Liberator Online: Clint Eastwood says, "Leave everyone alone."
Volume 17, No. 14                                                                                                          September 21, 2012

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In This Issue

* Remembering Three Libertarian Heroes: Szasz, Hamowy, Sadowsky

* Gary Johnson on Violence in the Middle East
* Clint Eastwood: "Leave Everyone Alone"
* How Democrats And Republicans Differ on the War on Drugs
* Nearly 40% of Striking Teachers Send Their Kids to Private Schools

* John Stossel and Roseanne Barr lambast the War on Drugs... Penn Jillette on compassion at gunpoint... Walter Williams points out who is really responsible for federal spending... Conservative tax fighter Grover Norquist says cut military spending and bring the troops home... Jimmy Fallon on politicians and honor...

* How to Tell If You're Winning Them Over

* What's the libertarian position on seat belts?

* The Quote-Unquote Technique

* Students for Liberty Regional Conferences
* 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

Remembering Three Libertarian Heroes: Szasz, Hamowy, Sadowsky

Dear friend, 

We lost three of the greatest libertarian minds of our times passed away this month, within a day of each other.  

They were all active in the libertarian movement at a time when there were only a handful of libertarians in America. They played vital roles in building today's large and fast-growing movement for liberty. 

Let us take a moment to remember them, recall their great work, and honor their legacy. 

All three led long, rich, productive lives, and it is impossible to do more here than to give a brief summary and some links to learn more. I hope you will further explore the wonderful legacies these great libertarians have left us.

1. Thomas Szasz (April 15, 1920-September 8, 2012) was the world's leading critic of coercive psychotherapy and one of the earliest and most uncompromising critics of the War on Drugs. He often said he was driven by "a passion against coercion." He wrote over thirty books and hundreds of articles. His first book, the blockbuster The Myth of Mental Illness, appeared in 1961, when the modern libertarian movement was barely a blip on America's political radar.

Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine has written a fine and moving appreciation of him, complete with links to interviews, articles and more. 

2. Ronald Hamowy (April 17, 1937-September 8, 2012) was one of the most important libertarian scholars of the past fifty years. David Boaz of the Cato Institute notes that Hamowy "managed to meet and study with many of the great liberal and libertarian thinkers of the 20th century. …he went to grade school with economist George Reisman, who introduced him to high school friends Ralph Raico and Robert Hessen, both future historians. He attended Ludwig von Mises's New York University colloquium in the 1950s and became  a lifelong friend of Murray Rothbard."

Hamowy co-edited the New Individualist Review, one of the earliest and finest libertarian journals. His many books include The Scottish Enlightenment and the Theory of Spontaneous Order (1987), Canadian Medicine: A Study in Restricted Entry (1984), Dealing with Drugs: Consequences of Government Control (1987), The Political Sociology of Freedom: Adam Ferguson and F. A. Hayek (2005), and Government and Public Health in America (2007). He edited The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism (2008). 

There is much more in Boaz's article and at Wikipedia

Also highly recommended, a personal appreciation by his friend Stephen Cox, editor of Liberty Unbound.

3. Father James A. Sadowsky, S.J. (December 28, 1923-September 7, 2012): Like Hamowy, Sadowsky was a member of the fabled tiny group of early 1960s libertarians who often gathered in Murray Rothbard's New York apartment to discuss libertarianism and map out strategies for spreading the ideas of liberty to the world. His best-known and most influential article among libertarians, "Private Property and Collective Ownership," was first published in 1966 in Rothbard's publication Left and Right, and is recognized as a classic on the subject.

David Gordon of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has written a warm personal tribute, with links to his writing and more. Anthony Flood has assembled a fine collection of his writing on diverse topics. 

Last year I wrote a Liberty Minute column about why it is so very important that libertarians honor our heroes, our founders, and our inspirations. 

The three men above played major roles in building the movement we are so privileged to enjoy today. Honor them, study their great contributions -- which are still as rewarding and vital as when they were first written -- and be inspired by their example in making your own unique contributions to liberty.  

