Monday, April 21, 2014

The True Identity, Age & Nationality Of Dallwyn Hamnilton Merck Comes To Light

Dallwyn Hamnilton Merck died on November 10, 2013. His Death Certificate indicates he was 75 years old, having been born on February 11, 1938. He claims to have been a citizen of the United States due to his being born on a ship docked in the territorial waters of American Samoa. At the time of his death, Dallwyn was Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Queens County and served on the Governing Board of the Objectivist Party. He held many other positions in numerous organizations and was considered a dedicated liberty activist.

The reality, which has been recently discovered, is that Dallwyn Hamnilton Merck, was born on February 11, 1928, making him 85 years old at the time of his death, not 75. He was also not born in American Samoa but in Sydney, Australia and his birth name was Allan Robert Hamilton.

Dallwyn married Helen Elizabeth Bundrock in Sydney, Australia on March 29, 1952 when he was 24 years old. Dallwyn (Allan) listed his profession as "Engineer" at the time and Helen's profession was noted as being "Secretary".  Dallwyn (Allan) had two children: Ivan Hamilton, who was born on July 8, 1953; and Alexa Jessop nee Hamilton, who was born on February 13, 1955. Dallwyn was raised Catholic because his mother was Catholic but his wife was Protestant and intense interference in Dallwyn's marriage by his mother eventually led to their separation. Donald Robinson, who later served as the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney from 1982-1993, officiated at Dallwyn's wedding and at the baptism of his first born son, Ivan Trevor Hamilton. Dallwyn's wife, Helen, passed away in August, 1991.

Dallwyn's father was Allan Miller Hamilton (born March 5, 1908; died about October 26, 1993) and his mother was Mary Catherine Hamilton nee Newcombe (born June 20, 1908; died June 3, 1995). They married on September 6, 1927 when they were 19 years old in what could be described as a "shot-gun wedding". Dallwyn was born just over five (5) months later on February 11, 1928. Dallwyn always said his parents died sliding off a cliff on a snowy night in the mountains of South America and that their bodies were never recovered. The glee with which he told this story, which was clearly untrue, shows the depth of anger he maintained toward both of them.

Dallwyn has a younger brother, Brian Andrew Hamilton, and a sister, Jean Mary Machon, who both are alive and reside in Sydney, Australia.

Why and how Dallwyn ended up changing his name from Allan Robert Hamilton to Dallwyn Hamnilton Merck and when his birth date moved from 1928 to 1938 are still unknown but we do know he remained estranged from his family for many decades and did not like discussing them in any detail.

Frederick Cookinham, a member of the Libertarian Party of Queens County and author of the book The Age Of Rand: Imagining An Objectivist Future World, has called Dallwyn Hamnilton Merck an "International Man Of Mystery."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tom Rossman on Common Law Juries: A Coup By Any Other Name

Thomas Adair Rossman wrote the following article regarding John Darash and the National Liberty Alliance's proposal to form Common Law Juries throughout the United States. Tom Rossman is an emerging global thought leader in improving political and economic decision making. He is the author of The Synthesis Revolution: New Thinking for a New Era of Prosperity, released in November 2012 by Eudaimonia Publishing and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County:

"If I were to tell you that a God-fearing, patriotic American was proposing the single greatest exercise in social engineering since Maoist-Leninist-Marxism became the ruling dogma of China in 1949, your initial instincts would be opposed to such a movement. However, if I wrapped the message in the seemingly beneficial cloak of  ‘liberty’, appeals to amorphous natural law, individual sovereignty, and threw in some ‘Great Awakening’ language, topped off with a biting critique of the current U.S. political system, you might be more amenable to considering it. No?  

The National Liberty Alliance strikes me as a well-meaning group of people who do not fully grasp the last three and a half centuries of political history. I am in complete agreement that our current system of government is in need of serious and deep reform, however, we have a mechanism in place to effect such change that has developed and adapted over the past several centuries called the ballot box and constitutional amendment. It is far from perfect, but it has provided the foundation for the enormous success of the United States

The National Liberty Alliance Mission Statement claims that, “To take political power is to control our elected representatives, by bringing them into obedience through fear of the people.” For the last 230 years, we have done exactly that through electing representatives and kicking them out when they failed in their duties. After all, what puts fear in the heart of a politician more than being voted out of office? We can all agree that is a flawed system, but next to the radical tectonic shift the National Liberty Alliance is proposing, it has the benefit of hundreds of years of testing and experiment. Their Mission Statement says: “To take judicial power is to control our courts by understanding jurisdiction and bringing into subjection all government officers and officials using common law courts by opening courts of record and executing "people" authority, it's that simple!” To replace our entire state legal system with an alternate system controlled by the National Liberty Alliance, based on the exceedingly vague “people authority” is to replace something that is known, flawed, but proven by something that is completely unknown and unproven. This smacks of Rousseau and Robespierre in the mission to “force men to be free”.

