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Sen. John McCain: Re-Legalize Marijuana (Maybe) and Rethink the War on Drugs

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

You know that America’s disastrous War on Drugs is on shaky legs when even an arch-conservative like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) questions its effectiveness and gives a friendly nod to re-legalizing marijuana.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Tucson, Arizona on September 5, McCain did exactly that, reports U.S. News & World Report.

“What’s going on in Mexico, in my view, to some degree, is our responsibility… because we’re creating a demand for drugs in this country and when there’s a demand, there’s going to be a supply,” McCain told his constituents.

Some attendees immediately called out “Legalize it!”

“Maybe we should legalize it,” McCain responded. “We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned.”

Applause broke out.

“But I respect the will of the people. There was a vote here in Arizona…”

His voice trailed off. Perhaps he was referring to Arizona’s 2010 legalization of medical marijuana?

Recent polls show that “the will of the people” is now re-legalization: a majority of Americans — and nearly two-thirds of people born between ages 18 and 32 – say marijuana should be legal.

As for Arizona, The Behavior Research Center’s Rocky Mountain Poll in May 2013 found that most Arizonans — a solid 56 percent — favor legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, with just 37 percent opposing.

There is an active initiative campaign in Arizona underway to re-legalize marijuana in 2014 and “allow for legal, taxed, and regulated marijuana/cannabis/industrial hemp use and commerce.”

McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, went on to finish his explanation of how making drugs illegal creates a black market that brings with it extreme violence:

“They are bringing these drugs across to our country because there’s a demand for them, and there’s going to be a supply wherever there is a demand…. the slaughter has been terrible… thousands of innocent people have been killed.

“So my urging is that this country engage in a conversation about drugs, about the punishment for drugs,” McCain concluded. “A huge percentage of the people in prison today are [in there for] drug related crimes. Now I’m not saying that’s good or bad, but I am saying that we need to have a national conversation.”

You can watch a video of McCain’s town hall, posted at U.S. News & World Report, courtesy of  KVOA-TV. McCain’s comments on marijuana begin at 29 minutes.

Advocates Founder Marshall Fritz on an Introduction to Libertarianism

in Podcast by Advocates HQ Comments are off

Marshall Fritz was the founder of the Advocates for Self-Government, and was perhaps best known as the creator of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Marshall presented this introduction to libertarianism in 1991, and comes courtesy of Libertarianism.org. Here is the video of it: http://youtu.be/TFCz2R2U_kE.

Listen Up! The Incredible, Free and Too Often Neglected Benefits of… Listening

in Communicating Liberty by Sharon Harris Comments are off

One of the most important — and frequently overlooked, and surprisingly difficult — secrets of truly successful communication is active listening.

In our eagerness to tell people about the ideas of liberty, we may miss out on the huge benefits of simply stopping and listening to what the people we are talking are saying in response.

Here are some of those benefits:

1. You learn what the other person’s primary concerns and interests are. This gives you a chance to address those directly, instead of talking about something the other person doesn’t care about.

2. You find out about any misconceptions they may have about libertarianism. This gives you a chance to clear those up.

3. You can discover areas of agreement, thus creating invaluable rapport.

4. Perhaps most importantly, you show the other person that you are interested in them. People tend to be reciprocal, and therefore they in turn will be more interested in you and what you have to say.

Most people don’t take the time and effort to do this. As Stephen Covey writes: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak.”

When you make the effort to listen actively, you immediately become far more effective communicator.

To be a good listener, you must REALLY listen — not just pretend. Breathe and focus on what the other person is saying. When needed or appropriate, use the Echoing technique (described in another chapter) to be sure you’ve really understood their concerns.

While this is SIMPLE, it’s certainly not EASY. You’ll find this out when you try it. Active listening is a skill that must be developed (though you’ll reap benefits the very first time you try it).

But it is worth the effort. The benefits are powerful. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your communication.

The Power of Echoing

 In one Dilbert cartoon, the obnoxious Dogbert character tells a communication seminar:

“There’s really no point in listening to other people. They’re either going to be agreeing with you or saying stupid stuff.”

