Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sam Sloan Switcheroo Sinks Slate

The Personal Freedom Party held its New York City Nominating Convention on May 11, 2013. Sam Sloan was nominated for Mayor, Thomas Robert Stevens was nominated for Public Advocate, and Richard Bozulich was later nominated for Comptroller. John Clifton, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, was hired to be Petition Coordinator and liaison to Darryl Bonner and Gerald Bundy, the two paid petitions who were required by contract to obtain 7,000 signatures in support of the drive. Matthew Kelly, Vice-Chair of Long Island Libertarians, agreed to serve as Treasurer of the Committee to Elect Sam Sloan Mayor and opened a checking account on behalf of Sam Sloan's campaign. Payment for the first week of two weeks lodging for the petitioners was paid out of that account and the petition form was carefully scrutinized and approved by all involved. Sam Sloan, Darryl Bonner and Gerald Bundy signed a written contract detailing the obligations of all parties.  

On Monday, July 8, 2013, Sam Sloan, Darryl Bonner and John Clifton met in Queens to discuss the implementation of the contract in anticipation of the collection of signatures on behalf of the slate nominated by the Personal Freedom Party. That evening, Sam Sloan told Darryl Bonner he had a side-contract he wanted him to execute first, namely, the collection of petition signatures to get his Personal Freedom Party slate on the ballot as Republican Party candidates. Darryl Bonner and John Clifton confirm Sam Sloan told them they were not to tell anyone about this side-contract, which included his candidates, Richard Bozulich and Tom Stevens, the State Chair of the Personal Freedom Party. Sam Sloan provided Darryl Bonner with Republican Party petitions to circulate and had opened a separate checking account to write checks for expenses associated with this side-contract without the knowledge of Matthew Kelly, who was under the impression the petition drive was to get the Personal Freedom Party nominees on the ballot in November.

Given that the deadline for the submission of petition signatures for Republican Party candidates was midnight on July 11, 2013, there was only a window of 3 days to obtain the required 3,750 signatures. Darryl Bonner and John Clifton confirm that Sam Sloan told Darryl Bonner to just go out and get whoever he could to sign the petitions, without asking whether the signer was a registered Republican or even a registered voter. Sam Sloan spent $22,900.00 to pay for the expenses of paid petitioners, a number of whom were flown in from out of state. He contends Darryl Bonner was paid for 5,200 petition signatures while 4,517 signatures were actually filed.

The petition signatures were objected to by a challenger (who counted 4,269 signatures) and at a Hearing held at the New York City Board of Elections on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 1:30 p.m., all petitions submitted on behalf of Sam Sloan's slate were rejected because the witnesses to those petitions were not registered Republican Party members. Sam Sloan has three days to challenge the decision in Court. 

It is not yet clear whether Sam Sloan will still finance the Personal Freedom Party petition drive. As a result, the Personal Freedom Party is currently looking for alternative sources of financing. 

Christian Cameron Russell Appointed President Of Objectivist Party Of California

On July 30, 2013, Christian Cameron Russell was appointed to serve as President of the Objectivist Party of California.

In accepting the appointment, Mr. Russell said:

I am looking forward to taking on the responsibilities of President of the Objectivist Party of California (OPCA). I am committed to promoting Objectivism and will do all I can to make the Objectivist Party a major player in promoting liberty and respect for individual rights in California.

I thank Dr. Tom Stevens, Founder & Chair of the Objectivist Party, and the Governing Board for having confidence in my ability to fulfill my duties as OPCA President. I consider myself a leader and have served in a number of leadership roles in various small groups and volunteer organizations.

I look forward to working with my fellow officers and all OPCA members to bring reason and logic to the political debates in California and to offer the citizens of this state real solutions to the problems we face.

The Objectivist Party of California was chartered on August 9, 2008. The following individuals have served as President:

Nicholas Huber - August 9, 2008 to August 12, 2010
Maxfield Bern - August 12, 2010 to May 14, 2013
Luis Rivas - May 14, 2013 to July 30, 2013
Christian Cameron Russell - July 30, 2013 to Present

The Objectivist Party was founded by Thomas Robert Stevens on February 2, 2008, Ayn Rand’s birthday. It seeks to promote Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism in the political realm.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lower The Voting Age To 14, Says Alun Michael, Former Labour Party MP & Current Police & Crime Commissioner For The South Wales Police Area

Alun Michael, who served as a Labour Party MP for Cardiff South & Penarth in Wales (U.K.) and who currently is Police & Crime Commissioner for the South Wales Police Area, has repeatedly spoken out in favor of lowering the voting age to 14 as a way to increase voter turnout and to encourage young people to engage with politics. He hopes that by starting them out at this age, young people will get into the habit of voting and become life long voters.

In various publications, Alun Michael has said the following statements in support of lowering the voting age, not to 16 as the Labour Party Platform calls for, but to 14:

14 (is) an age which I find young people far better informed and sensibly engaged than was the case in the past. Young people are under-represented and I believe people as young as 14 should be able to vote in general elections. Lowering the voting age by 4 years would increase voter turnout as well as encourage youngsters to engage with politics. They will then know how to vote if and when they come to engage with political issues later in life.

My experience, going into schools is that young people are very acute at picking up on social issues, environmental issues, and all the things that are important. I find that young people are more capable of making intelligent decisions than many other people and as the decisions taken by MPs affect their world just as much, it makes sense to include them.

Currently, there is only a 50/50 chance of first-time voters actually using their vote. Something surely needs to be done. We have the opportunity to engage young people at exactly the time when they are learning how the world works, and not just those who go to college. Once they know how to vote and are registered, they are much more likely to vote again in future elections. Hopefully, they will get into the habit of voting and become life-long voters.

Politicians would have a new impetus to engage with young people at election time if votes were at stake. I am absolutely sure the knowledge that young people would have the chance to vote would affect the way parties thought about issues. My guess is that candidates will change how they campaign if they have to ask for the support of people who will have to live with the effects of our legislation for the longest.

Liam Preston, chairman of the British Youth Council, commented:

I am delighted Alun Michael recognizes young people are both better-informed and more engaged than they were in the past. Locking young people out of the political system is patronising: it relies on out-dated views about young people's capacities.

Alun Michael served 16 years as a Youth & Community activist in his early career.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Patrick Lembo Appointed Chair Of Downstate Libertarians

Effective July 24, 2013, Patrick Lembo was appointed Chair of Downstate Libertarians, a chartered chapter of Empire State Libertarians, responsible for organizing libertarians and for promoting libertarian activism in Richmond, New York, the Bronx, Westchester & Rockland counties.