What they are advocating is a coup! A group of citizens who share the same subjective beliefs they do, taking control from officials elected by the people who do not. Their followers, according to the website, “first seek the blessings from the "GOVERNOR OF THE UNIVERSE" and build our endeavor upon Him and His principles (1) HONOR, (2) JUSTICE, and (3) MERCY. This is the only sure foundation, any other will succumb to tyrants.” What if a citizen doesn’t believe in a ‘governor of the Universe’ or has a different interpretation of the terms honor, justice and mercy? Technically, if these individuals are not willing to take the National Liberty Alliance’s theocratic oath, then they would not qualify to take part in this new and improved world order and do not constitute part of the ‘people authority’. 

Their ideas further collapse in on themselves when one begins to unwind the logistics of their movement.   They claim that, “Only the People can stand up and defend the Constitution because the Constitution cannot defend itself, and bureaucrats will never do it.” But at the same time, in the Common Law jury system, “Each county should eventually find four people (administrators) who will work full time (paid positions) to administrate and orient the jurist.” So a set of state-paid administrators who are essentially “bureaucrats” who will never defend the constitution, according to their own declaration, will now be in charge of the county grand juries across the country. Keep in mind that even though the Alliance claims all of this is universally self-evident, completely obvious, and the true law of the land, no legal scholar or Constitutional thinker of any note has openly advocated for such an alternate system. 

But, aside from the contradictions and the complete lack of basis in anything we know or have experienced in the Modern era, the most flawed aspect of their thinking is their atavistic interpretation of  ‘individual sovereignty’. This cornerstone of modern democracy has been widely debated for centuries and if the National Liberty Alliance has their way, the last 350 years of debate on this issue would be wiped away in one fell swoop. 

It was in the mid-17th century, in the midst of intense religious wars in England and across Europe, that Thomas Hobbes first effectively made the case that ultimate sovereignty lay with the individual. Prior to that, the dominate form of “natural law” in Europe, held that Kings and the Church were supreme, not individuals. This is why Hobbes’ Leviathan was so revolutionary in inverting the power structure to make the government the servant of the people. At the same time, Hobbes believed that without the strong rule of an absolute monarch, day-to-day life would be so chaotic that it would return to the ‘state of nature’ in which conditions were “continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Thankfully, the advancement of political ideas didn’t end with Hobbes and John Locke picked up the torch of liberty with a more positive mission. It was Locke, in providing the ideas behind the Glorious Revolution in England, a model for the American Revolution a century later, who asserted it was not just a right, but an obligation for individuals to work together to improve the way that they were governed. Since that time, the Anglo-American political tradition has been to find the best possible way to govern ourselves in the most effective manner available. Granted, just as many of the men who contributed to this development, often flawed in execution, but were noble in intention.   

You can’t have your cake and eat it too which is why the preamble of the Constitution sets out the recognition that, “In Order to form a more perfect Union.” we must work out our differences through an electoral system with checks and balances, division of powers through the branches of government and the freedom of choice of the individual citizen/voter. For example, before the Constitution was even ratified, it had already been widely agreed that ten new amendments, the Bill of Rights, would be added. 

I suppose if I believed as John Darash, one of the leaders of the National Liberty Alliance, does, that the United States was on the edge of imminent demise, that all diseases can be cured through natural homeopathic remedies, and that the world is controlled by a few, select wealthy families, than I would be more pre-disposed to a radical re-writing of our entire social contract. However, since the leaders of this radical movement can offer no evidence of such things, and appeal purely to a vague assumption that all of these assertions are “proven facts”, I have no choice but to stand with John Locke, the Framers of the Constitution and most of the other Founding Fathers in asserting that the case has not been made for such a revolutionary proposed course of action. 

