"The Advocates is revolutionizing the libertarian movement. I encourage you to be generous in your support."
â€” David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian Party presidential candidate and author of Libertarianism in One Lesson
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Cosmic Bowling, Gutterballs and Liberty
* Rand Paul, Others: Demilitarize the Police
* But Can You Fire Him? Robert Higgs on "Public Servants"
* VIDEO: Remy's Tips for Improving the TSA
* "A Masterwork": Rave Review for Libertarianism in One Lesson
THEY SAID IT: Libertarian victories everywhere.... Refuting the latest Progressive lie about libertarians.... Man charged with destruction of property â€” for bleeding on cop uniforms.... Two Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists denounce Obama's war against freedom of the press and other freedoms.... Latest Post Office woes.... Matt Ridley on government failure....
PERSUASION POWER POINT #374 by Michael Cloud
* Contrarian Writers Get Published and Read Way More Often
ASK DR. RUWART
* Is spanking your child a form of aggression?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP by Sharon Harris
* "Intervene globally, lose freedom locally"
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* Upcoming: Advocates communication workshops and speeches
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
by Sharon Harris
Cosmic Bowling, Gutterballs and Liberty
A couple of weeks ago I found myself giving bowling lessons â€” of a sort â€” to a
group of bright young libertarians.
More specifically, I demonstrated to them the fine art ofâ€¦ throwing gutterballs. Over and over. Right and left. How embarrassing!
Thankfully, I wasn't there to teach these young libertarians bowling. The bowling event â€” "Cosmic Bowling" â€” was just a fun extracurricular evening activity at the Foundation for Economic Education's "Communicating Liberty 2014: Advanced Training" seminar in Atlanta. This great event brought libertarian communication ideas to some of the brightest young minds in the liberty movement.
Forty outstanding student alumni of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) summer programs attended the invitation-only event. Without exception, the students I met and talked with were smart, articulate, and enthusiastic proponents of the ideas of liberty. What a joy it was to meet them!
I had the pleasure of giving a libertarian communication workshop â€” sharing the very best tools, techniques and tips on communicating the ideas of liberty. The students were eager to learn and practice the libertarian communication essentials I presented.
FEE brought together a truly outstanding combination of student leaders and libertarian communicators. Speakers included Bob Ewing of the Mercatus Center, Anna Ridge of the Charles Koch Institute, and of course Lawrence Reed, president of FEE and one of the finest spokesmen for liberty of our time.
I left the event humbled by my bowling abilities â€” but excited about the future of liberty in America. With such gifted and enthusiastic young people gearing up to be the liberty leaders of the next generation, the future looks bright indeed!
FEE is doing outstanding work with its outreach to young people, and I was proud to be a part of this great program. FEE is the oldest libertarian think tank in America â€” it is impossible to imagine today's libertarian movement without its pioneering work â€” and it continues to do cutting-edge essential work in educating the public and reaching out to rising young libertarian leaders to prepare them to be ambassadors for liberty.
I strongly recommend that Liberator Online readers learn more
about the great things FEE is doing.
To learn more about Advocates libertarian communication workshops, visit here
* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!
Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.
Learn more about libertarianism â€” the philosophy of liberty.
Become a SUPER COMMUNICATOR for the ideas of liberty!
Learn how at an entertaining and enlightening Advocates communication workshop, led by acclaimed libertarian communication expert and Advocates President Sharon Harris.
Find out how you can get Sharon to speak at your organization. Email Sharon now, or call her at 770-386-8372.
by James W. Harris
Rand Paul, Others: Demilitarize the Police
"We Must Demilitarize the Police" is the title of a bold article
Rand Paul at TIME.org.
Written as the troubles in riot-torn Ferguson, Missouri were escalating, Paul says:
"The outrage in Ferguson is understandable â€” though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.
"The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action. â€¦
"There is a systemic problem with today's law enforcement. Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies â€” where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.
"This is usually done in the name of fighting the War on Drugs or terrorism. â€¦
"When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury â€” national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture â€” we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands.
"Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them."
Paul quoted others who share these concerns:
Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit): "Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. â€¦ But nowadays, police are looking, and acting, more like soldiers than cops, with bad consequences. And those who suffer the consequences are usually innocent civilians."
