Author Archives: ianbernard

Why is the LP Turning Down Free Airtime?

FTLIs the national LP really saying no to free national airtime? If so, why? The reason is so petty, you’ll find it hard to believe. Jump to 42:20 to hear this specific discussion.

Update: Here’s the archive.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Ian’s follow-up post is here, as well as my own take in the comments.

-FTL Ian

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Business Owners: Stop Withholding!

I was inspired to do this after reading Marc Stevens’ excellent post at There is No State.

Government is out of control and freedoms are being crushed. Have courage. Liberty is not lost and big government can be stopped. Why continue feeding the very system that binds you, your friends, and your family?

It’s time for business owners to take the lead in the Second American Revolution. Many of your employees look up to you. Consider setting a good example and stop witholding taxes from their paychecks. Most of them aren’t aware of how much they are taxed. They will love you for the raise, and then they will have to decide for themselves to pay or not.

Perhaps you’ve always dreamt about having the courage to stop withholding. I hope this pledge will assist you to find the strength you still have.

Isn’t freedom worth fighting for? Join the nonviolent revolution and set your employees free from the oppressive income and social security taxes!

Will you make a stand for Liberty and refuse to withhold? Or will you keep sending in money and filling out paperwork like a “good little citizen”?

Sign the Pledge, then pass on the URL: http://pledgebank.com/stopwithholding

-FTL_Ian

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TABC Spokesbureaucrat’s Interview!

TABCSorry to those of you who tried to tune in to our live feed tonight, we had some technical difficulties that prevented you from tuning in to our stream during the first segment. Anyway, I had originally planned to have TABC spokesbureaucrat Carolyn Beck on for about 30 minutes, but she stayed for the entire hour! Like any good ambush interview, we start kind of dry and lay a foundation, and by the end, well… you’ll just have to listen:

TABC.mp3

I mentioned voting in my last post. We really need your help, as we’ve dropped to second place. Please vote for us now because Free Talk Live being the #1 podcast means new people coming across the message of Liberty every day. After you’ve voted, please tell a friend or two about FTL, and ask them to vote too!

Thanks for listening!
-FTL_Ian

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TABC Spokesbureaucrat on FTL’s Friday Show!

TABCI just got off the phone with Carolyn Beck, the spokesbureaucrat for the TABC. As you know, this is the agency responsible for arresting over 2200 people for “public intoxication” while drinking in bars! We’re going to give her a chance to explain herself tomorrow night just after 7:06pm ET on Free Talk Live. (Then we’ll ask questions she’s never heard before!) It’s rare that we announce guests in advance, but I thought HoT readers would like to know. I’ve told Ms. Beck that we’ll have her on for at least 30 mins. We will do our best to take your calls, but it may be better if you email me any questions you’d like us to ask this bureaucrat. My email is ian at freetalklive.com. Tune in live if you can, or listen via archive or podcast later at your leisure. It should be interesting radio!

Also, if you’d like to help FTL spread the message of Liberty please vote for our show. It’s easy, and only takes a minute. We need over 1000 votes to be the number one podcast all month long. We’re #1 as I write this but we’re only leading the #2 show by 50 votes, so we could really use your help!

Finally, imagine people in your city/town getting into their cars, turning the key, and hearing us grill the TABC spokesbureaucrat on the airwaves. FTL is on the air in 14 markets around the country, and you could help get pro-Liberty talk radio on the air in your area. To learn how visit http://local.freetalklive.com and read the FAQ.

Thanks for listening!
-FTL_Ian

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Screw the LRC

Stuart Richards just posted an interesting article about public acceptance of the idea of a third party. He then spun it into a puff piece for the Libertarian Reform Caucus, linking us to their stance on immigration.

Let’s see how libertarian the LRC’s stand on immigration is. Here’s a quick excerpt:

  • Requiring migrants to pass background checks…
  • Requiring migrants to be self-sufficient…
  • Requiring migrants to seek…

“Require” doesn’t sound very libertarian to me. Who are these LRC guys again? Aren’t they the guys that want to remove the principle that people have to sign to become a LP member? So if the LP removes the priniciple, they’ll just be “The Party of ________ “!

