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Volume 20, Issue 12                              March 26, 2015
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"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."

— Tonie Nathan, first Libertarian Party candidate for vice-president (1972), and first woman in American history to receive an Electoral College vote

WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
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"We ran out of pens!" 

ACTIVIST AMMUNITION
Libertarians Cheer New "Surveillance State Repeal Act"
Obama Is Wrong: Marijuana Re-Legalization Is No Joke

THEY SAID IT: Julie Borowski wonders if conscripting millions of uninformed voters is really the best solution to America's woes.... Priorities: Gov't says there's not enough money and time to test 400,000 rape kits, but there's plenty of both to arrest and jail harmless pot smokers and others who commit victimless crimes, notes Libertarian Girl.... GOP chairman: Creating the TSA was a big mistake and it should be dismantled.... Columnist Jacob Sullum on the insanity of American military spending.... Businessman and Advocates Board member Chris Rufer on why the Export-Import Bank is a rip-off that needs to be dismantled.... 

PERSUASION POWER POINT #385 by Michael Cloud
The "Massive Action" Trap

LIBERTY MINUTE
Two Phrases That Unmask Crony Capitalism and Corporate Welfare

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
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President's Corner

by Sharon Harris







"We ran out of pens!" 

Dear friend,

Congratulations, University of Wyoming! You now have an official Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter, thanks to campus activist Ocean Dylan Andrew — and a little help from the Advocates' OPH (Operation Politically Homeless). 

Ocean had wanted to start a campus YAL chapter for a long time. When a change in university policy allowed him to table for recruitment, he jumped into action. 

"I decided the Operation Politically Homeless kit from The Advocates for Self-Government would be best for recruiting," Ocean wrote at YAL's home page. 

(Ocean got his OPH kit FREE from the Advocates — as more than 1,000 student organizations have done. Learn more about this here.)

Things were a bit slow at the booth at first. But then... OPH began working its magic. 

"After one person decided to take [the Quiz], I soon was lacking enough pens for everyone to take it at once!" 

The results: "We now have enough people to become official as soon as we find a faculty advisor!"

Congratulations, Ocean.

OPH is a fantastic way to turn an ordinary, dull outreach table into a crowd-drawing fun event. From the very first time the Advocates introduced OPH, some 25 years ago, users have told us over and over again that OPH brings their outreach booth and tabling efforts alive. 

OPH makes it easy and fun to discover libertarian-leaning individuals and sign up new members, supporters and activists. OPH utilizes the crowd-drawing and mind-opening power of the World's Smallest Political Quiz and eye-catching graphics. OPH makes your booth the most active, the most talked about, the most fascinating, at any event. And it's fun and easy to do — a great outreach event for newcomers and veteran activists alike. 

As I mentioned, in the past few years the Advocates has given — completely free of charge â€” over 1,000 OPH booth kits to libertarian campus organizations across America. These kits have reached tens of thousands of students with the ideas of liberty, and they will continue to do so for years to come. 

Student groups: Learn more about OPH — and how you can get your FREE OPH kit — if you haven't already — here

Non-student libertarian groups: Learn how to get an inexpensive, crowd-drawing OPH kit for your organization. 

Spring is here! It's the perfect time for libertarian groups — student and non-student alike — to use OPH to discover new libertarian-leaning folks and invite them to join our movement for liberty that is changing the world. 

In Liberty,
 
Sharon
 
NEXT ISSUE: "Ask Dr. Ruwart"... and more!
 
* * *
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 â€” the philosophy of liberty. 

Activist Ammunition

by James W. Harris





Libertarians Cheer New "Surveillance State Repeal Act"

Two congressmen have introduced bold bipartisan legislation that will fully repeal the police-state 2001 U.S. PATRIOT Act and substantially roll back the U.S. surveillance state that has metastasized in recent years. 

The Surveillance State Repeal Act (H.R. 1466) was introduced on March 24 by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), and it offers a great opportunity for Americans to restore lost liberty and privacy in one swoop. 

"The warrantless collection of millions of personal communications from innocent Americans is a direct violation of our constitutional right to privacy," said Rep. Pocan. "Revelations about the NSA's programs reveal the extraordinary extent to which the program has invaded Americans' privacy. 

"I reject the notion that we must sacrifice liberty for security — we can live in a secure nation which also upholds a strong commitment to civil liberties. This legislation ends the NSA's dragnet surveillance practices, while putting provisions in place to protect the privacy of American citizens through real and lasting change."

"The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have led to a dramatic expansion of our domestic surveillance state," said Rep. Massie. "Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans."

Libertarians and other defenders of civil liberties have cheered the bill. 

The Surveillance State Repeal Act will:

1. Repeal the 2001 U.S. PATRIOT Act, which among other things contains the telephone metadata harvesting provision by which the NSA has justified collecting phone information on millions of Americans.

