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Volume 18, No. 15                                        August 8, 2013
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The Liberator Online

for everyone who loves Liberty
Published by The Advocates for Self-Government
"We must learn to defend all our personal resources with reason, clarity and the kind of effective persuasion that wins friends, rather than alienating them. For this, no group is more helpful than the Advocates, which teaches independent thinking coupled with empathy and tolerance for others."
  
-- Tonie Nathan, first Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate (1972), and first woman in American history to receive an electoral college vote.
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* Quick and Easy E-Ways to Help Others Discover Liberty
* 3 Upcoming Communication Workshops

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* Cost of Government Day: You Worked More Than Half This Year for Gov't
* Best Libertarian Science Fiction of the Year Announced
* VIDEO: U.S. Taxpayers Pay Billions -- to Subsidize the Military of Wealthy Foreign Nations
* Congress Denied Basic Information on Spy Programs They Supposedly Oversee
 
THEY SAID IT: Your cell phone now works for the FBI, says Peggy Noonan.... Survey shocker: Vast numbers of Americans know little or nothing about the First Amendment.... Illinois gets cool new name after legalizing medical marijuana, reports Conan O'Brien.... The Libertarian Moment is here, observes the Kansas City Star.... George Will defends libertarianism against the "dangerous" ideas of big government guy Chris Christie.... Jay Leno laughs at Obamacare lies and reflects on the Detroit disaster....

PERSUASION POWER POINT #353 by Michael Cloud
The Libertarian Progress That Might Have Been

ASK DR. RUWART by Mary Ruwart
* What are the rights of fathers on issues like abortion and child-rearing?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP by Sharon Harris
* Fast, Fun and Funny

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* 3 Upcoming Communication Workshops
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
* 2014 Freedom Cruises
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President's Corner

by Sharon Harris




Quick and Easy E-Ways to Help Others Discover Liberty

“What is your political philosophy? It is an interesting question that few people really give time to think about.”
 
That's how Judge Jim Gray -- retired Orange County Superior Court judge and 2012 Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate -- began a recent column in the Daily Pilot, a newspaper published by the Los Angeles Times which serves Newport Beach and Costa Mesa in Orange County, California.
 
After an amusing and enlightening comparison of sports to politics, Gray got down to the essentials. 
 
He described “the libertarian values of both financial responsibility and social acceptance” and then asked the reader: “Are those your values too?”
 
He concluded by offering readers a way to find their place on the political spectrum: take the World's Smallest Political Quiz
 
“I think you will find the results to be quite revealing,” he concluded. 
 
Thanks, Judge Gray!
 
Judge Gray's article offered nearly 100,000 Daily Pilot readers the chance to take the Quiz. Many of those who do will discover -- perhaps for the very first time -- that they are libertarians, or at least libertarian-leaning. 
 
I know that most of you reading this don’t write newspaper columns or run for vice president of the United States. 
 
But you, too, can quickly and easily help lots of other people encounter the eye-opening, enlightening power of the Quiz. 
 
Here are two simple ways. 
 
1) Share the Quiz on Facebook and through other social media. Take the Quiz online and right-click on the graphic that shows your results. Save the image and post it on Facebook and other sites. Add a caption along these lines:

"Here's how I scored on the World's Smallest Political Quiz. Try it and see which political group agrees with YOU the most in the world of politics!"
 
Fast, easy, and guaranteed to stimulate interesting comments!
 
2) Put the Quiz as a signature in your emails. You're probably familiar with signatures. These are the little quotes or sayings or personal notes seen at the bottom of email messages and online forum posts. Most email programs can be configured to generate them automatically. Signatures have been described as "email bumperstickers." 
 
Here are some suggested wordings for signatures featuring the Quiz. 
 
