Volume 17, No. 8                                                                                                              May 16, 2012

The Liberator Online

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

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WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

* Great New Book on Libertarian Communication

* Libertarian Party Ticket Hits the Ground Running
* TIME: Ron Paul Is One of the World's Most Influential People
* Mother's Day: Moms United to End the War on Drugs
* NPR: Libertarianism Becoming "More Mainstream"
THEY SAID IT: Alexander McCobin on the most libertarian generation... Peter Berger on President O-Bomber... Bill Maher on Obama's non-victory... Bob Barr on keeping Gary Johnson out of the debates... Jay Leno on our obese government...

* Government Works Perfectly

* What do libertarians think about labor unions?

* Separation of Marriage and State

* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris

Great New Book on Libertarian Communication
Dear friend,
I am excited to announce that the Advocates has just published Michael Cloud’s brand-new book on successful libertarian communication: Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion
His earlier book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion won great praise from readers. 
This new book is not a sequel. It brings new insights, new techniques, new thought-provoking ideas on spreading the ideas of liberty. 
Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is must reading for anyone interested in convincing their friends, family, neighbors and the public to consider, evaluate and embrace libertarian ideas. 
You can learn more about this great book – and get your copy today -- at our Liberty Store.
To get a flavor for the book, check out this unsolicited video review by Michael Pickens, Northern Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of California. Pickens purchased Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion at the Libertarian National Convention, and was so impressed by some of the insights he encountered in the very first chapter that he wanted to share his thoughts via video.
Says Pickens: “Michael Cloud’s books are a must-read for every libertarian who is serious about being a libertarian.” 
This presidential year is perhaps the best time in history to bring libertarian ideas to the public. Many millions of people have encountered libertarianism through Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party campaign is already stirring interest. Libertarian organizations of all types, including the Advocates, are working hard to reach and educate millions more. 
The public has never been so receptive to our ideas. Be ready to open their hearts and minds so that they, too, will join today’s fast-growing freedom movement!
The Advocates exists to help you do this in the most effective ways possible. This newsletter offers proven outreach methods every issue. Our online store contains many other unique tools and aids for spreading the good news of libertarianism.
And now Michael Cloud’s Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion offers you a treasury of wisdom from a legendary libertarian communication pioneer. 
Check it out!

* * *
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

Libertarian Party Ticket Hits the Ground Running

The Libertarian Party's brand-new presidential ticket of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for president and Judge James P. Gray for vice president is already causing stirs. 

The 2012 Libertarian ticket is the party's most credentialed and politically experienced ever. And though the campaign has just begun, national polls show Johnson already polling at 6 and 9 percent nationally. Fifteen percent would get Johnson into the televised debates, according to rules set by the Republicrat-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates. Such exposure, in turn, could win still more support. 

Recent surveys also show strong support among voters for a third party. For example, a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in mid-January 2012 found that over two-thirds of Americans would consider voting for a third-party presidential candidate who is closer to their views than the Demopublican candidates. 

Johnson feels his socially tolerant, fiscally conservative positions are closer to the views of millions of Americans than the positions of the candidates of the two older parties. As he said at the LP convention, "Position-wise, I'm representative of the majority of Americans' views."

Perhaps most significantly, the candidates of both Establishment parties (except, of course, Ron Paul) have been widely criticized for being weak on civil liberties and free enterprise -- positions the LP candidates are extremely strong on. 

For example, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) gave Johnson a higher score than President Obama or any of the Republican candidates in its 2012 Candidate Report Card on Civil Liberties [PDF].

And on economic liberty Johnson's record as governor is unmatched by any candidate (again, except for Ron Paul). He used his veto pen more than 750 times to forestall attempts to grow government and put an end to wasteful government projects. He cut taxes 14 times while maintaining New Mexico as one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. The state boasted a $1 billion budget surplus when Mr. Johnson left office in 2003. He is also a highly successful businessman. 

