Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Next Bubble to Pop

Thanks to Andrew Groff for bring this one to my attention.

By now, the bubble in student loans is becoming more widely understood. The absolute level continues to rise significantly and growth is accelerating with 8% YoY growth just reported, via the WSJ. Of course the reasons are anathema but attending college on the back of hope of a better-paying job when everyone else is also attending college in that hope (thanks to endless student-loan funding from your helpful government) seems to be self-defeating as the supply of supposedly better-qualified workers into a stagnant economy will do nothing but reduce higher-end wages further?
This is an issue with dire consequences for young people, many of whom have a great deal of student debt, not a lot of job prospects, and no ability to declare bankruptcy to escape the crushing burden of that taxpayer-backed debt.  They will pay eventually, and the taxpayers will shoulder the burden until they do.  This is no way to run a railroad.  Bankruptcy is an integral part of the credit process as it protects borrowers from predatory lenders and encourages lenders to take less risk.  Bailouts and government subsidies interrupt this process to the detriment of the government's budget and the nation's economy.

Psst...HEY, buddy...wanna buy a soda?

Prohibition doesn't work.

But rules designed to keep kids from washing down their lunches with something fizzy can be tricky. That lesson was driven home when the state Office of Education’s Child NutritionProgram hit the school with a $15,862 fine—75 cents per violation over the period of many months that it turns out students had been illicitly selling soda in the school store. 
To the extent that there is an obesity problem – and I think the “epidemic” is more than a little overblown – you don’t solve it by removing choices. You solve it by encouraging the kids to make better choices.
We could also stop encouraging everyone to make bad choices by subsidizing bad choices and instead empower people to make good choices with truth in labeling.

HB205: Rent Control

My thoughts on the discussion of HB205, creating rent controls in Manufactured Housing communities, on DelawareLiberal:

I can’t help but think there’s a better way to deal with this problem. Is there some kind of regulatory distinction between a “Manufactured Home” and a site-built home that allows ownership of the structure to be transferred without transferring ownership of the property? Can you do that with site-built homes? That arrangement would make sense if the manufactured home is sufficiently mobile that it could be relocated in response excessive rent increases, but a permanently affixed manufactured home doesn’t subject the lot owner to these competitive pressures.

I understand that developers and property owners have a tendency to take advantage, and I can see that there’s clearly a problem here, I’m just concerned that rent controls subject to some bureaucratic agency will backfire. Take as an example: A lot owner has his costs go up one year in excess of the CPI, but he can’t get approval to raise his rates accordingly, so he takes a bath. The next year, even if his costs DON’T go up, he will increase his rents automatically by the CPI just in case he needs to raise rents beyond next year’s CPI next year. New lots will start off with higher rents as a hedge against future cost increases that cannot be made up in rent increases without bureaucratic approval.

There’s also the possibility that at some point in the future the Governor’s Advisory Council on Manufactured Housing becomes nothing more than a rubber stamp for any requests submitted to it, establishing a precedent that effectively neuters this legislation entirely. Maybe the cost of land ownership grows at a faster pace than the CPI, and rather than take a bath every year as cost growth outpaces revenue growth, they just shut down entirely, which further drives up rental rates due to the decrease in available supply.

Again, I can see the problem with the status quo, I’m just concerned that rent controls are too blunt of a solution. They have side effects.

My instinct would be to vote against the bill, but I would be interested in finding an alternative solution to this issue.  I welcome your comments.

UPDATE:  Another commenter informed me that these permanently affixed structures are titled at the DMV as "vehicles" based solely on the fact that they were "manufactured" off site rather than built on site.  This strikes me as a highly problematic confusion of property rights that should be addressed before we skip straight to rent control.