* Are you liberal, conservative, libertarian -- or other? It only takes a minute to find out! Try the world-famous World's Smallest Political Quiz online at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz
 
* Fun! Fast! Revealing! Try the world-famous World's Smallest Political Quiz at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz 
 
* Who agrees with you in the world of politics? Find out by taking The World's Smallest Political Quiz at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz
 
* Discover your real political identity in minutes -- take the world-famous World's Smallest Political Quiz online at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz
 
Prepare different signatures for different audiences. Most email programs allow you to have a variety of prepared signatures ready. Make sure the signature you choose is appropriate for the person(s) who'll be reading it. Also, variety is the spice of liberty -- switch messages frequently so you won't bore your regular correspondents. 
 
If you email regularly, you can effortlessly and effectively reach a lot of people with these “email bumperstickers” for liberty. 
~ ~ ~

How many people you reach with these two fast and easy e-methods depends on you, of course. How often you email. How many people you interact with on social media. 

 But you might be surprised by the numbers. And the Quiz is so intriguing and fun that many of the people you share it with will in turn pass it on to their friends, family and colleagues. 
 
Even if you reach only a few people, you can make a huge difference. Many liberty activists got their introduction to libertarianism by a chance encounter with the Quiz -- and they went from there to bring the ideas of liberty to many thousands of people. 
 
If everyone receiving this article used these two easy and simple ideas, and reached just a few dozen people over the course of a year… that would add up to over a million people reached with the Quiz and the ideas of liberty. 

And that doesn't even count the ripple effect -- the outreach that some of those you reach would in turn engage in. 
 
Not bad for a few minute’s investment!
 
Upcoming Advocates Libertarian Communication Workshops

I'll be conducting libertarian communication workshops at these upcoming events:
  • September 21: Texas State University, sponsored by Students of Liberty
  • September 28: Cobb County (Georgia) Library, sponsored by Liberty on the Rocks and America's Future Foundation
  • November 16: Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), sponsored by Students for Liberty
Attendees will learn how to dramatically increase their effectiveness at communicating the ideas of liberty. 

I hope you'll join me at one or more of these events! Email me if you want additional information on them sent to you as soon as it becomes available.

In liberty,

Sharon
sharon@theadvocates.org

* * *
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.
Prominent policy experts explore innovative free-market solutions to social and economic problems -- including education, energy and environmental policy, health care, and taxes. Exciting and informative! Get more information, see schedule, and register here.
A Heartland Institute event. 

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris





Cost of Government Day: You Worked More Than Half This Year for Gov't

Did you notice? Sometime in mid-July, you stopped working for the government -- and were finally allowed to start keeping the money you earn. 

Each year the Cost of Government Center, in partnership with Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, calculates Cost of Government Day.

Cost of Government Day is the day on which the average American has earned enough income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels.
 
This year Cost of Government Day arrived -- finally! -- on Saturday, July 13. 

In other words, this year American workers are forced to labor 194 days out of the year just to meet all the costs imposed upon them by government. 

And that's just the average. Taxpayers in many states will have to work well past July 13 to pay for costs imposed by their bloated state governments. Notoriously high-tax, big-spending states such as California, Illinois and New York have some of the latest-arriving Cost of Government Days in the nation. 

Worst of all is Connecticut -- where residents must labor for the state until… August 31.

And if you feel that the burden has gotten worse during the past few years, you're right.  This year marks the fifth consecutive year that Cost of Government Day has fallen in July. Prior to the Obama Administration, the latest-arriving Cost of Government Day recorded was June 27.
 
Best Libertarian Science Fiction of the Year Announced

Want some great reading? The Libertarian Futurist Society has some recommendations for you. 

Each year the Libertarian Futurist Society gives its coveted Prometheus Awards for the best current and classic science fiction and speculative fiction that explores libertarian themes. 

This year Cory Doctorow won the award for Best Novel for Pirate Cinema (TOR Books). In Pirate Cinema, a young-adults novel, Doctorow explores themes of artistic freedom, Internet freedom and peaceful social change while shedding light on issues of copyright and government surveillance. 

This is Doctorow's second Prometheus Award. He won the Best Novel award in 2009 for Little Brother, described by the Libertarian Futurist Society as "an optimistic young-adult novel about a young pirate filmmaker whose Internet activity threatens his family with government reprisals and who learns to fight back against outdated forms of control." Sounds timely…

Cryptonomicon, a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson, won the 2013 Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction. Set during World War II and during the early 21st century, Stephenson's novel explores the implications for a free society in the development of computation and cryptography.

