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Volume 16, No. 18                                                                                                               Dec 1, 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
* "A Huge Success!" Students Finding New Libertarians with OPH
* Our Gift to You -- 30% off Everything!

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* Thanksgiving: How Government Turkeys Gobbled Up Your Holiday
* Enjoy Great Libertarian Cartoons Every Day -- For Free
* Video: “George Ought to Help”
* Libertarian Party: Super Committee was “Super Dumb”
 
THEY SAID IT: Larry Elder on helping the poor... Shikha Dalmia on the Government Motors bailout... Ron Paul on the Patriot Act... Joe Jackson on smoking bans... Walter Williams on making 'enough' money...

PERSUASION POWER POINT #317
* What's the One Question We Must Ask When Politicians Make Claims or Promises?

ASK DR. RUWART
* How can we protect migrating endangered species without government?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Word Choices: The Power of NOW

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* World's Smallest Political Quiz on TV
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates on Facebook.

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris



"A Huge Success!" Students Finding New Libertarians with OPH

Dear friend, 

Campus libertarian activists across the country are discovering that the Advocates Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) outreach kit is a great way to find new libertarians and new members for their organizations! 
 
Here’s what some of them are saying:
 
”Starting out for the first time as a registered club on our campus at the club fair in August, we found 55 people who scored libertarian on the World’s Smallest Political Quiz who opted to sign up for our email list. Then, with the help of our new activists, we found 100 more people in the month of September, 80 on a Wednesday and 20 on a Thursday, who scored libertarian and signed up.  
 
“This was a huge success, especially considering the small size of our campus and its commuter nature!” -- Jason Walker, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
 
“The super-size Operation Politically Homeless Quiz was a big visual draw and lots of people walked over to see what was on the big board. We had six different members working the table throughout the day. We garnered 50+ sign-ups that day!” -- Eric Sharp, Middle Tennessee University.
 
“Operation Politically Homeless was a huge success! Not only did we sign up over 220 people to our email list, but we also started out the school year with record breaking attendance numbers at our meetings. Last week we reached 42 attendees! …We can't wait to see how much we can accomplish this year!” -- Adam Fletcher, Texas State University.
 
“I can honestly say implementing OPH is one of the best methods of recruitment for those of us involved in spreading the message of more personal responsibility and less government. Words cannot describe the feeling I had as I witnessed the growth of the liberty movement firsthand.” -- David Torres, University of Houston-Clear Lake.
 
“Battling for the attention of passing students against the other organizations, with their bare unattractive tables and unwelcoming seated representatives, was an easy task for [our] new organization [with OPH]. Three days of intense recruiting resulted in almost 50 sign-ups and over 100 flyer handouts! Students who took the Quiz were surprised to discover that they were for limited government and personal freedom. Fighting political apathy never felt so rewarding!” -- Brandon Cestrone, Slippery Rock University. 
 
I love reports like these! 
 
Many of these activists are also participating in our new Epic Liberty program, which adds competition, prize incentives and more -- including powerful encouragements to activists to share their own creative ideas for spreading libertarian ideas on campus.
 
Students: OPH kits are free! Epic Liberty is free!

Click on those links to learn more. 

Not Just for Students

OPH works for any libertarian organization that wants to win new members, new supporters, and more publicity for the ideas of freedom. Visit here to learn how to use OPH to build your libertarian organization. 
 
And if you believe, as I do, that the health of liberty lies with young people, please consider making a donation to the Advocates. Join us in empowering young libertarian activists to bring large numbers of today's youth into the movement for liberty!

P.S. It's that time of year already -- amazing how time flies! Time to get gifts for friends and family. And what if you could get a 30% discount? Well, you can! As our gift to you, everything in the Advocates Liberty Store is 30% off!

How about an introduction to libertarianism? (David Bergland has a great one called Libertarianism in One Lesson, published by the Advocates.)  How about getting your libertarian friends a book on libertarian communication? (We published two great ones: Harry Browne's Liberty A-Z and Michael Cloud's Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.) Everyone needs Quiz cards to distribute! Yes, all 30% off!