Thank goodness Dogbert isn’t a libertarian!

The fact is, every successful persuasion conversation starts with listening.

Attentive listening assures the other person that you care about what they think, and allows you to effectively address their concerns.

But how do you know you’re really hearing what they’re saying?

It’s simple: Repeat what the other person said. Then ask: “Is that right?”

This technique is called “echoing.” Echoing lets someone know that you listened to them, heard them correctly, and understood what they said.

Example: They say, “In a libertarian society, wouldn’t poor people starve without government welfare?”

You say, “You’re concerned that poor people wouldn’t get the help they need in a libertarian society, and would starve. Is that correct?”

Wait for their response (and listen to it!). Then you can talk about how liberty helps the poor.

Echoing lets the other person know you’re listening. It also helps you fully understand their concern.

It’s a simple but powerful technique that builds the respect and rapport that is necessary to engage in constructive and persuasive conversation.

Is there an exception to this rule? Only one: Don’t listen to Dogbert!

Which kind of health care would you prefer?

in The Feed by Chris Spangle Comments are off

Which type of health care system would you prefer? – Personal, Self-Reliant, Controlled costs, Voluntary, Effective, Giving vs. Bureaucratic, Forced, Uncaring, Ineffective, Little control of personal decisions and costs…

Video: This Is the Libertarian Moment

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

“It’s not really about Republican versus Democrat anymore. This is our [libertarian] moment. This is our chance to redefine the conversation.”

So says Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks in this provocative 4-minute video from Reason TV.

Kibbe says that a growing liberty movement, composed of libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, young people, civil libertarians, and others is rapidly emerging. He believes this new liberty movement could play a critical role in American politics beginning with next year’s elections.

Exciting and encouraging news — especially when coupled with the new FreedomWorks poll discussed at the start of this column.

Surprising Facts About Private Schools

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Private_SchoolPrivate schools are good for families, good for kids and good for America,says the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), an organization that champions American private K-12 education.

But you may be surprised at just how effective and beneficial America’s private schools
are.

According to CAPE:

  • One in four schools is a private school.
  • One child in ten attends a private school.
  • Private schools produce an annual savings to taxpayers estimated at $50 billion.
  • Private school students perform better than their government school counterparts on standardized achievement tests.
  • Private secondary school students are nearly 50 percent more likely to take AP or IB courses in science and math than government school students.
  • Sixty-seven percent of private high school graduates attend four-year colleges, compared to just 40 percent of government high school graduates.
  • Private school students from low socio-economic backgrounds are more than three times more likely than comparable government school students to attain a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s — meaning that private schools contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty for their students. 
  • Private schools are racially, ethnically, and economically diverse. Twenty-seven percent of private school students are non-white; 27 percent are from families with annual incomes under $75,000 (another 18 percent of families did not report income).
  • Gaps between minority students and majority students are narrowed in private schools. Minority students in private schools are more than twice as likely to enter four-year colleges than their counterparts in government schools.
  • The participation of private school students in community service projects is “significantly higher” than their government school counterparts.
  • Many parents want the schools their children attend to help them instill the religious/spiritual values they embrace, and private schools help them meet this goal.
  • A federal survey found that more than three-quarters of private school parents are “very satisfied” with their child’s school, compared with less than half of parents whose children were assigned to a government school.
  • Private school students feel safer in their schools, and statistically are safer, than students in government schools.

 

Documentation is at CAPE’s website.

No wonder, then, that — to cite another CAPE statistic — a substantial majority of adults believe private schools do a better job of providing a quality education than government schools. And that belief, in turn, is fueling demand among parents for alternatives to the government’s failing education monopoly.

New Poll Finds “Libertarian Renaissance in America”

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

A new poll indicates America is smack dab in the midst of “a libertarian renaissance in 2013.” So reports the highly-regarded website POLITICO.

The poll finds that fully “78 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially moderate.”

Further: “Told that libertarians generally believe individuals should be free to do as they like as long as they don’t hurt others and that the government should keep out of people’s day-to-day lives, 58 percent of the full national sample said they agree.”

