Nov. 10, 2021

377: Setting Narratives (Instead of Responding to Them!) and Yak Yak Bourbon! -with Carla Howell

377: Setting Narratives (Instead of Responding to Them!) and Yak Yak Bourbon! -with Carla Howell

"We should be talking and talking and talking repeatedly about cutting the federal government in half."

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Carla Howell: "And so, what we should have been hearing over the last six months when we tune into libertarian or conservative, truly fiscally conservative podcasts and media is what would happen if we cut federal spending in half... we'd eventually end the income tax and we would be restoring health freedom...


 And we should be talking and talking and talking repeatedly about cutting the federal government in half."


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Brian Nichols  
Have you checked out the new The Brian Nichols Show collection over at proud libertarian head the Brian Nichols forward slash shop and you can grab some amazing Liberty swag that will definitely help pique some interest from our good ideas don't require for snapbacks Alexa overthrow the government T shirts question everything mugs and of course our ever popular don't hurt people don't take people's stuff bumper sticker The Brian Nichols Show shop over at proud libertarian has all the Liberty swag you need and hey, if you're looking for more awesome Liberty apparel, check out the rest of the amazing proud libertarian store while you're over there and be sure to use code TNS at checkout to get 10% off your entire order. That's right 10% off your entire order from proud libertarian, including everything over at The Brian Nichols Show shop and all you have to use is code TNS at checkout one more time head to Brian Nichols forward slash shop and check out the brand new Brian Nichols show store over at proud libertarian and use code TS at checkout for 10% off your entire order. Victor Antonio Welcome to the program

Unknown Speaker  
selling is all about really it's we're not selling a product you're not selling a service you're not selling value you're

Brian Nichols  
not selling whatever you think you're selling a solution you're selling change Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show your source for common sense politics on the we are libertarians network as a sales and marketing executive in the greater telecommunications cybersecurity industry. Brian works with C level executives to help them future proof their company's infrastructure for an uncertain future. And in each episode, Brian takes that experience and applies it to the liberty movement. And this is why we talk about being the trusted advisor you should be able to help us that expert guidance and all the opinions that I'm sure that you have and help lead them towards not just a decision but the right decision. Instead of focusing on simply winning arguments or being right. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and their application in the world of politics, showing you how to ask better questions, tell better stories and ultimately change people's minds. And now your host, Brian Nichols. Well, Happy Wednesday there folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show and thank you for joining us on of course another fun filled episode I am in fact your humble host. And today we are having a returning guest and it's a guest I'm so excited to have in the program. One Carla Howell. Now Carla is a gem in the show. She talked about US selling Liberty back. My goodness, it was awesome in the beginning of this past year. Time in COVID has just broken my brain. But then looking today why Carla is on the show. We're talking about using art, specifically music to reach people on on specific issues. And we're focusing today on her one song, which just got a brand new music video yak yak bourbon, talking about the damaging impacts and consequences of prohibition, both from the 1920s but also the more recent prohibitions we've seen take place in regards to marijuana, and name name a drug that has been out there. So great conversation, focusing the damaging impacts there a prohibition through the use of song but then also going back and focusing on Yes, this is what we talked about here in the show quite regularly, not responding to narratives, but rather sending the narratives Carla has had success in a very left leaning state in Massachusetts and helping reset narratives instead of responding to narrative. She's got dig into how she did that, and why it's important for us in the Liberty world to make sure we're doing the same. So with that being said, I'm gonna show Carla Howell here on The Brian Nichols Show. Hi, thank you. How are you? I'm doing well doing well. Carla, thank you so much for joining us on the program again. And thank you for all you're doing bringing the world of liberty to people through the love of music and that we talked about this before. Music is one of those. Just it's a medium that can transcend politics. It transcends so many things that hold us back in life. But let's before we get into the world of music, let's get to the world with Carla Harlow. So let's reintroduce yourself to The Brian Nichols Show audience. Carla, what brings you to the world of liberty from a sales perspective, but specifically using that of music?