Accepting the Libertarian nomination earlier this month, Johnson quickly set the tone for a campaign that promises to contrast bold libertarian positions with the failed and oppressive statist policies of the two older parties.

"Millions of Americans want and deserve the opportunity to vote for a candidate in November who will get us out of the war in Afghanistan immediately, truly cut federal spending, end the failed War on Drugs, repeal the Patriot Act, and support marriage equality," declared Johnson. "I am excited to offer that option: A proven fiscal conservative, a proven defender of civil liberties, and an advocate for social tolerance."

On the personal side, Johnson's remarkable athletic achievements may interest many voters. An avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist, he has reached the highest peak on four of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest. He has competed in Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon Championship several times, and competed in other endurance contests. 

Libertarian candidate for vice president Judge James P. Gray of California brings a similar credibility. 

He is a nationally-known anti-Drug War activist, and is the chief proponent of a California ballot initiative called "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine" that, if passed, would decriminalize cannabis consumption and production.

Gray has been active in the Libertarian Party for several decades and was the 2004 Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in California. 

"I am proud. I am invigorated. I am excited. With Gov. Gary Johnson, I am determined to bring back prosperity and liberty to the United States of America," Judge Gray said upon nomination. 

Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle summed up the excitement among party supporters: "The major parties offer Americans only one solution: Bigger government. Libertarians will show voters how we can make government small while dramatically increasing jobs, lowering taxes, and scaling back government debt."

The Libertarian Party calls for ending government interference in personal, family and business decisions, much lower government spending, repeal of dangerous and unnecessary regulations, lower taxes, a currency free of government manipulation, free trade, and a peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy.

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party -- active in all 50 states and with more than 250,000 registered voters. 

Millions of Americans have voted for Libertarian Party candidates in past elections throughout the country -- despite the fact that many state governments place roadblocks in order to keep third party candidates off the ballot and deprive voters of a real choice.

TIME: Ron Paul Is One of the World's Most Influential People

Libertarians are very much aware of Ron Paul's extraordinary success in building and inspiring an unprecedented national movement for liberty. 

Now TIME magazine has recognized that, too. 

Each year TIME names what they consider the 100 Most Influential People in the World: "the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world… from media magnates to cultural titans and transformative leaders."

This year TIME magazine placed Ron Paul on this elite list of world-changers. 

TIME asked Ralph Nader to explain why Paul's libertarian message has been so incredibly well-received. Wrote Nader:

"In the debates, only he called out the American Empire's meddling in the business of countless nations around the world. He assails the Pentagon's bloated budgets and has worked with liberal Democrat Barney Frank to shrink the military-industrial complex. He wants to end our boomeranging wars. … His defense of privacy and civil liberties and his opposition to the war on drugs endear him to people beyond his libertarian base."

Mother's Day: Moms United to End the War on Drugs

On Mother's Day, an organization called Moms United to End the War on Drugs gathered on the steps of the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse to demand an end to the War on Drugs, in the names of saving children and families. 

"Mothers throughout history have come forward for the sake of their children," Gretchen Burns Bergman, executive director of Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing (PATH) told Reason magazine. "We're coming forth saying that the drug war has been more damaging to our families than the drugs themselves."

"You don't realize the drug policies in this country until they have an effect on you," said Lorraine Rebennack. "And when you lose a child, your life is never the same. Nor is your family."

Reason magazine notes that such organizations in the past, including the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, played an important role in ending alcohol Prohibition. 

The website of Moms United to End the War on Drugs has a great collection of information and persuasion points to help convince others that the misguided Drug War has a devastating effect upon families and children -- and that it can and should be ended. 

And here's a short (3 minute) video produced by Reason TV of the Mother's Day gathering.

NPR: Libertarianism Becoming "More Mainstream" 

"Somewhere on the path to the White House this year, a powerful set of ideas began to creep into the mainstream debate over which direction the country will take.

"These are ideas that not too long ago were written off as marginal, or even worse, a little kooky. They come from Libertarians: free and open markets and extremely limited government. Those ideals are now becoming more mainstream and are influencing the Republican Party. …

"A recent poll put out by Harvard's Institute of Politics suggests Libertarian ideas are gaining traction with those age 18 to 29.