“It’s not that Republicans are suddenly self-identifying as ‘libertarians’ and devouring Ayn Rand novels,” says POLITICO, “but more that they seem to be embracing underlying libertarian priorities and views about the role of government.”

FreedomWorks, the liberty-minded organization that sponsored the poll of 1,000 registered voters, makes the same point. They say their poll “identifies voters who can be fairly identified as ‘libertarian’ based on their fiscally conservative, but socially moderate to liberal answers to questions on polls.

“We do not claim that these are hardcore libertarians who have all read Ayn Rand and F. A. Hayek, or are as ideologically self-aware as readers of Reason magazine. Rather, these voters’ libertarian beliefs distinguish them from liberals and conservatives, even if the word ‘libertarian’ may be unfamiliar to them.”

The poll has lots of great news for libertarians. It suggests that libertarians and libertarian-leaning Republicans could be on the way to becoming more influential within the GOP than the party’s social conservatives, military hawks and neo-conservatives.

When asked what they are most interested in, fully 40 percent of Republican voters chose “individual freedom through lower taxes and reducing the size and scope of government.” Just 27 percent picked “traditional values,” and only 18 percent chose a “strong national defense.”

Fully one-fourth of Republicans in the poll self-identified as “libertarian” or “lean libertarian.” 42 percent of Republicans view the term “libertarian” favorably and 10 percent don’t know it.

The poll also shows that libertarians have more work to do to get the word out.

Overall 27 percent of voters said they didn’t know enough about libertarianism to offer an opinion. About 40 percent of 18-to-32-year-olds view the word “libertarian” favorably. But about a third don’t know what it means.

Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who conducted the poll, told POLITICO that a large and growing number of voters feel the government is too expensive, too invasive and too expansive.

“The perfect storm is being created between the NSA, the IRS, the implementation of Obamacare and now Syria,” Conway said. “People are looking at the government more suspiciously. They’re looking with deeper scrutiny and reasonable suspicion.”

The poll also found a healthy distrust of government.

Fully 61 percent said “economic policies coming out of Washington” are hurting more than helping. 64 percent of 25-to-32-year-olds who have been in the workforce a substantial time said they favor “smaller government with fewer services but lower taxes.” And two-thirds of 18-to-32-year-olds are favorable towards “free market” and similar terms.

Asked which party they trust to “reform government in Washington,” a whopping 40 percent of American voters say “neither” party can be trusted — outnumbering both the 30 percent who trust the Democrats to reform government and the 25 percent who trust the Republicans. Even among self-identified Republicans, 41 percent say they trust “neither” party.

Libertarian Renaissance!

in Communicating Liberty, Liberator Online Archives by Sharon Harris Comments are off

(From the President’s Corner in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Dear friend,

Want a blast of GREAT news? Uplifting, exciting, motivating news?

Then check out the first article in this issue’s Intellectual Ammunition section: “New Poll Finds ‘Libertarian Renaissance in America.’

This is an explosive story, and it is wonderful news for the libertarian movement!

This breakthrough is no accident. Every person reading this who has helped spread the word of liberty — whether you’ve been doing it for decades, years, or just a few months — helped make it possible.

Congratulations and thanks to all of you freedom fighters!

As the article indicates, there is still much more work to do. The liberty movement’s job is just beginning. Millions of Americans have still not heard the libertarian message. Millions of potential libertarians have yet to be discovered, convinced, and brought into the liberty movement.

But momentum is at last on our side — thanks to your hard work. We have moved from obscurity and small numbers to a large and growing and passionate movement determined to make liberty once again a burning issue in American politics.

Libertarian ideas are spreading, and the future looks bright, despite the very real threats to liberty still holding center stage today. Libertarians have a real chance to grow into a movement that will replace today’s statist quo and restore and advance liberty in America and throughout the world.

The Advocates is here to help you take this renaissance to the next level! Our tools, our publications, our programs all exist to help you learn and use the most effective ways to spread the ideas of liberty.

