First, Do No Harm

59 years ago a wonder drug swept Europe and the UK promising a restful sleep to anxious expectant mothers. 

FTA-By 1960, Thalidomide was marketed in 46 countries, with sales nearly matching those of aspirin.

Around this time, Australian obstetrician Dr. William McBride discovered that the drug also alleviated morning sickness. He started recommending this off-label use of the drug to his pregnant patients, setting a worldwide trend. Prescribing drugs for off-label purposes, or purposes other than those for which the drug was approved, is still a common practice in many countries today, including the U.S. In many cases, these off-label prescriptions are very effective, such as prescribing depression medication to treat chronic pain.

However, this practice can also lead to a more prevalent occurrence of unanticipated, and often serious, adverse drug reactions. In 1961, McBride began to associate this so-called harmless compound with severe birth defects in the babies he delivered. The drug interfered with the babies’ normal development, causing many of them to be born with phocomelia, resulting in shortened, absent, or flipper-like limbs. A German newspaper soon reported 161 babies were adversely affected by Thalidomide, leading the makers of the drug—who had ignored reports of the birth defects associated with the it—to finally stop distribution within Germany. Other countries followed suit and, by March of 1962, the drug was banned in most countries where it was previously sold.”

While the FDA at the time declined to approve the drug Thalidomide state-side, it came very close, and was hardly the bastion of objective science. This close call led to an overhaul that tightened restrictions surrounding the surveillance and approval process for drugs sold in the US.

Over the past 20 years those processes have been slowly undermined and increasingly the FDA authorizes thread-bare clinical studies conducted by pharma with obvious conflicts of interest. Drugs rubber stamped by the FDA one day are pulled from the market the next. Late night TV is full of law firm ads asking if the audience has been harmed by a growing list of drugs that were once touted as “safe and effective”.

Libertarians call for the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration, not to eliminate food and safety processes already in place nationwide and directly managed by food processors and reputable drug companies, but to end the false sense of security the agency provides Americans, corrupt revolving door of agency staff into captured industries and the consistent failure it presents to the market.

We demand an open market that allows multiple competing voluntary private inspectors, much like Consumer Reports and other watchdog groups, who alert the public to dangers long before the FDA or its corrupt bureaucracy. 

Allowing any government or corporation to have a monopoly on the definition of human health is dangerous and unwise.

We are living through a moment in history that may change the American experience forever, and the FDA has been at the heart of each misstep and tragedy, without correction, without accountability and without direction.

#AbolishTheFDA

Citation: https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/thalidomide-tragedy-lessons-drug-safety-and-regulation

An addendum on abolishing the FDA

This agency is directly responsible for the disastrous handling of Covid response, allowing home testing early in 2020 when it could have made all the difference, then pulling authorization and demanding all testing go through the CDC and HHS. With a testing bottle neck at the federal level state health departments were unable to ramp up testing to assure panicked state Governors that a health crisis in March 2020 was non-existent in most states. While New York, New Jersey and to a much lesser extent Washington State saw alarming numbers of positive tests and a handful of over run hospitals, Ohio in particular saw hospitals statewide at 96% empty and massively under used, waiting for a surge that never came.
The absurd delay in testing led to an over reliance on long discredited apocalyptic projections that led governors to over-react with lock downs and restrictions through the summer, forcing hospitals to stay empty much longer than was obviously needed. This has led to an increased fragility in our health care networks, as doctors and nurses were let go and hospitals closed.
Bizarre contradictory advice has been issued from the FDA ,and its sibling agency the CDC, over the course of the year, ranging from scientifically dubious “social distancing”, flip-flopping mask guidance, excessive quarantine and avoiding the much needed discussion on informed consent.

No government or corporation should have this much influence over public health. We demand good outcomes, not just good intentions. 

#AbolishTheFDA

Citation: https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/home-covid-19-testing-services-pump-brakes-after-fda-warns-fraudulent-kits

Citation: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/23/mit-researchers-say-youre-no-safer-from-covid-indoors-at-6-feet-or-60-feet-in-new-study.html

Michael Sweeney, At-Large member, FCLP

Doing The “Right” Thing

There is this myth that Americans refuse to “do the right thing” when presented with information about risk and consequences.