Carla Howell  
Well, let's see. I got active in the 90s. And I had spent a lot of my life being a political and I don't like politics. You know, it's it's really horrible stuff. But I started to really see the consequences of government intervention in health care. And I got active with the Libertarian Party in 1996. And it's just been full speed ahead ever since then. And what struck me early on was that harkening back to the early 70s When I was in high school, and how music was such a pivotal part of the whole movement, anti war movement, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll movement, real cultural change. I thought, you know, this libertarian movement needs music. And so I set out to write a bunch of songs and refined them over the years and released them just started releasing them year before last. So I've released three songs so far. And now two music videos, I just released a music video for yak yak bourbon, which is a song about the drug and alcohol prohibitions and how they're extremely parallel, and how they both absolutely failing in fundamentally the same ways. And to really drive that point home. So that we hopefully, that, you know, obviously, obviously, those of us who are libertarian already believe, you know, this drug war is a complete not only failure, but has been highly, highly destructive, and should be repealed. A lot of people are still like, okay, marijuana, I'm on board with that. But you know, heroin, oh, you know, opioids, we can't go that far. But we actually can go that far and have to go that far. And that is the responsible and safe thing to do. And so I'm hoping the song will just get people a little bit more. Recognizing that prohibitions don't work. They simply don't work, and they make things worse. And then you have to go the next step, okay. They don't work. They make things worse. Now, we have to actually repeal that. And that's where a lot of people kind of just leave the conversation. Because they still just, yeah, repeal. Like, stop doing it. Like, when legal. Oh,

Brian Nichols  
I hit one of my co workers with that we are talking about hair when it goes. I mean, could you imagine to have heroin was just like, available to get purchased? Like, how crazy that would be like, yeah, how crazy that would be like, because then people wouldn't be afraid of seeking out help because they're afraid of going and buying the illegal substance and then in return, being arrested or put in jail for having said illegal substance, they can instead say, Hey, I at least know number one that this is going to be safe. Number two, I always say safe relatively speaking, I know it's not you know, spiked with fitna or something like that. But also when the time comes that I want to get help now I feel I have an avenue. And how about this Carl? I was I complete 180 We're gonna go ahead. I changed my mind cuz I'm the host of the show. We're gonna go ahead and watch your actual video here of yak, yak verb, bourbon, because I think hearing the actual song hearing the the lyrics that you've had here, it does not only have the correlation between alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition across the board, but something we talked about beforehand. I want to achieve that in terms of how we're approaching society in terms of just a prohibition airy mindset across the board. So that being said yak yak bourbon

Unknown Speaker  
Well, the Great War was over and the mood was it was time to ban D man row. So in came the alcohol roll this son hallelujah, here come salvation. No Mark cavorting at the evil saloons will all be sinful now we've outlawed booze. Praying to Sunday said the reign of Tears is now over but America was never too big guys. So Bert. Yeah bourbon. There is one thing that whiskey or mix it in a cocktail stick is is opened up all over town there was always a place to put we would like down. Everyone was dealing. Even police Yes, even your local rabbis and the real McCall guaranteed the ticket but some alcohol made from an early gray became something to gray bourbon whiskey sweet and your sin on the street to the FBI, there was hardly an official who couldn't be bribed. Phone in his organization made the old son Lucy mica ladies luncheon. Lease protection was no longer fair. He called murder was no longer rare. It seemed three to Sunday his claim was in there because right upstairs became the rain. bourbon Americans do it again when the Prohibition ended and the demons were gone he needed someone else to play troubles on so in came the war against a plant called him and Dragon lacking FDA consent to find a high you don't have to go far to the street or a school Oh your neighborhood bar big fat budgets for the D make drugs high profit in the USA prisoners cans on a red stop by another od another life laid down as Crips and Panama de partie ecstasy drug prohibition makers rock free can't see

Brian Nichols  
yes, we will include that in the show notes for anyone who's interested in catching? Yes, the music video which we just had play here for our YouTube watchers. But Carla yes, we're going back to the beginning where we talked about prohibition. That's what inspired yak yak bourbon. And you see this in the beginning, you talked about specifically the alcohol prohibition you go through and then tell the story of the FDA, or I'm sorry, the the prohibition rather on marijuana and how the FDA was pretty much the one saying anything else beyond what we actually say is safe. Stay away from that, actually, we're going to get illegal. And we fast forward to today. We're seeing that all over again. That was something I want to tie together because right now we see this exact prohibition airy mentality of well, my team is going to say what is safe and what's not safe, what is right and what is wrong. And we're going to use these government organizations to reaffirm that what we're saying is correct, surprisingly enough, just like what happened in terms of prohibition throughout the years. So Carla, I just I had to bring that up, because I think that is something a lot of people can really feel right now. Is that entire mentality of other people just thinking they know better for everybody else.

