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Liberator Online: Voters say slash military spending
Volume 17, No. 13                                                                                                           September 5, 2012

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
* Ron Paul Won

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* U.S. Voters: Ready to Slash Military Spending, Reduce Foreign Intervention
* Medical Marijuana: U.S. Government Vs. Science and the Suffering
* Video: August Nanny of the Month
* Ron Paul: Legalize Competing Currencies

THEY SAID IT
* John Stossel on why he's a libertarian... Guns a major problem in American education, says Jeffrey Tucker... Provocative prediction about the next president...  No number is greater than one when it comes to individual rights... Jimmy Kimmel on Congress and rabies...

PERSUASION POWER POINT #331
* "Play Detective" and Become a More Persuasive Libertarian

ASK DR. RUWART
* How would libertarians resolve child custody issues?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Word Choice: "The War on Peaceful Americans..."

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* 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




Ron Paul Won

The winner of the Republican Party's presidential nomination was… Ron Paul. 

That's the intriguing argument of blogger Robin Koerner, founder and publisher of WatchingAmerica.com

Writing in the Huffington Post, Koerner makes this point:

"In all fields of human endeavor, winning by cheating is losing.

"In a competition, when someone cheats, he gets disqualified. The disqualification does not make the runner-up the winner. Rather, it reveals that the man who appeared to be the runner-up had in fact been the winner all along.

"In the race for the GOP nomination for president, therefore, Ron Paul won."

Koerner quotes the New York Times to back up his allegation that the RNC essentially cheated Paul supporters: "Delegates from Nevada tried to nominate Mr. Paul from the floor, submitting petitions from their own state as well as Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands. That should have done the trick: Rules require signatures from just five states. But the party changed the rules on the spot. Henceforth, delegates must gather petitions from eight states."

Other Paul delegates and supporters reported numerous other examples of unfair interference aimed at keeping Ron Paul from being nominated. 

And please note: this isn't an issue of merely symbolic importance. Had Paul been nominated from the floor, he would have been entitled to deliver a speech to the convention that would have aired nationwide on prime time -- a huge prize indeed. 

Koerner sums up:  

"When Mr. Romney and the RNC cheat so blatantly, they make the game no longer about politics: they make themselves ineligible for the vote of anyone who cares about his own morality, his own honesty or his own integrity -- regardless of his politics. And from a purely practical standpoint, they invite Americans to ask if they want to live in a nation governed with the same contempt for those who don't toe the party line as has been displayed both in Tampa and throughout the primary process."

Well said.  

But there's another, far more important way, in which Ron Paul can truly be said to have won this election. 

Paul awoke and energized a huge new movement for libertarian ideas. His campaign was especially effective among young voters -- the future of American politics.

As David Boaz of the Cato Institute told the New York Times: "We used to say most people found libertarianism by reading Ayn Rand. In the last five years, most people have found libertarianism by listening to Ron Paul." 

Millions of Americans -- including vast numbers of young people -- are now fully enrolled in the liberty movement thanks to Ron Paul. 

The liberty movement is bigger than ever before, more motivated than ever before, growing rapidly, and determined to make liberty a burning issue in American politics -- thanks to Ron Paul.

In this sense, there's no doubt about it: Ron Paul won.
 
* * * * * * * *
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




U.S. Voters: Ready to Slash Military Spending, Reduce Foreign Intervention
 
In 2010 the federal government spent more than $875 billion on national defense and veterans’ affairs. That’s around one-fourth of the federal budget -- and roughly as much military spending as the rest of the world combined.
 
That figure is also enormously higher than past decades, including times of war and the Cold War. 
 
Now American voters are ready to cut military spending -- by hundreds of billions of dollars. They’re also ready for a major reduction in U.S. intervention abroad. And both can be done without endangering American security. 
 
So says respected pollster Scott Rasmussen, in a provocative and informative article in the current issue of the libertarian magazine Reason. 
 
To back this up, Rasmussen cites some eye-opening statistics from his firm’s 2011 polls: 
 
* 67 percent of Americans favor looking for spending cuts in all government programs -- including the military. 
 
