind the Big Six – but not many.]
These companies often control the entire creative process of a film or television show from beginning to ending – making it an ideal environment for creating propaganda:

http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main

The U.S. media landscape is dominated by massive corporations that, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read.In many cases, these giant companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. Three of these mega-conglomerates appear on Fortune 500’s Top 50 Most Profitable list for 2010:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/performers/companies/profits/

This includes General Electric at 11 billion, 644 million; Walt Disney at 3 billion, 963 million; and Comcast at 3 billion, 635 million. General Electric is also the world’s third biggest public company – according to the Forbes 2000 list. You may not realize that most of the cable channels on American television are international. Subtitles are used in foreign countries. This is part of why so many people now speak English. Therefore, the scope of this media consolidation is truly worldwide. Bertelsmann is the only company among Ben Bagdikian’s “Big Five” that is not primarily centered in the United States.
In his seminal work, Bagdikian reveals how these five main companies are shaping and molding society:

http://benbagdikian.net/

These Big Five (with General Electric’s NBC a close sixth) do not manufacture automobiles, or clothing, or nuts and bolts.They manufacture politics and social values.The media conglomerates have been a major force in creating conservative and far right politics in the country. They have almost single-handedly as a group, in their radio and television dominance, produced a coarse and vulgar culture that celebrates the most demeaning characteristics in the human psyche — greed, deceit, and cheating as a legitimate way to win (as in the various “reality” shows). All this being said, it would be a terrible mistake to arrest and imprison the lower, middle and upper-mid-level staff in the media as if they are all complicit in the problem. CEOs may not fully understand what’s going on either. They are well-paid to be the scapegoats when all hell breaks loose. The biggest powers are always those who work behind the scenes.

Key managers and directors are likely being bribed, blackmailed and threatened into doing the biddings of the Federal Reserve corporate super-entity – partly by not wanting to disappoint their advertisers.
This was well underway by 1948, with a little-known CIA project called Operation Mockingbird. Many documents have since been leaked or declassified on this subject. Spartacus Educational is overflowing with documentation and links you can read – including references to multiple academic books investigating the subject.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmockingbird.htm

In 1948 Frank Wisner was appointed director of the Office of Special Projects. Soon afterwards it was renamed the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). This became the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency. Wisner was told to create an organization that concentrated on “propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”

Later that year Wisner established Mockingbird, a program to influence the domestic American media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham (Washington Post) to run the project within the industry….
According to Deborah Davis (Katharine the Great): “By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.”…
The New York Times actually revealed a small part of this explosive story in 2007.

http://washington.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/project-mockingbird/

The C.I.A. monitoring of journalists in 1963, 1971 and 1972, including wiretapping their phones and setting up observation posts across the street from their offices to track their comings and goings and their visitors, was a practice that the White House itself employed during the Nixon administration….
As with other questionable or illegal C.I.A. activities that were endorsed by top government officials, this account shows that spying on reporters was approved at the highest levels of the Kennedy administration….By ordering the director of central intelligence to conduct a program of domestic surveillance, Kennedy set a precedent that Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and George W. Bush would follow. The top investigative books on this subject include A Very Private Woman by Nina Burleigh, Mockingbird: The Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA by Alex Constantine, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America by Hugh Wilford, Who Paid the Piper? by Frances Stonor Saunders and The Very Best Men by Evan Thomas. This consolidated control did not fizzle out in more recent years. It has only gotten worse.

One of my favorite TV personalites growng up has always been Conan O’Brien. After a shocking betrayal via NBC, Conan O’Brien led the pack in revealing how centralized the media still is today.
Very few entities within the mainstream media have ever risen up against their own companies – but Conan O’Brien is a rare exception who should definitely be mentioned at this point. Conan O’Brien was spectacularly humiliated by Big Media in January 2010 – only seven months after NBC made him the host of the Tonight Show, fulfilling a long-term contract from 2004. NBC felt Conan’s ratings weren’t high enough. In a classic power-play attempt, NBC tried to force Conan to give the coveted 11:30 slot back to Jay Leno and settle for a show that didn’t begin until 12:05 am. Conan refused to cave in to their power move – and quit. He soon won a 40 million-dollar settlement for him and his staff due to this obvious breach of contract – and gave a healthy portion of his side of the settlement to his staff as well.
After this stunning public humiliation, Conan sank into a deep depression:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/conan-obrien-quits-declares-tonight-show-time/story?id=9539812

http://www.hollyscoop.com/conan-obrien/conan-obrien-admits-to-depression-following-tonight-show-firing.html

“I felt like I’d just been in a car accident,” O’Brien admits to the mag. His wife Liza Powel says Conan suffered from depression…”I hated to see him in such a state of tension and unhappiness,” Powel says on a more serious note. “It was very painful for him to let go of this hallowed ground that he’d finally got a chance to stand on.

In late September 2011, Conan announced on his relatively-new TBS show that he was going to officiate over the first same-sex wedding on television – between his costume designer Scott Cronick and his partner David Gorshein. Fully eighteen different news and entertainment shows, from all different networks, were shown reading the same script – almost always word-for-word. The key phrase revealed on Conan’s show was “Conan O’Brien may be about to push the envelope on late-night television.” Conan thinly disguised this as comedy – when in fact it was a shocking, unprecedented expose’ of just how thoroughly centralized and controlled the media really is: These facts clearly establish that the mainstream media is heavily consolidated and controlled – despite there being seemingly limitless television channels and media sources. However, we still haven’t proven that the largest media corporations are interconnected with the Federal Reserve banking families – which dominate the “super-entity” of the top 147 corporations on Earth. I was surprised to find out that nine of the biggest media corporations on Earth are also controlling partners in the pharmaceutical / healthcare industry.

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3845

A recent FAIR study of nine major media corporations and their major outlets, Disney (ABC), General Electric (NBC), CBS, Time Warner (CNN, Time), News Corporation (Fox), New York Times Co., Washington Post Co. (Newsweek), Tribune Co. (Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times) and Gannett (USA Today) found connections to six different insurance companies. Five out of the nine media corporations studied shared a director with an insurance company; two insurance companies—Chubb and Berkshire Hathaway—were represented by more than one media corporation director. The study also found crossover between these media corporations and several large pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis….Out of the nine media corporations studied, six had directors who also represented the interests of at least one pharmaceutical company. In fact, save for CBS, every media corporation had board connections to either an insurance or pharmaceutical company.

