From: (Advocates for SelfGovernment)
Subject: Liberator OnLine, Vol. 7, No. 20
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 16:22:26 -0700 (MST)

In This Issue:

Establishment shocked as libertarians almost wipe out state
income tax; Canada considers decriminalizing marijuana;
"Arming America" author resigns in disgrace; statism is
running out of steam, says leading libertarian; Mary Ruwart
answers three short questions on the thorny issue of racial
discrimination; Michael Cloud turns a pointless verbal
lynching into a alliance-building opportunity by asking "What
kind of conservative are you?"....

All this and *much much more* in the world's
largest-circulation libertarian email newsletter...


November 13, 2002
Vol. 7, No. 20
Circulation: 54,904 in 104 countries

Published by the Advocates for Self-Government.
Created and edited by Paul Schmidt,
Co-edited by James W. Harris,

"For decades, libertarians have had the best ideas -- and the worst marketing. The Advocates, as no other group, are providing this missing link -- an effective way to get new people to embrace our ideas." -- Alejandro Chafuen, Atlas Foundation
CONTENTS PRESIDENT'S CORNER * Statism is running out of intellectual steam WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES * OPH in LP News * Exciting Opportunities for Libertarians! GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS * Shocker: Libertarians Almost Kill Massachusetts Income Tax * "Arming America" Author Resigns in Disgrace * Canada Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana * Mind-Altering Drugs... ASK DR. RUWART * Three short questions -- and answers -- on racial discrimination and libertarianism PERSUASION POWER POINT #134 * What Kind of a Conservative Are You? by Michael Cloud PRODUCT REVIEW * Relax and enjoy these two great libertarian entertainment classics -- at a HUGE discount!
PRESIDENT'S CORNER Dear friends, In our "Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" section in this issue, you can read about the discrediting of the controversial book "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture." This is good news for freedom lovers, because that book had been widely hailed by opponents of the right to keep and bear arms as dramatic new support for their position. But it is good news for another, larger reason. I was impressed by the comments of Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, on this affair. Rockwell points out that "Arming America" had been received with eagerness by leftwing statists precisely because it seemed to be a breath of fresh air in what for decades has been an intellectually stagnant movement. As Rockwell put it: "In a sea of mundane left-liberal books written by aging academics who haven't made a new argument in thirty years, the Bellesiles book stood out as unique. "Michael Bellesiles was a young professor, not an aging socialist. His research and research methods were original. The scholarship was daring and enticing. Here in one package was something new in the genre, at long last! The very existence of the book seemed to indicate that left-liberalism still had some scholarly life in it, that it could survive another generation and perhaps even gain some intellectually respectable converts! "This aspect of the book, more than its thesis or argument, had an immense impact. It lifted the spirits of a dying generation of intellectuals. Perhaps their religion can last after all! Perhaps it has a future! Maybe their lives haven't been a total waste! It was these sentiments, which did so much to lift this book to immense fame, that also caused a generation of academics to fly into panic when its thesis came into question." Of course, with the book now discredited, those hopes have been thoroughly deflated. And, concludes Rockwell: "People ask if there is any reason for libertarians to be confident. If you understand the sociology of ideas, it is easy to see that the statist project is running out of intellectual steam. It survives mainly due to the momentum it gathered during and after World War II. But it has no new source of strength other than its domination of existing structures of power, and without intellectual life and vibrancy, it is profoundly vulnerable. "Saying that statism has lost intellectual energy is not to claim assurance of the final victory of its opposite, of course. But we must not rule out the possibility. After all, as [Ludwig von] Mises says, "The outstanding fact about history is that it is a succession of events that nobody anticipated before they occurred." (You can read all of Rockwell's comments at: ) I take heart from this. I hope you do, too. The ideas of statism and government control are the dead ideas of the past. The ideas of liberty are the bright, shining, vibrant new ideas that are winning converts daily around the globe. Yes, it seems painfully slow at times. And yes, our triumph is far from certain. But history is on our side. And that is yet one more reason for hope -- and motivation to keep on with our efforts to build an ever-stronger, ever-more-successful movement for liberty. * * * I am pleased to welcome 1,270 new Liberator Online subscribers this issue. Thanks for joining our subscription "family" of over 50,000 liberty-loving readers in over 100 countries! Enjoy this issue of the Liberator Online. Sharon Harris, President PS: The elections are over! Now kick back and enjoy some libertarian-flavored laughs and entertainment -- with our "Product Review" special at the end of this issue. We've combined two great, entertainment-oriented libertarian collections at a huge discount for you. They make great holiday gifts, too! But hurry -- this is a limited-time offer for Liberator Online readers only. See details in "Product Review" at the end of this issue. Thank you!