Are there Founding Fathers in your libertarian circles that you have not yet recognized and honored? There is no better time than the present to let them know your appreciation for their work. 
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-- Sharon Harris, President | Email

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris

Gary Johnson on Middle East Violence

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson on the attacks at the U.S. Consulate in Libya and related violence:

"It is tragic when Americans serving their country are murdered, and we both mourn their loss and honor their service.

"Part of honoring that service is to ask the obvious question: What U.S. interest is being served by putting our people -- and our money -- in places where U.S. personnel can be killed by extremists over a video? We launched millions of dollars worth of missiles to bring down Gaddafi, and this is what we get. We hail and encourage the outbreak of an Arab Spring in Egypt, send them billions of dollars we can't afford -- and our embassy is breached and our flag desecrated.

"In Afghanistan, we continue to put our troops in harm's way 10 years after our post-9/11 mission was complete. Why?

"The airwaves are filled today with political chest-pounding and calls for decisive action. The most decisive and prudent action we can take today is to stop trying to manage governments and peoples on the other side of the globe who don't want to be managed, get our people out of impossible situations that have no direct U.S. interest, and immediately stop sending money to regimes who clearly cannot or will not control their own countries.

"Protecting America with a strong national defense and a rational foreign policy is our leaders' most basic responsibility. But let us not confuse national security with senseless intervention where our interests are clearly not being served."

Clint Eastwood: "Leave Everyone Alone" 

Clint Eastwood, Hollywood's most famous libertarian, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres TV show Tuesday, September 18 to talk about politics and other matters. 

The film legend said he received heat from both Republicans and Democrats for his now-infamous anti-war, anti-big government (and admittedly rambling) speech at the Republican National Convention last month. 

"The Democrats who were watching thought I was going senile, and the Republicans knew I was," he laughed, adding that he didn't care. 

Eastwood said once again that he considers himself a libertarian. 

"Explain 'libertarian,'" DeGeneres asked. 

"A libertarian means you're socially liberal, leave everybody alone, but you believe in fiscal responsibility and you believe in government staying out of your life," Eastwood said. 

The audience applauded enthusiastically at this description. 

Eastwood smiled at the positive response and said, "I thought so, too."

"When I was 21 years old and started voting, I sort of became a Republican because that's the way they were thinking," he continued. "But in the last few years, both sides have just spent like drunken sailors. Not to insult the Navy…" he added, laughing. 

DeGeneres praised Eastwood for being consistently libertarian on the issue of gay marriage. 

"It's just a part of the libertarian idea: leave everybody alone." Eastwood said. "Leave everybody alone."

"Yeah, that's what I say," DeGeneres said. "Let people do what they want to do." 

How Democrats And Republicans Differ on the War on Drugs 

They don't. At least according to their platforms, notes Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the Cato Institute:

From the Republican National Platform on the War on Drugs in Latin America:

"The war on drugs and the war on terror have become a single enterprise. We salute our allies in this fight, especially the people of Mexico and Colombia. We propose a unified effort on crime and terrorism to coordinate intelligence and enforcement among our regional allies, as well as military-to-military training and intelligence sharing with Mexico, whose people are bearing the brunt of the drug cartels' savage assault."

From the Democratic National Platform on the War on Drugs in Latin America:

"We have strengthened cooperation with Mexico, Colombia, and throughout Central America to combat narco-traffickers and criminal gangs that threaten their citizens and ours. We will also work to disrupt organized crime networks seeking to use the Caribbean to smuggle drugs into our country. As we collectively confront these challenges, we will continue to support the region's security forces, border security, and police with the equipment, training, and technologies they need to keep their communities safe. We will improve coordination and share more information so that those who traffic in drugs and in human beings have fewer places to hide. And we will continue to put unprecedented pressure on cartel finances, including in the United States."

Who says bi-partisanship is dead in DC?

Notes Cato's Hidalgo: "It appears both the Republicans and the Democrats will seek to maintain the status quo in the war on drugs. They agree that if we double-down and refocus our efforts, perhaps we can help Mexico make a small dent in the violence engulfing their country. …While the violence in Mexico becomes a greater threat to U.S. national security, the candidates seem content to maintain the same failed policy that has seen 57,000 Mexicans perish."