* Most voters now believe the war in Iraq was a mistake. Most want to see troops brought home quickly from Afghanistan. Only 20 percent ever supported the U.S. intervention in Libya.
 
* Americans are ready to dramatically reduce our military alliances. Less than half (49 percent) believe the U.S. should remain in NATO. 
 
* “Out of 54 countries with which Washington has signed mutual-defense treaty obligations, plus two others (Israel and Mexico) that receive our implicit backing, a majority of Americans supports defending just 12,” says Rasmussen. “Countries that don’t reach the 50 percent threshold include our oldest ally, France, along with Japan, Poland, and Denmark.” 
 
* Fully 60 percent of voters say there are only four foreign countries they are willing to defend: Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel.
 
* Only 11 percent of voters believe the U.S. should play “global cop” or police force for the world. 
 
Based on voters’ responses, Rasmussen outlines cuts that would reduce expenditures by more than half, without threatening U.S. security. He details these cuts in his article. 
 
“These reductions would still allow around $420 billion in annual military spending, nearly three times as much as what China or anybody else in the world currently shells out,” Rasmussen notes. 
 
And even that might be higher than a majority of voters want, Rasmussen adds. 
 
“Just 25 percent of voters believe the United States should always spend at least three times as much as any other nation; 40 percent think such a target is excessive.”

Medical Marijuana: U.S. Government Vs. Science and Compassion

From a July 8, 2011 statement by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrator Michele Leonhart, denying a request that the DEA begin hearings to reassess the present classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance without any "accepted medical use in treatment.":

"[T]here are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving (marijuana's) efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts. ... [and] lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision... At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy." 

From "Cannabis As Painkiller," a ScienceDaily.com report published August 7, 2012: 

"Cannabis-based medications have been demonstrated to relieve pain. Cannabis medications can be used in patients whose symptoms are not adequately alleviated by conventional treatment. The indications are muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy, loss of appetite in HIV/Aids, and neuropathic pain. This is the conclusion drawn by Franjo Grotenhermen and Kirsten Müller-Vahl in issue 29-30 of [the German medical journal] Deutsches Ärzteblatt International…

"Over 100 controlled trials of the effects of cannabinoids in various indications have been carried out since 1975. The positive results have led to official licensing of cannabis-based medications in many countries. In Germany, a cannabis extract was approved in 2011 for treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis. In June 2012 the Federal Joint Committee (the highest decision-making body for the joint self-government of physicians, dentists, hospitals and health insurance funds in Germany) pronounced that the cannabis extract showed a slight additional benefit for this indication and granted a temporary license until 2015." 

Video: August Nanny of the Month
 
Each month Reason.TV announces its Nanny of the Month: busybodies who want to micromanage your personal and economic life in ways that rocket beyond the ordinary into a stratosphere of absurdity and obnoxiousness.
 
Picking August’s champion control freak was hard. Check out these finalists:
 
* The Nevada statists who want to fine you $2,000 -- for the heinous crime of teaching someone how to apply makeup.
 
* The Phoenix, Arizona government code enforcer who stopped a woman from handing out free bottled water to parched attendees at a local festival -- held in 112-degree heat -- because she didn't have a license.
 
* Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius -- using federal taxpayers' money from the federal stimulus and Obamacare programs to implement local-level soda taxes and other nanny state laws (something the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General thinks might violate federal anti-lobbying provisions). 
 
Find out who wins -- and more details -- in this funny but horrifying short video of about 75 seconds.



Ron Paul: Legalize Competing Currencies

(Editor's note: The following commentary is written by Ron Paul, who has introduced legislation to end legal tender laws and allow consumers to choose among competing private currencies in the United States.)

"I recently held a hearing in my congressional subcommittee on the subject of competing currencies. This is an issue of enormous importance, but unfortunately few Americans understand how the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department impose a strict monopoly on money in America.

"This monopoly is maintained using federal counterfeiting laws, which is a bit rich. If any organization is guilty of counterfeiting dollars, it is our own Treasury. But those who dare to challenge federal legal tender laws by circulating competing currencies -- at least physical currencies -- risk going to prison.

"Like all government created monopolies, the federal monopoly on money results in substandard product in the form of our ever-depreciating dollars.

