WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* You May Already Be a Lights of Liberty Winner!
* The Rebellion in Egypt
* An Internet "Kill Switch" -- in America
* Balancing the budget -- without tax increases
Jay Leno on Mubarak's Egypt.... Voters suspicious of crony capitalism.... Rand Paul says cut the military budget, too....
PERSUASION POWER POINT #303
* How to Guarantee That You Get Your Main Point Across by Michael Cloud
ASK DR. RUWART
* Motorcycle helmets: Is it a matter of personal liberty?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Arguing Against "Dollars for Dictators"
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates Facebook Fan Club.
by Sharon Harris, Advocates President
Lights of Liberty: Enter the 2010 Awards
It's LIGHTS OF LIBERTY Awards time -- and you may already be a winner!
You -- or someone you know -- may be qualified to receive very special recognition for activism for liberty done last year. But you'll need to let us know right away: the deadline is February 22, 2011.
The Advocates for Self-Government wants to acknowledge and reward libertarian activists like you for the hard work you do to make the world a freer place.
Lights of Liberty is an Advocates program that honors libertarians who engage in vital and specific outreach activities -- activities that build a strong grassroots movement. Our Lights of Liberty Awards program is designed to give much-deserved recognition to activists -- and to encourage more libertarians to participate in such outreach.
This year we're doing things a little differently. You qualify for a Lights of Liberty Award if you've done THREE of any combination of the following activities in 2010:
Had a letter mentioning the word "libertarian" printed in a newspaper or magazine;
Participated for two hours or more in one day at an Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) booth;
Delivered a speech using the word "libertarian" to a non-libertarian audience.
If you did ANY COMBINATION of three of these activities between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, congratulations -- you're a winner!
(What do we mean by "any combination of three of these activities?" If you did three OPH days, you're a winner. If you did one OPH, had one letter published, and did one speech, you're a winner. If you did two OPHs and did one speech, you're a winner.)
As a Lights of Liberty winner you will get:
a handsome Lights of Liberty congratulatory certificate, suitable for framing;
your name added to the Lights of Liberty Honor Roll on our website;
a coupon worth 20% off your next order from our store of books, tapes, and other libertarian items;
your name entered into a drawing for great libertarian prizes!
PLEASE NOTE: EVERY ACTIVITY YOU SUBMIT AUTOMATICALLY ENTERS YOU IN A DRAWING FOR OTHER GREAT PRIZES: Every time you submit a qualifying activity, you're automatically entered in a drawing to win great prizes like classic liberty books, cutting edge outreach tools, and exclusive Advocates products.
The more you did, the better your chance to win.
WHY SHOULD YOU ENTER?
Of course, we know you didn't do these activities to win awards. But your letter, or speech, or OPH outreach shift brought the message of liberty to hundreds -- perhaps thousands! -- of people. That kind of outreach work is crucial to building a movement for liberty. We want to see more of it.
More importantly: Every Lights of Liberty winner is an inspiration to others. Your name on the list will inspire others to follow your example and do more of these kinds of valuable outreach activities. Telling others that they are qualified for this award lets them know that their work is greatly appreciated. And isn't that the most important prize of all?
CAN YOU ENTER SOMEONE ELSE?
Yes. If you know of someone who has done these activities, and you can verify it, please enter them. For instance, if you have done three OPH booths and you know some people who helped with the OPH booth for that same period, you can enter their names at our Lights of Liberty entry page. Help us reward vital grassroots activism for liberty!
HOW TO ENTER:
Go to our special Lights of Liberty entry page
and tell us about your activism. It's fast and easy!
or call toll-free 800-932-1776.
So get started! Nominate yourself (or someone else) at: www.LibertarianAwards.com
The deadline for entry for 2010 awards is Tuesday, February 22, 2011, so please enter today.
your participation in these awards will encourage many others to engage in great outreach activity in 2011 and beyond!
Thank you for your work for the great Cause of Liberty!
* * *
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
by James W. Harris
The Revolt in Egypt
1. The U.S. funds dictators:
The dictators Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia were both heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. Worse, they are not isolated cases. For decades the United States has doled out billions of dollars to many of the worst dictators and authoritarian regimes in the world -- tyrannical states that deny basic civil liberties and torture their citizens.
Most Americans are unaware of this. The following sources offer information and arguments that can help you persuade others to oppose this policy.
1. "America's Other Most Embarrassing Allies"
by Joshua E. Keating, Foreign Policy magazine.
"Here are eight more alliances that could prove embarrassing..."
2."What other dictators does the U.S. support?"
by Justin Elliott, Salon.com.
"As Egyptian pro-democracy protests rage on, media attention has suddenly focused on the U.S. alliance with the country's authoritarian rulers..."