UPDATE(again):  Been looking at the code.  If this subchapter is governing the rental of real property with fixed structures owned by someone else constructed on it, there are some issues that can't be addressed by rent controls but might abrogate the need for them.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kill Lists

From the New York Times:
Could he [Obama] order the targeted killing of an American citizen, in a country with which the United States was not at war, in secret and without the benefit of a trial?
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting that while the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.
That work for you? What if it were internal deliberations of the Bush Administration? How about then?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Republican Primary


It's official.  If you've been watching my campaign closely enough or listening to my internet media appearances, you'll know by now that I have been a registered Republican since the end of last week, and intended to file for the Republican nomination.  It is done.  Now, I've struggled with the Republican Party.  I've been registered with them a number of times throughout the course of my life, every time with great trepidation as the GOP does not have the best record when it comes to things important to libertarians.  As I was growing up during the second Bush Administration, the Republican Party associated itself with endless war on a global scale, committing fully to the attendant losses of civil liberties and economic prosperity.  They also had a nasty habit of trying to insert government into the personal relationships and most intimate activities of non-violent individuals.

Nevertheless, the campaign for the presidency waged by Dr. Ron Paul has begun a long, national struggle to reform the Republican Party into an organization committed to liberty and limited government.  I have participated in Delaware's part of that struggle, and gained some notoriety in the process of doing so.  In light of that, in support of Dr. Paul's struggle to reform the GOP, and due to the current circumstances in the 32nd District, I have decided to once again join the fray of Delaware Republican Party politics and seek their nomination for the 32nd Representative District seat.

I am still a libertarian, I am still the Vice Chair for the Libertarian Party of Delaware, and I am still honored and deeply grateful for the support the LP showed me by offering me their nomination at the recent state convention.  Unfortunately the circumstances are such that running on the Libertarian ballot line is not the most effective strategy for my campaign.

Even more unfortunately, the most effective strategy for my campaign would have been to participate in the Democratic Primary against the incumbent, taking advantage of the Democratic registration advantage in the 32nd District, and going after the source of the issues I hope to address if elected to represent the 32nd District, the majority-holding Delaware Democratic Party.  However, I could not have in good conscience done so unless there was a Republican candidate prepared to pick up the banner of liberty should I have failed to secure the Democratic nomination.  The Delaware Republican Party offered me no such candidate, and snubbed my every effort to find one for them.

I am left with no choice but to go around the Delaware Republican Party to the Republicans living in the 32nd District directly.  I am left with no choice but to contest their nomination myself in a primary election that will take place on the 11th of September, at your regular polling places.  I am left with no choice but to run against a man who I am sure is a decent and good man, but who I do not believe in my heart has the constitution to fight for the 32nd District the way I will fight.


As has been the subject of much discussion since the primaries of 2010, the Delaware Republican Party has a nasty habit of pressing their thumb on the scales of their primary nominating contests.  Months before the election, and weeks before the deadline for new candidates to come forward, the organizational apparatus of the Delaware Republican Party meets among its various convention district and representative district committees to endorse one of the publicly announced candidates.  Once a candidate is endorsed, any other candidate is prohibited by party rules from conducting any activity which might be construed as campaigning at party functions.

I have spent many of the last few months in conflict with the Delaware Republican Party.  To convince them to now endorse me in their primary may be quite a challenge.  Nevertheless, if my friends and supporters registered with the Republican Party, and residing in Kent County and especially the 32nd District, are willing and able to attend two or three meetings, it MAY be possible.  The first of these meetings is the Kent County Republican regional meeting, taking place on the 13th of June at 7pm in the Kent County Levy Court building on Bay Rd in Dover.  The second meeting is the 32nd District Republican committee meeting on the 14th of June at 6pm in that same building.  We may also need to attend the Kent County regional meeting in July, so please watch for updates.

Please note, that if I am endorsed by the 32nd District committee and/or the Kent County region, I have no intention of insisting that these rules be followed.  I firmly believe that better decisions can be made by more committed and better informed voters if all candidates are allowed to participate fully in the primary process.  I firmly believe that the cause of liberty and limited government are best served when voters are allowed to have more information about their candidates, not less.  If the party apparatus does support me, I will be grateful for their endorsement, but I will welcome my primary opponent to participate fully in the process nevertheless, even if he is engaged in activity that could be construed as campaigning.  I believe the better candidate will be selected by that open process.

