Why The Left Must Reject Ron Paul

“Politics like nature, abhors a vacuum,” goes the revamped aphorism. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s surprising stature among a small but vocal layer of antiwar activists and leftist bloggers appears to bear this out.

At the October 27, 2007, antiwar protests in dozens of cities noticeable contingents of supporters carried his campaign placards and circulated sign-up sheets. The Web site antiwar.com features a weekly Ron Paul column. Some even dream of a Left-Right gadfly alliance for the 2008 ticket. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, liberal maverick and Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich told supporters in late November he was thinking of making Ron Paul his running mate if he were to get the nomination.

No doubt, the hawkish and calculating Hillary Rodham Clinton and flaccid murmurings of Barack Obama, in addition to the uninspiring state of the antiwar movement that backed a prowar candidate in 2004, help fuel the desperation many activists feel. But leftists must unequivocally reject the reactionary libertarianism of this longtime Texas congressman and 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate.

Ron Paul’s own campaign Web site reads like the objectivist rantings of Ayn Rand, one of his theoretical mentors. As with the Atlas Shrugged author’s other acolytes, neocon guru Milton Friedman and former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan, Paul argues, “Liberty means free-market capitalism.” He opposes “big government” and in the isolationist fashion of the nation’s Pat Buchanans, he decries intervention in foreign nation’s affairs and believes membership in the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty.

Naturally, it is not Ron Paul’s paeans to the free market that some progressives find so appealing, but his unwavering opposition to the war in Iraq and consistent voting record against all funding for the war. His straightforward speaking style, refusal to accept the financial perks of office, and his repeated calls for repealing the Patriot Act distinguish him from the snakeoil salesmen who populate Congress.

Paul is no power-hungry, poll-tested shyster. Even the liberalish chat-show hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar on The View gave a friendly reception to Paul’s folksy presentation, despite his paleoconservative views on abortion, which he–a practicing obstetrician–argues is murder.

Though Paul is unlikely to triumph in the primaries, it is worth taking stock not only of his actual positions, but more importantly the libertarian underpinnings that have wooed so many self-described leftists and progressives. Because at its core, the fetishism of individualism that underlies libertarianism leads to the denial of rights to the very people most radicals aim to champion: workers, immigrants, Blacks, women, gays, and any group that lacks the economic power to impose their individual rights on others.

Ron Paul’s positions

A cursory look at Paul’s positions, beyond his opposition to the war and the Patriot Act, would make any leftist cringe.

Put simply, he is a racist. Not the cross-burning, hood-wearing kind to be sure, but the flat Earth society brand that imagines a colorblind world where 500 years of colonial history and slavery are dismissed out of hand and institutional racism and policies under capitalism are imagined away. As his campaign Web site reads:

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence–not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

Paul was more blunt writing in his independent political newsletter distributed to thousands of supporters in 1992. Citing statistics from a study that year produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, Paul concluded: “Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” Reporting on gang crime in Los Angeles, Paul commented: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.”

His six-point immigration plan appears to have been cribbed from the gun-toting vigilante Minutemen at the border. “A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked,” reads his site. And he advocates cutting off all social services to undocumented immigrants, including hospitals, schools, clinics, and even roads (how would that work?).

“The public correctly perceives that neither political party has the courage to do what is necessary to prevent further erosion of both our border security and our national identity,” he wrote in a 2005 article. “Unfortunately, the federal government seems more intent upon guarding the borders of other nations than our own.” The article argues that, “Our current welfare system also encourages illegal immigration by discouraging American citizens from taking low-wage jobs.” The solution: end welfare so that everyone will be forced to work at slave wages. In order that immigrants not culturally dilute the nation, he proposes that “All federal government business should be conducted in English.”

Though he rants about his commitment to the Constitution, he introduced an amendment altering the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing citizenship to anyone born in the United States, saying in a 2006 article: “Birthright citizenship, originating in the 14th amendment, has become a serious cultural and economic dilemma for our nation. We must end the perverse incentives that encourage immigrants to come here illegally, including the anchor baby incentive.”

Here we come up against the limits of libertarianism; Paul wants a strong state to secure the borders, but he wants all social welfare expenditures eliminated for those within them.

