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The Reverse

in Communicating Liberty, Liberator Online Archives by Michael Cloud Comments are off

(From the Persuasion Power Point section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Tired of long, drawn-out arguments about government? Worn out from explaining why government fails and makes things worse?

What if you could convince your listener to persuade himself about libertarianism? What if you could persuade him to marshal compelling and convincing evidence and arguments that would change his mind about libertarianism?

Persuade himself? How?

The Reverse.

Instead of telling him what’s right with liberty and wrong with government, ask him.

“What’s one thing that government does now that you think it definitely should not do?”

Or: “What’s one activity that government engages in that it should stop doing?”

Or: “What’s one government program that’s a dismal failure or a waste of money that government ought to shut down?”

Then ask, “Why?”

After he tells you why, ask him to tell you more. Ask him to elaborate and expand. To tell you about the consequences of the bad program. To give you examples.

Then play Devil’s Advocate. Ask him how he would respond to possible objections.

“Suppose someone said X, how would you answer that objection?”

“Suppose someone said Y, how would you answer that objection?”

He will argue himself into a libertarian position. And he will give you the evidence and arguments that are most convincing to him.

The Reverse lets your listener pick the part of government that he’s most opposed to, do your arguing for you, and in the process intensify his opposition.

How and why does it work?

  1. It begins with what your listener already believes. It respects his beliefs and values.
  2. It creates rapport. Agreement. You both agree that government should abandon this activity or program.
  3. As Pascal wrote, “We are usually convinced more easily by reasons we have found ourselves than by those which have occurred to others.”
  4. As Win Wenger writes in The Einstein Factor: “The sheer act of expressing our thoughts on some subject causes us to learn more about that subject, even when no new information has been provided from without.”

Why does The Reverse work?

To truly learn a subject, teach it.

To help our listeners learn, we must ask them to teach.

They Said It…

in The Feed by James Harris Comments are off

(From the They Said It… section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

GUESS HOW TO END MOST VIOLENCE CRIME IN CHICAGO: “Most of Chicago’s violent crime comes from gangs trying to maintain control of drug-selling territories.” – Jack Riley, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for a five-state region that includes Illinois, quoted in “Heroin Pushed on Chicago by Cartel Fueling Gang Murders,” Bloomberg Markets Magazine, Sep 17, 2013. Last year there were more than 500 homicides in Chicago.

PRO BONO CAPITALISM: “‘Rock star preaches capitalism.’ [Laughs.] Wow. Sometimes I hear myself and I just can’t believe it. But commerce is real. … Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. Of course, we know that. … Aid is just a stopgap. … We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.” – Bono, lead singer for the Irish supergroup U2, from a speech at Georgetown University’s 2012 Global Social Enterprise Event, now widely circulating on the web. Bono, one of the world’s best-known philanthropic performers, has long raised funds for African charities.

SYRIA SHOWS MORE AMERICANS AGREEING WITH RON PAUL: “The American people have spoken out against war. Many more are now asking what I have been asking for quite some time: Why is it always our business when there is civil strife somewhere overseas? Why do we always have to be the ones to solve the world’s problems? It is a sea change and I am very encouraged. We have had a great victory for the cause of peace and liberty and let’s hope we can further build on it.” – Ron Paul, “Has The Tide Turned Against The Warmongers?” Texas Straight Talk column, September 16, 2013.

MINIMUM WAGE MADNESS: “One of the simplest and most fundamental economic principles is that people tend to buy more when the price is lower and less when the price is higher. Yet advocates of minimum wage laws seem to think that the government can raise the price of labor without reducing the amount of labor that will be hired. … Countries with minimum wage laws almost invariably have higher rates of unemployment than countries without minimum wage laws.” — economist and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell, “Minimum Wage Madness,” Sept. 17,2013.

LEAVE POT USERS ALONE, GO AFTER REAL CRIMINALS: “There is no greater waste of valuable taxpayer dollars than branding hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens as criminals simply for choosing to use a substance less harmful than alcohol. Given the fact that most Americans support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, I suggest our police and prosecutors find a better use of their time.” — former prosecuting attorney Dan Riffle, now director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, Sept. 16, 2013.

THE REAL WORRY: “How many are worried about a government shutdown? How many are more worried about it starting back up? ” — Jay Leno, Oct. 1, 2013.

LENO RIPS OBAMACARE: “USA Today had a front-page feature on the new healthcare law. It said that the opposition to Obamacare is at an all-time high. It has gotten so bad that the president is now calling it ‘Bidencare.’” — Jay Leno ,Sept. 16, 2013.