I challenge Mr. Parrot to make the same commitment.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Honor the Troops, Question the Cause

Free men are obligated to exercise their freedom. Part of that exercise is questioning the judgement of the people who have been sending our men and women in uniform off to die. It is right and just that we should call them heroes for their actions defending civilians, protecting each other, and being willing to die to protect our freedoms. It is also important that we who have elected the politicians responsible for their well being are careful not to let our honor for these brave men and women be abused and exploited by those politicians.

War may create heroes, but war itself is not heroic. The wars in which we are presently engaged, especially, are not heroic. If we are to honor those who are truly heroes, if we are to honor Memorial Day then that must be acknowledged. Our political class intentionally blurs the distinction. They purposely conflate the heroism of our troops with the perverse causes in which they engage them.

Especially on Memorial Day, if we are true patriots, we MUST not accept that. We must call such politicians to account. We must honor our service men and women by taking greater care in selecting the causes our politicians sacrifice them to.

I am comfortable calling our troops heroes. I am even more comfortable calling the politicians who send them to their deaths, without a proper constitutional declaration of war, cretins, criminals, traitors, and murderers. Our troops deserve better.

Brett Kimberlin

Brett Kimberlin is a convicted domestic terrorist, and he can bite me.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Candidates Out of the Woodwork

Keith Spanarelli.  Alex Pires.  Douglas Beatty.  Patrick Boyle.  Ellis Parrott.

What do all of these candidates have in common?  They surprised the political establishment by existing.  The Delaware Democratic Party didn't expect anyone to file before Tom Carper did for the US Senate.  Keith Spanarelli goes and files anyway and now Carper will have to primary him.  But who is he?  Even Delaware Liberal doesn't know him and didn't see him coming.  Sure, Andrew Groff has the Green Party's nomination and the endorsement of the Libertarian Party of Delaware, and he's been going after Tom Carper for months, but he's been on WDEL, social media, and circulating among the grassroots organizations engaged in Delaware's political process.  He wasn't a surprise and he's got a fully functioning website up and running.  Keith Spanarelli still has a placeholder website with a Donate button on it.

Then there's Alex Pires.  He's even more fun.  Here's a guy who comes out running as an "Independent" for the same office, creates a media frenzy, and leaves out any mention of the arduous process ahead of him for even getting on the ballot, as he has yet to reach out to the only remaining party with ballot access yet to choose a candidate for US Senate, the Independent Party of Delaware.  He even managed to create a fight with Tom Carper on his first day.  The first two pages of Google results for Mr. Pires are all media appearances, despite a lack of ballot access, and no website.  Anyone ask him how anyone is supposed to vote for him?  Is he going to collect 6070 signatures?  Is he going to run as the Independent Party of Delaware's candidate?

I'm a big fan of Andrew Groff's.  He is a serious candidate, with a serious campaign, and a serious critique of Senator Carper's record on civil liberties, financial issues, monetary policy, and internet censorship.  With the recent strides they've made in registering voters, I believe the Green Party expects to have ballot access for Andrew to appear on the ballot and make a serious dent in Tom Carper's support.  I hope that people dissatisfied with his record in the Senate will look to Andrew before they look to a candidate who seems to have no campaign and a campaign that seems to have no ballot access.

Then there's Douglas Beatty.  Unlike Keith and Alex, I've met Doug.  He's an interesting guy, to say the least.  He's promising to primary Jack Markell for Governor this year.  He's also showing up to 9-12 meetings in skirts.  The one stumbling block to his candidacy is the $5497 filing fee.  He claims to have raised the first $5 of it.  That's a great start.  He's also made himself so popular on Delaware Liberal that I understand his comments are now being moderated rather than published throughout the site.

Patrick Boyle recently filed in Kent County as a Republican candidate for Comptroller.  Despite being one of those offices most people wonder why we hold elections for them.  This guy is only 27 years old.  I'm not hating on his age, I'm 27 myself.  It's about time we got some young blood interested in this nonsense.  Inquiries throughout the Kent County Republican Party seem to all come back with blank stares.  This guy isn't well known to the party pooh-bahs either.  I've recently had the privilege of speaking with Patrick on Facebook and he seems nice enough and genuine in his intentions, but he has equally surprised election watchers by showing up.

