Volume 20, Issue 16                              April 30, 2015
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"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

For One Week Only: My NEW Ebook — Just 99 Cents on Amazon!
* Plus: Some last thoughts as I retire as Advocates president

It's Been an Honor: A Personal Note from the Editor
* ACLU: Why the War on Drugs Is So Bad for Privacy
* Walter Williams: Gun Control Nonsense

THEY SAID IT: Hooray! Asset forfeiture ABOLISHED in New Mexico…. Jeb Bush loves him some surveillance state…. Supreme Court Justice Alito on raisin' injustice at the Court…. George Will says the human brain is incapable of tracking the vastness of gov't failure and tyranny…. Journalist outlines the astonishing growth of the U.S. permanent wartime economy….

Why Not You?

Reservations About Gay Marriage?

* SPECIAL THANK-YOU GIFTS reserved just for you!
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups

Have a libertarian communication event near you! Find out how

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris

For One Week Only: My NEW Ebook — Just 99 Cents on Amazon!

Plus: Some last thoughts as I retire as Advocates president

Dear friend,

As I announced last issue, I am retiring from the Advocates, after 20 years as president.

In fact, today is my last day, and this is my last President's Column!

I've had a grand time as Advocates president — my dream-come-true job.

As I mentioned in my last column, I am not retiring as an active libertarian. I will be focusing my efforts on the activities I love most: writing and speaking about libertarianism and the most effective ways to communicate the ideas of liberty. I will also continue doing communication workshops on this topic, some of them in conjunction with the Advocates. 
My New Ebook Launched: It's Just 99 Cents — For One Week Only!

Which brings me to some very exciting news: the launching of the brand-new Kindle version of my book How to Be a Super Communicator for Liberty!

For one week only, as my farewell gift to you and other Advocates friends, you can get it for just… 99 cents. (The paperback is $20, and the ebook price will rise after this introductory offer ends).

I'm hoping that at this giveaway price we might just be able to push the book into Amazon bestseller territory this week! That would be fun!

Can you help make that happen with your purchase

Here's some of what Ron Paul says about How to Be a Super Communicator for Liberty:

"I recommend this book to everyone serious about winning the battle for liberty.

"Few in the libertarian movement have spent as much effort working on how to best 'market' the libertarian message as Sharon Harris… [This book] will help libertarians improve their ability to answer the tough questions, make our philosophy relevant to people’s everyday concerns, and most importantly win converts and grow our movement."

You can read more of what Ron Paul and others have said at Amazon.

How to Be a Super Communicator for Liberty is the culmination of my twenty years of studying and researching the very best ways to effectively spread the ideas of liberty.

In over 100 short chapters spanning over 300 pages, How to Be a Super Communicator for Liberty offers hundreds of tips, tools and proven techniques to revolutionize your libertarian outreach. Just a few of these can radically boost your effectiveness as a libertarian communicator — and that applies to writing, public speaking, casual conversation, outreach, campaigning, and more.

May I ask you a favor? Please purchase the book right now — while it's still just 99 cents — and please also tell all your libertarian friends about this one-week-only offer. Let's push it onto the Amazon bestseller lists — and far more  importantly, get it into the hands of every libertarian who will use it to spread the word about liberty.

Thank you!
Special Thanks to My "Three Right Hands"

One more thing: It's just impossible to thank by name all the people who have made my 20 years as Advocates president such a pleasure. (As a Liberator Online reader, you're high on that list yourself.)

But I must acknowledge three very special people who have made my work immensely more successful, satisfying and joyful. In fact, I could not have done it without them.

* Dagny Smith has been office manager for the Advocates for 15 of the 20 years I have been president. In that role, she kept the office running smoothly, made sure orders and donations were processed quickly and efficiently, and maintained the highest standards of customer service. But that's just the start. As a representative of the Advocates at conferences across the country, she introduced thousands of people to the Quiz, OPH, and other Advocates programs, and instructed hundreds of college students on how to grow their campus outreach programs. She contributed many excellent ideas for Advocates' programs, and she has done layout for the Liberator Online for years. If you've had any interaction at all with the Advocates, you've benefited immensely from Dagny's expertise and caring.

* Evelyn Hanson has been Advocates business manager and accountant for 13 years. Thanks to her, all things financial have been maintained at the highest level of quality and best practices. Evelyn made sure all records and reports were prepared impeccably, all deadlines for tax filings and nonprofit reporting requirements were met, and management was provided with accurate budgets, forecasts and analysis needed for decision making. But there's much more. Evelyn's dedication to the Advocates led her to also do extensive volunteer work, especially in the areas of prospect research and fundraising. Evelyn has further helped me enormously with brainstorming, strategizing and exploring new ideas.

