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Volume 16, No. 8                                                                                                                     April 26, 2011

The Liberator Online

for everyone who loves Liberty
Published by The Advocates for Self-Government


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In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* New Ron Paul article shows libertarianism on the rise

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* New Poll: Ron Paul versus Barack Obama in 2012 -- Dead Heat
* “Taxing the Rich” Won’t Solve U.S. Budget Woes
* Acclaimed Video Introduction to the Philosophy of Liberty
 
THEY SAID IT: Paul Bond on the Atlas Shrugged movie.... Peter Suderman on the US tax code.... Craig Ferguson on online gambling.... Thomas Sowell on Santa Claus

PERSUASION POWER POINT #306
* Are You Just One Conversation Away from Winning Over the Next Tom Paine?

 ASK DR. RUWART
* How can we solve America’s huge economic woes?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Too Radical?
 
 WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* Sharon Harris speaking in Tennessee
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates Facebook Fan Club.


President's Corner

by Sharon Harris





New Ron Paul article shows libertarianism on the rise
 
Evidence of the growing influence of libertarian ideas keeps popping up. 
 
The May issue of Esquire magazine has an extensive, and very favorable, profile of Ron Paul. The positives start right off the bat, with the title: “Ron Paul: The Founding Father.”
 
The article’s introduction begins: “Ron Paul is the most important politician in America today because he’s the rare politician -- maybe the only politician -- who always says exactly what he really believes…”
 
The article describes Paul’s great appeal to the young, and says today he is at “the red-hot center of the American debate -- after a lifetime of ridicule and obscurity, sweet vindication indeed.”
 
The article is full of such praise, and peppered with great quotes from Paul and his supporters. I love, for example, the extensive quote from the speech Ron Paul gave on the floor of Congress this February, after the new Congress tried to appease the growing limited government movement by opening with a ceremonial reading of the Constitution.
 
Paul challenged his colleagues thusly: 
 
“The 112th Congress kicked off with a reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House. … But a document is just a piece of paper if those who represent us and promise to obey it ignore it instead.  Celebrating the Constitution without this understanding will do nothing to restore the greatness of America.
 
“Simply praising the document distracts from the need for Members to resist special interests, political self-interests, emergency needs in times of crisis, fear-based economic myths, and the persistent temptation to seek security over liberty while ignoring personal responsibility and self-reliance.
 
“I wonder: will this welcomed renewed interest in the Constitution lead to a healthy reassessment of all of our policies?  Will there be no more wars without an actual congressional declaration?  Will the Federal Reserve Act be repealed?  Will only gold and silver be deemed legal tender?
 
“Will we end all unconstitutional federal departments, including the Department of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor?
 
“Will the Patriot Act be repealed and all warrantless searches stopped?
 
“Will the TSA be abolished?

“Will the IRS's unconstitutional collection powers end?

“Will executive and judicial quasi-legislative powers end?

“Will we end the federal war on drugs?

“Will we end the federal government's involvement in medical care?

“Will we end all of the federal government's illusionary insurance programs?

“Will we ban secret prisons, trials without due process, and assassinations?

“Will we end our foreign policy of invasion and occupation?
 
“For America to once again become the standard for a free society, our love of liberty and desire for peace must far surpass any public display of fidelity to the Constitution.”
 
Wow! Talk about speaking truth to power! No wonder Ron Paul is viewed with awe by so many, whether they agree with him or not. And no wonder the young -- who so desperately seek truth and integrity -- flock to him.
 
Ron Paul’s growing success is a part of (and a driving force behind) the great rise in interest in, and acceptance of, libertarian ideas.
 
Paul shows that the public will listen to, and embrace, even our boldest ideas – if we present them honestly, passionately, knowledgeably, and persuasively. Indeed, his boldness is a key part of his success.
 
This is a great time to be a libertarian! And every libertarian should be working hard to take advantage of this unprecedented public interest in the ideas of liberty, to win publicity and new supporters for our movement.
 
The Advocates is dedicated to helping you do this in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
 
Thank you for being part of this great movement!

                                     * * *

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


Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris

 

New Poll: Ron Paul versus Barack Obama in 2012 -- Dead Heat

Who says a libertarian can’t win the presidency?
 
“Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is -- virtually dead even… Barack Obama 42%, Ron Paul 41%.”
 
So reports respected pollsters Rasmussen in a survey of likely voters, posted on April 14.
 
Among the rest of the voters, 11% prefer some other candidate, and 6% are undecided.
 
The poll shows that Paul’s libertarian stances turn off some statist Republican voters. In the survey, Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes, while Obama gets 79% of Democrat votes.
 
However, independent voters (not affiliated with either major party) support Ron Paul a whopping 47% to 28% against Obama. Clearly Paul’s pro-peace, pro-market, pro-civil liberties agenda, coupled with his reputation for honesty and integrity, makes him able to reach huge numbers of voters who are frustrated and ignored by the Establishment candidates and statist agendas of both older parties.
 
Further, Paul is strongly admired by many who identify with the very active and influential Tea Party movement. And the size of the Tea Party movement may surprise you. According to Rasmussen, 24% of voters consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement. That’s a startling eight-point increase in just one month.
 
It’s interesting to compare this survey with an April 13 CNN poll that matched some of the better-known GOP hopefuls against President Obama.
 
CNN says: “The poll shows Obama topping Romney 53 percent to 45 percent, beating Huckabee 54 percent to 45 percent, defeating Gingrich 55 percent to 43 percent and topping Palin 55 percent to 42.”
 
Which raises the obvious question: Is Ron Paul the GOP’s only hope of beating Obama in 2012?


“Taxing the Rich” Won’t Solve U.S. Budget Woes
 
How to solve America’s awful deficit problems? Easy, say some commentators and activists: Tax the rich! Raise taxes on those making $250,000 a year or more! Soak America’s billionaires and corporations!
 
Photo: Robin Davies
However, says syndicated columnist and economist Walter Williams, a quick look at the numbers shows that simply won’t work.
 
Says Williams:
 
“This year, Congress will spend $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day. Can we prey upon the rich to cough up the money? According to IRS statistics, roughly 2 percent of U.S. households have an income of $250,000 and above. By the way, $250,000 per year hardly qualifies one as being rich. It's not even yacht and Learjet money. All told, households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days, but there's a problem because there are 224 more days left in the year.
 
“How about corporate profits to fill the gap? Fortune 500 companies earn nearly $400 billion in profits. Since leftists think profits are little less than theft and greed, Congress might confiscate these ill-gotten gains so that they can be returned to their rightful owners. Taking corporate profits would keep the government running for another 40 days, but that along with confiscating all income above $250,000 would only get us to the end of June. Congress must search elsewhere.
 
“According to Forbes 400, America has 400 billionaires with a combined net worth of $1.3 trillion. Congress could confiscate their stocks and bonds, and force them to sell their businesses, yachts, airplanes, mansions and jewelry. The problem is that after fleecing the rich of their income and net worth, and the Fortune 500 corporations of their profits, it would only get us to mid-August.
 
“The fact of the matter is there are not enough rich people to come anywhere close to satisfying Congress' voracious spending appetite.”
 
Which means, Williams warns, that unless things change, the government is going to have to come after… the rest of us.
 
(Of course… the government could eliminate wasteful spending, privatize most government functions, stop trying to regulate our personal and economic lives, stop trying to play policeman to the world… nah.)


Acclaimed Video Introduction to the Philosophy of Liberty
           
The Philosophy of Liberty is an eight-minute animated film by Kerry Pearson (aka Lux Lucre) based on the prologue of Ken Schoolland's outstanding libertarian book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.(Note: The video is at the bottom of the page.)
 
Hundreds of thousands of people have viewed the video version, which is available at the link above in about 40 languages and in several video formats. Credit is also due to the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) for their work in publicizing Schoolland’s book and this video.
 
It offers an easy-to-understand introduction to the fundamentals of libertarianism. Many viewers praise it as extremely clear, rational and emotionally moving – a remarkable combination of responses.
 
If you like it, the creators welcome you to make a DVD and play it for friends and family, submit it to video streaming sites, put it at your website, send it to your Facebook friends, or share it any other way you can think of.
* * * * * * * *
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...