Finally, there's Ellis Parrott.  I have to be extremely careful here as Mr. Parrott is actually filed as a Republican in the 32nd District, where I myself am running for state representative against him.  Mr. Parrott is a former Justice of the Peace court judge, but up until Representative Bennett's arrest in April, he was completely off the radar of the 32nd District Republicans, and the activist organizations working in the area.  Another candidate was even getting ready to file before he appeared seemingly from no where.  Many local activists are struggling to determine where he stands before deciding who to support.  (Hint:  Support me.)

This isn't even to mention all of the wonderful candidates the establishment won't see coming out of the Libertarian Party of Delaware's convention.  We have a few experienced campaigners familiar with Delaware's issues.  I'd like to think I'm on my way to becoming one of them.  We also have a lot of newbies who were willing to step up on the basis that our current government isn't working and they might as well take a crack at it.

There will be a lot of detractors who think that these people don't belong in the race because they have no familiarity with the political landscape or the issues facing the state.  Personally, I disagree.  I think the more people who are willing to stand up and fight against the status quo, the better.  I think the more people who are willing to fight for what they believe in, the better.  The more candidates we have willing to step forward and discuss the issues that are important to them, the more engaged we will all be in our political process and the more likely we are to find a candidate who will actually represent us honorably, vigorously, and consistently with our rights and individual liberties in mind.  There will also be a bright future for many of these candidates whether they win or lose.  These first forays may be the launchpads for shining careers in public service that eventually become the stories of how America recovered from the early 21st Century's economic collapse.

Obviously, I still have my favorite candidates in each of these races, particularly that 32nd Representative District race, but each of these candidates offer a gateway for the people of Delaware to look more closely at their local elections and to engage with the candidates seeking to represent them.  They also represent an encouraging trend of regular people who get so fed up with the way things are going that they are willing to become candidates.  If more people followed their example, perhaps our incumbent politicians would have a more healthy fear of being turned out for spending too much of our money on suppressing too many of our rights.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This was a long time coming.  The website has been redesigned.  You can donate money.  You can sign up for our email list.  You can donate money.  You can link directly to Facebook.  You can donate money.  You can read about me and my thoughts on the issues facing Delaware.  You can even donate money.

Please let me know what you think.

Then donate some money.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weren't You Promised JOBS?

Remember the 2010 elections?  Weren't you promised JOBS?  Well, this is what you got.

In June of 2011, the Delaware General Assembly passed HB180.  This bill, according to its own synopsis, "eliminates the exception that allows for unlicensed persons to perform electrical work under the supervision of electricians licensed under Chapter 14, Title 24".  The bill was passed by both chambers without a single "No" vote.  Four legislators can avoid the blood on their colleagues' hands by virtue of having skipped the vote.

Now, I'm all for making sure that people doing work that can start fires when done improperly know their business.  What I don't support is creating onerous licensing procedures and using government mandates and threats of fines to force people to bend to the will of a bunch of politicians before they can go out and earn a living.  What I don't support is legislation in the middle of a period of above average unemployment that explicitly "eliminates the exception that allows...persons to".  Why would ANYONE want to stop allowing people to work?

Anyway, the bill passed.  Everyone who showed up that day voted for it.  Do with that information what you will.  It was one of those bills that was passed under suspended rules right before the legislature went on summer vacation because it was on the "MUST PASS List", as if there should be such a thing.  In the meantime, there IS an effort under way to FIX some of the damage caused by HB180.  Two efforts, in fact.

One such effort is SB179.  This bill would suspend the implementation of HB180 for two years.  In an election year, such a delay is helpful, but not very much.  Instead of being thrown out of work in four weeks, they'll be thrown out of work in two years and four weeks.  Unfortunately, we're unlikely to find that reprieve as SB179 has been assigned to the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee since March, and has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

The other effort is more substantively useful.  HB301 would completely restore the exceptions permanently.  This bill is also rotting in committee, this time the House Sunset Committee originally responsible for releasing HB180.  It has not been scheduled for a hearing following its assignment in early April

HB301 should pass.  Short that, SB179 should pass and something similar to HB301 should pass after the election.  In order for either of those things to happen, the committee must release the bill or the rules of the respective chambers must be suspended.  Someone should be moving to suspend the rules and consider these bills daily.  Perhaps that would motivate the committees to schedule hearings and deal with the bills on their merits.