We can help you grow your libertarian organization. We can help you take libertarian ideas to your family, friends and colleagues, to influential opinion leaders and to the public: persuasively, accurately, successfully.

Check out what we have to offer. Attend one of our upcoming trainings, orcontact me to arrange a training for your group.

Get an OPH kit (FREE for campus libertarian organizations).

Try the card version of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.

Suggest to your libertarian friends that they subscribe to the Liberator Online.

Thank you again for everything you have done for liberty — and thank you in advance for your continuing work to bring about future successes for our movement!

Yours for Liberty,
Sharon Harris

Congress Denied Basic Information on Spy Programs They Supposedly Oversee

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17Subscribe today!)

As new and ever more shocking revelations about the government’s massive surveillance programs continue to surface, President Obama and other defenders of the programs insist that Congress is aware of these programs, continually kept informed about them, and supervises them.

As President Obama said in June: “These programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate.”

But that’s just not true — according to some members of Congress themselves.

A new column by award-winning civil liberties journalist Glenn Greenwald quotes several congressmen who say they are not only not informed about these programs, the government repeatedly refuses to give them basic information they request.

“The revelations about the magnitude, the scope and scale of these surveillances, the metadata and the invasive actions [and the] surveillance of social media Web sites were indeed revelations to me.”Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

“I took an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, and I intend to do so. … I can’t do my job when I can’t get even the most basic information about these programs … How can I responsibly vote on a program I know very little about? … How can I talk about NSA actions I can’t learn anything about except from press accounts?”Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA).

“I, as a member of Congress, can’t get access to the court opinions. I have to beg for access, and I’m denied it if I make that request.”Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).

Greenwald’s column expands on this with examples, documents, and links to similar statements by other members of Congress.

Greenwald summarizes: “Denial of access for members of Congress to basic information about the NSA and the FISC appears to be common. … Whatever else is true, members of Congress in general clearly know next to nothing about the NSA and the FISA court beyond what they read in the media, and those who try to rectify that are being actively blocked from finding out.”

VIDEO: U.S. Taxpayers Pay Billions — to Subsidize the Military of Wealthy Foreign Nations

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17Subscribe today!)

It’s just one minute long, but this Cato Institute video offers powerful intellectual ammunition for those wanting to lower taxes and reduce U.S. involvement abroad.

Beleaguered American taxpayers are being forced to pay to subsidize the militaries of wealthy allied nations that can (and should) defend themselves — while these nations in turn spend the money they save on economic growth and propping up their massive welfare states.

See the staggering amounts the U.S. spends on military matters in comparison to the rest of the world.

As Cato elsewhere says:

“The average American spends $2,300 on the military, based on the latest data available. That is roughly four and a half times more than what the average person in other NATO countries spends. These countries boast a collective GDP of approximately $19 trillion, 25 percent higher than the U.S. They obviously can afford to spend more. So why don’t they? Because Uncle Sucker picks up nearly the entire tab.

“Looked at another way, U.S. alliances constitute a massive wealth transfer from U.S. taxpayers (and their Chinese creditors) to bloated European welfare states and technologically-advanced Asian nations.”

Should struggling American taxpayers be forced to pay for the defense of wealthy developed foreign nations? Should foreign welfare programs be subsidized by your tax dollars?

Share this short informative video with your friends, family and colleagues, and see what they think.

Criticize by Creating

in The Feed by Chris Spangle Comments are off

FEE recently launched a speaker-series that resembles TedTalks titled Voice and Exit. Advocates contributor Mary Ruwart was a part of the series. It is innovative and encouraging. The first has a powerful message: criticize by creating. If one wants a better life, better government, better community, better media, better currency, do it. There is a way. Innovate.

Some call libertarians too critical. As one wanders through the libertarian movement, one has to ask themselves, “Would I want to engage in a voluntary relationship with this person? You make anarchy scary.”

This talk is about creating the new. If one does not like something, they ought to do it better. Make an example. Don’t make excuses.

Best Libertarian Science Fiction of the Year Announced

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17Subscribe today!)

Want some great reading? The Libertarian Futurist Society has some recommendations for you.