The LRC says:

However, the legitimate role of government is to protect the rights and property of it’s citizenry.

This may be the “legitimate” role as described in the constitution, but no libertarian could agree that government is good at protecting anything! Remember, these are the same people who can’t keep drugs out of their own prisons! What libertarian could have the hubris to believe that they can make government work? If you catch yourself feeling this way, I suggest you review Harry Browne’s “Seven Never-to-be-Forgotten Principles of Government”

What I want to know is, who wants to be a citizen of a government anyway? Considering that the “supreme court” has ruled time and time again that the government has no obligation to protect citizens, why would anyone consent to be protected by these people?

-FTL_Ian

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Pro-Liberty Talk Show Makes the “TALKERS 250″!

Talkers 250
The Talkers 250 is a list of the 250 most important talk shows of 2006. This year, the world’s most pro-Liberty show, Free Talk Live, was included!

This is a major honor in the business, and FTL is receiving it after only a year and a half in syndication! This is because of listeners calling their local talk stations and creating a demand for principled, pro-Liberty talk content by asking for Free Talk Live!

Oh, and if you vote for us in March, it helps drive new people to Liberty!

-FTL_Ian

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Two Free Staters Arrested!

Yesterday morning, a few Free Staters were protesting eminent domain on “public property” outside a hotel in Manchester, NH. Turns out King George was coming to this hotel that same morning.

Two of the protestors, Russell Kanning and Kat Dillon, were standing with signs nearby a bus stop where people were waiting around. It wasn’t long before a Secret Service agent came along and asked them to move across the street to the “agreed upon” protest area. They asked the SS agent if he was a fascist, told him they had not “agreed” to anything like that, and stayed right where they were.

Shortly thereafter, Manchester police arrived and arrested two of the protestors, charging them with disorderly conduct. When asked, the police mentioned they were “just following orders”. Stop for a moment, and remember where they were at the time of the arrest. They were near a public bus stop. Were the people waiting for the bus ordered across the street? No. Were they arrested for being disorderly? No. Only the two people with signs (One said “Bush, Feds=Fascists”) were arrested. This is all about control.

My favorite part of the story comes from when they were at the police station:

Officer Murby was talking to Russell. He told Russell he would buy him a plane ticket to Iran or Iraq if Russell wanted to renounce his citizenship…Another officer told us if we didn’t like America, we could leave.

Fascist Feds backed up by automaton cops.

The protestors, Kat Dillon and Russell Kanning are two of the best Liberty activists we’ve seen in recent times. (Last year, Russell was arrested after refusing to show ID at Manchester airport. Plus, they are the only Free Staters who have had the courage to refuse to pay property tax.) We need more people like them in the Free State, ASAP. That’s why I’ve become one of the Free State Project’s First 1000.

You can read Kat and Russell’s full account of the arrest in the Keene Free Press. You can listen to Free Talk Live interview Russell in the middle of last night’s show. Don’t forget to visit the NHFree.com forums to keep up with what’s going on in the Free State, it’s exciting!

The Second American Revolution is upon us. Refuse to pay taxes. Resist tyranny. Dissent openly. We must make a stand sooner rather than later, my Liberty loving friends. The longer we wait, the more difficult the fight.

-FTL_Ian

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A Vote that Makes a Difference!

Since the State of the Union address is the hot topic here tonight, I first invite you to listen to Free Talk Live’s “commentary” during Bush’s speech. Fast forward to about 91mins into the show. The commentary runs through the end of the show, interrupted by one phone call about government owned land.

Next, if you liked what you heard, will you do me and the Liberty movement a favor and vote for FTL? Thanks to our listeners’ votes last month we were the number one Podcast in the world at PodcastAlley.com for several days. We ended up finishing the month at #3 out of over 13,500. Not too shabby, but we can do better with your help. FTL being #1 brings new people to Liberty everyday!

