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Volume 16, No. 11                                                                                                                     July 12, 2011

The Liberator Online

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


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In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* Join Us at FreedomFest -- July 14-16, Las Vegas!

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* New Poll: Americans Becoming More Libertarian
* Libertarian Indie Rock Star’s New Song: “No-Knock Raids”
* Great Video Shows Value of Economic Freedom
 
THEY SAID IT: Ron Paul knows Congress.... Gary Johnson blasts the new Prohibition.... Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch of Reason magazine on why libertarianism won't bring the sky down.... Craig Ferguson on different kinds of mobsters.... Stephen Chapman says get the U.S. outta NATO.... Shocking report: libertarians aren't selfish creeps, reveals journalist Conor Friedersdorf....

PERSUASION POWER POINT #311
* Will This Pynchon Insight Make You a More Persuasive Libertarian?

 ASK DR. RUWART
* What are the best strategies and organizations for advancing liberty?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Word Choices: Are You Against the “Federal Narcotics Price Support Program?”
 
 WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates Facebook Fan Club.


President's Corner

by Sharon Harris



Join Us at FreedomFest -- July 14-16, Las Vegas!
 
Dear friends,
 
I invite you to join the Advocates – and 2,000 other freedom lovers! -- at FreedomFest, in Las Vegas, July 14-16, at the fabulous Bally’s Las Vegas hotel!
 
The Advocates for Self-Government will be there -- demonstrating our acclaimed Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) outreach booth to liberty activists. (It’ll be fun to see how FreedomFest attendees score on the Quiz!) We’ll also have a table of our celebrated outreach tools. Come by and say hello!
 
FreedomFest is an annual festival where liberty-minded people meet to celebrate “great books, great ideas, and great thinkers.” 
 
For three glorious days FreedomFest attendees from around the world will discuss, debate and celebrate philosophy, history, geo-politics, science & technology, art & literature, healthy living, music, dance, religion, you name it.
 
This year FreedomFest is expecting a record crowd of over 2,000 attendees – all there to talk, strategize, socialize, and celebrate liberty. 
 
You’ll see an astonishing line-up of speakers, debates, features, films and more!
 
Keynote speakers include:
 
* U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who will be there for two full days and will speak on “The Inside Battle Against Big Government by America’s Libertarian Senator.”
 
* Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, speaking on: “Do We Still Have a Constitution?”
 
* John Mackey, Founder & CEO, Whole Foods
 
* David Boaz, Cato Institute
 
* Nick Gillespie, editor-in-chief of Reason magazine
 
* Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason magazine

* Doug Casey, best-selling author, investor -- and longtime Advocates friend
 
* Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO, Forbes; editor-in- chief, Forbes magazine
 
Stephen Moore, editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal
 
* Lawrence W. Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
 
* Peter Schiff, CEO & Chief Global Strategist, EuroPacific Capital
 
* Mark Skousen, economist, author, professor and longtime libertarian leader
 
* Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook
 
* Michelle Bernard, MSNBC political analyst
 
….and many more!
 
And that’s just the start. There’s also:
 
* The Anthem Film Festival: a festival featuring an astounding selection of liberty-themed films.
 
* The FreedomFest exhibit hall: over 100 exhibitors ranging from freedom think tank organizations and investors information to healthy living and a bloggers row. Imagine walking into a convention center with all the free-market think tanks, freedom organizations and investors marketplace all in one location.
 
And FreedomFest will be held in fabulous surroundings: Bally's Las Vegas hotel, in one of the world's most amazing cities!
 
Learn more about FreedomFest -- and sign up -- at FreedomFest’s detailed and informative website.
 
Hope to see you there!

* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!

Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.

Learn more about libertarianism -- the philosophy of liberty.
 
-- Sharon Harris, President | Email

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris



New Poll: Americans Becoming More Libertarian
                     
An exciting new poll finds that Americans are increasingly embracing libertarian ideas.
 