ATLAS SHRUGGED BOXOFFICE SHOCKER: “The power of Ayn Rand devotees has impressed some Hollywood distribution executives, who took note of the hefty $5,640 per-theater average scored by Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 during its opening weekend. …[B]usiness has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. They don’t have enough film prints to fill all the orders.” – Paul Bond, “How 'Atlas Shrugged' Shocked Hollywood's Marketing Machine,” The Hollywood Reporter, April 20, 2011.

WHO HAS DONE MORE FOR YOU: “Which two have done more to improve your life -- Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, or Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi? Some people, in their pursuit of profit, benefit their fellow humans by creating new or better goods and services, and then by employing others. We call such people entrepreneurs and productive workers. Others are parasites who suck the blood and energy away from the productive. Such people are most often found in government.” – Cato Institute’s Richard W. Rahn, “Job and liberty destroyers,” Washington Times, April 18, 2011.

U.S. TAX CODE IS ONLY 72,536 PAGES: “How many pages does it take to lay out the insanely complicated rules and requirements of our tax code? According to tax publisher CCH, the total number of pages devoted to federal tax code rules, IRS rulings, and regulations has grown to 72,536. It's no wonder that even the government's own experts and officials can't figure it out. Any system of rules that requires in excess of 72,000 pages to explain and understand borders on useless.” -- Peter Suderman, Reason Magazine, April 18, 2011.
 
THE ONLINE GAMBLING CRACKDOWN: "Gambling and Washington don’t seem to go together at all. One's full of whores and seedy, soulless bastards and the other’s the gambling industry." -- Craig Ferguson, The Late Late Show, April 18, 2011
 
REELECTING SANTA CLAUS:  “Someone once said that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. That may have been true when he said it, but today taxes are mostly the price we pay so that politicians can play Santa Claus and get reelected.” – Economist and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell, “Taxes and Politics,” April 12, 2011.

* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.


PERSUASION POWER POINT #307

by Michael Cloud


Are You Just One Conversation Away from Winning Over the Next Tom Paine?
 
Have you ever heard an idea that changed your life?
 
Has anyone ever asked you a question that dramatically altered your thinking and behavior?
 
Have you ever gone through an experience that radically redirected the course of your life?
 
Before, you were one way. After, you were different.
 
What if YOU could be that catalyst for another person -- for liberty?
 
What if YOU could set that change in motion?
 
If you've had a life-changing experience, ask yourself: "What happened that changed me?"
 
Ask your family and friends whether they've ever had such an idea, question, or experience. If so, ask them: "What was it? What happened for you?"
 
Your road to Damascus may be the way for one or more NON-libertarians you talk with.
 
Your friend's Bodhi Tree experience may open the way for one or more NON-libertarians in your life.
 
Your experience during a meeting of Twentieth Century Motors may shake awake other NON-libertarians.
 
Whatever the hot button, the trigger, or the catalyst -- try it and test it with each of the unconvinced.
 
You may not need to discuss and debate libertarian arguments and evidence for hours and hours.
 
You may need only one idea, one question, or one experience to change the way they see things and live.
 
Are you just one conversation away from winning over the next Tom Paine?
 
When will you initiate it?

* * * * * * * *
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.
 
How can we solve America’s economic woes?

Question: How can you balance the budget, pay off the debt, and slash spending without doing away with entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare, that people have paid into for decades?

My Short Answer: We can only balance the budget by privatizing entitlements like Social Security and Medicare and ending foreign wars. The ONLY way we can keep the promises made to our seniors without massive inflation is to increase our rate of wealth creation. One way to do that is by deregulating business. Each regulator destroys about 150 private sector jobs each year, so each one fired is true economic stimulus.
 
Photo: anolobb
Another way to increase wealth creation is to cut the tax rate and end tariffs and other barriers to importation. This drives domestic capital into efficient businesses, stimulating the economy further. Even at lower tax rates, a robust economy means more tax dollars collected to offset the entitlement programs, which should be privatized ASAP so that young people aren’t forced into these Ponzi schemes.

Learn More: Suggested additional reading on this topic from Liberator Online Editor James W. Harris.
 
How Regulation Is Destroying American Jobs,” by William G. Laffer III, Backgrounder #926, Heritage Foundation, February 16, 1993. Though almost 20 years old, this short study does an excellent job of showing the devastating consequences of government regulation on job creation and income.
 
