WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Lights of Liberty Winner in the News
* Red Cross: Decriminalize Drug Use
* Compare and Contrast: Libertarian Gary Johnson's Record as Governor
* Video: Should You Need the Government's Permission to Work?
* Poll: World Opposes U.S. Flying Killer Robots
THEY SAID IT:
David Letterman on the NYC soda ban... Is it raining libertarians?... Judge James Gray on the Drug War... Mike Riggs on Obama's lies... Jesse Ventura on Republicans and Democrats... Jay Leno on Guantanamo...
PERSUASION POWER POINT #327
* When You Propose Government Spending Cuts, Are You Forgetting This?
ASK DR. RUWART
* Naked tailgate parties in the front yard?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Them, Not Us
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
by Sharon Harris
Lights of Liberty Winner in the News
Congratulations to Kent Lalley of Somerset, Pennsylvania!
Kent was one of 45 winners of our Lights of Liberty awards for libertarianism activism in 2011. (You can see the list of winners here
A few days ago I received a call from the Daily American, a Somerset newspaper. They wanted to interview me about Kent's award, and about libertarianism in general.
Thanks to Kent's initiative, the result was an excellent short article
in the Daily American -- and still more positive publicity for libertarian ideas.
The article described the Lights of Liberty awards, and what we're trying to accomplish with them.
Here's how the article ended:
Sharon Harris, president of Advocates for Self Government, said the award is prestigious within the liberty movement.
"We believe in individual liberty and limited government," she said.
She said the group is trying to spread the message that there are solutions to big government and overspending, and individuals such as Lalley are a key part of getting that message out.
"What we try to teach people is one person can make a difference in the world by making people think and making them aware of these ideas," she said. "We want to acknowledge (Lalley) because he is making a difference in the world, telling people about the ideas that basically our country was founded on."
Our Lights of Liberty awards program is designed to recognize and reward libertarians who are doing essential grassroots activism -- and to stimulate much more of the kind of vital work that builds a movement for liberty.
There's plenty of time to qualify for the 2012 awards. You simply have to do three of these activities in the calendar year 2012: get letters published with the word "libertarian" used in a positive light, work at an OPH outreach booth, and/or deliver a public speech about libertarianism.
You'll get some cool stuff, be entered in drawings for great prizes, and -- most importantly -- encourage others to follow your example.
Learn more at our Lights of Liberty site
I hope this year you will join Lights of Liberty winners like Kent Lalley -- by taking the good news of liberty to the world, and inspiring others to do the same!
* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online
is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!
Learn more about the Advocates
and our work for liberty.
Learn more about libertarianism
-- the philosophy of liberty.
-- Sharon Harris, President | Email
by James W. Harris
Red Cross: Decriminalize Drug Use
In a bold mid-May statement to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies declared that drug use should not be a crime. So reports
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people around the world through the work of over 13 million volunteers.
Here are some key excerpts from the statement, delivered by Dr. Lasha Goguadze, IFRC Senior Health Officer:
“Someone, somewhere, right now is in a basement room with a needle and a spoon, trying to take away the pain. It is estimated that worldwide 16 million people today are in such a situation…. living underground for fear of being imprisoned, fined or discriminated against.
“[T]he frequent use of shared and dirty needles is providing easy passage for the transfer of tainted blood from one body to another. It is simply the most effective way to spread the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C and reverse years of hard-won progress. … The level of HIV-positive among people who inject drugs is so high that some countries are edging dangerously close to generalized epidemic. Yet laws and policies continue with failed enforcement tactics. …
“[Today], the best people who use drugs can hope for is to be driven underground to live with the addiction in the dark back streets and abandoned buildings of our towns and cities. Or even worse, they are criminalized and jailed with little or no regard for their healthcare rights or the impact of this policy on the health of their communities. ...
“Left unchecked and untreated, drug use constitutes a serious public health concern that can only be addressed through rational public health services that act according to medical science rather than misinformed laws. Evidence points to the effectiveness of humanitarian drug policy. This is worth repeating. Harm reduction works.
