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Volume 20, Issue 10                              March 12, 2015
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In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
*
Get Ready to Build Your Libertarian Organization

ACTIVIST AMMUNITION
Libertarian Party Mocks Tepid GOP Tax Plan, Calls Instead for Ending the Hated Income Tax
Texas Legislator Writes Best Marijuana Re-Legalization Law... Ever

THEY SAID IT: Drug prosecutors ruin lives, says former prosecutor now working on the side of good.... Ron Paul says it's time to — surprise — audit the Fed.... Net neutrality is a worthless "solution" looking for a problem, says Students For Liberty writer.... Nobody likes Congress, laughs Seth Meyers.... Conservative M. Stanton Evans' take on liberal tolerance.... 

PERSUASION POWER POINT #384 by Michael Cloud
Out-Teach the Opponents of Liberty

LIBERTY MINUTE
Liberty Language: Instead of "Sales Tax"

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
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President's Corner

by Sharon Harris







Get Ready to Build Your Libertarian Organization

Dear friend,

Spring is almost here! People will be out and about to enjoy the great weather. Springtime events will be everywhere: art fairs, political rallies, music festivals, gun shows, campus gatherings of different kinds, concerts, and many more…

This makes spring a fantastic time to take the ideas of liberty to your community or campus, discover new supporters and members for your libertarian organization — and HAVE FUN doing it.

How? With Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) â€” the Advocates' acclaimed "event in a kit" that can help you discover dozens or even hundreds of libertarian-leaning people in your community. 

Quite simply, OPH works like magic. Wherever people are gathered, OPH will attract them. OPH incorporates the mind-opening power of the World's Smallest Political Quiz. OPH lets you quickly identify people who are libertarian or libertarian-leaning — and get their names and contact information. 

OPH is one of the great success stories of the libertarian movement. Hundreds of thousands of people have encountered the ideas of liberty through OPH. And millions more people are out there, just waiting for someone — maybe you? — to introduce them to libertarianism and get them active for liberty.

And one of the most amazing things about OPH is that it's... FUN!

Libertarian outreach — fun? You bet! Over and over again, OPH users tell us that:

"I've been doing OPH for several years. I have administered thousands of Quizzes, seen people with all manner of political views, been asked questions ranging from the insightful to the provocative to the absurd, and generally had fun. That's right, I had fun." 

"I ended up staying four hours simply because it was so much fun!" 

"It is fun. Usually we'll have a couple of dozen people standing around the booth, a big crowd. Most of the time people just jump right into it." 

Read lots more such testimonials here.

OPH is a great volunteer activity. Newcomers and veterans alike can do it with ease. Each OPH kit provides everything you need, including banners, posters, Quiz cards and "how-to" training materials.

Campus libertarian groups: OPH is a smash hit on college campuses. We've provided over 1,000 student libertarian groups with FREE OPH kits — and they're helping discover thousands of new libertarian-minded students. (Students: find out about our FREE OPH kit offer.)

Student activists and leaders enthusiastically endorse OPH:

"OPH is our number one recruiting tool." 

"The reaction to OPH was thrilling. People thronged our table… We got some awesome new recruits." 

"We used the OPH kit at the school's club fair last week and recruited 55 new members."

"OPH is a breakthrough tool. Anyone can do it — it's so easy. It's not only a great tool for attracting people, it's also a great tool for keeping people involved."

Think about the numbers, and consider the possibilities. A typical OPH event can easily find and sign up twenty or more — often many more — libertarian-friendly people.

How much stronger would the liberty movement be if hundreds of OPHs were conducted across America this spring — discovering thousands of eager new libertarian activists, supporters, donors and voters?

Imagine a thousand OPHs in operation this spring, averaging twenty new libertarian sign-ups. 

How much would the liberty movement benefit from an infusion of 20,000 eager new libertarian activists?

How much would your libertarian group benefit from 10, 20, 40 or 50 new supporters, members and activists? 

Somewhere near you, this week, there will be an event — a political rally, a county fair, a concert, a neighborhood party — that is PERFECT for OPH. Potential libertarians will be there, waiting to be discovered. Will OPH be there? It's up to you.

Again, to learn more about OPH and see photos of OPH in action, visit here.

To learn more about OPH on campus, visit here.

Happy Spring!

In Liberty,
 
Sharon
 
NEXT ISSUE: "Ask Dr. Ruwart"... and more!
 
