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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Freedom Phoenix's Jet Lacey's Response to Tarrin Lupo and Ron Paul's Pro-Liberty Critics and My Lengthy Response to Him

Jet Lacey, co-host of Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock Internet radio show that is hosted by prominent libertarian (and Libertarian) activist, past Libertarian National Committee national chair candidate, and father of the modern Ron Paul Revolution Ernie Hancock, responds to LCL Report's Tarrin Lupo's YouTube on Ron Paul supporter and pro-Liberty activist Brooke Kelley in the comments section of Freedom's Pheonix. This is his response to Lupo on the board:

Comment by: Jet Lacey
Entered on: 2010-01-26 13:51:01

I hope you believe me when I say I'm not trying to be a complete asshole, but this apparent "activism clique" that you, some of the LOLA girls, John Bush, Todd Andrew Barnett, et al. have going on is starting to really irritate me in certain ways. I have met many in the clique, and I really like everyone that I have met. That is not the issue.

But, it seems that there are some within the clique that seem to spend only a small portion of their time doing actual activism, and the rest of the time suckling on each other's metaphoric teat in order to cross-promote one other. It is the self-branding and self-promotion that I am starting to remember more than the often excellent activism. For instance, I loved your video on MLK’s tactic of getting kids thrown in jail, but if you peruse the recent list of videos on your YouTube channel, there are many more interviews with your “freedom friends” (that’s what my wife Beth calls mine) than on real issues.

The reason I bring this up is not to attack, because I do support the younger generation of activists, but what I don't think many of the younger generation of activists understand is that activism seems to be a terrible way to earn a living.

Secondly (and more importantly), I'm beyond sick and tired of the attacks on Ron Paul the man emanating from the clique. I say go ahead, hate that he supported Lamar Smith, hate that he believes trying to save the GOP is the right thing to do, hate the C4L (I certainly have no use for them), but it pisses me off to no end that self-described freedom activists are trying to make their names in the activist world at the expense of the one man in D.C. who has stood firm on his convictions in the face of amazing resistance for almost 40 years. It’s detestable, really.

Tarrin, I realize I don’t know you and I’m certainly not trying to attack you personally, but I must say that I find these non-substantive, saccharine-sweet, cross-promoting puff pieces so very boring and beyond non-newsworthy.

Tarrin's response was of the following:

Comment by: Tarrin Lupo
Entered on: 2010-01-27 09:30:12

Jet thanks for the feed back. I try and do a whole range of stories on a bunch of different stuff. I think it is just coincidental that all these stories hit at the same time. I mean 2 of them happened at C4L so that is timely, and it was just Brook's turn because were she landing in the Calender. I am interviewing all the calendar girls and trying to catch up to this month. As far as self promoting I think it is odd that you should say this since you just used the Alex Jones vs Tag incident to promote your blog. Of course I self promote, I am also trying to build viewers and make a living as a full time activist (not easy to do btw). I also believe in promoting other activism I like, in fact I liked your last blog so much I posted it all over the place and I don't even know you. I think it is natural to hang out with people with similar beliefs, but I also know if my message strays from a pure liberty message they will also be the first people to call me out on it. I think it is healthy to keep everyone grounded. I guess it is still a free market sort of, so why not just ignore the stories I do you don't like?

Lacey's response goes like this:

Comment by: Jet Lacey
Entered on: 2010-01-27 13:33:36


Thanks for your reply. I get it, really I do. And, maybe I've been a little too direct and maybe it's none of my business. What I don't want to do is to "shit in my own nest" (meaning the freedom movement) and I do appreciate all of the new friendships I've started as a result of my participation in the movement.

BTW, I don't have an active personal blog...just Freedom's Phoenix at this time.

Keep up the great work, Tarrin.



Here is my response to Lacey on the matter:

Comment by: Todd Andrew Barnett
Entered on: 2010-01-27 14:06:32

At the risk of coming off as an AIR (Asshole In Return), I seriously take issue with Jet Lacey's comments that involved me as well as John Bush, some of the LOLA Girls, and the rest of the so-called activism clique that Lacey alleges to exist. (I'm speaking for John, Catherine Bleish, Tarrin Lupo, Katie Wilhite Brewer, and a number of others in the Liberty movement who are not in the unique position to speak for and defend themselves. Although I normally don't speak for anyone but myself, I'm making a crucial exception here.)

