Liberator Online: Gov't gobbling up your Thanksgiving
Volume 17, No. 16                                                                                                           November 19, 2012

The Liberator Online

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In This Issue

* Great NEW book by Dr. Mary Ruwart!

* Libertarian Gary Johnson: Record-Breaking Vote Total and More
* Ron Paul: Join the Liberty Movement!
* George Will: GOP Needs A More Libertarian Presidential Candidate
* VIDEO: Sen. Rand Paul Asks: "Is 1984 Now?"

* Star Trek icon George Takei's take on personal freedom victories in the election....  Figures show Obama actually lost as badly as Romney.... Libertarian magician Penn Jillette wishes he could pull a peace movement out of his hat.... Jimmy Kimmel on medical marijuana for non-medicinal purposes.... The Onion's sarcastic report on the unexpected blowback of the Petraeus' affair.... 

* Privatize Business!

* Seat Belts, Liberty, and the  "Risk Compensation" Controversy

* Share Some Facts About Thanksgiving and Big Government

* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris

Great NEW book by Dr. Mary Ruwart! 

Dear friend,

I am excited to announce the publication of Mary Ruwart's great new book, Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition. 

If you're a regular reader of the Liberator Online, you'll know Mary from her column "Short Answers to the Tough Questions." For more than 15 years Mary has provided short and persuasive answers to questions libertarians are frequently asked. 

This is an invaluable book for every libertarian who wants to effectively communicate the ideas of liberty -- whether one-on-one, public speaking, writing, campaigning, or in other ways. Her book will help you develop your own short soundbite-sized answers to the questions you inevitably will be asked. Mary's done the hard work for you! 

Mary is a pioneer in the field of libertarian communication. Her answers are field-tested. She's run for public office and spoken at numerous universities and political events. Years ago, she began preparing answers to the questions she was commonly faced with. The results were so spectacular that other libertarians asked her to share them. 

What would YOU say if someone asked you questions like these (her answers are in the book): 

* Would I be allowed to drive drunk in a libertarian society?
* How could we have national defense without taxes to fund a military?
* What is to control price gougers in a libertarian society?
* You would let people practice medicine without a license? That's crazy!
* Should my neighbor be free to possess thermonuclear weapons?
* Why shouldn't we intervene overseas if we can save lives?
* Should businesses be allowed to discriminate? 
* Imagine a drug that makes its users want to kill. Would you make it legal?
* How would libertarians stop developers from turning land around Yosemite and the Grand Canyon into housing developments?
* Would polygamy be legal in a libertarian society?
* Wouldn't we become like the Wild West without some gun control?
* No child labor laws? So you want us to go back to sweat shops?
* Without zoning, how would I keep a porn shop out of my neighborhood?
* If assisted suicide is legalized, won't every depressed teenager take it as an easy way out?
* What about people who didn't save for retirement? Just let them starve?
* If roads were privately owned, could someone buy my street and tell me to move out of my house?

Your ability to win others to liberty may depend on how effectively, concisely and persuasively you can answer these and similar questions. This book can help you do that -- on these and hundreds of other topics. 

From abortion to the War on Drugs, from flag burning to mail delivery -- if it's a question that libertarians are frequently asked, you'll likely find it covered. (If not, send it to Mary via her column below!) 

One of the key purposes of the Advocates is to help libertarians become effective and persuasive communicators of the ideas of liberty. This great new book will help you do that. 

It's a must for every libertarian who wants to win others to the side of liberty. 

SPECIAL OFFER: Order Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition today and save $5.00 off the list price of $20.00
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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

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris

Libertarian Gary Johnson: Record-Breaking Vote Total and More

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and running mate Jim Gray -- despite being excluded from the national debates, ignored by the mass media, having to fight to get on state ballots, and being outspent 667 to 1 -- achieved a record number of votes and won other important victories. 

Johnson's 1,191,420 votes (as we go to press) was the largest number ever received by an LP presidential candidate since the party's founding in 1971. The previous record was achieved in 1980 by Ed Clark, who received 921,128 votes and 1.06 percent. Johnson just narrowly missed breaking Clark's percent record as well. 