Of course, there's another party out there. Here's are relevant excerpts from the Libertarian Party platform concerning the War on (Some) Drugs in Latin America:

"Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all laws creating 'crimes' without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. … American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements.  We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid."
Nearly 40% of Striking Teachers Send Their Kids to Private Schools

The widely-publicized Chicago government school teachers strike gives us the opportunity to point out some startling statistics.

First, a whopping 39% of Chicago public school teachers send their children to private schools, according to a 2004 study. That's compared to only 23% of non-teachers in that city. Overall, only 12% of American students attend private schools. 

The study indicates this trend holds true across the nation. (Examples: in Philadelphia it was 44%, New York 32%, Los Angeles 24%.) Government school teachers consistently put their own kids into non-government schools at far higher rates than the general public. Clearly, these teachers know something about the quality of government schools compared to private schools.

The same holds true for politicians, including those who are against school choice measures like educational tax credits and vouchers. In 2003 the conservative Heritage Foundation conducted a survey of members of Congress on school choice. Of those who responded to the survey, 41% of U.S. Representatives and 46% of U.S. Senators send or have sent at least one of their children to a private school. Similar results were found in two previous studies by Heritage. 

This includes some of the best-known enemies of school choice and most ardent defenders of government schools: President and Mrs. Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former president Bill Clinton, former vice president Al Gore, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. 

In essence, this creates a two-tier system: high quality private education and choice for the wealthy, influential and educated -- but demonstrably worse government schools for much of the rest of American children. 

Still, there is some good -- and startling -- news: A 2008 survey by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University found that a plurality of government school teachers favored… education tax credits. 

That's right. Fully 46% of government school teachers surveyed supported education tax credits -- and just 41% opposed them. 

Libertarians agree with these educators that teachers as well as parents and students will be far better off with competition and choice.

* * * * * * * *
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...

STOSSEL ON THE DRUG WAR GULAG: "Forty years ago, the United States locked up fewer than 200 of every 100,000 Americans. Then President Nixon declared war on drugs. Now we lock up more of our people than any other country -- more even than the authoritarian regimes in Russia and China. A war on drugs -- on people, that is -- is unworthy of a country that claims to be free. … If we adults own our own bodies, we ought to get to control what we put in them." -- award-winning libertarian journalist John Stossel, "The War on Drugs: Because Prohibition Worked So Well..." syndicated column, August 29, 2012. 

ROSEANNE BARR ON DRUG WAR MADNESS: "The War on Drugs: Now, after all these years, it even sounds dumb and tiresome. Here we are on our third president who we all know engaged in some illicit recreational substance use and who went on to being, well, president! That's twenty years of presidents who got high! That's why it's so hard to watch President Obama and Eric Holder backstroking onto the National stage wearing their 'Tough On Crime' faces and harassing California medical marijuana dispensaries. … Damn it, if we're going to brag about how free we're all supposed to be, we should have the right to the pursuit of happiness, no matter how temporary, whether it comes from a couple of cocktails, a puff on a cigarette that isn't supplied by Big Tobacco, or the popping of a pill. If you overdo it and become a nuisance, well, that's what public intoxication laws are for." -- Roseanne Barr, "The War on Drugs Is Just Plain Crazy," Huffington Post, September 12, 2012. 

PENN JILLETTE ON COMPASSION AT GUNPOINT: "It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." -- libertarian and world-renowned magician Penn Jillette, 2011 CNN interview quote, recently reprinted at

IDENTIFYING THE REAL BIG SPENDERS: "The fact of the matter is that Washington has been on a spending binge no matter who has occupied the White House. In 1970, federal spending was $926 billion. Today it's $3.8 trillion. In inflation-adjusted dollars that's about a 300 percent increase. Believing that presidents have taxing and spending powers leaves Congress less politically accountable for our deepening economic quagmire. Of course, if you're a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want." --  economist Walter Williams, "Who May Tax and Spend," syndicated column, September 12, 2012.

