Libertarian Media

Join LI Friends in Krakow 2018

Join with Liberty International friends from around the world

And enjoy one of Europe’s most beautiful cities

  LI World Liberty Summit Grand Ascot Hotel Krakow, Poland August 12-16, 2018

 

The 2018 Liberty International World Conference will be held in beautiful Krakow, Poland. The city survived World War II intact, and is full of magnificent old buildings, art, music, and fine food. Everybody we know who has been to Krakow raves about it.

Poland had a rising libertarian movement even before the fall of the Wall. Murray Rothbard lectured there in 1986, and a number of works including Rand, Friedman, Hayek, and Mises were translated at the time, and many more since. Several active organizations arose after the fall of communism.

The lead host for the Krakow conference is Jacek Spendel, head of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (FEF) www.fundacjawip.org/en , and assisted by FEF VP Marcin Chmielowski,   FEF runs numerous seminars around Poland and worked with Glenn Cripe of Language of Liberty Institute on two Liberty Camps in Poland this year. Jacek also organizes Project Arizona, which brings select Polish students to Phoenix, Arizona for free-market economics studies and internships with local libertarian organizations and businesses, and to learn about life in America. FEF produced a documentary on the forgotten free-market Krakow School of Economics of the late 19th – early 20th centuries, and is now in the early stages of producing a full-length documentary movie on the life of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises.

Jan Kuban, software entrepreneur and the new president of the Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research and Education (PAFERE) www.pafere.org is co-host of the Krakow conference. PAFERE also runs seminars, assists with the Liberty Camps, and is very active in both translating liberty classics and in current publishing aimed primarily at the introductory level. (Jan was a speaker at the 2017 LI conference in Puerto Rico).

The conference site is the Grand Ascot Hotel in central Krakow, near many of the top sites. It is a new, 4-star venue. https://grandascot.pl. Rooms are a modest $75 per person/per night shared, or $137/night single. There are lots of lodging options nearby.

The organizers are pricing the conference program and meal package for the Polish/Central European market, so the package cost is a low $250. The package includes opening reception dinner on the evening of Sunday, August 12th, 3 lunches, and the gala closing banquet (including open bar) on the night of Wednesday, August 15th. (Breakfasts come with the room). Checkout is the 16th. Partial packages for locals will also be available.

We expect to have post-conference excursions – still being planned. With so much to see, we suggest allowing three extra days for your travel plans.

The Poles are assembling the conference website and will handle registrations. Stay tuned for conference updates via LI News.

Help Create New Libertarian Leaders!

Liberty International World Conferences have been highly successful in creating new libertarian leaders from among the hundreds of scholarship students and young activists whom LI donors have enabled to attend the conferences. The inspiration of meeting and creating networks with top speakers and participants from around the world has led to many of the recipients going on to form or expand libertarian think-tanks, publishing projects, organize Liberty Camps, become teachers and journalists, start businesses with a libertarian flavor, or run for public office.

With the Krakow location, this conference is a golden opportunity to bring in lots of students from Poland and the surrounding region of ex-Soviet bloc countries. In fact, Jacek and Glenn Cripe of the Language of Liberty Institute are planning a Liberty Camp near Krakow just before the LI conference, so many of those students will come to the LI conference.

Scholarship students will be required to pay their own travel, and a modest conference fee, but they will need assistance from Liberty International donors for accommodation and the balance of the conference fee.

Total cost per student will be about $500. Our goal is 40 students. So we hope to raise $20,000 for the Conference Scholarship Fund. To help with conference planning, please make your most generous contribution to the LI Conference Scholarship Fund as soon as possible.

For Americans, scholarship donations are tax-deductible in the USA. Contributions made here in December will help you save on your 2017 taxes!

Conference Scholarship Fund contributions may be made on-line at https://liberty-intl.org/join-the-movement . Or call us, or send it to the LI office address below.

This will be an exciting, inspiring LI World Conference! We hope you can make it!

And please share the word!