Even more impressively, it was more than double the party's total from just four years ago. 

In some states, the ticket far exceeded their national average. The top three: New Mexico, 3.5% of the vote; Montana, 2.9%; Alaska, 2.5%.

According to the Libertarian Party, the Republicans and Democrats spent approximately $2 billion on the campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

In contrast, Libertarians raised and spent just $3 million for the Johnson-Gray campaign.

Thus, says the LP, Romney and Obama outspent Johnson about 667 to 1.

The LP also notes that Romney and Obama received more than a thousand times the media coverage of Johnson's campaign. Johnson was largely ignored by the media, despite his impressive resume as popular two-term governor of New Mexico and successful businessman. 

Other LP candidates also had impressive totals. Six other Libertarian candidates for various state offices received more than one million votes. Prior to this election, only one state candidate had ever crossed the one million votes barrier. 

And at least seven Libertarians in congressional elections received enough votes to hold the "balance of power" -- that is, they received more votes than the margin of victory between their Democrat and Republican opponents. This is a powerful lever for Libertarians to hold. It forces the major parties to consider changing their policies in a more Libertarian direction -- or risk losing. 

"Ours is a mission accomplished," Johnson told "We put a true small-government, individual-freedom option on the ballot in virtually every state and have assembled an organization that will carry that message forward."

At his website, Johnson expanded on this theme: 

"Even more important than Tuesday's results, we have built a grassroots organization nationwide that is truly the foundation for carrying our message of individual freedom, small government and non-intervention forward in a big way. 

"We have identified hundreds of thousands of liberty-minded Americans. We have connected with more than a million people on Google+, 300,000 fans on Facebook, and more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. And over the past few days -- before and after Tuesday -- 'Who is Gary Johnson?' was one of the most 'searched' phrases on the Internet. 

"Tuesday was not the end. It is the beginning."

Ron Paul: Join the Liberty Movement! 

The following article was written by Ron Paul and posted at his Facebook site:

America is over $16 trillion in debt. The "official" unemployment rate still hovers around 8%.

Our federal government claims the right to spy on American citizens, indefinitely detain them, and even assassinate them without trial.

Domestic drones fly over the country for civilian surveillance.

Twelve million fewer Americans voted in 2012 than in 2008, yet political pundits scratch their heads.

It's not hard to see why, though.

To go along with endorsing a never-ending policy of bailouts, "stimulus packages," and foreign military adventurism, the establishment of neither major party questions the assaults on Americans' liberties I've named above.

As my campaign showed, the American people are fed up. Many realized heading into Tuesday that regardless of who won the presidential election, the status quo would be the real victor.

GOP leadership is now questioning why they didn't perform better.

They're looking at demographic changes in the United States and implying minorities can only be brought into the party by loudly advocating for abandoning what little remains of their limited government platform and endorsing more statist policies.

My presidential campaign proved that standing for freedom brings people together.

Liberty is popular -- regardless of race, religion, or creed.

As long as the GOP establishment continues to not only reject the liberty message, but actively drive away the young, diverse coalition that supports those principles, it will see results similar to Tuesday's outcome.

A renewed respect for liberty is the only way forward for the Republican Party and for our country.

I urge all my Republican colleagues to join the liberty movement in fighting for a brighter future.

-- Ron Paul

George Will: GOP Needs A More Libertarian Presidential Candidate

Republicans should pick a libertarian, or at least libertarian-leaning, presidential candidate next time, advises George Will, one of America's most influential conservative columnists: 

"Next time, Republicans need a more likable [presidential candidate]… and one who tilts toward the libertarian side of the Republican Party's fusion of social and laissez-faire conservatism. 

"Most voters already favor less punitive immigration policies than the ones angrily advocated by clenched-fist Republicans unwilling to acknowledge that immigrating -- risking uncertainty for personal and family betterment -- is an entrepreneurial act. 

