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Santa?

in Conversations With My Boys, Liberator Online by The Libertarian Homeschooler Comments are off

Santa?

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

Me: Tell me about Santa.
santaBA (10): People say he’s a fat guy who likes milk and cookies, defies physics and flies around on a sled with flying reindeer, goes around the world delivering presents to everyone in one day. But what he really is, is the guy who gives stuff in secret which I can believe a lot easier.
Me: What do you mean?
BA: Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas gave in secret. Like Santa Claus does.
Me: But Saint Nicholas is dead. How can he give children stuff?
BA: People do what he did. They say it’s Santa Claus giving when they give in secret. Santa is the name they use for secret giving. They’re doing what Saint Nicholas did. Giving in secret.
Me: Yeah that’s….
BA: But the Santa thing doesn’t make any sense. You can’t get around the world and deliver presents all in one night. People make stuff up to convince you it happens but it doesn’t make sense. He has a magical bag because the sled can’t hold all the presents for all the kids in the world. Flying reindeer? Goofball. People think he comes down your chimney. What if you don’t have a chimney? And what if you have a whole bunch of stuff in front of your fireplace. And if you have a chimney like ours, how is he going to get in?
Me: What are your thoughts on this?
BA: It’s like believing in superheroes or something from a movie. I just don’t believe in magic. I think things have a reason. There’s a reason behind everything. If you don’t know the reason something happened that doesn’t mean it’s magic. There’s never been magic. Everything that happens has a reason. You have to think. You have to figure out that reason. What it is that makes something happen.
Me: You sound annoyed by it.
BA: I’m annoyed that someone would make something up like that. Why? Tell the kid the truth. What about kids who believe that Santa is magic and ask for things like a house or food or to get better from something? Don’t make something up. There are reasons for things.
Me: Do you remember that April Fool’s video I showed you when you were little? The one with the flying penguins.
BA: No.
Me: You were aware that penguins couldn’t fly. We had told you that. But when you saw the video you were so excited. You really wanted for penguins to be able to fly so you were so excited. And I had to immediately tell you it was an April Fool’s video. You were so sad. Even though you knew they couldn’t fly the video looked real and for a second you really were excited because you wanted to believe it and then you were crushed. It was awful.
BA: Kids can be fooled. They’ll believe things they really want to believe. Sometimes I want to tell my friends that he’s not real. They just go on and on about it and it doesn’t make sense.
Me: I think you need to leave it alone if someone believes in Santa Claus.
BA: They just go on and on about it. It’s not true but they really want to believe it. There’s nothing you can do about kids who believe in Santa Claus anyway. They don’t want to know what’s true. You wonder what they’re going to believe in next. Pixies? You just have to go along with it.
Me: Throughout your life you’re going to meet people who willfully believe things that are clearly untrue and you’re just going to have to hold your tongue and know that it’s really important to them to believe this thing. Santa is practice for that.
BA: But even their parents will tell you, “Yeah, there’s no Santa but we still do Santa at our house.” There is no magic. There are reasons that things happen. You have to figure things out.

He went on for quite some time. Completely flummoxed that–even in the face of a great deal of evidence against Jolly Old Saint Nick and in favor of his name being used when someone wanted to give in secret–children would so willingly disregard reason and instead believe what pleased them.

Libertarianism in Pop Culture

in Communicating Liberty, From Me To You, Liberator Online by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Libertarianism in Pop Culture

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

There is no shortage of “libertarian books,” whether you mean fiction works like Orwell’s 1984Huxley’s Brave New World, and any of Heinlein’s sci-fi, or more academic non-fiction texts like Hazlitt’s Economics in One LessonMises’ Human Action, or Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom.

How many of you became libertarians because someone handed you a book to read?

I didn’t. I don’t remember when a “libertarian switch” turned on, but I do remember when former talk-radio host Neal Boortz shared that my political philosophy had a name… libertarian.

Libertarians recognize that every individual is different. To me, that means that what opens one person’s mind to libertarianism may not work with another. Each individual’s path to libertarianism is different, and I think that many can be reached by the “normalization” of libertarianism and libertarians in popular culture.