In accepting the appointment, Patrick Lembo said:

It is an honor and a pleasure to be appointed as Chair of Downstate Libertarians. Being an American in the 21st century involves great civic responsibility; the nation has been smacked with a tidal wave of liberal thinking, guided by an intelligentsia which has no concept of the American middle class and is dead set on turning the United States into a social democracy. The City of New York beholds a microcosm of the bureaucratic, paternalistic, liberal, and unconstitutional future in store for the entire country. As a New York Libertarian, I will take action to fight liberalism by reducing government, regulation, laws, and taxes. Above all, I pledge to take action to defend the United States Constitution. I thank Dr. Stevens for the opportunity to espouse Liberty and look forward to helping the impetus of the Libertarian movement grow and ultimately take back the nation.

On July 7, 2010, the Governing Board of Empire State Libertarians chartered Downstate Libertarians. Dodge Landesman served as Chair from July 7, 2010 to July 24, 2013. Patrick Lembo has been a member of the Libertarian Party of Queens County since February 9, 2013 and has served as its Youth Outreach Coordinator since that date. On July 26, 2013, Mr. Lembo became a dues-paying member of the national Libertarian Party.

Friday, July 26, 2013

In Honor Of The Victims Of 9-11 & To Protest Radical Islam, Dr. Terry Jones Has Announced A Worldwide Burning Of 2,998 Korans Will Take Place On September 11, 2013

Dr. Terry Jones, Founder and President of Stand Up America Now, will burn 2,998 Korans on September 13, 2013 at 4090 Laurel Crest Court, Mulberry, Florida (which is in the Tampa Bay area) to raise public awareness regarding the threat of Radical Islam and to honor the victims of 9-11.

In a statement issued in conjunction with the announcement, Dr. Terry Jones wrote:

The radical hand of Islam shows itself with violence against anyone who dares to stand up and speak the truth. We at Stand Up America Now will not back down. We will not be silent. 

On September 11, 2013, to remember those who were murdered by radical Islam, and to send Islam a very clear warning that they will not get their foothold in America as they have done in Europe, we will be holding an International Burning of 2,998 Korans, representing one for each individual who was murdered in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

President Obama is aggressively working to convince the American public that civil rights laws are violated by those who make "inflammatory" statements about Islam. However, peaceful speech and expression is fully within our civil rights. Criticism of Islam cannot be avoided in light of its violent and oppressive nature. It is unjust that this scrutiny is to be considered "inflammatory" while the murderously inflammatory words of the Koran and the teachings of Islam's leaders are protected by corrupt politicians and political correctness. We are on an extremely dangerous path as a nation.

In an associated YouTube video, Dr. Terry Jones went a bit further in revealing his motivations for sponsoring this event. In it, he said:

Our liberties are being taken away from us. Our Freedom of Speech is being watered down to such a degree that it is becoming devoid of power. The 2nd Amendment is being altered - the result - the disarming of our nation. In order to stand up for the Constitution and honor the victims of 9-11, we will be having a Worldwide Burning of 2,998 Korans - one Koran for every victim of 9-11.

Islam is a religion devoid of human rights, women's rights. It is a religion of murder, rape, persecution. They continue to kill Christians and anyone else that dares to criticize Islam, Mohammad or the Koran. 

Let us during 9-11, send them a very clear message that we shall not bow down to their intimidation and we shall stand and we shall protect our Liberty and the Constitution of the United States.

Stand with Liberty. Stand Up America Now!

Stand Up American Now with Dr. Terry Jones is a political organization using the United States Constitution's First Amendment to stand against radical Islam. It leads a growing network of activists in America and around the world who are determined, as people of free societies, to speak truth to power and to a generation deceived by liberalism and political correctness. Dr. Terry Jones is the Pastor at Dove Outreach Center in Florida and has announced he will be an Independent Presidential Candidate in 2016.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The World Is A Better Place Without A Thug Like Trayvon Martin In It, Says Luis Rivas, President Of The Objectivist Party Of California

Luis Rivas, President of the Objectivist Party of California, wrote the following article regarding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case:

"Justice was served with George Zimmerman obtaining a 'not guilty' verdict but, in my opinion, there never should have been a trial. Zimmerman observed someone suspicious while doing his duty as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer. He properly called in his observations, followed Trayvon Martin so he could tell the police the location of the suspect and was confronted and attacked by a violent criminal thug, who broke George Zimmerman's nose and repeatedly slammed the back of his head into the concrete sidewalk. The act of shooting Trayvon Martin was clearly self-defense, as the jury determined, since George Zimmerman had already suffered serious bodily injury and his life was in danger. Trayvon Martin got what he deserved and the world is a better place without a thug like Trayvon Martin in it.

The photos posted by the media of 'little Trayvon' were from when he was much younger. In reality, at the time of his death, this 17-year old muscular thug stood 5'11" towering over the shorter George Zimmerman, who the Seminole County Sheriff's Office Inmate Booking Information Sheet reports being 5'7" tall, a full four inches shorter than Trayvon Martin. Not a single paper or media outlet published a current photo of Trayvon Martin because it didn't suit their narrative of a 'racist assassin who targeted an innocent little black boy'. The media hid the true image of this 'No_Limit_Nigga' (one of Trayvon Martin's Twitter handles) and, in so doing, engaged in journalistic malfeasance.

Trayvon Martin had been suspended from school three times for drugs (a marijuana pipe and a baggie with drug residue in it), truancy, graffiti, possession of what was apparently stolen property (12 pieces of women's jewelry) and for possession of a burglary tool (a large flathead screwdriver). The jewelry was turned over to the police by the school. As for the marijuana, the evidence leads to the conclusion he was a marijuana user and most probably, a marijuana dealer. He texted many messages regarding marijuana and described how he hid it during a bus ride to Orlando. His friends on Facebook all said he 'had the best plants' and a photo on his cell phone showed him with a gun and what appears to be a potted marijuana plant.

Trayvon Martin was on suspension from school the day of his confrontation with George Zimmerman. There is also evidence he was almost arrested five days before his death for smacking a bus driver in the face because the driver refused to let him ride for free. Confirmation for this is found in his Twitter account. According to, a message was sent to Trayvon Martin on February 21, 2012 that read, "yu ain't tell me yu swung on a bus driver." He was also a mixed martial arts fighter who told friends he wanted a rematch with one of his opponents because 'he didn't bleed enough, only his nose'. Trayvon Martin was not a good kid. He was a juvenile delinquent.