Carla Howell  
Yeah. With the vaccine mandates, in particular, I assume you're referring to and lockdowns and everything else. You know, I was actually getting sad watching that video, because I was just reminded of the harm that it does. And the people who are in prison who still remain in prison, hundreds of 1000s of people, a million people got arrested in 2019 for marijuana, okay, we are not over this drug war, the 60,000 or so if that numbers correct. So called opioid deaths, which are actually fentanyl deaths, as you mentioned, and that's, that wouldn't happen with legality, we actually get rid of one of the biggest problems with drugs by just simply labeling them and being able to quality assure them, you know, quality manufacturing, so that people aren't hurt, you know, people are getting hurt. And that's, that's terrible. That's just government's was making us safe. And what looking out for the common good or the Commonwealth and it's doing the opposite here. It's doing the absolute opposite here. So if you want things to get better, if you want less crime and more better health and more safety, then the answer is to completely repeal this war and to do it as quickly as possible.

Brian Nichols  
Amen. I can't agree more. I think your average listener is listening and they're nodding in agreement, Carla, but unfortunately, that the challenge isn't to convince the people who already agree with us the challenge is to reach people who haven't heard the message yet or at least haven't been convinced that our solutions are actually going to make things better. So you write yak, yak bourbon, and you're trying to help show not just the the problem, but the overall ineptitude of Government solution and number one, actually solving the problem. But number two, how the government solution actually made things not only worse, but more dangerous. Can you dig into that a little bit more? That Well,

Carla Howell  
crime, you know, organized crime was born in this country in the 20s, with Al Capone and people like him, who, who really got the ball rolling, and then they went into other businesses like drugs and prostitution and black markets and so forth. And then, you know, same thing with the drug prohibition, Crips and Bloods and Ms. 13, and all these really scary gangs. It's, it's, it's really horrendous. And I, you know, I want to say something about when you talk about music, the difference that it makes, I think, in this particular song, because in a song, you can't say too much, you know, you can't start going, talking about proposals and, you know, put a whole campaign pitch together in a song. So I think what this song can do is get people just to sort of be more willing to let it go, you know, even if they're not like, wow, I must run out right now and run for office on ending the war on drugs or support a candidate who's doing that, it might just get them to say, you know, what, I can accept that as an issue. My main issue is, the environment is is the economy, or my family, or the schools or whatever it is. And yeah, I don't know about that war on drugs. But you know, when they see a video like this, I'm hoping what we'll do is get him to go. Yeah, okay. Yeah, the drug war doesn't work. So yeah, even though this candidate is advocating ending the war on drugs, which is a little radical for me. Yeah, I know, it's completely failed. And yeah, okay, maybe we should try it. You know, and it's not my number one issue anyway, you know. So that's the kind of what I kind of hope that this kind of these kinds of songs will do is move those people, those independents, those people who are convinced able to move a little bit from where they are, to do that to move in a libertarian direction on this issue.

Brian Nichols  
police protection was no longer fair, cold blooded murder was no longer rare. Seems preachers Sunday's claim was an error because the reign of tears became the reign of terror fast forward to 2021 2020. Those kind of ring true as well, you wrote this in 2019. Karla little prophetic,