3. "Our 30-Year Mistake"
by U.S. Congressman Ron Paul. In this short column Paul argues that much of the troubles in Egypt are due to U.S. intervention in the area, and the best policy for the U.S. is hands-off.
Excerpt: "We see now the folly of our interventionist foreign policy: not only has that stability fallen to pieces with the current unrest, but the years of propping up the corrupt regime in Egypt has led the people to increase their resentment of both America and Israel..."
An "Internet Kill Switch" -- in America
Americans were shocked when the Egyptian government abruptly cut off Internet service to its people in the midst of the anti-government demonstrations.
That couldn't happen here, could it? Not so fast. On the very same day that the Egyptian dictatorship shut down the Internet, a bill to give the U.S. government what some have called an "Internet Kill Switch" was reintroduced in Congress. The bill enjoys substantial bipartisan support.
Last June, defending this bill, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said
"Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too."
Learn more at these sites:
1."Internet 'kill switch' bill will return"
by Declan McCullagh, CNET news. This short article describes the bill and explains why it is such a wretched idea.
"A controversial bill handing President Obama power over privately owned computer systems during a 'national cyberemergency,' and prohibiting any review by the court system, will return this year."
2."Senators decry link between Egypt, 'kill switch' bill"
by Declan McCullagh, CNET news. Senators say their Internet kill switch bill isn't really an Internet kill switch... but it sure sounds like one.
"It also includes controversial new language--which did not appear in the initial version introduced last summer--saying that the federal government's designation of vital Internet or other computer systems 'shall not be subject to judicial review.'"
3.Kill the "Kill Switch" Bill
: Downsize DC, an organization that favors limited government, explains the dangers of this bill and offers citizens a chance to speak out against this proposal.
"[G]iving the President this power is extremely dangerous and won't protect us from cybersecurity attacks."
Cutting the Budget -- Without Raising Taxes
1. John Stossel balances the budget:
In his column "I Can Balance the Budget"
the renowned libertarian journalist makes it look downright easy, with specific, common-sense (but politically difficult) cuts.
"As the bureaucrats complain about proposals to make tiny cuts, it's good to remember that disciplined government could make cuts that get us to a surplus in one year. But even a timid Congress could make swift progress if it wanted to. If it just froze spending at today's levels, it would almost balance the budget by 2017. If spending were limited to 1 percent growth each year, the budget would balanced in 2019. And if the crowd in Washington would limit spending growth to about 2 percent a year, the red ink would almost disappear in 10 years. ... As you see, the budget can be cut. Only politics stand in the way."
2. Rand Paul proposes major tax cuts:
While other GOPers talk about cutting the budget but refuse to come up with specifics, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has hit the floor running with a bill that would make immediate and large cuts in federal spending
Paul's bill would target $500 billion in cuts for fiscal 2011 alone. Among the highlights: Eliminating most Department of Education spending; ending funding for the Department of Energy; eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development; cutting one-fourth of the Department of Health and Human Service's budget; small but significant cuts in the Department of Defense; cutting the Department of Homeland Security almost in half; ending foreign aid.
You can see a brief summary of the cuts at Talking Points Memo
You can read the details
of Sen. Paul's cuts in this 37-page document.
You can read the actual bill here
(Thanks to Reason.com for information.)
Further, Paul is working on separate legislation that would address the towering problems of Medicare and Social Security.
* * * * * * * *
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...
* JAY LENO ON MUBARAK:
"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told ABC news that he would like to step down from power immediately, but if he did, it could cause chaos in his country. Well, you would hate to see that happen."
-- Jay Leno, Feb. 7, 2011.
* AMERICANS SUSPICIOUS OF CRONY CAPITALISM:
"68% of likely U.S. voters believe that government and big business already work together against the interests of consumers and investors. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows that only 13% disagree with this assessment, while 18% are not sure." -- Rasmussen Reports poll
, February 07, 2011.
"The American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and the American Sugar Alliance all recently expressed delight that Kansas GOP Senator Pat Roberts will be the new Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee." -- FarmPolicy.com, as quoted
by the Cato Institute.
* RAND PAUL SAYS CUT MILITARY SPENDING, TOO:
"Since 2001, military expenditure has increased by nearly 120 percent; when you subtract the cost of the two conflicts we are currently fighting that still puts military spending at a 67 percent increase. National defense remains the
nation's No. 1 priority. However, the levels of defense spending are no longer justifiable to securing our country,
especially given that our defense spending has surpassed the defense budgets of all other countries combined." -- from Senator Rand Paul's summary
(pdf) of his proposed $500 budget cut.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
PERSUASION POWER POINT #303
How to Guarantee That You Get Your Main Point Across
by Michael Cloud
Begin with your main point. Immediately.
Say it first. Write it first.
Because people remember what they see or hear first.