Since 1993 CNN has been asking respondents the following two questions, in order to gauge American inclination towards libertarianism:
 
“Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?”
 
and:
 
“Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?”
 
Libertarian-inclined people would, of course, choose the first view in the first question and the second view in the second. While hardly a conclusive definition of libertarianism (and not nearly as precise as our World’s Smallest Political Quiz), it is a useful gauge.
 
As Jazz Shaw of the conservative site Hot Air notes:

“It is an intriguing pairing of questions which strikes right at the heart of contemporary definitions of political ideology in terms of conservatives and liberals. If you comfortably classify yourself as a conservative you are very likely to select the first answer in both questions. Liberals, on the other hand, will tend to pick the second answer in each. But… it’s the libertarians who tend to split that pair, taking the first answer to the first question and the second choice for the other one.”
 
For years, the responses to both questions had been fairly steady.
 
But the tide is turning -- and fast. The latest poll, conducted in June, found the libertarian response suddenly at an all-time high. Fully 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much ­ -- up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008. And 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values -- up from just 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008.
 
The New York Times, writing about this poll, notes: “Libertarianism has been touted as the wave of America’s political future for many years, generally with more enthusiasm than evidence. But there are some tangible signs that Americans’ attitudes are in fact moving in that direction.
 
“Whether people are as libertarian-minded in practice as they might believe themselves to be when they answer survey questions is another matter. Still, there have been visible shifts in public opinion on a number of issues, ranging from increasing tolerance for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization on the one hand, to the skepticism over stimulus packages and the health-care overhaul on the other hand, that can be interpreted as a move toward more libertarian views.”
 
This is great news for libertarian activists. Your work is paying off. Keep it up!

Libertarian Indie Rock Star’s New Song: “No-Knock Raids”
 
Toronto-based singer and songwriter Lindy is one of Canada’s most respected independent musicians.
 
He’s also a libertarian. And his libertarianism shows strongly in his new song "No Knock Raid," described by the libertarian magazine Reason as “a searing indictment of one of the most aggressive, ubiquitous, and mistaken tactics in the War on Drugs.”
 
Lindy says he was inspired to write the song by Reason magazine’s Randy Balko’s outstanding journalism on the War on Drugs.
 
“I was compelled to write a song about it,” Lindy told Cannabis Culture Magazine.

“The loss of life under this failed policy is nothing short of catastrophic both in terms of civilian and law enforcement casualties.”
 
Commenting on Lindy’s song, Peter Jaworski of Cannabis Culture Magazine noted: “Militarized police raids have become commonplace in the U.S. over the past 40 years of the War on Drugs, and the terrible costs to American families continue to mount.
 
“Police raids cost lives. Often, these are the lives of mistaken suspects, innocent bystanders, family pets, and the police themselves. 70,000 to 80,000 raids take place every year in America, with no end in sight as we mark 40 years of Nixonian Drug War violence on our calendars.”
 
You can hear Lindy’s "No Knock Raid" in a video created by Reason magazine.

WARNING: This video contains graphic and shocking images of violence from actual raids, including one that involved the shooting of a family dog in front of terrified children. Yeah, it’s your government at work. This footage also contains mature language. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
 
As an alternative, to hear Lindy singing the song on acoustic guitar, without Reason’s extraordinary but shocking video, go here.
 
Lindy -- his full name is Lindy Vopnfjord -- was taught by his father to play the guitar at age four and made his public premier at the age of five, singing a duet with his dad at the Icelandic Festival in his home town of Gimli, Manitoba.
 
Lindy’s seventh studio album is currently in production. He is also working on more political songs, with the possibility of a politically-themed EP.
 
Since 2006 Lindy has also been the lead singer and co-songwriter for the indie rock band Major Maker. In 2007 Major Maker’s song “Rollercoaster” debuted at #57 on the Canadian Billboard Hot 100 Chart and # 2 on iTunes Canada Rock Chart, while the video was added to national video outlets Much Music, MuchMoreMusic and MTV Canada.
 