Carla Howell  
actually wrote it before I released it in 2019, and finished sort of perfecting it a little before that. You could say, I mean, I can't say I really saw this coming. i It's shocking. It's shocking. And it's kind of also not surprising, because those of us who've been active for a while know that government has on the whole been growing, we've made some have had some success as we move towards freedom in a few directions, but overall, not doing really well. Government's getting massively bigger, and the audacity of the controls that they're trying to impose on people. Now, it's not just allowing people to do drugs knows, you must take our vaccine. And it doesn't matter if a growing number of experts are pointing to the fact that adverse reactions are being under reported and actually may create a greater risk, especially for younger people who are not, you know, in in high risk co Mopr comorbidity situations, for them, the risk of the vaccine might actually be higher than COVID. And that the real solution to that is to treat it now. I am no doctor, I don't know the answer. The free market is the only place we can really go to get these questions answered. But we certainly don't want a Dr. Fauci or any other government government official. I mean, if you, if you or I could pick the very best expert in the world, on epidemiology to be the spokesperson for the federal government, I'd say, No, we don't want any one person dictating what the policy should be. The market needs to work these things out. You know, and we would have so much better communication and knowledge amongst the general population. Instead, we have two sets of opinions that are all lined up with political parties with the left and the right, which is insane, has nothing to do with science. And it's not going to get us to a place where people are making the best and most informed choices, not to mention the amount of freedom that it's taking away from people, which is pretty shocking. And it's it's not at all, you know, some people say it's the worst violation of our freedoms in our lifetime. Well, there's a lot of competition for that. So, I mean, healthcare in general, we are being massively controlled in the whole health care realm. A lot of our choices are severely limited, which means people's life will not live as long or be as healthy or be is comfortable, because we don't have a truly free market market in healthcare and as a huge imposition on our civil rights and our human rights. But this one's bad. And, and it's. So instead of saying you can't take a drug, we're forcing you to take a drug in effect. And it was very nice to hear the news the other day of the state from a federal peace Appeals Court that said, No dice to Biden, at least for now. But you know, there's already tons of employers who have imposed these, you know, have seen it coming or see the writing on the world wall, and people are being forced to get vaccinated and many have who did not want to? And that is just so wrong.

Brian Nichols  
Carla, we're seeing this across the board, people starting to question, what is this approach where one person or just one group of people are supposed to determine everybody else in society is supposed to do and we're seeing this right now, especially with the BBB to build back better proposals being brought forth by the Biden administration. And part of what we've seen has been the problem. And I'm just going to classify the greater Liberty world as the right and this just for the sake of the conversation. But the right has constantly been in response mode. Instead of going out and setting narratives. We're constantly responding to narratives. So yeah, what would be your advice, especially looking at the BBB to help change the conversations where we're in the driver's seat, we're setting the conversations, instead of constantly playing catch up and constantly trying to respond to the people's conversations and narratives that they're setting for?