Media Corporation
Insurance & Pharmaceutical Companies
Disney/ABC
Procter & Gamble
GE/NBC
Chubb, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, Merck
Time Warner
AIG, Health Cap, Paratek Pharmaceuticals
Fox/News Corp
GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, Hybritech
New York Times Co.
First Health Group, Eli Lilly
Tribune Co.
Abbott Labs, Middelbrook Pharmaceuticals
Gannett/USA Today
Chubb

What can be done about all of this crony capitalism and tyranny? Well, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is close to getting the 60 votes he needs in order to pass Audit the Fed. Speaking to Kitco News after Freedomfest, Paul was hopeful that he would get another vote soon.Paul first got a vote back in January, where it received 53 votes of the 60 needed for it to pass, with 44 voting in opposition. Three senators missed the vote, including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

I believe that we can and should return to sound money via both ending the private fed and passing modern Glass -Steagall legislation. By restoring the separation between commercial and investment banking, Glass-Steagall divides the obligations in question into two distinct and separate categories: legitimate and illegitimate, the latter being far greater than the former. Immediately, we declare that the government has no responsibility to pay back losses accrued through speculative activity, thus transferring these trillions in liabilities off of the government’s books. We force the megabanks—JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, etc.—to split themselves in two parts: the so-called “investment arms” on the one side, and plain, old-fashioned commercial banking on the other. Under the original Glass-Steagall law, only commercial banks receive federal guarantees; “investment houses” do not enjoy such protection. Though their trillions in outstanding “assets” might not be explicitly cancelled or eliminated by law, we will simply declare that these debts are their own, their responsibility, and not the American people’s. Not one penny of bailout goes to pay them off, and, without this artificial protection, these assets will quickly dry up on their own. We as a nation would have our commercial banking system restored to its necessary and indispensable function.

Today, in the 114th Congress, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Walter Jones (R-NC) are the co-sponsors of H.R. 381, the current bill calling for the reinstatement of FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act. In the Senate, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Angus King (I-ME) have introduced S.1709, the “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2015.”

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“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“
Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate and FREE @#$*ING TRADE

“About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people—a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”

Excerpt from Thomas Jefferson
First Inaugural Address
In the Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, March 4, 1801

Free school, free college, free trade? When an employer pays for one’s college or training, your education is in fact earned. When an employer pays for your health insurance, your health insurance is in fact earned. When a group of corporations negotiate your trade in secret your free trade is ORWELLIANLY named. As of this typing Trump, Stein, and Sanders strongly oppose the TPP, Weld, Obama, and Clinton are for it, and Johnson, whom has had harsh words for NAFTA, is on the fence but believes that he would sign the agreement, pending a review of the finer details. “The TPP is horrible deal,” Trump said. “It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.” There’s just one problem with Trump’s words on the TPP. China is not part of the TPP. I think that most can agree that free trade is a wonderful and great thing. I think most can agree that trade agreements in our lifetimes have been Orwellianly named at best. I figured that we would take a look at this one.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries signed on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand, after seven years of negotiations. It has not entered into force. The 30 chapters of the TPP concern many matters of public policy and the following stated goals: to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in our countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.” Among other things, the TPP contains measures to lower trade barriers, such as tariffs, and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. The United States government considers the TPP a companion agreement to the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a broadly similar agreement between the U.S. and the European Union.

Implementing the TPP has been one of the trade agenda goals of the Obama administration in the U.S. A version of the treaty text “Subject to Legal Review (…) for Accuracy, Clarity and Consistency” was made public on 5 November 2015, the same day President Obama notified Congress he intended to sign it. Most nations are today members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) multilateral trade agreements. However, most governments still impose some protectionist policies that are intended to support local employment, such as applying tariffs to imports or subsidies to exports. Governments may also restrict free trade to limit exports of natural resources. Other barriers that may hinder trade include import quotas, taxes, and non-tariff barriers, such as regulatory legislation. The notion of a free trade system encompassing multiple sovereign states originated in a rudimentary form in 16th century Imperial Spain. American jurist Arthur Nussbaum noted that Spanish theologian Francisco de Vitoria was “the first to set forth the notions (though not the terms) of freedom of commerce and freedom of the seas.” Vitoria made the case under principles of jus gentium. However, it was two early British economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo who later developed the idea of free trade into its modern and recognizable form. Economists who advocated free trade believed trade was the reason why certain civilizations prospered economically. Adam Smith, for example, pointed to increased trading as being the reason for the flourishing of not just Mediterranean cultures such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but also of Bengal (East India) and China. Free trade policies have battled with mercantilist, protectionist, isolationist,communist, populist, and other policies over the centuries. Henry George’s 1886 book Protection or Free Trade was read out loud in full into the Congressional Record by five Democratic congressmen. Tyler Cowen wrote that ‘Protection or Free Trade “remains perhaps the best-argued tract on free trade to this day.”.

One thing is for certain, the next President and Congress have recently been given the continued power to agree on this agreement. Renamed the trade promotion authority (TPA) in 2002, fast track negotiating authority is an impermanent power granted by Congress to the President. Fast track authority remained in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that renewal of the authority is a requirement for the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which have been undertaken as if the authority were still in effect. After several years of debate, trade-promotion authority was again granted by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, along with a law providing for “trade adjustment assistance, the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015. 62 Senators voted for, 37 were opposed.

List of 62 Senators who voted for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade authority

 

The fast track authority for brokering trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or deny but cannot amend or filibuster. If the President transmits a fast track trade agreement to Congress, then the majority leaders of the House and Senate or their designees must introduce the implementing bill submitted by the President on the first day on which their House is in session. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(c)(1).) Senators and Representatives may not amend the President’s bill, either in committee or in the Senate or House. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(d).) The committees to which the bill has been referred have 45 days after its introduction to report the bill, or be automatically discharged, and each House must vote within 15 days after the bill is reported or discharged. In the likely case that the bill is a revenue bill (as tariffs are revenues), the bill must originate in the House (see U.S. Const., art I, sec. 7), and after the Senate received the House-passed bill, the Finance Committee would have another 15 days to report the bill or be discharged, and then the Senate would have another 15 days to pass the bill. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(e)(2).) On the House and Senate floors, each Body can debate the bill for no more than 20 hours, and thus Senators cannot filibuster the bill and it will pass with a simple majority vote. (19 U.S.C. § 2191(f)-(g).) Thus the entire Congressional consideration could take no longer than 90 days.

I believe that we will not have truly free trade until said trade can be discussed and agreed upon, openly and honestly, in congress. Here is the full text for you to review for yourself.

https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/tpp-full-text

 

 


“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate, the 2016 United States of America Presidential election, and The United States Supreme Court

“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to P. S. Dupont de Nemours, Poplar Forest. April 24, 1816.)