So do a little of your holiday shopping right now at the Advocates Store. And don't forget to treat yourself as well.

For a limited time, we're celebrating YOU -- as a customer and as an activist for liberty -- with this special end-of-year sale. Don't miss it!

* * *
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



Thanksgiving: How Government Turkeys Gobbled Up Your Holiday
 
The Thanksgiving holidays are a time for gathering with friends and family, enjoying good food and giving thanks. 
 
But this year the government elbowed its way to your Thanksgiving table, too. And it cost you a lot more than you might think. 
 
Americans for Tax Reform, a non-profit group that works for lower taxes and smaller government, shares the following shocking figures. 
 
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. From the 94 percent of travelers driving their cars, government raised 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. Remember that the turkeys who rule us are responsible for your smaller slice of the pumpkin pie.
 
* * * 
 
Enjoy Great Libertarian Cartoons Every Day -- For Free
 
"Baloo" is the pen-name of cartoonist Rex May. He’s often called the best libertarian cartoonist in the world. 
 
But that doesn’t begin to do him justice. Rex May is simply one of the best and most popular cartoonists and gag writers working today, period. His work has appeared in some of America’s largest and most influential publications, including National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Playboy, Good Housekeeping, and many, many more. In addition, he ghostwrites gags for several well-known nationally syndicated comic strips.  
 
His distinctive cartoony style and laugh-out-loud wit are immediately recognizable. Naturally enough, many of his cartoons lampoon idiotic and tyrannical government policies. But he has created zillions of other cartoons that touch on just about every subject under the sun. 
 
And now, thanks to the Internet, you can enjoy his cartoons every day, for free. 
 
Check out the following: 
 
* Rex May’s main site, with new cartoons on a variety of subjects daily.  
 
* Baloo’s political cartoons are posted at this blog.
 
* Baloo’s non-political cartoons are posted here.

You can subscribe to these blogs and get new Baloo in your RSS feed reader every day. What a treat!
 
Plus, at each site there are links to other specialized Baloo cartoon sites.
 
* Be sure to “like” Baloo on Facebook, too, so you can enjoy his work daily on Facebook and share your favorite Baloo cartoons with your friends. 
 
* You can follow him on Twitter.
 
Finally, don’t miss the chance to buy some cool and funny Baloo merchandise while you’re at his sites, including T-shirts, greeting cards, mugs, mouse pads, and more. 
 
A longtime friend of the Advocates for Self-Government, May has contributed cartoons and illustrations to Advocates products and publications from the earliest days of the organization. He became a libertarian around 1980, after reading L. Neil Smith's acclaimed libertarian science fiction epic The Probability Broach. Today Rex collaborates with Smith on the politically-themed "Atlantea the Beautiful" comic strip, which can be read and subscribed to for free. 
 
Rex May’s work is a delight. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy daily laughs from this libertarian treasure.

* * * 
 
Video: “George Ought to Help”
 

Advocates Founder Marshall Fritz often spoke on the topic of “Does right become wrong if the majority agrees?” 
 
That’s a question fundamental to libertarianism. 
 
A charming short (4:05 minutes) animated video entitled “George Ought to Help” explores that same idea. With simple language and logic it exposes the inherent violence in taxation and state redistribution of wealth. 
 
Check it out, and if you like it, share it with friends on Facebook, YouTube, and elsewhere. 
 
* * * 
 
Libertarian Party: Super Committee was “Super Dumb”
 
The complete failure of the bipartisan “super committee” -- created to craft a solution to the federal deficit -- shows that there is no difference between the two older political parties when it comes to support for Big Government and the Big Spending that enables it. 
 
So argues Libertarian National Committee Chair Mark Hinkle. 
 
"I'm not sure what to laugh at more: the 'super committee,' or the media's reporting of it,” Hinkle said.
 
"We've already started to see one silly article after another about 'missed opportunities' and 'failure,' and an inability to bridge the huge differences between Republicans and Democrats. What a lot of nonsense.
 