Following the success of “Rollercoaster,” Major Maker released their People Carrier EP in Canada which hit # 2 on the highly influential CBC Radio 3 Top 30 Chart.

Lindy's great "No Knock Raids" song, coupled with Reason's searing video, is opening minds and hearts to the horrors of the Drug War. Share it!

Great Video Shows Value of Economic Freedom
 
Since 1996, as we’ve reported in the Liberator Online, a massive annual study entitled Economic Freedom of the World has consistently shown that there is a direct and dramatic connection between the amount of economic freedom in a society and health, education, civil liberties, clean environments, and other such good things. The study is copublished by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada and more than 70 think tanks around the world.
 
Year after year, Economic Freedom of the World convincingly shows that economic freedom is vital for protecting and expanding the well-being of society as a whole, and especially for its poorest and most vulnerable persons.
 
Now there is a great new video that makes this crucial point in clear, easy to understand language -- and in less than two and a half minutes!
 
Check out “Economic Freedom and the Quality of Life.” If you like it, share it widely. This information can change minds and save lives.

(By the way, if you think the U.S. has the freest economy in the world... this video may surprise you.)

* * * * * * * *
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 KNOWS CONGRESS: “Congress is basically filled with demagogues and power mongers.” – Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) libertarian, 12-term Representative from Texas and presidential contender, quoted in TIME magazine.

GARY JOHNSON ON THE NEW PROHIBITION: “As governor [of New Mexico], I was astonished to learn that half of what we were spending on law enforcement, courts and prisons was drug-related, and yet illegal drugs were cheaper, stronger and more available than ever. After further study, it became obvious to me that the drug war had created a lucrative black market and was enriching and empowering violent gangs and cartels. In many ways, it was like alcohol prohibition all over again, with similarly disastrous results." – Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson, “Face Reality, Legalize Pot.” CNN.

FOOLISH ASSUMPTIONS: "To assume that the hungry will starve, the naked will go unclothed, and the ignorant will remain uneducated if government spending declines as a percentage of GDP is as misguided as assuming no one would go to church absent a state religion." -- from the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch of Reason magazine.

TWO BROTHERS: "[Former mob boss and longtime federal fugitive] Whitey Bulger's brother was a politician. So one brother was operating in a world with no morals, dealing with the lowest of the low, and the other one was a mobster." -- Craig Ferguson, June 27, 2011.

GET THE U.S. OUT OF NATO: “NATO has been around more than 60 years…. Its entire purpose was to protect Western Europe from the Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces in Eastern Europe, which were a plausible threat to invade and conquer. But at this point, maintaining NATO is like keeping forts in South Dakota to defend settlers against hostile Indians.” -- syndicated columnist Stephen Chapman, “The Obsolete Alliance,” June 29, 2011.
 
GASP! LIBERTARIANS CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE: "[Y]ou're just misinformed if you think that libertarians as a whole care for nothing more than their self-interest. Countless libertarians are working to advance the freedom and fair-treatment of people other than themselves. Often they do so more consistently than some of the liberals who sneer at them." -- Conor Friedersdorf, associate editor at The Atlantic magazine, "Libertarians Aren't All Selfish Jerks," June 21, 2011, refuting the charge by some liberals that libertarians care only about themselves.

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


Persuasion
Power Point
#311

by Michael Cloud

Will This Pynchon Insight Make You a More Persuasive Libertarian?
 
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." -- Thomas Pynchon, 1973.
 
"If you can get people asking the right questions, you don't have to worry about the answers." -- Michael Cloud, 1994.
 
Are some questions really this powerful and important?
 
Are they really crucial and fundamental?
 
Yes.
 
Questions initiate and direct thinking. They focus and drive and sustain it.
 
Questions frame and limit the answers we consider and arrive at.
 
Some questions control the kinds of answers that are even possible.
 
Apply Pynchon's Insight to politics:
 
'If Big Government believers can get Americans asking the wrong political questions, they don't have to worry about their answers.'
 