"The speed with which civil unions and same-sex marriage have become debatable topics and even mainstream policies is astonishing. As is conservatives' failure to recognize this: They need not endorse such policies, but neither need they despise those, such as young people, who favor them. 

"And it is strange for conservatives to turn a stony face toward any reconsideration of drug policies, particularly concerning marijuana, which confirm conservatism's warnings about government persistence in the teeth of evidence."

VIDEO: Sen. Rand Paul Asks: "Is 1984 Now?"

In this remarkable video Sen. Paul (R-KY) warns that America is heading fast in the direction of the dystopian nightmare world of George Orwell's classic novel 1984. He discusses the Patriot Act, his battle against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), detention without trial, government invasions of privacy, the new nightmare of tiny spy drones, and much more. 

"When we trade liberty for security, we get neither," Paul says. "When we give up our constitutional liberties out of fear, the terrorists have won. America is becoming more Big Brother every day. Is 1984 now?" 

Every American concerned with liberty should see this video and be aware of the grave and growing threat Senator Paul details.

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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...
GEORGE TAKEI'S TAKE ON THE ELECTIONS: "Marriage equality AND marijuana laws passed? Now we know what Leviticus really meant by 'A man who layeth with another man must be stoned.'" -- actor George Takei of Star Trek fame, via Twitter, November 10, 2012.  

OBAMA LOST, TOO: "There are 207.6 million eligible voters in the U.S. The number who voted is 123.7 million. About 40.4 percent didn't vote. … Obama won with 62.6 million votes. He got 30.2 percent of eligible voters' possible votes. What he should do is immediately resign. He has failed even to get any reasonable fraction of his countrymen behind his presidency. Romney, of course, did slightly worse." -- Michael S. Rozeff, "Obama's Even Slimmer Margin," blog, November 14, 2012. 

WHERE'S THE PEACE MOVEMENT: "I wish we had a peace movement in this country. I wish there were somebody voicing publicly and aggressively that we should be killing many, many, many, fewer people." -- magician, author and libertarian Penn Jillette, interviewed at Washington Times Communities blogs by Kevin Kelly, November 12, 2012.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: "Colorado and Washington have become the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. That's a big deal because here in California, you can use marijuana legally only if you receive it for a fake medical condition." -- Jimmy Kimmel, November 7, 2012. 

UNEXPECTED SHOCK FROM PETRAEUS AFFAIR: "As they scoured the Internet for more juicy details about former CIA director David Petraeus' affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, Americans were reportedly horrified today upon learning that a protracted, bloody war involving U.S. forces is currently raging in the nation of Afghanistan. 'Oh my God, this is terrible,' Allie Lipscomb, 29, said after accidentally stumbling on an article about the war while she tried to ascertain details about what specific sexual acts Petraeus and Broadwell might have engaged in. 'According to this, 2,000 American troops have died, 18,000 have been wounded, and more than 20,000 civilians have been killed. Jesus Christ. And it's been happening for, like, 11 years.'" -- FAKE HUMOROUS PARODY news story entitled "Nation Horrified To Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal," the Onion, November 13, 2012. 

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

Power Point

by Michael Cloud

Privatize Business! 

"Business interference in government is the main cause of today's economic meltdown and recession," argue liberals.

"Government intervention in business is the primary reason for the mess," say conservatives.

They're each half right.

There are two inseparable root causes of today's economic mess: business meddling in government -- and government meddling in business.

Why did America establish the separation of church and state? Two reasons: to prevent religion from corrupting and dominating government -- and to keep government from corrupting and dominating religion.

For the same two reasons, libertarians advocate the separation of business and state. To prevent business from corrupting and dominating government -- and to keep government from corrupting and dominating business.

We can take one simple step in this direction: privatize business!

Get business's hands off government. Get government's hands off business.

All governments: federal, state, and local. And their agencies.

End and legally forbid all government subsidies to business.

Outlaw all government loans to business.

Forbid all government loan guarantees to business.

Outlaw all government insurance guarantees to business.

Forbid all government liabilities for business.

End all special tax benefits to favored or privileged businesses. Any and all special exemptions, deductions, deferrals or other tax advantages must be given to all businesses. No business is more equal than other businesses.

