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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.

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 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 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.

Best Libertarian Science Fiction of the Year Announced

in Liberator Online Archives by James 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 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.

They Said It…

in Liberator Online Archives by James 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!

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.)

One-Minute Liberty Tip: Fast, Fun and Funny

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

(From the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

Here’s a fun, funny and fast way to communicate the essence of how libertarians view government.

It’s been circulating among libertarians and other small-government advocates for many years.

With the right audience, it will draw laughs and knowing nods — and win them to your side.

Here it is:

“Smokey the Bear’s rules for fire safety also apply to government — keep it small, keep it in a confined area, and keep an eye on it.”

It works great as a quick remark in a casual conversation, or as the opening to a more detailed and precise discussion of libertarianism and the nature of government.

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

What are the rights of fathers on issues like abortion and child-rearing?

in Liberator Online Archives by Mary Ruwart Comments are off

(By Dr. Mary Ruwart from Ask Dr. Ruwart, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

QUESTION: Do libertarians believe a father has rights in regards to issues of abortion and child-raising? After all, he is partially responsible for the pregnancy. What if the man wants the baby but the woman doesn’t? What about mandatory child support?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarians don’t always agree on the answers to these difficult and controversial questions. Some libertarians believe that the creation of a child obligates both parents to support the child until he or she is self-sufficient. Others believe that giving the gift of life doesn’t create an obligation to maintain it for either parent. Consequently, some libertarians believe in obligatory child support and others don’t.

A libertarian society would likely render abortion obsolete sooner than the society of today, because of rapid technological and economic growth. Technology should soon allow a fetus unwanted by a mother, but desired by the father, to be transferred to another womb, whether artificial or natural. This isn’t science fiction; by some reports (see “Learn More” below) we may have this option available in the near future.

Before this option becomes available, the woman is the one literally giving of her life’s blood to support the fetus. She will probably have the final say about whether it continues to reside within her. The father might be able to persuade an unwilling mother to carry the baby to term, rather than abort, by compensating her for doing so.

Although not a popular idea in today’s culture, potential baby-making activities are best undertaken with partners who can agree on how a surprise pregnancy will be handled. We wouldn’t take on a business partner without planning, via written agreement, for unexpected consequences. Should we undertake sexual congress with a partner without agreeing how unexpected consequences — a new, individual life — will be handled?

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

* “Will Science Trump Politics in Resolving Abortion Debate?“ by libertarian feminist Wendy McElroy. EXCERPT: “[T]he extent of the problem may well be diminished by science, by new reproductive technologies that sustain the viability of fetuses removed from women who do not wish to become mothers. Like heart transplants or intrauterine operations to correct birth defects, ectogenesis may be taken for granted some day.”

* “Artificial wombs: bold, controversial science coming soon,” by Dick Pelletier, PositiveFuturist.com. EXCERPT: “Cutting-edge research in the U.S. and Japan will soon launch a new era in human procreation: a world in which embryos can be ‘brought to term’ in artificial wombs, eliminating traditional pregnancies.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you’d like answers to YOUR “tough questions” on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart

Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can’t personally acknowledge all emails. But we’ll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.

Dr. Ruwart’s previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.

Dr. Ruwart’s brand new book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.

The Libertarian Progress That Might Have Been

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

(By Michael Cloud, From Persuasion Point #353, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

– John Greenleaf Whittier

Near the end of your life, you may have a chance to look back – and see what might have been. For your personal life. And for your libertarian life.

You will probably regret a number of things you did — or failed to do. And wish you’d have made a different choice — a better one.

Looking back, what regrets might you have about your current libertarian choices and actions?

Will you regret participating in the libertarian movement — or wish you had been more involved?

Will you regret spending an afternoon working at an Operation Politically Homeless booth — or sadly wish you had spent a day or two or three sharing the World’s Smallest Political Quiz?

Will you regret reading Libertarianism in One Lesson, Healing Our World and a half dozen other libertarian classics — or will you wish you’d shared these books with curious high school or college students?