I resent -- make that beyond resent -- the comments made by Jet. Not only that, his comments strike me as damn unfair as far as I'm concerned. If what we say irritates him, then his response to the matter irritates me and my "clique" more.

First, let me say that anyone who has read my electronic paper trail online for a number of years know that I have been critical of the state FAR more than the movement itself. I have been critical of the movement and Ron Paul over the years, but my criticisms dwarf in comparisons to my commentary on the rise and expansion of the state. Not only that, my criticisms dwarf in comparison to other activists in the movement who have been FAR more critical of the movement and Ron Paul than I have been. I have praised Paul, the Ron Paulers, and many members of the movement FAR more often than I would like. My blog Let Liberty Ring is replete with praises and lauding of Ron Paul, all activists in the movement (political or not), and groups that have warding off the growth, promotion, and expansion of the state in every immeasurable way. My commentaries have been critical of the Bush and Obama regimes (although I haven't been as critical of the latter regime on the commentary front as I would like).

My show Liberty Cap Talk Live, which is on Friday nights, have been FAR more critical of the federal Leviathan than anything in the movement. I have criticized both Bush and Obama on NowLive and Blog Talk Radio, probably in more ways than the activists in the movement care to remember. I have been honest and fair, probably much fairer than I would have liked or wanted. However, when certain individuals in the movement have done something wrong in the movement (Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root, for example), I have called them out on it.

Ron Paul, politically speaking, is no exception. Like it or not, believe it or not, accept it or not, embrace it or not, as a politician he's fair game just the like Congress. He's part of the ruling class whether you like it or not. He's a politician who HAS made his peace with statism -- limited statism -- whether you care to embrace that fact or not. After all, he IS a Republican. Why should he be treated any differently than the rest of that lot? Because a bunch of pro-Liberty activists happen to have and enjoy their lovefest with him? Anarchists like Tom Knapp, Stefan Molyneux, and Wendy McElroy have given shit loads of heat to the man. Why must he be treated so differently?

Keep in mind that he's a politician who was:

a.) elected to serve his congressional constituents in the 14th district of Texas

b.) elected to work for his constituency's interests and not the interests of the Liberty movement

and, finally,

c.) elected not to represent the entire Liberty movement but to certain factions of the movement and does not speak for everyone in the movement. He doesn't speak for me, for my partner-in-crime James Landrith, Jr., and he doesn't speak for everyone. He only speaks for those who support him all the way. That's the truth in a nutshell.

Second, we do not hate Ron Paul the man. I'm sure Ron's a great guy and a wonderful family man, not to mention someone you'd wouldn't mind having a beer with, eat fish and chips with, go skeet hunting with, and, as some people say "shoot the shit with," but he's not above reproach. No one is. Why does he deserve special treatment for any wrongdoings he commits? Because he's a compromising politician? Because he's Ron Paul? Talk about a bunch of twisted -- not to mention moronic -- priorities you've got there.

And finally, those who object to us (including you, Jet) having an issue with what Paul has done need to take their heads out of their collectivistic asses and develop a perspective for a change. The attitude we get from your side is that, "You have no right to criticize Paul because a criticism of him is an attack on us." Balderdash! That's a bald-faced lie right there. If we wanted to do that, we would have addressed our criticisms directly towards you guys and not Ron Paul. Let's set that record straight for once, please?

Those who also seem to glorify the politically sinful actions of Paul and shove the uproar over his decision to endorse Lamar Smith under the political rug are also selling out their principles too, in the name of persecuting those for committing what they see as political heresy and blasphemy. Would you guys have been this defensive of Ron if he had chosen to endorse John McCain in lieu of Chuck Baldwin? Would you guys have said then? What would have been your excuses since then? What's the point of having principles if you're just going to be as statist as McCain or statist-lite next to McCain? (Does anyone remember the Bob Barr debacle? Anyone?)

How can we oppose the existence as well as the expansion and increase of Big Statism if the Ron Paul movement tries to cozy up to the GOP and end up being the Party's little bitch (or whore, if you prefer) and then act as though it's defending freedom when people can see through that? How can your defense of Little Statism be justified when it sullies everything that the Liberty movement is supposed to be and stands for? The only way you can light the fires in the hearts and minds of people is via persuasion, education, and civil disobedience, not via the political realm.

By "compromising" your principles, you end up letting the state shape and define you sooner and faster than you shape and define the state. Thinking that jumping into the bed of the GOP and expecting it to change to be a libertarian organization and somehow freedom will just rain down the political sky via the magic wand of the state are just fairy tales. They never have worked, don't work, and they never will work now, tomorrow, and in the forseeable future.

That's my two cents on the issue. I'm getting off my soapbox now...

Yours Truly in Liberty,

Todd Andrew Barnett

Blogger, Let Liberty Ring

Host, Liberty Cap Talk Live

And this is the best of the Liberty movement we have? If that's the case, no wonder the people in it are in a heap of trouble.

Monday, January 25, 2010

LCL Report's Tarrin Lupo Censored at the Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference

Tarrin Lupo, the highly-popular host of YouTube's purely pro-Liberty news show The Low Country (LCL) Report, was a vendor at the Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference selling jewelry to the C4L staff, members, and the public -- virtually anyone there. He worked the whole table the entire time, never having a chance to see and listen to a single speech by any of the speakers at the event. People who were coming into the area and purchase items from the vendors even didn't know what C4L was.

Sometime during the event, an uninvited crasher who happened to be an anti-Semite showed up making a scene and waving a briefcase. Security came up to him, spoke with him, and sent him on his way. Lupo, who was interviewing someone, happened to have a handycam on his person, filming the incident, even though he missed the first few minutes of the entire matter. Lupo thought the security detail handled the matter very well; thus, no problems at that point whatsoever.

Twenty minutes later the crasher returns, which led to Lupo pulling out his handycam again and filming what was happening at that point. The story would have been over, except that, as Tarrin was filming the altercation between the crasher and the security team, two members of the detail came up to him, harassed him, and ordered him to stop filming.

Here's the video of the incident which shows it in great detail:

The detail sees him filming, so one of the security officers (a bald guy) comes up to Lupo and actually grabs the camera (to the point where he almost confiscates it)and moves it away from the direction where the incident is taking place to where it focuses on him. The bald guy tells Lupo, "It's not gonna be a problem. You can interview me." This happens so that Lupo won't be able to film the uninvited intruder being escorted off the premises. So he becomes distracted long enough by security long enough to the point where the crasher is nowhere to be seen.

[*Note: Watch the video, and you'll see and get an idea of what happened.]

Interestingly enough, Lupo had an interesting private Facebook chat with Steve Bierfeldt, one of the detail, over the matter. Here's the following text of the chat between the two:

tarrin my man, what are you thinking bud?
go on
go on? just asking why you think its good for the movement to have someone shouting racial obscenities at a c4l conference
Ohh I had no problem with you throwing that guy out, I have an issue why you would mess with me
Actually like I said I think you all handled him well
meh, not good for business man. no need to have that on tape. what do you think all the anti liberty folks are going to say? "see, RP supporters are racist" just like the campaign..
So you thought you would be scene as ANTI-racist for throwing a racist out, if anything it would have showed people the oppisite
Crapp i need to proof, I meant seen
i was just interested in your thought process Tarrin
Basically I had no idea I what was going on, but I thought you all would want it on tape incase he attacked your security or something, I was not even going to put it up , but I felt bullied by you guys
Why did you feel I was a threat.

Interestingly enough, this occurred on the same day John Bush filmed his interview with Ron Paul, which entails his question to Paul, a question that asks whether the liberty movement's own congresscritter made a deal to support the incumbent GOP candidates of Texas.

The problem with this incident is that this shows how authoritarian an organization like C4L can be, especially when it censors an citizen journalist who never agreed not to film the entire event, uses the excuse that the organization (which is a political one) is a private organization hosting a private event for its members when the event is shown to the public, and the public can see the activities unfolding at the Sheraton Atlanta (which is where the incident transpired). Furthermore, the group also claims that it is a "private organization" pushing for political change at the state and federal levels when it is a political organization and is not truly a private group by any stretch of the imagination. That is merely a bald-faced lie, because it is a non-profit organization and has been chartered as a corporate entity. (After all, it is a non-profit corporation, which is, like it or not, a creature of the state, not a mythical creature of the "free market.")

Organizations like C4L must be held accountable for their actions. This latest incident is an apotheosis of the need for that accountability.

[H/T to Tarrin Lupo of LCL Report who supplied me this information, posted the video on his YouTube channel, and provided the private chat to me.]

[Update: Tarrin asks me to include a link to his interview with John Bush regarding his video interview with Ron Paul at the event. Here it is in its entirety:]

[Second Update: According to Tarrin, Bierfeldt was the one who ordered the bald guy to harrass him.]

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Anonymous Troll Sends Me A Snotty Crack Because of My Ron Paul Post

An anonymous e-mailer responds to my "Ron Paul Caught Selling Out The Liberty Movement In Favor of Neo-Con Lamar Smith's Endorsement for His Re-Election Campaign" post today. He sends his comment directly to my Gmail account via Blogger's Anonymous feature, attacking me for essentially reporting on Paul's deal with Smith and my subsequent comments (which are at the bottom of the same post) that condemn and reject Paul's decision to support a Neo-Con candidate who is diametrically opposed to everything for which he stands.

This is what the anonymous e-mailer wrote to me in private:

Such impressive investigative journalism from a fat kid living in his mom's basement. I'm glad the comments here are reflective of how the world feels about your idiocy.

This e-mailer appears to be a bully who obviously has the following ulterior motives:

  • He's (or she's) merely interested in leveling ad hominems at me for the purpose of intimidation and because he (or she) is most likely holding both a personal and political grudge against me. (Fortunately, this nutjob hasn't tried to make any threats [including death threats] against me, but I will be on the lookout for them.)
  • He (or she) is someone closely associated with the Ron Paul movement, who is cowardly enough not to reveal his (or her) true identity and, although he (or she) hasn't used them yet, is looking to employ scare tactics to shut me up over the nasty fall-out that ensued after John Bush's video was released on YouTube, was posted on Facebook, and became the subject of my blog post on the Web.
  • He (or she) has been following my blog for quite some time (exactly to what extent and for what purpose is unknown).
  • He (or she) has been reading my comments quite extensively on the subject. Whether he (or she) has any ties to the persons who leveled the nasty comments to me under the blog post is (and remains) unclear; however, it is obvious that I pissed off someone who is a Ron Paul religionist and views me as a significant problem in the movement.

Ron Paul pundits who have been (or are) victims of these levels of attacks should take note of this. While they are at it, they should contact me in private and ask me if they had experienced any problems like the one I describe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Political Deification of Ron Paul and the Collectivistic Attacks of the Ron Paul Movement

The recent ruckus over Ron Paul urging his supporters to lend their hand to Neocon Republican Congressman Lamar Smith has immediately become the apotheosis of the the shady, anti-freedom dealings of the Ron Paul for Congress Campaign, the internal working culture of the right-libertarian movement, the "libertarian" wing of the Republican Party, and the organizations and personalities that are tied to Paul and his political disciples. After all, the message from Paul urging his supporters to lend their hands to Smith is clear: "Principles must take a back seat to party politics (in this case, GOP politics) in the name of retaining congressional power. After all, I cannot be very principled by being as 'independent' in the GOP as everyone wants me to be, or otherwise I'll jeopardize my position of power in Congress by losing my congressional seat, my high-ranking position on the Finance Services Congressional Committee, and the same goes for my seat on the Domestic Policy Subcommittee. Therefore, I want you to jettison those principles and help re-elect a candidate whom I support to power, even if he is diametrically opposed to everything that I stand for."

As soon as the video showcasing an interview made by Texans for Accountable Government member John Bush at the Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference came out a few hours later after late Friday night and before Saturday morning, a devastating rift occurred between two distinct factions within the Liberty movement -- Ron Paul supporters and the true pro-Liberty activists (the latter liking a number of Paul's mostly pro-freedom message and positions but do not see the man as anything more than a messianic political figure looking to secure his entrenched power in the state). The Ron Paul supporters, on the other hand, have politically deified him not as only a man with great philosophical knowledge but as a Pope-like political figure under the rubric of politics who is destined to save them from the political Devil's diabolical and vile political hell and damnation and lead them onto a path to a political heaven (utopic paradise under the guise of politics). Politics, in the eyes of these worshippers (activists) and apostles (C4L staff and leaders), has become their own warped political Bible that they use in order to attain "liberty" (which is really a state-coddled and state-protected brand of statist conservatism). In a nutshell, Ron Paul is their political Jesus Christ who is their one and true political savior and who will reign in their political heaven.

This is the heart and soul of the abstract construct of "cult of personality" -- that is, a politically-charged excess of hero worship or idolatry towards a figure (in this context, a political figure), often expressing extreme adulation with intense flattery and praise in a political or religious (in the case of Ron Paul, both) context. When political worshippers, disciples, and apostles of a political figure (once again, in this case, Ron Paul) see him incapable of any egregious transgressions, bad choices, and serious wrongdoing of any kind, then they will thus be incapable of seeing the immoral, unethical, and political wrongdoing because they refuse to separate the man from the politician. In other words, in their eyes, you can't take the politics out of the man and vice versa. The way they see it, they must permanently be one and the same. The politician's "principles" simply are irrelevant in the context of remaining in office, especially if the goal is to keep himself entrenched -- and even further entrenched -- in political office and in the movement.

Scores of numbers representing the Ron Paul machine say that this is what politics is all about, that compromise is necessary in politics, and that it's crucial for Ron Paul to deviate from libertarian principles to keep his place in Congress, his seats on the committees on which he serves, etc. The litany of excuses have spread all over the web, including Facebook: Ron Paul is "awesome" and must be supported no matter what his reasons are, Ron Paul has to "carefully choose" who his enemies and friends are "in the interests of advancing" his "politics and beliefs," Ron Paul has more credibility in the mainstream public than you [the critic] do [does], Ron Paul "rules," politics is a game you HAVE to play to win, Ron Paul has "done more for the movement than you [the critic]" ever will, Ron Paul makes people aware of the issues, etc. (The last excuse, of course, is debatable, as many non-Paul supporting libertarians have provided excellent examples of what kinds of anti-liberty actions Paul has taken over the years. Wendy McElroy, KN@PPSTER's Tom Knapp, and Stefan Molyneux are excellent examples of pro-Liberty figures who have never had any illusions about Paul's motives and his actions in Congress and have never jumped on board the pro-Paul bandwagon.)

The problem with most of these claims made by the Ron Paulians (who even unapologetically stand by them that is, by the way) is that they are nonsense, and the supporters refuse to look at the real world here. Compromise, especially in the realm of politics, has never gotten the movement anywhere anyway; in fact, it has outrageously and horribly damaged the movement's chances of gaining traction whatsoever. For example, the Audit the Fed bill (also known as H.R. 1207), which has been given enormous amount of media coverage (and granted, it has received a lot of media buzz over its key provisions), has enabled Paul to go on cable networks like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the various talk shows including the talking heads who run them. Has it really gotten the movement closer to freedom, despite the watered-down provisions of the bill, especially when a good chunk of the pro-transparency language has been omitted from the original draft of the legislation? Keep in mind that the Senate version (not the House version) of the bill has been rendered useless and neutered because of the "compromise" to which both major parties have surreptitiously agreed. (The House bill is being stalled deliberately and the possibility of it ever passing intact without any part of the language amended is nil.)

In a nutshell, what good is the bill if it won't achieve the original aim and goal that Paul wanted? What good will these new versions of the bill do? How will they make the Fed more accountable? Even Paul has admitted on camera that the bill (especially the Senate version) has been nullified (in terms of how it will be enforced). Did the activists really think that, via the apparatus of politics, the Federal Reserve, in collusion with the government, was going to say, "Yup! You're right. We have been keeping deep, dark secrets from the public, and we want to destroy the value of the dollar!" Did anyone on board the Paul train really think the bill was going to accomplish anything? If anything, it was a pipe dream; nothing more. [*Note: I don't blame Paul for the compromises of the Senate bill, and the stonewalling of the House bill is done at no fault of his own.]

Compromise is what has gotten this country in the mess in the first place. It's the reason why the state shouldn't be existing at all. We're more than willing to give up liberty in exchange for holding onto the reigns of power because the feeling of the power is more important and better than the principle itself. Party loyalty means something, whereas the principle doesn't.

Moreover, Paul's stances on social issues (from where he is getting the support from in his electoral and political bases) have been met with intense scrutiny in the last few years. The aggravating part to many non-Ron Paulers (and that includes me even more than when I supported him for president in 2007 and 2008) is that is that the Ron Paulians are willing to look the other way when it comes to his willingness to violate individual rights (in some instances) when it's politically convenient and beneficial for him to do so. Wendy McElroy, in her blog posting on Paul (at the time when he was running for the presidency on the GOP ticket on July 26, 2007) titled "Why Libertarians Should Applaud Slap RonPaul," makes an excellent case against him here:

My call for a Slap RonPaul site has elicited some negative and some surprised responses, which I answer. Before doing so, however, I want to suggest that there is nothing outrageous or offensive about a hardline libertarian wishing to slap the face of any politician...of any man or woman who seeks a position of political power over the lives of others, let alone the position of Supreme Commander/President. Indeed, it is offensive to libertarianism to elevate a politician to such a height that slapping his or her face on a game site is considered outrageous. Iconoclastic disrespect for politicians and the political process is a hallmark of libertarianism; god help us if we lose that attitude. In one sense, however, critics of the idea are correct in calling it inappropriate. Although Paul is squarely in the Religious Right, he probably deserves a slap less than other Presidential candidates like the hawkish McCain. I may be displacing the irritation I feel toward the many libertarians who are jumping gleefully onto the Paul bandwagon and, instead, directing the irritation toward Paul himself. Perhaps I should be slapping them and yelling "Snap out of it!" On second thought, nah...that's not it. The man himself irritates me.

Then she goes further:

A friend whose opinion I value explains that he is supporting Paul as 'the best candidate among the declared candidates,' and adds 'I know, that's not saying much.' With genuine respect toward my friend, no that is not saying much and the choice between two evils is still evil. He continues to explain, 'there are three issues I don't agree with Ron Paul on: Abortion, Church & State, Immigration.' Even if those were the only issues upon which Paul is frightening as hell, they are incredibly important issues with far-reaching implications. It is rather like saying 'other than advocating slavery, he is a great candidate.' The man's campaign literature now identifies him as 'a real conservative'; he represents the Religious Right that wants to collapse the division established by the First Amendment.

She also correctly identifies another problem with Paul here (which is something his hero-worshipping zealots refuse to take into account):

Ron Paul Says Privacy Rights and Freedoms Don't Include Abortion. I believe Paul's anti-abortion stance would destroy privacy rights, especially medical privacy. Given that he has voted "yes" on federal bans on abortion, I don't take seriously his loophole explanation that states should decide such matters.

Wendy is absolutely right. Paul's defense on his position on abortion should have angered and alarmed those who pay lip service to human liberty across the board, yet it hasn't. By compromising on those principles, Paul has shown that he would rather throw a mother who had just aborted her unborn child to save her life in jail because of his misguided view that abortion is wrong. I side with Wendy on this matter, considering, although personally I'm against abortion, it is still not the state's decision to decide whether the unborn child must be or must not be saved. I too reject the state's rights arguments because they violate the rights of the individual. Conservatives who gleefully jump on board of the states' rights rhetoric are wrong about this, and so is Paul. Paul, who has adopted the conservative line on this matter, has voted "yes" on many federal bans on abortion.

In simpler language, Paul is enslaving women by coercing them to keep the unborn baby inside them via the power of the state. How does that reconcile with his "libertarian" credentials (which are actually conservative, not libertarian)?

(By the way, one can find more blog postings of Wendy on her feelings on Ron Paul at her website, as the URL to it is given above. Peruse them. Agree or disagree, I urge my fellow readers not to take them personally but do want you to take them seriously.)

[*Note:His records on immigration, the "don't-ask, don't-tell" policy of the military, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which allows states to have this mythical right to adopt statewide bans on recognizing the right of gays to marry by only recognizing a legal marriage as between a man and a woman). Despite his rhetoric, where's the substance in his arguments? There aren't any, as far as I'm concerned.]

Getting back to the Paul ruckus, the matter is simply not only about Ron Paul (keep in mind that I do not personally have any feelings of ill will or hatred towards the man, and my criticisms of him are serious but not personal). They are mainly about the attitudes and reactions of the pro-Ron Paul crowd that have, since the revelation of Paul selling out the movement, demonized pro-Liberty activists who have supported Ron in the past but no longer do for this reason as well as other unstated ones. The attacks against the principled activists have indeed become personal, unfair, hurtful, and even uncalled for. I can vouch for that, because I have been subjected to a number of unnecessary and unfair ad hominems and criticisms on Facebook and on this blog over the whole matter. (The comments aimed at me can be found here, so there is no need to rehash them at all.)

The sentiments of the Ron Paul supporters espoused online come off as the following: "How dare you criticize the one and great Ron Paul! He is always right and never wrong! You have no right to criticize him or even excoriate him, even if he does make a wrong choice!! Again, how dare you!!!" Wrong on all counts, I'm afraid. Pro-Liberty activists who can separate the man from the politician (and his rhetoric as well) do HAVE a right to be angry over what has happened. They are justified in being angry over this matter. In fact, the blame falls on Ron Paul's shoulders and his entire congressional team to begin with. While it is true that we don't know the entire details of the deal that Paul made with Lamar Smith, he is still accountable for his actions, especially because of the deliberately-concealed information regarding the agreement(and not because there is a lack of it). Furthermore, those who are unfairly and unjustly attacking the anti-Paul pro-Liberty activists should be angry too. They have a responsibility to find out why their beloved man has made this disastrous choice. It is utterly irresponsible to sweep this matter under the rug, as the old racist newsletter ruckus was.

There is also a deep concern that this controversy has raised. I called into Rise Up Radio on the Rule of Law radio network on Monday morning a little after 7 a.m. CST, and I was on the air with John Bush, Catherine Bleish, and Paul supporter Brooke Kelley of the popular YouTube reality show PuZzLeD. The point I raised was, because of this "elephant-in-the-room" (no pun intended) mess, if the Democrats and the average Joe who knows about Paul's record and his position on the War on Iraq and the Bailouts of 2008, what will they think? They will believe that Paul has caved in to political pressure by endorsing a candidate who represents everything that Paul is believed not to represent in their eyes. It is very likely that, if this matter does get out into the limelight, they will make political hay and use this against him, accusing him of hypocrisy, playing party politics, and disingenuousness across the board. Plus, the new listeners and supporters of him message will erroneously confuse libertarianism with his "hip" brand of conservatism. Is that how we want the liberty message to be viewed by the public, let alone the entire world? Is it really worth to throw everything away, just because it's better to trump principles for politics? These matters, whether the Ron Paul machine wants to acknowledge this or not, believe it or not, accept it or not, and embrace it or not, are black and white, not just for the entire movement but also to the public at large. We should be condemning these remarks and move to strive to reach the masses with the idea that voluntaryism and agorism are the best ways to achieve liberty, not via the guns of the state. The state is the agent of violence; thus, why give it more credence than we already have?

There's plenty more to be said on this topic. The criticisms aimed at Paul and his supporters are not meant to be hurtful and disaparaging, but to prove how ill-thought out, divisive, and dangerous the desired pathway to electoral politics is. Activism can bring about change (especially for liberty) in many forms, but that doesn't necessarily require that politics be a part of it. A commitment to integrity, truth, and a respect for individual rights is strongly needed. Let's not blindly abandon that just for the sake of "good government."

Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ron Paul Caught Selling Out The Liberty Movement In Favor of Neo-Con Lamar Smith's Endorsement for His Re-election Campaign

Dr. Ron Paul, who has been elected to office 10 times in the 14th District of Texas for his ardent defense of individual liberty and Austrian economics, opposition to the Federal Reserve, his opposition to the rising control of Neocons and their support for the Iraq war, and his opposition to a foreign policy of interventionism (namely his opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), has come out in support of Lamar Smith, a conservative Republican congresscritter in the 21st District.

Here's a YouTube of anarcho-capitalist John Bush at the C4L Regional Conference in Atlanta, Georgia last night, asking why Ron is supporting a Neo-Con:

Katie Wilhite Brewer's quote from Ron Paul's answer to Bush is of the following:

I'm a republican, I made a commitment to support the Republican incumbents in texas. I'm the most independent republican in the GOP but you can only get away with so much independence.

She then replied to that quote with the following:

Wow! There you have it folks. YouTube video will be out soon.

Smith, a Neo-Con who has voted for a resolution calling for the "Use of Military of Force" against Iraq on October 10, 2002 and voted for the bailout for the banks last fall, has a deal with Paul, saying that he will endorse and support Ron's campaign for re-election if Paul returns the favor. The idea is that Ron needs Smith's support, because if he doesn't, then he will lose his seat to a progressive Democratic challenger in the U.S. congressional race. Another reason is that, if Paul doesn't do it, then he will be forced out of the GOP, thus losing his seat on the Finances Services and his seat as a Ranking Member of the Domestic Policy Sub Committee.

A Ron Paul sycophant by the name of Brandon Trent (who sounds more like a GOP loyalist and stalwart in his responses to the irate pro-Liberty activists who were disheartened and disappointed by Ron's statement quoted Katie's Facebook page) tries to justify and rationalizes Paul's decision with the following quote in the comments section of the thread:

Brandon Trent
here's the thing; think rationally for a moment; how much good could Ron Paul do if he is expelled from the party; he would lose his status as a senior member of the Financial Services Committee; including his position as Ranking member of the Domestic Policy Sub Committee.....I'd rather have him in the Republican Party with some clout than out of the Republican Party with absolutely no clout what so ever. Politics is a dirty game; and Im sure Lamar Alexander will in some way return the favor
4 hours ago

Here's a reprint of the original campaign letter sent out on December 30, 2009 to the Ron Paul for Congress supporters:

Congressman Ron Paul
Dear Fellow Texan,

As you know, America faces tremendous problems. I have dedicated my career to fight for solutions, but I need friends in Congress who will help and work with me in these critical times.

That is why I am grateful for the friendship of Congressman Lamar Smith. Lamar Smith is a thoughtful, intelligent leader who keeps his door open to me and is always willing to listen. As the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Smith's word carries a lot of weight on Capitol Hill and I am glad to see he fights to take principled stands on important issues like Healthcare and Cap and Trade.

Congressman Smith made a point of reading both of my recent books, The Revolution: A Manifesto and End the Fed and I enjoyed our discussion. True intellectual exchange has become all too rare in Washington and I appreciated his effort.

Lamar is also one of the true gentlemen in Congress. I value Congressman Smith's thoughtful approach and consider him a true friend. If more leaders in Washington adopted his style of governing, I know we could break down a lot of barriers.

I am proud of my friendship with Lamar Smith. I hope you will consider supporting him in his bid for re-election.

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

Interestingly enough Ron Paul Republican congressional candidate Stephen Schoppe expressed his astonishment with the news.

As Schoppe notes in part:

I really respect Dr. Paul but am disappointed with his email since Lamar voted for the $700 billion banker bailout. Compromises like this with Democrats have led to the financial disaster our nation is in today.

(Schoppe also stated that he was "encouraged that his campaign has spurred Lamar Smith to seek an endorsement from Ron Paul.") As he explains:

We must be having an effect if Lamar is kowtowing to Ron Paul

Interestingly enough (although not a surprise), Lew Rockwell has been obviously silent on the matter on his blog.

As far as I'm concerned, as a former Ron Paul 2008 supporter, I'm done with Paul. I have denounced him publicly on Facebook because of his action, which is a straw (more like a hammer) that broke the camel's back. It's obvious that Paul is doing this for political expediency, at a cost of his past support from his devout pro-Liberty base. So much for his principled pro-Liberty political capital that he had been banking for well over a decade.

After all the crap involving the old (not to mention "brush-under-the-rug") racist newsletter controversy, his decision to accept a donation of $500 from neo-Nazi Stormfront leader Don Black at one point during his 2008 presidential campaign, his anti-abortion and anti-illegal immigration records (which show that he's an anti-Liberty zealot on the said issues), his son Rand Paul's support for Gitmo, and GOP senatorial candidate Peter Schiff's defense of the preemptive war doctrine that had long since been established precedent by previous precedents by past presidential administrations (including George W. Bush's), I must wash my hands of Ron Paul and the groups that have long since been associated with him. For a man who takes this anti-Liberty stance in favor of being re-elected because it is just the price we pay for being involved in a dirty game called politics is retching and unconscionable.

That also includes all and any organizations and groups that support and will continue to support Paul, including the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Campaign for Liberty,, the LRC Blog, the Daily Paul, etc.

I wonder what Paul's friend Rockwell will say about this latest fall-out (not to mention how he'll say it). How is he going to spin this mess in Ron's favor? Furthermore, how's he going to defend Paul? If he, Ron, and Paul's ardent defenders are worried about the media fallout over this revelation and the egg on face that will be splattered all over Ron, his congressional campaign, and his entire support base, then perhaps he should have thought about that before he made a vile pact with the political Devil by aligning himself with a congressman who's not even remotely like him.

Enough of this vulgar libertarianism! Down with the state! It's time to work outside the political system. Forget the political beast; it can't be "saved" or "reformed." It's time to throw the baby out with the bath water. And that's especially because the baby happens to be Rosemary's Baby.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Happy 2010

Normally, I would write "Happy New Year," as that seems to be a cookie-cutter, traditional action to take. In lieu of that, I'm going to wish everyone a Happy 2010. I'm breaking away from tradition because this is a dawning of a new era, one that entails a stateless society, a return to a real free market (which means an end to this corporate market economy we call "capitalism"), and a move towards real progress, peace, freedom, and prosperity for everyone.

Down with the state! Let's usher in a new era of statelessness. No more governments!! A restoration of true original leftism is needed now more than ever.