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Last year, Cato hosted an incredible debate between Libertarians and Conservatives. It was such a success, that they will be hosting another debate this year!

Cato invites you to a timely debate about the two philosophies and their associated policy applications, as interns from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute go head-to-head to answer the perennial question: Which is the better philosophy, libertarianism or conservatism?

Liberty and virtue are values that both conservatives and libertarians tout as components of their philosophies. Historically, disagreements about the definitions of and balance between liberty and virtue have taken a backseat to other, more pressing conflicts. As times have changed, elements of the old “fusionism” alliance have dissolved, and new conflicts have emerged that impose a strain on the formerly functioning, though imperfect, ideological partnership. Recent policy issues have highlighted disagreements in areas such as the war on drugs, national defense, welfare, immigration, marriage, foreign policy, and many others.

You can register right now for this not-to-be-missed summer event here! The debate will be Thursday, July 21 at 6:30pm with a reception to follow. Chip Bishop, Cato Institute, will give the introduction and the debate will be moderated by David Barnes, Senior Policy Analyst, Economic Policies for the 21st Century.

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA, a.k.a. ObamaCare) is the biggest threat to health care quality and freedom since the formation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Although popular discontent continues (55% favor repeal, 17% believe quality will improve) the strength of general disapproval is critical to not just legislative repeal, but also remarkably to how the Supreme Court will eventually rule on the constitutionality of the law.

Essential to ridding ourselves of this massive usurpation of individual liberty is keeping alive a vigorous popular discontent with the law.  This should not be that difficult since more people know about and understand the intent and consequences of this law, the less they like it.

So let’s talk tactics.  How can you keep the topic alive and spread information? One well known tool in America is the use of “awareness ribbons.”  Pink for breast cancer. Yellow for supporting our troops. And now, a black ribbon in conjunction with a caduceus for the healthcare freedom of patients and doctors. This ribbon is to raise awareness of the recent damage our government has caused to health care freedom and the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship. Under the new laws (PPACA), physicians will be compelled to base their advice and treatment on politically determined goals, even when in conflict with the best interest of their individual patients.

The Black Ribbon Project, started by Dr. Beth Haynes, MD following the passage of the new health control law, is dedicated to making the freedom of choice for both doctors and patients the central guiding principle of American health care policy. Over two thousand ribbons have been distributed. Two major free market physicians’ organizations, Docs 4 Patient Care and the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons have adopted the ribbon as a symbol of the sanctity of the private doctor-patient relationship.  Additionally, The Black Ribbon Project is coordinating efforts with several other well-established organizations including the Benjamin Rush Society, the Galen Institute, Freedom and Individual rights in Medicine (FIRM)—and now, Students For Liberty.

Wear the ribbon to invite inquiry and start conversations.  Keep the issue alive and help rid us of this scourge upon our liberty. Visit the BRP website to find out how you can obtain ribbons and get involved!

This article was written by Beth Haynes MD, Founder and President of the Black Ribbon Project.

SFL’s very own Development Manager, Michelle Fields, is featured in a video produced by The Fund for American Studies. The number of Internet users worldwide has now surpassed two billion and so many of us have integrated the web into our lives so much that it’s hard to quantify how much it’s worth to us.

The video also features Michael Cox. He is director of the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

The Fund for American Studies seeks to create a brighter, more prosperous future by preparing young people for leadership, teaching them the ideas of freedom and a free-market economy.

The cause of liberty knows no boundaries.  Ever since SFL’s first conference in February 2008, we have endeavored to support students around the world in the cause of liberty.  Toward that end, it is my pleasure to announce SFL’s most significant endeavor to date to help students outside the United States with the formation of European Students For Liberty.

Over the Spring, SFL selected 8 European students to form the first European Students For Liberty Executive Board:

  • Carlo Cordasco, University of Pisa (Italy)
  • Anton Howes, King’s College London (United Kingdom)
  • Jan Hayen, EM-Lyon Business School (Belgium)
  • Egle Markeviciute, Vilnius University (Lithuania)
  • Frederik Roeder,  (Germany)
  • Nick Roskams, University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • Gabrielle Shiner, Queen Mary University (United Kingdom)
  • Wolf von Laer, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (Germany/Spain)

ESFL Executive Board plus Adam Smith the Adam Smith Institute.

Each member of the ESFL Executive Board brings significant leadership experience from running already existing pro-liberty student groups such as the Flemish Classical Liberal Student Association and the Lithuanian Liberal Youth as well as a deep-seated passion for spreading the message of liberty to students across Europe.  After a rigorous online training program that spanned 4 continents (some students were studying abroad), the team met in person to plan for the upcoming school year at the first European Students For Liberty Leadership Retreat.

The retreat took place in London at the hallowed ground of the Institute for Economic Affairs, the first modern libertarian think tank founded by Sir Antony Fisher.

Over the coming year, students can expect:

  • The first European Students For Liberty Conference (coming up in November 2011)
  • Special European online seminars
  • Resources for student groups in Europe
  • Local support for student groups in Europe to start and grow
  • Much more!

The consensus at the ESFL Leadership Retreat was that the biggest problem ESFL would face this year is keeping up with the demand for these opportunities.  Just as was the case in the US before SFL was founded, there has been a growing number of students in Europe interested in liberty, but without an outlet to express their views.  The time has come to give them the resources to become effective advocates of liberty.  If there is any team that can keep up with the demand, it is this ESFL Executive Board.

This week we are featuring two of SFL’s new staff members. The first video features Michelle Fields, a recent graduate from Pepperdine University and former Campus Coordinator for the Southern California region. Michelle will be the new Development Manager.

The second video features Molly Fratianne, a recent graduate from Ashland University and former Campus Coordinator for the Ohio region. Molly will be the new Communications Manager.

That’s all we have for you from Behind the Scenes of SFL! We hope you you enjoyed our series and got to know some Executive Board members and new staff even better! Special thanks to Terra Strong for putting all the videos together.

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