Best Novel finalists for the best pro-freedom novel of the past year are Arctic Rising, by Tobias Buckell (TOR Books); The Unincorporated Future, by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books); Darkship Renegades, by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books); and Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez (Dutton - Penguin).

Hall of Fame finalists recognized this year: Sam Hall, by Poul Anderson (a 1953 short story); Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold (a 1988 novel); "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman, by Harlan Ellison (a 1965 short story); Courtship Rite, by Donald M. Kingsbury (a 1982 novel); and As Easy as A.B.C., by Rudyard Kipling (a 1912 short story). 

The awards will be given in a ceremony at the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas, which is being held August 29-September 3. 

For further great libertarian fiction reading ideas, see the list of past Prometheus Award winners and nominees

VIDEO: U.S. Taxpayers Pay Billions -- to Subsidize the Military of Wealthy Foreign Nations

It's just one minute long, but this Cato Institute video offers powerful intellectual ammunition for those wanting to lower taxes and reduce U.S. involvement abroad. 

Beleaguered American taxpayers are being forced to pay to subsidize the militaries of wealthy allied nations that can (and should) defend themselves -- while these nations in turn spend the money they save on economic growth and propping up their massive welfare states. 


See the staggering amounts the U.S. spends on military matters in comparison to the rest of the world.

As Cato elsewhere says: 

"The average American spends $2,300 on the military, based on the latest data available. That is roughly four and a half times more than what the average person in other NATO countries spends. These countries boast a collective GDP of approximately $19 trillion, 25 percent higher than the U.S. They obviously can afford to spend more. So why don't they? Because Uncle Sucker picks up nearly the entire tab.

"Looked at another way, U.S. alliances constitute a massive wealth transfer from U.S. taxpayers (and their Chinese creditors) to bloated European welfare states and technologically-advanced Asian nations."

Should struggling American taxpayers be forced to pay for the defense of wealthy developed foreign nations? Should foreign welfare programs be subsidized by your tax dollars?

Share this short informative video with your friends, family and colleagues, and see what they think. 
 
Congress Denied Basic Information on Spy Programs They Supposedly Oversee

As new and ever more shocking revelations about the government's massive surveillance programs continue to surface, President Obama and other defenders of the programs insist that Congress is aware of these programs, continually kept informed about them, and supervises them. 

As President Obama said in June: "These programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate."

But that's just not true -- according to some members of Congress themselves. 

A new column by award-winning civil liberties journalist Glenn Greenwald quotes several congressmen who say they are not only not informed about these programs, the government repeatedly refuses to give them basic information they request. 

"The revelations about the magnitude, the scope and scale of these surveillances, the metadata and the invasive actions [and the] surveillance of social media Web sites were indeed revelations to me." -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

"I took an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, and I intend to do so. … I can't do my job when I can't get even the most basic information about these programs … How can I responsibly vote on a program I know very little about? … How can I talk about NSA actions I can't learn anything about except from press accounts?" -- Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA).

"I, as a member of Congress, can't get access to the court opinions. I have to beg for access, and I'm denied it if I make that request." -- Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). 

Greenwald's column expands on this with examples, documents, and links to similar statements by other members of Congress. 

Greenwald summarizes: "Denial of access for members of Congress to basic information about the NSA and the FISC appears to be common. … Whatever else is true, members of Congress in general clearly know next to nothing about the NSA and the FISA court beyond what they read in the media, and those who try to rectify that are being actively blocked from finding out."

* * * * * * * *
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...

YOUR CELL PHONE NOW WORKS FOR THE FBI: "The FBI is able to remotely activate microphones on phones running Android software. They can now record conversations in this way. They can do the same with microphones in laptops. They can get to you in a lot of ways! Does this make you nervous? If not, why not?" -- Peggy Noonan, "Why Christie Is Wrong," Wall Street Journal blogs, August 5, 2013. 

WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?: "Asked to name the five specific freedoms in the First Amendment, 59% of Americans could name freedom of speech, followed by 24% who could name freedom of religion, 14% freedom of the press, 11% the right to assemble, and 4% the right to petition. Thirty-six percent of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment." -- The First Amendment Center reporting findings of its annual national survey of American attitudes about the First Amendment. 

CHILLINOIS: "Today Illinois became the 20th state to legalize [medical] marijuana. The state also changed its name to Chillinois." -- Conan O'Brien, August 1, 2013. 

THE "LIBERTARIAN MOMENT" IS HERE: "From issues such as same-sex marriage and legal marijuana to restrictions on government spying and U.S. intervention in foreign affairs, the nation is engaged in a new 'libertarian moment,' politicians and political scientists say." -- reporters Dave Helling and Steve Kraske, "Nation has arrived at a new 'libertarian moment,' experts say," Kansas City Star, August 4, 2012. 

GEORGE WILL DEFENDS LIBERTARIANISM AGAINST "DANGEROUS" GOV. CHRISTIE: "What libertarianism says -- it comes in many flavors and many degrees of severity, and it basically says before the government abridges the freedom of an individual or the freedom of several individuals contracting together, that government ought to have (A) a compelling reason; and (B) a constitutional warrant for doing so. Now, if Mr. Christie thinks that's a dangerous thought, a number of people are going to say that Mr. Christie himself may be dangerous." -- pundit George Will responding to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent attacks on libertarianism, on ABC's "This Week," August 4, 2013. 

JAY LENO ON OBAMACARE LIES: "The Obama administration has admitted that, under Obamacare, you might not be able to keep your doctor. At first the president guaranteed you'd be able to keep your doctor, and now they're saying you 'might' be able to. Today Obama changed his slogan from 'Yes we can' to 'Perhaps we could try. Can't promise anything.'" -- Jay Leno, July 24, 2013.

JAY LENO GIVES THANKS: "Detroit has become the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. What happened was Detroit's population dropped something like 70 percent, but the government got bigger. The tax base got smaller, but the government got bigger. Thank God that kind of thing could never happen in Washington." -- Jay Leno, July 22, 2013.

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

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Persuasion Power Point #353

by Michael Cloud





The Libertarian Progress That Might Have Been

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,  
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

-- John Greenleaf Whittier

Near the end of your life, you may have a chance to look back -- and see what might have been. For your personal life. And for your libertarian life.

You will probably regret a number of things you did -- or failed to do. And wish you'd have made a different choice -- a better one.

Looking back, what regrets might you have about your current libertarian choices and actions?

Will you regret participating in the libertarian movement -- or wish you had been more involved?

Will you regret spending an afternoon working at an Operation Politically Homeless booth -- or sadly wish you had spent a day or two or three sharing the World's Smallest Political Quiz?

Will you regret reading Libertarianism in One Lesson, Healing Our World and a half dozen other libertarian classics -- or will you wish you'd shared these books with curious high school or college students?

Will you rue the day you donated $20 or $50 or $80 to the Advocates to help reach out to college students with our libertarian ideas and insights -- or will you sadly wish you have given more... so the Advocates could do more?

Will you feel bitterness and anger over the time and money you spent attending an Advocates communication seminar -- or will you wish you could relive the experience?

You don't have to wait until it's too late. You don't have to wait until regret and sad might-have-beens fill your heart.

Simply take five minutes alone -- and imagine that you're ninety and near the end of your life. Look at this day, this year through those eyes. Look at your libertarian choices and actions.

Then make the libertarian choice you will NOT regret. The libertarian choice that will delight and please you today. The one that you'll look back on with a smile -- or tears of joy.

As you take these actions, you'll be growing the libertarian movement -- and advancing the cause of freedom.

And if enough of us do this today, tomorrow, this year and next... you may reach the last days of your life in a libertarian America. And you will be glad.
 
* * * * * * * *
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.
Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion

BRAND NEW!

Click cover to see more and order.

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 are the rights of fathers on issues like abortion and child-rearing?

