Liberator Online: When libertarians disagree...
Volume 18, No. 5                                                                                                       March 8, 2013

The Liberator Online

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

"The World's Smallest Political Quiz is responsible for many Americans' first contact with libertarian ideas. While traveling around the country, I have often heard people say, 'I never knew I was a libertarian until I took the Quiz!'"
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In This Issue

* Student of the Year Praises the Quiz and OPH

* GOP Congressman: Politicians Lie, Send Young Americans to Die
* Sen. Rand Paul Proves He Can Cut the Budget
* Video: Why E-Verify Will Create a National ID and Other Evils
* Satire: Americans Split On Whether Gov't Should Be Able to Kill Them
THEY SAID IT: Ron Paul calls for gun control.... Isn't it time to end World War II?....Rep. Justin Amash on why GOP leaders kicked him off the House Budget Committee.... Economist Mark Thornton summarizes the difference between the private sector and government.... Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges fights against indefinite imprisonment without trial of Americans.... Jay Leno on why we're in such a big mess....

* How to Get a Second Chance to Persuade for Liberty

* Would blackmail be legal in a libertarian society?

* Libertarians Sometimes Disagree -- Use It in Your Outreach

* The Advocates will be at Young Americans for Liberty's spring conventions
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
* 2013 Freedom Cruises

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris

Student of the Year Praises the Quiz and OPH

Dear friend, 

Congratulations to Noelle Mandell! 

Noelle has been named Student of the Year by Students for Liberty (SFL) for her outstanding libertarian outreach. She received the honor at the International Students For Liberty Conference, February 15. 

She attends Houston Community College (HCC) where she is majoring in Sociology and Political Science. A few of her many achievements: she is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Founding President of Young Americans for Liberty at HCC, and Founding President of Youth for Ron Paul at HCC.

We were pleased to talk with Noelle about campus outreach when she dropped by the Advocates booth at the SFL conference. 

We learned that Noelle is a big fan of the World's Smallest Political Quiz and the Advocates' Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) outreach kit, and she's taken these tools to several campuses. 

She described some of her experiences with using the Quiz for campus outreach in this short (one minute, eight seconds) video interview:

Thank you, Noelle!

ATTENTION STUDENTS: The Advocates will give an OPH Kit FREE to every campus libertarian group that requests one. All we ask in return is that you use it at least three times, tell us your results, and share some photographs with us of your event. 

OPH is the Advocates' acclaimed "event in a kit" that can help you discover dozens or even hundreds of libertarian-leaning folks on your campus. Hundreds of thousands of people have encountered the ideas of liberty through OPH. It is perfect for campus organizations seeking to build membership and raise their campus profile. 

Visit here to get an OPH for your campus organization. 

A special thanks to Advocates supporters, who make this and so many other vital Advocates programs possible! 

* * *
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.

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris

GOP Congressman: Politicians Lie, Send Young Americans to Die

In what must surely be one of the most remarkable political speeches in recent memory, conservative Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) apologized for his support of the Iraq War, denounced militarism and interventionism in both parties, and said Dick Cheney was probably going to hell for pushing the Iraq invasion. 

Rep. Jones delivered these and other stunning comments during his keynote speech at a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) state convention in Raleigh, N.C., February 23, 2013. YAL is a national libertarian student organization claiming more than 380 chapters and 125,000 student activists nationwide.

"Too many times in Washington nobody apologizes, especially when you send young men and women to die. We apologize if we get caught by the police driving drunk, if we have an affair, then we apologize. But never does anyone apologize for buying into a lie to send men and women to die. Congress will not hold anyone to blame.

"Lyndon Johnson's probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney. 

"…I am so fed up with people who do not understand the pain of war."

Jones admitted he voted to authorize the Iraq invasion for political reasons, despite his uncertainty about the evidence the Bush Administration presented. "My faith was not strong enough to vote my conscience. I was more concerned about getting reelected, and I regret that, and I will till the day I die."