The United States presidential election of 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors who in turn will elect a new president and vice president through the Electoral College. The term limit established in the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the incumbent president, Barack Obama, of the Democratic Party, from being elected to a third term. Pursuant to the Twelfth Amendment, the House of Representatives is required to go into session immediately to vote for president if no candidate for president receives a majority of the electoral votes (since 1964,  this has been 270 of the 538 electoral votes needed to win). The two major parties have spent approximately $737,447,652 as of today on the upcoming election.

I thought that prior to our 4th of July celebrations this year that we would take a look at where we are at in the process and also take a look at the history of The United States Supreme Court, while we are at it. I will start by going through the parties nominations for POTUS, in order of presumed ballot access, since there are three parties that look to have their candidate on the ballot in all states, I will start with Clinton first, just going by alphabetical order between the last names Clinton, Johnson, and Trump.

The Democratic Party Presumptive Nominee Hillary Clinton

The Democratic nominating contests are over and Hillary Clinton claimed victory a week ago. But Bernie Sanders has also refused to concede the race and the Democratic National Committee has yet to acknowledge Clinton as the party’s nominee. If Hillary Clinton is nominated by the party she will be the first woman nominated as candidate for potus by either the Democratic or the Republican parties. Businessperson Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente whom was running for the Democratic nod, has said that voter fraud has been rampant. Former Democrat, Lloyd Kelso, whom is still attempting to gather ballot access as an independent, says that he left the party due to the way that he was treated during the race. Bernie Sanders has stopped just short of  joining Rocky De La Fuente in calling out fraud. Clinton has recently met with both Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, however, she has not mentioned an official opinion on a running mate as of this time. Clinton is under investigation by the FBI because of her reliance on a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, breaking multiple department rules on cybersecurity. At the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information is a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan.

 

The Libertarian Party Nominee Gary Johnson

Gary Earl Johnson is an American businessman whom served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. He was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. Ever since his first bid for President in 2012, Johnson has been emphasizing reducing the United States public debt and the implementation of a balanced budget, protection of civil liberties, and a promise to take on the Federal Reserve. While in college, Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman. His success in that industry encouraged him to start his own business, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. When he started the business, which focused on mechanical contracting, Johnson was its only employee. He eventually grew Big J into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees. By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico’s leading construction companies. During his time as Governor he cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office. Johnson set state and national records for his use of veto and line-item veto powers.  According to former New Mexico Republican National Committee member Mickey D. Barnett, “Any time someone approached him about legislation for some purpose, his first response always was to ask if government should be involved in that to begin with. Johnson has been a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana and has said that if he were president, he would remove it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as well as issue an executive order pardoning non-violent marijuana offenders. Johnson has said that the War on Drugs was “an expensive bust”, he has also said that he would work towards concentration on harm-reduction measures for all other illegal drugs. He compared attempts to enforce the nation’s drug laws with the failed attempt at alcohol prohibition, stating, “Half of what government spends on police, courts and prisons is to deal with drug offenders.” He suggested that drug abuse be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue. In 2000, New Mexico was devastated by the Cerro Grande Fire. Johnson’s leadership during the fire was praised by Democratic Congressman Tom Udall, who said: “I think the real test of leadership is when you have circumstances like this. He’s called on his reserves of energy and has just been a really excellent leader under very difficult circumstances here.” Gary Johnson opposes censorship and regulation of the Internet, the Patriot Act, enhanced airport screenings, and the indefinite detention of prisoners. He has spoken in favor of the separation of church and state.

 

Libertarian nomination for Vice President, William Weld

William Floyd Weld was born in Smithtown, New York. His ancestor Edmund Weld was among the earliest students (Class of 1650) at Harvard College. He would be followed by eighteen more Welds at Harvard, where two buildings are named for the family. General Stephen Minot Weld Jr. fought with distinction in many major battles of the Civil War. Weld’s mother, Mary Nichols Weld (1913–1986), was a descendant of William Floyd, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1981, William Weld was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. During Weld’s tenure, the Attorney General’s office prosecuted some of New England’s largest banks in cases involving money laundering and other white-collar crimes. In 1985, the Boston Globe said Weld “has been by far the most visible figure in the prosecution of financial institutions.”Weld gained national recognition in fighting public corruption: he won 109 convictions out of 111 cases. In 1983, the Boston Globe stated: “The U.S. Attorney’s office has not lost a single political corruption case since Weld took over, an achievement believed to be unparalleled in the various federal jurisdictions.”

In 1986, President Reagan promoted Weld to head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in Washington, where Weld oversaw 700 employees. Weld was responsible for supervising all federal prosecutions, including those investigated by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the work of the 93 U.S. Attorneys (who by then included Rudy Giuliani in Manhattan). During this time, Weld worked on some of the Reagan administration’s most significant prosecutions and investigations, including the capture of Panama’s Manuel Noriega on drug trafficking charges. In March 1988, Weld resigned from the Justice Department, together with United States Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns and four aides, in protest of improper conduct by U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese. In July 1988, Weld and Burns jointly testified before Congress in favor a potential prosecution of Meese for his personal financial conduct, following a report by a special prosecutor investigating Meese. Meese resigned from office in July 1988 shortly after Weld’s and Burns’ testimony.

William Weld was Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. In July 1997, Weld was nominated to become United States Ambassador to Mexico by President Bill Clinton. His nomination stalled after Senate Foreign Relations committee Chairman Jesse Helms refused to hold a hearing on the nomination, effectively blocking it. Helms was also a Republican and their party held the majority in the chamber, but Helms objected to Weld’s moderate stance on social issues such as his support for gay rights, abortion rights, and the legalization of medical marijuana. This refusal to hold hearings was also rumored to be at the request of former United States Attorney General and friend of Helms, Edwin Meese. Meese reportedly had a long-standing grudge against Weld stemming from Weld’s investigation of Meese during the Iran-Contra affair. Weld co-chaired the Independent Task Force on North America under the Council on Foreign Relations, which studied the liberalization of markets and free trade between the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

The Libertarian presidential ticket will receive international exposure when it participates this week in a CNN town hall. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, will sit down with anchor Chris Cuomo in this prime-time event on Wednesday, June 22. The town hall will take place at 8 p.m. CT from the Time Warner Center in New York City and air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol, while also being live-streamed via CNNgo.