There is strong evidence from Trayvon Martin's Facebook posts that he was a Purple Drank/Lean (also known as "Skittles") and DXM (a PCP-like substance) user since at least June, 2011. The autopsy showed his liver had "focal patchy yellow discoloration" due it being in the early stages of an unusual degrading known as "mild fatty metamorphasis" and his brain tissue appeared compromised, both conditions symptematic of DXM use. Reported side effects can include breaks with reality, extreme paranoia and fits of violence. His girlfriend testified Trayvon Martin appeared to be "paranoid" when she spoke to him on his cell phone minutes before his death. Trayvon Martin didn't purchase 'ice tea and candy' at the 7 Eleven the night he fought with George Zimmerman. Instead, he purchased skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail, which when mixed with cough syrup, makes Purple Drank/Lean. Was Trayvon Martin drinking Lean on his way back from the 7 Eleven? If he was, that might explain his 'extreme physical aggression' and 'paranoia'.

All the evidence shows George Zimmerman wasn't a racist and did not target Trayvon Martin because he was black. He identified him as someone who was acting suspiciously. In his 911 call, Mr. Zimmerman said, "We've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy...this guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around looking about...looking at all the houses." There are no grounds for a federal civil rights lawsuit and they wouldn't even be considering filing such a case if the United States Attorney General wasn't under intense pressure by black activists whose only goal is to promote their own racist agenda.

Trayvon Martin's future was not at all promising. He was most certainly going to continue being a drug dealer and a thief. With his tendency to use physical aggression against people, it is almost a foregone conclusion he would have assaulted many others in his life. It is also extremely likely he would have killed someone, as he promised to do to George Zimmerman minutes before his death. President Obama recently said, "You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." Well, Mr. President, had you been a Trayvon Martin 35 years ago, you most likely would have ended up in prison or dead instead of living in the White House as President of the United States.

Trayvon Martin's death was not 'tragic' as some have described it. It was well-deserved and an overall benefit for civilized society."

Luis Rivas was appointed President of the Objectivist Party of California on May 14, 2013.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hesham El-Meligy: The Man Who Cried When Barack Obama Was Elected President

Who was that bearded Eqyptian crying in joy and happiness when Barack Obama got elected President? Was he the same Hesham El-Meligy standing on the steps of City Hall on July 4, 2013 announcing a run for New York City Comptroller while surrounded by supporters who appeared to be Islamic fundamentalists? Was he the same man who said "I don't know much about Libertarianism, but I think it might be good" when he spoke at the Libertarian Party's New York City Nominating Convention held on April 9, 2013 at the New York Irish Center in Long Island City, New York? Was he also the man who said he was "definitely going to run for an office at some point, in some capacity, for some party" not particularly caring which party he was going to seek the nomination of?

Kristin Davis received the nomination of the Libertarian Party for New York City Comptroller at the New York City Nominating Convention held on April 9, 2013 and has been running an aggressive campaign ever since. At an illegal, rump convention held in June, a handful of people claiming to represent New York City Libertarians nominated for Comptroller Hesham El-Meligy, who Dallwyn Merck, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, says looks like "an Al-Qaeda member or part of the Muslim Brotherhood."

The statements attributed to Hesham El-Meligy were overheard by Patrick Lembo, Chair of Downstate Libertarians, a chartered chapter of Empire State Libertarians, who was a delegate to the New York City Nominating Convention. Mr. Lembo identified this Mr. El-Meligy as "the man I fingered at the April meeting" and said "I sat behind this man and heard his idiocy first hand all night. He lacked a fundamental understanding of libertarianism and had no concept of elementary basics, for example wondering aloud 'what constituted a party member and what was involved in paying a due'. What a black eye it is for pro-liberty activists to have this man running around claiming to be a libertarian. When he spoke at the convention, he made a lousy pitch and I thought the man was a joke. That is why I was shocked to hear that even a secret, rump convention would nominate him for any office. He is not a libertarian. He is a buffoon!"

Hesham El-Meligy, a devout Muslim, was born in Cairo and received a bachelor's degree in accounting while living in Eqypt. He came to the United States in 1999, two years before the World Trade Center attacks, and on 9/11 2010, the 9th anniversary of those attacks, he participated in a demonstration as part of the Arab Muslim American Federation in support of building the "Ground Zero Mosque". El-Meligy is also the founder of the Islamic Civic Association - Staten Island and has been a vocal advocate for the Muslim community. He has said, "I am an Arab and I am an American. When I vote, I use my cultural background and religious ethics to lead me to the right candidate so I vote for who will bring us closer to justice...I would not vote for someone who supports injustice. I feel injustice for the Palestinians and, in general, for any Arab issue."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

John Procida, LPQC Vice-Chair, Declares Edward Snowden A Patriot & A Hero

John Procida, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County (New York), recently published an article declaring Edward Snowden A Patriot & A Hero. The unedited article is the following:

"The motivation of a traitor must be revenge or the promise of a better life by the enemy.

If we examine Snowden’s case you find none of the motivations mentioned above. Snowden shows only love for his country but distrust of his government. He recognized that what he was paid to do was unconstitutional and not permitted by the 4th Amendment in particular. He, as a patriot, could not live in this contradiction of freedom so he told the American people what their government was doing and that is the secret he exposed. The press and the government keep screaming that he gave secrets to our enemies. That’s secrets plural. How many were there and if he did tell our enemies many secrets, what were they? Since they are no longer secrets, they, the government, should tell the American people what they were as they would not cause any further damage. But no, all you hear is an embarrassed government saying he told the enemy secrets.

Snowden, I have read had a high school diploma but somehow got a job with the government making $100,000.00 or more a year. Well how will a high school graduate make more then he was getting in another job? So by leaving his Government Job, he would probably not get a job paying as much as he was making (providing he was free to pursue another job). No he knew that he would destroy his life by doing what he did but he obviously yielded to his patriotism and told us the truth.