Walter Olson (Cato Institute): "Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? â€¦ Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that 'We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone'?"
Evan Bernick (Heritage Foundation): "The Department of Homeland Security has handed out anti-terrorism grants to cities and towns across the country, enabling them to buy armored vehicles, guns, armor, aircraft, and other equipment. â€¦ federal agencies of all stripes, as well as local police departments in towns with populations less than 14,000, come equipped with SWAT teams and heavy artillery. â€¦
"Bossier Parish, Louisiana, has a .50 caliber gun mounted on an armored vehicle. The Pentagon gives away millions of pieces of military equipment to police departments across the country â€” tanks included."
Concludes Sen. Paul: "The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. â€¦ Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security. This has been a cause I have championed for years, and one that is at a near-crisis point in our country."
For more libertarian critiques on Ferguson, see
"Where Are the Libertarians on Ferguson? Here, LMGTFY," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, The Dish, Aug. 14, 2014.
Radley Balko, a libertarian journalist who writes for the Washington Post, has a great recent book on the dangers of U.S. police militarization, Rise of the Warrior Cop. You can read a lengthy excerpt from it here
But Can You Fire Him? Robert Higgs on "Public Servants"
Public "servants." We pay their salaries, right? So they work for us, right?
Wellâ€¦ no. The great libertarian writer Robert Higgs recently posted this imaginary dialogue at his always-enlightening Facebook page
Did you hire him?
Can you fire him?
Did you write his job description?
Do you pay him?
Yes, but only because I'll be put in prison if I refuse.
So, do you still believe he works for you.
Oh, yes, absolutely.
Why do you think so?
Because he says he does, and the people who hired him say so, too.
VIDEO: Remy's Tips for Improving the TSA
The Transportation Molestation Administration â€”
oops, we mean the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) â€” recently announced they were seeking suggestions from their victims â€” oops, we mean the public â€” for how to improve airport security lines. They even offered $15,000 in prizes for the best tips.
And that inspired the great liberty-minded comedian Remy to offer his suggestions â€”
in the form of a song, no less.
Check out the video
and see what Remy came up with. Let's hope he wins!
Share with friends. Thanks once again to ReasonTV for a great video! Approximately 1:45 minutes.
"A Masterwork": Rave Review for Libertarianism in One Lesson
David Bergland's classic introduction to libertarianism, Libertarianism in One Lesson (published by the Advocates), has been given a rave review
by longtime libertarian activist and writer Charlie Burris at LewRockwell.com.
Burris begins by complimenting "the brilliant strategic insight of 1984 Libertarian Party presidential candidate David Bergland which has guided all libertarian realists for three decades in adhering to the Non-Aggression Principle and the refusal to compromise that principle â€”
'Utopia Is Not One of the Options.'
"David wrote and elucidated upon this key concept in his wonderful volume, Libertarianism in One Lesson."
Continues Burris: "In 1984, I had the distinct honor and privilege of reading the manuscript copy of the first edition of this brilliantly executed work. In each subsequent edition, David has finely crafted and honed this masterwork into the most concise, understandable work of its kind."
You can order single
or multiple copies at a discount
of Libertarianism in One Lesson from the Advocates.
"This brief book remains the best place to begin your exploration of the ideas of libertarianism," Burris concludes.
* * * * * * * *
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...
"If fewer people are caged for inhaling the smoke of
a plant, that's a libertarian victory. If fewer people's doors are kicked in late at night by police officers dressed in combat fatigues, that's a libertarian victory. If more cancer patients can legally obtain a substance that alleviates their suffering, that's a libertarian victory. If fewer assets are seized by police without proof of guilt, that's a libertarian victory." â€” Conor Friedersdorf
, The Atlantic, "Libertarians Can Be a Significant Force for Good in U.S. Politics," refuting critics who charge that libertarianism is not changing U.S. politics.