LENO ON GOV’T EFFICIENCY: “According to a new report, over the last three years Social Security overpaid by $1.29 billion — thus establishing itself as the federal government’s most efficient program.” — Jay Leno, Sept. 16, 2013.

RAISING THE DEBT LIMIT: “President Obama is now making his case for raising the debt limit. He said raising the debt limit does not increase debt. You know, like raising the speed limit does not increase speed.” — Jay Leno, Sept. 26, 2013.

Gallup Polls: Trust in Federal Government Hits All-Time Low

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

“Americans’ trust and confidence in the federal government’s ability to solve problems internationally as well as domestically has fallen to historic lows this year.”

So reports Gallup, summarizing the results of an early September poll. Gallup has been tracking this question since 1973.

Their latest poll finds that just 49 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair” amount of confidence in the federal government to handle international problems. And only 42 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair” amount of confidence in the federal  government to handle issues at home.

Similarly, another September Gallup poll finds a majority — and another record number — of Americans believe the government is too powerful.

Reports Gallup: “Six in 10 Americans (60%) believe the federal government has too much power, one percentage point above the previous high recorded in September 2010. At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power.”

All this is very good news, argues Tad DeHaven of the libertarian Cato Institute:

“Skepticism of government is as American as apple pie. The experiment that is the United States was borne out of a colonial revolution against an overbearing master. As the decades have passed, however, the federal government has steadily acquired powers that are vastly beyond what was intended by our founding Constitution. And like a frog in a pot of water that is slowly brought a boil, Americans have become acclimated to a world in which the federal government intrudes into every nook and cranny of our lives. …

“Perhaps Americans are finally realizing that rather than making us safer, constant foreign interventionism has largely succeeded in turning the American people into targets.

“And perhaps there is growing recognition that politicians cannot simply ‘create jobs’ out of thin air — the tax revenue that the federal government showers on politically favored individuals and industries necessarily comes at the expense of other entrepreneurs and other ‘job creators.’ …

“Let’s hope the circus-like atmosphere in Washington over passing a budget, raising the debt ceiling and Syria will cause even more Americans to question why so much power and money has been placed in the hands of imperfect (to put it politely) men and women.”

FBI: Marijuana Arrests at Near-Record Levels; Rate of Unsolved Violent Crimes Rises

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Polls show a majority of Americans favor re-legalization of marijuana. Two states have re-legalized marijuana, 16 states have decriminalized it (i.e., no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal use), and 20 states have re-legalized marijuana for medical use.

Despite all this, a new FBI report finds that marijuana arrests continued at near-record levels in 2012.

And the vast majority of these arrests were for simple possession.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, an estimated 749,824 arrests were made nationwide for marijuana in 2012. More than 87% of marijuana arrests were for mere possession.

Further, marijuana arrests accounted for nearly half (42.4 percent) of all drug arrests last year. Thus the War on Drugs is largely a war on small-time marijuana users.

Nationwide, police make an average of one marijuana arrest every 48 seconds.

Meanwhile, 59.9% of rapes, 53.2% of all violent crimes, and 81% of property crimes reported in 2012 were unsolved or did not result in arrest. Is there a connection?

“Every time a police officer makes an arrest for drugs, that’s several hours out of his or her day not spent going after real criminals. As the country has been investing more and more of its resources into prosecuting drug ‘crime,’ the rate of unsolved violent crime has been steadily increasing. Where are our priorities here?” asked retired lieutenant commander Diane Goldstein of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of police, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials opposed to the War on Drugs.

Dan Riffle, a former prosecuting attorney now director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, agreed.

“Instead of punishing and stigmatizing responsible adult marijuana users, we should be focusing on serious crime. As a former prosecuting attorney myself, I believe it is irresponsible to squander our limited law enforcement resources on this disastrous public policy failure. That is especially true when so many violent crimes remain unsolved. Every second spent arresting and prosecuting adults for marijuana is time that could have been spent preventing and solving real crimes.”

If not you, who? If not now, when?

in Communicating Liberty, Liberator Online Archives by Mary Ruwart Comments are off

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

QUESTION: Sometimes when I criticize government, I am told that if I don’t like it here, I should go somewhere else. Essentially, the old “love it or leave it” line. What’s a good response?

MY SHORT ANSWER: One response I use goes like this:

“I love my country and its heritage of liberty. When I see it going astray, I want to help it get back on track.