Outlaw all special government benefits to relocate or attract foreign or out-of-state business.

And -- give back 100% of these tax dollars to taxpayers. Every year.

Privatize business!

Private risks and private choices.

Private assets and private liabilities.

Private profits and private losses.

Private insurance and private risk.

Private businesses are responsive to and accountable to their customers.

In a private enterprise system, businesses reap what they sow.

Good private businesses attract more customers and investors. They make profits.

Bad private businesses repel customers and investors. They incur losses.

In a private enterprise system, good business practices pay off. Reckless and irresponsible business practices cost their users dearly.

When we privatize business, innocent taxpayers will never be forced to pay for the risky and unwise business decisions of others.

When we privatize business, unsuccessful companies will suffer the consequences of their actions -- but they will NOT be able to impose their costs and consequences on successful companies.

Private enterprise is a system that encourages and rewards business virtue.

Privatize business!

* * * * * * * *
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.

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.

Seat Belts, Liberty, and the  "Risk Compensation" Controversy
QUESTION: In a recent column you seemed to argue that seatbelt use only protects the driver. I strongly disagree. I am an X-ray specialist. I have personally participated in other traumas where the lack of seat belts caused death and injury to passengers or incidents where people thrown from the driver seat hit other passengers. Liberty or not, the laws of physics are very unforgiving. This is not a question of personal liberty, it is one of public safety and common sense. I do not want to be killed by that freedom!

MY SHORT ANSWER: Thanks for your comment. It appears I was unclear, and I appreciate the chance to rectify that.

I strongly agree with you that passengers can indeed be protected by seat belts. I have personally been in two accidents as a passenger; in one, the seat belt I was wearing may have saved my life. I use mine religiously whether I'm driving or not. 

However, studies indicate that when seat belts are made mandatory by state law, overall traffic fatalities go up, not down. [Editor's note: For a review of some of these studies, see Edmund Contoski's Makers and Takers (Minneapolis: American Liberty Publishers, 1997), pp. 97-99. And see "Learn More" at the end of this column.]

Many more pedestrians and cyclists are killed, offsetting the number of drivers, passengers and pedestrians saved by buckling up. Forcing people to buckle up apparently backfires, possibly because the seat belt gives the driver a false sense of safety that encourages just a bit more recklessness. (This effect is called "risk compensation"; people change their behavior in response to perceived changes in the risks they face.) 

I'd like to see a study where people were persuaded to buckle up through education, rather than force of law. Would the results be different? 

LEARN MORE: Suggestions for further information on this topic by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris: 

1. "Britain's Seat Belt Law Should Be Repealed" by John Adams. Adams is a risk compensation expert and a leading opponent of compulsory seat belt laws, based on the arguments that they don't save lives (due to risk compensation, as described in Dr. Ruwart's column above), and that they impinge on liberty. (NOTE: Adams agrees with Dr. Ruwart and most seat belt law opponents that wearing seatbelts improves a vehicle occupant's chances of surviving a crash.)

In this 2006 short blog article he summarizes his arguments, and provides links to further articles. 

EXCERPT: "There is no country in the world that has passed a seat belt law that can demonstrate that it has saved lives. The reason is 'risk compensation'; people compensate for perceived changes in the risks they face. Trapeze artists with safety nets, rock climbers with ropes, cricketers with pads and helmets all take risks that they would not take without their safety equipment. Motorists with seat belts, the road accident statistics tell us, do likewise."

2. "Britain's Seat Belt Law Should Be Repealed: It is a bad law. It is based on a dangerous, liberty-threatening, principle. It hasn't worked. It's unfair. It should be repealed." In this paper by John Adams he expands on his argument. It was published in 2007 in Significance, a journal of the Royal Statistical Society.

EXCERPT: "In summary … The evidence with respect to seat belts suggests that the law had no effect on total fatalities but was associated with a redistribution of danger from car occupants to pedestrians and cyclists. … The evidence from Britain, which has been singled out as the only jurisdiction in the world in which it is possible to measure fatality changes directly attributable to a seat belt law, suggests that the law produced no net saving of lives, but redistributed the burden of risk from those who were already the best protected inside vehicles to those who were the most vulnerable outside vehicles.