Now some people say that although what he was doing is unconstitutional it was good for our country. Benjamin Franklin once said that if you give up freedom for security you end up without freedom and without security. What is the Government doing? They are listening in to all phone calls and e-mails and searching for important key words that will allegedly help us avoid acts of terrorism. Short term it sounds good but long-term it is a road to slavery. What if they decide to use other key words like Catholic, Jew, Italian, Libertarian, Irishman, Democrat or Republican? How about charities, churches or race or any other group they want to persecute? Now can you see why we have the 4th Amendment in our constitution? Our forefathers knew that there might be a down-side to what they wrote but the up side greatly out weighed the down-side."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dr. Tom Stevens Emerges As The Sole Republican Party Candidate For New York City Public Advocate

Ten minutes before the deadline for filing petitions to run for New York City Public Advocate, approximately 5,200 petition signatures were filed on behalf of Thomas Robert Stevens to be the Republican Party nominee for that office. 3,750 valid signatures needed to be filed by midnight, July 11, 2013.

Dr. Tom Stevens previously served as acting Republican State Committeeman for the 25th Assembly District, as Law Committee Chair of the Queens County Republican Party, as President of the New York Young Republican Club, as President of the Federation of New York State Young Republican Clubs, and as founder of Stonewall Republicans, Red Republicans, Liberty Republicans and the Susan B. Anthony Republicans. He also worked in support of the Presidential Campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Steve Forbes and most recently Dr. Ron Paul. He has taught college classes since 1982 and twice served as President of the Hofstra University School of Law Alumni Association.

Tom Stevens responded to the filing of petitions on his behalf by saying:

I was completely unaware that petitions were being circulated on my behalf. I was kept completely in the dark, did not seek this nomination, and never saw a petition with my name on it seeking the Republican nomination for New York City Public Advocate. When I was notified by the Board of Elections that petitions were filed on my behalf, I was honored. The only hint I had this might happen is that many months ago, I was asked by a candidate seeking the Republican Party's nomination for Mayor whether I would accept the GOP nomination for New York City Public Advocate if the opportunity arose. I responded I would accept. 

My being on the ballot in November as the Republican Party's candidate for New York City Public Advocate is not a done deal. Although no other GOP candidates filed for New York City Public Advocate, there is an objector to my petitions who may be filing line-by-line specific objections this week. I need 3,750 valid petition signatures and all of them must be Republicans with a valid current voter registration. Since I did not collect the signatures myself nor did I review the qualify of the work, I have no idea whether I will survive the challenge. If I do, I will run a vigorous and enthusiastic campaign.

Philosophically, I consider myself a libertarian and an Objectivist. I will advocate for smaller government, less bureaucratic red tape and lower taxes. I will seek the elimination of all bridge and tunnel tolls so free trade can take place throughout the metropolitan area. I will also advocate on behalf all who have a problem with the city bureaucracy and will be a true Ombudsman for all New York City residents.

Thomas Robert Stevens is an attorney who lives in Queens County. He graduated New York University with a B.A. in Political Science and graduated Hofstra University School of Law.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Northampton County Libertarian Party Becomes First County Organization In Pennsylvania To Hire An Executive Director

On July 18, 2013, the Libertarian Party of Northampton County (LPNC) became the first County Organization in Pennsylvania to hire an Executive Director. By vote of the Executive Committee, a contract was approved to engage the services of Dr. Tom Stevens, former LPPA State Chair and former Northampton LP County Chair, as Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County effective August 1, 2013.

The three (3) year contract will be a salaried position and will involve the following duties and responsibilities as set forth in the contract: recruit candidates to run for local office, to coordinate membership recruitment drives, to schedule and co-sponsor local events and meetings, to represent and speak on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County when dealing with outside organizations and the press, to propose motions to the Executive Committee, to run its Yahoo Groups, Meetup Groups, Facebook Groups and other social media outlets, to propose meeting times and locations to the County Chair, and to handle such additional responsibilities as he may deem appropriate or that are assigned to him by the County Chair and/or the Executive Committee.

Aaron Rosengarten, County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, said:

We are extremely pleased that Dr. Tom Stevens, a former LPPA State Chair and a Founding Member of the Northampton County LP, has agreed to help our local chapter by serving as its Executive Director. To my knowledge, this is the first time any local County Organization chartered by the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has hired an Executive Director. The Northampton County LP is proud to be making history in this regard. Our chapter has seen extraordinary membership growth and has been an extremely active pro-liberty organization during the time Dr. Stevens served as its County Chair. I am extremely optimistic regarding what we can achieve with him serving as our Executive Director. His political experience will be invaluable to me and to the chapter.

Thomas Robert Stevens served as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania from April 22, 2012 to April 5, 2013. He served as County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County from September 21, 2011 until July 18, 2013.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Aaron Rosengarten Appointed County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County (Pennsylvania)

On July 18, 2013, the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County (Pennsylvania) appointed Aaron Rosengarten to serve as County Chair until the election of new officers takes place at the next Annual Meeting. Mr. Rosengarten replaces Dr. Tom Stevens, a Founding Member of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, who has served as County Chair since the Organizational Meeting, which was held on September 21, 2011.

In accepting the appointment, Aaron Rosengarten said:

I am honored to serve the Libertarian Party of Northampton County in the capacity of County Chair. Dr. Tom Stevens did an amazing job of organizing our local county group, building membership and making us a significant force for liberty in Northampton County. Under his leadership, our group has always had 12 or more LPPA members so our State Representative maintained voting status on the state Board of Directors. We have a number of candidates committed to running for local office and our organization was the first in the nation to endorse Gary Johnson for President just minutes after he announced he was seeking the Presidential Nomination of the Libertarian Party. 

I am excited about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and I hope to be able to rely upon the friendship and political advice of Dr. Tom Stevens, who recently served as State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania from April 22, 2012 to April 5, 2013. I look to him as a Political Mentor and I will always do my best to protect the Libertarian Party of Northampton County and to increase its political influence both in the county and within the State Party.

Aaron Rosengarten has served as Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Northampton County since his election to that office on September 21, 2011. Mr. Rosengarten has also served as Youth Outreach Committee Chair.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sam Sloan Threatens To Run His Own Libertarian Party Slate If Kristin Davis Doesn't Add Him As Her Mayoral Candidate

On Sunday, July 14, 2013, Sam Sloan, a declared candidate for New York City Mayor, tried to get Kristin Davis, the Libertarian Party nominee for New York City Comptroller, to add him on her petitions as the LP Candidate for Mayor and threatened, if she didn't agree, to run his own Libertarian Party slate of candidates and to get the "Libertarian Party" name by filing his Independent Body Petitions with the Board of Elections first.

