Copy
Volume 20, Issue 7                              February 20, 2015
View this email in your browser
"The Advocates for Self-Government is one of the freedom movement's leading organizations."
 
— Ron Paul
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
Libertarians Rock Washington D.C. 

ACTIVIST AMMUNITION
Vince Vaughn: I'm a Libertarian
Report: U.S. Losing Freedom of the Press

THEY SAID IT: Stop the violence — legalize drugs worldwide, says former Mexican president.... Mexican pot grower says legal U.S. pot is putting him out of business.... San Francisco's new minimum wage law killed us, says beloved independent bookstore.... A U.S. invasion is exactly what ISIS wants, says journalist.... Americans for Tax Reform head says the IRS is ready to shear the sheeple.... 

ASK DR. RUWART
Should vaccines be mandatory?

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* SPECIAL THANK-YOU GIFTS reserved just for you!
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups

Have a libertarian communication event near you! Find out how
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
Email

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris







Libertarians Rock Washington D.C.  

Dear friend, 

Last weekend in Washington D.C. you could see the future of liberty before your eyes. And, as the pictures here show, it's a bright future indeed!

More than a thousand enthusiastic young libertarians from around the world poured into Washington for the 8th Annual International Students For Liberty Conference (ISFLC). They were there to network, hear and meet some of the world's leading advocates of liberty, exchange ideas with fellow student libertarians, and have a great time. Total attendance (student and non-student) was a record-breaking 1700-plus. 

The event — covered by news media including CNN, FOX, the BBC, and the Washington Post — featured renowned speakers including Ron Paul, Edward Snowden, Judge Andrew Napolitano, former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, Congressman Walter Jones and Congressman Justin Amash. 

The Advocates was delighted to welcome hundreds of these students at our busy booth, manned by a stellar Advocates team of Dagny Smith, Brett Bittner (left) and Kelsey Fritz (right). 

"We met a lot of students who were new to the liberty movement, and they were very excited to learn how they could grow their campus organizations by using Advocates tools," reports Dagny. "Over and over again, students new to the Advocates would say 'That's just what we need!' when they learned about OPH. And they were delighted to learn they can get libertarian communication trainings from the Advocates."

"Throughout the conference, we met Campus Coordinators and other student leaders who shared their stories of how Advocates' tools and techniques grew their campus groups and inspired activities to share the libertarian message," says Brett. "We expect to see hundreds of these students and their fellow libertarians on campus again soon, as the response to the communication training we offer was terrific from students from around the world."

Kelsey, a recent high school graduate who has manned several Advocates booths, did a great job of sharing Advocates tools with the students. She in turn was impressed with their enthusiasm and excitement. 

Advocates Chair James W. (Jim) Lark — who has spoken at every ISFLC conference since the first — spoke on "The 'Nuts and Bolts' of Building a Libertarian Organization on Campus," sharing wisdom from his 30 years of success doing exactly that. 

And congratulations to Advocates Board member Sloane Frost — a co-founder of Students For Liberty and Chair of their Board — for her leadership in this outstanding event. 

If you're a libertarian college student who didn't attend or just didn't get a chance to sign up for free outreach materials from the Advocates, do it now! Learn how your campus group can get a FREE OPH kit here, and learn how you can have an Advocates libertarian communication workshop on your campus here.

In liberty,
 
Sharon
 
* * *
NEXT ISSUE: Michael Cloud's Persuasion Power Point column, Sharon Harris' Liberty Minute, and much more!

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 â€” the philosophy of liberty. 
 
 

Activist Ammunition

by James W. Harris 





Vince Vaughn: I'm a Libertarian

Vince Vaughn is one of the world's most successful actors, screenwriters and producers. Since his breakthrough in the acclaimed 1993 independent comedy Swingers he's become famous for his roles in some of the most popular comedies of the past decade, including The Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up, Starsky & Hutch, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Couples Retreat, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The versatile Vaughn has also played everything from romantic leads to action heroes and psychotic villains. 

Vaughn's sympathy for libertarian ideas has been well-known for several years. In particular he's been a strong and vocal supporter of Ron Paul.

