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Volume 19, Issue 20                              November 14, 2014
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"I would highly recommend that you learn more about the Advocates for Self-Government's views on liberty if you would like to be reminded of what America is supposed to stand for."

— Robert Ringer, bestselling author of Looking Out for #1
and Restoring the American Dream
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
"Rockin' the Vote" — with the World's Smallest Political Quiz

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
The Greatest Achievement in Human History?
New FBI Report: Savage U.S. Marijuana War Continues, Despite Majority Support for Legalization 

THEY SAID IT: Obama's ISIS war is illegal, says prominent Yale law professor.... New Congress sees eye-to-eye with Obama on all the bad things, points out The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf.... Judge Napolitano: There isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two older parties.... What's up with New Hampshire, crimes, and guns?.... Does the FBI have you in their files? Probably, says Wall Street Journal article.... Seth Meyers pokes fun at gov't hypocrisy concerning veterans....

PERSUASION POWER POINT #379 by Michael Cloud
How to Identify and Avoid Communication Landmines


WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
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President's Corner

by Sharon Harris







"Rockin' the Vote" — with the World's Smallest Political Quiz

Dear friends,

"Rockin' the vote in Chadron" was the title of a November 11 news story in the Chadron Record newspaper of Chadron, Nebraska. 

The story tells how high school teacher Craig Nobiling uses the Advocates' World's Smallest Political Quiz and other innovative tools and teaching methods in his U.S. Government classes to "help students understand the political spectrum and clarify their own political thinking."

Excerpt:  

"Using an online version of the 'World's Smallest Political Quiz,' students get a feel for where their opinions on the broadest of issues may reside.

"The Advocates for Self-Government, who created the Quiz and host it online today state, 'The Quiz political map is based on the 'Nolan Chart' created in 1970 by David F. Nolan. In 1987 Advocates Founder Marshall Fritz created the World's Smallest Political Quiz by adding ten questions to Nolan's Chart, along with other refinements.

"The site goes on to state, 'The Quiz challenges the dominant 'Left versus Right' political model. The Left versus Right model tries to categorize virtually all political opinion into either left and right. This model — still widely used today — is misleading and fatally flawed. It has no place for many millions of people who don't fit neatly into some variant of liberal or conservative, left or right. In effect, it disenfranchises the tens of millions of Americans who don't feel that 'left,' 'right,' 'liberal,' 'conservative,' etc. accurately describe their views.'"

Teacher Nobiling stresses to his students the importance of keeping up with current events, learning the views of candidates, and understanding and exploring their own political views. 

I love reading stories about dedicated and creative high school and college educators using the Advocates' World's Smallest Political Quiz in their classrooms. The acceptance of the Quiz as a valid educational tool is central to the mission of the Advocates. Among other things, the Quiz lets students know that there is more to politics than just left and right — that libertarianism is a vital and growing part of American politics. 

The Quiz is used in classrooms across the country. We've shipped over 30,000 Quizzes to teachers who've requested paper copies.

Most teachers use the online Quiz, which has been described and recommended in more than two dozen textbooks (or their online resources) published by some of the world's leading textbook companies. 

Over the years educators have told us that the Quiz is wonderful for classroom use. It brings politics alive for students, and stimulates fantastic discussions. 

Traveling around the country I've met more and more young people who, when encountering the Quiz, say: "Oh yes, I remember that from high school." 

And that's great news for libertarians! 

* * *

Educators: We are delighted to send you free Quiz cards for classroom use. Just email us about your classes and how many Quizzes you need. 
 
In Liberty,

Sharon

* * *
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. 
Become a SUPER COMMUNICATOR for the ideas of liberty!

Learn how at an entertaining and enlightening Advocates communication workshop, led by acclaimed libertarian communication expert and Advocates President Sharon Harris. 

Find out how you can get Sharon to speak at your organization. Email Sharon now, or call her at 770-386-8372.

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris





The Greatest Achievement in Human History?

Despite the best efforts of government to restrict or sometimes even outlaw free markets, free enterprise has brought us perhaps the greatest achievement in history: the largest and fastest reduction in worldwide poverty ever. 