Pirate_Cinema_660Each year the Libertarian Futurist Society gives its coveted Prometheus Awards for the best current and classic science fiction and speculative fiction that explores libertarian themes.

This year Cory Doctorow won the award for Best Novel for Pirate Cinema (TOR Books). In Pirate Cinema, a young-adults novel, Doctorow explores themes of artistic freedom, Internet freedom and peaceful social change while shedding light on issues of copyright and government surveillance.

This is Doctorow’s second Prometheus Award. He won the Best Novel award in 2009 for Little Brother, described by the Libertarian Futurist Society as “an optimistic young-adult novel about a young pirate filmmaker whose Internet activity threatens his family with government reprisals and who learns to fight back against outdated forms of control.” Sounds timely…

Cryptonomicon, a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson, won the 2013 Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction. Set during World War II and during the early 21st century, Stephenson’s novel explores the implications for a free society in the development of computation and cryptography.

Best Novel finalists for the best pro-freedom novel of the past year are Arctic Rising, by Tobias Buckell (TOR Books); The Unincorporated Future, by Dani and Eytan Kollin (TOR Books); Darkship Renegades, by Sarah Hoyt (Baen Books); and Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez (Dutton – Penguin).

Hall of Fame finalists recognized this year: Sam Hall, by Poul Anderson (a 1953 short story); Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold (a 1988 novel); “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman, by Harlan Ellison (a 1965 short story); Courtship Rite, by Donald M. Kingsbury (a 1982 novel); and As Easy as A.B.C., by Rudyard Kipling (a 1912 short story).

The awards will be given in a ceremony at the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas, which is being held August 29-September 3.

For further great libertarian fiction reading ideas, see the list of past Prometheus Award winners and nominees.

Cost of Government Day: You Worked More Than Half This Year for Government

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17Subscribe today!)

irs Did you notice? Sometime in mid-July, you stopped working for the government — and were finally allowed to start keeping the money you earn.

Each year the Cost of Government Center, in partnership with Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, calculates Cost of Government Day.

Cost of Government Day is the day on which the average American has earned enough income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels.

This year Cost of Government Day arrived — finally! — on Saturday, July 13.

In other words, this year American workers are forced to labor 194 days out of the year just to meet all the costs imposed upon them by government.

And that’s just the average. Taxpayers in many states will have to work well past July 13 to pay for costs imposed by their bloated state governments. Notoriously high-tax, big-spending states such as California, Illinois and New York have some of the latest-arriving Cost of Government Days in the nation.

Worst of all is Connecticut — where residents must labor for the state until… August 31.

And if you feel that the burden has gotten worse during the past few years, you’re right.  This year marks the fifth consecutive year that Cost of Government Day has fallen in July. Prior to the Obama Administration, the latest-arriving Cost of Government Day recorded was June 27.

What’s Happening with the Advocates

in News From the Advocates for Self-Government by Advocates HQ Comments are off

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 — if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH — praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement — normally sells for $50.00.

If you’re in a student libertarian group, click here for more information on getting your free OPH kit.

JOIN US ON TWITTER: Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don’t worry — we won’t bombard you with tweets. We’re keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)

Go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the “follow” button below our picture. Thanks!

JOIN THE ADVOCATES ON FACEBOOK: The Advocates Facebook offers you a chance to share your ideas on liberty, meet some great people and show your support for the Advocates for Self-Government and liberty. Join us and you’ll receive regular Facebook updates on Advocates news, communication tips, and special offers for our Facebook friends.

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.

They Said It…

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17. Subscribe today!)

Meet the Press - Season 65YOUR CELL PHONE NOW WORKS FOR THE FBI: ”The FBI is able to remotely activate microphones on phones running Android software. They can now record conversations in this way. They can do the same with microphones in laptops. They can get to you in a lot of ways! Does this make you nervous? If not, why not?” – Peggy Noonan, “Why Christie Is Wrong,” Wall Street Journal blogs, August 5, 2013.

WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?: “Asked to name the five specific freedoms in the First Amendment, 59% of Americans could name freedom of speech, followed by 24% who could name freedom of religion, 14% freedom of the press, 11% the right to assemble, and 4% the right to petition. Thirty-six percent of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.” – The First Amendment Center reporting findings of its annual national survey of American attitudes about the First Amendment.

CHILLINOIS: ”Today Illinois became the 20th state to legalize [medical] marijuana. The state also changed its name to Chillinois.” — Conan O’Brien, August 1, 2013.

THE “LIBERTARIAN MOMENT” IS HERE: ”From issues such as same-sex marriage and legal marijuana to restrictions on government spying and U.S. intervention in foreign affairs, the nation is engaged in a new ‘libertarian moment,’ politicians and political scientists say.” — reporters Dave Helling and Steve Kraske, “Nation has arrived at a new ‘libertarian moment,’ experts say,” Kansas City Star, August 4, 2012.

GEORGE WILL DEFENDS LIBERTARIANISM AGAINST “DANGEROUS” GOV.CHRISTIE: “What libertarianism says — it comes in many flavors and many degrees of severity, and it basically says before the government abridges the freedom of an individual or the freedom of several individuals contracting together, that government ought to have (A) a compelling reason; and (B) a constitutional warrant for doing so. Now, if Mr. Christie thinks that’s a dangerous thought, a number of people are going to say that Mr. Christie himself may be dangerous.” — pundit George Will responding to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s recent attacks on libertarianism, on ABC’s “This Week,” August 4, 2013.

Jay_LenoJAY LENO ON OBAMACARE LIES: “The Obama administration has admitted that, under Obamacare, you might not be able to keep your doctor. At first the president guaranteed you’d be able to keep your doctor, and now they’re saying you ‘might’ be able to. Today Obama changed his slogan from ‘Yes we can’ to ‘Perhaps we could try. Can’t promise anything.’” — Jay Leno, July 24, 2013.

JAY LENO GIVES THANKS: ”Detroit has become the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. What happened was Detroit’s population dropped something like 70 percent, but the government got bigger. The tax base got smaller, but the government got bigger. Thank God that kind of thing could never happen in Washington.” — Jay Leno, July 22, 2013.

Quick and Easy E-Ways to Help Others Discover Liberty

in Communicating Liberty, Liberator Online Archives by Sharon Harris Comments are off

(From the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17Subscribe today!)

judge_jim_gray_interview_37405be026f

“What is your political philosophy? It is an interesting question that few people really give time to think about.”

That’s how Judge Jim Gray — retired Orange County Superior Court judge and 2012 Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate — began a recent column in the Daily Pilot, a newspaper published by the Los Angeles Times which serves Newport Beach and Costa Mesa in Orange County, California.

After an amusing and enlightening comparison of sports to politics, Gray got down to the essentials.

He described “the libertarian values of both financial responsibility and social acceptance” and then asked the reader: “Are those your values too?”

He concluded by offering readers a way to find their place on the political spectrum: take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.

“I think you will find the results to be quite revealing,” he concluded.

Thanks, Judge Gray!

Judge Gray’s article offered nearly 100,000 Daily Pilot readers the chance to take the Quiz. Many of those who do will discover — perhaps for the very first time — that they are libertarians, or at least libertarian-leaning.

I know that most of you reading this don’t write newspaper columns or run for vice president of the United States.

But you, too, can quickly and easily help lots of other people encounter the eye-opening, enlightening power of the Quiz.

Here are two simple ways.

1) Share the Quiz on Facebook and through other social media. Take the Quizonline and right-click on the graphic that shows your results. Save the image and post it on Facebook and other sites. Add a caption along these lines:

“Here’s how I scored on the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Try it and see which political group agrees with YOU the most in the world of politics!”

Fast, easy, and guaranteed to stimulate interesting comments!

2) Put the Quiz as a signature in your emails. You’re probably familiar with signatures. These are the little quotes or sayings or personal notes seen at the bottom of email messages and online forum posts. Most email programs can be configured to generate them automatically. Signatures have been described as “email bumperstickers.”

Here are some suggested wordings for signatures featuring the Quiz.