We must keep in mind that one of the reasons the American Revolution was such a success and the French Revolution a dismal failure, was that Americans had been largely ruling themselves for more than a century when the brave Sons of Liberty began to push for the formalization of self-rule. In fact, it was 1619 when the first elected body in America began the long journey of collecting the experiences to effective self-rule, as a practical matter of survival, not an abstract one of ‘rights’. To push for such a radical departure from the system the Framers established and the changes and adaptations that have evolved to that system over time, is to repeat the mistake of the radicals of the French Revolution, the Communist revolutions of the 20th century and to make a mockery of one of the core values that the Framers and even the National Liberty Alliance claims to espouse, that of real world experience and change through adaptation and adjustment over time. That is actually one of the core principles of Common Law.  

The bottom-line is that the National Liberty Alliance is very far from making a cogent argument that their Common Law Jury system, animated by the appeal to abstract and non-universal principles would even work, let alone be superior to our current system. That still leaves us with the pressing need to reform our current political system, so let the debate continue, unabated."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Applause! Applause! Review of Ragtime at Cultural Arts Playhouse by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of the musical Ragtime at the Cultural Arts Playhouse was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 4 (2014) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Cultural Arts Playhouse (625 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY)
Reviewed 3/23/14

Ragtime is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. Based on the 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow, it tells the story of three groups living in the early 20th century: African-Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class white suburbanites living in New Rochelle, represented by Mother; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia. Historical figures appearing in the musical include Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Admiral Perry and Emma Goldman. The music includes marches, cakewalks, gospel and ragtime.

The musical opened on Broadway on January 18, 1998 as the first production in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. It closed on January 16, 2000 after 834 performances. It was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won for Best Featured Actress, Original Score, Book and Orchestrations. A 2009 Broadway revival opened to critical acclaim at the Neil Simon Theatre on November 15, 2009 but due to high weekly running costs, it closed on January 10, 2010 after only 65 performances. Nevertheless, it received 7 Tony nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Direction, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

If you haven't seen Ragtime, I highly recommend you catch this production at the Cultural Arts Playhouse. It is exceptionally well-done with fine performances by talented actors. The message of justice and of changing times is universal and the story, set in the first fourteen years of the 20th century is as relevant today as it was then and for every generation in between. The longer you live, the longer you hear "strange new music" and wonder "when they changed the song." Insightful people also realize "you can never go back to before" nor would you want you. As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."

Christopher M. Cooley brought substance and gravitas to the character of Harlem ragtime pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr., who risks everything to obtain the justice he feels he deserves as a man. Steffy Jolin puts in a fine performance as Sarah, his girlfriend and the father of his child, whose sad story results in an even more tragic ending. Carmela Newman plays Mother, an upper-class white woman from a traditional family who undergoes the most radical change in perspective as she decides, while her husband is away on a year-long trip, to take in an abandoned black baby, and later, that baby's mother. In a subtle but powerful performance, Ms. Newman seduces and invites you to join Mother on her journey of discovery and enlightenment. Mike Newman more than holds his own as Tateh, a Latvian Jew seeking the American Dream for his daughter. The unexpected "happy family" that forms in the end will surprise you but reflects the norms bound to have resulted out of the "mosaic" culture that is now our own.

Two additional cast members are worthy of note. Jill Wilson Cohen shines as Emma Goldman. I felt as if I had met Emma Goldman personally after seeing Ms. Cohen's portrayal of her. I was also impressed with Ashley Nicastro in the role of Evelyn Nesbit, the "girl on a swing" who became infamous when her husband shot her lover. There are many excellent, songs in this musical including "Goodbye, My Love", "Henry Ford", "New Music", "The Wheels Of A Dream", "The Night That Goldman Spoke At Union Square", "Till We Reach That Day", "What A Game", "Atlantic City", "He Wanted To Say", "Back To Before" and "Make Them Hear You".

Make an effort to see Ragtime at the Cultural Arts Playhouse. You will not be disappointed. While there, if you run into Harry Houdini, don't forget to tell him to WARN THE DUKE!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Applause! Applause! Review of Her by Andrew P. Clunn

This review of the movie Her was written by Andrew P. Clunn and published in Volume X, Issue 4 (2014) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Directed & Written by Spike Jonze
Reviewed 2/17/14

It’s hard to say whether Her (directed and written by Spike Jonze) is a romantic comedy, morality play, or science fiction story. While it deals with the complexities of relationships and marriage of today, it does so safely through an imagined future. It speaks to today’s court battles over same sex marriage seeking to legally define love and relationships, but with a premise of the isolated but deeply thoughtful Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falling in love with his Artificial Intelligence Operating System Samantha (Scarlett Johansson).