Carla Howell  
Yeah, well, what we've been hearing for the for most of this year, is proposal for a $3.5 trillion increase in government. And it's all a conversation and you listen to Fox or listened to right wing radio, and it's all about what's wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong wrong with this proposal. And there's a whole lot to be said about it. And we do want to have that conversation. But it's dominated everything. And almost no one is saying, What if instead of another 3.5 trillion, we take away 3.5 trillion over 10 years? How about we take away one to 2 trillion next in the next budget? Like right now, right? Now, let's slash the federal government by 50%. Companies do this all the time. And yeah, it's a big deal that a lot of people, you know, have to move have to get new jobs, but they're not being executed. You know, life goes on, a lot of people will say if three, six months down the road, you know, I'm in a much happier job. Now, that was actually a really good move. For me, that's happened to me. And so, you know, just like change yet changes all uncomfortable. We have cars because people had to move from horse and buggy to cars. And I'm sure that was a major transition for a lot of people. But come on, you know, we need to be talking about and repeating the idea of much, much less government and slashing. One of my favorite subjects is slashing spending. It's boring. Unfortunately, it's hard to make it exciting, but you can do it if you try. But because you know, you don't want to get too much into the math and, and technical side of it, but it's fueling the fire, it's feeding the beast. And we need to be starving the beast because the beast is very out of control. And so what we should have been hearing over the last six months when we tune into libertarian or conservative fiscally truly fiscally conservative podcasts and media is what would happen if we cut federal spending in half, we'd eventually end the income tax, we your health freedom would be we would be restoring health freedom as a precursor to eventually phasing out Medicare and I don't want to pull the rug of Medicare Medicaid out from anyone. But I want to create choices that make Medicare Medicaid look like the bad deal that it is because you should be able to get great health care cheaper than the premiums and everything you're paying for Medicare and for the lousy lousy people service you get on Medicaid. You know, these, there's just so many benefits to be had. And we should be talking and talking and talking repeatedly about half cutting the federal government in half. For starters, you know, forget the 3.5 or 1.2 or any other addition, you got to be kidding me. What we should be talking about is much less government. And what I'm talking about is a principle that is incorporated in a game I created called who's driving which you can see online it's at the Libertarian Party. I wrote it down here somewhere Who's driving that's w h o s dash driving no apostrophe in there. I don't know if you can even have those in the URL. I don't think so. And so explains it A game that a lot of libertarian candidates have been using as a tool to train their candidates so that they are going on the offensive. So they are talking about less government, new conversation, US setting the agenda and them responding to it. And I got to actually do this. When I went to a ballot initiative in Massachusetts, actually three of them to cut taxes, two of them were to end the federal the state income tax completely, which was unheard of, you know, and the establishment in Boston, Massachusetts, which is pretty ominous. We're, you know, attacking and dismissing. And, you know, when they finally realized that people like this, after we got 45% of the vote, the first time we ran it, they started running millions of dollars of ads, and ads, attacking it. And but the good thing was, we were the ones driving, we were the ones in control of what the conversation was, and that is 90% of the game. And we are losing when we spent half years saying, you know, no more nothing but no more lock downs, no vaccine mandates, how about end the CDC and the FDA, they have completely, utterly failed and screwed up healthcare and drugs in this country. They've been outrageously wrong, political, tyrannical, and an anti science. I mean, they need to go, there should be no FDA or CDC. That's the conversation we should be having is eliminating these organizations, you know, not just complaining about what they're doing wrong, get rid of them.

Brian Nichols  
Stop responding to the narrative, folks start setting it, we've talked about this, when you're explaining, you're losing. And that's an unfortunate reality, both in sales, but also in politics. And this is something that I'm hoping that we're getting better at. And thankfully, we have folks like you, Carla, who have been taking the lead and showing people not only how to do it, but teaching people how to do it so they can teach others and it's going to help make a difference we're seeing and I've said this a million times my audience is probably so tired of it at this point. But we are seeing the conversations change in terms of number one, how we are not just presenting our ideas as ideas, but rather we're presenting them as solutions. But number two, that people are actually now now starting to say, maybe it's not, maybe it's not what I'm saying. It's how I'm saying it's how I'm presenting it and I'm not trying to necessarily sell these ideas, but I'm trying to help people buy solutions that they're already looking for right now. And just to be that person to help them along the way and hey, if we can inspire people to start to look towards alternatives, with Yes, alternatives like that of music, then by all means, I encourage you because yes, we have tools like yak, yak, bourbon, and hay. Video that music videos can be coming out here very soon. First, do no harm and, you know, little nod nod here. I might be making a sneak appearance in there, as are many other noted libertarian folks here in the greater Liberty world. Karla give us a sneak peek first do no harm.

Carla Howell  
No first no harm. The song is released at my website, Carla And it's basically saying, Before we pass legislation, we need to do treat legislation the way doctors treat or are supposed to treat health care, do no harm. First, do no harm. You want to make the patient better, you don't want to make them worse. Government has you and I know Brian, is you know, we like the sound of this program and we can sell it we have all the media and all these people backing us to sell it. So we're just gonna plow ahead and pass it. What it does is it is appealing to people to say no, we need to put any proposed legislation through a very rigorous test to see if it will harm people. And if the answer is it will harm people don't pass it. That's the idea first do no harm. So my website Carl And I'm excited because a lot of very interesting libertarians have all participated in the filming and production of that so that's going to be coming out early next year. The video and so please, please check that out. And if I can plug this Brian for a second yak yak as as I was saying, Yeah, bourbons the purpose of it is to is to reach people to kind of lower their defenses to the idea of repealing this horrible and failed and destructive or drugs. That's going to work if people hear it a lot and watch the video a lot. So please go to just search on Carla Howell yak yak, bourbon, ya KY AK bourbon on YouTube, and watch it there and share it and you and in the description below the video are instructions for how you can add it to your playlist and share it on Spotify and Amazon music and iTunes etc. So that's going to be key is is putting on your playlists, liking follow, share, subscribe, all the stuff that's there, all the instructions that are there. That's what's going to make a difference in getting the song out there. So we is actually seen and heard by as many voters as possible.

