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GOLDEN, Colo. – FEE will be holding a debate on marijuana legalization before a live audience of college students at the Colorado School of Mines on July 16 at 10:45 a.m. MDT, featuring both Judge James P. Gray, former running mate of Gary Johnson, and former Obama Administration senior advisor Kevin Sabet. This debate will be broadcast live here

Gray, representing Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and taking the affirmative, will be debating Kevin Sabet, Director of the Drug Policy Institute. The debate is anticipated to last 45 minutes with time for questions and answers. Media interested in attending should contact FEE’s College Programs Manager, Jason Riddle, at jriddle@fee.org for directions to the event.

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I first met Andrew Kaluza in March of 2010 in rural Kentucky even though we were both native Texans. We had come to the bluegrass state to fulfill what I now recognize as an initiatory mission for a cause that would change our lives forever. We were there to help Rand Paul become the next junior senator, although years later Andrew and I would laughingly recall this story as we had since developed a mutual indifference towards day-to-day politicking. After our week in Kentucky, I sensed that Andrew and I would work well together. What I didn’t realize is that he and I would spend the next four years developing a deep brotherly bond that I, an only child, had never quite experienced before.

This wasn’t unique to me, however. I was routinely amazed by Andrew’s uncanny ability to connect meaningfully with everybody he ever met. When he joined the movement for liberty in 2009, he quickly became known for his ability to craft spaces of fellowship — a quality which would ultimately mark his legacy. Andrew was an individual whose optimistic, joyous, and eager spirit defied what outsiders wrongly thought to be a hopeless, terse, and cold cause. Andrew would later say that the cause of liberty was simply about “being good to others.”

For Andrew, the principles of individual liberty, free markets, and peace were ultimately a reflection of his kind, compassionate, sincere and respectful character. It was these traits along with his warm, gentle, happy spirit that won him the admiration of everybody who had the privilege of meeting him.

Andrew was my brother in this common cause we call liberty. We worked together in SFL’s inaugural class of Campus Coordinators, and later we represented Team Texas on SFL’s student-led executive board. While Andrew identified closely with SFL as an international organization, he foremost viewed Texas’ student movement for liberty as his baby. We often laughed at him during executive board discussions when he would preface every statement with “Well, in Texas…” He established the necessary foundations that have led to Texas’ reputation as the strongest region for libertarian student activism in the world. Impressively, the newest SFL executive board recently named Texas its own separate and distinct region, which has in it 30+ incoming Campus Coordinators. Undoubtedly, Andrew would have been thrilled to meet and encourage each leader in the Lone Star region, reminding them that in his time, there were merely four SFL leaders.

I’ve hardly known anybody since Andrew’s days as a student activist who was able to organize so many flighty college kids towards a common purpose. Among Andrew’s proudest achievements in SFL were organizing the Dallas and Austin regional conferences. These events were given a special treatment by Andrew. They were organized as grand celebrations of a crucially urgent cause. As such, he poured forth innumerable hours doing the dirty work: preparing promotional content, making lodging and travel arrangements for those in need, and scheduling the best line up of speakers available.

Logistical details aside, I remember that Andrew insisted upon his conference revolving around a theme, requesting speakers to incorporate an element that would touch on the importance of entrepreneurship and then of empowerment. Andrew was convinced that innovation was the key to reducing the scope of government. Regarding empowerment, he sought to encourage students to see and act on ways to change the world rather than slavishly asking, “How can I help?”

After months of preparation, his conferences were of the highest quality and well attended. In retrospect, it is apparent to me that students not only came to learn the content but also to see Andrew. His affable nature drew hundreds of students to conferences over the years. There was hardly an attendee that didn’t know Andrew personally, and many had been introduced to the cause through him.

It was not through the force of argument that Andrew won over students to our cause, although he was certainly prepared to offer eminently logical cases for a free society. Instead, Andrew was a master of empathy. He was known for greeting everybody with a Texas-style, sweaty bear hug (he’d do so while wearing the kitschiest American tie you ever saw, and he loved for people to kid him about it). When his friends needed a sympathetic ear, he was there to lend one. This applied politically, too. Andrew never conceived of the libertarian movement as a game of intellectual one-upmanship, but instead a very serious effort to spread ideas that he felt would draw the world’s poor and helpless out of desperate poverty. He walked the walk, too. After the fires that plagued Bastrop County, Texas in the summer of 2011, Andrew twice rounded up a group of Young Americans for Liberty chapter members at the University of Texas-San Antonio to help rebuild the home of one family who had lost everything.

It feels strange referring to Andrew by his first name. In SFL, he was always endearingly referred to as Kaluza. During his first executive board retreat I roomed with him along with our colleague and friend Frederick Roeder. Fred being the fun guy he is would help Kaluza wake, but it was in a decidedly German fashion as he would crouch down near Kaluza and chant “KALUZA, KALUZA, KALUZA, KAZAHH!!!” Since that time, Kaluza was welcomed to every party and SFL event with this chant.