Jones went on to achieve fame in 2003 for leading the widely-ridiculed movement to change the name of "French fries" to "freedom fries" in House cafeterias after France declined to support the invasion. (He now says he regrets that.)

Since that time, Jones has totally reversed his positions. He lined his office halls with photos of soldiers killed in Iraq, and wrote personal letters to the families of every U.S. soldier killed in the war. He has called on President George W. Bush to publicly apologize for misinforming Congress to win authorization for the war. In 2005 Jones said: "If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn't have voted for that resolution. Absolutely not."

Last March Jones introduced House Concurrent Resolution 107, proposing that Congress should consider waging wars without an Act of Congress as grounds for impeachment of the President for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. 

Jones has a book coming out soon about his change of heart, with the bluntest and most contrite title imaginable: God Forgive Me.

In his YAL speech Jones also denounced the Obama administration's drone policy as "absolutely unconstitutional..." and a threat to American security. "When that drone comes to America from a foreign country, we're going to wonder what in the hell hit us."

Rep. Jones thanked former Congressman Ron Paul for helping open his eyes: "I want to give credit to the man [Ron Paul] who helped me understand if you're ever going to send young men and women to die, it needs to be with the Constitution and debated by the Congress. …I know this about my friend Ron Paul who is a libertarian, that the Constitution matters, and if you don't follow the Constitution you will fail."

Jones endorsed Ron Paul in the 2008 race for president of the United States.

The full 30-minute speech, followed by 20 minutes of questions and answers, can be seen here

Sen. Rand Paul Proves He Can Cut the Budget

(Note: We wrote the following article just hours before far more dramatic news about Senator Rand Paul occurred, namely his historic civil liberties filibuster. We've decided to leave this article in, because it gives another, less covered aspect of Paul. For an excellent summary of the major points Sen. Paul made during his filibuster, see this article by Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic blog.)

While other politicians say there's no way federal spending can be significantly cut, libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is proving that he can -- and will.  

In February Sen. Paul announced he will be returning $600,000 to the United States Treasury -- money unspent from his official operating budget. 

That's more than 20 percent of Sen. Paul's annual office budget. 

And it's not the first time he's done that. Paul returned $500,000 to the Treasury last year. 

"I ran to stop the reckless spending, and I pledged to the people of Kentucky that I would work to keep their hard-earned money out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats whose irresponsible spending has threatened our country's economic health," Sen. Paul said at a press conference to announce the savings. 

How did he do it? 

"We watch every purchase," Sen. Paul said. "We watch what computers we buy, what paper we buy, the ink cartridges. We treat the money like it's our money, or your money, and we look at every expenditure."

At the press conference, Sen. Paul presented taxpayers with an over-sized check for $600,000, representing the money being returned to the Treasury.

Granted, one can easily think of far better ways to spend that money than returning it to the thieves and bunglers who seized it in the first place. Some might even argue that just burning it would be better than giving it back. 

But that overlooks the tremendous symbolic meaning of this political theater: namely, that Paul can, and will, cut federal spending -- including the dollars allocated to his own office -- at a time when almost no one else in Congress seems able or willing to do so. 

Last March Paul introduced "A Platform to Revitalize America," his plan to balance the budget in five years. 

This year, Sen. Paul will introduce legislation incentivizing federal employees to identify and eliminate wasteful programs in their respective agencies.

Video: Why E-Verify Will Create a National ID and Other Evils

Last issue we featured Ron Paul's warning that mandatory nationwide use of E-Verify -- currently being pushed by some in Congress as part of immigration "reform" -- will create a national ID card and in other ways gut fundamental civil liberties.

That warning is echoed and expanded upon in this new video from ReasonTV, featuring an interview with Chris Calabrese of the American Civil Liberties Union. 

"If E-Verify becomes mandatory, the result will be that you will essentially have to get cleared with a government right-to-work list before you can start a job. And that's a huge change," Calabrese says. 

E-Verify is a government-operated database of everyone legally permitted to work in the United States. It is currently used by hundreds of thousands of employers to check the status of their workers. 