“Treating drug addicts as criminals is destined to fuel the rise of HIV and other infections not only among those unfortunate enough to have a serious drug addiction, but also for children born into addicted families and ordinary members of the public who are not normally exposed to HIV risks.
“Injecting drug use is a health issue. It is an issue of human rights. It cannot be condoned, but neither should it be criminalized. ...
“To conclude, the IFRC, on behalf of the most vulnerable people affected by drug use, strongly calls upon key stakeholders and donors to exert all possible efforts to gather knowledge on the scale of the drug use epidemic at country level and decide on the proper response accordingly.
“Criminalization, discrimination and stigmatization are not such responses. Laws and prosecutions do not stop people from taking drugs.”
Dr. Lasha Goguadze’s full statement can be read here
Compare and Contrast: Libertarian Gary Johnson's Record as Governor
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, two-term governor of New Mexico, says he'll gladly put his record
as governor against those of his two older-party rivals President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
According to his campaign, Johnson:
* Left office with New Mexico as one of the only four states in the country with a balanced budget
* Left New Mexico with a budget surplus
* Used Line Item Veto thousands of times to trim the budget
* Vetoed 750 bills during his time in office; more than all other governors combined
* In 1995 set state and national records by vetoing 200 bills out of the 424 that were passed by the Legislature
* Cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone
* Created more than 20,000 new jobs
* Was the first New Mexico governor to challenge the education status quo and propose statewide voucher program
* Restored State General Fund reserves to more than $222 million from a low of $28.1 million
* Limited annual state budget growth to 5.0% during eight years in office
* Cut taxes 14 times while never raising them -- a first for New Mexico
* Vetoed 32% of the total number of bills submitted for his signature
* Won reelection by a 45% to 55% margin despite a 2-1 Democrat majority
* Served two terms, then retired per New Mexico's term limits law
Video: Should You Need the Government's Permission to Work?
This short video
from the Institute for Justice gives a quick, fact-filled overview of one of the ugliest scams and scandals in America: state-required occupational licensing laws.
It shows that these laws are expensive, irrational, ridiculous and unnecessary. They keep ordinary Americans out of work, drive up prices for consumers, and protect politically powerful competitors from potential competition. Yuck!
The video is based on the Institute for Justice's new book-length report, License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing. This is the first national study to measure how burdensome occupational licensing laws are for workers and aspiring entrepreneurs -- particularly minorities, those of lesser means and those with less education.
You can download License to Work for free here
. Highly recommended.
Poll: World Opposes U.S. Flying Killer Robots
In mid-June the Pew Research Center released
its latest Pew Global Attitudes Project public opinion survey.
Participants in twenty countries were asked this question in March and April 2012:
"Do you approve or disapprove of the United States conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft called drones to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia?"
The overwhelming majority of respondents in seventeen of the twenty countries -- including key U.S. allies -- strongly opposed such drone strikes: Greece (90 percent), Egypt (89 percent), Jordan (85 percent), Turkey (81 percent), Spain (76 percent), Brazil (76 percent), Japan (75 percent), and Mexico (73 percent).
Even in Great Britain, 47 percent opposed, 44 percent approved. In India, 32 percent approved, 21 percent opposed -- but fully 47 percent refused to answer.
Indeed, there was just one country in which a majority of respondents approved of U.S. drone strikes. Perhaps you can guess which one that was? Right.
In the United States 62 percent said they approved of the controversial policy. (However, even that suggests a sharp decline in support, notes
Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations: a February Washington Post poll found fully 83 percent of Americans supported the use of drones "against terrorist suspects overseas.")
A U.S. opposition to the current casual use of drones is growing. This month, more than two dozen members of the U.S. House -- Ron Paul among them -- demanded the White House provide the legal justification for its policy of so-called "signature" drone strikes.