Even if I win this year, it will be over six months too late to save anyone's job.  The best I could do would be to reintroduce a bill similar to HB301 and hope it got a better hearing from a new General Assembly.  That doesn't mean we're powerless though.  You can email the people on the committees, especially the committee chairs, and ask them when these bills will be heard.  You can email your own legislators and ask them if they'd support suspending the rules to consider these bills without a committee report.  You can ask that electrical contractors in Delaware not be forced to join the ranks of the unemployed because they didn't fill out the proper paperwork.

Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee

House Sunset Committee

Monday, May 21, 2012

Robocalls and Literature Drops

Today I carpet bombed the 32nd District with a robocall introducing me to the voters.  I hate robocalls.  I usually hang up on them.  I don't blame you at all if you did too.  If you didn't, and you followed it to this website, and it is your intention to berate me and yell at me of calling you, I apologize in advance, and I promise you that I will only carpet bomb the district with robocalls again immediately preceding the general election in November to remind everyone to vote.  If you still feel the need to call and yell, 302.670.1971.  You can also email me at

It's also possible you came here today because you found a flyer in your door or because I handed you one personally.  Thank you for visiting!  I apologize for the condition of the website.  I was only nominated by the Libertarian Party of Delaware on Saturday and I've yet to revamp it as a campaign website instead of an LP blog.  Please check my last article for links to my Facebook pages, and check back here often for updates.

I will, as always, gladly take your money.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Paperwork. Discussions. Manuevering. Oh My!

So, getting nominated, that's step one.  There are actually quite a few things being considered in this campaign, not least of which is the impact that other nominated and endorsed candidates from yesterday's convention can have to assist in my own race.  There's also the question of the other candidates and potential candidates.  Then there's paperwork.  Lots of paperwork.  The timing of the state convention was selected this year because it falls within a narrow window between the presidential primary in April and the blackout for party registration changes leading up to the September state primary.  Many of our candidates, though nominated and endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Delaware, are considering primary strategies to have the greatest impact on their local races.

That means decisions need to be made, discussions need to be had, and forms need to be filled out.  Lots of forms.

What I REALLY need is a website that accepts contact information, donations, and event suggestions.  What I really need is a calendar and to begin reaching out to local community organizations.  Unfortunately, there is a great deal of uncertainty and disarray in the Democratic and Republican parties due to the recent events involving the incumbent.  Who the candidates are or are likely to be is a fairly fluid situation and nothing is set in stone until all of the parties know whether or not they'll have ballot access, and whether or not additional candidates are likely to file in their primaries.

At least I got some signs out last night.  You may have noticed them if you're a local.  I know I can't keep them out for long, only for the 30 days following the school board elections that took place on May 8th, but it may generate some early interest and make a not-so-subtle announcement to the people who are paying attention that I am running in this race and I don't intend to sit quietly at home and serve as an LP "paper candidate".

Trying to figure these things out and divine, then execute a coherent election strategy has to take priority, for now.  In the meantime, please email me directly at if you'd like to help or ask a question.  Call me at 302.670.1971 if you want to talk or if there's an issue you think needs to be addressed.  Find me on Facebook, follow the Libertarian Party of Delaware, Kent County Libertarian Party of Delaware, Ballot Access Delaware, and Delaware Independents' Day pages, and check back here often for updates on the campaign and the fight for liberty and open government in Delaware.

Yes, I will still gladly accept your money.


By the way, fundraising efforts are actually going better than the above app would indicate. Checks and cash don't involve transaction fees, and asking for money to buy a laser isn't exactly a strong selling point. More realistically, the Kent County Libertarian Party is trying to raise money to assist in the development of a marketing list of Kent County voters to assist in my campaign and the other campaigns covering Kent County. These synergies will be critical in breaking the hold of the two-party monopoly and restoring an honest government that does not tolerate interference from Washington in local affairs, or political interference in the market to support well connected, out of state companies.