  • Are you liberal, conservative, libertarian — or other? It only takes a minute to find out! Try the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz online at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz
  • Fun! Fast! Revealing! Try the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz 
  • Who agrees with you in the world of politics? Find out by taking The World’s Smallest Political Quiz at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz
  • Discover your real political identity in minutes — take the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz online at: www.theadvocates.org/quiz


Prepare different signatures for different audiences. Most email programs allow you to have a variety of prepared signatures ready. Make sure the signature you choose is appropriate for the person(s) who’ll be reading it. Also, variety is the spice of liberty — switch messages frequently so you won’t bore your regular correspondents. 

If you email regularly, you can effortlessly and effectively reach a lot of people with these “email bumperstickers” for liberty. 

How many people you reach with these two fast and easy e-methods depends on you, of course. How often you email. How many people you interact with on social media.

But you might be surprised by the numbers. And the Quiz is so intriguing and fun that many of the people you share it with will in turn pass it on to their friends, family and colleagues.

Even if you reach only a few people, you can make a huge difference. Many liberty activists got their introduction to libertarianism by a chance encounter with the Quiz — and they went from there to bring the ideas of liberty to many thousands of people.

If everyone receiving this article used these two easy and simple ideas, and reached just a few dozen people over the course of a year… that would add up to over a million people reached with the Quiz and the ideas of liberty.

And that doesn’t even count the ripple effect — the outreach that some of those you reach would in turn engage in.

Not bad for a few minute’s investment!

Join Advocates President Sharon Harris For Communication Training!

in Events, News From the Advocates for Self-Government by Advocates HQ Comments are off
Join Advocates President Sharon Harris for our one-of-a-kind Communication Training!

UPCOMING ADVOCATES LIBERTARIAN COMMUNICATION EVENTS:

Advocates President Sharon Harris will be conducting libertarian communication workshops or giving speeches at these upcoming events:

March 8: Keynote speaker at the Libertarian Party of Georgia’s state convention.

March 15: Speaker at the Libertarian Party of Tennessee’s state convention.

March 29: Speaker at the Libertarian Party of Colorado’s state convention.

March 30: Half-day Communication Workshop co-sponsored by Libertarian Party of Colorado.

April 5: Banquet speaker at the Libertarian Party of Maryland’s state convention. Liberator Online columnist and author Michael Cloud will also be speaking.

June 26-29: National Libertarian Party convention. The Advocates will have a booth, and I will also be speaking.

August 8-9: Featured speaker at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)’s “Communicating Liberty” conference.

If one of these is near you, please come — and be sure to introduce yourself to me. I love to meet Liberator Online readers!

Email Sharon now if you’d like us to send you further information on these events.

And please stay tuned! More events to be announced soon.

Note: if you would like to learn when dates and places are set, please email Sharon.

Attendees will learn how to dramatically increase their effectiveness at communicating the ideas of liberty.

Brief bio:

Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government, the organization which is responsible for the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz and for providing Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) kits to libertarian students to help them dramatically grow their campus groups. A communication expert, she teaches libertarians how to be powerful and successful communicators of the ideas of liberty.  A co-founder of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, she has been active in the libertarian movement for over four decades, and in 2012 she was awarded the Libertarian Party’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for “outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party.”  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology and is the author of the upcoming book, How to Be a SUPER Communicator for Liberty.

Speeches will be “A Libertarian Dozen: 15 of the very best tips on how to effectively spread the ideas of liberty”
Participants will learn:
  • The first rule of libertarian communication
  • Which words to avoid using and which words work like magic
  • How to establish rapport with your audience
  • How to answer hostile questions
  • Which personality types are most receptive to libertarian ideas
  • The “curse of knowledge”: what it is and what you can do about it
  • The best way to answer the question “Are libertarians conservative are liberal?”
  • How to open hearts and minds to liberty
  • And more!