I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It's a crazy thing to do. It's kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity. - Amy

For the main character of Theodore, the only real forays into the notion of marriage are a blind date, where a woman presses him for a commitment in a passive aggressive manner that is all too realistic. The other is his clinging to his own failed marriage by constantly delaying signing his divorce papers (much to his ex’s frustration). To him the marriage document is a symbol of their relationship and love, and if he lets it go then he lets her go. 
Theodore is only able to do so after his relationship with Samantha comes to fill the gap, and though his ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara) seems willing to forgive him for delaying their divorce so long, she lashes out at him when she learns that he’s replaced her with a computer program. It’s from this encounter that Theodore comes to question and doubt his relationship and becomes fearful of how others might judge him.

At one point Theodore and his friend Amy (Amy Adams) are discussing their lives since their marriages fell apart (Amy’s somewhat more recently). Both withhold that they’ve found companionship (in Amy’s case platonic friendship) with their OS. Both fear the judgment of their friend, but when they reveal themselves, Amy laments that it took her so long to end her stifling marriage. Fear of others’ judgment, fear of feeling like a failure, had kept her from ending it for so long. When they both come clean about their present relationships, the acceptance and genuine pleasure at each other’s happiness is palpable.

The recently divorced Amy is a video game programmer. In the game she’s working on the player who takes on the role of a traditional mother. The player scores points by doting on her kids, making baked goods for school events, and picking up her children from school on time. The clear contrast within the world of Her between how people actually live their lives and the way that “normal” people are portrayed is one of the many ways in which it feels so real. Of course Amy puts in a hidden glitch where the super mother avatar begins humping the refrigerator, and how Her manages to be both so crude and touching is perhaps its strongest point.

Dear Catherine, I've been sitting here thinking about all the things I wanted to apologize to you for. All the pain we caused each other. Everything I put on you. Everything I needed you to be or needed you to say. I'm sorry for that. I'll always love you 'cause we grew up together and you helped make me who I am. I just wanted you to know there will be a piece of you in me always, and I'm grateful for that. Whatever someone you become, and wherever you are in the world, I'm sending you love. You're my friend to the end. Love, Theodore. - Theodore

While the film’s story is science fiction, the realism makes that a forgettable afterthought. At one point Theodore and Samantha go on a couple’s picnic with a co-worker and his girlfriend. The fact that she isn’t human is incidental, serving as little more than dinner conversation. When a little girl asks why Theodore’s girlfriend is in a computer, Samantha responds, “Because that’s where I live.” No further explanation is needed. The notion that people and relationships come in all forms seems so natural, and the acceptance that how others define love has no bearing on how we define it is made to appear so obvious and intuitive that, by contrast, it’s our dogmatic judgmental society that seems out of place.

Traditional relationships exist in Her, as well as imagined possibilities of relationships that do not yet exist. The new form of relationships don’t mean that the old form go away, and each is left to thrive, fail, or change according to the desires of the participants. It’s so elegant an idea that people should be in relationships with whoever they want to be because they want to be. And best of all, it makes for one hell of a romantic comedy.

You know what, I can over think everything and find a million ways to doubt myself. And since Charles left I've been really thinking about that part of myself and, I've just come to realize that, we're only here briefly. And while I'm here, I wanna allow myself joy. So fuck it. - Amy

Applause! Applause! Review of The Electric Indian at The Invisible Dog Art Center by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of The Electric Indian at The Invisible Dog Art Center was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 4 (2014) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

The Electric Indian
The Invisible Dog Art Center (51 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY)
Reviewed 2/16/14

Conceived & directed by JJ Lind, The Electric Indian successfully combines storytelling, ritual, dance and song with 19th century historical texts, 20th century popular media and 21st century technologies to tell the story of the American Indian (and specifically the Cherokee nation) using the life of Elias Cornelius Boudinot, a controversial Cherokee who served as a Confederate Army colonel during the Civil War, as the linchpin. Also appearing in the production were four other characters, the Sculptress, the Missionary, the Surveyor and the Entertainer, who each represent different aspects of White Society during the 19th century. A main source for the script was The Manners, Customs, Traditions and Present Condition of the Civilized Indians of the Indian Territory, an informational lecture for white audiences by Col. Elias C. Boudinot. The Electric Indian was the name of a studio band created in the 1960s that sought to capitalize on the "native sound" used at the time. The title is a metaphor for the American (and capitalist) impulse to fetishize and commoditize an idealized image of native people. The director, JJ Lind, who identifies as a Cherokee, comes from Vinita, Oklahoma, a town founded and named by Elias Cornelius Boudinot. 