"At best, the super committee was going to cut total projected federal spending over the next ten years by two percent. What an absurdly low hurdle. It never mattered whether they succeeded or failed.
 
"Even if 'sequestration' proceeds (which it won't, Congress will override it one way or another), that still only means a difference of about 2%. It just doesn't matter. We need to cut spending by 50% or more.
 
"The federal government currently spends a bigger portion of America's money than it has at any time in history (except a few years during World War II).
 
"The whole purpose of this ridiculous exercise was to create the illusion of huge differences between Democrats and Republicans. It was all about hype. Keep everyone fixated on the teeny-tiny areas of pseudo-disagreement, so they don't step back and realize that Democrats and Republicans are the same. Both parties want a huge, huge federal government that does everything under the sun. They both want spending to keep going up. Neither party cares much about what's going to happen to our descendants when the huge burden of government spending is compounded with the huge burden of government debt.
 
"Unfortunately, Washington is not paralyzed by partisanship. I wish it were. Instead, Republicans and Democrats keep getting together, holding hands, and passing massive spending bills. They just passed another one last week.
 
"The super committee was just another gimmick. There aren't any gaps, or chasms, or gulfs in Washington."
 
Hinkle’s solution, understandably enough, is for voters to reject the big spenders of the two older parties and elect some Libertarian Party candidates. 
 
“If you want to see politicians who actually challenge the status quo, start electing Libertarians,” he said. 
 
The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at their website

 * * * * * * * *
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...

HOW TO HELP THE POOR: “Consider that to deal with ‘the poor,’ the federal government has a vast array of agencies, programs and policies. But only about 30 cents of each dollar designated for the poor actually gets in the hands of the recipient. Contrast this with the United Way, Salvation Army and other private charities where 90 cents of each dollar donated gets to a beneficiary. Americans agree that some people -- whether faultless or irresponsible -- need assistance, if only occasionally. The only issue is how they will be helped. …Individuals can spend their money more wisely, efficiently and more humanely than can government.” -- radio host and syndicated columnist Larry Elder, “Wealth Isn’t A Civil Right,” November 24, 2011.
 
GM (GOVERNMENT MOTORS) DISASTER: "The Treasury Department yesterday revised its loss estimate for the Government Motors bailout from $14.33 billion to $23.6 billion, thanks to the company's sinking stock price. GM's Sept. 30 closing price, on which the new estimate is based, was $20.18, about $13 less than its December IPO price and $35 less than what is needed for taxpayers to break even. The $23.6 billion represents a 25 percent loss on the feds $60 billion direct 'investment' in GM. But that's not all that taxpayers are on the hook for. As I explained previously, Uncle Sam's special GM bankruptcy package allowed the company to write off $45 billion in previous losses going forward. This could work out to as much as $15 billion in tax savings that GM wouldn't have had had it gone through a normal bankruptcy. Why? Because after bankruptcy, the tax liabilities of companies increase since they have no more losses to write off. This means that the total hit to taxpayers, who still own about a quarter of the company, could add up to $38.6 billion.” -- Shikha Dalmia, Reason magazine, “Treasury Admits What Everybody Already Knew: Taxpayer Losses On GM Bailout Are Going to be Massive,” November 17, 2011.
 
RON PAUL VS THE PATRIOT ACT: “I think the Patriot Act is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. … Today it seems too easy that our government and our congresses are so willing to give up our liberties for our security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.” -- Ron Paul, Republican Party presidential debate, November 23, 2011. 
 
ROCK STAR JOE JACKSON ON SMOKING BANS: "A smoking ban in bars is saying that adult citizens are not allowed to use a legal substance even though they're very highly taxed for doing so in a place that is private property. You're throwing out the window the property right of the owner of that establishment, freedom of choice, a lot of things, compared to a health risk [from second- and third-hand smoke] that is really unproven." -- Joe Jackson, Reason TV interview, November 10, 2011.
 