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES * OPH in LP NEWS: An excellent photo of an OPH booth conducted by the Libertarian Party of Jacksonville, FL appeared in the October Libertarian Party News, the monthly newspaper of America's third-largest political party. Libertarians across America have been using OPH (the exclusive Advocates tool that converts a static outreach booth into a dynamic crowd-drawing event) this election year. Thanks, LP News! ONGOING ACTIVITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES * Libertarian Cruise to Alaska: Dr. Ken Bisson has announced that the 6th Annual Libertarian Cruise will begin on June 8, 2003. Though not an Advocates event, Ken is an Advocates Founding Member, a former chairman of the Advocates Board, and a long-time Libertarian Party leader. This year's cruise will be a 7-day Glacier Discovery Cruise, on the Holland America Line, leaving from Vancouver and concluding in Seward, Alaska. Sounds wonderful! You can learn more -- and get the free email newsletter -- at the Libertarian Cruise web site: . * FREE "Libertarian Clips": Libertarian Clips is a daily (or weekly, if you prefer) clipping service that brings you news stories from around the world that use the words "libertarian" or "libertarianism." See what libertarians are doing, and see how the media is using those words. It's FREE, and subscribing is a snap. Just click here: * FREE Year 2002 Lights of Liberty Awards: You can win certificates, public recognition, prizes and more for your vital activism for liberty. Awards are given for: 3 libertarian letters to the editor; OR 3 sessions working at an OPH booth; OR 3 libertarian-oriented public speeches. Click here to learn more. * Communication Bargain of the Century: You can get the great 3-tape audio course "The Essence of Political Persuasion" from us at the GIVE-AWAY price of only $7.50 - that price includes handling and First Class mail so you'll get it right away! Libertarian Party Political Director Ron Crickenberger says this Advocates offer is "... the greatest gift the libertarian movement has received in years." We've put over 6,000 sets into the hands of libertarian activists in the past couple of years! To order, call us or see: * Quiz FAQ: Who created the World's Smallest Political Quiz? When and where? What does your Quiz score mean? The Advocates has created a huge FAQ ("Frequently Answered Questions") to answer many of the most common questions about the history and theory of the Quiz. You can get to the FAQ by clicking here: .