 

The Republican Party Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump

Donald Trump, was recently endorsed by Paul Ryan and has recently met with Karl Rove. He has not mentioned his opinion on a running mate as of this time. There is some debate amongst Republicans as to whether the convention will be a smooth event for Mr. Trump. It is common knowledge that Donald Trump grew his name as a businessperson out of J. Edgar Hoover’s New York circles. These circles included fellow businesspeople like Lewis Rosenstiel, along with Cardinal Spellman of the New York archdiocese, and various Wall Street establishment and media figures, many of which were presided over by lawyer Roy M. Cohn. Cohn was Trump’s lawyer and best friend throughout most of Trump’s formative years—his mentor, according to Trump. Roy Cohn was deployed by J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy during the “Red Scare”.

 

The Green Party Presumptive Nominee Jill Stein

In 1973, Jill Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied psychology, sociology, and anthropology. She then attended Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1979. Jill Stein received 469,501 votes in 2012 —more than any other female potus candidate to date. Stein wants to cut U.S. military spending by at least 50%. Stein has argued that the United States “helped foment” a coup in Ukraine. She maintains that any support to the Ukraine should be neutral and that the United States should not arm the Ukraine. Regarding disputes in the South China Sea, Stein has said that “it is wrongheaded for [the United States] to deal with territorial rights on the borders of China.” Stein has claimed that the United States “pursued a policy of basically encircling Russia–including the threat of nukes and drones and so on.” Stein wants “a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Stein has been highly critical of the political leadership of Israel. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s campaign has just announced that she has secured enough delegates to secure the Green Party’s nomination. After winning the majority of Green Party delegates in California, New York and Maryland, Stein has the support of 203 delegates, enough to secure the nomination at the party’s convention in August. Stein says a recent poll shows her with 5 percent support nationally. She has called for opening up the upcoming presidential debates to include third-party candidates. Via her social media Jill Stein has recently asked her party whom they would like to see as her running mate.

 

Constitution Party Nominee Darrell Castle

Darrell Castle is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for four years and attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He cites his military service as fostering his belief that war should not be entered into capriciously nor without congressional approval. After his discharge, he returned to ETSU and began his graduate study of history. He then attended the law school at University of Memphis, then known as Memphis State University, and earned his Juris Doctor in 1979. Darrell Castle has vowed, if elected, to get the United States out of the United Nations and NATO. “Our borders are worth defending. If we can secure the borders of Korea and Germany, then we can secure the borders of the United States,” said Castle.

 

Now, I would like to take a look at the history of the The Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially known as “SCOTUS”) is the highest federal court of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, although it may only act within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction.

The Court normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment (though no justice has ever been removed). In modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, the highest profile cases often expose ideological beliefs that track with those philosophical or political categories. The Court meets in the United States Supreme Court Buildingin Washington, D.C.  The ratification of the United States Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789. Its powers are detailed in Article Three of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the only court specifically established by the Constitution, and all the others were created by Congress. Congress is also responsible for conferring the title “justice” upon the associate justices, who have been known to scold lawyers for instead using the term “judge”, which is the term used by the Constitution. The Court first convened on February 2, 1790. Article III of the United States Constitution leaves it to Congress to fix the number of justices. The Judiciary Act of 1789 called for the appointment of six justices, and as the nation’s boundaries grew, Congress added justices to correspond with the growing number of judicial circuits: seven in 1807, nine in 1837, and ten in 1863. In 1866, at the behest of Chief Justice Chase, Congress passed an act providing that the next three justices to retire would not be replaced, which would thin the bench to seven justices by attrition. Consequently, one seat was removed in 1866 and a second in 1867. In 1869, however, the Circuit Judges Act returned the number of justices to nine, where it has since remained.

Section 2 of Article Three of the United States Constitution outlines the jurisdiction of the federal courts of the United States: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects. The jurisdiction of the federal courts was further limited by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, which forbade federal courts from hearing cases “commenced or prosecuted against [a State] by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.” However, states may waive this immunity, and Congress may abrogate the states’ immunity in certain circumstances (see Sovereign immunity). In addition to constitutional constraints, Congress is authorized by Article III to regulate the court’s appellate jurisdiction. The federal courts may hear cases only if one or more of the following conditions are met:

  1. If there is diversity of citizenship (meaning, the parties are citizens of different states or countries, including foreign states), and the amount of damages exceeds $75,000.[122]

  2. If the case presents a federal question, meaning that it involves a claim or issue “arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States”, assuming that the question is not constitutionally committed to another branch of government.

  3. If the United States federal government (including the Post Office) is a party in the case.

No matter what other members of the press may try to tell you, the U.S. Constitution states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Judges of the Supreme Court.”  Because the Constitution sets no qualifications for service as a justice, a president may nominate anyone to serve, subject to Senate confirmation. The court currently has eight justices and one vacancy after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016. On March 16, 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Merrick Garland to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to fill the vacancy created by Scalia’s death. Garland is yet to be confirmed by the Senate. Regardless of what comes to pass between the checks and balances, few could argue the importance to the decision to confirm a Justice that will honorably preside over the rights and liberty of us all.

Let us take a look as of press time at what may be in store if the Senate does not confirm Garland. Donald Trump has provided a list of 11 judges he would consider nominating to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, an unusual move for a presidential candidate. The list includes: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado, Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas. In a statement, Trump said he planned to use the list “as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices” and said the names are “representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value.” Five of the 11 names were floated in March by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which Trump said was assisting him in compiling a list of potential nominees. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, meanwhile, called Trump’s list “impressive” in a statement. Six of the 11 picks are federal judges on U.S. courts of appeal, all of whom were nominated to their current positions by former President George W. Bush. The five other candidates sit on the benches of state supreme courts.

After Judge Garland Merrick’s nomination, Clinton immediately came out in favor of his nomination and demanded the Senate vote on him. I was unable to find word on if Jill Stein or Darrell Castle have weighed in on this matter, however, the Johnson camp has hinted via social media that he would nominate Judge Andrew Peter Napolitano. Napolitano is a well-known libertarian who is a strong advocate of constitutional protections against government encroachment on natural and legal rights, as well as a strong advocate of broad constitutional liberties themselves. Napolitano is noted for stalwartly disagreeing with conservatives on questions of personal freedom, national security, and equality, while also engaging in full-throated defense of more conservative ideas of economic freedom and scope of government. With respect to both Presidents Bush and Obama and their handling of civil liberties in the War on Terror, Napolitano is a strong critic. In both his recent scholarly work, appearing in the New York University Law School Journal of Law and Liberty, and in his book Suicide Pact, Napolitano delivered detailed criticisms of the actions of both Presidents and their parties with respect to torture, domestic spying, unilateral executive action, and encroachments on political power.

