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Volume 19, Issue 23                              December 4, 2014
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In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
December 5 is Repeal Day

ACTIVIST AMMUNITION
New Ayn Rand Novel to Be Published
Study: States with Economic Liberty Benefit; States Without Economic Liberty Suffer

THEY SAID IT: Look what the War on Drugs has done to the world, asks renowned drug peace activist Ethan Nadelmann in a new TED Talk.... Ferguson could be the harbinger of a police state to come, warns Judge Napolitano.... "I can't breathe": Eric Garner's iconic last words.... Jacob Hornberger asks Obama: Why not pardon harmless victims of the evil Drug War along with those turkeys?....

PERSUASION POWER POINT #380 by Michael Cloud
Power Listening: One Way to Dramatically Improve Your Conversations

LIBERTY MINUTE
December 15: Celebrate Bill of Rights Day! 

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President's Corner

by Sharon Harris







December 5 is Repeal Day
 
Dear friends,
 
In 1929, Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas — author of the Eighteenth Amendment that created alcohol Prohibition, known as "the father of national Prohibition," and the leading supporter of Prohibition in Congress — boasted:
 
"There is as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail." 
 
Just three years later, alcohol Prohibition was... repealed.
 
I love that quote. Those of us fighting to end the War on Drugs can take heart from it. 
 
When Sen. Morris made his declaration, Prohibition had been a part of U.S. law for nearly a decade. It must have seemed to many to be a permanent fixture of American life. 
 
Certainly no one could have guessed that the country was just a few years away from ending the disaster of Prohibition. 
 
That makes me wonder. Are we perhaps closer today to ending today's Prohibition — the War on Drugs — than we realize? Might an extra push from the growing liberty movement be all that is needed to accomplish this? 
 
Friday, December 5 is a great time to ponder such thoughts. It's the 81st anniversary of Repeal Day, the glorious day America ridded itself of the disastrous failure of alcohol Prohibition. Repeal Day should be publicized and celebrated by libertarians and other friends of freedom every year.
 
Like the War on Drugs, alcohol Prohibition was supported by many people for the highest motives and with great confidence in the government's ability to successfully shape and mold society and individuals. The abuse of alcohol was (and remains today) a serious problem. Banning alcohol seemed, to millions, a reasonable way to handle this problem.
 
Prohibition began on January 16, 1920. America's most famous evangelist, Dr. Billy Sunday, boldly proclaimed:
 
"The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be only a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now, women will smile and the children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent."
 
Some communities even shut down their jails, confident that they would no longer be needed.
 
Of course, it didn't work out that way.
 
In a Cato Institute study (highly recommended) entitled "Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure" economist Mark Thornton sums up the bitter fruit of this disastrous policy:
 
"Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became 'organized'; the court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point; and corruption of public officials was rampant. No measurable gains were made in productivity or reduced absenteeism. Prohibition removed a significant source of tax revenue and greatly increased government spending. It led many drinkers to switch to opium, marijuana, patent medicines, cocaine, and other dangerous substances that they would have been unlikely to encounter in the absence of Prohibition."
 
And what about crime? "According to a study of 30 major U.S. cities, the number of crimes increased 24 percent between 1920 and 1921. ...thefts and burglaries increased 9 percent, while homicides and incidents of assault and battery increased 13 percent. ... violent crimes against persons and property continued to increase throughout Prohibition."
 
Prohibition also created a massive prison state. "By 1932 the number of federal convicts had increased 561 percent, to 26,589, and the federal prison population had increased 366 percent. ... Two-thirds of all prisoners received in 1930 had been convicted of alcohol and drug offenses, and that figure rises to 75 percent of violators if other commercial prohibitions are included."
 
Sound familiar? Alcohol Prohibition offers a powerful, profound and easily understood example of the dangers of government social engineering. It's a lesson Americans need to hear.  
 
Celebrate and publicize Repeal Day this week. Some day — perhaps sooner than we dare think — we'll have another Repeal to add to the celebration.
 
In Liberty,

Sharon

* * *
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Acivist Ammunition

by James W. Harris





New Ayn Rand Novel to Be Published
 
A never-before-published novel by Ayn Rand will be hitting the bookstores in a few months — the first Ayn Rand novel to be published in over 50 years.
 
According to the publisher the short novel, entitled Ideal, "tells the story of beautiful but tormented actress Kay Gonda. Accused of murder, she is on the run, and she turns for help to six fans who have written letters to her, each telling her that she represents their ideal — a respectable family man, a far-left activist, a cynical artist, an evangelist, a playboy, and a lost soul. Each reacts to her plight in his own way, their reactions a glimpse into their secret selves and their true values..." 
 
Rand wrote Ideal in 1934, when she was in her late 20s. Unhappy with it, she put it aside and turned it into a play, which was never performed in her lifetime and went unpublished until the 1986 collection The Early Ayn Rand, edited by Leonard Peikoff of the Ayn Rand Institute. Peikoff described the play as a "philosophical murder mystery."
 