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS by James W. Harris Libertarians Almost Kill Massachusetts Income Tax A bold libertarian ballot initiative to end the state income tax in Massachusetts shocked the heck out of the Establishment when it came within a few percentage points of winning. The effort, created and led by Carla Howell and Michael Cloud, received a whopping 45.4% of the vote. Eliminating the state income tax would take an estimated $9 billion annually out of state coffers and force an immediate 39 percent slash in state spending. Backers said the savings for taxpayers would create between 300,000 and 500,000 jobs, enough to completely wipe out unemployment in the state. Opponents -- including all mainstream politicians and every media organization -- predictably predicted doom and disaster if it passed. As the Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate, Carla Howell made the initiative a centerpiece of her ''small government is beautiful'' campaign. Liberator Online columnist and U.S. Senate candidate Michael Cloud co-sponsored the effort with Howell. The high vote total far surpassed predictions by the last pre-election campaign polls, which claimed support of 25% to 34%. With 2,155 out of 2,157 precincts reporting, 881,738 people voted "Yes" to end the state income tax. Further, a majority of voters in nearly one-third of the state's 351 cities and towns voted in favor of the initiative. And even though it did not pass, experts say the strong support for the measure will have immediate impact upon state politicians ''It's certainly sobering for the Legislature that with a $2 billion estimated deficit, this puts even more pressure on them to meet the deficit with budget cuts rather than a combination of cuts and taxes,'' Tufts University political scientist Jeffrey M. Berry told the Boston Globe. ''I would guess it comes back on the ballot in a little bit.'' Under Massachusetts law, backers must wait six years before launching another ballot initiative aimed at abolishing the income tax. Howell and others, in the meantime, are weighing whether to target the Massachusetts state sales tax for elimination on the 2004 ballot -- which would cut $3.5 billion, about a third of the income tax's revenue. Hopefully the surprise Massachusetts success will lead to similar measures in other states in the future. (Sources: ; ; ) * * * "Arming America" Author Resigns in Disgrace In a major triumph for gun rights activists, as well as all who believe that truth in historical research is important, historian Michael Bellesiles -- author of the highly controversial book "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" -- has resigned from Emory University after an official investigative committee came to damning conclusions about the quality and integrity of his research. Bellesiles' blockbuster book argued that, contrary to what almost everyone had believed, Colonial and early 1800s-era America had never been a gun-loving or gun-owning country; the ownership of guns in early America was quite rare; and the role of armed farmers and citizen militias in early American history had been grossly exaggerated in order to build support for today's "gun culture." Bellesiles based this remarkable and extremely counter-intuitive argument on research into thousands of probate records and wills dating back to earliest America. From the beginning "Arming America" was hailed by anti-gun forces, and it received rave reviews in major publications and newspapers across the country. It won the prestigious Bancroft Prize for history from Columbia University in 2001. It was cited as evidence before the 5th Circuit Court of the United States in the landmark "U.S. v. Emerson" gun control case, and was cited frequently in other legal briefs. Gun control advocates embraced it as major new evidence that Americans never had a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. But there was one problem -- a big one. Other historians were unable to duplicate Bellesiles' findings. In fact, some of the records Bellesiles cited hadn't existed since the early 1900s. A host of academic and non-academic researchers began digging into Bellesiles' work, finding numerous errors and what seemed like deliberate falsifications. The criticisms continued mounting until, as the Denver Post wryly noted, "...almost everyone except the author has become convinced that some of the data in his book were simply invented." Eventually, the outcry was so great that Emory University (where Bellesiles taught) conducted a months-long examination -- and Emory's distinguished review panel reported "evidence of falsification" and "egregious misrepresentation and exaggeration of data." They also said it was possible he had "willingly misrepresented the evidence." In response, Bellesiles has resigned from Emory. Bellesiles still defends his work -- arguing that the only thing Emory's report questioned were a "few paragraphs and tables on probate materials" -- but his resignation is seen by critics as a thorough discrediting of his fundamental thesis. (Sources: A good early critique of Bellesiles' book appeared in Reason: ;,1413,36~417~957227~,00.html ; Emory's statement on the case, and the report of the panel: ) * * * Canada Considering Decriminalizing Marijuana Canada has long had a far more open policy towards marijuana use for medicinal purposes than the U.S. Now, however, the Canadian government is considering going much further: decriminalizing marijuana for everyone. According to ABC News, under a plan being considered by the government, citizens caught with small amounts of marijuana would face only the equivalent of a traffic ticket, with a small fine, but no criminal record. Polls indicate that 70% of Canadians favor the concept. Allan Rock, Canada's former health minister and now minister of industry, says: "Why clog the criminal courts with kids 14 or 15 who might have been experimenting with a single stick of marijuana and who could face a lifelong disadvantage with a criminal record? Isn't there a better way?" Other Canadian officials agree. A large and growing list of countries, including Britain, Portugal, Italy and Spain, have recently liberalized their marijuana laws. The U.S. government, however, is strongly pressuring Canadian officials not to follow those countries' lead, and is threatening to retaliate with tighter border controls that would slow Canadian-U.S. trade. The Canadian government is expected to decide on whether to pursue the liberalization early next year. (Source: ) * * * Mind-Altering Drugs... "I began to study marijuana in 1967... I had not yet learned that there is something very special about illicit drugs. If they don't always make the drug user behave irrationally, they certainly cause many non-users to behave that way." -- Harvard medical professor Lester Grinspoon, author of "Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine." * * * "Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" writer James W. Harris is co-editor of the Liberator Online. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Nation, Reason, The Freeman, the National Taxpayers Union's Dollars and Sense, the Atlanta Constitution, and many more. He has been a Finalist in the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."