This good news comes from economist Douglas A. Irwin's November 2 Wall Street Journal piece "The Ultimate Global Antipoverty Program."

The subhead gives the essence of the story: "Extreme poverty fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990. Credit goes to the spread of capitalism."

Writes Irwin: 

"The World Bank reported on Oct. 9 that the share of the world population living in extreme poverty had fallen to 15% in 2011 from 36% in 1990. Earlier this year, the International Labor Office reported that the number of workers in the world earning less than $1.25 a day has fallen to 375 million 2013 from 811 million in 1991. …

"The economic progress of China and India, which are home to more than 35% of the world's population, explains much of the global poverty decline. But many other countries, from Colombia to Vietnam, have enacted their own reforms. …

"Such stunning news seems to have escaped public notice, but it means something extraordinary: The past 25 years have witnessed the greatest reduction in global poverty in the history of the world."

And free enterprise deserves the credit, Irwin emphasizes: 
 
"To what should this be attributed? Official organizations noting the trend have tended to waffle, but let's be blunt: The credit goes to the spread of capitalism. Over the past few decades, developing countries have embraced economic-policy reforms that have cleared the way for private enterprise."  

In contrast, "The poorest parts of the world are precisely those that are cut off from the world of markets and commerce, often because of government policies."
 
Why haven't we heard more about this? Why isn't the world cheering? 

Says Irwin: "The reduction in world poverty has attracted little attention because it runs against the narrative pushed by those hostile to capitalism. The Michael Moores of the world portray capitalism as a degrading system in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Yet thanks to growth in the developing world, world-wide income inequality — measured across countries and individual people — is falling, not rising, as Branco Milanovic of City University of New York and other researchers have shown."

We have often said that spreading the ideas of liberty is "the great Cause that makes all other great causes possible," and that liberty is literally a life-and-death matter for the people of the world. Here is proof of that. 

Everyone working in our great Cause can take encouragement from this extraordinary leap forward — and redouble our efforts to remove the shackles of poverty and oppression from all the people of the world. 

New FBI Report: Savage U.S. Marijuana War Continues, Despite Majority Support for Re-Legalization 

A solid majority of Americans now favor re-legalizing marijuana. Many states have eased laws persecuting marijuana smokers, and four states and the District of Columbia have even re-legalized it. 

Yet governments at all levels continue to wage a costly, pointless, and ferocious war against peaceful marijuana users.

In early November the FBI released its annual Uniform Crime Report, which gives the best look at marijuana arrests and related statistics. It covers the latest year for which figures are available, 2013. 

Among the findings:  

* The good news: arrest numbers are down, slightly. In 2013, there were 693,481 arrests for marijuana charges. In 2012, there were 749,825. However, despite years of growing support for re-legalization, there were actually fewer arrests back in 1998 (682,885).

* As always, the vast majority of these arrests — a whopping 88% — were for simple possession. 

* The remaining 12% of arrests were for "sale/manufacture," a broad category that includes all cultivation offenses — even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. 

* Marijuana arrests make up 40.6% of all drug arrests, making it clear that the War on Drugs is, in reality, largely a War on Marijuana Possession.

* Nationwide, police make an average of one arrest for marijuana possession every minute.

* Nationwide, 51.9% of violent crimes and over 80% of property crimes went unsolved or did not result in arrest. Is there a connection?

* Arrests for mere possession of marijuana cost, at a minimum, roughly half a billion dollars, says NORML, using an ACLU estimate of cost-per-arrest ($750). Other estimates range to several billion dollars. 

* The effects of an arrest can be devastating, notes Paul Armentano of NORML: 

"Probation and mandatory drug testing; loss of employment; loss of child custody; removal from subsidized housing; asset forfeiture; loss of student aid; loss of voting privileges; loss of adoption rights..." and of course, for some, time behind bars.

Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, summed it up nicely: 

"Arresting even one adult for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol is inexcusable.