The leadership of SFL and the broader liberty movement loved Andrew a great deal. To us, he was a larger than life character, legendary to those who were newcomers to the movement. As such, there will be no shortage of profoundly moving stories that will continue to celebrate the life that Andrew led. In my case, I’m fortunate to have shared a spiritual connection with Andrew, one that I will forever cherish. I’m deeply saddened that so many others won’t have the opportunity to know Andrew personally. He will always serve as the model of what it means to be an effective advocate for liberty. But more than that, Andrew was the quintessence of warmth, humility, positivity, earnestness and kindness. We will miss you, Kaluza, but you will not be forgotten. May you rest in peace, brother.

At this time, there are memorial services planned for Andrew in Texas and Washington D.C. Andrew’s family will be hosting a memorial service on Saturday, July 26th and Students For Liberty will host a celebration of Andrew’s life this Thursday, July 17th.

 

The experts are raving– check out these stellar reviews of Peace, Love, & Liberty! Order 500 copies by July 18th!

“The old lie—that sweet and proper it is to die for your country—receives here a decisive answer. It is not sweet and proper to bomb children in Iraq, nor to die from a roadside bomb planted by their fathers, nor to advocate war as cleansing, ennobling, or invigorating. The anti-liberals from Joseph de Maistre to David Brooks who have argued otherwise are here revealed as, simply, warmongers. Tom Palmer’s brilliant editing and writing makes an overwhelming case for ironmongers, fishmongers, and all the other dealers in peaceful exchange, without cudgels or drafts or blood gargling from froth-corrupted lungs.”

Deirdre N. McCloskey is the author of Bourgeois Dignity; a Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and a Professor of Economic History at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. 

“This is an important book that successfully connects the ideal of peace to very practical and well-grounded ideas about how to achieve and maintain it. Peace, Love, & Liberty should be read by everyone, regardless of political view, who wishes to avoid war.”

David Boaz is the author of The Libertarian Mind and the Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute. 

“The philosopher and father of economics Adam Smith famously wrote that ‘little else’ is needed for a society to prosper and progress beyond three conditions: ‘peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.’ Peace, Love, & Liberty is an engaging collection of essays showing why peace is the first among these indispensable conditions, and how its absence raises taxes and threatens justice. The authors argue with persuasive logic and evidence that a belligerent state cannot continue to be a free state.”

Lawrence H. White is the author of The Clash of Economic Ideas and a Professor of Economics at George Mason University. 

“Those who favor peace need to ask the hard questions of what institutions and practices promote it; likewise, they need to convince more people that violence rarely achieves the lofty goals that war advocates claim to value. This book is an excellent starting point on both counts, explaining that the sentiment of peace is laudable, but without evidence and rigorous reasoning, just a sentiment.”

Jeffrey Miron is the author of Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition and Libertarianism, from A to Z and a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. 

“Peace, Love, & Liberty gathers experts in economics, political science, history, philosophy, psychology, and other fields to explain the complex phenomena of peace and war. Tom Palmer as editor and author has produced a book that is truly unique and succeeds splendidly. It is rigorous and clearly written and deserves to be read by a very large audience. If the lessons of the book had been understood in the last century, the world would have been spared so much violence, blood, suffering, and misery.”

Pascal Salin is the author of Libéralisme and a Professor of Economics at the Université Paris–Dauphine. 

“The sociologist Charles Tilly famously stated that ‘War made the state and the state made war.’ This neat little anthology illustrates the wisdom of those words and why any freedom-loving person should oppose all use of the destructive forces of the state for anything but self-defense.”

Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. 

 

 

The following was co-written by SFL Campus Coordinators Brian Walsh, Chris Brown, and Nikki Burgess. 

The latest details released by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain on July 9, 2014 exposed five individuals as targets of NSA surveillance. The report reveals that contrary to the NSA’s claims, the agency’s efforts go far beyond targeted surveillance limited to catching terror suspects and their accomplices. All five of the individuals featured in the report are Muslim-Americans and hold positions of esteem within American society as professors, lawyers, and civil rights advocates. All have denied ties to extremist Islam, and do not support radical Jihad.

Given previous government scandals like the IRS discrimination against Tea Party groups and Attorney General Eric Holder’s revitalization of a task force to combat “domestic terror groups” in June, it’s not out of the question to expect that other groups are being singled out in addition to Muslims. In a recent Reddit AMA, Greenwald promised more revelations from the Snowden documents and implied that we would soon see reports detailing the surveillance of American targets who do not share religious ties. We already know that anyone using Tor or searching for ways to remain anonymous online is instantly considered a person of interest. A popular Internet journal for Linux operating users has also been labeled “an extremist forum” by the NSA.