Paul is quite vocal these days about his rank opposition to abortion; “life begins at conception,” he argues. He promotes a “states’ rights” position on abortion–that decades old hobgoblin of civil rights opponents. And he has long opposed sexual harassment legislation, writing in his 1988 book Freedom Under Siege (available online), “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts?” In keeping with his small government worldview, he goes on to argue against the government’s right “to tell an airline it must hire unattractive women if it does not want to.”

In that same book, written as the AIDS crisis was laying waste to the American gay male population prompting the rise of activist groups demanding research and drugs, Paul attacked AIDS sufferers as “victims of their own lifestyle.” And in a statement that gives a glimpse of the ruling-class tyranny of individualism he asserts that AIDS victims demanding rushed drug trials were impinging on “the rights of insurance company owners.”

Paul wants to abolish the Department of Education and, in his words, “end the federal education monopoly” by eliminating all taxes that go toward public education and “giving educational control back to parents.” Which parents would those be? Only those with the leisure time, educational training, and temperament commensurate with home schooling! Whatever real problems the U.S. education system suffers from–and there are many–eliminating 99 percent literacy rates that generations of public education has achieved and tossing the children of working parents out of the schools is not an appealing or viable option.

Paul also opposes equal pay for equal work, a minimum wage, and, naturally, trade unions. In 2007, he voted against restricting employers’ rights to interfere in union drives and against raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25. In 2001, he voted for zero-funding for OSHA’s Ergonomics Rules, instead of the $4.5 billion. At least he’s consistent.

Libertarians like Paul are for removing any legislative barriers that may restrict business owners’ profits, but are openly hostile to alleviating economic restrictions that oppress most workers. Only a boss could embrace this perverse concept of “freedom.”

Individualism versus collectivism

There is a scene in Monty Python’s satire Life of Brian where Brian, not wanting to be the messiah, calls out to the crowd: “You are all individuals.” The crowd responds in unison: “We are all individuals.”

Libertarians, using pseudo-iconoclastic logic, transform this comical send-up of religious conformity into their own secular dogma in which we are all just atomized beings. “Only an individual has rights,” not groups such as workers, Blacks, gays, women, and minorities, Ron Paul argues. True, we are all individuals, but we didn’t just bump into one another. Human beings by nature are social beings who live in a collective, a society. Under capitalism, society is broken down into classes in which some individuals–bosses, for example–wield considerably more power than others–workers.

To advocate for society to be organized on the basis of strict individualism, as libertarians do, is to argue that everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants. Sounds nice in the abstract, perhaps. But what happens when the desires of one individual infringe on the desires of another? Libertarians like Paul don’t shy away from the logical ramifications of their argument. “The dictatorial power of a majority” he argues ought to be replaced by the unencumbered power of individuals–in other words, the dictatorial power of a minority.

So if the chairman of Dow Chemical wants to flush his company’s toxic effluence into rivers and streams, so be it. If General Motors wants to pay its employees starvation wages, that’s their right too. Right-wing libertarians often appear to not want to grapple with meddlesome things like economic and social power. As the bourgeois radical Abraham Lincoln observed of secessionist slaveowners, “The perfect liberty they seek is the liberty of making slaves of other people.”

Too much government?

Unwavering hostility to government and its collection of taxes is another hallmark of libertarianism. Given the odious practices of governments under capitalism, their repugnant financial priorities, and bilking of the lower classes through taxation it’s hardly surprising that libertarians get a hearing.

But the conclusion that the problem is “big government” strips the content from the form. Can any working-class perspective seriously assert that we have too much government involvement in providing health care? Too much oversight of the environment, food production, and workplace safety? Would anyone seriously consider hopping a flight without the certainty of national, in fact international, air traffic control? Of course not. The problem doesn’t lie with some abstract construct, “government,” the problem is that the actual class dynamics of governments under capitalism amount to taxing workers and the poor in lieu of the rich and powerful corporations and spending those resources on wars, environmental devastation, and the enrichment of a tiny swath of society at the expense of the rest of us.

Ron Paul argues, “Government by majority rule has replaced strict protection of the individual from government abuse. Right of property ownership has been replaced with the forced redistribution of wealth and property.” Few folks likely to be reading this publication will agree that we actually live in a society where wealth and property are expropriated from the rich and given to workers and the poor. Even the corporate media admit that there has been a wholesale redistribution of wealth in the opposite direction. But Paul exposes here the class nature of libertarianism; it is the provincial political outlook of the middle-class business owner obsessed with guarding his lot. As online anti-libertarian writer Ernest Partridge puts it in “Liberty for some”:

“Complaints against ‘big government’ and ‘over-regulation,’ though often justified, also issue from the privileged who are frustrated at finding that their quest for still greater privileges at the expense of their community are curtailed by a government which, ideally, represents that community. Pure food and drug laws curtail profits and mandate tests as they protect the general public.”