Brian Nichols  
Oh Amen Carla I will include the links all in the show notes also folks will include Carla's bio in the Id hit the podcast notes or rather the artwork there it'll bring you to the show notes you can find Carlos bio as well as our social media and of course the link to yak, yak bourbon and the link to first do no harm but yes, keep your eyes open for the video version as it drops early 2022. With that being said, Carla Howell, thanks for joining the program.

Carla Howell  
Thank you so much. Great to see you.

Brian Nichols  
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Carla HowellProfile Photo

Carla Howell

Songwriter/Recording Artists/Activist

Carla Howell is a songwriter and recording artist who sings about liberty. She is also an accomplished libertarian activist.

Like Ron Paul, she believes that music will be an essential element of any successful liberty movement.

Many of her lyrics were informed by her political activism.

For example, she has long opposed the War on Drugs, thus the song Yak Yak Bourbon.

Good Folks tells the story behind her own transformation from anti-gun to pro-Second Amendment.

She brings together all the many good reasons she discovered for not passing laws in the song First, Do No Harm.

Carla Howell was a leading political figure in her then-home state of Massachusetts where she spearheaded a series of statewide citizen initiatives, also known as ballot measures, which were the boldest, most substantial statewide tax cut proposals ever placed on an election ballot in America.

Two of these initiatives (2002, 2008) were “Question 1” on the ballot and would have completely abolished the state’s 5.3% income tax. The third, “Question 3” (2010), would have cut the state’s sales tax from 6.25% to 3%.

All of these initiatives would have forced the state to cut spending by billions of dollars and put thousands of dollars back into the family budgets of millions of taxpayers.

The measures each won almost a million votes, despite being outspent by the opposition by a factor of ten.

The surprisingly high vote (45%) for the 2002 initiative demonstrated that a large portion of the voting population is ready and willing to vote “yes” for radical reductions in the size and power of government. The non-voting population favors tax cuts even more, meaning vote totals can win – and become law – if these voters are activated.

Carla Howell was a candidate for US Senate (2000), governor (2002), and auditor (1998) in Massachusetts. She won the highest vote total that had ever been achieved for a Libertarian in a U.S. Senate race against both a Democrat and a Republican. In her auditors race, she won the endorsement of the Boston Herald.

Her campaign platforms were bold: end the state and federal income taxes, end the failed war on drugs, repeal anti-gun laws, make government finances fully transparent, end foreign wars, and make government dramatically smaller than it is today.

She has supported, volunteered for, and fund-raised for numerous campaigns and initiatives across the country, including a 2003 initiative to cut the property tax by 25% in the City of Waltham, Massachusetts.

She served as Political and Executive Director for the Libertarian National Committee from 2011-2017. In 2018, she won the Libertarian Party’s Thomas Paine award for outstanding communication of Libertarian ideas, principles, and values, which was due in part to her creation of a training tool for candidates called Who’s Driving? It continues to be a vital tool for liberty activists.

In 2005, Carla Howell co-founded the Center For Small Government, an organization uniquely committed to boldly shrinking the size, scope, taxes, spending and authority of government.

Carla Howell has been a full-time liberty activist since 1996, beginning as a volunteer for the Harry Browne for President campaign, for which she organized a highly successful fund-raiser and rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston, bringing in $35,000 for the campaign and drawing over 600 attendees.

During her 20-year career in high tech and health care prior to becoming politically active, and in just living life, she witnessed the devastating effects of big government programs on health care, civility, safety, human dignity, prosperity, family, and peace. Thus was born her passion for small government.

Carla Howell says, “small government is beautiful.”

She also says, “small government is possible.”