Calabrese goes on to discuss the problems with national identification cards, new proposals for immigration reform, and how social networking has changed our expectations of personal privacy. Running time: 7:25.

Satire: Americans Split On Whether Gov't Should Be Able to Kill Them

"American Citizens Split On DOJ Memo Authorizing Government To Kill Them."

That's the headline of a hilarious story in the great satirical weekly The Onion. 

Note, it is satire, FICTION -- though sadly, it is based on a horrible political reality

But you just have to laugh as The Onion gets right to the heart of the issue. 


"Following the release of a secret Department of Justice memo this week that outlines the administration's legal justification for killing U.S. citizens, a new Pew Research Center poll has revealed that a majority of Americans are torn over whether they support the government's right to kill them anywhere at any time without due process. 

"'On the one hand, I get it -- it's important for the government to be able to murder me and any of my friends or family members whenever they please for reputed national security reasons. But on the other hand, it would kind of be nice to stay alive and have, maybe, a trial, actual evidence -- stuff like that,' said visibly conflicted 39-year-old Nashua, NH resident Rebecca Sawyer, who, like millions of other Americans, is split over whether secret federal agents should be allowed to target and assassinate her anywhere on U.S. soil. …

"While most Americans expressed conflicted feelings regarding the memo, the poll also found that 28 percent of citizens were unequivocally in favor of being obliterated at any point, for any reason, in a massive airstrike."

Read the whole thing here

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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...

RON PAUL CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL: "While I oppose most gun control proposals, there is one group of Americans I do believe should be disarmed: federal agents. The use of force by federal agents to enforce unjust and unconstitutional laws is one of the major, albeit overlooked, threats to liberty. Too often Americans are victimized by government force simply for engaging in commercial transactions disapproved of by Congress and the federal bureaucracy." -- Ron Paul, "When they came for the Raw Milk drinkers…" Texas Straight Talk column, February 24, 2013. 

TIME TO END WORLD WAR II: "Everyone talks about getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But what about Germany and Japan? The sequester -- $85 billion this year in across-the-board budget cuts, about half of which will come from the Pentagon -- gives Americans an opportunity to discuss a question we've put off too long: Why we are still fighting World War II? …Today, our largest permanent bases are still in Germany and Japan, which are perfectly capable of defending themselves and should be trusted to help their neighbors. It's time they foot more of the bill or operate their own bases." -- Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, professor of American foreign relations at San Diego State University, "Come Home, America," op-ed, New York Times, March 4, 2013. 

WELL, NO WONDER THEY KICKED HIM OFF: "It might be because I wanted to balance the budget." -- libertarian-minded Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), quoted by John Stossel, on why the Republican leadership in Congress removed him from the House Budget Committee after he called for big cuts in defense spending and other GOP sacred cow programs.

THE DIFFERENCE: "The private sector produces; the public [government] sector consumes." -- economist Mark Thornton, "Real Austerity," published in Ludwig von Mises Institute newsletter The Free Market, February 2013. 

INDEFINITE IMPRISONMENT OF AMERICANS WITHOUT DUE PROCESS: "Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)… permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, who 'substantially support'-- an undefined legal term -- al-Qaida, the Taliban or 'associated forces,' again a term that is legally undefined. Those detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due process until 'the end of hostilities.' In an age of permanent war this is probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent, according to Section (c)(4), to any 'foreign country or entity.' This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.  …[If this is not ruled unconstitutional], the power of the military to detain citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military prisons will become a terrifying reality." -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, "The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State,", Feb 11, 2013. Hedges is currently suing the Obama Administration and members of the U.S. Congress over the NDAA.

JAY LENO ON WHY WE'RE IN A MESS: "Welcome sequestration survivors. Congress did not reach an agreement and Congresswoman Maxine Waters said 170 million jobs could be lost. There are only 155 million workers in America. Are you beginning to understand why we're in this situation in the first place?" -- Jay Leno, March 1, 2013.