"Yet governments have always sought to monopolize the issuance of money, either directly or through the creation of central banks. The expanding role of the Federal Reserve in the 20th century enabled our federal government to grow wildly larger than would have been possible otherwise. Our Fed, like all central banks, encourages deficits by effectively monetizing Treasury debt. But the price we pay is the terrible and ongoing debasement of our money.

"Allowing individuals and business to use alternate currencies, especially currencies backed by gold and silver, would expose the whole rotten system because the marketplace would prefer such alternate currencies unless and until the Fed suddenly imposed radical discipline on its dollar inflation.

"Sadly, Americans are far less free than many others around the world when it comes to protecting themselves against the rapidly depreciating US dollar. Mexican workers can set up accounts denominated in ounces of silver and take tax-free delivery of that silver whenever they want. In Singapore and other Asian countries, individuals can set up bank accounts denominated in gold and silver. Debit cards can be linked to gold and silver accounts so that customers can use gold and silver to make point of sale transactions, a service which is only available to non-Americans.

"The obvious solution is to legalize monetary freedom and allow the circulation of parallel and competing currencies. There is no reason why Americans should not be able to transact, save, and invest using the currency of their choosing. They should be free to use gold, silver, or other currencies with no legal restrictions or punitive taxation standing in the way. Restoring the monetary system envisioned by the Constitution is the only way to ensure the economic security of the American people.

"After all, if our monetary system is fundamentally sound -- and the Federal Reserve indeed stabilizes the dollar as its apologists claim -- then why fear competition? Why do we accept that centralized, monopoly control over our money is compatible with a supposedly free-market economy? In a free market, the government's fiat dollar should compete with alternate currencies for the benefit of American consumers, savers, and investors.

"As Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explained, sound money is an instrument that protects our civil liberties against despotic government. Our current monetary system is indeed despotic, and the surest way to correct things simply is to legalize competing currencies."
 
* * * * * * * *
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...
 
WHY I'M A LIBERTARIAN -- JOHN STOSSEL: "I'm a libertarian in part because I see a false choice offered by the political left and right: government control of the economy -- or government control of our personal lives. People on both sides think of themselves as freedom lovers. The left thinks government can lessen income inequality. The right thinks government can make Americans more virtuous. I say we're best off if neither side attempts to advance its agenda via government." -- award winning libertarian journalist John Stossel, "There Ought Not to Be a Law," syndicated column, August 15, 2012.
 
GUNS RAMPANT IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS: "Two types of compulsion are at the heart of school: taxes and mandatory attendance laws. They have been with us for more than a century. Guns aren't allowed in school, but the government's guns rule the whole system: taxes, truant officers, social workers, a vast administrative apparatus, labor unions, endless regulations, political manipulation. It's all very tragic, and the kids are the major victims." -- Jeffrey Tucker, "Slave-Based Schooling, Back in Session," Laissez Faire Books blog, August 23, 2012.
 
PRESIDENTIAL PREDICTION: "Now that Romney is the official [Republican] nominee, I would like to give my official prediction about the election. Prediction 1: If Romney wins, in four years we will have a higher national debt, and still have a drug war, a police state, troops in 150 countries, and a national security/warfare state. Prediction 2: If Obama wins, in four years we will have a higher national debt, and still have a drug war, a police state, troops in 150 countries, and a national security/warfare state." -- libertarian writer Laurence Vance, "My Official Prediction," LewRockwell.com blog, August 28, 2012. 
 
NO NUMBER IS GREATER THAN ONE: "When it comes to individual rights, no number is greater than one. One person, one hundred people, one thousand people, one million people do not have any more rights than the individual. Nor are the rights of a group greater or more precious than the rights of an individual -- because they don't exist. All rights are individual rights. There is no such thing as "group" rights." -- R. Lee Wrights, Libertarian Party Vice Chair, "No number is greater than one," article at LP blog, August 08, 2012.
 
CONGRESS AND RABIES: "A new Gallup poll shows that only 1 in 10 Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. A 10 percent approval rating is about the same approval rating that rabies has." -- Jimmy Kimmel, Aug. 15, 2012.