ASK DR. RUWART How can you answer difficult questions about libertarianism -- in short, positive, persuasive soundbite-sized responses? It's a challenge every libertarian communicator faces. Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication, and author of the international bestseller Healing Our World. In this column she gives readers "short answers to the tough questions" that libertarians are frequently asked. If you'd like Dr. Ruwart to craft effective answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, just email the questions to her at: . *Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally answer or acknowledge all email queries.* But we'll run the best questions -- and Dr. Ruwart's answers -- in upcoming issues. Dr. Ruwart's past answers are archived in searchable form at * * * Three short questions -- and answers -- on racial discrimination and libertarianism. Question 1: "How does a libertarian address civil rights issues? Would there be laws in a libertarian society prohibiting discrimination by businesses?" My short answer: "In a libertarian society, businesses could refuse service to individuals for any reason. However, they would be punished by losing the profit that they otherwise would have made. This feedback is so powerful that even in the post-Civil War South, segregation could only be maintained when governments made integration (serving blacks and whites in the same establishment) a crime. "If integration could only be stopped by outlawing it in the South, surely today it would take place readily without government mandates. If some individuals, black or white, wished to maintain some separateness, why should we force them together? "In a libertarian society, laws enforcing segregation could never have been passed in the first place. Slavery would never have been legal. In short, if the U.S. had been a totally libertarian society, Africans would never have been enslaved and given second-class status. Government creates conditions that foster racial prejudice, then creates backlash and further prejudice by forcing people together." Question 2: "I know that quotas are not in accord with the libertarian philosophy, but sometimes I think they might be helpful." My short answer: "Quotas require expensive enforcement, which, in turn, results in higher taxes and/or inflation. As a result, jobs are lost, primarily for those at the low end of the ladder (i.e., blacks, handicapped, etc.). Thus, for every disadvantaged person who might get hired because of quotas, other disadvantaged people will lose their jobs. Like most aggression, quotas hurt the very people that they are supposed to help." Question 3: "What laws would libertarians pass to get rid of discrimination in this country?" My short answer: "Libertarians would get rid of the laws that are the hidden roots of discrimination. First, adoption would be privatized so that interracial adoption would no longer be discouraged. Today, many white families are not permitted to adopt a minority infant, and so go overseas to Korea or China instead. Historically, interracial adoption has been the quickest, most effective means of integration. "Black economist Walter Williams notes that "the minimum wage law is one of the major causes of spiraling unemployment among young blacks." Minimum wage laws would be abolished to end such discrimination. "Licensing laws, which were first put into place in the South to prohibit minorities from entering into the professions, would be ended. "Affirmative action and quotas employ a few token minorities while destroying the jobs of many more disadvantaged. In a libertarian nation, such laws would be abolished. "Discrimination will only end when we do away with laws that legalize it." * * * Dr. Ruwart's book "Healing Our World" features persuasive arguments for liberty, backed with *over 500 references* showing how liberty works. You can browse the entire book online at: Coming soon: a BRAND-NEW edition of "Healing Our World"! Dr. Ruwart's book "Short Answers to the Tough Questions" -- an essential guide for anyone wanting to become a better libertarian communicator -- is also available from the Advocates for $12.00 (plus shipping).