TOO MUCH MONEY? "President Barack Obama, in stoking up class warfare, said, ‘I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.’ This is lunacy. Andrew Carnegie's steel empire produced the raw materials that built the physical infrastructure of the United States. Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft and produced software products that aided the computer revolution. But Carnegie had amassed quite a fortune long before he built Carnegie Steel Co., and Gates had quite a fortune by 1990. Had they the mind of our president, we would have lost much of their contributions, because they had already ‘made enough money.’" -- economist and syndicated columnist Walter Williams, “Should the Rich Be Condemned?,” November 23, 2011. 

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


Persuasion
Power Point
#317

by Michael Cloud

What's the One Question We Must Ask When Politicians Make Claims or
Promises?


"The Paul Ryan Plan will balance the federal budget," claim its supporters.
 
"We will repeal Obamacare," promise many U.S. Congressional representatives.
 
"I'll cut federal spending by $1 trillion," promises presidential candidate Ron Paul.
 
"Elect me president, and I will pardon everyone who has been convicted solely on a non-violent drug charge, order the immediate release of those in prison, and restore their civil and voting rights," said Libertarian Party presidential candidate Harry Browne in 1996.
 
What's missing? What's the question we need to ask?
 
"When?"
 
When will the Ryan plan balance the budget? In 2021. In ten years.
 
When will these representatives vote to repeal Obamacare? Some representatives and senators say as soon as they have a majority in the House and Senate. Others won't say.
 
When will President Ron Paul cut federal spending by $1 trillion? His first year in office. In his first budget. Dr. Paul said "when" loud and clear when he made this promise.
 
When would President Harry Browne have pardoned everyone convicted of non-violent drug charges? "On my first day in office," wrote Harry Browne in 1995.
 
After politicians tell you what they'll do, ask them: "When?"
 
After politicians tell you what a plan or bill will accomplish, ask them: "When?"
 
When a promise is delivered, when a claim is fulfilled -- radically affects its value.
 
"When" matters.
 
When you know when, how attractive is the ten-years-from-now Ryan promise? Or the vague, fuzzy vows to repeal Obamacare -- sometime between now, soon, later, and never?
 
But Ron Paul and Harry Browne told us exactly when they would deliver their promises: the first year and the first day of their presidencies. That dramatically increases the value of their promises. And demonstrates their integrity.
 
Ask politicians what they will do.
 
Then ask: "When?"

* * * * * * * *
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 protect migrating endangered species without government?
 
QUESTION: I read your recent column about non-government, private-property-based ways to preserve nature and environmentally sensitive areas. Is there is a libertarian solution for protecting species who are difficult to "own," due to their migration patterns, etc.?
 
MY SHORT ANSWER: Species which are difficult to own are best protected by voluntary means, rather than hunting bans. For example, in northern Pakistan, snow leopards threaten the livestock of farming communities. Consequently, in spite of hunting bans, these communities kill the leopards whenever possible and destroy their habitat.
 
The Seattle-based Snow Leopard Trust solved this problem by helping the communities provide better protection for their livestock. The Trust also provided food, clothing, and irrigation systems to offset the cost of losing livestock when these defenses were breached. 
 
The Trust also helped the communities protect the ibex, the horned goat which is the traditional snow leopard prey. This program was so successful that the community now sells ibex hunting permits for $5,000 each. The community, the ibex, and the snow leopard all benefit!
 
Even migrating species can be saved through private conservation. Edward Avery McIlhenny brought eight snowy egret chicks to his home. Upon release, the grown egrets returned to their Avery Island “home” and now number in the tens of thousands. 
 
Fishing cooperatives have taken a different approach. To prevent over-fishing, fishing companies are assigned “property rights” in a percentage of the fish stock based on their historical catches. These “deeds,” often called “quotas,” can be sold or traded like property deeds. As a result, fish stocks have grown and so have annual catches.
 
Clearly, there are a number of ways to protect migrating species or those with limited commercial value that don’t involve government aggression. The best part about these solutions is that they protect endangered species much more successfully as well! 
 