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

Persuasion
Power Point
#331

by Michael Cloud

"Play Detective" and Become a More Persuasive Libertarian

Want to get better and better at winning people's hearts and minds to liberty?
 
Start "playing detective" every time you hear someone change someone else's mind.
 
Carefully listen to professional influencers. Every time they talk.
Every time you hear a salesperson, talk show host or guest, public speaker, business person, religious leader, or politician say or write something that reaches and changes the other person's mind -- make a note of it. Write it down.
 
Why?
 
"Because success leaves clues," says acclaimed speaker and author Jim Rohn.
 
Ask: "What did she do that worked so well?"
 
Look for the DNA, the fingerprints that made the sentence work.
 
Listen for the music, the words, and the lyrics of what the speaker said.
 
Explore and examine the speaker's phrases and sentences for what caused listeners to be wooed and won over.
 
By "playing detective" this way, you'll come up with a hypothesis of what really happened.
 
Then you can test it and try it in a few conversations. Do you get the same results as the speaker? Yes? Then you've got one more persuasive tool for your persuasion toolbox. No? Then re-examine your evidence, come up with another testable theory, and try it out.
 
This is how good detectives become great detectives. How good communicators become great.
 
And how you can win more and more hearts and minds for liberty.
 
* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud's brand-new 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.



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.
 
How would libertarians resolve child custody issues?

QUESTION: Some states are making provisions for soldiers involved in custody battles to allow more flexibility of court dates while they are deployed. Similarly, laws are being passed to give the same soldiers the right to assign an approved guardian to have that parent's share of custody while that parent is deployed. What is the libertarian view on custody rights, and does this view differ for our soldiers?

MY SHORT ANSWER: In a libertarian society, most couples would have a marriage contract that specified how custody would be handled, as well as other related matters such as financial support. Ideally, such a contract would be in place before children were born or adopted, so that everyone understood their role and agreed to it. The flexible arrangement you describe could easily be accommodated by such contracts.

Today, the government determines who will have custody and what the guidelines are. No one really knows what they're committing to when they marry. This encourages irresponsibility and results in confusion and conflict. People rarely feel responsible for commitments that they haven't agreed to ahead of time. 

In a libertarian society, the government's primary role, at most, would be to enforce any contracts the couple agreed to. Private courts and arbitration agencies could also help couples settle disagreements. 

LEARN MORE: Suggestions for further information on this topic by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:

1. "It's Time to Privatize Marriage" by Wendy McElroy

EXCERPT: "Get politics out of marriage: privatize it. Make marriage an enforceable contract between two people who agree on the terms of union and of divorce, including the terms of child custody and support. The contract could be as broadly or narrowly phrased as people wish. …In all likelihood, several standard contracts would evolve that could be adapted to handle the most common marriage preferences. This would solve the problems caused by imposing a 'one-size-fits-all' contract upon marriage."

2. "Privatize Marriage: A Simple Solution to the Gay-Marriage Debate" by David Boaz, Cato Institute, originally printed in Slate. 

EXCERPT: "Why should the government be in the business of decreeing who can and cannot be married? …As governments around the world contemplate the privatization of everything from electricity to Social Security, why not privatize that most personal and intimate of institutions, marriage?"
        
* * * * * * * * * *
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 Choice: "The War on Peaceful Americans..." 

In previous issues we've pointed out several effective and eye-opening alternatives to the government's phrase "War on Drugs."

Among them:

* Calling the Drug War the "War On Politically Incorrect Drugs."

* Calling the Drug War the "Federal Narcotics Price Support Program."

* Using the term "re-legalization" instead of legalization.

Here's another suggestion along those lines -- with a bonus impact if used in the next few months.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has a new TV spot in which he promises to end the "War on Peaceful Americans Who Choose to Voluntarily Use Intoxicants Not Currently Approved of  by the Government."



That's a great phrase that uses humor to make a vital point. In the right circumstances it can open minds and win supporters.

And if you're supporting Gary Johnson, or just want more people to learn about his campaign and the Libertarian Party, it has an added advantage. You can add, "That's what Gary Johnson calls it," as a way of introducing fellow Drug War skeptics to Johnson's campaign. 

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


What's Happening with the Advocates

2013 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Secretary 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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