Voting is simple. Goto vote.freetalklive.com. Enter your email address and a comment if you like, click vote now, check your email for the validation, and click the link inside. You’re done. If you really want to go crazy, tell a few friends.

Thank you!
-FTL_Ian

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Penn and Teller for President!

Penn & TellerLibertarians have long bemoaned the lack of celebrity Libertarians who actually have principles. Perhaps our dream candidates have finally arrived in the form of Penn and Teller.

They are the bad boys of magic. They host the award winning Showtime program, “BULLSHIT!”, one of the most iconoclastic, pro-liberty TV shows in the world. Penn is now a daily talk show host on Free FM stations nationwide.

Remember how Jesse Ventura awakened the sleeping masses in Minnesota with his third party candidacy for Governor? People who had never voted came out of the woodwork and Ventura won unexpectedly. His message was somewhat Libertarian, but he was certainly not principled, nor a Libertarian.

From what I’ve seen and heard, Penn and Teller are principled Libertarians and they are real, active, popular celebrities unlike Ventura, who was a little washed up at the time of his run for Governor.

Penn and Teller would attract all kinds of media attention and perhaps be able to awaken the sleeping masses and actually win.

Can you imagine it?

“Vote Penn and Teller in 2008 to make the government disappear!”

-FTL_Ian

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Fake Invoices

I own a few domain names, like freetalklive.com. From time to time, there is a company that sends me an invoice asking $25 for domain name renewal for one of my domains.

It should cost you no more than $10 to renew a domain for another year.

This company is likely not the company you registered your domain through originally, but if you send them $25, they will become your registrar. They feed off of the people that don’t realize this. Caveat emptor.

One note. This company does not write, “If you don’t pay, we’ll throw you in prison, or maybe kill you.” at the bottom of the invoice.

There is only one organization in the world that sends fake invoices with threats attached, and that is the “Government”. Whoever they are. Sure, you might know who your “representative” is, but who are the rest of them? Many of the faceless, heartless bureaucrats running the programs won’t even give their names when asked!

Who are these people sending me fake invoices, forms, and threats? I did not grant this authority to anyone, and I did not sign a social contract.

Isn’t it about time for all of us to start throwing their junk mail away?

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Pro Liberty Media Revolution

Every old school Libertarian activist that has done any outreach to the public knows there’s at least 1/3 of the population that scores in the Libertarian quadrant of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. We know people are receptive to pro-Liberty ideas. The biggest problem the Liberty movement has had until now has been spreading our ideas to the masses. We’ve relied on word of mouth, books, and sporadic old media coverage to get us as far as we’ve gotten.

What we should do as a movement is create demand for pro-Liberty media!

We are in the midst of an information age. Information is being decentralized and made more easily accessible by anyone who wants it. Old Media is scrambling to stay alive. They’re losing listeners and viewers to the information age’s new media competition.

Is all Old Media bad? Of course not! In fact, we can use the tools of the information age to leverage Old Media to be more pro-Liberty.

In fact, this is the easiest, most effective activism you can engage in.

We’ve always patted ourselves on the back whenever the movement gets a new “Libertarian” media personality. Most of these on-air “Libertarians” are at best somewhat Libertarian, but not truly for real Liberty.

Recently, that has begun to shift. Now people that really understand Liberty are making their way to Old Media:

Former consumer reporter John Stossel is now the anchor for 20/20, and is still producing fantastic 1 hour specials, virtually all with pro-Liberty themes and ideas at the forefront.

Magicians/Comedians/Jugglers Penn Jillette and Teller have found tremendous success on Showtime with their show Bullshit!, which has just been renewed for a fourth season. Penn has also recently been given a one hour a day weekday show on the new Free FM talk radio format on major CBS Radio transmitters in major markets around the country. I listened to his first two shows, and he’s doing great!

Finally, there’s my talk show, Free Talk Live. We’re the number one Podcast in the world, and are on over a dozen stations nationwide after only our first year of syndication! For the moment Penn is locked into Free FM stations. Free Talk Live, however can be on Free FM and any other AM or FM talk station, not to mention XM or Sirius. We can literally take on Rush, and we can be the number one show in America.