“Our government once endorsed slavery. Where would we be today if the abolitionists had left, instead of helping our nation extend its heritage of liberty to black slaves?

“When our government makes a mistake, it’s up to us to correct it. If not us, who?”

Rand Paul: Repeal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, Defend Black Voting Rights

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

“If I told you that one out of three African-American males is prohibited by law from voting, you might think I was talking about Jim Crow 50 years ago.

“One out of three African-American males are forbidden from voting because of the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs has disproportionately affected young black males. The ACLU reports that blacks are four to five times more likely to be convicted for drug possession, although surveys indicate that blacks and whites use drugs at similar rates.

“The majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, yet three-fourths of all people in prison for drug offenses have been African American or Latino.

“Why are the arrest rates so lopsided? Because it is easier to go into urban areas and make arrests than suburban areas. Because we literally subsidize the arrest and incarceration of people. Federal grant money is based on convictions.

“It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that it’s easier to round up, arrest and convict poor kids than it is to convict rich kids. If law enforcement is expected, or pressured, to meet some quota due to the federal dollars their department might receive, they are more likely to go looking in urban areas than the suburbs. …

“Since mandatory sentencing began, America’s prison population has exploded, quadrupled. America now jails a higher percentage of citizens than any other country in the world, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year. …

“Conclusion: Mandatory minimum sentencing has done little to address the very real problem of drug abuse while also doing great damage by destroying so many lives. I’m here today to ask you to let judges start doing their jobs. I’m here to ask that we repeal mandatory minimum sentencing.”

– Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee September 18, 2013 on “Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences.”

Success Stories – How We Can Find Thousands of New Libertarians and Bring Them into the Libertarian Movement

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

(From the President’s Corner section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Dear friends,

Campus libertarians are having great success using free OPH kits provided by the Advocates to reach the libertarian leaders and activists of tomorrow!

So far we’ve given over 900 OPH kits free to campus libertarian groups who’ve requested them. It’s one of the biggest outreach efforts in our history.

And libertarian students are putting those OPH kits to work!

Before I share a couple of recent OPH success stories with you, let me offer some numbers for you to consider:

  • Imagine if just 200 OPH kits were used just three times this coming year by students and other libertarian groups.
  • That would be 600 OPHs in total.
  • Now imagine each OPH discovered and activated just 20 new libertarians. (That’s a very reasonable expectation, based on years of experience.)

 

The results: 12,000 new libertarians discovered and brought into the liberty movement!

Imagine what a difference that could make to liberty in America.

And that’s a low estimate. OPHs are so easy to do, any group can do them several times a year.

There’s no reason libertarians couldn’t put on 1,000 OPHs per year. Or many more than that.

Opportunities abound: music festivals, political events, demonstrations, gun shows, fairs, festivals, on campus… anywhere people are gathered, you will find success with your OPH.

That’s been proven, over and over again, since the Advocates first created and introduced OPH in 1987.

Actually, as an OPH kit user don’t think of yourself as just working to grow and expand your own local organization’s membership — vital as that is.

You should also think of yourself as part of a national OPH movement. With enough OPHs, on and off campus, we can reach millions of Americans with the ideas of liberty — and bring tens of thousands of them — every year — into the liberty movement.

OPH is revolutionizing America. Those who are using OPH now are building the liberty mass movement of tomorrow.

Americans are hungry for the ideas of liberty. They’ve never been so eager to hear the message your OPH booth can bring them. There’s never been a better opportunity — and there is no better tool than OPH.

Now, some exciting new OPH success stories!

1. University of Missouri Young Americans for Liberty: Over 50 New Recruits

In early September the University of Missouri chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) used OPH to educate and recruit at the Student Activity Mart.

Member James Chappelow says OPH “rocked the Student Activity Mart.”

“We recruited more than 50 new interested students and provided a public service to Mizzou students of all political stripes by helping them get in touch with their own ideas and beliefs using the World’s Smallest Political Quiz,” Chappelow reports.

Fifty new students signed up! And many other students were educated about liberty and the political spectrum. Congratulations!

2. Bowling Green Young Americans for Liberty: 100 Students Signed Up

Reports Sam Link of Young Americans for Liberty at Bowling Green State University in Ohio:

“We used the OPH kit to help spread the word and recruit during BGSU’s Campus Fest.

“We were definitely the most active political table at Campus Fest. The Quiz was a huge [help] in bringing students to the table and we were able to sign up around 100 people that day!

“Thanks for the OPH kit!”

Thank you and the Bowling Green YAL for using OPH, Sam!

