|WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* OPH is a Hit at FreedomFest
* Dear Congress…
* New Poll: Ron Paul in Dead Heat With Obama
* Stunning Visualization of America's Debt
* Remy’s New Rap: “Raise the Debt Ceiling”
THEY SAID IT:
Gary Johnson blasts the "Family Leader" pledge.... Front-page Ayn Rand.... Jay Leno on government nonsense.... Charles Oliver on government refuse collectors.... John Stossel on economic freedom....
PERSUASION POWER POINT #312
* Can You Win Their Interest in 30 Seconds?
ASK DR. RUWART
* Should dueling be legal?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Breaking Your Legs and Giving You A Crutch
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates on Facebook.
by Sharon Harris
OPH is a Hit at FreedomFest
The World’s Smallest Political Quiz proved its appeal once again at FreedomFest in Las Vegas this month – and we’ve got the photos to prove it!
FreedomFest is the world’s largest liberty-oriented convention. This year around 2,000 folks gathered to hear speakers, meet others with similar interests, and talk to representatives of libertarian organizations.
The Advocates for Self-Government was there. Among other things, we set up an Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) outreach booth. OPH is our acclaimed outreach tool that helps libertarians discover libertarian-leaning people wherever people are gathered, using colorful displays and the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.
Why would we do an OPH booth at a libertarian-oriented convention? For two reasons:
1) We were curious to see how FreedomFest’s attendees would score. Would they be mostly libertarians, free-market conservatives, or a mixture?
2) We wanted everyone to see OPH in action – to see that it is fun, accurate, and a great way to discover new libertarians.
We asked passersby to take the Quiz – and to let us take their picture if they were satisfied with their scores.
Once again, OPH and the Quiz worked their magic. Virtually everyone thought the Quiz was fun and accurate.
We were surprised by the number of libertarian scores. Although we didn’t survey all attendees, our impression, reinforced by the high number of libertarian Quiz scores, is that most FreedomFest attendees were libertarians.
You can see photos of FreedomFest Quiz takers standing next to the OPH chart at the top of the Advocates Facebook page
. (Be sure to “Like” us and tag your pictures, if you haven’t already.)
You’ll recognize some famous faces – including Reason’s Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, Cato’s Tom Palmer and David Boaz, and bestselling author James Bovard – along with the smiling faces of many other liberty-lovers.
Check it out!
If you haven’t put the power of OPH to work to build your libertarian organization, this is a great time to start! Learn more here
STUDENTS: We’re giving OPH away FREE to campus organizations. Details here
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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
This incisive little satire, author unknown, is currently zipping around the Web:
(Thanks to Tony Lane for forwarding this to us.)
Last year I mismanaged my funds and this year my family and I cannot decide on a budget.
Until we have come to a unified decision that fits all of our needs and interests we will have to shut down our checkbook and will no longer be able to pay our taxes.
I'm sure you'll understand.
Thank you very much for setting an example we can follow.
New Poll: Ron Paul in Dead Heat With Obama
Last issue we reported a CNN poll showing that support for libertarian ideas has increased significantly among the American public.
Now a new poll shows that fully half of Americans are ready to vote for a hardcore libertarian for president: Ron Paul.
A Harris poll conducted July 11 through July 18, 2011 finds that, should libertarian Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul win the GOP nomination, he would be in a dead heat with President Obama.
Further, Paul is one of only two announced GOP candidates who currently could challenge Obama.
According to the Harris poll:
“Looking ahead to November, it seems there are three possible candidates who could give President Obama a difficult time. President Obama would lose his re-election if Rudy Giuliani (53% to 47%) or Mitt Romney (51% to 49%) was the Republican nominee. Each candidate would receive 50% of the vote if the President was running against Ron Paul.”
(Giuliani has not entered the race, thus leaving only Romney and Paul as challengers to Obama, by the poll’s findings.)