I believe that the press and the average citizen currently put entirely too much power, too many fed notes, and much too much stock into the position of President. Most people can tell you who is running for President from the two current major parties but they are unable to name their closest local government representatives. In this country, when the United States first established their independence from England in 1776, some people wanted to make General George Washington America’s first king. Washington would not have it. Together with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and America’s other founding fathers, a constitution was created by which the government of the United States would be established. America was created a nation by, for, and of the people with a representative government – a constitutional republic. Power rests with the citizens who are presided over by an elected official known as the President. Washington had no desire to be a monarch and in fact he often expressed his concerns with one person or one or two parties, congress, or the supreme court becoming too powerful. He and the other founding fathers understood the danger of putting too much power in the hands of one person or entity. The constitutional republic they formed is based on a system of triple checks. That’s why America has a President, Congress, and a Supreme Court. Ideally, this system works to give the President just enough power to govern the nation without so much he forgets his position as a servant of the people.

On February 22, 1789, George Washington turned 57, knowing he had won a unanimous election as his nation’s first president — indeed, the first popularly elected president in world history. His election, however, presented him and the rest of the nation with an unexpected problem. He was to take his oath of office before the First Congress in, but 10 weeks — on April 30, 1789 — and no one knew what to call him. During the Revolutionary War, Americans called him “Your Excellency” or, more simply, “General,” in keeping with customs the world over. But there were no precedents for addressing an elected president. No other nation had ever elected a president. President Adams had been infatuated by the pomp of European courts he had visited as an American minister during the Revolutionary War, and he suggested addressing Washington as “Your Highness” or “Your Most Benign Highness.” One senator suggested calling Washington “His Exalted Highness.” Another scoffed at the suggestion as too aristocratic and insisted that “His Elective Highness” was far more appropriate. With that, the Senate debate fell into disorder. “Most Illustrious and Excellent President,” shouted one Senator. “His Majesty the President!” another called out. Fed up with the arguing, a third senator barked, “Why not call him George IV?” Other senators were less oblique, stating that the President was neither a king nor an emperor and entitled to no title but “George.” Vice President Adams urged the Senate and House to name a special committee to resolve differences. Adams then proposed calling Washington, “His Highness, the President of the United States, and Protector of the Rights of the Same.” After a few more days of debate, one congressman re-examined the Constitution and reminded his colleagues that it prohibited titles. After murmurs of surprise diminished, members finally adopted the Republican simplicity of “Mr. President” — setting the standard for generations of American presidents to come. Washington himself was relieved, telling his son-in-law, “Happily the matter is now done with, I hope never to be revived.”

This journalist would like to see peaceful revolution in this country and around the planet. I believe that breaking up the “two party system” will allow us to have a functioning Republic once again.  I ask that you consider joining me in peaceful revolution by registering no party, Libertarian, Constitution, or Green Party. Aside from caucuses and primaries, you would still be allowed to vote for people from any party that you would like to support. I feel like the majority of current American citizens can align with one of the three mentioned parties without compromising their morals or their principles. Please talk to your coworkers, friends, family, parents, and grandparents about the other active parties in this country and their alternative options in Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrell Caste, or NOTA (none of the above). A total of 494 Electoral Votes are in play for write in candidates. Currently, 43 States allow Write In Ballots for President of the United States. Most States require a candidate to register, however; Vermont, Wyoming,Oregon, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Iowa, Delaware, and Alabama do not require registration.  It is a shame to me that you will not hear this on your nightly local news, nor your “public” news source. No one in this country has to feel like they are choosing between a lesser of two evils and no one in this country has to feel like their vote does not count!


“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

The Gonzo Fourth Estate And The Libertarian Party National Convention Of 2016

“I believe that the eighties have never ended, they are still with us today. We have never repudiated. They are still here, making more money than ever.”  John Carpenter

This writer is a proud member of The Libertarian Party. I had the honor of representing Iowa as a delegate at the 2016 Libertarian Party Convention in Orlando, Florida. I am going to tell you what I saw and heard over the past four days. I was present when the stage was being erected until the stage was dismantled. If you wish to take the convention in from the cameras of C-SPAN, you may, as they presented the convention live. The party gathered to discuss their principles, platform, and to elect their officials, including our 2016 President and Vice President nominations. I could feel that this was going to be a big year for the party. We had just seen membership doubled, and revenue quadrupled. The two larger parties are arguably more divided than they have been in years, and they have arguably weaker candidates leading in delegate counts than they have had in years.

On the flights from Iowa to Florida, and back, I read a couple of books written by our state’s 2014 candidate for Governor, Dr. Lee Heib, needless to say it was quite the Libertarian Memorial Day weekend. The theme of the 2016 convention was #LegalizeFreedom. Upon arriving at the convention, one of the first people I encountered, was Presidential candidate and computer programmer, John David McAfee. I chatted with John a bit, at which point I thanked him for the work that he had put in campaigning, he told me that he intended to remain with the party, and to continue to help candidates from outside of the two largest parties get on ballots and into debates.

On May 26th the presidential candidates Marc Allan Feldman, Gary Johnson, John McAfee, Darryl W. Perry, and Austin Petersen participated in a political debate at the convention.

On May 27th We spoke on potential changes to the party platform.  Some things that I noticed were that I would be free to speak my mind and to address the floor, provided, I adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order, which is, parliamentary procedure that is based on the consideration of the rights: of the majority, of the minority (especially a large minority greater than one-third), of individual members, of absentee members, of all of these groups taken together. Anyone on the floor was free to do so, at a gathering of over one thousand people streaming on live television. I also noticed that there was no party security, no armed guards, no riot gear, and for the most party every member of the party in attendance felt like equals, with open access to the microphones, and to the candidates. It was easy for me to speak with all of the candidates running for any position. The majority of the time the event was led by National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark. Mr. Sarwark maintained order over a large crowd of Libertarian’s, there were over a thousand people present during much of the event, and over nine hundred delegates,  including the members of the party that identified as anarchists, I can’t imagine that keeping order over a crowd of this size would be an easy feat for most people. This evening a debate between the Libertarian candidates seeking the vice presidential nomination was held. On the same day, the candidates for chairperson of the LNC debated. During this time I encountered a gentleman of whom I had interviewed for the Iowa Free Press prior, Mr. Adam Kokesh. Mr. Kokesh is considering a future run for a party position. I was curious if Ron Paul would be able to attend the convention so I asked around regarding this matter. Paul could not be present due to family obligations but he did send a really nice video that was played at the convention. Ron Paul is a lifetime member of the party. It is notable that he paid his dues in gold.