These students are showing what’s possible with OPH. It’s easy, fun, and turns a boring ho-hum literature table into a crowd-pleasing, crowd-drawing event.

OPH offers the libertarian movement the opportunity to easily reach the public with our ideas and recruit tens of thousands to our side.

Take advantage of this amazing, proven tool!

Learn more about OPH (Operation Politically Homeless) — the libertarian movement’s most successful outreach tool.

* Campus libertarian groups: Learn more about our free OPH kit offer.

Yours for Liberty,
Sharon

Give Them Something!

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

(From the One-Minute Liberty Tip section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Maybe you’ve just met someone at a party. You’ve had a great discussion about libertarianism. Now it’s time to leave. You may never see this person again.

Or you’ve just delivered a speech on libertarianism to a service club or high school class. You’re thanking the teacher for inviting you and thanking the class for their questions. In a moment you’ll be gone.

Or you mention to your cab driver as you return to the airport that you’ve been to a libertarian conference, and he says “Libertarians — yeah, I’ve been hearing more and more about them.” And now, after a good conversation, you’re stepping out of the cab.

Don’t overlook the crucial last step in your conversation. Don’t let their current interest and enthusiasm and curiosity dwindle away. Act right now — while they are eager to learn more.

Give them something.

Give them some way for them to easily continue their investigations into libertarian ideas and the libertarian movement. Give them information. Give them a web address or email address or other contacts.

Here are some suggestions.

World’s Smallest Political Quiz cards: The Quiz card is designed for this. It’s an outreach kit on a card. The Quiz itself is fun, irresistible, and eye-opening. The back has links to solid, persuasive information about libertarianism.

Quiz cards are attractive and easy to carry in a wallet, purse, pocket, glove compartment, etc. I always have them with me.

Give them more than one. “Here’s one for you — and a few to share.” You can hand-write your contact information, or the name of a libertarian organization or website you’re familiar with, on the card when you give it to them.

Other cards: Don’t have a Quiz card handy? (Shame on you! :) Give them a business card, or any other piece of paper handy, with a good libertarian website or other information. Don’t just write down the web address or email address. Write something like: “More info on libertarianism” so when they see the paper again, they’ll know what it is. If appropriate, give your own contact info as well.

Books: If you want to give a book, there are several great introductory books.Libertarianism In One Lesson is renowned as the best short introduction to libertarianism available. Mary Ruwart’s Healing Our World is especially appealing to concerned, compassionate, spiritually-inclined idealists who want to make the world a better place. David Boaz’s Libertarianism: A Primer is one of the best all-around introductions to libertarianism.

Other: Does your local libertarian organization have a card, a hand-out, an introductory pamphlet? If so, keep some handy. If the person is local to you, and you want to talk further with them, give them your email address or phone number.

As the Boy Scouts famously advise: Be prepared!

Help make that unexpected conversation, that successful presentation, that great talk with your niece, the beginning of a longer journey into libertarianism.

Make it easy for them to take the next step.

Give them something.

Do libertarians favor gun control?

in Liberator Online Archives by Mary Ruwart Comments are off

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

QUESTION: I am unclear on the libertarian stand on gun control and crime. Should there be gun control in a libertarian society? And if so, how much?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Firearms, like fists, can be used for offense or defense. Libertarians would not advocate cutting off a person’s access to firearms any more than they would advocate cutting off a person’s hands to prevent a brawl.

Most people who advocate gun control do so because they believe it lowers the crime rate. In fact, just the opposite is true. Violent crime (rape, robbery, and homicide) decrease dramatically when states pass laws that permit peaceful citizens to carry concealed weapons.

One famous example: in 1966 and 1967 Orlando, Florida police responded to a rape epidemic with a highly-publicized program to train 2,500 women in the use of firearms. Orlando became the only city with a population over 100,000 which showed a decrease in crime. Rape, aggravated assault, and burglary were reduced by 90%, 25%, and 24% respectively — without a single woman ever firing a shot in self-defense.

Criminals are looking for an easy mark and avoid those who might be armed. Anyone who doubts this might wish to put a sign on their front lawn saying “This house is a gun-free zone” to experience the consequences firsthand.

Gun control is actually “victim disarmament.” It exposes the weakest among us — women, children, and the elderly — to greater risk of attack. It denies us the ability to defend ourselves against those who would harm us.

Since the courts have ruled that the police have no obligation to protect an individual citizen from attack, we have no legal recourse if they fail to do so.