The poll also finds that: “Right now, President Obama would win re-election against the 10 other [Republican] candidates” running for the nomination -- including such familiar names as Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain.
Of course, it is still very early in the race. But this certainly bolsters Paul’s status as a serious contender.
Also interesting: the poll finds that 52% of voters claim to be "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar" with Ron Paul, while many more are familiar with Obama, Giuliani (75%) and Romney (67%). This would seem to indicate that Paul could significantly increase his support if his supporters could engage in persuasive outreach in the months ahead.
This strong support for Paul is not new. Earlier CNN polls have found Paul doing well in GOP primaries.
Earlier polls have also indicated that Paul has strong support among independent voters not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican Party.
Paul has announced that this presidential bid will be his final political campaign. He will not be running for reelection to Congress.
Stunning Visualization of America's Debt
A trillion here, a trillion there…
The relevant numbers about America's national debt have been tossed around so much lately that they're beginning to lose their impact.
Which is why you should check out a new and truly mind-boggling visual depiction of just how @*$&$&#!!! much money the $14 trillion-plus U.S. national debt really is.
And -- even more stunning -- wait until you see how much the United States' "unfunded liabilities" add up to. The site describes "unfunded liabilities" as "the amount of money [needed] to fully fund Medicare, [the] Medicare Prescription Drug Program, Social Security, military and civil servant pensions."
The site was created by graphic design artist Oto Godfrey. If you're as amazed as we are, share the link with your friends.
Remy’s New Rap: "Raise the Debt Ceiling"
If the U.S. government’s spending insanity has your blood pressure up, here’s a little comic relief.
Reason magazine has created a music video featuring renowned comedian Remy as a gangsta-style politico-rapper urging the U.S. to raise the debt ceiling.
The video is hilarious – and the lyrics are classic.
Raise da debt ceiling!
Raise da debt ceiling!
Raise da debt ceiling!
Raise da debt ceiling!
14 trillion in debt
but yo we ain't got no qualms
droppin $100 bills
and million dollar bombs
spending money we don't have
that's the name of the game
they call me cumulo nimbus
because you KNOW I make it rain
bail out all kind of cars
got all kind of whips
ladies ask me how I get em
I tell em STIMULUS
Social Security surplus?
Oh, guess what? it's gone
I got my hands on everything
like Dominique Strauss Kahn
ain't got no Medicare trust fund
son, that's just absurd
spending every single penny that
we see, son, have you heard?
ain't got no moral objections
ain't got kind of complaints
ain't got no quantitative
statutory budget restraints
on the beach getting tan
and sipping Corona
we got a monetary plan –
and it involves a lot of toner...
Raise da debt ceiling!
Raise da debt ceiling!
Raise da debt ceiling!
Raise da debt ceiling!
Remy is an Arab American stand-up comic, parody musician and video artist. His YouTube videos have been viewed over 60 million times (!) and he’s been on just about every TV news show on the planet.
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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...
GARY JOHNSON BLASTS "FAMILY LEADER" PLEDGE: "Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues – such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the 'public’s pocket book.' This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue.’" – libertarian Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson on why he refused to sign the “Family Leader Pledge” signed by two other GOP hopefuls.
AYN RAND ON THE FRONT PAGE: "When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed." – quote from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged that filled up the entire front page of El Universo, Ecuador’s largest-circulation newspaper, on July 21, 2011, as a protest against government censorship and corruption.
(Thanks to the Cato Institute.)
JAY LENO ON YOUR GOV'T AT WORK: "Here is your federal government at work. The FAA has ordered a helicopter pilot who runs his own one-pilot charter company -- it's his company, he's the only pilot -- they've ordered him to give himself random surprise drug tests. He has to surprise himself with a drug test. The only way you can do that is if you are on drugs." – Jay Leno, July 20, 2011.