* * *
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





Libertarian Party Mocks Tepid GOP Tax Plan, Calls Instead for Ending the Hated Income Tax

The Libertarian Party has denounced the latest income tax reform proposal by "fiscal conservative" Senators Marco Rubio (R- FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) as far too timid with little or no benefit to most taxpayers. Further, charges the Libertarian Party, the plan "leaves the federal tax burden dangerously high."

"This is what leaders within the GOP — which now holds majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate — have to offer?" asked Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. "The Republican plan would do nothing to reduce federal deficits or federal spending. It keeps the federal tax burden at over $3 trillion and climbing, up from the dangerously high level of $2.1 trillion when Obama took office." 

The irony of "fiscal conservatives" in control of both branches of Congress calling for taxes higher than when Obama came in, and adding trillions of dollars to the national debt, was not lost on the Libertarians. 

There's a far better way, the Libertarian Party said.

"How about doing what many Libertarian candidates propose instead: ending the federal income tax altogether, balancing the budget, and cutting trillions of dollars in wasteful federal spending," suggested Sarwick.

The Libertarian Party noted the surprising fact that ending the federal income tax entirely — and replacing it with nothing — while also balancing the budget — only requires rolling back federal spending to the level of... 1998. 

1998, of course, was near the end of the Clinton administration, routinely denounced by conservatives as epitomizing "Big Government." Certainly no conservative leaders in 1998 worried that the federal government was too small or lacked funds to perform its constitutional duties. Even President Clinton himself acknowledged that government had become far too big, famously declaring that "the era of Big Government is over" (perhaps unaware that we would soon be in the era of Bigger and Even Bigger Government).

Yet simply returning to funding at the 1998 level, says the Libertarian Party, would not only allow the abolition of the hated income tax. It would allow "more than enough to provide a strong national defense — and dramatically more than enough to fulfill all constitutional functions of the federal government."

"Ending the income tax, balancing the budget — eliminating wasteful, unneeded and destructive government programs, wars, and bureaucracies — and cutting total federal spending accordingly will put an average of $11,525 back into the budget of every American household," said Sarwark. "It pours $1.4 trillion into the productive, private sector economy. 

"That's stimulus!" Sarwark said. "Vote Libertarian, end the income tax, and put money back into your budget."

Texas Legislator Writes Best Marijuana Re-Legalization Law... Ever 

David Simpson, a Texas Republican state representative who describes himself as a "constitutional conservative," has introduced what is surely the best and most libertarian marijuana prohibition repeal bill yet. 

His bill — introduced this month — would simply eliminate all references to marijuana in Texas law, presumably making marijuana as legal as rose bushes or pine trees. 

And he justifies it as part of an overall personal and political philosophy based on Christian values, individual liberty and limited government. 

Simpson explains his thinking in a remarkable op-ed in The Texas Tribune, entitled "The Christian Case for Drug Law Reform." Excerpts:

"As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity's charge to be stewards of the same.

"In fact, it's for this reason that I'm especially cautious when it comes to laws banning plants. I don't believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.

"[O]ur current 'War on Drugs' policies, though well intended, [are] spurring a proliferation of ever-changing exotic designer drugs and a disregard for constitutional protections in the name of eliminating drugs at any cost. Just think of no-knock warrants, stop-and-frisk, civil asset forfeiture and billionaire drug lords ...state and federal agents are empowered to enforce laws with little to no regard for constitutional protections of individual rights, the sanctity of one's home or the right to travel freely. ...

"The time has come for a thoughtful discussion of the prudence of the prohibition approach to drug abuse, the impact of prohibition enforcement on constitutionally protected liberties and the responsibilities that individuals must take for their own actions. ...

"Should we be concerned for our friends and neighbors who abuse a substance or activity? Yes, we should help them through sincere and voluntary engagement, but not with force and violence.

"Is there a place for prohibition? Yes, a prohibition of aggression (Romans 13). Our laws should prohibit and penalize violent acts. This is the jurisdiction of the magistrates under the new covenant — harm to one's neighbor.

"Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor."

As Reason magazine notes, "This is not just a brief against marijuana prohibition, or even the War on Drugs in general. It is a brief against using force to stop peaceful, consensual activity. ... We need more Republicans like David Simpson."

* * * 

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." 
THEY SAID IT...