Excerpts: “Unnecessary and inefficient regulation at the federal, state, and local levels is now costing the American people somewhere between $810 billion and $1.7 trillion per year -- even after taking account of the benefits of regulation -- or between $8,400 and $17,100 per year per household. … A major portion of this cost consists of the additional goods and services that the American economy could have been producing today but is not because of over two decades of slower growth due to excessive and inefficient regulation. The value of this foregone output is somewhere between $450 billion and $1.1 trillion per year. …
 
“Regulation reduces total U.S. employment by at least three million jobs.”

Correction: In “Learn More” in our Volume 16, No. 6 (March 25, 2011) issue, editor James W. Harris gave the wrong link for the excellent Libertarian Christians website. Our apologies!  Check it out at the correct URL: http://libertarianchristians.com

* * * * * * * *

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


Too Radical?

“Your ideas are just too radical to ever be accepted,” she said to me across the restaurant table. “It just makes you sound foolish when you advocate them. Your libertarian ideas won’t get anywhere because they’re just too extreme.”
 
“Well, I think a lot of your political ideas are very radical, too,” I responded.
 
“What do you mean?”
 
“Well, consider that gentleman over there.” I indicated a black man at a nearby table. “Do you think it should be legal to own and sell him?”
 
“Of course not!”
 
“I agree,” I said. “And so does everyone else – now. But that was an extremely radical idea in this part of America back in, say, 1858. Still, some people had the courage to call for it. And because of them, that man is free today.”
 
I pointed at the glass of wine at her table.
 
“Do you think it should be legal for you to buy that wine?”
 
“Of course.”
 
“Another radical anti-Establishment idea of yours,” I said. “The manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages was outlawed in 1920 – by a constitutional amendment, no less. Prohibition lasted until 1933 – until years of hard work by radical anti-Prohibitionist activists finally resulted in that Amendment being repealed.
 
“And what about voting?” I continued. “Should you, a woman, be allowed to vote?”
 
Her eyebrows shot up. “Certainly!”
 
“That’s still another radical belief you hold,” I said. “In fact, the first U.S. political party to propose it was the Liberty Party in 1848 – one of those radical third parties you laugh at. But it wasn’t until 1920 that the U.S. Constitution was finally amended to allow women to vote. It took nearly a century of activism to bring that about.”
 
“Well, all that was a long time ago…”
 
“Let’s look at more recent times. Do you think it should be legal to publish and buy the works of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and William Burroughs?”
 
“Certainly. They’re major figures in world literature.”
 
“Your radicalism is showing again,” I smiled. “It was illegal to publish some of their major works in America as late as the 1950s and 1960s. Booksellers were arrested for selling them. Court cases supported by First Amendment activists – who were often denounced as radicals, pornographers and enemies of America -- eventually made it legal to print and sell them.
 
“We could go on,” I said. “Nudity and cursing in mainstream films – illegal until several decades ago. The use of medical marijuana – only now finally winning acceptance. Strong language in stand-up comedy -- remember what happened to Lenny Bruce as late as 1964?
 
“My point is, we’re both radicals. You’re as radical as I am on many issues. The only difference is that you’re radical on issues that were settled a while back. It’s easy now to defend the freedom to purchase alcohol or to read Henry Miller or to listen to comedians who use strong language. But that’s only because passionate and brave people spoke up and took risks – including sometimes ridicule, criticism and persecution -- when those were the hot issues of the moment.
 
“You and I agree on those issues. But the difference is -- I’m also radical on the burning freedom issues of 2011. And let me ask you: What will happen on those vital issues if people like you and me don’t speak up now?”

* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government. See more One Minute Liberty tips.   


What's Happening with the Advocates


ADVOCATES PRESIDENT TO SPEAK: Sharon Harris will sbe conducting a communication workshop at the Libertarian Party of Tennessee state convention on April 30 in Knoxville. Hope you can attend, and if you do, be sure to say hello to her. She loves to meet Liberator Online subscribers! Find out more.

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.


JOIN US ON TWITTER:Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don't worry -- we won't bombard you with tweets. We're keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)
 
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About Us

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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