On May 28th another debate between the Libertarian presidential candidates was held. The debate was televised live by C-SPAN. It was moderated by Larry Elder. The debate started at 8:00 PM EST and ended at 10:00 PM EST, and is available to listen to for free on the C-SPAN Radio App. Prior to this debate I had conversations with Gary Johnson, William Weld, and Mr. Vermin Love Supreme. I might add that no one was keeping anyone from eating or drinking any type of food or beverage on the floor and as far as I can tell, this did not cause any problems. The pizza joint near the main ballroom had a locally brewed organic beer which I drank periodically over the course of the convention. It was called Alligator Drool and it was a rather delicious American Pale Ale. It is brewed by the Florida Beer Company out of Cape Canaveral. Over the course of the convention there we many amazing speakers, but,  I will redirect you to the C-Span video, as  I have all of their names but it would fill up a page to type them out.

May 29 the vote and nomination of the Libertarian President and Vice President was held and televised by C-SPAN. Gary Johnson won the Presidential nomination on the second ballot with over fifty-five percent of the delegates supporting him. On both ballots Austin Petersen finished a strong second with over twenty percent of the delegates supporting him and John McAfee came in a distant third on each ballot. Prior to vice presidential balloting, Marc Allan Feldman endorsed Gary Johnson’s running mate William Weld, and Austin Petersen endorsed Alicia Dearn. Judd Weiss, who John McAfee had selected as his running mate, withdrew his name from consideration and endorsed William Coley, who had been Darryl Perry’s running mate. Consequently, McAfee endorsed Derrick Grayson, who had received a write-in vote in each round of the presidential contest but had not campaigned for either the presidency or vice presidency prior to the convention. Candidate Larry Sharpe gave William Weld a run for his money, receiving over thirty percent of the support to Weld’s forty-nine percent on the first ballot. No candidate achieved the majority on the first ballot, so there was a second ballot vote. Due to finishing last of the five nominated candidates, Dearn was excluded from the second ballot. Dearn then endorsed Weld. Additionally, both Coley and Grayson withdrew their names and endorsed Sharpe. However, Grayson withdrew his candidacy after the second ballots had been handed out, and therefore his name remained on the ballot as a valid candidate. William Weld won the nomination on the second ballot with over fifty percent of the delegates supporting him.

On May 30th the rest of the positions were filled and the remaining business was addressed,  including the ballot on which, incumbent chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, Nicholas Sarwark was re-elected to the position. There were two major bits of controversy that were picked up on in the media of which I would like to address as I was actually present. This items were rather inconsequential from my vantage point. One candidate running for vice-chair of the party decided to use his speaking time to put on a Chris Farley inspired strip tease. The man was quite large and got down to a rather small bit of underwear. I personally felt that this was upsetting mainly because many individuals have given their blood, sweat, and tears to get this party the chance that they may finally get in 2016. The chance to debate with the other two larger parties and get equal media coverage to the two larger parties. However, the party decided not to punish this individual, which I agreed with, and we moved on. If anything this goes to show that in this party you can say and do anything non-violent on stage. It was very obviously a free speech convention. The second bit of controversy seemed to be the emotions between the Presidential nominations and their supporters coming to a head. John, Austin, and Gary all ran impressive campaigns and at times things did get tense especially between Petersen and Johnson. Austin Petersen gave Johnson a replica flintlock pistol. I spoke to an individual whom said that he saw Johnson throw the pistol in the trash. I did not see this first hand and Johnson looked very happy when I saw him receive the pistol. It all seems rather trivial to me considering history. I mean when Hamilton and Burr had a beef they had an actual duel and Hamilton would up dead. I suppose this shows that we have progressed as a country. I learned while on the trip back to Iowa that among those to already endorse Johnson for President are, former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura, Nirvana Bassist, Krist Novoselic, and his opponent for the nomination, Austin Petersen. I will take this opportunity to officially endorse Gary Johnson for President of the United States of America. In respect to transparency, I will tell you that I voted Marc Allen Feldman and Larry Sharpe for President and VP on the first ballots. I did this to reflect the concerns that I had been hearing from those that I was representing and to help vet the candidates for President and Vice President.

I would like to wrap up by giving some background on the 2016 Libertarian Party candidates for President and Vice President. I will conclude with the Libertarian Party principles of which both of these individuals agreed to uphold. Gary Earl Johnson served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 as a member of the Republican Party, and was nominated by the Libertarian Party as its candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections. In 1976 he founded Big J Enterprises, which grew from a one-person venture to become one of New Mexico’s largest construction companies. During his tenure as governor, Johnson became known for his low-tax libertarian views, adhering to policies of tax and bureaucracy reduction supported by a cost–benefit analysis rationale. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office.Johnson set state and national records for his use of veto and line-item veto powers: estimated to have been more than the other 49 contemporary governors combined,which gained him the nicknames “Veto Johnson” and “Governor Veto”. Johnson successfully sought re-election in 1998. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms,[8] as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization and legalization, and opposition to the War on Drugs. Term limited, Johnson could not run for re-election at the end of his second term. He endorsed the Republican presidential candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 election.

William Floyd Weld was born in Smithtown, New York. His ancestor Edmund Weld was among the earliest students (Class of 1650) at Harvard College. He would be followed by eighteen more Welds at Harvard, where two buildings are named for the family. General Stephen Minot Weld Jr. fought with distinction in many major battles of the Civil War. Weld’s mother, Mary Nichols Weld (1913–1986), was a descendant of William Floyd, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
In 1981, William Weld was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. During Weld’s tenure, the Attorney General’s office prosecuted some of New England’s largest banks in cases involving money laundering and other white-collar crimes. In 1985, the Boston Globe said Weld “has been by far the most visible figure in the prosecution of financial institutions.”Weld gained national recognition in fighting public corruption: he won 109 convictions out of 111 cases. In 1983, the Boston Globe stated: “The U.S. Attorney’s office has not lost a single political corruption case since Weld took over, an achievement believed to be unparalleled in the various federal jurisdictions.” In 1986, President Reagan promoted Weld to head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in Washington, where Weld oversaw 700 employees. Weld was responsible for supervising all federal prosecutions, including those investigated by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the work of the 93 U.S. Attorneys (who by then included Rudy Giuliani in Manhattan). During this time, Weld worked on some of the Reagan administration’s most significant prosecutions and investigations, including the capture of Panama’s Manuel Noriega on drug trafficking charges. In March 1988, Weld resigned from the Justice Department, together with United States Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns and four aides, in protest of improper conduct by U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese. In July 1988, Weld and Burns jointly testified before Congress in favor a potential prosecution of Meese for his personal financial conduct, following a report by a special prosecutor investigating Meese.Meese resigned from office in July 1988 shortly after Weld’s and Burns’ testimony. In March 1988, Weld resigned from the Justice Department, together with United States Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns and four aides, in protest of improper conduct by U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese. In July 1988, Weld and Burns jointly testified before Congress in favor a potential prosecution of Meese for his personal financial conduct, following a report by a special prosecutor investigating Meese. Meese resigned from office in July 1988 shortly after Weld’s and Burns’ testimony.Governor of Massachusetts. The business community reacted strongly to Weld’s leadership. In a 1994 survey of chief executives conducted by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, 83% of those polled rated the state’s business climate as good or excellent—up from only 33% at the beginning of his term. Weld received grades of A in 1992, B in 1994, and B in 1996 from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, in their biennial Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors. After cutting state spending year-over-year for his first two years, the Republican Party lost its ability to sustain a veto in the legislature due to losses in the Massachusetts State Senate, forcing Weld to make greater concessions to Democratic legislators.In 1994, Weld won reelection with an impressive 71% of the vote in the most one-sided gubernatorial contest in Massachusetts electoral history. Weld carried all but five towns in the whole state, even carrying Boston.

In July 1997, Weld was nominated to become United States Ambassador to Mexico by President Bill Clinton. His nomination stalled after Senate Foreign Relations committee Chairman Jesse Helms refused to hold a hearing on the nomination, effectively blocking it. Helms was also a Republican and their party held the majority in the chamber, but Helms objected to Weld’s moderate stance on social issues such as his support for gay rights, abortion rights, and the legalization of medical marijuana. This refusal to hold hearings was also rumored to be at the request of former United States Attorney General and friend of Helms, Edwin Meese. Meese reportedly had a long-standing grudge against Weld stemming from Weld’s investigation of Meese during the Iran-Contra affair. Weld publicly criticized Helms, which the White House discouraged him from doing, but Weld relished the opportunity, saying: “It feels like being in a campaign. I feel newly energized. I love to stir up the pot. I seem to click on more cylinders when the pot is stirred up.” Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said that Weld’s chances of being confirmed weren’t “very good, and that he hurt himself by attacking the chairman unfairly and with political rhetoric that was just uncalled for.” There was speculation that the White House would let his nomination “die”, but he refused, saying that he hoped President Clinton “does not plan to give in to ideological extortion” and that “I wanted to send a message that I wanted to be captain of my ship [the nomination] even if it’s going to bottom.” Some speculated that attacking the more conservative Helms was a way to position him to pick up votes from fellow moderate Republicans in a potential run for President in 2000, but he rejected this, saying that “I’ve had a lot of people come up to me on the street and say, ‘Give ’em hell. That’s the Bill Weld we know and love.

Weld resigned the governorship on July 29, 1997, to devote his full attention to campaigning for the ambassadorship, even though few thought he would be successful; there was speculation that he was really resigning because he had tired of serving as Governor. A bipartisan majority of Senators signed letters demanding that Helms advance his nomination, but Helms refused.After an intensive six-week battle,Weld conceded defeat and withdrew his nomination on September 15, 1997. He commented sarcastically, “I asked President Clinton to withdraw my name from the Senate so I can go back to New England, where no one has to approach the government on bended knee to ask it to do its duty.”

I would like to close by providing you with the statement of principles of the Libertarian Party, of which both Johnson and Weld agreed to uphold.

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.


Photo Credit:  Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate

 

Opinion: We Got 99 Counties and Confusion Has Won

Do you support Bernie Sanders? Do you want him to win? Then if you sign up to be a delegate, the most important thing is to SHOW UP. These are the very important lessons I learned visiting the Cerro Gordo County Democratic Convention on Saturday, March 12.

It was a frustrating series of events to watch unfold. In what should have been an 11/11 split or even more of delegates between Bernie Sanders and Hillary, ended up with Hillary edging him out. With nearly 80 pledged Bernie delegates not showing up, the advantage fell to Hillary in a 12-10 decision. The problems compounded as recount after recount occurred and working class people who were told it would only be a few hours had to leave. At least one delegate, Eric Wolf, was not on any of the reported lists and ended up leaving citing his frustration on the Cerro Gordo Democrats Facebook Page. It was noted in the meeting that one precinct had not been reported, District 1-2.

This is a day of great importance for delegates and the next big step following the caucuses. It is the day that precinct delegates convene from each of Iowa’s 99 counties to choose their district delegates through ballot to move on and possibly go to state. If all goes properly, the number is already set. The number of district delegates is predetermined prior, but is based on how many people from each group shows up and is chosen from each of the groups separately.

We know that each state has its own unique set of rules, but in each state there are some that remain static. Based on that these are the most important things we’ve learned and that need to be passed on to you, the reader and potential delegates, if we want to win.

A. How serious are you about winning?

and

B. Are you ready for a test of endurance?

I cannot stress enough to those who sign up to be a precinct, district delegate, or an alternate, must be committed to showing up. Do not let this intimidate you however, this is democracy, and this is our future we are talking about. It’s almost certain that at the end, these delegates are going to come down to just a finite number across America. Iowa’s final count after today was a difference of 4. If everyone in Cerro Gordo showed up, we could have had that extra 4 and it could have led to Iowa of being a tie. We could lose in the national primary, and as I stated before it could come down to a handful of people who forget how important their role truly is.

We need to remind ourselves who and what the establishment really is. As I saw in Mason City, there is an unsettling number of those in charge of these county conventions who are staunch Hillary supporters. Wasting time and dragging procedure out, essentially filibustering, bodes well Hillary side and her key demographic. I plainly saw that Hillary’s side of the room was full of retirees while Bernie’s side had more people of age who needed to rush out the door and get back to work or their families. This is not a judgement or ageism, I was simply there as an impartial observer. However, just as Quinn Symonds, Bernie Sanders County Captain and owner of of @Iowa4Bernie Twitter account stated “Anything to win but actual democracy.” This was never more apparent than when the time came for realignment. A motion passed with a majority vote by all the Clinton supporters and some of the now tired and frustrated Sanders delegates to change the one hour time to just one minute. If you are unfamiliar with realignment, it is the time allotted to talk to those on the other side and sometimes, just sometimes your belief, your passion, and your words will bring someone to your side. This is what democracy looks like, talking to each other and sharing your views. Democracy limped home today in the confusion of signing in, being seated, repeated counts, and frustration across Iowa. Bernie supporters in Dubuque, Waterloo, and Polk county among others reported in with concerns similar and much worse.

As we move forward, these mistakes must not be made in any other states. Understand that Hillary has a bag of tricks that include professional delegates, disrupters, people we know and have seen on video throw the counts, and people in high places who run and organize these conventions. What do we do?