QUESTION: Do libertarians believe a father has rights in regards to issues of abortion and child-raising? After all, he is partially responsible for the pregnancy. What if the man wants the baby but the woman doesn't? What about mandatory child support?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarians don't always agree on the answers to these difficult and controversial questions. Some libertarians believe that the creation of a child obligates both parents to support the child until he or she is self-sufficient. Others believe that giving the gift of life doesn't create an obligation to maintain it for either parent. Consequently, some libertarians believe in obligatory child support and others don't. 

A libertarian society would likely render abortion obsolete sooner than the society of today, because of rapid technological and economic growth. Technology should soon allow a fetus unwanted by a mother, but desired by the father, to be transferred to another womb, whether artificial or natural. This isn't science fiction; by some reports (see "Learn More" below) we may have this option available in the near future.

Before this option becomes available, the woman is the one literally giving of her life's blood to support the fetus. She will probably have the final say about whether it continues to reside within her. The father might be able to persuade an unwilling mother to carry the baby to term, rather than abort, by compensating her for doing so.

Although not a popular idea in today's culture, potential baby-making activities are best undertaken with partners who can agree on how a surprise pregnancy will be handled. We wouldn't take on a business partner without planning, via written agreement, for unexpected consequences. Should we undertake sexual congress with a partner without agreeing how unexpected consequences -- a new, individual life -- will be handled?

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

* "Will Science Trump Politics in Resolving Abortion Debate?" by libertarian feminist Wendy McElroy. EXCERPT: "[T]he extent of the problem may well be diminished by science, by new reproductive technologies that sustain the viability of fetuses removed from women who do not wish to become mothers. Like heart transplants or intrauterine operations to correct birth defects, ectogenesis may be taken for granted some day."

* "Artificial wombs: bold, controversial science coming soon," by Dick Pelletier, PositiveFuturist.com. EXCERPT: "Cutting-edge research in the U.S. and Japan will soon launch a new era in human procreation: a world in which embryos can be 'brought to term' in artificial wombs, eliminating traditional pregnancies."

* * * * * * * * * *

Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart
 
Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.

Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.
 
Dr. Ruwart's brand new book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.
Click cover to check out Dr. Ruwart's latest book!

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

by Sharon Harris



Fast, Fun and Funny
  
Here’s a fun, funny and fast way to communicate the essence of how libertarians view government. 
 
It’s been circulating among libertarians and other small-government advocates for many years. 
 
With the right audience, it will draw laughs and knowing nods -- and win them to your side. 
 
Here it is: 
 
“Smokey the Bear's rules for fire safety also apply to government -- keep it small, keep it in a confined area, and keep an eye on it.” 
 
It works great as a quick remark in a casual conversation, or as the opening to a more detailed and precise discussion of libertarianism and the nature of government.

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

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What's Happening with the Advocates


UPCOMING ADVOCATES LIBERTARIAN COMMUNICATION WORKSHOPS: Advocates President Sharon Harris will be conducting libertarian communication workshops at these upcoming events:
  • September 21: Texas State University, sponsored by Students of Liberty
  • September 28: Cobb County (Georgia) Library, sponsored by Liberty on the Rocks and America's Future Foundation
  • November 16: Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), sponsored by Students for Liberty
Attendees will learn how to dramatically increase their effectiveness at communicating the ideas of liberty. 

We'll post more information on each of these events next issue. Email us now if you'd like us to send you information on them as soon as it becomes available. 

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.)
 
Go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the "follow" button below our picture. Thanks!

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 us and you'll receive regular Facebook updates on Advocates news, communication tips, and special offers for our Facebook friends.

2014 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Secretary and long-time libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for a Freedom Cruise. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser -- at a bargain rate! Great food and fine company. Non-libertarians welcome! On January 26, 2014 the 17th Annual Freedom Cruise embarks: a 7-day Holland America voyage to excellent snorkeling destinations Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with visits to Key West and Half Moon Cay as well, all on Holland America's newest cruise ship! (These aren't Advocates events, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) Ken offers two other February 2014 cruises as well. For photos and more details -- or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates -- visit Freedom Cruises.
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