The numbers show that many more Americans have been targeted by the wide net that the agency has cast. According to A Washington Post report from earlier this month, 9 of 10 people under surveillance are ordinary American citizens, not suspected terrorists. The Post report found that the vast majority of the individuals being monitored are only tangentially related to a target through mutual use of a server which the NSA follows through its Internet Protocol Address. Additionally, the content of monitored conversations is often extremely personal, which has extremely troubling implications when you consider reports of national security employees abusing access to the surveillance programs to spy on partners and love interests.

Perhaps most disturbingly, the NSA feels that it is completely within their legal range to target individuals under the regulations established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The legal precedent that they refer to allows the NSA to establish a lower burden of proof of “foreignness” to access information of their targets and requires only a “reasonable belief and not probable cause.” According to one NSA analyst, an account can be treated as foreign so long as the emails are written in a foreign language—never mind the fact that millions of Americans are fluent in multiple languages.

The NSA is blatantly violating Constitutional principles. The recent allegations highlight an overly aggressive, rogue agency and the continued deceptions committed by this agency and those who have perjured themselves to defend it demonstrates a gross hubris.

The Obama administration is also implicated in the mess. In July of 2013, the UK newspaper The Guardian was forced to destroy hard drives containing NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden, under threat of legal action by the UK government. According to newly released information from NSA emails obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, it has been revealed that the Obama administration was contacted about the situation by the British government prior to the hard drives being destroyed. These facts fly directly in the face of the Obama administration’s claims that they were not made aware of the situation and had no involvement in the actions of the British government.

As the Snowden documents continue to be released by the press, one thing is clear. Though government spokespersons and officials have long denied that these programs are infringing upon the privacy rights of American citizens, each new revelation refutes the official statements which precede it. Given that some information is being withheld by the media at the request of the government to protect immediate US interests, it’s safe to assume that the information that has been leaked is only the tip of the iceberg.

In response to the growing chorus of criticism, there have been calls to either abolish or drastically reform the role of the NSA. While there have been attempts in the past to rein in the surveillance agency, they have all been met with insurmountable obstacles. Many will remember the infamous changes that were made to the USA Freedom Act that Rep. Justin Amash (R – MI) tried to pass through the House of Representatives earlier this year. While such bills have been stalled in their respective chambers, there is a growing movement on both sides of the political spectrum to reign in government abuse

It is imperative that not only libertarians but all Americans, of all backgrounds, put their foot down and demand that the American government respect the rights of its citizens. We are not powerless to change the status quo. Last February Students for Liberty at Arizona State University fought back against their school’s relationship with the NSA. Club leaders organized a huge tabling event to send the administration a message and raise student awareness. They displayed signs proclaiming “4 cheers 4 the 4th Amendment” and “I won’t support ASU love for the NSA,” ultimately collecting over 500 signatures for their online petition. Like them, we must refuse to remain passive when facing an active threat to our privacy and freedom.

 

This is the fifth and final post in a series of summer reading recommendations from some of SFL’s favorite pro-liberty advocates. You can find the first post here, the second post here, the third post here, and the fourth post here. You can support SFL by purchasing any of the following books on Amazon by clicking here before shopping.

The following was written by Isaac Morehouse, an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. Isaac is the founder of Praxis, an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college.

I’m going to try to offer a few lesser known selections, some old, some new, and some not directly related with classical liberalism (though full of implications).  Here’s a list of books I’ve had the most fun reading recently:

1. Anarchy Unbound (2014) by Peter T. Leeson

This is one of the most powerful critiques of the widespread Hobbesian assumption that life outside the state is, “Nasty, brutish, and short.”  Nearly every social scientist since Hobbes has more or less taken for granted that without the state there can be no order, no commerce, no civilization.  Theory and history prove that this assumption is false (order and civilization come first, the state latches on only after they exist), and Leeson insightfully explores several seemingly bizarre epochs in history to find order emerging in the least likely of places, and in ways no central planner or theorist could imagine ahead of time.  It would be a mistake to take the cases Leeson examines as merely the cute, “efficiency is everywhere” trope of books like “Freakonomics.” There is something much deeper going on here, as Leeson chooses scenarios in which theorists would claim cooperation is impossible absent a central coercive state, and proves even in the worst situations, it emerges.  This book, and Leeson’s broader body of work, will stand the test of time and have an enduring impact on the social sciences.

2. The Ultimate Resource 2 (1998) by Julian Simon

Simon was virtually alone when he published the first edition of this book, and not much better when this updated edition came out a few decades ago.  His arguments have proved correct, yet his work is still little known or appreciated. It’s more important now than ever, when over-hyped fears of resource depletion and environmental degradation are everywhere.  They’re pretty much all nonsense, as Simon’s book demonstrates with reams of data and economic logic.  Before you take any environmentalist claims seriously, read this book.  We’re not all gonna die.

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