DRUG PROSECUTORS RUIN LIVES: "Every time I opened a file [as a drug case prosecutor], I ruined a life. You can get over an addiction, but not a conviction. ... The War on Drugs has failed in every respect and exacerbated every problem it was called on to fix." — Ethan Simon, Bernalillo County, New Mexico assistant district attorney 2008-2011, now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), speaking at the University of New Mexico School of Law, February 26, 2015. 

AUDIT THE FED: "Perhaps the real reason the Federal Reserve fears a full audit can be revealed by examining the one-time audit of the Federal Reserve's response to the financial crisis authorized by the Dodd-Frank law. This audit found that between 2007 and 2010 the Federal Reserve committed over $16 trillion — more than four times the annual budget of the United States — to foreign central banks and politically influential private companies. Can anyone doubt a full audit would show similar instances of the Fed acting to benefit the political and economic elites?" — Ron Paul, "Don't Be Fooled by the Federal Reserve's Anti-Audit Propaganda," March 8, 2015. 

NET NEUTRALITY: A "SOLUTION" LOOKING FOR A PROBLEM: "At the most fundamental level, net neutrality is a solution looking for a problem. There currently aren't any companies paying ISPs for favoritism, and no clear indication that any will. Plus, even if they did, Internet speeds are increasing at an exponential rate, making the argument irrelevant. To illustrate this point, the University of Surrey in the UK is testing 5G Internet that will give mobile phones terabit speeds, faster than even the best fiber optic Internet connections today. At that speed, full-length movies in high quality would download in a split second. Spinning wheels in front of videos will be a thing of the past, no matter how much any company pays another. Yet, the FCC will still be able to regulate the Internet as it pleases, even if there is no longer a need for the regulation (if a need for the regulation ever existed in the first place)." — Jack Enright, "Net Neutrality: A solution looking for a problem," Students For Liberty blog, March 4, 2015. 

NOBODY LIKES CONGRESS: "Today during his speech in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly referred to Congress as 'my friends.' It was a move that had many in Congress Googling the word 'friend.'" — Seth Meyers, March 3, 2015.

DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, AS LONG AS... "A modern liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's compulsory." — conservative author and icon M. Stanton Evans [as quoted by George Will], who died March 3, 2015.
 
*  *  *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.

Persuasion Power Point #384

by Michael Cloud






Out-Teach the Opponents of Liberty

Strategies and tactics of libertarian persuasion can change people's beliefs and opinions.

But they pale beside the mind-changing power of teaching others the facts and principles of liberty.

A little libertarian learning can change the hearts and minds of millions.

Don't take my word for this.

Try it. On family members. Friends. Neighbors. Co-workers.

Email them one or two short, powerful essays by Bastiat or Henry Hazlitt or Harry Browne.

Give them a copy of Jim Cox's brief and persuasive book Minimum Wage, Maximum Damage.
 
Or Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

Or Libertarianism in One Lesson by David Bergland.

If they ask for more, lend or give them other books, essays, articles, audios and videos on free market economics and libertarianism.

We can out-teach many supporters of Big Government.

Because the facts are friendly to freedom.
 
*  *  *
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




Liberty Language: Instead of "Sales Tax"

As Mark Twain famously observed, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning."

The political words and labels we use are vitally important. I'm always looking for new, more effective political wording — political "lightning words" that will open minds and stimulate thinking. 

Here are a couple more excellent mind-opening word suggestions from economist Mark Perry, who writes the excellent blog Carpe Diem. (We looked at his thoughts on alternative wording for the minimum wage in my previous column.)

These suggestions concern the sales tax. 

Most of us think of the sales tax as spare change, or a nuisance, most of the time — a few pennies or dollars per purchase, and the occasional more painful amount on big-ticket purchases. Yet the total amount Americans pay over the course of a year in sales taxes can be a significant percentage of their income. In California, for example, state and local sales taxes can hit a whopping 10%. And sales taxes on the necessities of life — food, clothing, transportation, etc. — can hit the poor and struggling especially hard. 

The way the sales tax is collected, in daily small amounts, muddies and hides the impact of this tax and who pays it. So does the innocuous name "sales tax." 

Perry suggests two alternate terms to make people think. He suggests it's more accurate to call the sales tax "the consumer tax" or "the buyers' tax" so that "the ultimate payer of the tax is recognized." 

I like both of these, and I'm especially fond of "buyers' tax." 

And here's one of my own: "customer tax." 

Try them out. You may find they open minds and lead to fruitful discussions. 

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

What's Happening with the Advocates

 
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