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Volume 18, No. 14                                        July 25, 2013
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The Liberator Online

for everyone who loves Liberty
Published by The Advocates for Self-Government
"The Advocates has made invaluable contributions to the freedom cause. For over twenty years, the Advocates has worked tirelessly to help libertarians better communicate the ideas of liberty. I continue to be impressed by the Advocates' work."
~Ron Paul
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!

In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* New Libertarian Book Praises Advocates and Quiz

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* Introducing the Ron Paul Channel
* Libertarian Celebrity: Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars"
* Video: Thieving Feds Rob Small Farmers 
* Free Ebook: Downsizing the Federal Government
 
THEY SAID IT: Jay Leno says even kids laugh at Obamacare claims... White House statement shows staggering hypocrisy.... Ron Paul asks why the U.S. supports every side in Egyptian conflicts -- except one.... Federal judge questions legality of Obama's top-secret assassination program.... British writer say young libertarians are coming to power and can't be stopped.... Conservative journalist says libertarians are "the best-looking chicks at the bar"....

PERSUASION POWER POINT #352 by Michael Cloud
"Advancing Liberty Is Like Driving a Car at Night"

ASK DR. RUWART by Mary Ruwart
* Should slander be protected as free speech?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP by Sharon Harris
* Ask Three Questions -- and Dramatically Improve Your Communication Success

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
 * FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
* 2014 Freedom Cruises
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President's Corner

by Sharon Harris





New Libertarian Book Praises Advocates and Quiz

Dear friends, 
 
The World’s Smallest Political Quiz is also the World’s Most Popular Political Quiz. It has reached tens of millions of people around the world since the Advocates for Self-Government introduced it in 1987. 
 
This week I was pleased to discover yet another example of the Quiz’s success in building our movement for liberty crossed my desk.
 
Introduction to the Libertarian Party: For Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and Everyone Else is a brand-new book by Wes Benedict, longtime libertarian activist and former Executive Director of the national Libertarian Party. 
 
It’s a short, personal, conversational introduction to America’s third-largest political party. In just over 100 pages Benedict covers the basics about the Libertarian Party: why it was founded, what it stands for, why it is needed, how the party is organized, challenges the party faces, how and why to run as a candidate, and much more. 
 
Wes details his own journey from conservative to libertarian. And I’m happy to say that Wes was introduced to libertarianism by encountering the World’s Smallest Political Quiz at an OPH booth during his first week at the University of Michigan. 

That mind-opening encounter inspired him to begin the journey from brand-new libertarian to successful and highly influential libertarian activist. 
 
“I had barely heard of the word ‘libertarian’ before I took the Quiz,” Wes writes. “But shortly after I took it and found out I had libertarian political views, I joined the Libertarian Party as a dues-paying member.” 

He would go from there to have an immense impact as a local and state activist, fundraiser, donor, candidate, and eventually Executive Director of the national Libertarian Party. 
 
Wes continues: “I’m not the only person who joined the Libertarian Party after taking the Quiz. I actually think the Quiz is the Libertarian Party’s most valuable and effective outreach tool. Setting up [an OPH] booth and giving the Quiz to as many people as possible is a great project for a new Libertarian Party activist. 
 
“I want to offer a big thanks to the Advocates for Self-Government for creating the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, and to James Hudler, the Michigan Libertarian who was manning the booth and offered me the Quiz that day I walked through the quadrangle.” 
 
That, friends, is a perfect example of the power of the Quiz and OPH outreach! The next person you give a copy of the Quiz to may turn out to play a major role in libertarian outreach and politics -- like Wes. 
 
Wes reprints the World’s Smallest Political Quiz in his book and devotes a chapter to it. The Quiz is featured on the cover of his book as well. 
 
And I’m pleased that he wrote the following: “Based on my years of Libertarian Party activism, I’ve found that the Advocates for Self-Government and the Cato Institute are the two most useful resources for Libertarian Party efforts.” 

Thanks, Wes! 

As Ron Paul noted a few years ago in the Congressional Record: "The World's Smallest Political Quiz is responsible for many Americans' first contact with libertarian ideas. While traveling around the country, I have often heard people say, 'I never knew I was a libertarian until I took the Quiz!'"
 