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PERSUASION POWER POINT # 134 What Kind of a Conservative Are You? by Michael Cloud [Editor's note: This week Michael Cloud is taking a well-earned rest from his Massachusetts U.S. Senate campaign - in which he received 19% of the vote, the most successful Libertarian Senate race in history and the best showing by any nationally-organized third party Senate candidate since 1932 - and from his work as co-leader of the Massachusetts anti-income-tax ballot initiative (see report elsewhere in this issue for the results). We are pleased to run this classic Cloud column from several years ago. Enjoy!] One evening, over 20 years ago, I fell into a conversation about politics at a party. Everyone had opinions about politics. One man sat quietly for half an hour, then announced to everyone, "I think you're all wrong. You don't understand standards and decency and authority. I do. I'm a conservative." Two of my fellow libertarians started rebutting "conservatism" and accusing this man of holding false beliefs. He responded to the criticisms -- and attacked libertarianism for condoning "license." The libertarians were counter-attacking, when I interrupted the argument by shouting, "Wait a minute. I'm confused. I need some help here. Could you straighten me out on something?" Everyone quieted down. I spoke to the conservative. "What kind of a conservative are you?" I asked. "I've read a lot of conservative writers and met a lot of conservatives, and I've noticed that there are several different kinds of conservatives. There are fiscal conservatives, whose main concern is that government live within its means. There are social conservatives, who want government to enforce a strict morality. There are nationalist conservatives, who want to restrict trade and immigration and fight those who oppose the American way of life. Are you primarily a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, or a nationalist conservative? What kind of a conservative are you?" "Well, I'm mainly a fiscal conservative," he said. "Are you a Big Government fiscal conservative or a Small Government fiscal conservative? Do you want a Big and Powerful government that lives within its means or a Small and Limited government that lives within its means? " I asked. "Are you kidding? Government is way too big. I want a small, constitutionally limited government," he responded. We had a great discussion on which federal agencies he'd abolish and where he'd slash government and why. We went from an escalating argument to an interesting, friendly discussion. This small government fiscal conservative and three libertarians found we had a lot in common. And it began with asking him what he did believe and what he did not. By not assuming that all conservatives are the same. Suppose that someone said, "I'm a Christian." Should we assume that all Christians are the same? Or should we ask, "What kind of a Christian are you, Catholic or Protestant? What denomination are you: Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Quaker...? Could you tell me a little bit about your faith? What do you have in common with other Christians -- and how are you different?" If someone says, "I'm a liberal," we can ask: "What kind of a liberal are you? What are your liberal beliefs? What do you have in common with other liberals -- and how are you different? Are you a central planning liberal or a grassroots, community decision-making liberal? Are you a civil liberties liberal or a government without limits liberal?" If someone says, "I'm a socialist," we can ask: "What kind of a socialist are you? Small communes and communities...or centrally planned in Washington, DC? Are you a coercive socialist or a voluntary socialist? Could someone choose _not_ to participate in your socialism?" Before we can honestly say, "I agree" or "I disagree," we must understand. To understand, we must ask. With courtesy and interest and a sincere desire to learn the truth. We may discover that they disagree with us. We may discover that we have a lot in common. That they agree with us on many important things. And that we may be able to persuade them on other things. Isn't that worth seeking? What kind of a communicator are you? Are you one who assumes, or one who asks? Are you one who wants to shoot first and ask questions later, or one who sincerely wants to understand? What kind of communicator are you?