Liberty International

237 Kearny St. #120

San Francisco, CA 94108-4502, USA

+415-859-5174

Inquiries: info@liberty-intl.org

Executive Director: jimelwoodisil@gmail.com

Categories: Libertarian Media

Bolivia: A liberty hell

By José Manuel Ormachea

For the last few years, most of the regional analysis as to the status of civil, political and economic liberties has focused on the Venezuelan crisis. Nonetheless, there is another country where a crisis is taking place and basic freedoms are at stake. That country is Bolivia.

Bolivia has always been poor regarding protection of individual rights and liberties, but since President Evo Morales took office back in 2006, most threats to civil rights not only stayed untouched, but actually multiplied at a scale not seen since the days of the military dictatorships.

A study named “Doing Business 2016” made by the World Bank places Bolivia between the 32 worst countries in the world to have a business. This particular phenomenon has to do mostly with the legal uncertainties the country presents for local and international investors. It is normal to identify Bolivia as an “unfriendly” environment for businesses, and to see neighbors like Brazil, Chile and Peru as potential partners. This tends to happen in economic sectors that Bolivia has in common with other South American countries; like the wool industry, nuts, quinoa, soy, and, most recently, the lithium industry.

The general perception of uncertainty is due to a risk of social unrest the country continuously shows, as a vicious cycle not even the Morales´ administration (the longest and most “stable” the landlocked country has ever had) could change in the last decade. According to CERES foundation, for the last four decades the Andean nation suffered at least 1 roadblock, strike or protest every day of every week and more than 50 social conflicts per month.

This non-stop social unrest, which naturally led to the existence of a very small, weak, private and formal sector, is the most important reason why 70% of the Bolivian economy is nowadays informal. The kind of informality reigning in today’s Bolivia is one causing nothing but harm to people. What this economy does is to restrain citizens’ chances to pursue a better quality of life through a real open and free economic system: and to submit them to an anarchic, wildly unfair, corporatized mercantilism dominated by a few rich smuggler kingpins who make millions on unregistered, tax-evaded retail profits on “ghost” imports from neighbor countries.

But why did the Bolivian economy evolve that way? This situation has its explanation with the way public service functions. The Andean country is a true “fiscal hell” for it is the most difficult country for paying taxes in the world. According to a study made by Diego Sanchez De la Cruz, a Spaniard economist, Bolivia places first in the entire Latin American region in tax pressure on incomes and profit. And, an enterprise needs an average of 50 days to finish all the paperwork in order to open its doors.

So what is the current way of doing business and dealing with bureaucracy? It is through corruption. The Morales administration has always said it is one of the most “transparent” and “incorruptible” governments in history. To keep their word, the legislative passed the anti-corruption law “Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz”. In its article 123, the rule legalizes retroactivity in corruption cases, meaning any corruption felony committed by a state official can be taken to trial even before the rule became law of the land. This clause violates several international human-rights treaties the country has signed, and Morales has used it to prosecute opposition leaders instead of applying it to his own government officials –many of them deeply involved in corruption scandals.

Over the past 20 years, the criminal justice system in Bolivia experienced major setbacks. Bolivia is the country with the most inmates incarcerated with a pre-trial detention status (83%). But the worst thing is that, whoever deserves to be free, is not, and whoever needs to be tried as soon as possible, is free.

It is becoming quite difficult to participate freely in politics as well. 10 political parties presented candidates for national elections in 1997, 11 in 2002, 9 in 2005, but since President Morales took office in 2006, numbers went down dramatically: 8 candidates ran in 2010 and only 5 in 2014. This is not only because there is a deep polarization the current government introduced in Bolivian politics which makes opposition leaders collude in regional and national alliances in order to try beating Morales in the ballots, but because all the restrictions the Electoral Supreme Court –mostly controlled by the government- establishes for the non-governmental candidates.

The central government does not finance the political parties anymore, which used to be a method of leveling the playing field for all of them moneywise. In 2015, the Electoral Court banned Ernesto Suarez, the most popular opposition candidate of the Beni department -a northeastern region in Bolivia- for running for Governor. This controversial decision to illegally remove Suarez from a subnational electoral process -which led to a victory of Alex Ferrier, the Morales’ candidate- was, for many, a confirmation of the Court’s bias in favor of the government in electoral processes.