(John Glaser of antiwar.com explains
that "signature" strikes are "drone bombings that target individuals that the administration cannot identify. Decisions to kill a person or group of people in these countries can be based on 'suspicious behavior,' a loosely-defined judgment that would give the administration carte blanche to kill whoever it pleases.")
The Washington newspaper The Hill notes
that the House members warn President Obama that signature strikes can generate "powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment."
"We are concerned that the use of such 'signature' strikes could raise the risk of killing innocent civilians or individuals who may have no relationship to attacks on the United States," the congressmen warned. "The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound. They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have."
As Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) recently warned
: "We're setting a standard for all other nations that when they're ready if they want to, they can send drones at the United States… [W]hat goes around comes around, and those drones are going to come right back at us."
* * * * * * * *
Intellectual Ammunition is written by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."
They Said It...
“Bill Would Stop Paying Farmers Not To Farm” -- headline of Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about proposed federal farm reforms, June 6, 2012.
DAVID LETTERMAN ON THE NYC SODA BAN:
"Mayor Bloomberg has outlawed giant cans of soda. When you outlaw stuff it creates crime. I saw a guy today walking down the street and a cop is arresting him because he's got a huge can of soda, and he said 'No, no, this is medicinal
Mountain Dew!'" -- David Letterman, June 7, 2012.
LIBERTARIANS ON THE RISE:
“Is it raining libertarians, or what?” -- title of an article
in the Minnesota Star Tribune newspaper bemoaning the “virtual takeover” of the Minnesota Republican Party by libertarian Ron Paul supporters.
THE OXY-MORONIC DRUG WAR:
“The biggest oxymoron is ‘controlled substances.’ If you prohibit something, you give up all your control by default to Mexican cartels or the bad guys or juvenile gangs. You have no say in place of sale, time, quality, quantity, age restrictions. You give up all that to people who are truly unsavory and causing problems in our world.” -- Judge James Gray
, Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate, interviewed in the Ventura County Reporter, June 14, 2012.
OBAMA’S LIES ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA:
"In the course of three years, Obama has graduated from breaking his promise to end medical marijuana raids, to claiming he didn't promise to end medical marijuana raids, to claiming that he's upheld the promise that he didn't make. The only thing he's done consistently is give the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Attorneys Office carte blanche to continue George W. Bush-era crackdowns on local medical marijuana dispensaries." -- Mike Riggs
, “3 Reasons Obama Should End the Federal Crackdown on Medical Marijuana,” Reason Magazine blog, May 11, 2012.
JESSE VENTURA ON THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT:
“They've ruined our country. … The Demo-Crips and Re-Blood-licans have been in charge in this country for over one hundred years and look at the shape we’re in. We have a national debt that’s out of control. They send us to wars that we shouldn’t be fighting in, meaningless wars. And think of this for a moment, I’m 60 years old now and for over 30 years now, half of my life, we’ve been at war. That’s ridiculous.” -- former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura
, in a interview about his new book DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans on CNN’s Starting Point With Soledad O’Brien, June 12. Ventura also urged fed-up voters to support Libertarian Gary Johnson for president.
JAY LENO ON GUANTANOMO-BAMA:
"Remember when Obama was campaigning? Didn't he say he was going to close Guantanamo Bay? Didn't he say that? Apparently he just meant for renovations." -- Jay Leno, June 8, 2012.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
When You Propose Government Spending Cuts, Are You Forgetting This?
by Michael Cloud
by Michael Cloud
"I propose we end the federal Department of Education," said the first libertarian candidate.
"Our state government budget is way too big. We must cut our state government spending by X number of dollars," said the second.
"Our city budget is 28% higher than it was just 4 years ago. We need to reduce spending by 10% or 20% this year," said the third.
All three proposals tell what you are taking away.
And, if that's all you say, you will trigger many people's fear of loss.
Fear of loss -- loss aversion -- is a powerful motivator in human behavior.
That's why, every time you propose to cut government spending, you must tell them what you'll do with the tax dollars.
"...and we will give back every dime, every dollar to the taxpayers."
