WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Two Outstanding Libertarian Conventions Ahead
* Ron Paul’s “Baby Boom”: The rEVOLution Is Just Beginning
* New Rasmussen Poll: Plurality Of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana
* Hilarious Video: “Government Explained”
* Libertarian Party: Stop the Bipartisan War on the Bill of Rights
THEY SAID IT:
Thomas Sowell on politics and reality... Sen. Jim DeMint on libertarian ideas... Gary Johnson on the drinking age... Jay Leno on Obama and Congress...
PERSUASION POWER POINT #325
* Replace, Not Abolish
ASK DR. RUWART
* How Could a Free Market in Health Care Bring Lower Costs?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Tips for Using the Pocket-Sized World’s Smallest Political Quiz
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* Libertarian Party National Convention, May 2-6
* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
by Sharon Harris
Two Outstanding Libertarian Conventions Ahead
The Advocates will be represented at two major upcoming libertarian events. Here’s info on them. I’ll be at the first -- hope to see you!
1. National Libertarian Party Presidential Nominating Convention, May 2-6, Las Vegas
The excitement is building as the Libertarian Party prepares to choose its presidential candidate in what some think could be its best election year ever. And there will be much more going on at this convention as well, including great speakers, training sessions and workshops, and booths from leading libertairian orginazations.
The Libertarian Party is calling this its “40th Anniversary Homecoming and Reunion,” and in keeping with this theme there will be appearances by past presidential candidates – including Ed Clark, the 1980 presidential candidate who got more votes than any other Libertarian presidential candidate so far, and Tonie Nathan, the first Libertarian vice presidential candidate and first woman in U.S. history to receive an electoral vote.
There will be a panel of elected Libertarians, tributes to outstanding activists, and more. And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s all the fun of Las Vegas itself!
The Advocates will be well-represented. I'll be speaking on effective campus outreach, libertarian communication, the Quiz, and David Nolan.
Liberator Online columnist and libertarian communication expert Michael Cloud will deliver the convention’s keynote address: “Big Government is the Disease -- and Libertarians Have the Only Cure.”
David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian presidential candidate and author of the classic short book Libertarianism In One Lesson
(published by the Advocates), will moderate the red-hot presidential candidate debate, and will present libertarianism 101 for new libertarians and guests.
Other Advocates staff, friends and Board members will be there as well.
The Advocates will also have a festive booth with daily prizes, brand-new Advocates products, and much more. Please come by and say hello -- we'd love to see you!
See a full list of speakers and events at the LP's convention page
2. Shanghai Austrian Economics Summit, July 20-23, Shanghai, China
This exciting event is sponsored by our friends at the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL), who for decades have done outstanding work for liberty around the world.
The goal of the conference is to present free-market ideas to a Chinese audience and to learn in turn what free-market economists are doing in China. There will be three groups in attendance: 1) international attendees who are interested in both free markets and China; 2) Chinese academic and research economists who are interested in free-market ideas; and 3) university students who want to learn about free-market principles that are not taught in China.
The conference features an outstanding line-up of international speakers. Dr. Mary Ruwart, Liberator Online columnist and acclaimed author, speaker and activist will deliver the opening address and later will speak on the subject of health care. Among the many other great speakers:
of the Cato Institute
Dr. Richard M. Ebeling
, leading Austrian economist
, Director of the Language of Liberty Institute
Tom G. Palmer
of the Cato Institute and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation
, author of the acclaimed libertarian novel The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey
, now published in 45 languages
Fr. Robert Sirico
of the Acton Institute
, bestselling author and FreedomFest founder
…and many, many more.
For much more on the convention, the speakers, and the amazing travel opportunities associated with the conference -- including unforgettable visits to sites like the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall of China -- visit their website
for more information.
* * *
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
Ron Paul's "Baby Boom": The rEVOLution Is Just Beginning
The Ron Paul rEVOLution is just beginning, reports
the respected and widely-read Politico website.
In an article entitled “Ron Paul’s Baby Boom,” Politico writer Alex Isenstadt notes that Ron Paul has inspired a new generation of liberty-minded activists -- including more than 200 candidates who are running Paul-influenced campaigns this year.
“Even as [Paul] winds down his career in elected office, his voice is being amplified across the country by dozens of House and Senate candidates who are seeking to carry on his legacy,” Isenstadt writes.
“Paul activists of all ages, backgrounds and levels of political experience have taken to the campaign trail this year, inspired by the Texas congressman’s presidential campaign and a libertarian-infused message that has gotten more traction with voters than ever before.”
