Volume 20, Issue 29                              August 6, 2015
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David Nolan
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

Libertarianism in Pop Culture

Audit the Fed Could Come Up for a Vote in the Senate
Your Electricity Rates May Necessarily Skyrocket

See what Ron Paul, Justin Amash, Svenja Gudell, Matt Pappas, Larry Washington, Jens Rushing, and Jacqueline E. Purcell had to say about tax implications, rising rents, right to privacy, police interactions while black, a $15/hr. minimum wage, and programming.

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Executive Director Brett Bittner
From Me To You

by Brett Bittner


Libertarianism in Pop Culture

There is no shortage of "libertarian books," whether you mean fiction works like Orwell's 1984, Huxley's Brave New World, and any of Heinlein's sci-fi, or more academic non-fiction texts like Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, Mises' Human Action, or Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom

How many of you became libertarians because someone handed you a book to read?

I didn't. I don't remember when a "libertarian switch" turned on, but I do remember when former talk-radio host Neal Boortz shared that my political philosophy had a name... libertarian.

Libertarians recognize that every individual is different. To me, that means that what opens one person's mind to libertarianism may not work with another. Each individual's path to libertarianism is different, and I think that many can be reached by the "normalization" of libertarianism and libertarians in popular culture. 

As with any change to the status quo, a political change happens behind the wave of change in popular opinion. Popular culture plays a large role in that, and we are on track to have libertarian thought remain a part of that conversation.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss EverdeenThere is a wave of anti-authoritarian messaging in many popular teen novels that became blockbuster movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent series with strong female leads like Katniss and Tris exercising independent will and standing up to tyrannical central authorities. We see similar messaging in animated films like The LEGO Movie (which I LOVE) and The Nut Job for younger audiences.

Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson was a libertarian hero for many, and Community's Jeff Winger and Californication's Hank Moody both self-identified as libertarians. One of the longest running and most consistent libertarian television shows began my senior year of high school, South Park. On a recent flight, I even read this book about the libertarian lessons the show contains, which begins its 19th season next month.

The stand-up comedy world also features Doug Stanhope and Joe Rogan, while actors like Vince Vaughn, Dax Shepard, and Glenn Jacobs recently "came out" as libertarian thinkers. Recently, musicians Big Boi (from the hip hop group, OutKast), country music singer Kacey Musgraves, and Aimee Allen released songs with strong libertarian messages. Former MTV VJs Kennedy and Kurt Loder mix pop culture and political leanings for Reason and Fox Business, respectively. 

We've collected quite a few libertarian celebrities here, and we plan to update that list shortly with many new additions this fall. 

It's a start, and we have a long way to go, but there's hope still with all of the non-political avenues noted above that we can reach and recruit new libertarians. Let's make sure we support the artists and commentators that share our views to keep them in the public eye.

Will you commit to that with me?

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News You Can Use

Written & Compiled by Advocates Staff

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Audit the Fed Could Come Up for a Vote in the Senate

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced on Tuesday several amendments that he plans to offer to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), a controversial bill that could come up for a final vote in the upper chamber later this week. While most of the amendments are privacy-focused, one of them would require an audit of the Federal Reserve.

audit the fedPaul picked up the “audit the Fed” cause from his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, after his exit from Congress in January 2013. The amendment appears to be the exact same language of Paul’s Federal Reserve Transparency Act, S. 264, which was introduced in January. To date, the bill has 32 cosponsors. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has introduced companion legislation in the House, H.R. 24, which is co-sponsored by 184 of his colleagues.

Read about the future of Audit the Fed here...

Your Electricity Rates May Necessarily Skyrocket

Back in 2007, during his initial run for the presidency, Barack Obama, then the junior senator from Illinois, said that his energy proposals would “bankrupt” a company looking to build a new coal plant. For consumers, he said, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Candidate Obama

As President, Obama has sought to implement those policies through legislation, though he has been largely unsuccessful. Since Obama can’t get his agenda through Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, at the direction of the White House, promulgated regulations to clamp down on emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants.

Read more about the new EPA regulations and the regulatory state here...


The Last Thing We Need Is TSA At the Mall - Rare
Zoning Out the Poor - Washington Post
Occupational Licensing Hurts Just About Everyone, Says White House - Reason


Congress' Summer Fling With Marijuana - POLITICO
The $1 A Week School - The Economist
How Capitalism Is Undermining the Indian Caste System - CATO Blog

In The News is written and compiled by staff at the Advocates for Self-Government. 
Liberty Library
Bits and Bytes From Across the Spectrum
Ron Paul

RISING RENTS: “Usually, a housing crisis is localized. But this one touches almost every city in the country. Incomes have been flat, and that’s driving a wedge between rents and incomes — it is what’s causing an ever-growing share of income to be allocated to rent payments." â€” Svenja Gudell, Zillow Senior Director of Economic Research, August 3, 2015

RIGHT TO PRIVACY?: â€œThis whole idea that there is a right to privacy to violate the law is absolutely nuts. The fact that they missed certain cameras does not vitiate the right of the business to be videotaping and have their video surveillance going. They don’t have some extra right of privacy because they are police officers.” â€”  Matt Pappas, Attorney, August 5, 2015

ARRESTED WHILE BLACK: "[Police interactions have] been like this for a long time. It's just now that everybody starting to record it and stuff, it's just hitting the spotlight. Most Caucasians, they think it's just starting to go on when it's been like this."  â€” Larry Washington, August 5, 2015 

$15/HR. WAGE?: "I'm a paramedic. My job requires a broad set of skills: interpersonal, medical, and technical skills, as well as the crucial skill of performing under pressure. I often make decisions on my own, in seconds, under chaotic circumstances, that impact people's health and lives. I make $15/hr."  â€” Jens Rushing (NSFW/K Language warning), paramedic's viral Facebook post, July 23, 2015 
"Quotable" is compiled by members of the Advocates staff.

Brett Bittner
Walk the Walk

By Brett Bittner

Would You Double Down on Big Government?

Last month, after serving mid to low-income neighborhoods for nearly 60 years, Double 8 Foods made the decision to close all five of their Indianapolis locations following many years of declining revenues. Immediately, community leaders turned to city government for an answer, asking the Mayor to find a workable solution. The “food desert” in areas that could not support the chain’s five locations quickly became an issue for candidates in this fall’s mayoral election.

double downRather than waiting the couple weeks it took to begin “talks” with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, one prominent community leader took only a few days to mobilize a shuttle service to minimize the impact of the stores’ closures in the short-term. That leader is Senior Pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church on Indianapolis’ westside Charles R. Harrison.

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