In an e-mail to Kristin Davis, Sam Sloan wrote, in part:

I am sorry I missed you at the Saturday meeting of the Queens Libertarian Party. I arrived just after you left. They informed me that you are running as the Libertarian Party candidate for Comptroller with nobody else on your ballot line.

I would like to join you as the candidate for Mayor on your petitions. You can run anybody you want as the candidate for Public Advocate. 

If you do not agree to this then unfortunately I will run my own candidates for the Libertarian Party line and whomever gets there first wins.

Andrew Miller, Campaign Manager for Kristin Davis, formally responded to Sam Sloan as follows:

You are welcome to set up your own Slate...



The Mistake for me is to have you as my mayoral candidate.

I hate to be the one to say this but, you are not appealing as a candidate. You go out in dirty suits with dandruff all over your shoulders. We cannot and will not be associated with that. 

Do you know what that says? That says, "Hi, I'm Sam Sloan. I can't take care of my own personal hygiene but I would like to take care of your city."

Sorry Sam, can't do it.

Many e-mails were exchanged but eventually Kristin Davis, the Libertarian Party nominee for New York City Comptroller, responded to Sam Sloan, in part, as follows:

No Sam - I think you have made some very poor choices and delusional moves. I stand behind Mr. Miller 100000%.

You contacted me at 3:00 a.m. to try and blackmail your way onto my mayoral line. You also lied about Tom Stevens' desire to be on my LP line...he would have accepted an LP nomination from us.

You bring nothing to the table. You contacted me on Sunday to ask for my mayoral line yet would not compromise with your Personal Freedom Party line. Politics is about compromise. I tried to work with you - you flat out said no.

So you cost yourself a TREMENDOUS media opportunity. Perhaps you haven't seen today's PAGE TWO OF THE NY POST. 

No one cares what you have to say. No media will cover you - EVER. Your ego is delusional, no one cares what you have to say regardless of what ballot line you are on. We tried to work with you and you said it was too late.

I am not about backstabbery, blackmail or games. From what I hear, you have totally screwed over your Personal Freedom Party candidates and not held to your contract with your petitioners. You can do whatever you want with whatever line you want. What you fail to grasp is the fact that NO ONE cares. Even if you are the Libertarian candidate for Mayor - NO ONE will care. They don't care about you or Michael Sanchez - you are not media worthy and are irrelevant.

I consider this conversation over. You have tried to go around Tom, incite arguments and blackmail/threaten us. I am not for any of that. And I can tell you one thing - as Mr. Miller said - we welcome your challenge.

Before the day was over, Sam Sloan reneged on his contract with the paid petitioners he hired to obtain signatures for his run for New York City Mayor on the Personal Freedom Party line. By not paying for their hotel for the coming week, his paid petitioners were thrown out of their room. Gerald Bundy, one of those petitioners, texted this evening, "Since I was kicked out of the hotel, I had to drive home." Mr. Bundy lives in Pennsylvania and he is unlikely to return given Sam Sloan's breach of the contract he had with him.

Applause! Applause! Review of In The Heights at Cultural Arts Playhouse by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of In The Heights performed at the Cultural Arts Playhouse was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 3 (2013) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

In The Heights
Cultural Arts Playhouse (625 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY)
Reviewed 7/13/13

In The Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes.  The show opened on Broadway on March 9, 2008 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.  The production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning four: Best Musical, Best Original Score,  Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.  The musical played its final performance on January 9, 2011 after 29 previews and 1,184 regular performances. 

The story is set over the course of three days in Washington Heights, New York. It involves a number of characters who live on 183rd Street: Usnavi, the narrator who owns a small bodega; "Abuela" Claudia, the loving matriarch; Vanessa, Usnavi's love interest who works at Daniella's salon with Carla; Nina Rosario, the daughter of Kevin & Camilla, who is the first in her family to go to college but has dropped out after losing her scholarship; Benny, an non-Spanish speaking employee at Kevin Rosario's Car Service who has an interest in Nina; Sonny, a younger cousin of Usnavi who works at the Bodega; The Piragua Guy and Graffiti Pete. Missing from the ensemble are any characters who sell or use drugs, who are gay, lesbian or transgender, or who have had any children out of wedlock. The book has been scrubbed clean and even Graffiti Pete turns out to be a great artist who inspires Usnavi to stay in the neighborhood since he eventually recognizes it as his true home.

This production features an extraordinary cast of very talented people. Everyone more than holds their own both as actors and singers. George Anganostakos is appropriately low key as Usnavi, the central character of the show who owns the local bodega; Jojo Minasi goes the extra mile to fit into his new ethnicity in the role of Sonny, Usnavi's younger cousin; Taneisha Corbin hits a home run as the lottery playing "Abuela" Claudia, the beloved matriarch who effectively "brought up" Usnavi after his parents died and who made sure Nina Rosario always did her homework; Justin McAteer as Benny and Laura Laureano as Nina make magic on stage whenever they have scenes or sing together; Leigh Anne Muscarella as Daniella and Michelle Belio as Carla perfectly portray the local unisex salon hairstylists where gossip is traded on a daily basis; Steffy Jolin, also a salon worker, takes her character to another and more complicated level; Jonathan Ghandforoush and Camilla-Elisa Galindez, who play Kevin and Camilla Rosario, each have their moments to shine; Keith Weiss is the perfect Piragua Guy and Gregg Georges is in character as Graffiti Pete.

You will enjoy most of the musical numbers in this show. In The Heights, Breathe, It Won't Be Long Now, Inutil (Useless), 96,000, When You're Home, Sunrise, Everything I Know and When The Sun Goes Down are standouts.

I highly recommend you see this production. You are guaranteed a very enjoyable time. Greeting me at the box office this particular evening was Jesse Pimpinella, the dashing, young, charismatic House Manager. His welcoming smile was just an added benefit of seeing In The Heights at the Cultural Arts Playhouse.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kristin Davis, The Libertarian Party's Nominee For NYC Comptroller, Thanks The Queens Libertarian Party For Its Support

Kristin Davis, the Libertarian Party's nominee for New York City Comptroller, has thanked the Libertarian Party of Queens County, for its support at the New York City Nominating Convention held on April 9, 2013 at which time she received the nomination and afterward for promoting her campaign. On Tuesday, July 9, 2013, a team of over 30 volunteers hit the streets to obtain the required number of petition signatures that will secure a place on the ballot for Ms. Davis, who may end up facing Eliot Spitzer, a former client of the escort service she once owned. Mr. Spitzer is seeking to become the Democratic Party's nominee for New York City Comptroller. This Saturday, Kristin Davis will attend the General Membership Meeting of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, the largest and most active chapter in the New York Libertarian Party, to thank its members in person.

Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC Political Director, said:

Kristin Davis is a member and good friend of the Queens Libertarian Party and has been for some time now. I appreciate the loyalty she has shown to our chapter and the help she has offered it. At the New York City Nominating Convention, Ms. Davis received the overwhelming support of Queens LP delegates in her bid to obtain the nomination of the Libertarian Party for New York City Comptroller. She is very popular with our members, who respect her professionalism and intelligence.

Matthew Kelly, Secretary Pro Tem of the Libertarian Party's New York City Nominating Convention held on April 9, 2013 at the New York Irish Center, stated:

I took the Minutes at the New York City Nominating Convention and I can confirm that by a 2/3 vote the delegates in attendance gave the Libertarian Party's nomination for New York City Comptroller to Kristin Davis. The Minutes have since been published and are available for anyone who wishes to review them. 

It is my understanding some elements in the Libertarian Party opposed to Ms. Davis, formerly known as the Manhattan Madam, attempted to hold an illegal nominating convention on June 11, 2013 at which time a handful of people declared Hesham El-Meligy, a Muslim born in Egypt and a Steering Committee Member of the New York Neighbors For American Values Coalition, to be the LP's nominee for Comptroller. The results of that "rump" convention are null and void and have been unanimously rejected by the Queens Libertarian Party. 

Kristin Davis is the Libertarian Party's nominee for New York City Comptroller and nothing can or will change that.  

The General Membership Meeting of the Libertarian Party of Queens County will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at VFW Post 4787 located at 19-12 149th Street in Whitestone, New York.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Richard Bozulich Is Not Dead But He Is The Personal Freedom Party's Nominee For NYC Comptroller

Not too long ago, a blog named Go Game Guru published a report that Richard Bozulich had died. It turned out reports of Mr. Bozulich's death were greatly exaggerated. He lives on and was recently nominated by the Personal Freedom Party to be its candidate for New York City Comptroller, during a time when the party was notified that Kristin Davis, its original nominee, was considering a run for Public Advocate and, therefore, needed to decline the Personal Freedom Party's nomination for Comptroller. Since the petition period had not yet begun, Ms Davis switched back to run for New York City Comptroller after former Governor Eliot Spitzer entered the race but by then, Richard Bozulich had accepted the nomination of the Personal Freedom Party. Kristin Davis remains the nominee of the Libertarian Party for New York City Comptroller.

Mr. Bozulich was born in Los Angeles, California in 1936 and obtained a B.A. in Mathematics from UCLA Berkeley in 1966. He has worked as a professor of math, physics and chemistry and is the author, translator or publisher of many popular books on the game of Go. Go is a board game for two players that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. There are currently over 40 million Go players worldwide, the overwhelming majority living in East Asia. The International Go Federation has a total of 74 member countries. The game of Go is noted for being rich in strategy despite its relatively simple rules. According to Chess Master Emanuel Lasker, "The rules of Go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play Go."

Richard Bozulich has written or published more than one hundred books and magazine and newspaper articles about the game of Go. He is the world's most prolific author of Go materials in English. Mr. Bozulich is the publisher of Go World magazine and has a regular Go column in The Daily Yomiuri, Japan's largest English-language newspaper. He is the co-founder of Ishi Press and also founded Kiseido Publishing Company.

After hearing Eliot Spitzer had entered the race for Comptroller, Richard Bozulich said:

How am I supposed to compete against a stud like him, fucking whores left and right and fucking his wife at the same time?

I differ from the other candidates in that I am honest. If elected, I will quickly and anonymously donate my salary to charities that are close to my heart, such as those promoting the game of Go and encouraging students to study mathematics. 

Richard Bozulich obtained the nomination of Personal Freedom Party to run for New York City Comptroller on July 3, 2013. At the New York City Nominating Convention of the Personal Freedom Party held on May 11, 2013, Sam Sloan was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Mayor and Thomas Robert Stevens was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Public Advocate.

Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance Applauds ACLU Lawsuit Seeking Full Marriage Equality For Pennsylvania Couples

Thomas Robert Stevens, the State Chair of the Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance, applauded the decision of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania to file a federal lawsuit today in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of 21 Pennsylvanians who wish to marry in Pennsylvania or want the Commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

In a statement issued on July 9, 2013, Dr. Stevens said:

Marriage Equality is one of the major civil rights issues of our generation. As long as the government is involved in licensing marriages and granting benefits to heterosexual couples, I believe the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution will eventually be interpreted and should be interpreted to require states to end all discrimination against gay couples who choose to get married. The federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU today (Whitewood v. Corbett) hits the mark by arguing that Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act and Pennsylvania's refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples or recognize their out-of-state marriages violates the fundamental right to marry as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

As the current County Chair of the Northampton County Libertarian Party, I am particularly proud that two of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are Edwin Hill and David Palmer of Bangor, which is in Northampton County. The plaintiffs in this federal lawsuit are a diverse lot and include an emergency room doctor, a nurse, a teacher, university professors, a truck driver, a psychologist, retirees, lawyers, a dog trainer, state employees, an artist, a stay-at-home mom, and veterans. They are African-American, Caucasian, Latino, and Asian; they are Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Quaker, Jewish, Buddhist, and secular. What they share in common is that they are being denied by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the basic rights that are afforded to all married couples.

I am optimistic this lawsuit will be successful since denying Marriage Equality to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania does not further any legitimate government interest. 

Matthew Kelly, Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance, said:

When Dr. Tom Stevens was State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (April 22, 2012 to April 5, 2013), Marriage Equality for all Pennsylvanians was one of his top priorities. He worked closely with the Legislative Action Committee to make sure this issue remained as one of its top three priorities. As a result, he faced extraordinary opposition by those who hid their anti-gay hatred and homophobia by arguing that the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania should not support Marriage Equality for gay couples and that instead it should simply push for the government to get out of the marriage business. However, those same people did not advocate for an end to government benefits for heterosexual couples nor did they seek a cancellation of the licenses granted to those couples.