2. Repeal the FISA Amendments Act (which contains the email harvesting provision), with the exception of the provisions regarding FISA court reporting and WMD intelligence collection.

3. Protect whistleblowers: Make retaliation against federal national security whistleblowers illegal and provide for the termination of individuals who engage in such retaliation.

4. Ensure that any FISA collection against a U.S. Person takes place only pursuant to a valid warrant based on probable cause (which was the original FISA standard from 1978 to 2001).

5. Retain the ability for government surveillance capabilities to be targeted against a specific natural person, regardless of the type of communications method(s) or device(s) being used by the subject of the surveillance.

6. Retain provisions in current law dealing with the acquisition of intelligence information involving weapons of mass destruction from entities not composed primarily of U.S. Persons.

7. Prohibit the government from mandating that electronic device or software manufacturers build in so-called "back doors" to allow the government to bypass encryption or other privacy technology built into said hardware and/or software.

8. Increase the terms of judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) from seven to ten years and allows their reappointment.

9. Mandate that the FISC utilize technologically competent Special Masters (technical and legal experts) to help determine the veracity of government claims about privacy, minimization and collection capabilities employed by the U.S. government in FISA applications.

10. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law, including responding to Member requests for investigations and whistleblower complaints of wrongdoing.

11. Explicitly ban the use of Executive Order 12333 as a way of collecting bulk data, which pertains to the collection and storage of communications by U.S. Persons.

Make no mistake: The bill faces an uphill battle in Congress. FreedomWorks chair Matt Kibbe called upon its 6.9 million members to fight for the bill, and created a web page where supporters of the bill can easily email this message to their representatives. 

Libertarian Party chair Nicholas Sarwark called on all Americans who love liberty to create a grassroots campaign to support the Surveillance State Repeal Act, to contact their congressmen and women and urge them to support H.R. 1466, and to spread this message through social media and whatever other means possible.

In fact, Sarwick's only complaint was that the bill, sweeping though it is, doesn't go far enough. 

"The Libertarian Party would like to see all aspects of government mass surveillance ended, including complete elimination of the secret FISA court whose work issuing warrants for terrorist and criminal suspects can be easily assumed by existing federal courts," said Sarwark. "But this bill is a good first step."

Obama Is Wrong: Marijuana Re-Legalization Is No Joke

"Every so often, President Obama is confronted with young Americans who favor legalizing marijuana," notes Conor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic magazine, in an enlightening short article entitled "Obama's Critique of Young People Who Want Legal Marijuana."

"He typically treats their enthusiasm for the issue as a joke, despite the fact that he almost certainly wouldn't be a successful politician today if he'd been arrested and convicted for smoking marijuana ... in his youth."

Friedersdorf points to the latest example of our ex-pot-smoking Drug-Warrior-in-Chief doing this: an interview Obama did in mid-March with VICE News founder Shane Smith. When Smith told Obama that marijuana re-legalization was the number one issue online readers said they wanted addressed, Obama's reply was again condescending: 

"It shouldn't be young people's biggest priority," the President said. "Let's put it in perspective. Young people, I understand this is important to you. But you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace. Maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana."

Wrong, says Friedersdorf. He reverses Obama's argument: 

"The young people to whom Obama addressed himself would be fully justified in reversing the criticism: 'Given challenges like climate change, an uncertain economy, joblessness, and war, how can you justify spending perhaps $160 billion over the course of your tenure on marijuana prohibition? Isn't it the federal government, not us young people, that has irrationally prioritized marijuana policy? We're fighting for a more rational allotment of resources, where government funds are directed away from weed and toward challenges you listed as more pressing.'"

Further, Friedersdorf points out, young people may not have settled opinions, agreement, and effective political strategies for action on the problems Obama lists. But on the re-legalization issue, they are already in agreement and having major success, winning re-legalization battles in several states and winning public opinion. Plus the solution is straightforward and the benefits tremendous. And, he notes, "If they mobilize, they have a realistic chance of ending prohibition in the next decade [and] that would meaningfully enrich the lives of many millions of people here and abroad." 

So why shouldn't young people press forward on this issue? Is it sensible to wait for the climate debate to be settled and solved, war to be halted and world peace achieved, and jobs and prosperity to be available to all — before dealing with the far simpler-to-solve issue of marijuana re-legalization? 

Conor Friedersdorf's excellent short article has much more of interest on this, and includes a link to the full VICE News interview with President Obama.

* * * 

Activist 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...

OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM: "Obama suggests voting should be made mandatory. Yeah, the problem with this country is that not enough uninformed people are voting." — tweet from libertarian commentator Julie Borowski, March 19, 2015. 

GOV'T PRIORITIES: "There are 400,000 untested rape kits across the U.S. The excuses are 'they're expensive' and 'there's no time.' Governments sure do seem to have the time and money to arrest, prosecute, and jail non-violent drug offenders and [those who commit] other victimless crimes..." — tweet from Libertarian Girl (aka Marianne Copenhaver), March 16, 2015. 