Try a simple experiment.
Do you recall the first line of A Tale of Two Cities? "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
How about the opening line of The Fountainhead
? "Howard Roark laughed."
Remember the first line of Atlas Shrugged
? "Who is John Galt?"
Easy, isn't it?
But can you remember the last sentence of each book?
What's the last line of A Tale of Two Cities?
The last line of The Fountainhead?
The last line of Atlas Shrugged?
(Try to remember the last lines. Check your answers against the correct ones at the bottom of this column.)
"80% of those who begin reading an advertisement stop reading after the first 50 words," noted legendary advertising wizard David Ogilvy. "Five times as many people read the headline as read the text."
"Book agents and editors often decide whether to dismiss or reject a manuscript in the first five sentences," wrote literary agent Noah Lukeman.
"A beginning makes or breaks a piece of writing," said Bill Stott in Write to the Point.
Most people will only read the first 50 words of your writing. Most will only give full attention to the first 50 words you say.
Make your main point first. During your first 50 words.
Whether they decide to tune you out and move on -- or keep listening or reading because of what you said --
they will remember what you said or wrote first.
If you want to guarantee that you get your main point across, say it or write it first.
* * *
The last sentence in A Tale of Two Cities: "'It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.'"
The last sentence in The Fountainhead: "Then there was only the ocean and the sky and the figure of Howard Roark."
The last sentence in Atlas Shrugged: "He raised his hand and over the desolate earth he traced in space the sign of the dollar."
* * * * * * * *
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.
Motorcycle helmets: Is it a matter of personal liberty?
In a discussion with a friend I argued that I should have the right to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. The choice should be mine, and so should the responsibility for any harm I might suffer. He responded that it was not my responsibility alone: should I suffer an injury and end up in the hospital in a coma because of not wearing a helmet, it would cost taxpayers. What's the answer to this?
My Short Answer:
Once people are taxed to provide health care for others, they understandably feel entitled to dictate how others should live. In a libertarian society, you could ride without a helmet, but the taxpayer wouldn't pick up your hospital bill. Freedom comes with responsibility.
Ironically, some studies suggest
that when states mandate safety features, such as seat belts or air bags, more accidental deaths occur, especially in the pedestrian category. Evidently, being forced to use safety equipments gives a false sense of security, resulting in more accidents and deaths of innocent bystanders. The cost of regulation is high too, probably much higher than the savings in hospital costs, regardless of who is paying.
Most of us don't see the unintended consequences of regulation and the actual costs, both monetary and personal. That's why my book, "Healing Our World," cites hundreds of studies that do just that. You can download the 1992 version free at www.ruwart.com
or purchase the greatly expanded 2003 version
from The Advocates.
* * *
suggested additional reading on this topic from the Liberator Online editor:
* "The Case Against Motorcycle Helmet Laws: This Is Not A Public Health Issue
" by libertarian syndicated columnist Steve Chapman. Great column on the issue of risks, responsibility, and freedom.
"[It is] hard to see why we single out motorcyclists for the sin of saddling everyone with higher health care costs. Plenty of patients suffer from self-inflicted ailments -- lung cancer from smoking, liver damage from drinking, diabetes from eating unhealthy foods, AIDS from unprotected sex. Yet we don't ban these activities.
"Why not? Because we retain a respect for individual freedom and choice -- even in matters of life and death, even when individual choices have collective costs."
* * * * * * * *
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
Arguing Against "Dollars for Dictators"
By Sharon Harris
As the Egyptian demonstrations seized the attention of the world, many Americans have been startled to learn that that the U.S. subsidizes the tyrannical Mubarik regime with over a billion dollars per year.
Further, as we point out in this issue's Intellectual Ammunition column, the U.S. supports numerous other tyrannical regimes around the world.
No doubt most Americans wouldn't choose to give a dime to these tyrants. Yet the federal government hands our tax dollars to them.
Here are three phrases that are useful in this debate.
Instead of saying something colorless, like "we should stop subsidies to authoritarian regimes," try calling for an end to "dollars for dictators" or "Aid to Dependent Dictators," or "welfare for warlords."
These are not just humorous, they are strong, catchy, persuasive and liable to stick in your listeners' minds.
Back these phrases up by using some concrete examples of the worst regimes that receive U.S. support. (See Intellectual Ammunition in this issue.)
Ask your listeners or audience if they would willingly give money to repressive regimes that torture citizens and suppress civil liberties. Most will say no.
Point out that America was founded in revolt against a British king, but now our government is funding tyrants that make King George look like Saint Francis of Assisi.
The Egyptian demonstrations make this an especially good time to win support for ending subsidies to despots and embracing a foreign policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations.
* * * * * *
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
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If you're in a student libertarian group, contact us today via email
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