How about these wrong Big Government questions they want us asking?
 
* "If we cut federal spending by 10%, how will we pay for these desperately needed programs, workers, or benefits that the 10% currently funds?"
 
* "If we cut federal spending by 15%, what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of Americans depending on that funding?"
 
* "If we end or cut federal bailouts of financially struggling states, how will they provide the roads and bridges and hospitals and firefighters and police they desperately need?"
 
* "If we repeal ObamaCare, how will we care for the 30 million Americans who will lose their health care coverage?"
 
Please note that these Big Government questions rig the discussion -- and drive us toward Big Government answers.
 
Now apply Cloud's Corollary to politics: "If libertarians can get Americans asking the right political questions, we don't have to worry about the answers."
 
How about these small-government, libertarian questions we want others asking?
 
* "Would you rather have the federal government spending $3.7 trillion, with huge deficits and high taxes like we have now -- or federal spending 10% lower, with lower deficits and lower taxes?
 
* "Which would you prefer: the federal government giving bailouts to multi-billion dollar Wall Street corporations, multi-billion dollar state governments, and foreign governments -- or eliminating all bailouts and using every dollar saved to cut federal deficits and taxes?"
 
* "Which would you choose: to totally and immediately repeal Obamacare -- with all of its costs and alleged benefits, all of its rules, regulations, mandates, spending and alleged improvements -- or keep Obamacare?"
 
* "Which would be better for more Americans: today's $3.7 trillion Big Government -- with its high spending, high deficit, and high taxes -- or a federal government 10% or 20% smaller -- with lower spending, a lower deficit, and lower taxes?"
 
Are you asking other people the right questions?
 
Which small-government, libertarian questions are you planting in the hearts and minds of others?
 
Which government-shrinking, liberty-expanding answers will grow and bloom because of the questions you ask today?

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion, available exclusively from the Advocates.
 
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.




Ask Dr. Ruwart


Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.
 
What are the best strategies and organizations for advancing liberty?

Question: What is the most effective way to support the liberty movement? A libertarian vote can backfire; I believe that votes for a Libertarian Party candidate in my state actually decreased liberty by inadvertently helping elect a governor who promised to raise taxes and then did. Are organizations such as the Advocates for Self-Government, Downsize DC and the Cato Institute more effective at increasing liberty and more worthy of our support than the Libertarian Party?

My Short Answer: You’ll get many different answers to this question, depending upon whom you ask.
 
In my opinion, we need to promote liberty from every imaginable angle, as each strategy plays into the other. Your letter offers an ironic example: each of the liberty organizations you’ve mentioned – along with many others -- were actually started by people who were first Libertarian Party members, and they also have staff who got their starts in activism with the Libertarian Party. Without the Libertarian Party, those vital libertarian organizations might not have come into existence. 

And there are many excellent arguments in favor of voting for principled Libertarian Party candidates. [Editor's note: "The Wasted Vote Myth" gathers many of those arguments, and also includes links to numerous other useful arguments on this topic.]
 
Each of us has talents and inclinations that make us more effective in one part of the liberty movement than another. For example, although I’ve run as a candidate and been a member of the governing body of the Libertarian Party, my most significant and unique contributions probably come from my writings.
 
As you try to find your place in the liberty movement, you’ll eventually feel the pull of a particular direction. One or two endeavors will probably seem like “the solution” to you.  Embrace those and make your mark in those arenas. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to convert others to your “way,” because most people have their own ideas about how best to work for liberty. All are likely to have merit.
 
The marketplace of ideas is very much like the marketplace for goods, with multiple options that complement each other. One way might ultimately be the “silver bullet,” but I’m betting that liberty will come about from a tapestry of efforts. That’s how life usually goes!
 
Learn more: Liberator Online editor James W. Harris offers some suggestions for activism anyone can do, right now, while you’re looking for your activism niche:
 
* “How Can You Begin Communicating for Liberty?” by Advocates President Sharon Harris.
 