LEARN MORE: Here are two sources for further reading on free market approaches to environmental issues, suggested by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. 
 
1. PERC -- the Property and Environment Research Center -- is the nation’s oldest and largest institute dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets. Founded 30 years ago in Bozeman, Montana, it began as a think tank where scholars documented how government regulation and bureaucracy have led to environmental degradation. At the same time, they sought to explain how markets could be harnessed to improve environmental quality. From this work originated the idea of free market environmentalism. Their website offers a wealth of information on a wide variety of environmental topics, and links to still more. 
 
2. The Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) promotes pro-environment and pro-market conferences, books, and opinion columns and journal articles. FREE works to describe how incentives and voluntary cooperation can be used to protect and enhance environmental values while fostering economic prosperity, and to explain the importance of property rights and economic freedom to the efficient and sensitive use of environmental resources. Like PERC, their website has lots of excellent information on this topic. 

* * * * * * * *
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

Word Choices: The Power of NOW

In his column in this issue, libertarian communication pioneer Michael Cloud suggests a question every citizen should ask whenever a politician makes a worthwhile promise or proposal: “When?”
 
That’s a brilliant insight, which he explores further in his column above. It parallels another very useful and easy communication technique Michael recently passed on to me. 
 
I call it “the power of NOW.”
 
The idea is simple but powerful, and can be used in conversations, speeches, interviews, and the like. 

Here it is: Whenever you make a political proposal that would bring immediate benefits if implemented right now, you add the word “now” to the end. 
 
Examples:
 
“We should re-legalize marijuana… now.”
 
Notice how much more powerful this is than simply saying, “We should re-legalize marijuana.” 
 
With the addition of “now,” you’ve added a timetable. You’ve also implied that there is no reason to delay the benefits that would accrue from re-legalization. 
 
Further, you’ve subtly shifted the discussion. You’re no longer talking about a mere theory or some vague day in the future. 
 
If your listeners pick up on this, you may find the subject under debate has changed from whether or not marijuana should be legalized to how soon it should be legalized: whether it should be now or later. 
 
You can feel the power of this with other issues: 
 
“We should end the failed War on Drugs and abolish other victimless crime laws… now.” 
 
“We should abolish the income tax… now.”
 
“We should allow young people to opt out of Social Security. Now.”
 
“We should bring troops home from around the world. Now.” 
 
“We should stop asset forfeiture. Now.” 
 
Of course, you must then be prepared to discuss the proposal on its merits, and show why enacting it immediately would be beneficial (or at least not harmful). If you can also make a compelling argument that letting the existing situation continue will only cause further and unnecessary harm, all the better. 
 
Another point: You may not feel “now” applies to all proposals. If that’s the case, inserting a timetable still has great benefits. “We should adopt Ron Paul’s proposal to cut the budget by one trillion dollars over the next 12 months.” “We should pass the Liberty Amendment, which would end the income tax and unconstitutional government functions in three years.” Etc.
 
Using “now” is a great and simple way to add impact and immediacy to your discussions. 
 
I suggest you start using this technique… now!

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


What's Happening with the Advocates

WORLD'S SMALLEST POLITICAL QUIZ ON TV: On November 12 Advocates Board Chair Dr. James W. Lark III spoke about libertarian outreach at the University of Florida at the Students for Liberty 2011 Regional Conference. The event was covered by ABC affiliate TV station WCJB, and their TV story focused on the Quiz -- once again proving the visual impact of the Quiz and the OPH chart. You can see a brief excerpt from that TV story here.

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.)
 
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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JOIN THE ADVOCATES ON FACEBOOK: The Advocates Facebook offers you a chance to share your ideas on liberty, meet some great people and show your support for the Advocates for Self-Government and liberty. Join and you'll receive regular Facebook updates on Advocates news, communication tips, and special offers for our Facebook friends.
 
Have any of your Facebook friends already joined? Join yourself and find out! There's no cost, no obligation, and your privacy is fully protected. Thank you!

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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