Our goal at the Advocates has always been to empower libertarians to become successful communicators of the ideas of liberty, so they can build an ever-larger, ever more effective movement for liberty. Our Quiz and OPH booths are two of the ways we do this. 

Follow Wes's example: use these tools and quickly and easily discover the libertarian leaders and activists of tomorrow -- today.

In liberty,

Sharon
sharon@theadvocates.org

* * *
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!

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Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris





Introducing the Ron Paul Channel

"Finally, we'll have a truthful alternative to mainstream media."

That's how Ron Paul describes his newest project. The libertarian legend is launching The Ron Paul Channel: a new media channel that will be available in high definition for television and online services.

The Ron Paul Channel 
is scheduled to launch this summer. According to a promotional video at the channel website, the channel will include "breaking news stories, interviews with influential headliners and hard-hitting reporting." Viewers will also have the opportunity to speak to Paul live on the air.

"Ron Paul takes the fight from Washington and brings it to you from the powerful world of digital media," the video adds. "This project provides us a wonderful opportunity to spread the message of liberty. Turn off your TV. Turn on the truth."

We'll share additional information in this column when we learn more. To get the latest announcements, visit the Ron Paul Channel website and sign up for their email alerts. 

Libertarian Celebrity: Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars"

Rick Harrison is the star of the wildly popular and critically acclaimed reality TV show "Pawn Stars."

"Pawn Stars" rose to become the History Channel's highest rated show and the nation's No. 2 reality show behind only "Jersey Shore." "Pawn Stars" is now seen in an incredible 150 countries in 32 languages.

Rick Harrison is also, in his own words, "a total libertarian." 

As he put it in typically blunt language on the Mark Levin radio show March 29:

"I'm a total libertarian. I believe the federal government should make sure that no one's invading our borders, regulate real interstate commerce -- not what they call interstate commerce -- and [do] what's listed in the Constitution. That's all they should be doing."

Harrison described today's level of government regulation as "insanity" that is destroying jobs and opportunities. On the Mark Levin show he argued that only economic liberty -- not government -- can solve today's big problems: 

"I truly believe that if government just stepped out of the way we would have a trade surplus in this country, we'd be energy independent, we would have full employment, and there'd be so much money out there that basically, like it used to be in this country, there would be charitable hospitals all over this country, there would barely be a health care problem." 

Harrison has spent his life as an entrepreneur. He and his family built their pawn store business from scratch, starting with very little money and putting in years of long hours and hard work. 

Today The World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop featured in the show is booming and is a major Las Vegas attraction. 

In 2011 Harrison published his biography, License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver. It reached #22 on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Video: Thieving Feds Rob Small Farmers 

"Don't watch this vid if you have high blood pressure," warns Reason TV editor Nick Gillespie. 

Indeed. This seven-minute Reason TV video is a shocker and an eye-opener. 

When it comes to farming, forget free enterprise and private property. For raisin farmers, an elected board of bureaucrats known as the Raisin Administrative Committee decides what the proper yield should be each year. 

The Raisin Administrative Committee then forces every farmer to surrender a percentage of their crop to large raisin packers like Sun-Maid. Eventually these raisins are sold overseas at low prices -- set by the government -- or used in government school lunch programs for next to nothing.

The alternative to not handing over your crop to this gang: fines, seizure, and worse. In 2003 farmers received zero dollars in return for the 47 percent of their crop they were forced to give up.

"You can't work for a whole year and then give 47 percent of what you made away and still keep that business afloat," points out farmer Laura Horne.

Some persecuted farmers are now bravely fighting back. This video tells, in just a few minutes, the history of the laws they are fighting and the importance of their struggle -- not just for raisin farmers, but for all of us. 


Free Ebook: Downsizing the Federal Government

For a limited time the Cato Institute is offering a free PDF download of the highly-praised Lysander Spooner Award-winning 2005 book Downsizing the Federal Government by Cato Institute budget expert Chris Edwards.

Edwards identifies more than 100 federal programs that should be terminated, transferred to the states, or privatized. The cuts -- in entitlements, domestic programs, and military spending -- would balance the budget and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. They would also strengthen the economy, increase personal freedom, and leave a positive fiscal legacy for the next generation. 