This myth has been perpetuated by well intentioned politicians, medical celebrities and even prominent Libertarians, despite the long history and recent evidence to the contrary. 

Americans have been wearing masks since spring.

Let’s look at the example of masks.

Despite medical celebrities adamantly telling us not to wear masks in Feb and March, many Americans did so. Nationwide adoption of mask wearing went from 5% to 70% between March and May. 

The New York Times reports mask compliance continues to be about 60%, nationwide, with many urban areas seeing 90%, and our Ohio Governor citing 90% state-wide recently. (This is historically true, during the 1918 Influenza epidemic mask adoption, pushed as a tool to reduce spread, became accepted and widespread, with most everyone wearing them.) 

Here in Ohio keeping a polite distance during times of widespread illness is part of our Appalachian sensibilities and mid-west charm. We do not cram up on each other even when not sick. It’s called personal space. (It is also a popular myth that people go around sneezing and coughing on each other. Sure, we all have that anecdote about the person in the store or office who was rude, but those are rare.)

Apple Mobility Trends

We stayed home when the situation was presented as dire. And most continue to limit their activities, even where there are no restrictions or penalties. This is evident in the imploding revenues for local and state govt, money is not moving through local economies. Beyond the dubious tracking of cell phone location, the movement of money is the best indicator of people movement.

We also wash our hands, a lot.

Americans wash their hands, a lot.

The truth is Americans do not need orders, mandates or “leaders” to direct their lives. If we all decided this was nonsense there is no power that can stop us. We are going along with orders, mandates and advisories because we see physical health and social benefits (in cases where advice is clearly not working we continue to humor people out of politeness and compassion), despite economic and mental health costs.

We are watching this illness unfold world-wide in real-time, and every strategy, except trust, has brought more consequences and harm, many that will impact our lives long after 2020 is a historical punchline.

Any plan for Ohio, any state or nation for that matter, must be based on trust, collaboration and consent.

Without these elements we may triumph against this illness and lose our very soul.

Citation: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/27/world/most-americans-have-been-wearing-masks-since-spring-the-cdc-says.html?fbclid=IwAR0yTK8dTXnSYJOVJYPKv4HhywxJktLCq6QGWL-082Cy05H2wIq3jzYo-M0

Citation: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/17/upshot/coronavirus-face-mask-map.html

Citation: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/08/face-off-over-face-masks-europes-latest-north-south-split

Citation: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/cellphone-tracking-tells-where-ohioans-stayed-home-during-height-of-coronavirus/ar-BB14dE3W

Citation: https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/states-grappling-with-hit-to-tax-collections

Citation: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2020/04/20/Vast-Majority-of-Americans-Increase-Hand-Washing-Due-to-Coronavirus.aspx

Citation: https://www.aier.org/article/even-a-military-enforced-quarantine-cant-stop-the-virus-study-reveals/

Citation: https://covid19.apple.com/mobility


Michael Sweeney, Member At-Large, FCLP

FCLPO Endorsements for Ohio 2020 Election

The Franklin County Libertarian Party of Ohio voted through their Central Committee to endorse candidates for the 2020 election.

Robert Leist for OH Assembly Representative District 72
https://www.leistforohio.com

Kevin Kahn – Congress Ohio District 1
https://kahn4congress.com/
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-1/

Steven Perkins – Congress District 4
https://www.facebook.com/Perkins4Ohio
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-4/

Oscar Herrera – State Representative District 96
https://electoscarherrera.com/
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-6/

Brandon Lape – Congress District 7
http://www.lapeforohio.com/
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-7/

Dyrone Smith – Council District 8
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-11/

John Stewart – Congress District 12
https://electjohnstewart.com
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-12/

Dr. Michael Fricke – Congress District 13
https://www.facebook.com/mikefricke2020
https://votefreeohio.com/congressional-district-13/

FCLPO Central Committee Candidate Endorsement

The Franklin County Libertarian Party has an opportunity to endorse candidates in our backyard and across the state.
Please be aware this is notice of special meeting for the Franklin County Libertarian Central Committee on Tuesday, Sept 22nd at 7pm.
We are starting the process to endorse candidates at the county party level.
Voting by email will be open _immediately_ and close at 8pm, Sept 22nd. You can vote by email or attend in person to vote during the meeting.
We will be scheduling interview opportunities so all County Central Committee members can speak with the candidates and become informed. Feel free to send along questions in writing as well, and they will be forwarded to the candidates.