Now, in a new Playboy magazine interview, Vaughn makes his libertarianism explicit, as these excerpts make clear: 

"I would use the term libertarian to describe my politics.

"I'm a very big fan [of Ron Paul]. Ron Paul woke a lot of people up to the fact that government can't handle everything for you. Once you start playing that game, where does it stop? I like the way it was until 1913 [when the 16th Amendment was ratified, legalizing a federal income tax], when locally you had sales taxes and property taxes. That seems ethical to me, because I can move to a different neighborhood or area if I like the services they provide. To this day, your police department and your fire department are paid for with local taxes, and that makes sense, because you might use those. But the federal government looking into your books to decide what to take from you, that feels wrong.

"Trusting the federal government to know what we need and to run things well feels like a bad idea. You see that in the foreign policy of force, where the United States decides to go into another country to make things turn out a certain way. It doesn't work. It causes more problems. ... I don't agree with a foreign policy that says you can send troops places without declaring a war and without having a plan to win the war. I would think you would look at Vietnam and suggest it wasn't the best-laid plan.

"I feel the same way domestically. ... [Adults] should be allowed to decide what's in their interest, what makes sense for them, unless they commit fraud or physical force or take someone's property. ...

"I think history has proven without a doubt that the proper role of government is to protect individuals' rights and liberties. That has always been the most prosperous, freest society for people to live in. And when government gets too involved, society turns into a place that gets very, very ugly. ...

"America today is not capitalistic. The problem is corporatism. The government has too much authority, and it's dangerous. It stifles productivity and freedom and prosperity and peace. ...

"The Patriot Act? Let's get rid of it. Undeclared wars, doing away with personal liberties — let's understand how that has worked out historically to see that it has led to some horrible things. Once our personal liberties are gone, when an American citizen can be pulled out of his house and detained for six months without a trial, where is our country? Once those rights are gone, how do you get them back?"

Read the rest of the interview for more.

Report: U.S. Losing Freedom of the Press

Each year the respected international organization Reporters Without Borders issues a World Press Freedom Index that explores and ranks freedom of the press in the countries of the world. According to the organization, the Index reflects "the degree of freedom that journalists, news organizations and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom."

In this year's report the United States is ranked a sad 49th out of 180 countries. This is the second-lowest ranking for the U.S. since the rankings began in 2002. (The lowest was in 2006, when the U.S. was ranked 53rd). Ranking immediately ahead of the U.S. are Malta, Niger, Burkino Faso, El Salvador, Tonga, Chile and Botswana.

Americans accustomed to the U.S.'s reputation as the bastion of a constitutionally protected free press may be surprised by the rankings. Reporters Without Borders cites incidents it considered in its rankings, including: 

* The U.S. government's years-long effort to force two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter James Risen to reveal sources for his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration.

* The U.S. continued war against WikiLeaks and similar whistleblower organizations and individuals like Edward Snowden. 

* The arrests of at least 15 journalists covering the police protests in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Journalists definitely feel a chill in post-9/11 America. As the Liberator Online reported last year, the PEN American Center, an organization of professional writers whose membership includes some of America's most distinguished writers, surveyed its members and found: 

"73% of writers have never been as worried about privacy rights and freedom of the press as they are today. Writers are self-censoring their work and their online activity due to their fears that commenting on, researching, or writing about certain issues will cause them harm. The fear of surveillance — and doubt over the way in which the government intends to use the data it gathers — has prompted PEN writers to change their behavior in numerous ways that curtail their freedom of expression and restrict the free flow of information." 

It's not just the U.S. facing such problems. Press freedom is in decline around the world, says Reporters Without Borders. They say it is "incontestable" that "there was a drastic decline in [worldwide] freedom of information in 2014. Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 World Press Freedom Index performed less well than in the previous year. ... 

"Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents. ... All warring parties without exception waged a fearsome information war. The media, used for propaganda purposes or starved of information, became strategic targets and were attacked, or even silenced."

* * * 

Activist 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...

LEGALIZE DRUGS WORLDWIDE, SAYS FORMER MEXICAN PRESIDENT: "What the hell is going on with Mexico? Those kids, like you … were not born criminals.… And yet they die, and yet they [are] killed … on this so-called War on Drugs. ... The way, I see, for coming out of that trap, is legalization … taking away a business that is run by criminals, to be run by entrepreneurs. ... I'm an activist in trying to promote the change, worldwide if possible, and for all drugs." — Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico (2000-2006), speaking at the 2015 International Students for Liberty Conference, February 15, 2015.