* James W. Harris has worked with the Advocates longer than anyone else (including me). He began in 1991 (!) as editor of the print version of the Liberator, and has edited the Liberator Online since its start nearly 20 years ago. He has been the writer or chief editor of almost everything that has been written for the Advocates since he came on board. More, he's had key roles in virtually every major Advocates project of the past two decades. His work refining and documenting the World's Smallest Political Quiz was profusely praised by Quiz creator Marshall Fritz. In countless ways Jimmy has contributed immensely to the Advocates' success.

Thanks, you three! I love you.
Stay in Touch!

I don't want to lose touch with you. You can stay in touch by "liking" me at Facebook, or by emailing me to stay informed about my upcoming projects.

And thank you one more time: for reading the Liberator Online, for supporting the Advocates, and for your dedication to our great Cause of liberty!

In liberty,
* * *
NEXT ISSUE: Introducing new Advocates' executive director Brett Bittner. Don't miss it!

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. 

Activist Ammunition

by James W. Harris 

It's Been an Honor: A Personal Note from the Editor

This is my final issue as editor of the Liberator Online, and I wanted to thank all of you who have read this publication and supported it over the years. Whether this is your first issue or whether you've been reading it since day one, your readership has meant a great deal to me.

I started the Liberator Online, with the help of Paul Schmidt, on July 25, 1996. From a few hundred initial subscribers we quickly grew to become one of the most popular libertarian publications in the world. You have given me the opportunity to write over a thousand short articles on the most important political issues of our time, and to share with a large libertarian audience a huge amount of important, enlightening and entertaining writing and research by others.

It has been especially rewarding to regularly bring you the wisdom of libertarian communication experts Michael Cloud, Mary Ruwart, and Sharon Harris. I strongly believe their work, along with the earlier communication teaching of past Advocates presidents Marshall Fritz and Carole Ann Rand, has played a major role in the growing public acceptance of libertarian ideas. Thus far four groundbreaking books on libertarian communication have come from material they generously first presented here, and I am proud that the Liberator Online made that possible. These books will benefit the liberty movement for many years to come, and these writers deserve the thanks of every libertarian.

Editing the Liberator Online has been a fun and educational experience, and I hope you have found reading it to be the same. I plan to be more active than ever in libertarian writing, and you can keep up with my future projects by "liking" Sharon Harris's Facebook page or emailing Sharon to be kept informed. Meanwhile, keep reading the Liberator Online! Exciting things are planned for coming issues, and as a subscriber myself, I am looking forward to them.

Liberator Online readers are people who are actively working to bring liberty and peace to the world. It's been an honor. Thank you. — James.

ACLU: Why the War on Drugs Is So Bad For Privacy

Earlier this month Jay Stanley, ACLU Senior Policy Analyst, neatly summarized why the War on Drugs is so very destructive of privacy rights. It's a powerful argument, and very useful to bring those on the left to join libertarians in opposing the Drug War and other victimless crime laws:

"It's important to remember a key point about why the Drug War has been so corrosive of privacy: drug use is a victimless crime.

"Why does that make it so bad for privacy? Think about it: with an ordinary crime, you have a victim who goes running to the police to tell them about the wrongdoing that has taken place. They have been assaulted, or stolen from, or otherwise wronged, and are hopping mad, and look to the police for justice. If the crime is murder, then the victim's loved ones will do the same. While police might engage in a certain amount of patrolling, for the most part reports of crime come to them.

"But when there's no victim, how are the police supposed to find out when the law has been broken? The only way for police to fight victimless crime is to proactively search out wrongdoing: insert themselves into people's lives, monitor their behavior, search their cars, etc.

"The enforcement of drug laws thus relies disproportionately on surveillance, eavesdropping, and searches of private places and effects.

"This (and misguided judges) is the reason that the failed War on Drugs has generated so much bad law around privacy and the Fourth Amendment in particular.

"It's a simple point, and I'm hardly the first to make it, but it's well worth keeping in mind, and it's one reason that the ACLU generally opposes victimless crimes."

Walter Williams: Gun Control Nonsense

"Gun control advocates argue that stricter gun control laws would reduce murders. They ignore the fact that Brazil, Mexico and Russia have some of the strictest gun control laws but murder rates higher than ours. On the other hand, Switzerland and Israel have higher gun ownership rates than we but much lower murder rates. These are realities that gun controllers ignore.

"Another reality completely ignored in the gun control debate is the reason the Founding Fathers gave Second Amendment protections.

"Alexander Hamilton wrote, 'If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.'