John Stewart for US Congress OH District 12

https://www.electjohnstewart.com/

Robert Leist for OH Assembly Representative District 72

https://www.leistforohio.com

Oscar Herrera for OH Assembly Representative District 96

https://electoscarherrera.com/about

http://www.fclpo.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/FranklinCountyBylaws_rev20150924.pdf
Bylaw I – EndorsementsSection 3. The endorsement of candidates for public office shall be approved only in a special meeting of the Central Committee called for that purpose. The Chair with the aid of the Secretary shall provide notice of the meeting and must request endorsements of each candidate in writing in the notice. The agenda shall include an opportunity for any member of the Central Committee to request endorsement of a candidate from the floor. The Central Committee shall be careful to ensure that all information presented by the member from the floor has been verified and vetted, or should vote to not endorse the candidate. After the Special Meeting, but prior to the appropriate election, the Executive Committee may remove the endorsement of any candidate for sufficient cause without the necessity of calling for a special meeting of the Central Committee.

Good intentions are not enough, we must also have good outcomes.

Right now, there are literally thousands of people protesting in the streets all over America about the daily harassment from hundreds of “good intention” laws that police use as excuses to force confrontations.

Social distancing and mask mandates are just another example in a long line of well intended, but poorly conceived and inconsistently enforced policies that always come to harm the most vulnerable communities.

Govt is always reluctant to give up power it can use for unearned influence, especially when it’s enforcement is arbitrary and subjective.

As mask wearing loses popularity, and people see less actual benefit as well as less social benefit, the community members who are already empowered will feel comfortable wearing them less or abandoning them altogether. This will naturally grow until an unspoken consensus will be reached with most people simply not wearing masks even though they are still legally mandated.

As fewer and fewer people wear masks voluntarily, businesses will enforce their wearing less and less both for employees and for customers, police are disinclined to rigidly enforce unpopular laws, and eventually, even county health departments will back down and simply ignore widespread scofflaws.

As a social stigma on mask wearing balances back towards disinterest, disenfranchised communities will find themselves unevenly targeted for enforcement, as ardent advocates for mask wearing continue to vocally call for increasingly harsh enforcement (to counter the widespread “lawlessness”) while also quietly and privately dismissing them.

This will place the disabled, communities of color, LBGT+, poor and disenfranchised residents at a disadvantage in their own businesses and communities.

The longer the mandate stays in place, while people decline to comply, the more corruption and graft will grow around abuse of power in enforcement. When the county health department can shut down your business at a moments notice because customers violated a rule that no one is following, and due process is completely thrown out the window, you don’t have a lot of wiggle room if any reputable, but corrupt, individual makes threats and demands.

When you can be arrested, and prosecuted, for not following a rule that no one else is following, you similarly have little wiggle room if extrajudicial demands are made on you by corrupt law enforcement.

This is why govt mandates are always bad. Govt enforcement of even the best intentions will fall most harshly on those without power.

Voluntary adoption of any best practice is the best way to safeguard all of our rights and all of our health.

If you read all this and rolled your eyes, or quietly called “bullshit”, please take a moment to think back to those thousands of people protesting in the streets all over America and the daily harassment from hundreds of these “good intention” nuisance laws.

If even one person is harmed from a mandate, where have the good intentions gone?

We would never discourage anyone from wearing a mask if they wish, we hope that everyone is informed of unlikely, but real, risks associated with use.

Be kind, wear a mask if you want, mind your own business, keep up all good habits equally.