Will you rue the day you donated $20 or $50 or $80 to the Advocates to help reach out to college students with our libertarian ideas and insights — or will you sadly wish you have given more… so the Advocates could do more?

Will you feel bitterness and anger over the time and money you spent attending an Advocates communication seminar — or will you wish you could relive the experience?

You don’t have to wait until it’s too late. You don’t have to wait until regret and sad might-have-beens fill your heart.

Simply take five minutes alone — and imagine that you’re ninety and near the end of your life. Look at this day, this year through those eyes. Look at your libertarian choices and actions.

Then make the libertarian choice you will NOT regret. The libertarian choice that will delight and please you today. The one that you’ll look back on with a smile — or tears of joy.

As you take these actions, you’ll be growing the libertarian movement — and advancing the cause of freedom.

And if enough of us do this today, tomorrow, this year and next… you may reach the last days of your life in a libertarian America. And you will be glad.

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud’s brand-new book Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is available exclusively from the Advocates, along with his acclaimed earlier book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.

In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.

Congress Denied Basic Information on Spy Programs They Supposedly Oversee

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From Intellectual Ammunition by James Harris, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

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 Harris Comments are off

(From Intellectual Ammunition by James Harris, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

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.

Best Libertarian Science Fiction of the Year Announced

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From Intellectual Ammunition by James Harris, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

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

Each 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 Gov’t

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From Intellectual Ammunition by James Harris, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

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.

They Said It…

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off

(From They Said It.. by James Harris, from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

YOUR 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 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 Liberator Online Archives by Sharon Harris Comments are off

(President’s Corner by Sharon Harris from the Liberator Online Volume 18, No. 15. Subscribe here!)

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 Quiz online 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 bumper stickers.”

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!

Upcoming Advocates Libertarian Communication Workshops

I’ll be conducting libertarian communication workshops at these upcoming events:

  • September 21: Texas State University, sponsored by Students of Liberty
  • September 28: Cobb County (Georgia) Library, sponsored by Liberty on the Rocks and America’s Future Foundation
  • November 16: Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), sponsored by Students for Liberty

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

I hope you’ll join me at one or more of these events! Email me if you want additional information on them sent to you as soon as it becomes available.

In liberty,

Sharon
sharon@theadvocates.org

* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!

Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.

Learn more about libertarianism – the philosophy of liberty.

“Advancing Liberty Is Like Driving a Car at Night”

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

(By Michael Cloud, From Persuasion Point #352, Volume 18, No. 14 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here.)

There has never been a libertarian country. No time and no land has ever been fully free.

Some of our ancestors made progress. Made inroads to freedom. The Magna Carta. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution of the United States of America.

But all had deep flaws, failings and shortcomings. Even in America, they allowed slavery. Or failed to recognize the rights and freedoms of women. Or violated the life, liberty, and property of native Americans. Or allowed blue laws. Or condoned Jim Crow laws. Or deprived gay men and lesbians of rights and liberties that we recognize for heterosexual men and women. Or shamelessly violated — and continue to violate — everyone’s natural or Constitutional rights — trampling on our fundamental Bill of Rights liberties.

We have partial freedom. More than many, but less than we could have and should have. We must find and drive an unmarked road to full freedom.

“Advancing liberty is like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” — adapted from E.L. Doctorow.

The headlights keep us on the road, but the freedom road markers make sure we’re moving toward a more complete liberty.

Freedom Road Marker: “Does this proposal cut government spending — AND return every penny to the taxpayers?”

Freedom Marker: “Does this proposal shrink government — or not?”

Freedom Marker: “Does this expand liberty — or not?”

Freedom Marker: “Does this reduce the size or spending or taxing or power or authority of government — or not?”

If we keep driving in the direction of small government and individual liberty, we will reach our rightful destination: a libertarian America.

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud’s brand-new book Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is available exclusively from the Advocates, along with his acclaimed earlier book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.

In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.

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