Politico quotes one source that has found about two dozen Paul-influenced candidates running for U.S. House or Senate seats -- and another 200 or so seeking local offices. Most are Republicans. This total does not include the many hundreds of Libertarian Party candidates also running nationwide.
Politico also notes that the Internet-savvy Paul supporters are using the web to publicize and win support for Paul-influenced candidates around the country, in the same way they did for Paul himself.
In what may be a sign of things to come, Ron Paul has begun offering endorsements for some candidates. Politico reports that Paul has pledged support for two of his backers: Minnesota state Rep. Kurt Bills, who is running for Senate, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, running for Congress. More endorsements, and possible financial support, may be ahead.
Concludes the article:
“To hear those aligned with the GOP presidential candidate tell it, the proliferation of Paul-affiliated candidates underscores a simple truth: Paul, once regarded as a fringe candidate, has gone mainstream. Despite the fact that he has announced he is not running for reelection to Congress, his ideas have established him as an important figure in American politics.”
New Rasmussen Poll: Plurality of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana
A solid plurality of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized.
a nationwide Rasmussen poll of 1,000 adults, conducted March 24-25, 2012.
Fully 47% of adults answered yes to this question: “To help solve America’s fiscal problems, should the country legalize and tax marijuana?”
Forty-two percent of respondents disagreed. Ten percent were undecided.
This is just the latest indication that opponents of America’s long, idiotic and catastrophic war on marijuana are rapidly winning the support of the public.
The pro-legalization organization NORML notes
that in October 2011, a nationwide Gallup poll found fully 50 percent of Americans supported legalizing the use of marijuana for adults. Forty-six percent of respondents said they opposed the idea.
According to NORML, that Gallup survey marked the first time that the polling firm, which has tracked Americans' attitudes toward marijuana since the late 1960s, found more Americans supported legalizing marijuana than opposed it.
"For the second time in less than a year we have pollsters from a national, well-respected firm reporting that far more Americans now support legalizing marijuana than endorse maintaining criminal prohibition,” says NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre.
“It is high time for state and federal lawmakers to acknowledge this political reality and respond to the will of their constituents."
Hilarious Video: "Government Explained"
Check out this
hilarious and provocative short animated video. An inquisitive alien visits Earth to check on the progress of the human race. He gets into a conversation with the first person he meets. The alien discovers that we live under the rule of a thing called "government," and wants to understand more about what government is, what it does, and why. Needless to say, the more he learns, the more perplexed he becomes.
You’ll find yourself both laughing and shaking your head in despair as you hear the human responding to the alien’s sensible questions with the same gobbledygook nonsense we’ve heard all our lives.
This great satire was produced and voiced by Graham Wright, based on a speech by Larken Rose. The clever dialogue and animation make its nine and a half minutes fly by.
Libertarian Party: Stop the Bipartisan War on the Bill of Rights
Libertarian Party National Chair Mark Hinkle denounced
the escalating bipartisan war on fundamental Bill of Rights freedoms in a press release last week.
“Last month, the joint war on liberty by Republicans and Democrats continued, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed surprised students and faculty at Northwestern University Law School that President Obama can kill anyone in the world without charge or trial,” said Hinkle.
“This, of course, is just acceptance of the Unitary Executive Theory which President George W. Bush utilized to ignore the courts during his administration. Needless to say, both Presidents, Bush and Obama, assured us that they would be careful to only use their unlimited powers for the benefit of their subjects.
“Libertarians say this is not good enough. Until recently, most Americans believed that they could not be deprived of their life, liberty or property without due process of law. The very idea of having people judged by a jury of their peers was to limit the ability of politicians to act as if they were monarchs.
“Nowhere is this bipartisan disgrace better demonstrated than in the ongoing saga of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Bush established this camp in January 2002 so that he could claim the prisoners held there were outside US legal jurisdiction. When the Supreme Court rejected that administration’s quaint new category of people who were neither accused criminals, subject to the protections of habeas corpus, nor prisoners of war, subject to the protections of the Geneva Convention, Bush began to use military tribunals in which U.S. military officers operated as both judge and jury. As Groucho Marx once said, 'Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.'
“Conveniently, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gave Bush both the legislative cover and official acceptance of his newly-minted category of enemy combatant. At that time, most Democrats voted against this law, while in 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama called for regular civilian trials and the closing of Guantanamo. Needless to say, upon election President Obama decided instead to continue both the tribunals and the indefinite detentions at Guantanamo.
“It is far too late to talk about due process for the Guantanamo prisoners. Of the nearly 800 men and boys sent there, most were released after years of imprisonment without ever being charged, let alone convicted of anything. Eight have died in custody. A total of three have been convicted: one for making an anti-American video, one for being a chauffeur for Bin Laden, and one in a vague plea bargain in exchange for his release. Of the remaining 171 detainees, most have already been cleared for release but are still being held. And for the few still awaiting a hearing, the legacy of torture based evidence taints the entire process. Fair trials are impossible at this point.