As with any change to the status quo, a political change happens behind the wave of change in popular opinion. Popular culture plays a large role in that, and we are on track to have libertarian thought remain a part of that conversation.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss EverdeenThere is a wave of anti-authoritarian messaging in many popular teen novels that became blockbuster movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent series with strong female leads like Katniss and Tris exercising independent will and standing up to tyrannical central authorities. We see similar messaging in animated films like The LEGO Movie (which I LOVE) and The Nut Job for younger audiences.

Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson was a libertarian hero for many, and Community’s Jeff Winger and Californication’s Hank Moody both self-identified as libertarians. One of the longest running and most consistent libertarian television shows began my senior year of high school, South Park. On a recent flight, I even read this book about the libertarian lessons the show contains, which begins its 19th season next month.

The stand-up comedy world also features Doug Stanhope and Joe Rogan, while actors like Vince Vaughn, Dax Shepard, and Glenn Jacobs recently “came out” as libertarian thinkers. Recently, musicians Big Boi (from the hip hop group, OutKast), country music singer Kacey Musgraves, and Aimee Allen released songs with strong libertarian messages. Former MTV VJs Kennedy and Kurt Loder mix pop culture and political leanings for Reason and Fox Business, respectively.

We’ve collected quite a few libertarian celebrities here, and we plan to update that list shortly with many new additions this fall.

It’s a start, and we have a long way to go, but there’s hope still with all of the non-political avenues noted above that we can reach and recruit new libertarians. Let’s make sure we support the artists and commentators that share our views to keep them in the public eye.

Will you commit to that with me?

Liberty in This Season of Giving

in Liberator Online by Michael Cloud Comments are off

(From the Persuasion Powerpoint section in Volume 19, No. 25 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Want to give your family and friends a gift they’ll treasure?

Want to shower them with values beyond measure?

Freely email them three or four of the most thought-provoking libertarian essays that you’ve read in the last six months. From the Liberator Online, LewRockwell.com, FEE, Reason, the Libertarian Party, or other sources you like and trust.

Freely email them links to the best SHORT (4-8 minutes) persuasive libertarian videos posted on YouTube.

Buy and give them copies of a personal, practical, and principled libertarian book. Christmas giftsChoose one that’s appropriate for where they are in their interest in liberty. Some suggestions: Libertarianism in One Lesson, David Bergland’s acclaimed short introduction to libertarianism. Healing Our World, Mary Ruwart’s warm-hearted and well-documented look at libertarianism, or Short Answers to the Tough Questions: Expanded Edition, her essential resource for libertarian activists.  Jim Cox’s entertaining and enlightening book of economic haiku, The Haiku EconomistSecrets of Libertarian Persuasion and Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion, my two books on the best ways to persuade others to embrace libertarianism. These and many more are offered at the Advocates for Self-Government online store.

Give the gift of liberty to those you love.

It’s the gift they will cherish year after year.

VIDEO: “Obama’s Taylor Swift Strategy: Shake It Off (Remy Remix)”

in Liberator Online by James W. Harris Comments are off

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

A new video by the liberty-minded comedian Remy is always a cause for celebration.

In this one Remy rewrites the Taylor Swift hit “Shake It Off,” turning it into a kind of Obama administration manifesto. So true that’s it’s downright scary. Also, of course, hilarious, with amazing performances by Remy.

Scroll down to see the lyrics — with links on the issues Remy raises in his parody rewrite – here.

From Reason TV. Approximately 2:15 minutes. Share it with friends!

VIDEOS: The 5 Best — and 5 Worst — Libertarian TV Shows Ever

in Liberator Online by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 19, No. 17 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

Reason’s Nick Gillespie recently went out on a limb and picked the 5 best libertarian-themed TV shows ever.

And then, while arguments were still raging — how could you leave off Yes Minister, Firefly, and Green Acres, you @#%%^^^!!! — Gillespie crept further out on that same limb and picked the five most anti-libertarian TV shows ever.

Check these two videos out and see his choices. Sure, you’re going to disagree with him on some things (indeed, we predict riots may break out in some cities over his choice for worst-ever anti-libertarian show) but that’s part of the fun.

And if you discover a new show or two to watch, it’s well worth the few minutes it takes to watch these short (3 and 4 minutes) and fun videos.

Reason: Three Reasons Not to Go To War With Syria

in The Feed by Chris Spangle Comments are off

Reason has published a video with 3 simple reasons why we ought not go to war with Syria.

Description: As the Obama administration beats the drum for yet another military engagement, here are three reasons we shouldn’t go to war with Syria.