It's a great resource for libertarians. Rand Paul has praised it. Downsizing the Federal Government is packed with examples of federal programs that are obsolete and mismanaged. When people ask "Where could we cut?" here's a big list of specific examples to give in response.  

Edwards also discusses the systematic causes of wasteful spending, the dangers of such spending, and suggests remedies for the future. 

Though written in 2005, the book (sadly) remains highly relevant today. Many of the programs he identifies have only grown worse. Edwards has updated some of this in a short study entitled "A Plan to Cut Federal Spending" that proposes phasing-in spending cuts that would reach about $1 trillion annually by 2023. 

Downsizing the Federal Government can also be ordered in other ebook formats or in hard copy from Cato.

* * * * * * * *
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."
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They Said It...

JAY LENO -- EVEN KIDS LAUGH AT OBAMACARE: "President Obama told a group of school children that broccoli was his favorite food, and they believed him. Then he told them Obamacare would reduce the deficit and the kids all busted out laughing." -- Jay Leno July 16, 2013.

AND NEVER MIND SNOWDEN AND MANNING AND DRONE KILLINGS AND WARRANTLESS SEARCHES AND SECRET COURTS AND…: "We call on the Russian government to cease its campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption, and to ensure that the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of all of its citizens, including the freedoms of speech and assembly, are protected and respected." -- Jay Carney, White House spokesman, July 18, 2013 at a White Press briefing.

EVERY SIDE BUT ONE: "Successive U.S. administrations over the decades have supported all sides in Egypt, from dictator to demonstrator to military. There is only one side that the U.S. government has never supported: our side. The American side. It has never supported the side of the US taxpayers who resent being forced to fund a foreign dictatorship, a foreign military, and foreign protestors. It has never supported the side of the majority of Americans who do not wish to get involved in the confusing internal affairs of countries thousands of miles away. It has never supported the side of those of us concerned about blowback, which is the real threat to our national security. Unfortunately, U.S. administrations continue to follow the same old failed policies and Obama is no different. More intervention, more foreign aid, more bullying, more empire." -- Ron Paul, "New Egyptian War: Americans Lose, Again," Texas Straight Talk, July 8, 2013. 

BLANK CHECK: "The executive is not an effective check on the executive when it comes to a person's constitutional rights." -- U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer, July 19, countering the federal government's argument that Obama's secret drone-killing program should be free from constitutional checks and balances.

SNOWDEN AND "LIBERTARIAN MILLENNIALS" CANNOT BE STOPPED: "Something new is revealing itself in the tale of Edward Snowden and it is coming quickly into the general consciousness. … Snowden, who spent his 30th birthday on the run, is one of a new breed I call the "Libertarian Millennial". … They are neither of the Left nor the Right. It is no surprise that Snowden contributed to the 2012 presidential campaign of Ron Paul, who supports curtailing the powers of government. In his maverick stance, and that of his son, Senator Rand Paul, the young find a model for taking on the system as a personal quest. … Snowden has been quoted as having written: 'The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.' And that 'the truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.' His breed of Libertarian Millennial is coming, too. It is they who cannot be stopped." -- playwright, novelist and critic Bonnie Greer, "Edward Snowden: there will be more 'Libertarian Millennials' like him," UK Telegraph, July 3, 2013. 

LIBERTARIANS ARE THE "BEST-LOOKING CHICKS AT THE BAR": "I'm not a libertarian… But if you look at the structural policy problems of the moment, libertarian populism is the most convincing philosophical tonic out there. America's big thinkers, both in government and on Wall Street, have failed horribly, resulting in an economic collapse, and were never held accountable for their calamitous management, instead expanding their risky practices and demanding that taxpayers foot the bill. …The single biggest problem facing American politics today isn't immigration or even tax reform, but the fact that this government-industrial complex continues to grow, its technocrat residents continue to meddle in the economy they wrecked, and none of it shows any sign of stopping. Government needs to be downsized, its regulations need to be rolled back, and power needs to be devolved to states and individuals." -- Matt Purple, "Libertarian Populism: The Most Attractive Chick at the Bar," American Spectator blog, July 22, 2013.