“Let us end this farce NOW. While no single policy can ever guarantee our safety, we are far more endangered by a government which has justifiably earned the contempt of the world than we are by a few more people running free who are angry at the U.S. Releasing the innocent is far more important than accidentally keeping a few who might be guilty. Close Guantanamo and restore due process.
“Which poses a bigger threat to America? Americans whom politicians claim are a threat? Or the politicians themselves?”
The Libertarian Party is America’s third-largest political party, and describes itself as “committed to the same freedom which earned America its greatness: a free-market economy and the abundance and prosperity it brings; a dedication to civil liberties and personal freedom; and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade as prescribed by America's founders.”
To learn more, visit the party’s website
* * * * * * * *
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...
THOMAS SOWELL ON POLITICS AND REALITY:
“Some people are puzzled by the fact that so much that is said and done by politicians seems remote from reality. But reality is not what gets politicians elected. Appearances, rhetoric and emotions are what get them elected. Reality is what the voters and taxpayers are left to deal with, as a result of electing them.” -- economist and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell
, “Random Thoughts,” August 9, 2011.
REPUBLICANS NEED LIBERTARIAN IDEAS:
" A lot of the libertarian ideals that Ron Paul is talking about, like monetary policy, individual liberty, constitutionally limited government -- these things should not be alien to any Republican. … We’ve got to figure out how to trim back and devolve the role of government. If we’re going to have a Republican Party that can be the majority party, it’s going to have to be very inclusive of libertarians and a lot of the things they’re talking about. We’ve got to rethink a lot of the things we’re doing." -- Sen. Jim DeMint
R-SC) interviewed by Reason magazine, May 2012.
GARY JOHNSON: OLD ENOUGH TO FIGHT, OLD ENOUGH TO DRINK:
“If you can go to Iraq and die, or Afghanistan and die as a service man or woman at 18, and you can’t drink -- I’m sorry I don’t buy into that.” -- Gary Johnson
, former New Mexico governor who is seeking the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, quoted in The Daily Caller, April 11, 2012.
CRIMINALIZING A COMMON BEHAVIOR AMONG YOUNG VOTERS:
“The drinking age is a unique political issue that criminalizes a common behavior among voters age 18 to 21. …more than 70 percent of 18-year-olds have consumed alcohol; the figure grows to 80 percent among 19-year-olds. Voters age 18 to 21 who drink alcohol are eligible for arrest and criminal prosecution. [Libertarian Gary] Johnson’s position on the issue distinguishes him from the major party candidates.” – Steven Nelson
, “Gary Johnson: Lower the drinking age,” article in The Daily Caller, April 11, 2012.
JAY LENO ON LIBERALS VS. OBAMA:
"President Obama's popularity is starting to dwindle among well-known liberals like Matt Damon... In fact, you know the number one liberal to turn against President Obama? Mitt Romney." -- Jay Leno, April 10, 2012.
JAY LENO ON REFORMING CONGRESS:
"President Obama has signed into law a bill that bans members of Congress from insider trading. However, they are still allowed to mishandle campaign funds, cheat on their wives, and kill the occasional drifter." -- Jay Leno, April 9, 2012.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
Replace, Not Abolish
by Michael Cloud
"You libertarians want to abolish welfare," he said. "You don't care about the poor."
"You're trying to get rid of Social Security?" she challenged. "What are retirees supposed to do? Eat cat food? Live on the streets?"
"Libertarians are going to do away with Medicare?" he responded. "What about older sick people? Are they just supposed to suffer and die?"
Too many libertarians emphasize only the government programs they are going to take away. Which ones they'll remove. Which ones that people will lose. Which government programs they will be deprived of.
The emphasis is on what the programs' beneficiaries will lose.
Can you see why that feels scary to a lot of people?
Many years ago, Marshall Fritz, founder of Advocates for Self-Government, anguished over the way this looked.
"It's a false and misleading picture of what libertarians propose," he said. "But how can we simply and clearly show people what libertarianism really offers?"
Finally, he hit on the phrase "replace, not abolish" to describe what libertarians propose.
Here are some examples:
"Libertarians want to replace government welfare with private charities and private enterprise job training programs that work," he said. "We want to replace welfare checks with pay checks."
"We're trying to replace Social Security with far better paying private pensions and private retirement plans which give you a much higher retirement income."
"Libertarians want to replace Medicare with dozens of different private health care programs and choices that let you choose what's best for you."