In fact, the libertarians’ opposition to the government, or the state if you will, is less out of hostility to what the state actually does than who is running it. Perhaps this explains Paul’s own clear contradiction when it comes to abortion, since his opposition to government intervention stops at a woman’s uterus. But freedom for socialists has always been about more than the right to choose masters. Likewise, Paul appears to be for “small government” except when it comes to using its power to restrict immigration. His personal right to not have any undocumented immigrants in the U.S. seems to trump the right of free movement of individuals, but not capital, across borders.

Right-wing libertarians, quite simply, oppose the state only insofar as it infringes the right of property owners.

Left-Right alliance?

Some antiwar activists and leftists desperate to revitalize a flagging antiwar movement make appeals to the Left to form a Left-Right bloc with Ron Paul supporters. Even environmental activist and left-wing author Joshua Frank, who writes insightful and often scathing attacks on liberal Democrats’ capitulations to reactionary policies, recently penned an article citing–though not endorsing–Paul’s campaign in calling for leftist antiwar activists to reach out to form a sort of Left-Right antiwar alliance. He argues, “Whether we’re beer swilling rednecks from Knoxville or mushroom eatin’ hippies from Eugene, we need to come together,” (“Embracing a New Antiwar Movement“).

Supporters of Ron Paul who show up to protests should have their reactionary conclusions challenged, not embraced. Those of his supporters who are wholly ignorant of his broader politics beyond the war, should be educated about them. And those who advocate his noxious politics, should be attacked for their racism, immigrant bashing, and hostility to the values a genuine Left champions. The sort of Left-Right alliance Frank advocates is not only opportunistic but is also a repellent to creating the multiracial working-class movement that is sorely needed of we are to end this war. What Arabs, Blacks, Latinos–and antiracist whites, for that matter–would ever join a movement that accommodates to this know-nothing brand of politics?

Discontent with the status quo and the drumbeat of electoralism is driving many activists and progressives to seek out political alternatives. But libertarianism is no radical political solution to inequality, violence, and misery. When the likes of Paul shout: “We need freedom to choose!” we need to ask, “Yes, but freedom for whom?” Because the freedom to starve to death is the most dubious freedom of all.

Sherry Wolf is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review. She can be reached at: sherry@internationalsocialist.org. Read other articles by Sherry, or visit Sherry's website.

69 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Pleefer Bunstostaazen said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:26am #

    A quick question about socialism. Did Chairman Mao live in the same squalor as the rest of China? Did Stalin? Lenin? Ho Chi Mihn? Castro? Or did they live in opulent palaces? It seems that your socialism is the winner at consolidating wealth. On paper it looks good though.

  2. Mark G., BBH, ME said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:37am #

    I feel like I just read a dissertation from Ellsworth Toohey. I think I did. Stand aside, we the people are the movers of the world, and you are a hindrance to progress.

    To think the collective is better than the individual is to deny your true self, the one who stands alone accountable for your own self. Dr. Paul is not racist, he thinks like many of us who would be free, your actions dictate who you are as people, there would still be accountability.

    It just would come from the people not a group of stuffed out of the loop foriegn globalist who seek to destroy the greatest experiment in human history, the USA. We kicked them out in 1776, we need to do it again.

  3. george said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:39am #

    Watch ron pauls recent interview online at abc. He easily retorts most of the challenges you’ve made against him. How can you be sure it won’t work when most of it hasnt been tried in 100 years? Maybe now that society has culturally progressed so far, it is time to reinstitute the beneficial ideals that the country was founded on. Not ones that promote racism or slavery. If your way is sticking with the status quo then the current crisis we face will only get worse. Lets actually try something new, not the Jimmy Carter way or the Clinton/Bush way. Inefficient wars and inefficient economies are bad for everyone.

  4. Sean said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:43am #

    As a preface, I consider myself a Jeffersonian/Conservative/Libertarian. I despise the “neo-cons” because they’re not conservative… for the most part I consider them “liberal” in the big government sense of the word.