"And finally. Not only has the law failed to achieve the life-saving benefits claimed for it, and produced an unfair re-distribution of risk on the road, it has set a dangerous precedent. In criminalizing self-risk it has established a dangerous, liberty-threatening, principle that licenses the state to proscribe any thing or activity of which it might disapprove -- from rock-climbing, to drinking and smoking, to eating too many cream buns.

"In other words, it is a bad law. It is based on a dangerous liberty-threatening principle. It hasn't worked. It is unfair. It should be repealed."

3. "Click It Or Ticket" by Walter Williams. People will disagree about the statistics concerning seat belts. But the major libertarian argument against seat belt laws is that the choice of using seat belts should be left to the individual, not mandated by the government. In this short column economist Walter Williams makes that key point. 

EXCERPT: "Whether seatbelt usage is a good idea is beside the point, for daily exercise, nutritious meals, eight hours sleep, and cultural and intellectual enrichment might also be good ideas. The point is whether government has a right to coerce us into taking care of ourselves. If eating what we wish is our business and not that of government, then why should we accept government's coercing us to wear seatbelts?"
* * * * * * * * * *
Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at:
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. And don't miss her brand new book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition.

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

By Sharon Harris

Share Some Facts About Thanksgiving and Big Government

Holidays are a great time to share libertarian ideas with family and friends. Libertarians should gather a store of liberty-themed facts, figures and stories specific for each holiday. (I'll be doing that in this column as each major holiday nears.) 

Thanksgiving is upon us. Here below is a short report from the free-market Cost of Government Center that gives some genuinely shocking figures about how much government is adding to the cost of your family's celebration this year. 

By the way, the Cost of Government Center is an affiliate of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and the websites of both have been excellent sources of similar reports about the impact of taxes on holidays like Halloween and Christmas. 

Share this information with your family, if the appropriate opportunity arises, and you'll surely open some minds to the liberty message. And that's something to be thankful for! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Hard to Be Thankful for Bigger
Government this Thanksgiving

-- Cost of Government Center, November 12, 2012
Thanksgiving is a time for reuniting with friends and family -- but the government wants to be part of your celebration, too. Whether you stay home or travel for the holiday, government is a significant contributor to the costs of the celebration. 

Of an identified $10 billion in spending that occurs during Thanksgiving weekend on the wine and beer, the gas and plane tickets, and the meal itself, government taxation composes 35.86 percent of those expenses -- approximately $3.6 billion in revenues.

Many of these Thanksgiving items are subject to the increased costs of income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, and other taxes on business activity. 
Government then includes additional fees and excise taxes that further increase the cost of providing specific items or services.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this year's Thanksgiving meal for ten increased in cost by $5.73 to a total of $49.20 -- mostly due to rising food prices. Despite the most significant increase in food costs since 1990, government taxation still gobbles up $13.68 of your meal preparations.

Unfortunately this measure still does not account for beer and wine consumption. Between football games and meals, nearly 53 million cases of beer are consumed. Government collects $219 million in taxes -- 44.33 percent of the cost of each case. Thanksgiving attendees will also find it hard to be grateful for the 32.77 percent increase in the cost of each bottle of wine thanks to government.

Whether you fly or drive to be with your loved ones this Thanksgiving season, government heavily taxes your preferred mode of transportation. Of the 94 percent of travelers driving their cars, government will raise an estimated $1.1 billion in tax revenue -- 45.33 percent of the gasoline price tag. Similarly, government also increases the cost of the average $376 Thanksgiving flight, making up 43.57 of each ticket's price.

The government hits taxpayers particularly hard during the holiday season, filling its plate with these taxes and fees. 

As you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, remember that Uncle Sam is to thank for your smaller slice of pumpkin pie.

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Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.  

What's Happening with the Advocates

2013 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Secretary 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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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.

Then go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the "follow" button below our picture.  

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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