"Ron Paul has been running for president on a message of limited government in all spheres… That message is one Gary Johnson hopes to continue spreading on the national stage as the Libertarian nominee. He says part of his platform is ending wars the U.S. in involved in, marriage equality and drug reform."

-- "Libertarians Find Their Audience In 2012 Race," National Public Radio reporting on the Libertarian Party national convention, May 6, 2012. Full transcript here.

* * * * * * * *
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...

THE MOST LIBERTARIAN GENERATION IN HISTORY: "This is the most libertarian generation that has ever existed. I just think it's taking a little bit longer for people to realize ...but in 10 or 20 years, once our age group starts to have more of an influence in society, we're going to see very significant shifts in what's happening." -- Alexander McCobin, grad student at Georgetown University and member of Students For Liberty, quoted on National Public Radio, May 6, 2012.
PRESIDENT O-BOMBER: “The left, which had loudly condemned George W. Bush for waterboarding and due process violations at Guantánamo, was relatively quiet when the Obama administration, acting as judge and executioner, ordered more than 250 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009, during which at least 1,400 lives were lost. …it is clear that [Obama] has completely shaken the ‘Vietnam syndrome’ that provided a lens through which a generation of Democratic leaders viewed military action.” -- Peter Berger of the progressive New America Foundation, praising Obama’s military "toughness" in an April 28 op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Warrior In Chief.”
BILL MAHER ON OBAMA’S NON-VICTORY: "Obama went to Afghanistan on the anniversary of killing bin Laden. He made a big speech about how we're winning the war and how our troops are coming home. Of course, we're not winning the war and the troops are not coming home. Other than that, a great speech." -- Bill Maher, May 4, 2012.
KEEPING GARY JOHNSON OUT OF THE TV DEBATES: “As always, a key to just how much of an impact the Libertarian Party will have in the presidential sweepstakes will be whether its candidates are permitted to participate in the presidential and vice-presidential debates. Despite the oft-repeated notion that our political system is an ‘open’ one, the fact is that both major political parties work hard to maintain a monopoly on access to the electoral levers of power. One of the ways in which this is accomplished is by setting the bar for participation in the presidential and vice-presidential debates so high that it becomes nearly impossible for a third-party candidate to qualify.” -- Bob Barr, “Libertarian Party ticket has strength, credibility,” The Daily Caller, May 7, 2012.
JAY LENO ON OUR OBESE GOV’T: "New predictions out today claim 42 percent of Americans will be obese by the year 2030. They say the only way to stop that is for the government to step in. Oh yeah, when it comes to trimming the fat and tightening your belt, what better way than the U.S. government?" -- Jay Leno, May 8, 2012.

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

Power Point

by Michael Cloud

Government Works Perfectly
"The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true, " wrote Niels Bohr.
"Government doesn't work," said Harry Browne.
"Government works perfectly," says Michael Cloud.
They are opposites. But both are true.
* * * 
"Government is broken," claim some.
"Government spending is out of control," argue others.
"Government has exceeded its limits," say critics.
"Government is misgoverned; government programs are badly managed," say reformers.
"Government is not doing what it's supposed to be doing -- and it IS doing what it's NOT supposed to," say others.
They are wrong.
Government works perfectly. Today's Big Government does exactly what its design dictates and allows. Government is functioning according to its nature.
Cobra venom works perfectly. It does what it's designed to do.
Hand grenades and land mines work perfectly. They do what they're designed to do.
It is the nature of Big Government to produce the results it produces. It is the nature of Big Government economic and social programs to produce the results they produce.
Whatever government can do, it will do.
Why does government raise taxes? Because it can.
Why does government engage in deficit spending? Because it can.
Why do many corporations lobby politicians for special privileges? Because they can.
Why do many politicians legislate special privileges for these corporations? Because they can.
Why do government officials do what they do? Because they can.
Why does government keep getting bigger? Because it can.
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1788. 
It is the nature of government to grow. 
Big Government does what it does because Big Government is what it is.
Cause and effect. "The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action," wrote Ayn Rand. 
Cause and effect work perfectly. So does government cause and effect.
Government policies, programs, and actions do not produce the results their supporters want. They produce the results their nature dictates and allows.
Cause and effect.
You grow what you sow. If you sow wheat seed, you'll grow wheat. Not barley. Not corn. Wanting different crops has no effect. Changing who sows wheat has no effect. Different sowers with the same seeds will produce the same crops.
Why does Big Government regularly and repeatedly increase spending, raise taxes, expand its power and authority, and infringe on our lives, liberty, and property? 
Because it can. That is its nature. 
Why doesn't small government do these things? Because it can't.
Because we give small government just barely enough resources to defend our lives, liberty, and property -- and we regularly prune it back. This small government will also work perfectly. But it will be a small perfection.