Although you might not expect it of self-identified Libertarians, I have personally witnessed an extreme and disturbing amount of homophobia and anti-gay sentiment in the Libertarian Party. The core of Libertarian Philosophy is the Non-Aggression Principle and it simply means you do not believe in using force to achieve political or social goals. It does not mean, however, that said Libertarians are not prejudiced, racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic. They can be that and still be Libertarians. Not everyone who claims to be a Libertarian holds a live-and-let-live attitude. Many, especially some rabid, religious fundamentalists, are on a crusade to save the world by doing everything in their power to deny equal rights for G.L.B.T. individuals and a good number of these extremists are active members of the Libertarian Party. 

I served as LPPA Membership Committee Chair until July 6, 2013 (during part of the administration of Dr. Stevens and during the entire term of office of LPPA State Chair Lawrence James Fryman). During my involvement, I observed members and leaders in the LPPA make the suggestion over and over again that gay men are pedophiles, that they are sick, demented perverts and that their mere existence in the Libertarian Party needs to be stamped out due to their conduct going against the natural order of things. This conduct and these opinions are reprehensible and have no place in civilized society. The more progress gays make toward equality, the hatred expressed and acted on behind the scenes against G.L.B.T. individuals increases. One must be vigilant to identify such homophobia and to aggressively confront it. 

The Pennsylvania Libertarian Alliance was founded by Dr. Tom Stevens on March 4, 2013. It exists to promote libertarian principles and policies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Eliminate All Bridge & Tunnel Tolls, Says Thomas Robert Stevens, Personal Freedom Party Candidate For NYC Public Advocate

Thomas Robert Stevens, the Personal Freedom Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate, has called for the elimination of all bridge and tunnel tolls in the New York City metropolitan area. In a statement issued July 5, 2013, Dr. Stevens said the following:

Bridge and tunnel tolls significantly interfere with the ability of local businesses to draw customers from other boroughs and nearby states. Excessive tolls cost jobs, negatively impact the economy and take money out of the pockets of New York City residents who can certainly find better things to spend it on. Tolls are an unwelcome financial burden, a hidden tariff on goods and services from other boroughs and an additional tax New York City residents can ill-afford.

If a Bronx resident wishes to patronize AMC Loews Bay Terrace 6 or shop at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center just across the Throgs Neck Bridge, that potential customer will need to pay $15.00 in tolls to make that choice. Just the other night, I traveled from Queens County to go to a $6.00 movie in North Bergen, New Jersey and paid $28.00 in tolls. A Staten Island resident who decides to have dinner in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn must add $15.00 to the cost of the evening when making that decision. Local businesses suffer because they lose customers, have lower profits and cannot keep as many people employed. This extra financial burden is also felt by local businesses that make deliveries throughout the metropolitan area and by residents who no longer have that extra cash to make purchases and to pay bills. 

The New York City metropolitan area needs to become a Free Trade Zone without trade barriers and hidden tariffs on goods purchased in other boroughs. The market needs to be opened up so the only cost of travelling to your favorite business is the cost of gas, which is not too much of a burden given that most destinations within New York City are within 20 miles of wherever you may live. We need to do everything in our power to help businesses thrive in New York City and to provide toll relief for everyone. 

Bridge and tunnel tolls need to be eliminated immediately. As an interim step, all Port Authority and MTA tolls for bridges and tunnels in the New York City Metropolitan area need to be reduced to no more than $1.00 for each crossing. I call for legislative action to eliminate the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Alternative ways can and must be found to finance road repair, maintain infrastructure, and pay the salaries of those employees doing necessary work. Taxes are already too high on New Yorkers. The construction costs of bridges and tunnels have been paid off years ago and yet the politicians continue to allow bridge and tunnel users to be fleeced and shaken down for significant amounts of cash every time they cross a bridge or use a tunnel.

People need to rise up and say "enough is enough". Tolls on bridges and tunnels in the New York City Metropolitan area must be ended now.  

Thomas Robert Stevens obtained the nomination of the Personal Freedom Party to run for New York City Public Advocate at a convention held on May 11, 2013. At that convention, Sam Sloan was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Mayor and Kristin Davis was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Comptroller.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lower The Voting Age To 14, Says Thomas Robert Stevens, Personal Freedom Party Candidate For NYC Public Advocate

Thomas Robert Stevens, the Personal Freedom Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate, has called for lowering the voting age to 14. In a statement issued July 1, 2013, Dr. Stevens said the following:

Teenagers today have access to what was known as "adult knowledge" in the past. As a result, they have been maturing more quickly, developing their critical thinking skills and becoming more aware of current events. There has been an historical trend toward lowering the voting age; first from 21 to 18, and recently legislation has been introduced in many places to lower the voting age from 18 to 16. I don't think these efforts go far enough. Although the voting age cutoff I propose is admittedly somewhat arbitrary, I believe 14 is the age at which most teenagers are knowledgeable enough to be trusted to cast an informed vote in primary and general elections, on a federal, state and municipal level. Most major religions in the world consider a person to have achieved adulthood at 13 or 14 and this appears to be backed up by the evidence nature provides. If cultures have recognized 13 or 14 as the age at which a person becomes an adult, I believe this provides some evidence that individuals of that age should be entitled to cast a vote in a democratic election for who should represent them.

While I would want the voting age to be lowered to 14 immediately and without restrictions, as an interim step, I would support legislation permitting individuals age 14-17 to take a 200 question test (100 questions on American History and 100 questions on American Government) on which they must score 80% or higher. The teenagers would then obtain a certificate they could submit to the Board of Elections to be placed on the voting rolls. Any teenager motivated enough to study for such an examination will have proven they are more likely to be an informed voter. But you might rightfully ask, do we apply the "informed voter" standard to adults before we permit them to vote. The answer is, of course, no. We do not deprive a senile person of this right, nor do we deprive any of the millions of mentally ill, low IQ, individuals who cast votes every election cycle. Intelligence or maturity is not the basis upon which the right to vote is granted in this country nor is a lack of education or information about election issues a grounds for withholding the franchise. Young people shouldn't be held to a stricter standard than adults

Youth are increasingly subject to adult penalties in the criminal justice system and, in many states, are tried as adults starting at age 14. What contradictory message do we send when we tell youth they are to be judged mature, responsible adults when they commit a crime but as immature, irresponsible children when they want to vote. Teens also pay taxes, nearly 10 billion dollars in sales taxes alone, yet they have no say over how much is taken. Taxation without representation is tyranny. Teens are also affected by every law that all Americans live under yet they have no ability to elect officials who represent their interests. Politicians represent various constituencies; young people aged 14-17 are no one's constituency. Why should politicians care about the needs and interests of youth when they have no ability to vote for or against them? Lowering the voting age to 14 will give politicians a real reason to respect the desires and opinions of young people.