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

Power Point

by Michael Cloud

How to Get a Second Chance to Persuade for Liberty 

Have you ever had a promising political conversation go sour?

You coulda', shoulda', woulda' opened the other person's mind about libertarianism... except... this went wrong or that went wrong.

You left something out -- or put something in -- and things spun out of control.

Have you ever walked away from a conversation like this, muttering to yourself, "If I could do it over, I could have changed his mind?"

If it were possible to have that conversation over, would you want it?


Well, you can.


By apologizing, asking forgiveness, and asking for another chance.

Please note: You are NOT apologizing for something unethical or immoral. You are NOT apologizing for thoughtlessness or bad intentions.

You are apologizing for failing to properly communicate your point. Apologizing for clumsy or ineffective remarks.

If I'm at a party and I accidentally spill a person's drink, I apologize for my blunder, help clean up my mess, and bring them a fresh drink.

If I'm at a party and I accidentally make a mess of a political conversation, I apologize for my blunder, help clean up the miscommunication, and bring them a fresh point, a fresh perspective, a fresh approach.

Here's how to do it.

Imagine that you're in a political conversation.

You make a strong point about Big Government social programs.

Although the other person seemed receptive, he's now arguing against your point of view.

Instead of arguing with him, try this.

1. Apologize. "I'm sorry. That didn't come out the way I wanted." Or: "I apologize. I didn't say that right."

2. Ask forgiveness. "Will you forgive me for messing that up?" Or: "Will you forgive me for saying that so poorly?"

3. Wait until the other person says he forgives you. Until he says, "Sure, no problem." Or: "It's all right. We all make mistakes." Wait until he confirms that he's letting it go.

4. Ask for another chance. "Would you do a favor? Would you wipe the slate clean, and give me another chance to say it right?" Or: "Would you do me a favor? Would you let me start fresh, and share what I really wanted to get across to you?"

5. Wait for the other person's agreement that you have a clean slate, a fresh chance to share your ideas. After he agrees...

6. Present a different point, a different approach, a different insight on the issue that might be more appealing. The point you coulda', shoulda', and woulda' made... had you known him just a little better.

You can get a second chance.

In life and in conversations.

Which doubles our chances for a better life... and liberty.
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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.

Would blackmail be legal in a libertarian society?

QUESTION: How would a libertarian society deal with blackmail? Thinking of the blackmailer as a gossip offering the service of his silence for a fee, I cannot find any reason why it should be illegal in a libertarian society. Both parties receive something of value and the agreement is consensual."

MY SHORT ANSWER: The criteria for illegality in a libertarian society would be: "Does it threaten first-strike force, fraud, or theft?"

For example, if I pay blackmail to someone who would otherwise beat me, they are using the threat of first-strike force to take my money, very much like a thief does. This would clearly be against libertarian law.

If I pay blackmail to someone so that they won't tell a true but embarrassing tale about me, I am not being threatened with first-strike force, fraud, or theft. Quite possibly, such "blackmail" might (depending upon the circumstances) be considered a private contract under libertarian law. If the blackmailer told his or her story anyway, I might be able to
sue for contract violation!

If I pay blackmail to someone so that they won't lie about me, the situation is not as clear. Many libertarians consider slander of a person's reputation to be a violation of the non-aggression principle; others don't.
LEARN MORE: Suggestions by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris for further reading on this topic: 

"The Crime of Blackmail: A Libertarian Critique" by Walter Block. A detailed look at this issue by one of today's leading libertarian thinkers. 

EXCERPT: "Blackmail laws are often taken for granted. Indeed, such is the moral objectionableness of blackmail in many people's minds that they cannot imagine how the decriminalization of blackmail could possibly be supported. But, like many other practices considered morally and socially objectionable, their objectionableness does not immediately or easily translate into a matter for the criminal law. It has been my contention that this is true of blackmail."

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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 brand new book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

By Sharon Harris

Libertarians Sometimes Disagree -- Use It in Your Outreach 

We libertarians have a remarkably cohesive and consistent political philosophy. We agree with one another on far more issues and basic principles than do people in political movements of the left or the right. 