REFUTING THE LATEST PROGRESSIVE LIE ABOUT LIBERTARIANS:
"There seems to be a meme going around that libertarians don't care or aren't talking about what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri. And like most things mainstream left/right pundits say about libertarians, it has almost zero relation to the truth. â€¦ If you don't think libertarians are talking about (and outraged over) Ferguson, you're clearly not reading or talking to many libertarians." â€” Elizabeth Nolan Brown
, "Where Are the Libertarians on Ferguson? Here, LMGTFY," The Dish, Aug. 14 2014. Her article provides many examples of libertarian activists and organizations fighting against police militarization now and in the past.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY BYâ€¦ BLEEDING:
"Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him." â€” Michael Daly
, "The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie," The Daily Beast, Aug. 15, 2014.
OBAMA VS. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS:
"He [Obama] is the greatest enemy
to press freedom in a generation." â€” Jim Risen
, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist facing imprisonment for his investigation of the Bush-Obama surveillance state, quoted in "Where's the Justice at Justice?", New York Times, Aug. 17, 2014.
OBAMA AS BIG BROTHER:
"Obama is channeling Orwell." â€” Maureen Dowd
, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, protesting Obama's crackdown on freedom of the press and other invasive policies in "Where's the Justice at Justice?", New York Times, Aug. 17, 2014.
"The U.S. Postal service has lost $2 billion this
spring. Postal officials are busy emailing each other wondering how this could happen." â€” Conan O'Brien, Aug. 11, 2014.
Noted and Re-Quoted
"Economists are quick to speak of 'market failure,' and rightly so, but a greater threat comes from 'government failure'. Because it is a monopoly, government brings inefficiency and stagnation to most things it runs; government agencies pursue the inflation of their budgets rather than the service of their customers; pressure groups form an unholy alliance with agencies to extract more money from taxpayers for their members. Yet despite all this, most clever people still call for government to run more things and assume that if it did so, it would somehow be more perfect, more selfless, next time." â€” Matt Ridley from his 2010 book The Rational Optimist. Quoted by Don Boudreaux at CafÃ© Hayek
, August 14, 2014.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
Persuasion Power Point #374
by Michael Cloud
Contrarian Writers Get Published and Read Way More Often
Look for issues where 80%, 90%, or more of the writers and readers disagree with you.
Where conventional opinion is overwhelmingly against you.
Brainstorm the key 3 to 6 reasons why you're right and they're wrong.
Sketch out 10 or 20 headlines for your essay or letter.
Pick the headline that absolutely, positively summarizes your strongest point â€” the one they're wrong about.
Then, lead your letter or essay with the strongest reason of your 3 to 6 for your point of view or against theirs. Give an example or two of how or why your point is right â€” or theirs is wrong.
Second paragraph, use your second strongest reason. Give an example or two.
Third paragraph, use your third strongest reason for your position or against theirs.
And so on... until you reach 500 words. Max. Then sign your name â€” and email it or post it at the website.
Do not pretend or fake disagreement just to get published. Do not make up bogus reasons for disagreement.
Look for issues where you DO disagree with the overwhelming majority â€” and have good reasons for why you do.
Contrary opinions attract readers and commenters. Contrary opinions trigger responses. Contrary opinions get noticed.
Sometimes it pays to disagree.
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.
Is spanking your child a form of aggression?
QUESTION: It seems to me that spanking your child is a form of aggression. Would libertarians agree?
MY SHORT ANSWER: Many do, but some do not. I personally see spanking as an utter last resort, only suitable for situations where the child might otherwise be greatly harmed or do great harm to another. For example, with a child who keeps running out in traffic, despite taking away TV privileges or using other deterrents, physical censure might save his or her life. Most of the time, though, a parent has better options; for example, keeping a child inside until he or she recognizes the dangers of traffic.
When we spank or beat a child, we are teaching that might makes right. We are also teaching that hurting someone smaller and weaker can be a "loving" gesture. Surely, as parents, we should be able to come up with a better teaching tool almost all of the time. Some psychologists â€” rightly, I believe â€” fear that any kind of physical punishment can create grave problems later (see for example, http://alice-miller.com/video.php). Punishing a child with verbal abuse creates problems too.
Libertarians believe in making victims whole, not punishing the aggressor. If children hit a sibling, a better method of correction might be having the offender do something special for the one who was struck. Responsibility and discipline are important lessons for children to have, but it's best to teach them as gently as possible. A correction with an overlay of aggression, belittling, or hostility, will eventually come back to haunt, not only the child, but those with whom he or she interacts.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING ON THIS TOPIC by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:
* "Does Spanking Violate the Non-Aggression Principle?" by Stefan Molyneux. Molyneux goes into lengthy analysis of this question in a thoughtful and provocative article worth reading no matter what your position.