DISMANTLE THE TSA, SAYS GOP CHAIRMAN: "I believe we made a big mistake in 2002 or 2003 when we set up the TSA. The Transportation committee... had experts from the British, the Germans, the Israelis all come testify before the committee and overwhelmingly they told us: Don't set up a federal [agency]." — House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) in a March 18 briefing. Shuster suggested that airport security — currently provided by the hated TSA (Transportation Security Administration), now metastasized to over 50,000 employees — be turned over to the private sector, with federal oversight. Quoted in The Hill, "GOP chairman: TSA was a 'big mistake'," March 18, 2015. 

ONE BEGINS TO SUSPECT... "According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States, with less than 5 percent of the world's population, accounts for nearly two-fifths of global military spending. It allocates more money to the military than the next eight biggest spenders combined. The United States is a large country with peaceful neighbors. Yet it spends more than $2,000 per capita on defense — as much as Israel, a tiny country beset by enemies, and more than twice as much as European countries such as the U.K., France and Germany. One begins to suspect that our so-called defense budget is spent on a lot of things that have little or nothing to do with defense." — syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum, "The Squeal of the War Hogs: Why Do Lindsey Graham and John McCain Think Half a Trillion Dollars Is Not Enough To Defend the Country?", March 18, 2015. 

STOP THE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK RIP-OFF: "[T]he federally run Export-Import Bank... is a case study in corporate welfare. Founded during the New Deal, its mission is to 'support jobs in the United States by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.' In practice, it offers taxpayer-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to private companies. When a company profits from the bank's support, it pockets the money. If it defaults, taxpayers' pockets get picked. ... In 2013, roughly 93 percent of the bank's loan guarantees by value benefited only five companies — including Caterpillar, General Electric and other multinational corporations with hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in annual profits... In 2012, 83 percent benefited a single company: Boeing. ... The Export-Import Bank's charter expires at the end of June and businesses and lobbyists are lining up to persuade Congress to reauthorize it." — Chris Rufer, founder of The Morning Star Company and Advocates Board member, "End This Corporate Welfare," New York Times, March 23, 2015. 
 
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"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.

Persuasion Power Point #385

by Michael Cloud






The "Massive Action" Trap

What's the WORST piece of advice that many motivational gurus and personal coaches give to under-performing business and sales people?

"If you're not getting the results you want, double your rate of failure. Or triple the number of prospects you call on," many urge. "Massive action is the royal road to success," say success gurus from Tony Robbins on down.

Does doubling your rate of failure improve your skill? No.

Does tripling your rate of failure inspire and motivate you? No. 

Does massive wrong action deliver better results? No.

Massive unskilled action will wear you out. Will demoralize you. Will drive you out of sales or public speaking or persuasion.

If you're not getting the sales or speaking or persuasion results you want, watch YouTube videos by those performers who ARE getting it done.

Or read how-to books by those who regularly get 2 or 3 or 10 times the results you do:

Influence by Robert Cialdini.

The Magic of Rapport by Jerry Richardson.

Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion by Michael Cloud.

Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion by Michael Cloud

Try out what they teach you. Are you getting better results than you did with your old approach? If so, practice it, use it, and profit from it.

Massive action will burn you out.

Skilled, knowledgeable action will energize you — and win dozens and dozens more people to liberty.
 
*  *  *
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.
 

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

by Sharon Harris




Two Phrases That Unmask Crony Capitalism and Corporate Welfare

Chris Rufer is founder of The Morning Star Company, which employs approximately 2,500 people in food processing and agribusiness. He's also an Advocates Board member.

Last week Chris had an excellent opinion piece published in the New York Times, explaining why the federally run Export-Import Bank is a rip-off and boondoggle that should be shut down. 

The article is entitled "End This Corporate Welfare." There's a brief excerpt from it in this issue's They Said It column, and you can read the full article here

Chris does a great job of making this seemingly obscure and esoteric issue clear, interesting and important to the average reader. 

One phrase in particular jumped out at me. Describing how corporate welfare works, Chris writes: "It's private gain at the expense of public pain."

That's a great phrase! I love the populist feel of it, and how it makes the injustice of such things as the Export-Import Bank instantly clear. "Private gain at the expense of public pain" can be used to describe all kinds of corporate welfare and crony capitalism boondoggles: professional sports subsidies, licensing laws that protect politically connected businesses from competition, taxes on imported goods... and many more. 

I also like another phrase Chris used. He notes that the Import-Export Bank gives huge private businesses taxpayer-backed loans, guarantees and insurance. 

The results: "When a company profits from the bank's support, it pockets the money. If it defaults, taxpayers' pockets get picked."

That, too, is a clever and catchy way to describe the essential unfairness of corporate welfare, how it protects politically connected companies from the risks and consequences of their actions — at the expense of the rest of us.  

Consider adding these two phrases to your liberty communication vocabulary.

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

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