LEGAL U.S. POT KILLING MEXICAN CARTELS: "Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90. But now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they'll run us into the ground. ... The day we get $20 a kilo, it will get to the point that we just won't plant marijuana anymore." — "Nabor," a Mexican pot grower interviewed by NPR's "All Things Considered," Dec. 1, 2014, quoted Feb. 9 at DailyCaller.com.

MINIMUM WAGE KILLS BELOVED SAN FRAN BOOKSTORE: "Borderlands is closing. In 18 years of business, Borderlands has faced a number of challenges. ... But, through all those challenges, we've managed to find a way forward and 2014 was the best year we've ever had. ... So it fills us with sorrow and horror to say that we will be closing very soon. In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018. ... The change in minimum wage will mean our payroll will increase roughly 39%. ... Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle and we believe that it's possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st. " — Borderlands Books blog, "Borderlands Books to Close in March," Feb. 1, 2015. 

GIVING ISIS WHAT IT WANTS: "The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide: irrespective of whether they have given baya'a to the caliph, they all believe that the United States wants to embark on a modern-day Crusade and kill Muslims. Yet another invasion and occupation would confirm that suspicion, and bolster recruitment." — journalist Graeme Wood, "What ISIS Really Wants," The Atlantic magazine, March 2015. 

SHEARING THE SHEEPLE: "China announces this coming year is the 'Year of the Sheep.' Here in the States, IRS chief announced: 'We view all years that way.'" — tweet from Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, Feb. 14, 2015. 
 
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.

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 vaccines be mandatory?

QUESTION: Should vaccines be mandatory?

MY SHORT ANSWER: With the new surge of measles cases, many people are calling for mandatory (forced) vaccination. At first glance, their arguments seem reasonable. Measles can kill and the vaccine is reportedly about 95% effective. Side effects are claimed to be minimal, although serious outcomes are reported on pp. 6-8 of the package insert that comes with the vaccine, including measles itself.

Even if the vaccine had zero side effects and 100% effectiveness, forcing it upon children would start us down the slippery slope of allowing bureaucrats and politicians to decide what medications we MUST ingest or be injected with. Today’s pharmaceuticals have the power to alter our thinking, libido, and even our desire to live. Some schools already diagnose boisterous children, bored with the one-size-fits-all curriculum, as having some type of disorder, and demand that they be given medications that have serious side effects.

Ultimately, each of us must weigh the risks and benefits of what we eat and how we medicate. Choose wisely, and good health to you and yours!

LEARN MORE: Suggestions for additional reading, selected by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris: 

* "Vaccine Controversy Shows Why We Need Markets, Not Mandates" by Ron Paul, M.D., February 8, 2015. Excerpt: "If government can mandate that children receive vaccines, then why shouldn’t the government mandate that adults receive certain types of vaccines? And if it is the law that individuals must be vaccinated, then why shouldn’t police officers be empowered to physically force resisters to receive a vaccine? If the fear of infections from the unvaccinated justifies mandatory vaccine laws, then why shouldn’t police officers fine or arrest people who don’t wash their hands or cover their noses or mouths when they cough or sneeze in public? Why not force people to eat right and take vitamins in order to lower their risk of contracting an infectious disease? These proposals may seem outlandish, but they are no different in principle from the proposal that government force children to be vaccinated."

* * * 
Got questions? Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR tough questions on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart
 
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 latest book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.

What's Happening with the Advocates

SEE SPECIAL THANK-YOU GIFTS we've reserved for you for your tax-exempt donation.

JOIN THE ADVOCATES on Facebook and Twitter. Fun, informative, inspiring posts! 

FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS: We're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits — a $50 value — to libertarian student groups FREE. Learn why OPH is praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement, and get your free OPH kit

HAVE A GREAT LIBERTARIAN COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP NEAR YOU: Email Sharon to find out how. 
Copyright © 2015 The Advocates for Self-Government, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences