Thursday, November 22, 2007
Self-described "militant moderate" and political hack Jason Steck of The Van Der Galiën Gazette mimics the Ron Paul bashfest that was provoked by prominent "libertarian" Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy. Both Steck and Volokh claim that Ron Paul is "bad for libertarianism," simply because he isn't as libertarian as he claims to be.
Both of them take issue with Ron's position on the war, but more importantly, their biggest beef with him is his views on free trade, immigration, and school choice. While I find their issue with him on the immigration matter is a valid one, their issue with him on the other two stands are simply moronic and do not dignify a response.
Here's what Volokh and Steck say about Ron in their prospective blogs:
As the Club for Growth describes here, Ron Paul has opposed virtually all free trade agreements. Few ideas are more fundamental to libertarianism than free trade. As the Club has documented, Paul also has opposed school voucher programs. In both of these cases, in fairness, Paul claims that his position is based on the idea that some other approach - unilateral free trade or home schooling - is even more libertarian than what he opposes. Even if he is correct on these points, I see no libertarian virtue in supporting the far less libertarian status quo against free trade agreements and school vouchers respectively. Even if trade agreements and vouchers are not the optimal libertarian policies, they are surely superior to the status quo of tariffs and government monopoly schooling.
Perhaps worst of all, Paul has bought into the conservative nativist line on immigration. He not only favors a massive crackdown on illegal immigration but even seems to endorse the view that immigration should be "reduced, not expanded" whether legal or not. To my mind, the freedom to choose where you live and the right to move to a freer and more prosperous society are among the most important of all libertarian principles. From a libertarian perspective, our relative openness to immigration is one of the most admirable aspects of America.
Unlike in the case of free trade and school choice, Paul doesn't even pretend to argue that his position is based on the idea that there is some other policy that will be even more libertarian than the one he opposes. Instead, he clearly endorses the big goverment option of a "allocat[ing] far more resources, both in terms of money and manpower" to cracking down on illegal immigration and perhaps reducing legal immigration as well.
While I do disagree with Ron on the immigration issue (I concede that, to a minor degree, he has embraced the nativist line on immigration), I find it intellectually dishonest of these men to paint Ron as being against all free trade (all because he oppose free trade agreements that are managed by government) and education freedom (all because he opposes government-subsidized vouchers). Their grievance with him on the war in Iraq is also moronic, because the war itself was unconstitutional, illegal, and unjustified, and the American people were lied to about the war and snowed into supporting it (even though it's an unwinnable one) in the first place.
Finally, even though Ron hasn't adopted the neolibertarian line that these liberventionists prefer him to do, what Steck and Volokh fail to understand is that libertarianism is a political philosophy that advocates the absence of government intervention in all of our lives, foreign and domestic. By selectively supporting certain interventionistic policies and opposing a few others, these two men are hypocritical for criticizing Ron for being anti-libertarian on the issues, when they are far more anti-libertarian than Ron ever will be. By adopting the conservative mindset and mixing it with their libertarian ideology, these men are not libertarians, but actual conservatives who talk the talk but never walk the walk.
While Ron isn't exactly the most perfect candidate in this race and most certainly not one in the libertarian movement, he is far more libertarian than most of the hucksters that we seen in both the Libertarian and Republican camps (Wayne Allyn Root comes to mind). He may be 97 percent libertarian on the issues, and 3 percent anti-libertarian on several issues, but I'd rather take a candidate who is 97 percent right as opposed to a candidate who is 20 percent right (or worse yet, 2 percent right).
One more thing: Volokh pulls the "guilt-by-association" scheme on Paul by criticizing him for not publicly distancing himself from certain dubious parties who have come to endorse him and his campaign, parties such as the Stormfront neo-Nazi racists, 9/11 Truthers, and other loopy groups. While he is correct that Ron has not publicly spoken against these groups, he has no control of what groups flock to him. As long as he doesn't adopt their dubious and racist rhetoric, Ron has no formal and official associations with them, other than the fact that he has received donations from them.
UPDATE (11/23/2007): My good friend Chris Kemp has wanted me to correct one part on here. It turns out that he's right: Ron has spoken out publicly against Stormfront and other groups just like it. He has denied any kind of relationship with the group whatsoever. Therefore, the statement made by Volokh is out of line. My apologies for any misleading statements or misunderstandings on my part.
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 10:06 PM
New York Times' columnist and Democratic shill Paul Krugman writes a short hit piece on Ron Paul in his Times' blog today. He claims to have done some research for tomorrow's column (possibly on Ron Paul?) and discovered a horrifying revelation that Paul opposes one of the most diabolical, vile, and putrid anti-free enterprise, anti-business regulations known in America: (gasp!) the Sarbanes-Oxley law. (Horrors!!!)
Krugman block quotes a paragraph of an April 2005 Times piece, in which it stated, in part, that Ron Paul, in his official capacity as a Republican congressman from Texas who outright espoused his opposition to the provisions of the act, introduced a bill to repeal Section 404 of the law completely. Ron was quoted as saying in the piece:
[The provision] has raised the costs of doing business, thus causing foreign companies to withdraw from American markets and retarding economic growth.
Section 404 states:
Section 404 requires companies and their auditors to assess the companies’ internal controls, which are the practices or systems for keeping records and preventing abuse or fraud.
Krugman then proceeds to sandbag Paul with the following:
Ron Paul, enemy of the Iraq war — and friend of corporate fraud?
This is the same Krugman who hints that Ron Paul supporters just "doesn't know about" these "scathing" skeletons in Ron's closet.
Krugman would have a clue if he had done his homework by learning that:
- Ron Paul supporters, who are fairly libertarian/intellectual on the issues and honest to a fault, know exactly the destructive effects of Sarbanes-Oxley and are far more knowledgeable about this matter and other things than the Mitt Romney and Billary groupies who don't know a thing about the law. After all, those who are not affected by Sarbanes-Oxley have no clue as to what the law is about and how it hurts businesses and their employees from the top down.
- Anti-totalitarian, anti-statist, anti-collectivist, anti-social engineering, and pro-freedom people support Ron Paul because he opposes Big Government and does dare to speak out against the establishment's pet programs.
- Sarbanes-Oxley is totally unfair, unjustified, and ridiculous, considering it micromanages private management by forcing them to do costly internal audits of their financial operations, when most of them can find ways around them or just ignore them altogether. Plus, it is terribly convoluted and very vague in specifics. Moreover, it has led to significant stock decline and utter bankruptcy for companies, some big and mostly small.
If Krugman thinks that companies should and must be regulated, especially when their financial reporting must be closely watched by the government, then perhaps he's forgotten that the SEC has been outed as a failure for efficiently auditing its financial operations and keeping itself under financial control.
(Special thanks to KD for her look into Krugman's nonsense as well.)
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 9:04 PM
The cowardly spineless and gutless Democraps, who never opposed a pro-Iraq War bill they didn't like, are at it again. They are touting a bill that will rescind a majority of the troops on Iraqi soil; however, the bill, if passed by both Houses of the Congress and signed into law by Herr Bush, will ensure that tens of thousands of the U.S. forces remain assigned to Iraq.
Here's a snip of the first paragraph of an article from AP Google News:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats' flagship proposal on Iraq is aimed at bringing most troops home. Yet if enacted, the law would still allow for tens of thousands of U.S. troops to stay deployed for years to come.
Of course, the proposal has come under fire from anti-war groups that want the troops out of there. As Tom Andrews, national director of the anti-war group Win Without War and an ex-congressman from Maine, appropriately put it:
[Y]ou've got more holes in here than Swiss cheese.
The story continues further:
The Democratic proposal would order troops to begin leaving Iraq within 30 days, a requirement Bush is already on track to meet as he begins reversing this year's 30,000 troop buildup. The proposal also sets a goal of ending combat by Dec. 15, 2008.
After that, troops remaining in Iraq would be restricted to three missions: counterterrorism, training Iraqi security forces and protecting U.S. assets, including diplomats.
It is terribly pathetic that the Democrats, who were elected to Congress on an anti-war platform in November of 2006, have long since cowardly backpedaled on the issue, considering they are deathly afraid of being pegged as "anti-American," "unpatriotic," and "pro-terrorist" by the neoconservative hawks in the GOP. Moreover, they refuse to show a backbone to their Republican counterparts, despite mouthing off their anti-war rhetoric. Why? Because they are as pro-war as the Republicans, proving furthermore that they never intended to pull the troops out of the war.
Interestingly enough, the Party of Jefferson and its cowardly sycophants, who keep making excuses for their unprincipled, self-serving leadership, have publicly noted in recent months that they weren't elected to bring the troops home from Iraq but to change the war strategy because of their dislike of how Bush managed the war. That certainly shows that they snookered the American people into voting for them in office, all the while remaining entirely loyal to the imperialists running the show in Washington.
Additionally, because of their true intentions having come to light by their own actions, it is a sign that they have betrayed their very own anti-war base. It goes without saying that most of them, with the exception of Dennis Kucinich and maybe Mike Gravel, have no convictions whatsoever. However, it is good that many others from that camp have turned to Ron Paul because of his consistent, principled record on the war, one that neither any of the top-tiered Democratic presidential contenders (including Hillary and Obama) doesn't have.
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 6:11 PM
A pro-freedom blogger sounds off on the things that she is thankful for on Turkey Day.
This is a great Thanksgiving post for freedom lovers of all stripes.
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 4:47 PM
The American Empire and its state regimes are destroying millions of lives of families helped by the hit ABC show Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
So much for the Bush regime's much-touted, much-beloved "ownership society" racket that Dubya was pushing as part of his unpopular "partially-privatized" Social Security program.
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 4:16 PM
I want to wish my fellow pro-liberty patriots a Happy Thanksgiving today. Remember, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day today, we must never forget the evils of the state.
Enjoy this holiday while it lasts!
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 12:42 PM
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 12:33 PM
The Federal Reserve's self-induced, self-created crisis has metastasized to China and Korea, thanks to former Fed chief Greenspan and his imperial cronies.
It must be pointed out that the lion's share of the blame goes to all those government-worshiping sycophants -- economists, politicians, think tanks (like CATO, AEI, Heritage, etc.), media (False News, CNN, MSNBC, etc.), financial firms (J.P. Morgan for one), banks (Bank of America, Citibank, etc.) -- who have defended and justified the diabolical, vile, and coercive actions of the Fed. Milton Friedman, despite his great defense of the free market, also shares the blame, as his long-lasting legacy will showcase his propaganda and support for the money counterfeiter that we all know to be the Fed.
(A nod and a round of applause go to LR for bringing this up.)
Posted by Todd Andrew Barnett at 11:59 AM