EXCERPT: "It is only within the last few decades that serious moral and scientific objections to spanking have spread within society, and patience and persistence is the key to convincing others of this essential and actionable moral reality.
"That having been said, however, now that you have read this essay, you need to refute these arguments and disprove the science, or stop spanking. If you lacked knowledge and clarity before, you deserve sympathy. If you cannot refute these arguments, and continue to spank, you have no excuse anymore."
* "The Natural Rights of Children" by Walter E. Block, Ed Smith, and Jordan Reel.
Libertarian theorist Block and his co-authors explore this topic: "What does libertarian theory, Murray Rothbard's theory in particular, tell us about the rights of children? The two foundational principles of Rothbardian libertarianism are the sanctity of private property and the rule of non-aggression. Persons, including children, are 'self-owners'. Yet children, at a young age, are not yet capable of functioning fully as 'self-owners.'" Spanking, and a number of other issues, are examined.
EXCERPT: "But children are different than adults. They are not (yet) full rights bearing entities. If we leave an adult to his own devices, he is presumably able to run his own life, at least to his own satisfaction. But if a child is not cared for, for example, a three-year old, he must perish, since he cannot (yet) care for himself. Paternalism is not justified for adults, but it is for such youngsters."
* VIDEO: "Does Spanking Violate the Non-Aggression Principle? Walter Block Debates Stefan Molyneux." The authors of the above two papers debate in this one-hour video.
* * *
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 latest book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.
One-Minute Liberty Tip
by Sharon Harris
"Intervene globally, lose freedom locally"
"Intervene globally, lose freedom locally." â€” Robert Higgs.
I've long written about the importance of soundbites and pithy sayings in getting people to consider libertarian ideas.
I saw this phrase at the Facebook page of the great libertarian writer and scholar Robert Higgs this week, and I think it is brilliant.
In just five words Higgs sums up arguments that many people have written whole books about.
An interventionist foreign policy leads to many domestic evils, as the Founders realized. Among them:
"Blowback" when angry residents of other countries retaliate
Restrictions on freedom of the press
Repression of public dissent
Government surveillance and loss of privacy
Loss of other civil liberties
The militarization of local police
Restrictions on travel, both internally and abroad
Domestic political strife
Massive taxes and subsequent loss of economic opportunities
Higher prices for domestic goods and services
Interruption of trade
A poorer country, as economic resources are diverted to war
Destruction of families, as more soldiers are sent overseas to police the empire
Expansion of domestic political power to deal with the consequences of interventionism
â€¦and so on. You can no doubt add more to this list.
Higgs' wonderful and insightful little phrase contains all that. It reworks a familiar phrase â€” "Think globally, act locally" â€” into a powerful mind-opener and conversation starter. It gets your listeners thinking.
"Intervene globally, lose freedom locally." I love it.
It's a great addition to your collection of soundbites on liberty. Use it in conversations. Be prepared, of course, to expand on the topics it raises, including those I've listed.
* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.
What's Happening with the Advocates
Upcoming workshops, speeches, and conferences
: Advocates President Sharon Harris
will conduct an online conference/webinar for the Arizona State University chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. Topic: How to Be a Super Communicator for Liberty.
Sept. 13: Advocates Chairman of the Board Jim Lark
will deliver the keynote address at the European Students For Liberty conference, Paris, France
Oct. 25: Advocates Chairman of the Board Jim Lark
will deliver the keynote address, European Students For Liberty conference, Madrid, Spain
Nov. 1: Advocates Chairman of the Board Jim Lark
will speak at the Students For Liberty regional conference, Salem College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Nov. 15: Advocates Chairman of the Board Jim Lark
will speak at the European Students For Liberty conference, Reykjavik, Iceland
October and November, Students for Liberty regional conferences:
The Advocates will be at numerous Students For Liberty (SFL) regional conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada. We will announce which ones as soon as they are confirmed.
us now if you'd like us to send you further information on these events.
Sharon to find out how you can have a communication event near you.
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 â€” if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH â€” praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement â€” 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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