REFUSING REFUSE: "Refuse collectors in Bramhall, England, refused to pick up Kay McIntyre's green bin, claiming that weeds she had put in had too much dirt on them. When McIntyre complained, the local council sent out a ‘community recycling officer’ to check the amount of soil on the weeds. The officer found there wasn't too much dirt and the council sent collectors back to pick it up." – Charles Oliver, Reason magazine, “Dirty Minds,” June 29, 2011.
WE SHOULD TRY THAT HERE: “It's no coincidence that the countries with the least economic freedom, according to the Heritage Foundation -- Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea -- are the worst places to live. They not only lack freedom, they are also poor.
“Who's at the top of the economic freedom list? Hong Kong. (The United States is ninth.) Hong Kong has low taxes, and as I demonstrated in an ABC special years ago, they make it easy to become an entrepreneur. I got permission to open a business there in one day. In my hometown, New York City, it takes months.
“Hong Kong doesn't even have democracy, but because its rulers protected people's personal safety and property and left them otherwise free, Hong Kong thrived. In 50 years, it went from horrible poverty to income levels that are among the highest in world. Prosperity, thanks to economic freedom.
“We should try that here.” – libertarian journalist John Stossel, “What We Don't Know about History Can Hurt Us,” syndicated column, July 22, 2011.
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"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
Can You Win Their Interest in 30 Seconds?
by Michael Cloud
We are flooded with information every day. We want and need only a tiny fraction of it.
Most is useless, boring, and trivial to us.
Most of us are tired and frustrated with the overwhelming, never-ending flood of information.
So we find ways to filter and block what we're exposed to.
This is what you're up against as a libertarian communicator.
How do you get your libertarian message through? How do you get a receptive hearing?
By rising to the 30 Second Challenge.
Imagine that the person you want to talk with challenges you with this:
"You have 30 seconds to tell me why I want to hear about libertarianism."
Do you have a powerful, persuasive answer to his challenge?
Or imagine he tells you:
"You have 30 seconds to whet my appetite to hear more about libertarianism."
Can you do it?
Have you thought about how to do it?
You are up against the 30 Second Challenge every day. If you fail it, your listeners will quickly tune you out.
And they will never hear what you have to say about liberty.
Want some examples? Want to see a few ways of winning their attention in 30 seconds?
Read Part Two of this article in the next issue of "the Liberator Online" and I'll show you how it's done.
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Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion, available exclusively from the Advocates.
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.
Ask Dr. Ruwart
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.
Should dueling be legal?
Question: What is the libertarian position concerning dueling? Duels were a part of the Western tradition for many centuries. Personally, I am glad they are currently banned. But, if two adults mutually agree to a duel, should they be allowed to do so -- given the libertarian principle that people have a right to do as they choose with their own bodies?
My Short Answer: You are correct. In a libertarian society, if two adults agreed to settle their differences by dueling, they could. I rather doubt that many people today would chose that option, but to each his own!
LEARN MORE: Suggested reading from Liberator Online editor James W. Harris
As Dr. Ruwart indicates, this is a rather esoteric and theoretical questions today. But it raises some interesting considerations. (By the way, it’s worth remembering that libertarians, like most other people, don’t believe that an activity is necessarily right, or moral, or smart just because it is, or should be, legal!)
Here are two articles that explore this question:
* In Defense Of Dueling by Ryan Ruby. This article from the magazine Philosophy Now discusses the pros and cons of the argument, including the libertarian position, and provides some interesting history and background on dueling.
Excerpt: “The libertarian point in favor of [legalizing] dueling is that two adults should not be prohibited by law from doing whatever they please to and with their bodies. So, the legalization of dueling ought to be considered alongside arguments for the legalization of a number of other socially-stigmatized practices that have been prohibited by law, from this standpoint, unjustly -- prostitution, gay marriage, polygamy, personal drug use, doctor-assisted suicide, to name a few. The guiding principle here is mutual consent between adults (which the modernized legal dueling regulations described below will attempt in each instance to establish). As J.S. Mill rightly noted, while governments are responsible for protecting their citizens, they have no right, and ought to have no power, to enforce their protection against an individual’s wishes.”