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

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Persuasion Power Point #352

by Michael Cloud





"Advancing Liberty Is Like Driving a Car at Night"

There has never been a libertarian country. No time and no land has ever been fully free.

Some of our ancestors made progress. Made inroads to freedom. The Magna Carta. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution of the United States of America.

But all had deep flaws, failings and shortcomings. Even in America, they allowed slavery. Or failed to recognize the rights and freedoms of women. Or violated the life, liberty, and property of native Americans. Or allowed blue laws. Or condoned Jim Crow laws. Or deprived gay men and lesbians of rights and liberties that we recognize for heterosexual men and women. Or shamelessly violated -- and continue to violate -- everyone's natural or Constitutional rights -- trampling on our fundamental Bill of Rights liberties.

We have partial freedom. More than many, but less than we could have and should have. We must find and drive an unmarked road to full freedom.

"Advancing liberty is like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." -- adapted from E.L. Doctorow.

The headlights keep us on the road, but the freedom road markers make sure we're moving toward a more complete liberty.

Freedom Road Marker: "Does this proposal cut government spending -- AND return every penny to the taxpayers?"

Freedom Marker: "Does this proposal shrink government -- or not?"

Freedom Marker: "Does this expand liberty -- or not?"

Freedom Marker: "Does this reduce the size or spending or taxing or power or authority of government -- or not?"

If we keep driving in the direction of small government and individual liberty, we will reach our rightful destination: a libertarian America.
 
* * * * * * * *
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.
Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion

BRAND NEW!

Click cover to see more and order.

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.


Should slander be protected as free speech? 

QUESTION: I have questions about a past column of yours on the topic of blackmail. You wrote:"Many libertarians consider slander of a person's reputation to be a violation of the non-aggression principle; others don't."

I'm confused. It seems to me that slander should be protected as free speech in a libertarian society. There's no aggression involved. So what's the problem?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Not all libertarians agree on whether or not a lie constitutes aggression. A lie does not necessarily affect only one's reputation. For example, a service provider could be put out of business by a well-publicized lie and lose all their assets before they were able to set the record straight. I have actually seen this happen to a publically-traded company, where stockholders lost their investments and the employees lost their jobs. 

Does a person have the right to free speech? Of course! Must they take responsibility for the consequences of their speech? That is the real question. 

For example, if a person purposely yells "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, and people are killed in the stampede, is he or she guilty of manslaughter if there was no fire? The person yelling "Fire!" has the right to free speech, certainly. Must that person pay restitution to those who are injured or the survivors of those killed? 

What if the person thought they smelled smoke and truly believed that there was a fire? They were trying to help people and didn't lie, but the result was the same. Are they responsible for the dead and injured?

This is where libertarians disagree over this issue. Some libertarians would agree with you that the only consequences that a liar should have to face is damage to his or her reputation, regardless of the consequences of that lie. Others believe that a liar is responsible for the resulting damage.

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

As Mary Ruwart notes, libertarians disagree on these issues. Below are examples of differing views. 

* Ayn Rand on libel and slander: In the book Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A, Rand answers the question "What do you think of libel and slander laws?" in this way: 

"They are appropriate laws, because the freedom of ideas does not permit you to lie about a person. Under the older interpretation of the courts, truth was your defense. If you know something defamatory about someone, and it's true, then you have the right to say it. But today, you can practically say anything, so long as you’re supposedly not motivated by malice. There are some standards, but they are unclear and impractical. 

"This type of law is strictly to protect specific individuals; it has nothing to do with ideas. It's an issue of whether or not you lied about someone, and caused him damage."

* Murray Rothbard on libel and slander: In his book The Ethics of Liberty Rothbard argues that libel and slander, while immoral, should not be illegal: 

EXCERPT: "Smith has a property right to the ideas or opinions in his own head; he also has a property right to print anything he wants and disseminate it. He has a property right to say that Jones is a 'thief' even if he knows it to be false, and to print and sell that statement.

"The counter-view, and the current basis for holding libel and slander (especially of false statements) to be illegal is that every man has a 'property right' in his own reputation, that Smith’s falsehoods damage that reputation, and that therefore Smith’s libels are invasions of Jones’s property right in his reputation and should be illegal.