However, politics is not the only field where liberties are currently in danger. Freedom House´s “Freedom of the press 2017” points out that “Bolivia experienced severe setbacks for press freedom over the past decade. The administration of President Evo Morales targeted critical journalists with threats of prosecution and accused three media outlets that covered a corruption case against him of forming a ´cartel of lies´” and their recent studies lists Bolivia as one of the most repressive countries for exercising independent, critical journalism (111 of 199 in the global rank). In fact, President Morales once said he was proud that “80% of the media now stands beside him”.

Given all these elements, it is not an exaggeration to emphatically point out that Bolivia stands alongside Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador as a leader of the illiberal-unfree Latin American block of nations.

Categories: Libertarian Media

Mu Aye Pu – City of tomorrow

From Kurt Hanson: I have some good news to report. We have reached our funding goal of $350,000. A surge of investment last week put us over the finish line, in fact we are oversubscribed.
I want to thank you for publishing the story on Mu Aye Pu because that is what kicked off the investment interest. We did in 4 months what I thought would take a year.
This will be the founding of a city of tomorrow in the jungle, and there will be nothing quite like it in the world. We are turning a former war zone into an amazing oasis of peace and prosperity that will be home to 100,000 or more people.
Here is a recent article about our business and our plans to raise $100 million early next year to build. We already have our first business customer, a high-end wellness clinic wants to set up shop at MAP.

For more information: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/mu-aye-pu-karen-state-100m-ico-fundraise-83485/

Categories: Libertarian Media

Killing Indonesia’s future with kindness

By Rainer Heufers, Executive Director of Center for Indonesian Policy Studies

Do a little search on domestic news about education in Indonesia and be confronted by every conceivable government program to improve the quality of education in the country. From fierce debates on whether children should attend 5 school days instead of the usual 6, Indonesian President Widodo’s program to change the‘character’ of children in schools, to stamping down on ‘illegal’ students who did not go through the new and confusing government school registration process.

It seems that the government is becoming the overbearing parent anxious for it’s child to do well, overloading it’s children with too many regulations and interventions, and then chiding them for not being able to follow them.

What’s needed is a step back. Schools, parents and students need the space and the freedom to find what best suits them and to grow into their own.

CIPS has been looking into low-cost private schools now for the last two years. Our most recent research goes into the second poorest district of Jakarta, called Koja. We were amazed to find that in Koja there were far more private schools than public ones (85 private compared to 55 public). Of these 85 private schools – 51 charge less that 10% of the minimum wage, making them “low-cost” by our standards.

We visualized the location of these schools in a map, and decided to record their inspiring stories in a series of short videos.

Of these schools, we met Mr. Ignatius Meak, or as his students and teachers simply call him – Mr. Ig. He started the Bina Pusaka primary school for his community in 1975. As a Catholic, he was met with skepticism by many of the Muslim parents in area thinking it was a Catholic school. Now the school enrolls mostly Muslim children, and is a beautiful example of religious tolerance amongst a community dedicated to giving its children a bright future.

Or take the Al-Khairiyah vocational school that is doing more to secure better job prospects for its students than centralized government programs could ever achieve in a decade. The school teaches the children practical trade skills and are giving them access to job opportunities through cooperation with large automotive and logistics companies, and have even placed them in jobs abroad.

So why aren’t we doing more to recognize the hidden achievements of these schools?

Let low-income communities like the ones in Koja have the freedom to build their own schools, and let poor parents decide what education they want for their children. Then step back and watch children flourish.

For more information: cips-indonesia.org

Categories: Libertarian Media

Killing Indonesia’s future with kindness

By Rainer Heufers, Executive Director of Center for Indonesian Policy Studies

Do a little search on domestic news about education in Indonesia and be confronted by every conceivable government program to improve the quality of education in the country. From fierce debates on whether children should attend 5 school days instead of the usual 6, Indonesian President Widodo’s program to change the‘character’ of children in schools, to stamping down on ‘illegal’ students who did not go through the new and confusing government school registration process.

It seems that the government is becoming the overbearing parent anxious for it’s child to do well, overloading it’s children with too many regulations and interventions, and then chiding them for not being able to follow them.

What’s needed is a step back. Schools, parents and students need the space and the freedom to find what best suits them and to grow into their own.

