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We are excited to announce SFL On Air,  a new interactive live broadcast dedicated to exploring new and exciting stories making their way through the blogosphere. Twice a month, host Zoe Little will lead a broadcast in an armchair discussion between two special guests: one, an expert in the field being discussed and the other, a student leader. Unlike the dozens of live online lectures out there, SFL On Air prioritizes your voice and will give listeners ample opportunities to ask questions and engage in the discussion. After each broadcast, SFL On Air will also be available for download as a podcast on iTunes. If you want to stay up to date on the latest buzz in political, economic, and cultural issues that millennials care about, register to listen in for our first broadcast on “Millennials, Politics, & the Modern World”:

  • What: “Millennials, Politics, & the Modern World”
  • Who: Emily Ekins, Director of Polling at Reason Foundation & Matthew LaCorte, student at Hofstra University
  • When: Wednesday August 27 at 8:00pm EST / 5:00 PST
  • Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/638716594

Join us Wednesday August 27th at 8:00pm EST / 5:00 PST as we have a conversation with Emily Ekins, Director of Polling at Reason Foundation and Matthew LaCorte, a student at Hofstra University. In our inaugural broadcast for SFL On Air, we will examine the millennial perspective on politics and society. Ms. Ekins, who just released the highly impactful Reason-Rupe poll earlier this summer, will provide insightful commentary on the implications of the millennial generation on politics, the economy, and culture in the modern world. She will be joined by Matthew LaCorte, a senior at Hofstra University and one of the world’s top student leaders for liberty. Click here for more information and to register.

Register here to attend! 

On July 31st, Tempe City Council voted 5-1 to prohibit electronic cigarette usage in bars and other enclosed public settings. Tempe is now the first city in Arizona to extend its smoking ban to e-cig users, making offenders subject to the same fines as tobacco law violators. The new ordinance and potential regulations which may follow from it threaten both public health and corporate autonomy by reducing alternatives to smoking, stifling innovation, and introducing government control to an issue best handled by businesses.

E-cigs are not tobacco products and should not be treated as such. While studies of their health rewards and risks have offered inconclusive results, a sizable amount of evidence suggests that tobacco users can benefit greatly from nicotine vaporizers. First and foremost, e-cigs lack thousands of toxic chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes. While the Food and Drug Administration has warned that some harmful chemicals can still be found in e-cig vapor, the concentrations are likely too low to negatively impact users, and similar traces already exist in FDA-approved nicotine products. Furthermore, while e-cig companies are accused of marketing to children, most of their customers are current or ex-smokers, many of whom turned to the devices as a way of quitting tobacco. In fact, only 0.1% of e-cig use can be accounted for by non-smokers. The therapeutic potential of nicotine vaporizers shows great promise. A study of hard-core smokers showed that six months of e-cig use led over half to cut their cigarette consumption by 50 percent, and nearly a quarter to stop smoking tobacco entirely.

However, more research is ultimately needed to determine the long-term effects of e-cig consumption. Though understandable, fear of the unknown does not grant government responsibility or authority to enact paternalistic laws designed to “protect” us from products not even known to be harmful yet.

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Tune in tomorrow, August 18th, at 10:00am EDT for a special webinar featuring a discussion by Tom Palmer, Vice President of International Programs at the Atlas Network and the editor of Peace, Love, & Liberty- a book that  offers evidence and arguments for peace, drafted by authors such as Stephen Pinker, Radley Balko and Sarah Skwire. 

The Atlas Network and Students for Liberty’s newest joint publication, Peace, Love, & Liberty will be released in September and copies will be sent to think tanks and student organizations the world over. Learn how you can share this book with your communities, host discussions, and make the case for peace by registering here.

 

The following is a guest post by University of Washington student Josiah Tullis. This post was originally published on Medium.

In 1844, American author, entrepreneur, and activist Lysander Spooner formed the American Letter Mail Company to compete directly with the United States Post Office. In the early 1840s, shipping one letter through the USPO often cost more than 15 cents, a then ridiculously high price. Lysander sought to change this with American Letter Mail Company, which offered same-day delivery between four offices established in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston. Lysander wrote that “[t]heir purpose is to carry letters by the most rapid conveyances, and at the cheapest rates and to extend their operations over the principal routes of the country, so as to give the public the most extensive facilities for correspondence that can be afforded at a uniform rate.”

And that he did. In fact, American Letter Mail Company succeeded in providing not only cheaper postal services, but also faster delivery. The service was hugely popular and wildly successful, but also illegal. At the time, the United States Postal Service was managed entirely by the federal government and had a federally enforced legal monopoly on postal services. The Private Express Statutes, a group of federal civil and criminal laws, expressly forbid the carriage and delivery of letters by all organizations other than the United States Postal Service.

This was the status quo: the government delivers letters, private businesses do not. Do not try to innovate in this industry, the government has it under control. Do not try to compete with the government. Sound familiar?

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The following is a guest post by Riya Basnet, a member of the South Asian Executive Board of Students For Liberty.

On the 15th of July, Students for Liberty in South Asia organized a seminar to discuss female empowerment and entrepreneurship. There were 36 participants, with a mostly female audience of students  from the Kathmandu School of Law, Central College, Nepal Law campus, National College of Management, Gandhi School, Samriddhi Foundation and other local education hubs.

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