I felt the play fairly and objectively depicted the plight of the American Indian during the 19th century as well-intentioned European-Americans and American Indians sought to find policies that would be in the best long-term interests of the Native Nations in an atmosphere where a number of other Whites sought to take every advantage, legal or illegal, of any Indian or Tribe standing in their way. 

Elias Cornelius Boudinot was born on August 1, 1835, the son of Elias Boudinot, a Cherokee National leader who was editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper. His mother, Harriet Ruggies Gold, a woman of English decent from Cornwall, Connecticut, died in 1836, several months after her seventh child was stillborn. His father and some other relatives were assassinated in 1839 as retaliation for signing the Treaty of New Echota, ceding the remainder of Cherokee lands in the Southeast in exchange for removal to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. For their safety, Boudinot and his siblings were sent back to Connecticut to their mother's family. The Golds ensured the children received good educations. Boudinot studied engineering, became an attorney, and co-founded The Arkansan, a pro-slavery newspaper that favored railroad construction into Indian Territory. In 1860, he was chosen as the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic State Central Committee and in 1861, he served as Secretary of the Secession Convention as the territory determined whether it would leave the Union. In 1863, Boudinot was elected a delegate to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, representing the majority faction of Cherokee who supported the Confederacy. During the Civil War, he served as a Colonel in the Confederate Army and after the war, he was chairman of the Cherokee Delegation to the Southern Treaty Commission, which negotiated treaties with the United States.

The Electric Indian depicts Boudinot struggling to do what is best for his people. Will civilizing the "savage beast" prevent their extinction? Will learning English and becoming American citizens help? Will embracing development and supporting integration through the presence of railroads make a difference? Will abandonment of communal lands and the granting of parcels to individual households of tribal members teach them to be industrious and responsible? Will making Oklahoma a state dominated by Native American politicians help preserve the future of the Native Nations in this country? All of these efforts were supported in one way or another by Boudinot but the results were disappointing to say the least. Was the outcome for the American Indian predictable from the beginning as The Missionary character in the play observes? Was the death of their culture inevitable? Was the American Indian destined to become as the play suggests - a modern day unicorn - magical, mystical and rarely seen? Perhaps.

The Electric Indian tells an important story in an unusual and entertaining manner. It was produced by Immediate Medium and the performers included James Allerdyce, Max Dana, Brady Jenkins, Julie Stainer-Loehr and Siobhan Gandy. The ensemble cast worked well together and pulled off an unconventional piece of theater that educated its audience while taking them on a wild ride. I was particularly impressed with the stage presence and performance of James Allerdyce, who played the Surveyor, and by the charismatic and talented Brady Jenkins, who was the Entertainer. After Boudinot is transformed on stage into a modern day Unicorn, the final scene of the play is a patriotic red, white and blue light display symbolizing the ultimate triumph of the White Man over the Red Man in America - just a matter of fact by this point in the story. I very much enjoyed the production and if the run is extended, I urge you to see this interesting and creative presentation of a slice of our country's history.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death Should Not Be Used To Fuel The Failed Drug War, Say Libertarians

Andrew P. Clunn, Chair of the Saratoga-Capital District Libertarians, a chartered chapter of Empire State Libertarians, says “the tragic death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, allegedly as a result of a heroin overdose, should not be exploited by local law enforcement officials to perpetuate and expand the failed war on drugs. In the wake of sympathetic news coverage of Hoffman’s substance abuse issues, New York Police Department investigators have aggressively and vindictively arrested several parties possibly connected to Hoffman on drug possession charges. Others have suggested that those who sold illegal drugs to Hoffman should even be held criminally responsible for his death, the way some bars are now being held liable if a patron leaves an establishment drunk and then gets into a car accident. A drug seller should not be responsible for the consequences of a user’s use or abuse, unless what he or she sold was substandard or adulterated in some way. No one is to blame for Hoffman’s death other than himself. I find it abhorrent that Hoffman’s passing and personal tragedy is being used by some media outlets, politicians and law enforcement officials as supposed evidence for staying the course with the increasingly unpopular war on drugs. The emphasis should be on expanding the number of opportunities available for those seeking rehabilitation, not on increasing prosecution rates and creating convicted felons out of those who sell or use drugs.”