Michael Cloud is Persuasion columnist for the Liberator Online and The Libertarian Communicator. In July 2000, at the Libertarian Party national convention, Cloud was voted the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America and honored with the Thomas Paine Award. Michael Cloud is creator of "The Essence of Political Persuasion," the classic 3-tape libertarian communication course, available exclusively from the Advocates at the *give-away* price of only $7.50 postpaid (includes First Class postage!). For more information, or to order, click here:
PRODUCT REVIEW Huge Savings on Libertarian Movies Guide *and* Libertarian Cartoon Collection! The elections are over. Now, kick back and enjoy some libertarian-themed laughter and entertainment -- at a real bargain price! We've combined two great books into one heavily-discounted package for Liberator Online readers. ***** Book One: "Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video: Movies for the Libertarian Millennium" by Jon Osborne. If you're a libertarian -- or any liberty-loving person -- and you like movies, this book will delight you! It's the first guide ever to libertarian-themed films -- filled with over 250 insightful reviews. The films deal with such crucial subjects as (to name just a few): free speech; the draft; drug laws; taxation; regulation; gun rights; socialism; immigration; war...and many more exciting and provocative topics! The concise and thoughtful reviews rate each film on both libertarian content AND entertainment/artistic value -- making the book especially useful. Each review also contains essential info like the film's director, actors, length, genre, and more. All sorts of films are covered: mainstream Hollywood blockbusters, lesser-known independents, foreign films, documentaries...You're certain to discover cinematic treasures that will surprise, intrigue and delight you. And there are still more handy features -- including the author's list of the "Top Libertarian Films and Videos." How many have YOU seen? There are some treasures and surprises here, guaranteed! It's a handy source of recommended outreach material for libertarian activists, a fun way for newcomers to libertarianism to become familiar with freedom-oriented ideas, and just a great source of inspiration for anyone interested in liberty. We love this book! Definitely "two thumbs up!" ***** Book 2 in this special package: "Gesundheit, Dummy! The Best of Baloo!" -- cartoons by Baloo. Get ready to laugh! This is the ONLY book collection of the wonderful cartoons of the great libertarian cartoonist "Baloo" (aka Rex May). You've loved his cartoons for years. You've seen them in the world's leading publications -- the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Liberty, the Saturday Evening Post, and many more. Liberty magazine calls Baloo "the best cartoonist in the world." And Smithsonian magazine proclaimed him the "king of gag writers." Now laugh your socks off as Baloo skewers pompous politicians, bureaucrats, know-it-alls, tax collectors and other well-deserved targets in this great collection. Political cartoons and non-political cartoons are included. Over 100 Baloo classics! If you love liberty and love to laugh, you'll love this book! "Rex May is the funniest cartoonist in the world, as anyone who reads Gesundheit, Dummy! will delightfully discover." -- R.W. Bradford, Editor, Liberty Magazine A wonderful addition to your library, or a great gift for a friend. * * * Special 40% Liberator Online Discount * * * The combined cover price for both these books is $25.90. Now Liberator Online readers can get them BOTH for only $15.00! (plus $4.50 shipping and handling.) Save 40%! Great entertainment -- and great holiday gifts! * * * ORDERING * * * Via Web: To get this special Liberator Online-readers-only offer, you can go to this address on the Web: This will take you to a special site on our catalog where this offer is featured. You can order via credit card from there if you wish. Our site is credit card secure -- you can order with the same confidence you'd feel at your local department store. While there, you can browse our other libertarian products and order any you wish. You can also, of course, order by phone, mail or fax, from the address below. Just mention the Liberator Online with your order to get this special discount. Your order helps support the essential work of the Advocates -- thank you! As with all Advocates products, we guarantee your satisfaction. Try it at no risk -- if you're not completely satisfied, simply return for a full refund. *** This offer is good through Wednesday November 25, 2002 *** See you in two weeks! You can contact the Advocates at: Snail Mail: Advocates for Self Government 5 South Public Square, Suite 304 Cartersville, GA 30120 Phone: 770-386-8372; for orders, 800-932-1776 Fax: 770-386-8373 Email: WWW: If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your address for receiving the Liberator Online, visit: You can see back issues of the Liberator Online on the Advocates' web site: The Advocates for Self-Government is a non-profit educational organization. Our purpose is to: (1) present the freedom philosophy honestly and persuasively to opinion-makers and the public so that they can encounter, evaluate, and when ready, embrace the ideals of self-government; (2) help libertarians become effective and powerful communicators of the ideas of liberty; and (3) change the political map from the inaccurate and exclusionary 'left-right/liberal conservative' line to a more accurate and inclusive model (like that on our World's Smallest Political Quiz) that includes libertarians and others. PLEASE NOTE: Contributions to the Advocates are tax-deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. If you would like to support the vital, world-changing work of the Advocates, we to*welcome* your donation. To support the Advocates' work, see . -- or give us a call at 1-800-932-1776. Thank you! "May it be to the world... to assume the blessings and security of self-government." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1821.

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