* Inalienability and Punishment: A Reply to George Smith [PDF file] by N. Stephan Kinsella, Journal of Libertarian Studies (Winter, 1998-1999). During a lengthy argument on a different issue, Kinsella makes this relevant brief point regarding dueling:
Excerpt: “Consent is the crucial element to focus on here. If a person consents to an action that would otherwise violate his rights, there is no rights violation. Boxers in a ring, or duelers dueling, do not have their rights violated when struck by fist or bullet. This is because they consented to these exchanges of force.”
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Got questions? 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
Breaking Your Legs and Giving You A Crutch
"Government is good at one thing. It breaks your legs, then gives you a crutch and says, 'See, without us you wouldn't be able to walk.'" – Harry Browne.
What a great insight! I always laugh when I hear it.
Harry Browne was one of the greatest libertarian communicators of our time. Harry didn’t make this phrase up up, but he recognized its value, and he added it to his large collection of useful sayings, illustrations and soundbites.
You should add it to your personal communication toolkit, too.
It’s a great, mind-opening phrase to use when discussing many expensive, poorly-performing and destructive government programs.
What are some examples of government “breaking your legs and giving you a crutch?"
Medical care: Government regulations limit the number of doctors and hospitals, restrict who can practice medicine, and in many other ways limit choice and send the costs of drugs and medical service skyrocketing. Plus, government seizes a huge portion of our income in taxes that we can’t use for medical care. Then, when citizens complain they can’t afford medical care, government steps in to “help” with “crutches” like national health care, Medicare and Medicaid, and yet more disastrous laws and expenses.
Retirement: Government seizes a huge amount of our income in taxes and also forces us to pay a large portion of our remaining income into Social Security, which gives us only a fraction of the return we could get if we could invest it ourselves. Then government says: See? Without us, millions of people couldn’t provide for their own retirement.
The Post Office: The government monopolizes the delivery of first-class mail, with predictable results of higher prices and ever-worsening services. Then defenders of Big Government ask: without the State, who would deliver mail?
Charity: Government destroys millions of jobs through minimum wage laws, regulations, high taxes, terrible schools, and other means. Those who are able to find employment despite all this are hit with high taxes and unnecessarily high costs on life’s essentials, making it harder for them to contribute to charities that aid the poor and the unemployed. Then, government shows up with the “crutch” of welfare programs… to try to alleviate the poverty it is largely responsible for causing. Welfare, of course, brings a whole host of new problems, further accelerating the cycle of destruction.
I’m sure you can think of dozens more examples.
Sometimes you can add: “And then they expect us to thank them for it!” at the end of the phrase, like this: “…then gives you a crutch and says, 'See, without us you wouldn't be able to walk.' And then they expect us to thank them for it!”
Gather your facts and arguments, then use this wonderful phrase and watch your listeners nod in understanding and agreement.
PS: Want more great soundbites to get libertarian ideas across to your audience? Harry Browne, during his two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns, wrote hundreds of soundbites to use. He wrote them down, tweaked them, improved them -- and then memorized them, so he could use them effectively over and over again and again.
Harry collected the best of these in his book Liberty A-Z: 872 Libertarian Soundbites You Can Use Right Now, published by the Advocates. It’s a must for anyone who is serious about libertarian communication.
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Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government. See more One Minute Liberty tips.
What's Happening with the Advocates
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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Joining the conversation is easy. If you don't already have a Twitter account, it only takes a few moments to sign up for one.
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That's all it takes! You'll then get our tweets -- and we can get yours.
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THE LIBERATOR ONLINE, created by James W. Harris and Paul Schmidt, is the official newsletter of the Advocates for Self-Government.
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"May it be to the world... to assume the blessings and security of self-government." -- Thomas Jefferson, June 24, 1826.