 

Workshops will be “How to Be a SUPER Communicator for Liberty,” and participants will get hands-on practice in the techniques.
Outline of subjects covered:
  • The message vs. the messenger. The importance of the messenger and how to be a better one
  • First rule of libertarian communication
  • The “curse of knowledge” and how to avoid it
  • What DOESN’T work in libertarian communication
  • What DOES work
  • The importance of listening, benefits of listening, and how to do it
  • Personality types and how to appeal to them all
  • The power of questions and how to get your listener to come up with the right answers themselves
  • Word choice: which words to avoid and which words to use to open minds and hearts to your ideas
  • Soundbites, importance of and how to create and use them
  • How to establish rapport with your audience
  • Using the Ransberger Pivot to respond to hostile questions
  • How to make libertarianism “sticky”Tips on how to be an effective public speaker
  • Using the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and OPH to discover and create libertarians and grow your libertarian group
  • The Libertarian Denominator, an incredibly powerful way to describe libertarianism and make more friends for liberty
  • Just how important is the movement for liberty?
  • And more!
ONGOING

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 — if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH — praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement — normally sells for $50.00.

If you’re in a student libertarian group, click here for more information on getting your free OPH kit.

Amplifying Our Message: Seth Godin’s Insight

in Liberator Online Archives by Sharon Harris Comments are off

(From One-Minute Liberty Tip in the Liberator Online, Volume 18, No. 17. Subscribe today!)

Communication and marketing guru Seth Godin has written 14 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages.

He also writes the most popular marketing blog in the world. I find Godin’s blog to be consistently stimulating and provocative. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in becoming a better communicator and marketer for liberty.

One of his recent posts has special relevance to libertarians who want to rapidly increase awareness and understanding of our ideas.

The post is entitled “Message amplification isn’t linear.” Godin writes:

”Put two loudspeakers next to each other, and the perceived sound isn’t twice as loud — and ten times as many speakers certainly doesn’t seem ten times as loud.

”But when you hear an idea from two people, it counts for twice as much as if you randomly hear it once. And if you hear an idea from ten people, the impact is completely off the charts compared to just one person whispering in your ear.

”Coordinating and amplifying the evangelists of your idea is a big part of the secret of marketing with impact.”

If your neighbor hears the word “libertarian” once, it may pass right by him, unnoticed. Ten times, from ten different people? It will then be part of his worldview. He’ll become curious and want to know more.

If your colleagues hear an explanation of libertarianism one time, they may not know what to think about it. Ten times, from ten different people? They’ll probably know what libertarianism is, be aware of it, and be open to learning more.

If readers of your local newspaper see the world “libertarian” in a letter to the editor one time, they may hardly notice it. By the time they’ve seen the tenth letter? They’ll be aware that there is a fast-growing and active libertarian movement — and maybe they’ll want to be part of it.

The libertarian message is spreading. But there are still millions of people who have yet to even hear the world libertarian. And millions more who haven’t heard enough about libertarianism to be more than briefly familiar with it.

That’s our job. Not necessarily to be the final convincers, the ones who close the sale, but to be another of those many voices amplifying the libertarian idea — calmly, persuasively, effectively.

To be the first voice. Or the tenth. Or the hundredth.

That is how we will take the ideas of liberty to the world.

And that is why it’s so very important for every libertarian to learn to be effective evangelists and ambassadors for liberty.

(The above post from Seth Godin’s blog was reprinted with his permission. Read Godin’s blog, subscribe to his newsletter, and learn about his excellent books at his website.)

“Thanks to the Communist Party of China, we now know the path to poverty alleviation is Capitalism.”

in The Feed by Chris Spangle Comments are off

In 1981, China counted for 43% of the world’s poor. In 2010, China accounted for 13% of the world’s poor. What changed within China? Capitalism.

“Thanks to the Communist Party of China, we now know the path to poverty alleviation is Capitalism.” – Fareed Zakaria

Watch this video to see the power of capitalism:

Have you thought about the name Advocates for Self-Government?

in The Feed by Chris Spangle Comments are off

The name of our organization is the Advocates for Self-Government. Have you ever sat and thought about what our name means? We value the individual and every person’s right to govern themselves. So what does this mean? A new video from our friends at Learn Liberty have a great new video on self-ownership.

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