CIPS has been looking into low-cost private schools now for the last two years. Our most recent research goes into the second poorest district of Jakarta, called Koja. We were amazed to find that in Koja there were far more private schools than public ones (85 private compared to 55 public). Of these 85 private schools – 51 charge less that 10% of the minimum wage, making them “low-cost” by our standards.

We visualized the location of these schools in a map, and decided to record their inspiring stories in a series of short videos.

Of these schools, we met Mr. Ignatius Meak, or as his students and teachers simply call him – Mr. Ig. He started the Bina Pusaka primary school for his community in 1975. As a Catholic, he was met with skepticism by many of the Muslim parents in area thinking it was a Catholic school. Now the school enrolls mostly Muslim children, and is a beautiful example of religious tolerance amongst a community dedicated to giving its children a bright future.

Or take the Al-Khairiyah vocational school that is doing more to secure better job prospects for its students than centralized government programs could ever achieve in a decade. The school teaches the children practical trade skills and are giving them access to job opportunities through cooperation with large automotive and logistics companies, and have even placed them in jobs abroad.

So why aren’t we doing more to recognize the hidden achievements of these schools?

Let low-income communities like the ones in Koja have the freedom to build their own schools, and let poor parents decide what education they want for their children. Then step back and watch children flourish.

For more information: cips-indonesia.org

Categories: Libertarian Media

Urgent Help Needed for Libertarian Flood Victims in Sierra Leone

 

by Mustapha Cole and the Sierra Leone Liberty Group

“A massive flood and mudslides hit our desperately poor West African country of Sierra Leone on August 14 that claimed more than 1000 lives. The secretary of our Sierra Leone Liberty Group, Mohamed, lost all of his property and one member of his family. I, too, lost my home.

We are calling for urgent help for Mohamed and myself in the amount of $2500 to fix up our own homes. Any extra funds will be used to help other homeless in our community. The sooner the better, as we also face the possibility of a cholera outbreak, as happened after floods in 2012. The more money we can raise, the more people we can help.”

Liberty International’s Executive Director Jim Elwood reports that LI is collecting money to assist Mustapha, Mohamed, and if possible, their neighbors. The funds will be transferred to Mustapha Cole, President of the Sierra Leone Liberty Group (SLLG) in Freetown. Mr. Cole will distribute funds and will document how these are processed. The situation in Sierra Leone from this flooding is dire and urgent. Please help!

Enter Your Donation Amount:$ Pay with Card

 

[Ed. Note: Mustapha Cole lost members of his own family in the Ebola epidemic a few years ago, yet was active in private efforts to combat the disease, with government health aid virtually non-existent. Last year he organized a student liberty seminar. We have previously sent him funds for his liberty work and can vouch for him].

Categories: Libertarian Media

Urgent Help Needed for Libertarian Flood Victim in Sierra Leone

by Mustapha Cole and the Sierra Leone Liberty Group

“A massive flood and mudslides hit our desperately poor West African country of Sierra Leone on August 14 that claimed more than 1000 lives. The secretary of our Sierra Leone Liberty Group, Mohamed, lost all of his property and one member of his family. I, too, lost my home.

We are calling for urgent help for Mohamed and myself in the amount of $2500 to fix up our own homes. Any extra funds will be used to help other homeless in our community. The sooner the better, as we also face the possibility of a cholera outbreak, as happened after floods in 2012. The more money we can raise, the more people we can help.”

Liberty International’s Executive Director Jim Elwood reports that LI is collecting money to assist Mustapha, Mohamed, and if possible, their neighbors. The funds will be transferred to Mustapha Cole, President of the Sierra Leone Liberty Group (SLLG) in Freetown. Mr. Cole will distribute funds and will document how these are processed. The situation in Sierra Leone from this flooding is dire and urgent. Please help!

Enter Your Donation Amount:$ Pay with Card

 

[Ed. Note: Mustapha Cole lost members of his own family in the Ebola epidemic a few years ago, yet was active in private efforts to combat the disease, with government health aid virtually non-existent. Last year he organized a student liberty seminar. We have previously sent him funds for his liberty work and can vouch for him].

 

Categories: Libertarian Media
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