"...and we'll immediately refund every penny to the working men and women it was taken from -- the taxpayers. Not just this year. Every year."
"...and we'll return every dollar saved to the people who earned it."
Give them both halves of your libertarian spending cut proposal. The decrease in government spending. The increase in their take-home pay. And the take-home pay of their family, friends, and neighbors.
Show them the immediate, direct benefit to them every time you cut Big Government spending.
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Michael Cloud's brand-new book Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is available exclusively from the Advocates, along with his acclaimed earlier book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.
Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.
Naked tailgate parties in the front yard?
Ask Dr. Ruwart
In a libertarian society, could I have a naked tailgate party with 50 of my fattest friends on my own front lawn, in plain view of my neighbors?
MY SHORT ANSWER:
That depends upon where you live. If you are in a neighborhood with deed or homeowners’ association (HOA) restrictions, such action might be prohibited.
If you lived in a neighborhood that chose to be without such restrictions, you’d be able to have such a party -- and so would your neighbors. (Of course, even without a HOA restriction, your neighbors could still let you know strongly if they objected to your behavior.)
Everyone could have the kind of neighborhood he or she wanted by shopping around for one that suited their needs and preferences. Liberty offers a win-win solution for everyone!
* * * * * * * *
Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at: ruwart@theAdvocates.org
Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.
Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form
Dr. Ruwart's outstanding book Healing Our World
is available from the Advocates.
One-Minute Liberty Tip
By Sharon Harris
Them, Not Us
My friend Dr. Michael Edelstein – author, with David Ramsay Steele, of the acclaimed self-help book Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
-- recently reminded me of an excellent communication tip.
Whenever possible, when speaking of the government, refer to “them,” not “us.”
Say “they,” not “we.” Say “theirs,” not “ours.”
For example, don’t refer to “our” War on Drugs. Say “the federal government’s War on Drugs.”
After all, did you start the Drug War? Neither did I. “They” did. The government. And they -- not you -- are the ones funding and fighting it.
“We” didn’t invade Iraq. “We” aren’t killing people indiscriminately with drones. “We” don’t have troops stationed around the world.
“We” don’t pass zoning laws, victimless crime laws, sales taxes, and other statist measures. “We” don’t arrest medical marijuana users or make young men register for the draft. “They” do. The government.
Similarly, “we” don’t pay taxes to “ourselves.” Try not paying taxes, and see whether “they” or "you" begins to harass and threaten you.
Nor do we have much, if any, say in how that tax money is spent. “They” -- the same “they” that collects it -- make those decisions.
The use of “they” instead of “we” also counters a common rhetorical weapon used by statists. Frequently proponents of a coercive government action will, consciously or unconsciously, use the inclusive “us” and “our” in order to imply a sort of communal ownership of responsibility for that government action, or to imply that “everyone” has consented to the idea.
For example, someone may say: “Our school needs a better playground for our children. Therefore, we need to raise our taxes.”
Such a statement may be a good time to politely point out that it isn’t “our” school. And it isn’t “us” who will be raising everyone's taxes. And the children belong to their parents, not to some communal “we.”
They, not we. It’s a subtle but powerful tool to open your listener’s mind to the real conflicts in our society. And it can lead to some enlightening conversations.
* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.
What's Happening with the Advocates
2013 FREEDOM CRUISES:
Advocates Board Chair and longtime libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for Freedom Cruises
in January and May 2013. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser – at a bargain rate! January 2013 itinerary: an Eastern Caribbean cruise to Grand Turk, St. Maarten, and San Juan. May 2013 itinerary: The 7 day "Castles Along the Rhine,” cruising between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, with a great opportunity to enjoy a few extra days in Europe on either end of your cruise. Non-libertarians welcome! Great food and fine company. (This isn't an Advocates event, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) For photos and more details -- or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates -- visit Freedom Cruises.
FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS:
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits
to libertarian student groups FREE -- if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH -- praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement -- normally sells for $50.00.
If you're in a student libertarian group, click here
for more information on getting your free OPH kit.
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