We make sure that those who sign up to be a district delegate understand immediately what they are getting into and the time commitment it involves, which may possibly be all day.

We show up. We hold ourselves accountable.Do not depend upon being reminded and if for any reason you cannot make it to the county convention call your Bernie office so they can set up the alternate. If you don’t know or have a local Bernie office, get on a Bernie Facebook site and ask for help. If you aren’t on a local Bernie Facebook Page, this is a great excuse to get on one. Bernie friends are not in short demand, trust me. I’ve found hundreds of them and they keep finding me!

The Clintons have the combined presidential campaigning experience that is unmatched by anyone, let’s not kid ourselves. They know things that we’ve never considered and as much credit as we want to give the Bernie campaign we cannot match the experience the Clintons have. LEARN FROM IOWA! DO BETTER THAN US!

If you are unsure of the time, again reach out. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. The campaign can answer just about anything you may need to know. Do not be late, try to be early and mingle. Make sure you sign in immediately. Get your packet or docket and sit down. Attempt to be polite and always monitor the situation. Ask names and questions to get the questions and clarifications you need. Do NOT leave until it is over. Bernie once filibustered for 8 hours. If he did it, you can too! Let me repeat, do NOT leave until it is over! The counts can change from the original tally, and almost did, in some places in Bernie’s favor, in others Hillarys. Once again the rules and styles are different in each state, so it’s important that you know your state’s rules and processes.

Don’t just take anyone’s word for it either. Look for Bernie staffers, or any other experienced Democrats. The confusion and mishaps in Cerro Gordo county was multiplied across Iowa by 99. We cannot let this happen in other states. We must learn from this and remain vigilant. We must stay on top and hold strong especially with other states having caucus conventions upcoming as well. If we wish Bernie to become our next Commander in Chief then we must prepare for these situations and for whatever they throw at us. Bernie said weeks ago to be ready for the kitchen sink, well here it comes.


Photo Credit: By Phil Roeder [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Right To Choose Medicine Is A Basic Right

We often hear about the “right to health care” and other political talking points, but we rarely hear about the right to choose your own medication. There is currently a “right to try” bill being proposed in the Iowa Senate that would allow terminally ill patients to choose their own medication regardless of FDA approval. Not only is this bill common sense, but it needs to be extended to all patients and not just those who are terminally ill.

It is nice to think that medical regulations keep us safe, but are they really keeping us safe? John Stossel discussed the FDA approval process that was killing people by keeping a beta blocker off the shelf through regulations:

Since the thalidomide success, the FDA has grown in size tenfold, and now to get a new drug approved, it takes 12 to 15 years. So some years ago, the FDA proudly announced at a press conference, it was approving a new heart drug. This new beta-blocker will save 14,000 American lives a year. Nobody stood up to say, “Hey, that’s great, but didn’t that also mean you killed 14,000 people last year and the year before?” No reporter asked that because reporters don’t think that way, but it did mean that.

There is a fundamental right that the legislature must realize and that is that you as an individual own your own body. The State Board of Medicine does not. The state legislature does not. While there should be laws to protect people from those doctors and drug companies that would hurt people, the state should not tell you what medications you can take and tie to your doctor’s hands to prescribing a one size fits all approach to medication.

Here in Iowa, I have heard from patients with Lyme disease that suffer because no doctor wants to risk losing their medical license to treat the disease after patients say the initial treatment doesn’t work. Doctors who want to treat patients cannot do so without the real possibility of losing their medical license and patients are forced to travel out of state to seek treatment or go underground and find a cash only doctor and hope they don’t get caught. That is not health care, but bad government policy.

The “right to try” bill is a good first step and I thank the members of the legislature who brought it up, but always remember that you, not the state, should have the final decision over your health care.

Photo Credit:
© Minerva Studio / Dollar Photo Club

Tax Wall Street Party Challenges Clinton’s Iowa Victory

The Tax Wall Street Party is calling on Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to investigate challenger Hillary Clinton’s perceived victory in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses on February 1.

TWSP Chairperson Daniela Walls issued a public statement on February 2 in the form of an open letter to Sanders and his campaign staff. In the letter, Walls says her organization has “no confidence in the Iowa Democratic Party’s announcement that Hillary Clinton has emerged as the winner.”

The Iowa Caucuses on Monday night ended in a near dead-heat between Clinton and Sanders, considered by some to be a historic feat for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Some sources report that the caucus race was too close to call.

According to Walls, “Reports generally available in the news media and sourced to officials of your campaign speak of some 90 Iowa precincts where the Democratic Party failed to provide a duly credentialed chairperson, and allege that the individual campaigns were being called on to help ‘reconstruct’ the vote totals – an open door to fraud.”

The TWSP statement coincides with charges of voter irregularity and confusion in precincts throughout the state. As reported by C-SPAN, “Caucus chair and Clinton precinct captain do not conduct actual count of Clinton supporters and deliberately mislead caucus” at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines.

The group is urging the Sanders campaign to go through the appropriate legal channels to secure the “immediate impoundment” of all records (printed files, emails, text messages, etc.) generated by Democratic Party officials, the Clinton campaign and “other relevant persons, regarding the conduct of and delegate assignment in these caucuses.”

Walls adds that TWSP takes these allegations very seriously and that an official investigation would be for the benefit of Democratic voters and “of the American people in general.”

TWSP is a non-profit group based in Washington D.C. that describes itself as “the modern revival of the best of American traditions, all of which are historically proven, having been successfully put to use in America and other nations around the world.” They support protections and incentives for “the producers of tangible goods and services, programs to improve the quality of life for American communities, and an end to harmful free trade and financial speculation.”

Walls argues that the attitude expressed by certain officials that the Iowa Democratic Party is in effect “a private club beyond the reach of federal law is anti-historical and outrageous, since it negates the entire effort of the civil rights movement to secure fair primary elections, starting in the southern states.”

Clinton’s campaign, in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee, has been accused by Sanders supporters and others in the party of practices that have been deemed by some as “questionable” at best.

As reported by Iowa Free Press, the Democratic Liberty Caucus, a libertarian/conservative-leaning wing of the party, has called for the resignation of DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who served as the co-chair of Clinton’s failed 2008 bid for president against challenger Barack Obama.

“We further urge you to investigate the possibility of a federal lawsuit against the Iowa Democratic Party for denying the civil rights of Iowa Democratic voters through multiple irregularities, including the obviously unfair coin toss procedure in which the Hillary campaign won every time,” the TWSP statement continues.

The full TWSP statement can be read here.