* The World’s Easiest Outreach, Using the World’s Smallest Political Quiz by Sharon Harris. (Scroll down to the "One-Minute Liberty Tip" column.)

* Letters: See why writing letters to publications is so valuable for liberty – and learn how to do it successfully. (Scroll down to the "One-Minute Liberty Tip" column.)
 
* Lights of Liberty: The Advocates for Self-Government gives awards for letter writing, public speaking, and OPH booth activism. Win prizes for your outreach – and inspire others!
 
* Finally, become a good communicator. Whatever outreach you ultimately choose, communication will likely be at the heart of it.
 
Use the tested, proven techniques taught by the Advocates to present the freedom philosophy honestly, attractively and persuasively. You can find them in every issue of the Liberator Online, in our Communicating Liberty blog, in the books, CDs and other products at our online Liberty Store, and at our online article collections.
 
You will immediately begin having an impact -- perhaps far greater than you think. And you will begin within yourself a process of personal change and growth that will lead to your further development as an influential communicator.

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

Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.
 
Dr. Ruwart's outstanding book Healing Our World is available from the Advocates.


One-Minute Liberty Tip 

By Sharon Harris

Word Choices: Are You Against the “Federal Narcotics Price Support Program?”

Recently the constitutionalist writer William Norman Grigg mentioned his opposition to the “narcotics price support program (sometimes dishonestly called the ‘War on Drugs’).”
 
“Narcotics price support program.” What a great phrase!
 
With the right audience, at the right moment, you can have fun – and open some minds – by declaring that you “oppose the Federal Narcotics Price Support Program.”
 
“The what?” you’ll be asked.
 
“The Federal Narcotics Price Support Program. I’m sure you’re familiar with it.” Pause a moment, then add helpfully: “It’s sometimes misleadingly called the War on Drugs.”
 
From there, you can quickly explain how the War on Drugs, by creating a black market in illegal drugs, keeps the prices of illegal drugs artificially high and allows violent criminals to become wealthy by selling them.
 
Here are some variations on this idea.
 
You can state your opposition to the Federal Drug Lord Subsidy Program, or the Federal Drug Gang Subsidy Program, or the Mexican Drug Cartel Subsidy Program, and so forth.
 
You can declare your support for ending all federal subsidies to drug gangs, drug cartels, and drug lords.
 
You can refer to the War on Drugs as a “federal subsidy to organized crime.”
 
For some supporting information, here’s a short article from Reason magazine on the connection between violence, organized crime, and the War on Drugs.
 
Here’s a wonderful short article by the great Harry Browne on the same topic.

It's all summed up in this remarkable quote from former federal narcotics officer Michael Levine, who summarizes what he learned during his undercover work with Colombian cocaine cartels: "I learned that not only did they not fear our war on drugs, they counted on it to increase the market price and to weed out the smaller, inefficient drug dealers. They found U.S. interdiction efforts laughable. The only U.S. action they feared was an effective demand reduction program. On one undercover tape-recorded conversation, a top cartel chief, Jorge Roman, expressed his gratitude for the drug war, calling it 'a sham put on for the American taxpayer' that was actually 'good for business.'"

The right words can make all the difference in communicating liberty. For more word choice suggestions, see previous Liberty Minute posts. 

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


What's Happening with the Advocates

FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS: Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits to libertarian student groups FREE -- if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH -- praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement -- normally sells for $50.00.
If you're in a student libertarian group, click here for more information on getting your free OPH kit.

* * * *
 
JOIN US ON TWITTER:Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don't worry -- we won't bombard you with tweets. We're keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)
 
Joining the conversation is easy. If you don't already have a Twitter account, it only takes a few moments to sign up for one.

Then go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the "follow" button below our picture.  

That's all it takes! You'll then get our tweets -- and we can get yours.

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Have any of your Facebook friends already joined? Join yourself and find out! There's no cost, no obligation, and your privacy is fully protected. Thank you!

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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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