#ThinkLibertarian

Resources to learn more: 

Covid Is About to Become the Newest Excuse for Police Brutality

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/coronavirus-police-brutality/

‘That’s abysmal’: NYC politicians outraged after NYPD reveals 81 percent of social distancing arrests have been minorities

https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-social-distancing-enforcement-20200508-taominwawrhtlajdqjqf5gbdce-story.html

Early Data Shows Black People Are Being Disproportionally Arrested for Social Distancing Violations

https://www.propublica.org/article/in-some-of-ohios-most-populous-areas-black-people-were-at-least-4-times-as-likely-to-be-charged-with-stay-at-home-violations-as-whites

FCLPO Election Results

The following individuals were successfully elected for the following roles.

Central Committee

Chair – John Stewart

Vice Chair – Chad Harris

Secretary – Michael Sweeney

Treasurer – Jordan Bertke

Executive Committee

Chair – Christopher Gill

Vice Chair – Drake Lundstrom

Secretary – Ken Holpp

Treasurer – Pat Hoffman

At-Large
Michael Sweeney
John Stewart

Congratulations on a successful election and eyes on the future.

Learn about Chris Gill…

Do you have any experience you feel would suit you to this role? 

Libertarian since 2009. Ran as a Libertarian for state rep same year. 
I’ve been on the Franklin County Central and Executive committees, as well as the Ohio Central and Executive Committees at various times through 2016. 
I have been a delegate to the Libertarian National Convention since 2010, and severed as the Delegation Chair in 2016.
I was in SC as a high school science teacher 2017-2019. I was active in the SCLP, although I was not an officer.

County Party Appointed Roles

There are also roles that are open for appointment. Directors and coordinators are appointed by the Executive Committee Chair, with input from the full Executive Committee, but not requiring a full vote. These roles do not need to be members of the County Central Committee or even members of the Libertarian Party (it would just be preferred). Each of these roles has an important part to play in a functioning county party.

Communications Director – Coordinate monthly email newsletter, update county party website, develop social media strategy with Social Media Coordinator.

Finance Director – Coordinate fundraising and outreach, develop and executive strategy for growing party funds

Political Director – Reach out to recruit local and countywide candidates, develop strategies for supporting candidates and issue campaigns, write and submit press releases for local and statewide news media

Legislative Committee Director – Solicit, research, compose, propose and seek endorsement for local and statewide issues campaigns.

Social Media Coordinator – Coordinate strategy for growing social media reach and exploring new platforms.

Events / Volunteer Coordinator – Work with Communications Director for outreach and develop volunteers for local, county and statewide events and volunteer to grow party membership and audience.

Information Technology Coordinator – Manage technology platforms, website, contact relationship manager, phone banking, video/phone conference, electronic voting and any other technology needs to support the county party members.

Learn about Drake Lundstrom

Do you have any experience you feel would suit you to this role? 

My name is Drake, and i am a relatively young libertarian at 24.  I have been involved with the liberty movement since 2014, and from 2014-2018, I was a member of a Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Cincinnati.  I spent 1 of those 4 years as treasurer, and 2 as president, and brought a club that was on the verge of collapse with roughly 4 remaining members to over 15 members regularly attending meetings, hosting the largest political debate on campus every semester, and with an email list of hundreds of other students.
Since graduating, I have stayed in the liberty movement mostly by moonlighting as a researcher for the libertarian infotainment channel freedom toons, and I occasionally contribute article or am interviewed on libertarian podcast as a policy expert.  I have done a small amount of volunteer work for the Franklin county libertarian party, tabling at a few different fairs and the gay pride parade, and am hoping to get more involved in the party in a position where I can make the most impact in pushing liberty forwards.
Other relevant leadership experience that I have had would be being the president of the UC kendo club for 2 years, UC marching band section leader for 2 years, and since graduating, I have been the rotary 6690 district outbound chair for youth exchange, and this last year joined the the executive committee of my local rotary club as a social media and youth services chair.
Please let me know if you have any question, and I would be happy to send links to interviews i have done if you want to hear about my positions on libertarainism in some more depth, and i have attached a photo of me, a photo of the YAL club I was part of at a state convention, and a photo of me with a few YAL friends at a Mises institute event, just to prove my libertarian street cred.
Thank you for your time,