GROVER NORQUIST SAYS CUT MILITARY SPENDING, BRING TROOPS HOME: "We can afford to have an adequate national defense which keeps us free and safe and keeps everybody afraid to throw a punch at us, as long as we don't…over-extend ourselves overseas and think we can run foreign governments. … Richard Nixon said that America's national defense needs are set in Moscow, meaning that we wouldn't have to spend so much if they weren't shooting at us. The [presidents] who followed didn't notice that the Soviet Union disappeared. … President Bush decided to be the mayor of Baghdad rather than the president of the United States. He decided to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan rather than reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That had tremendous consequences." -- conservative leader Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), arguing for cutting military spending and embracing a non-interventionist foreign policy at the Center for the National Interest, Monday, August 13, 2012.

DO THE HONORABLE THING: "Yesterday, Paul Ryan said that he and Mitt Romney won't reveal their tax plan to the public until after the election. Other politicians couldn't believe it. They were like, 'At least do the honorable thing and lie.'" -- Jimmy Fallon, September 10, 2012.

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

Power Point

by Michael Cloud

How to Tell If You're Winning Them Over

Do they read the libertarian columns or essays you send them?

Do they read the libertarian book you gave them?

Do they watch the eight-minute John Stossel YouTube video you emailed them?

Do they initiate libertarian conversations with you?

Do their family members and friends blame you for something they said?

If you are winning them over, you will see it in their actions. In their behavior and conversations.

If you don't see changes in their actions, you are not changing their minds.

Actions are the litmus test of persuasion.
* * * * * * * *
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.
What's the libertarian position on seat belts?

QUESTION: Why should people wear seat belts? What's the libertarian view on this?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Wearing seat belts should be an individual choice. Libertarians don't believe that it is right to force someone to do something even for "their own good."

Every person who travels in an automobile must decide this important safety issue for themselves. Seat belts can save your life or take it, depending upon the circumstances of your accident. 

I choose to wear my seat belt all of the time. I've been in several accidents where the seat belt protected me from more serious injuries than I sustained.  

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

"Unbuckling the Voters" by Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe, August 25, 1994. The award-winning columnist succinctly argues that, though he uses seat belts and strongly encourages their use, it is a matter for individuals, not government, to decide. 

EXCERPT: "I have nothing against seat belts. They are a sensible personal safety measure. I wear one every time I drive. I make sure my passengers do, too. … Drive without strapping yourself in and the only person you endanger is yourself. You don't make the roads more hazardous. You don't increase the chances of an accident. You don't put other drivers in harm's way. Not buckling up may be risky -- even stupid. Letting the government take away your freedom in order to protect you from yourself is riskier -- and stupider -- by far."
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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.

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

By Sharon Harris

The Quote-Unquote Technique

Politicians often justify their actions by insisting they are providing valuable and needed services.

Of course, we know many of these alleged services are inferior, horrible, and even unwanted.

There's a quick and easy way to poke a hole in such government claims when writing or speaking.

Just put quotes around the services.

When writing about government education, try writing government "education."

When writing about defense spending -- much of which is unneeded, wasted, or used for intervention rather than defense -- try "defense" spending.

The Department of Homeland Security becomes the Department of Homeland "Security."

And there's the Internal Revenue "Service."

Social "Security."

And, speaking more generally, politicians offer "important" and "necessary" and "vital" "services."

You can probably think of other examples.

When speaking, you can simply make quote marks with your fingers. (Be aware, though, that some people find spoken quote marks to be annoying. If you're not sure, don't do it.)

The Quote-Unquote Technique is effective with some groups, particularly those who are in agreement with you on the issue being discussed, or sympathetic to hearing your perspective.  It will not work with others; indeed, it may irritate them into opposition. As always... know your audience. And remember your goal is to persuade others to agree with you, not to engage in pointless arguments.

The Quote-Unquote Technique gets your foot in the door by letting you make a point in an interesting, humorous, dramatic way. Then be prepared to back up your assertion with facts about the failure of the program, its inferiority to private voluntary alternatives, or reasons it should be limited or abolished.

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

What's Happening with the Advocates

OCTOBER 16: Advocates president Sharon Harris will be speaking at the Students for Liberty conference at the University of Florida.

FALL 2012: The Advoates will have a booth at many of the Sutdents for Liberty Regional Conferences. Come and see us!

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.

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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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