"Yet, again, on closer analysis this is a fallacious view. For everyone, as we have stated, owns his own body; he has a property right in his own head and person. But since every man owns his own mind, he cannot therefore own the minds of anyone else. And yet Jones’s 'reputation' is neither a physical entity nor is it something contained within or on his own person. Jones’s 'reputation' is purely a function of the subjective attitudes and beliefs about him contained in the minds of other people. But since these are beliefs in the minds of others, Jones can in no way legitimately own or control them. Jones can have no property right in the beliefs and minds of other people."

* * * * * * * * * *

Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart
 
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 brand new book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.
Click cover to check out Dr. Ruwart's latest book!

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

by Sharon Harris



Ask Three Questions -- and Dramatically Improve Your Communication Success

Before you begin any kind of serious libertarian communication effort -- whether it's writing a letter to a newspaper, calling in to a talk radio show, speaking to a college classroom, or just having lunch with some friends to kick around political ideas -- there's something quick and easy you can do that will enormously improve your chances of succeeding and having an impact.

Just take a moment to ask yourself three short and easy-to-remember questions.

Dr. David Lewis lists those questions in his excellent book How to Get Your Message Across.

They are:

1. What is my purpose in communicating this message; what do I want it to accomplish?

Is your goal to persuade as many listeners as possible to embrace libertarianism or the libertarian view on a particular issue? Is your chief goal simply to make a good impression, so they'll be open to hearing more later from you or other libertarians? Is it to get them interested enough to sign up to learn more? Are you asking for votes, donations, members, volunteers?

The answer to that question is important. It determines what your message will be and how you'll deliver it. And that answer also depends to a large degree on your answers to the next two questions.

2. What do my listeners need to know for that purpose to be accomplished?

I see this as a two-part question. Answering the first part involves how you present yourself. Answering the second part depends on knowing who you are speaking to.

Depending upon the purpose of your speech, your audience may need to know that you're a responsible, good person with a background that inspires respect and trust. That many millions of people, including some very famous people, are libertarians. That you share certain important values with your listeners. That libertarianism is a sensible, practical, workable political system. That the proposal(s) you are offering will benefit them, their neighbors, the nation, the world, in very specific ways.

They may also need to know where they can get more information: your sign-up sheet, your website or email address, book titles, etc.

It's up to you to evaluate your speaking opportunity and offer your listeners whatever specific information and resources they need for you to achieve your goal.

Secondly, to finish answering this question, you need to know your audience. Their understanding of liberty, their age, their background and more will determine what they are able to receive. If you're speaking to a high school classroom, your message will be different than if you're speaking to a graduate level college political science class. If you're speaking to a group of marijuana re-legalization advocates, you may simply need to tell them why you're on their side. A conservative group will have different questions than a liberal one. And so forth.

3. How much time shall I have to get my message across?

This is crucial. There is a limit as to how much information you can convey in a particular encounter. If it's a surprise elevator meeting, or a question tossed out in casual conversation, you may only have time for one carefully phrased soundbite of thirty seconds or less. (You should always be prepared with soundbites, as we've written in the past.) If you're writing a 150-word letter to the editor, you can only get one point across. Lunching with friends, you may be able to get in a few soundbites and pass out some World's Smallest Political Quizzes. If you are giving an hour speech at a service club, you may be able to go into a lot of detail about your chosen topic. And so on.

You can't pour a gallon into a pint-sized glass. Knowing how much time you have helps you properly and realistically evaluate your goals and methods, as defined in the first two questions.

Answering these three crucial questions lets you quickly assess a communication opportunity, and guides you into making every encounter, whether casual, formal, brief or lengthy, a success.

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

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2014 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Secretary and long-time libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for a Freedom Cruise. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser -- at a bargain rate! Great food and fine company. Non-libertarians welcome! On January 26, 2014 the 17th Annual Freedom Cruise embarks: a 7-day Holland America voyage to excellent snorkeling destinations Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with visits to Key West and Half Moon Cay as well, all on Holland America's newest cruise ship! (These aren't Advocates events, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) Ken offers two other February 2014 cruises as well. For photos and more details -- or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates -- visit Freedom Cruises.
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