"Thomas Jefferson wrote, 'What country can preserve (its) liberties if (its) rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.'

"I leave it up to you to decide what representatives and rulers the Founders were talking about."

— Walter Williams, "Reality May Be Optional," syndicated column, April 15, 2015.

* * * 

Activist 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."

ASSET FORFEITURE ABOLISHED IN NEW MEXICO: "With this law, New Mexico leads the nation in protecting the property rights of innocent Americans. Convicted criminals will still see the fruits of their crime confiscated by the state, but innocent New Mexicans can now rest easy knowing that their property will never be seized by police without proper due process." — Paul Gessing, President of the Rio Grande Foundation, on the signing of HB 560 into law by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, April 10, 2014. The law, passed unanimously in the legislature, ends the vile practice of civil asset forfeiture, also known as "policing for profit," in that state. New Mexico is the first state where such a bill has passed. Hopefully others will follow.

JEB BUSH LOVES HIM SOME SURVEILLANCE STATE: "I would say the best part of the Obama administration would be his continuance of the protections of the Homeland using, you know, the big metadata programs, the NSA being enhanced." — GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush on the Michael Medved radio show, April 21, 2015.

RAISIN' INJUSTICE AT THE SUPREME COURT: "Could the government say to a manufacturer of cellphones, you can sell cellphones; however, every fifth one you have to give to us? Or a manufacturer of cars, you can sell cars in the United States, but every third car you have to give to the United States?" — Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. questioning the constitutionality of a New Deal-era federal law requiring raisin farmers to hand over a portion of any raisin crop surplus to the feds at a steep discount, or pay a severe fine. Farmers are hampered by similar laws regarding other crops, which are tyrannical and keep prices higher for consumers.

YOU CAN'T KEEP UP: "Government sprawl and meddlesomeness mock the idea that government is transparent. There are not enough cells in the human brain to enable Americans to know more than a wee fraction of what their government is up to." — columnist George Will, "Shriveled Grapes, Shriveled Liberty," Washington Post, April 17, 2015.

THE PERMANENT WAR ECONOMY: "Despite a decline in military spending since 2010, U.S. defense expenditures are still 45 percent higher than they were before the 9/11 terror attacks put the country on a seemingly permanent war footing. …[T]he U.S. spends more on its military than the next seven top-spending countries combined, according to new figures compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). That's nearly three times as much as China, and more than seven times as much as Russia." — journalist Dan Froomkin, "US Military Spending Still Up 45% Over Pre-9/11 Levels; More Than Next 7 Countries Combined," The Intercept, April 20, 2015.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.

Persuasion Power Point #387

by Michael Cloud

Why Not You?

The libertarian movement needs individuals to help us recruit tens of thousands of new libertarians each year… then each month… then each week.

Why not you?

We need informed and skilled communicators who can win the hearts and minds of others to liberty.

Why not you?

We need shy individuals to work behind the scenes to research, write, and coach our spokespersons and leaders.

Why not you?

We need internet-savvy libertarians to help set up and run libertarian websites, blogs, email, and social media.

Why not you?

The libertarian movement needs all kinds of volunteers. Young and old. Working or retired. Women or men. Married or single. Socializers or loners.

Why not you?

When should you email or call or text to see what's available?

Why not now?

*  *  *
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.

Reservations About Gay Marriage?

QUESTION: I have some reservations on the issue of gay marriage. As a logician, I rely on well-defined terms to solve problems. While I do support civil unions, marriage has always been such a term (i.e., well-defined) historically. By making the definition more inclusive, the meaning of the term "marriage" loses its cultural significance. I fear the degeneration of such cultural structures will lead to further uncertainty and greater reliance on government. Not a good thing, in my view. What do you think?

MY SHORT ANSWER: I understand your concerns. However, marriage is not as well-defined as you might think.

For example, what are you actually agreeing to when you get married? You really don't know until you get a divorce. The laws in each state differ as to child custody and how property is divided. In some states, everything owned by either party is divided equally; in others, anything brought to the marriage by one partner can be totally reclaimed during the divorce. If you are married in one state, but divorced in another, the marriage "contract" can be quite different from your understanding on the day that you tied the knot.

In some states, you are considered married by common law if you live with your partner for 7 years even if you don't want to be; in others, cohabitation for decades isn't recognized. In Texas, publically claiming another as your spouse is presumably all it takes to become husband and wife.

Custom and culture are subject to change over time. The definition of marriage is one of those cultural norms that has indeed morphed over time and is likely to continue to do so. The question isn't will it change, but rather, who decides how it changes. Libertarians generally agree that government shouldn't be the decision maker.

* * * 

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 latest book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her classic Healing Our World.

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