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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 do libertarians think about labor unions?

QUESTION: What do libertarians think about labor unions?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Unions can be very useful go-betweens between employers and employees, and would probably exist in a libertarian society.

However, union members would be liable for prosecution if the engaged in intimidation, assault or property destruction in pursuit of their goals. (The same would be true for employers, of course.) Furthermore, unless forbidden by contract, employers could hire replacements for striking workers.

Unions per se are fine organizations; many promote a professionalism that their members take pride in. However, when unions violate the non-aggression principle, directly or through legislation, they become the exploiters. Again, the same is true for employers. (The non-aggression principle is the fundamental principle libertarianism: no one should initiate violence against peaceful people or their property.)

A genuine free market produces an economic boom, where labor is in high demand. Wages and benefits rise. Thus, the avowed goal of most unions is met by a society with more liberty.
LEARN MORE: Suggestions for further information on this topic by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:

"Libertarians against markets?" by Thomas Knapp of the Center for a Stateless Society. In this short commentary Knapp makes some provocative and often overlooked points about libertarianism and labor unions. He also links to other articles, all worth reading.

EXCERPT: "The problem with organized labor in America is: government involvement. … The state has always been involved in the labor market, and always on the anti-market side. …Absent government intervention on either side, unions are nothing more or less than a market phenomenon which allows workers to drive the hardest bargain for their product. … I don't think that either workers or employers should be regulated in the conduct of their voluntary transactions."

* * * * * * * *
Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at:
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

Separation of Marriage and State

The issue of gay marriage is in the headlines right now. 
Libertarians, of course, have the best solution to the conflicts now raging on this issue. The libertarian position ends all the political arguments over how government should define marriage and what government should and should not allow. 
To cut to the heart of this issue, try using this simple phrase: “separation of marriage and state.”
A conversation might go something like this: 
“Just like almost all Americans favor separation of church and state, libertarians favor separation of marriage and state -- and for much the same reason. 
“Adults should be free to engage in any voluntary relationships and contractual associations they wish. They should be free to have their union blessed by a religious leader of their choice who is willing to do so, and they should also be free to have a marriage ceremony without a religious leader.
“If they want to make contractual obligations, the private sector is quite capable of drawing those up. How others choose to regard any particular union is similarly their own business, just as we are free to have opinions on religious and political matters.  
"Just like separation of church and state, separation of marriage and state will create social harmony. There is no need to have government involved in this extremely private and personal matter.”
Ron Paul has said something very similar, and his phrasing is very useful as well: “I'd like to see all governments out of the marriage question. I don't think it's a state function, I think it's a religious function. … I am supportive of all voluntary associations and people can call it whatever they want."
The libertarian position ends all the contention, all the anger, all the coercion that inevitably comes with government involvement in marriage -- just like separation of church and state eased and ended religious conflicts in our society. 
The phrase “separation of marriage and state” can help make that clear -- and quickly define a common-sense position that many people have not yet heard.

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

What's Happening with the Advocates

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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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.

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About Us

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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