That's great for our movement.

However, libertarians do sometimes disagree -- and on some extremely important issues. 

For example: 

Abortion: Most libertarians believe it's a woman's right to choose. But others believe abortion is the killing of an innocent living human being and should be illegal. 

Immigration: Some libertarians favor free immigration, believing that people should be free to travel and work wherever they want. Others favor restrictions of various kinds on immigration, citing concerns about security and abuse of resources. Some have argued that libertarian property rights theory backs up the case for restricting immigration, at least under current political conditions. 

Death penalty: Some libertarians favor this. Some oppose it. 

Foreign policy: Most libertarians believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy. But not all. Some feel there are circumstances beyond a direct threat to U.S. security that justify U.S. intervention abroad (though almost all libertarians favor a massive reduction in U.S. military and political intervention).

There are other important areas of disagreement as well. 

Libertarians also disagree about strategy. Some support a flat tax or national sales tax to replace the income tax; some do not. Some oppose participation in electoral policy; some embrace it. Some think a medical model as an alternative to the War on Drugs is a step in the right direction; others disagree. 

Please note one important thing about the above lists. They are all honest disagreements about how fundamental libertarian principles should be applied. They are not simply someone's prejudices. They are not examples of avoiding difficult issues. 

Remember these disagreements, and others like them, when you are trying to persuade liberty-minded people to fully embrace libertarianism. 

Very often, when discussing libertarianism, someone will say something like: "I agree with libertarians on just about everything. But I cannot be a libertarian because of your position on…" Then they will name an issue that is the "deal-killer" for them. 

Now, if the deal-killer issue is something like support for the War on Drugs, or opposition to tax cuts, then you've got some more persuading to do. 

But if the deal-killer is an issue that libertarians themselves disagree on, like abortion, the death penalty, immigration, abortion… or if it's a disagreement over a particular strategy that libertarians argue over among themselves… you've got a winning answer at your fingertips. 

Put aside your own beliefs on the issue for the moment. Remember, you're now speaking to your listener about the entire big-tent libertarian movement. 

Tell your listener the facts about libertarian disagreement on their deal-killer issue. Be ready to even share resources on where they can find out more about how and why many libertarians agree with them on this issue.

Say something like: "You might be surprised to learn that abortion is an issue that good, sincere, thoughtful libertarians disagree on. There are pro-life and pro-choice libertarians. So If that's the only issue keeping you from supporting libertarians, then… welcome aboard!"

Don't deny those who disagree with you on one or two issues -- issues where knowledgeable libertarians themselves disagree -- the opportunity to join the libertarian movement and work for freedom on the vast number of vital and urgent issues where you and other libertarians are in 100% agreement. 

There are plenty of places where debate on these difficult issues is constructive and, indeed, necessary. But recruitment is not one of them.

Resources you can share:

Pro-life libertarian arguments: Libertarians for Life Pro-choice libertarian arguments: Pro-Choice Libertarians

Libertarian arguments in favor of free immigration: Open Borders: The Case website

Libertarian arguments for limiting immigration: "The Case for Free Trade and Restricted Immigration," Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Summer 1998.

Pro-death penalty libertarian arguments: "The Libertarian Position on Capital Punishment" by Murray N. Rothbard, Libertarian Review, June 1978.

Anti-death penalty libertarian arguments: "Some Historical Notes on the Problem of Capital Punishment" by George H. Smith. Cato Unbound, March 14th, 2012.

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

What's Happening with the Advocates

March and April: The Advocates will be at Young Americans for Liberty's spring conventions at campuses across  the country. Check out the list of schools and join us at one near you!

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.

2013 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Secretary and long-time libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for a Freedom Cruise in May 2013 and/or January 26, 2014. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser -- at a bargain rate! Great food and fine company. Non-libertarians welcome! There's just one stateroom left for the May 2013 "Castles Along the Rhine" cruise -- so hurry if you're interested! 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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About Us

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