Acting in self-defense, armed citizens kill more criminals each year than police do, yet shoot only one-tenth as many innocent people by mistake. Clearly, armed citizens act as responsibly (if not more so) than trained law enforcers.

Libertarians believe that everyone has the right to self-defense. America’s founders did too. Libertarians strongly support the Second Amendment. Libertarians do not support the victim-disarmament laws collectively known as “gun control.”

For more details, including references for the examples cited above, see Chapter 16 of my book, Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression, available from the Advocates (2003 edition). The 1993 edition can be read online for free at mywebsite.

LEARN MORE: Suggestions by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris for further reading on this topic:

FREE E-BOOK: Gun Facts by Guy Smith. This free ebook, updated in 2013, presents in easy-to-read digest form the most common gun control fallacies and the facts that prove them false. Excellent info for speeches, debates, letters to editors, and more. Virtually every major gun control topic is covered: assault weapons, guns and crime, gun show “loopholes,” ballistic finger printing, firearm availability, accidents, etc.). A great quick and easy reference. Over 110 pages with more than 530 detailed references.  Downloaded millions of times by readers in over 155 countries.

GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA FACT SHEETS: GOA’s fact sheets are well-documented, condensed, and refute common gun control arguments. Start with their all-around Gun Control Fact Sheet. They also offer Fact Sheets on more specific topics.

Video: Libertarians Take on Federal Asset Forfeiture in Outrageous Case

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Warning: If you have high blood pressure, maybe you shouldn’t watch this short (1:45) video about the latest case of the libertarian Institute for Justice.For more than 30 years, Terry Dehko has successfully run a grocery store in the Detroit suburb of Fraser, Michigan, with his daughter Sandy.

But in January 2013, without warning, the federal government used civil forfeiture to seize all of the money from the Dehkos’ store bank account — more than $35,000 — even though they’ve done absolutely nothing wrong.

Welcome to the kafkaesque world of civil forfeiture law — aka “robbery with a badge” — where the government can seize private property from Americans without ever charging, let alone convicting, them of a crime. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head.The government is able to pocket the money and property it grabs without charges, evidence or due process — and leaving the owners no prompt and reasonable way to get a court to review the seizure.

But… libertarians to the rescue! Terry and Sandy have teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to fight back in federal court. We hope a victory will help restore the right of every American to be free from these abusive police-state forfeiture laws.

IJ has videos about other civil forfeiture outrages they are litigating here.

To learn more about the civil forfeiture law outrage, read IJ’s acclaimed report “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture.”

What is up with the Advocates?

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

UPCOMING ADVOCATES LIBERTARIAN COMMUNICATION EVENTS: Advocates President Sharon Harris will be conducting libertarian communication workshops or giving speeches at these upcoming events:

  • October 19: Speech at University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, sponsored by Students for Liberty.
  • October 26: Speech in Houston, sponsored by the Libertarian Party of Texas.
  • October 27: Communication workshop in Houston, sponsored by the Republican Liberty Caucus, Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Liberty, and others. Location TBA.
  • November 16: Communication workshop at Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, sponsored by Libertas Institute, Students for Liberty, Young Americans for LIberty and Campaign for Liberty

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

IN THE WORKS

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

January 2014: Communication workshop in New Orleans. Place and date TBA.
January 2014: Communication workshop in Kennesaw, GA. Place and date TBA.
February 2014: Communication workshop in Nashville. Place and date TBA.
March 2014: Communication workshop in Colorado. Place and date TBA.

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

Email Sharon if you’d like to learn about having a communication event near you.

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.

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 page 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.

4 Big Factors That Make More People More Receptive to Libertarianism

in Communicating Liberty, Liberator Online Archives by Michael Cloud Comments are off

(From the Persuasion Power Point section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

What really changes people’s minds about libertarianism?

Sometimes it’s what you say.

Sometimes it’s how you say it.

Sometimes it’s who you say it to.

Very often, it’s what’s going on with Big Government… while you’re having the libertarian conversation.

And it’s 4 big factors. You can express it as a formula: P2C2. That’s Big Government Problems, Pain, Costs and Consequences.

Big Problems caused or sustained by Big Government. Massive unemployment. Huge amounts of time wasted complying with government paperwork, rules, and resolutions. Huge Social Security problems. Big Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare problems. And don’t forget the problems created by the problems.

Intense Pain caused or sustained by Big Government. Overwhelming pain. Caused by Big Government problems — or trying to cope with with the problems.

The pain of paying 47% of your income in taxes. The pain caused by trying to understand and correctly fill out government paperwork, trying to understand and comply with government regulations. Throbbing pain as you fill out forms for your small business, enroll your children in public schools, and as you fill out government paperwork… while waiting to see a doctor.