The novel remained buried in the archives at the Ayn Rand Institute until 2012, when it was rediscovered while Rand's papers were being digitized.
 
New American Library will publish both the novel (135 pages) and the play together on July 7, 2015.
 
Ayn Rand, who died in 1982, is of course most famous for her enormously influential bestseller Atlas Shrugged, which helped set off the modern libertarian movement and has, incredibly, remained in hardback since its first publication in 1957. Together her novels, including The Fountainhead and We The Living, have sold over 25 million copies.

Study: States with Economic Liberty Benefit; States Without Economic Liberty Suffer
 
A just-released study shows that U.S. states with economic liberty benefit greatly from it, while residents of states with less economic freedom suffer badly from the lack of it. 
 
Economic Freedom of North America 2014 is an annual report by Canada's Frasier Institute that measures levels of economic freedom, and thus economic opportunity, in the 50 states (as well as Canada and Mexico).
 
The report defines "economic freedom" as "the ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere free of undue restrictions."
 
Elaborating on that: "The freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying upon personal choice and markets to answer basic economic questions such as what is to be produced, how it is to be produced, how much is produced, and for whom production is intended. As government imposes restrictions on these choices, there is less economic freedom."
 
The report shows that economic liberty has clear, measurable, dollars-and-cents benefits, writes study co-author Dean Stansel in the Washington Examiner: 
 
"States that have low taxation, limited government and flexible labor markets enjoy greater economic growth, while states with lower levels of economic freedom suffer from reduced living standards for families and less economic opportunity.
 
"In the three most-free states (Texas, South Dakota, and North Dakota) average personal income is about 20 percent higher than in the three least-free states (Maine, Vermont, and Mississippi) — approximately $48,000 versus $40,000. And the unemployment rate is more than seven percent in Rhode Island (45th) versus about four percent in nearby New Hampshire (5th).
 
"Furthermore, cities in low-freedom states like California (43rd), Michigan (37th), and Rhode Island have made headlines in recent years for declaring bankruptcy, whereas cities in high-freedom states like Nebraska (5th), Texas, and the Dakotas, have seen incomes and their tax bases expand. 
 
"In the top ten states, total employment grew by roughly 3.5 percent, while it has barely budged in the bottom 10. Over that same period, the economy grew more than eight percent in the top 10, but only by about two percent in the bottom 10."
 
Concludes Stansel: 
 
"The research is clear: Where economic freedom is high and rising, the number of jobs is expanding and the economy is vibrant and growing. Where it’s low and declining, the economy is stagnant, limiting opportunity and quality of life for residents of those states.
 
"Big, costly government at the expense of the people doesn’t work. It leads to economic decline. In contrast, expanding economic freedom increases economic opportunity and provides the path to economic prosperity."
 
The report ranks economic freedom along a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (full economic liberty). This brings a warning: "Historically, economic freedom has been declining in all three countries. Since 2000, the average score for Canadian provinces on the all-governments index has fallen from 7.8 to 7.6; the number for U.S. states was 8.2 to 7.5." 
 
The Economic Freedom of North America study is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute’s acclaimed Economic Freedom of the World index, the result of a quarter century of work by more than 60 scholars including three Nobel laureates.
THEY SAID IT...

FRUITS OF THE DRUG WAR: "What has the War on Drugs done to the world? Look at the murder and mayhem in Mexico, Central America, so many other parts of the planet, the global black market estimated at 300 billion dollars a year, prisons packed in the United States and elsewhere, police and military drawn into an unwinnable war that violates basic rights, and ordinary citizens just hope they don't get caught in the crossfire, and meanwhile, more people using more drugs than ever. It's my country's history with alcohol prohibition and Al Capone, times 50." — renowned anti-Drug War activist Ethan Nadelmann from his October 2014 Ted Talk "Why We Need to end the War on Drugs." 
 
THE FAILURE IN FERGUSON: "The failure in Ferguson is across the board. From a city government whose police force makes its minority populace feel vulnerable and defends an unnecessary public killing by one of its cops, to a county prosecutor afraid to take responsibility for a proper public prosecution, to a governor missing in action, to a president who sounds like he wants to federalize police, we have an out-of-control stewpot boiling over into a wave of destruction. ... The militarization of local police — perfected during the past two presidential administrations, which have given local cops military surplus intended to be used on enemy armies in foreign lands — if uncorrected, will lead to a police state. A police state is one in which the government's paramount concern is for its own safety, and not for the lives, liberties and properties of those it has sworn to protect." — Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, "Ferguson," syndicated column, December 4, 2014.

I CAN'T BREATHE: "Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I'm tired of it. It stops today. Why would you...? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn't do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me [garbled] selling cigarettes. I'm minding my business, officer, I'm minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. Please please, don't touch me. Do not touch me. [garbled] I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe." — last words of Eric Garner of New York, who died from a police chokehold after police attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling "loosies" — single cigarettes — on the street. Garner was unarmed and nonthreatening. The officer was not indicted, leading to protests in New York and across the country this week.
 