Why shouldn’t we be? Why shouldn’t John Stossel be the number one news personality? Why shouldn’t Bullshit! be the most popular show on cable?

It can happen if you help create demand for Libertarian media. Books are still good for some people, but this is a popular media culture. We need to stop screwing around and grow our dominance in wide distribution media content — NOW. Here’s what you can do, it takes very little time, and is so simple and powerful! If you’ve done these things, you’re a true Liberty Media Activist!

  • Email 2020@abc.com and tell them thank you for the great John Stossel specials that they air, and tell them you’d like to see more of Stossel’s work.
  • Contact Showtime and tell them thank you for renewing Bullshit for a fourth season, and let them know you want more seasons to follow. You may contact them at Showtime Networks Inc., 1633 Broadway, NY 10019, or email contact@showtime.net.
  • Contact your local talk stations, ask for the Program Director, and tell them you want to listen to Free Talk Live on their station. For more detail on this, please visit http://local.freetalklive.com and we’ll help you find your local stations.
  • If you have a local radio talk show you know of that is run by true pro-Liberty personality, like New Hampshire’s Gardner Goldsmith, call the station’s Program Director and thank them for airing the show!

The final thing you should do is tell your friends and family to watch and listen to these pro-Liberty programs. Encourage other lovers of Liberty to follow these steps, and we’ll demand our way to a Pro-Liberty Media Revolution!

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Why the Libertarian Party Continues to Fail

After being immersed in the Libertarian Party at a local level for years, I think I know the reason why the LP has little effect on anything. I was instrumental in the creation of the local Libertarian Party back in 2000 here in Sarasota, FL. I was the “membership director” and I happen to think I did a decent job. I personally funded, organized, and recruited volunteers for Operation Politically Homeless booths at the County Fair, Gun Shows, the Flea Market, Protests, Gay & Lesbian Pridefests, and more.

The reason I was successful at recruiting is because I took the initiative to just *do*. I never asked the LP for money or permission. I only asked the members to volunteer for what I was organizing.

I don’t bother with the Sarasota LP anymore. The meetings are bureaucratic and slow. Why? It’s because of the method of organization. Most LPs are run with “bylaws” in effect as well as the LP’s worshipped “Roberts Rules of Order.” Since I helped found the Sarasota LP, I was part of the bylaws creation process.

I will never be part of that process again! It took weeks of debate to hammer out the bylaws. This is time the group could have spent planning and executing outreach.

In 2005 I founded the Suncoast Free State Project Local Group. The group was totally mine. I administrated the yahoo group. I had the membership list. It was my creation. After gathering a tremendous percentage of the Suncoast area FSP members together, we started doing outreach. (By the way, one of the reasons FSP meeting turnout is so great is because the FSP members are the cream of the crop of Liberty activists.) In 2005 the FSP group easily did more outreach than did the five-year-old LP. In fact, FSP members were the ones running Operation Politically Homeless booths that the LP was paying for!

If you’re a Libertarian and you want to see your party succeed, especially at a local level, you need to decentralize. If the people in your local LP are not up to par, and your meetings are bureaucratic, throw out the bylaws and start your own group.

In short, the Libertarian Party needs competition for itself. Local LPs should be owned by an individual. If you don’t like the way that individual is running his LP, start your own group.

Competition makes everyone better, and that certainly applies to the LP. Stop the centralized decision making. Stop the bureaucracy. Private property and competition are the only things that can save the LP from a future of dreadfully slow, if any progress.

As an aside, and to the LP’s credit, the national LP has taken a step in the right direction by eliminating dues and the Unified Membership Program, which was centralized wealth distribution to the state LPs.

[Ian Bernard is the host of Free Talk Live, an internationally syndicated pro-Liberty radio show airing live six nights a week and on in 13 markets nationwide. The show is also the #1 Political Cultural Podcast in the world.]

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