Never take away a government safety net without offering several higher quality, more reliable, more effective, far less expensive private sector alternatives.
What private sector, voluntary alternatives are we offering -- instead of the government program?
What are we making available -- instead?
Replace. Substitute. Exchange. Trade.
Use Marshall Fritz's "replace, not abolish" technique to calm people's concerns -- and win them to libertarianism.
* * * * * * * *
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.
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.
How could a free market in health care bring lower costs?
Ask Dr. Ruwart
Some people say that without all the government regulations on health care, the price of health care would drop. Could you explain this with a little more detail please?
MY SHORT ANSWER:
Of course! Let’s use pharmaceuticals as an example.
In 1962, Congress passed the Kefauver-Harris Amendments to the Food and Drug Act, which greatly empowered the FDA. The time from the discovery of a new drug until it reaches the marketplace increased from 5 to 15 years; the cost of development increased to about $1.4 billion per new drug.
About 80% of what you pay at the pharmacy is due to the 1962 Amendments.
Any safety increases caused by this extra regulation were more than offset by the number of people who died waiting for life-saving drugs -- 4.1 million from 1962-2002.
Because of the increased cost, fewer new drugs were developed. Since it is much cheaper to take pills than to have surgery or hospitalization, the loss of these new drugs (about half of the innovations) means higher health care costs.
In other words, about 15-50% of current health care costs might have been saved without the 1962 Amendments, depending upon the assumptions that you make to calculate it. More importantly, somewhere between 4 and 16 million people died prematurely because these drugs never made it to market.
Regulations on health care providers and hospitals also drive up costs. Because the regulations are so numerous, it’s not so easy to calculate their costs. My guess would be that these regulations compromise our health, safety, and pocketbooks just as much as the 1962 Amendments.
For more detail, you may wish to read Chapters 5 and 6 of my book, Healing Our World, available from the Advocates
(2003 edition) or as a free download (1993 edition) at my website, Ruwart.com
Suggestions for further information on this topic by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:
“How Lack of Consumer Choice Drives Up Health Care Costs
” by Conn Carroll. This short blog entry from the conservative Heritage Foundation has a fascinating excerpt from a 2009 Atlantic magazine article. It points out that costs have dropped by 80% in Lasik surgery, which is not covered by insurance and where consumers shop and make informed decisions. That’s in sharp contrast to other medical services, the article points out.
* * * * * * * *
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
Tips for Using the Pocket-Sized World's Smallest Political Quiz
Do you carry pocket-sized World’s Smallest Political Quiz cards with you?
Like so many libertarians, I do. (You can order
them from the Advocates.)
As I've written before, Quiz cards are a great way to introduce libertarianism to anybody you meet. The Quiz is literally an outreach kit on a card.
Here’s an extra tip for using the cards: give the person you’re talking to more than one.
This may seem obvious, but, as Michael Cloud is fond of saying, the obvious is often the overlooked.
Just say something like this:
“Here, check out this Quiz. Here’s two: one for you, and one for a friend.”
“Here’s one Quiz card for you -- and a few more Quizzes to share with everyone in your office.”
Once people take the Quiz, they love it. And they want to talk about it. So help them start conversations -- by supplying them with enough Quizzes to share with their friends.
Even if they don't score libertarian, one of the recipients of the Quiz just might.
If appropriate, you can offer to answer any questions they or their friends might have about libertarianism and the Quiz. (You can find many common questions about the Quiz answered here
And here’s a bonus suggestion: “By the way, this Quiz is used in classrooms all across the country. If you'd like more copies for your kid’s classroom, just email or call and I'll be glad to supply them.”
(Thanks to Michael Cloud for ideas used in this column.)
* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.
What's Happening with the Advocates
LIBERTARIAN PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION, May 2-6:
Advocates President Sharon Harris will participate in a tribute to David Nolan and will be speaking on campus outreach and libertarian communication. Liberator Online columnist Michael Cloud will be the keynote speaker. The Advocates will have a great booth - come see us! (See the Presidents Corner in this issue for more information)
2013 FREEDOM CRUISES:
Advocates Board Chair and longtime libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for Freedom Cruises
in January and May 2013. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser – at a bargain rate! January 2013 itinerary: an Eastern Caribbean cruise to Grand Turk, St. Maarten, and San Juan. May 2013 itinerary: The 7 day "Castles Along the Rhine,” cruising between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, with a great opportunity to enjoy a few extra days in Europe on either end of your cruise. Non-libertarians welcome! Great food and fine company. (This isn't an Advocates event, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) For photos and more details -- or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates -- visit Freedom Cruises.
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.
* * * *
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