"Law enforcement officials should be spending their time and resources addressing serious crimes, not arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana. Every year, these statistics show hundreds of thousands of marijuana-related arrests are taking place and countless violent crimes are going unsolved. We have to wonder how many of those crimes could be solved — or prevented — if police weren't wasting their time enforcing failed marijuana prohibition laws." 
 
THEY SAID IT...

OBAMA'S ILLEGAL WAR: "The war against the Islamic State is now illegal. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 gave President Obama 60 days to gain consent from Congress and required him to end 'hostilities' within 30 days if he failed to do so. This 90-day clock expired this week." — Bruce Ackerman. professor of law and political science at Yale University, "Congress must act as Obama's war against the Islamic State hits an expiration date," Washington Post Nov. 7 2014.

MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS: "In case you didn't notice, the new Congress is likely to be closer to President Obama's views on executive power, surveillance, transparency." — post-election tweet from Atlantic.com journalist Conor Friedersdorf, Nov. 5, 2011. 

TWEEDLEDUMB AND TWEEDLEDUMBER: "The two major political parties are more alike than they are different. On the two paramount issues of our day — war and debt — they are identical. With the exception of Democratic progressives and Republican libertarians, the two parties stand for perpetual war and perpetual debt. Both stances increase the power of the government, and each invites present and future destruction." — Judge Andrew Napolitano, "More Culture Wars," syndicated column, Nov. 6, 2014. 

COINCIDENCE? "New Hampshire has among the least restrictive gun laws in the U.S. and the lowest homicide rate of any state." — tweet from the Free State Project, Nov. 11, 2014. 

YOUR FBI FILE: "Nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI's master criminal database. … Over the past years, prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates." — reporters Gary Fields and John R. Emshwiller, "For More Teens, Arrests by Police Replace School Discipline," Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2014.

VA BLUES: "It's been announced that a Union soldier who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama over 151 years after his death. Even better, he finally got an appointment at the VA hospital." — Seth Meyers, "Late Night With Seth Meyers," Nov. 6, 2014.

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

Persuasion Power Point #379

by Michael Cloud





How to Identify and Avoid Communication Landmines

Knowing what to do will make your life better.

So will knowing what not to do.

Knowing what to say will improve your conversations.

So will knowing what not to say.

Want a quick way to recognize what not to do or say?  Want a simple and direct way to identify and avoid some of the worst communication landmines?

Go to the comments and feedback sections that follow articles and blog posts on the web. Read what people have written and posted in response.

A handful of comments will provide new insights or outlooks. A few will fill in new information.

But most will show you what you should not do or say — IF you want to influence or persuade the writer or readers.

All too many insult the writer, other readers, and anyone else who doesn't agree with them.

Many make rude and sarcastic comments.

Some condemn and denounce people who have a different point of view.

Others are dripping with hate and bitterness.

Some try to taunt or antagonize those who disagree with the commenter.

Too many exhibit basic errors of logic.

Each time you read a comment or posting that irritates or annoys you, write it down.

Every time you find one that pushes your buttons or tees you off, write it down.

When you read a remark that makes you mad enough to swear, write it down.

Do this with 10 or 15 comments sections. Then look at your list. Even if your list has 20 or 30 examples, it'll have only 5 or 10 different landmines.

Write your 5 or 10 communications landmines on a filing card, tape it in plain view of your computer keyboard — and do not do them. Do not plant these landmines — and do not step on them.

The very things that irritate or anger you will usually have the same effect on others. If you stop saying and doing things that provoke or frustrate others, you will find that others are far more receptive and responsive to your libertarian ideas. 

And far more friendly and open-minded toward you.

Sometimes it's the things we don't do, the things we don't say, that make the biggest difference.
 
* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud's latest 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.

 

What's Happening with the Advocates


Upcoming workshops, speeches, and conferences
 
Nov. 15:  Advocates Chairman of the Board Jim Lark will speak at the European Students For Liberty conference, Reykjavik, Iceland.

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FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS: We're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits — a $50 value — to libertarian student groups FREE. Learn why OPH is praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement, and get your free OPH kit

WE'LL COME TO YOU: Email Sharon to find out how you can have a communication event near you. 
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