Ballooning Costs of Big Government programs — or complying with them. Big Government puts the POUND into the comPOUNDing costs of everything it touches.

Welfare, warfare, regulation, mandates, and more. Ever-growing costs that squeeze every last dollar out of your family income and savings.

Cascading Consequences of Big Government policies and programs. Marijuana prohibition promotes gangs and gang violence that fosters more drug enforcement cops and costs, more arrests and prosecutions, and massive numbers of long-term prisoners serving time in jails and prisons for selling, possessing, or buying marijuana or other drugs.

U.S. government foreign wars, gunboat diplomacy, occupation forces, military aid to foreign despots create new enemies, are often paid for by overspending, inflation, and debt.

Consequences – all of which hurt taxpayers, weaken the economy, and flush American wealth into bottomless sewers.

Want to make people far more receptive and responsive to your libertarian suggestions and solutions?

Want to amplify the impact of your persuasive libertarian proposals?

P2C2. Big Government Problems, Pain, Costs and Consequences.

First, show and tell them how huge, intense, extensive and expensive the Big Government policies and programs are.

Second, tell them: “This is America. Birthplace of freedom. We can do way better than this.”

Third, offer them libertarian solutions. Freedom remedies that reduce and remove the root cause of the huge problems, pain, costs, and consequences: Big Government programs.

Fourth, tell them the huge, immediate, direct benefits of reducing and removing these wasteful and harmful Big Government programs: dramatically less burden on them and their families, radically lower taxes and higher take-home pay for them, their co-workers and their neighbors — and ever-growing economic, social, and personal liberty for all of us.

Fifth, let them know that that’s just a taste of libertarianism — and ask them if they’d like to find out more.

Sixth, if they say “yes” to learning more about liberty, see that they get immediately some great introductory material. Books such as Libertarianism In One Lesson by David Bergland or Healing Our World by Mary Ruwart. Free online information about libertarianism and the liberty movement — the Advocates has lots of good introductory material at our website, under the tab “Libertarianism: What You Need to Know.” A free subscription to the Liberator Online.

You’ll be glad you did.

They Said It…

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From the They Said It… section in Volume 18, No. 18 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

LENO ON THE LAST TIME CONGRESS DECLARED WAR: “President Obama is asking Congress to support a military strike in Syria. If they approve, it will be the first time Congress has officially declared war since Obamacare.” –Jay Leno, Sept. 4, 2013.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: ”If President Obama really wants to hurt the Syrian government, don’t send cruise missiles. He should send over some of his economic advisers.” — Jay Leno, Sept. 5, 2013.

COMING TOGETHER: ”Republican leaders have agreed to support President Obama’s plan to attack Syria. See, that’s what I love about our country. The only time Republicans and Democrats can agree on something is when it’s time to bomb somebody.” — Jay Leno, Sept. 5, 2013.

PROOF: ”John Kerry said during the Senate hearing that we are not the world’s policemen. Really, then how come we eat most of the world’s donuts?” — Jay Leno, Sept. 6, 2013.

NO YOU CAN’T: “The President maintains that he still has the power to initiate war. This is untrue. The Constitution gave the power to declare war to Congress. James Madison wrote that the ‘Constitution supposes, what history demonstrates, that the executive is the branch most prone to war. Therefore the Constitution, with studied care, vested the power to declare war in the legislature.’” – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), televised response to President Obama’s speech on U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war, Sept. 10, 2013.

SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN: “You are a badperson if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad — but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad. …it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.” — Slate editor Allison Benedikt, “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person,” Slate, Aug. 29, 2013.

JUDGE NAPOLITANO ON THE MESS AND HOW TO FIX IT: “I have spent my entire professional career defending the Constitution; and that can be likened to playing catch with Jell-o or shoveling against the tide. The Articles of Confederation permitted the states to become tyrants, and the Constitution — as interpreted over the centuries — has permitted the federal government to become tyrannical. The resolution of this dilemma will require the entry into all three branches of the government of persons committed to natural law principles. That means they’d believe in the primacy of the individual over the state and the intrinsic inability of government to do anything beyond enforcing the natural law.” – Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, “Judge Napolitano on the Worst Supreme Court Decisions,” interview in the Mises Daily (Mises Institute), Sept. 18, 2013.

* * * * * * * * * *
“They Said It…” is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. 

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

in Liberator Online Archives by James 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 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 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 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.

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