“The old authoritarian formula of ‘more bans, more arrests’ for dealing with the drug problem clearly hasn't worked,” says New York State Libertarian Party Political Director John Clifton, a former County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County and a former three-term State Chair of the New York Libertarian Party. “Putting more people in a cage is not the answer. Mr. Hoffman was clearly a very productive person, yet had he been caught with drugs in his possession, he without doubt would have been prosecuted, sent to prison, and labeled a felon. Some people can handle drug use and never get addicted, stopping on their own when it suits them. Others get addicted and seek help and a small minority of drug users, unfortunately, die. But one thing is true of all drug users. They voluntarily chose to engage in that personal behavior and in ours, the most informed society of all time, there should be no laws controlling what people choose to ingest at their own risk or benefit.”

Empire State Libertarians was founded on July 4, 2010 by Thomas Robert Stevens (current Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County) to encourage New York State residents who share libertarian ideals and principles to become politically active and to seek out avenues to promote a pro-liberty agenda; to endorse candidates seeking elective office who support smaller government, lower taxes and more individual freedom; to encourage patriotism, respect for our Founding Fathers, and a deep appreciation for the United States Constitution; and to organize and charter chapters of Empire State Libertarians in order to promote local activism. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Queens Libertarians Call For The Legalization Of Mixed Martial Arts In New York State

On February 2, 2014, the Libertarian Party of Queens County voted unanimously to support the legalization of Mixed Martial Arts in New York State.

Natale Corsi, Liberty Outreach Coordinator for the Libertarian Party of Queens County, speaking in support of the position taken by the Queens Libertarians, commented as follows:

"Liberty is defined in the dictionary as the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views. The ban of professional Mixed Martial Arts in New York State is the exact example of taking away liberty from its citizens. New York State feels in its misguided belief that it knows what's best for the citizens of New York and must protect us. New York State is one of only two states in the United States of America that bans professional Mixed Martial Arts. I, as Liberty Outreach Coordinator for the LPQC, feel that this ban is a direct offense against our liberties as citizens and we must support New Yorkers who want to legalize Mixed Martial Arts. The right of two consenting adults to engage in a sport that is less dangerous than already legal sports like Boxing should not be infringed. I am not only a supporter. I am a practitioner of Mixed Martial Arts for 8+ years and have been involved in the fight to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York State. I have attended rallies, expos and seminars and participated in the first legally sanctioned Amateur Mixed Martial Arts bout in New York State as a coach. I specifically want to thank Dr. Tom Stevens, the newly elected LPQC Chair, for championing this worthy cause and placing it near the top of his political agenda.

Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the United States of America; it has generated more pay per view sales than any other event. Mixed Martial Arts competitions are hosted nationwide in the country's most iconic arenas. It has even invaded our pop culture with numerous movies, TV shows, and celebrities rising from its ranks. Famous Mixed Martial Artists are staring in movies, visiting troops overseas and headlining as guests on talk shows. You cannot go to a sports bar on Saturday night without seeing crowds of people gathering to watch Mixed Martial Arts. However, despite the overwhelming success and stardom of the sport, New York State is one of only two states in the nation that bans Mixed Martial Arts matches within its borders.

The ban of professional Mixed Martial Arts is a direct attack on the personal liberties of the citizens of New York. The state has deemed the sport too dangerous and prohibits consenting adults from participating in the sport. This ban is another example of a Nanny State deciding for its citizens what is best for them. There is no evidence in support of the allegation that Mixed Martial Arts competitions are dangerous for its participants. Since the first sanctioned Mixed Martial Arts bout in 1993 to the present, there have been only 5 Mixed Martial Arts related deaths with only one being a direct result of injuries sustained during a match. In comparison, Boxing, which is legal in all states including New York, has recorded over 146 deaths since 1990 and over 1,000 since records have been kept. A recent Sienna Poll showed that only 30% of New Yorkers oppose the legalization of Mixed Martial Arts with 45% in favor and 25% without an opinion. Mixed Martial Arts was once illegal in 49 states in 1993 and now is only illegal in two states because of the will of the people. It is time for the New York State legislature to ignore union lobbyists and listen to the will of its citizens and restore one more piece of our freedom that has been taken from us.

Dr. Tom Stevens, LPQC Chair, has made me the point man on this issue. I will continue to fight until millions of participants and fans are restored their freedom to engage in competitions and to watch Professional Mixed Martial Arts bouts in New York State and, specifically, in the most famous arena in the world - Madison Square Garden."

Natale Corsi was appointed Liberty Outreach Coordinator for the Libertarian Party of Queens County on January 21, 2014.