PARDON US, MR. PRESIDENT: "Prior to Thanksgiving, President Obama continued the presidential tradition of pardoning two turkeys. Too bad he didn’t use the occasion to also pardon every single victim of the U.S. government’s decades-long failed and destructive War on Drugs... all the people who have been convicted of violating federal laws against the possession or distribution of drugs, especially those people currently serving time in some federal penitentiary. Those people have no more business being in jail than people who have used, possessed, or distributed beer, liquor, wine, tobacco, fatty foods, or any other substance. ... President Obama, who himself, by his own admission, has possessed and consumed illicit drugs, spared the life of those two turkeys prior to Thanksgiving. Too bad his compassion didn’t extend to the thousands of Drug War victims in America’s federal prisons. He still has time to issue a blanket pardon before Christmas." — Jacob G. Hornberger, President of the Future of Freedom Foundation, "Why Not Pardon Drug War Victims in Addition to Turkeys?", December 1, 2014.   
 
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.

Persuasion Power Point #380

by Michael Cloud





Power Listening: One Way to Dramatically Improve Your Conversations

Do you want others to carefully listen to your points during a conversation?

Carefully listen to theirs.

Want others to make every effort to see things from your perspective?

Diligently and intently make every effort to see things from their point of view.

Want others to listen attentively when you speak?

Receptively and responsively listen when they speak.

We usually reap what we sow. We get what we give. 

It pays off. For them. For us.

For liberty.
 
* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud's latest 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.

 
 

One-Minute Liberty Tip 

by Sharon Harris




December 15: Celebrate Bill of Rights Day! 

A little-known but very important U.S. holiday is coming up — one far too many Americans are unaware of. It offers libertarians a great chance to inform Americans of our heritage of liberty and the urgent need today to defend that heritage.
 
December 15 is "Bill of Rights Day" — a day to celebrate, honor and renew support for our precious Bill of Rights.
 
It was on December 15, 1791 that the Bill of Rights  — the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution — went into effect.
 
One hundred and fifty years later, in 1941, December 15 was officially proclaimed Bill of Rights Day. States, cities, and counties across America have passed resolutions honoring Bill of Rights day. Some classrooms will hold special Bill of Rights Day classes, and some citizens and organizations will celebrate Bill of Rights Day. 
 
Still, most Americans remain sadly unaware of the date's significance. 
 
The Bill of Rights is, of course, the great protector of American liberties. It boldly declares that people have certain inalienable rights that government cannot abridge — fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and more. It also provides procedures for defending those rights — such as fair trials and limits on federal power.
 
The Bill of Rights doesn't belong just to America. It has inspired freedom fighters around the world. The Founders viewed their Revolution as the first blow in a struggle to win liberty for all the people of the world. So the Bill of Rights is truly a document for everyone.
 
Thomas Jefferson made this clear in a letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787: "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."
 
Use Bill of Rights Day to teach family, friends, neighbors and others about our precious heritage.
 
It's a great time for a letter to the editor discussing the vital importance of our Bill of Rights freedoms, and urging citizens to speak out against current calls to sacrifice liberty for (alleged) security.
 
With fundamental Bill of Rights freedom under unprecedented assault in recent years, this has never been more important. 
 
To help with that, here's a short summary of the Bill of Rights, prepared several years ago by students at Liberty Middle School in Ashley, Virginia. (I've added just a few words for clarification.) While this condensed version doesn't have the majesty, depth and detail of the entire document, it is short and easy to understand, and may be useful to you in discussions and letters:
 
THE BILL OF RIGHTS
 
1. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble peaceably, right to petition the government about grievances.
2. Right to keep and bear arms.
3. Citizens do not have to quarter soldiers during peacetime.
4. No unreasonable searches and seizures.
5. Rights of the accused.
6. Right to a fair trial.
7. Right to a trial by jury in civil cases also.
8. No cruel and unusual punishments.
9. Unenumerated rights go to the people.
10. Reserves all powers not given to the national government to the states or 
the people.
 
All Americans should be familiar with their Bill of Rights freedoms. Sadly, numerous surveys indicate most are not. Indeed, as journalist James Bovard has pointed out, a 1991 poll commissioned by the American Bar Association found only 33 percent of Americans surveyed even knew what the Bill of Rights was. In one Gallup poll 70 percent did not know what the First Amendment was or what it dealt with. 
 
As Adam Summers of the Reason Foundation observed in The Libertarian Perspective: 
 
“The Founders must be spinning in their graves. Nearly everything the government does today is unconstitutional under the system they instituted. Governmental powers were expressly limited; individual liberties were not. Now it seems it is the other way around. 
 
“If the Bill of Rights is to regain its meaning, we must rededicate ourselves to the principles it asserts and be mindful that a government powerful enough to give us all we want is powerful enough to take away everything we have.” 
 
Let it begin with you. This December 15 is a great time to remind all Americans that we are, as the National Constitution Center puts it, a nation of “Bill”-ionaires.
Happy Bill of Rights Day!

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