Sam Sloan, a candidate for the 2012 Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination, also came out for lowering the voting age to 14. On February 28, 2012, he issued a statement on this topic, which read, in relevant part:

With respect to lowering the voting age to 14, you might argue a young adult age 14, 15, 16 or 17 doesn't have the knowledge or interest to make good decisions in the voting booth but given the ever-increasing size of Big Government, it is obvious to me that most voters lack common sense or vote only in accordance with their own narrow interests. On the other hand, I have known many intelligent young adults who are active in their communities and schools and who should be given the opportunity to vote.

Dallwyn Merck, Executive Director of 14 Now!, a Youth Rights Advocacy Group that also supports lowering the voting age to 14, said:

The voting age will eventually be lowered to 14. I have no doubt that will happen in time. Allowing citizens to vote at age 18 when their lives are in transition is the worst possible time to develop in them the habit of voting. Voting will more likely become a habit if young people are allowed to vote at a younger age. In addition, schools will most likely provide a more vigorous civics curriculum if young people are permitted to vote and what better age is there than 14 to start them off when students are just entering High School. In addition, many High School students are working part time and paying taxes. Others are taking out student loans. There are many laws, including curfews and restrictions that only apply to those under age 18. The right to vote should be expanded to include this group of citizens so legislators can be more responsive to their needs and concerns. Finally, the energy and enthusiasm brought to the political process by younger voters will bring a passion to politics that will increase accountability from policymakers. The voting age should be 14 Now!

Thomas Robert Stevens obtained the nomination of the Personal Freedom Party to run for New York City Public Advocate at a convention held on May 11, 2013. At that convention, Sam Sloan was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Mayor and Kristin Davis was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Comptroller.

Legalize The Sale, Use & Possession Of Fireworks In New York State, Says Thomas Robert Stevens, Personal Freedom Party Candidate For NYC Public Advocate

Thomas Robert Stevens, the Personal Freedom Party candidate for New York City Public Advocate, has called for the immediate legalization of the sale, possession and use of fireworks in New York State. In a statement issued July 1, 2013, Dr. Stevens said the following:

"The joy of setting off fireworks in New York State has been denied to its citizens for far too long. Most New Yorkers love seeing fireworks displays and are amazed by them. Seeing the diversity of shapes and colors create some of our most cherished memories. Setting off fireworks from your own personal property should not be illegal. I call on the New York State legislature to take immediate action to legalize the sale, possession and use of fireworks in New York State.

The use of fireworks by citizens of New York State has been banned since 1940 and the definition of "dangerous fireworks" was expanded in 1997 to include Roman Candles and Sparklers. New York State outlaws the personal use of fireworks but it does issue permits for public displays of fireworks, which come with a slew of safety regulations. However, if you are just an average citizen who wants to set off fireworks in your backyard or on your farm, you will face fines and possible imprisonment. The NYPD also offers a $1,000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people possessing or distributing fireworks so watch out for that neighbor you don't get along with.

Possession of illegal fireworks is a violation, maximum fine $250.00; possession of fireworks valued at fifty dollars or more upgrades the charge to a Class B Misdemeanor, maximum fine $500.00; the fine for setting off fireworks without a permit is $750.00; and if you are caught using, transporting or selling illegal fireworks, you can be arrested, charged with a felony, have your car taken away and your business closed.

Anyone concerned about the possibility of injury associated with the use of fireworks should not purchase, possess or use them. However, when fireworks are stored and set off with the proper caution, the risk of injury can be greatly reduced or eliminated. Many businesses are set up in Pennsylvania just west of the Delaware River to sell fireworks to residents of Delaware, New Jersey and New York. There is no reason why New York businesses shouldn't share in these profits. There is room to expand this industry to include designer fireworks dedicated to the celebration of other holidays. The use of said fireworks will brighten up every occasion.

So far in this millennium, a dozen states have liberalized fireworks laws and with increased legalization, the number of injuries per pounds exploded have dwindled significantly. When fireworks are legal, people choose to shoot them off safely on their own property, rather than in a rush keeping an eye out for the police, and they follow safety precautions, follow directions properly, and have garden hoses available to put out any little fire that might occur. Fireworks are commonly used in New York State despite being illegal and the resources of law enforcement and the legal system should not be used to suppress this popular activity.

One of the problems with keeping fireworks illegal in New York State is that it keeps the issue below the radar so safety issues cannot be openly discussed. Revelers regularly smuggle in fireworks from other states, as anyone who has been outdoors just about anywhere on Independence Day can attest. The law hasn't prevented people from bringing fireworks into New York and setting them off. Do we really want to turn all these people into felons, locking them in jail for a year or more?

Those who argue that injuries are possible do not make a persuasive argument for a complete ban. We do not place an outright ban on the use of vehicles, cigarettes or alcohol, all of which can be linked to accidents and injuries. Instead, we regulate them. The same can be applied to fireworks. We can reasonably ban their sale to anyone under the age of 18. There is no justification for keeping this pleasurable activity illegal.

Consumer fireworks have never been illegal in Tennessee. This time of year, highways in Tennessee are lined with booths and tents selling fireworks by the truckload yet fireworks-related injuries are no more common in Tennessee than they are in New York. The reason for this is that prohibiting fireworks only tends to discourage their use by responsible, law-abiding citizens. The beautiful aerial effects of rockets, mortars and multi-tube repeaters can be enjoyed safety when they are set off by repeat purchasers who know how to use them as opposed to individuals who buy them illegally often for one-time use.

We are a country of hearty Americans who don't need or want a government that passes laws restricting behaviors with risk, to enforce morality or for what bureaucrats generally believe to be in our own best interests. It's time to end all restrictions on the sale, possession and use of fireworks.

Let the rockets red glare burst in the air!"

Thomas Robert Stevens obtained the nomination of the Personal Freedom Party to run for New York City Public Advocate at a convention held on May 11, 2013. At that convention, Sam Sloan was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Mayor and Kristin Davis was nominated as the Personal Freedom Party's nominee for Comptroller.