Bottom line, I really, really, want your money. This is also going better than the app would indicate. Call me or email me if you want to send a check and save me transaction costs.


Nominated. Again.

Remember the last time? Well, it happened again. I was nominated to run for the 32nd Representative District seat by the Libertarian Party of Delaware. I'm a little bit more experienced than the last time around, I think. Should be fun.

Watch this space, and please give me your money.


DISCLAIMER: I am not really going to buy a laser, but campaign stuff. It's expensive.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Strategy for LIBERTY

Let's think strategically here on behalf of LIBERTY for a moment, regardless of the needs and desires of one man or even one faction of a VERY broad movement.

What better serves the immediate cause of liberty in a media environment dominated by the "Commission on Presidential Debates" at this point? They will look at the average polling results over 5 different polling organizations between Labor Day and the first debate on October 3rd.

When these polling organizations call over the next few months, and ask you if you are going to be voting for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, you will have a choice. You can:

a) Get mad that they did not include Ron Paul and hang up.
a) Get mad that they did not include Ron Paul and yell at the automated system, press a whole bunch of buttons that don't actually make sense, feel incredibly gratified (believe me, I know), then hang up.
a) Get mad that they did not include Ron Paul and yell at the poor phone operator who either doesn't live in this country anyway or for some other reason doesn't know or care about politics, start to feel a little guilty when you realize there is absolutely nothing on the "script" for dealing with you, apologize, then hang up.
b) Be satisfied if they DID include Gary Johnson, VOTE FOR HIM IN AN OTHERWISE MEANINGLESS OPINION POLL, and help him get his 15% in OPINION POLLS for access to the debate stage, so a LIBERTARIAN, even someone you consider an imperfect one, can GET ON STAGE and bring the fight to Obama and Romney on a national platform.

Whatever you opt to do in November, whether it is to throw away your vote by writing in a candidate without an electoral college slate, or laugh gleefully at all the naysayers who said Ron Paul couldn't get the GOP nomination as you vote for him on their ballot, you WANT Gary in those debates. You NEED Gary in those debates. If Ron Paul is standing next to him, they will gang up on Obama and beat that poor statist to an intellectual pulp. If Mitt Romney is standing next to him, America will see before it the undeniable similarities between tweedle dum and tweedle dee when Liberty is in the house.

Vote as you must, but tell Gallup, Rasmussen, Zogby, Pew and CNN that you want Gary. Better yet, call them now and ask them ahead of time if they plan to include him in their polling. ASK them. ASK for someone to call you back with an answer. Put the onus on them to explain themselves. While you're at it, ask them if they plan to include Green Party candidate Jill Stein (hopefully) and Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode. If you really want to see the D/R monopoly on full display, demand a real debate with all of the candidates.

You're gaming the GOP's national delegate selection process now, and I applaud you for it. Let's game the Commission on Presidential Debates and get Liberty a voice on national TV.

Gallup: 202.715.3030
Rasmussen: 732.776.9777
Pew Research: 202.419.4300
Zogby: 305.529.6280
CNN: 404.827.1500

Monday, May 14, 2012


I am running, as my initial $100 fundraiser went even more quickly than I'd expected. I am happy to discuss details of my election strategy with donors at this time, a public announcement and solicitation for an endorsement will be forthcoming at the Libertarian Party of Delaware State Convention this weekend. Please come and support the Libertarian Party and my candidacy. Please give me more of your hard earned money.

This is a fundraiser that is being conducted in tandem with the Kent County Libertarian Party to secure a marketing list for Kent County's voters. The list has been already been purchased, but with your support, additional resources can be reserved for later in the campaign. This list will be used to support my candidacy, assuming I'm nominated. It will also be used to support the other candidates and causes supported by the Kent County LP.


There's also a fundraiser going on for a Crystal Argon Laser, but that's ridiculous.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bet You I'll Run

I have been asked whether or not I am running for office. Who thinks I should? I'm easy to bait. All it will take is $100. Bet me $100 I won't run for office.

Do it.


That was quick...thanks!