    I think your commentary only shows that the real “left” is nothing but a party/faction bent on destroying the Constitution and the federal system of government (granted, the federal system was finally wiped out by the left in the early 20th century). Leftists such as yourself, one can imply from this commentary, wish to further consolidate power and authority in the central government, doing even greater violence to Article I Section 8 and the 10th Amendment.

    I happen to think people on the left are severely misguided on most policy issues, and they believe that individuals are merely, to quote a Supreme Court justice, “instrumentalities of the state,” however, I believe lefties should be able to destroy themselves and their governments at the state and local levels, but not at the federal level.

    Ron Paul wants to return power to the states and the people, allowing them to govern themselves more democratically. If people want abortion to be legal, do it democratically. Since any authority/jurisdiction over issues such as abortion were never “delegated” to the fed via the Constitution, those powers are reserved to the states and the people. The Supreme Court broke the law usurped that power with Roe. They had no business even hearing the case.

    I don’t really care much about abortion, but that’s one example of why I like Ron Paul and the Constitution. Dr. Paul isn’t your typical arrogant leftist or neo-con who wishes to impose his views upon the entire nation. He realizes that the Constitution leaves these issues to the states. You mention minimum wage laws. I think they do a lot of harm, and probably more harm that good. I think people should decide state by state whether they want minimum wage laws. I don’t want the fed imposing these rules (and uniformity) on everyone, and besides, that power was never delegated to the fed via the Constitution… and don’t get me started on how the Supreme Court butchered the commerce clause.

    In conclusion, a socialist state could exist within a free union of states; but a free state cannot exist within a socialist nation. Hopefully lefties will figure this out someday.

  5. art said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:52am #

    I’m sorry, but your analysis is flawed at several points.

    For example, when you infer that eliminating the department of education means that children will be homeschooled. That is rediculous and ignorant. STATES and LOCAL COMMUNITIES have better understandings of how to teach their children. Or perhaps you LIKE having GEORGE BUSH and the federal government telling you what and how children should learn?

    It’s all about returning power to the people and taking it away from a distant, central place.

    Another flaw is when you ignorantly accuse Dr. Paul of positions that would let companies pollute at will. This is nonsense. Try using logic and reason instead of crazy, lazy logical leaps in your arguements.

    Companies cannot pollute because waterways are owned by the people and thus the government, as the lawmaking aspect of the people, can regulate how public assets are used.

    And this is just the beginning of a critique into your arguement.

    Please, PLEASE read more and use better logic because you look like a fool and spread disinformation. You should be better than that and you CAN be if you try.

    Please reconsider Ron Paul!

  6. Tron Denver said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:52am #

    How do you stick it to the man? Not by giving the man more centralized power, thats for sure. big government enables tyrants, thats why Bush has grown the government so much.

    “Freedom to starve to death”
    Just like the good people of the former USSR had the non-freedom to starve to death. Boy, how insulting is this? I guess there will always be a rift between statists like the author and personal freedom advocates. Even if you love the thought of an all-powerful state taking care of everyone, I’m afraid you will always be let down. Look at Katrina. This is seductive but dangerously utopian thinking. Personal liberty means personal responsibility. Actually, in all fairness Ron Paul is not going to pull the safety net out from under people who already dependent on the 0government. Nobody is advocating that. If you love socialism, move to Europe, their governments will be happy to confiscate 75% of the fruits of your labor. But let the world keep it’s last bastion of liberty, the good old US of A.

    By the way, socialists, there is no need reject Ron Paul, he has already rejected socialism, as has history and empirical observation.

  7. Scott said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:54am #

    “But leftists must unequivocally reject…”

    The mistake the author makes is to command the reader as to what he or she “must” do. I’m sure the readers of this publication are intelligent people who can gather evidence and make up their own minds as to whom they should support.

    As for Paul’s positions… many people still do not understand that the most substantial creator of poverty is our monetary system. The federal government has created a system where it can steal the value of the few dollars the poor and middle class actually have in order to fund welfare and warfare. Paul is the only candidate I hear discussing the issue. I’ve come to believe that this issue must be priority one at this time in our history, or we are destined to suffer the same fate as history’s empires which followed the same course to their demise. I will happily disagree with Paul on a few other points to get this addressed. The president is no dictator, and so we shouldn’t live in fear that each and every one of a candidate’s positions will become law the moment he or she takes office. Many of the things the author is afraid of simply would not happen, because the president has no such power without the full support of Congress. Fortunately, Ron Paul is the only candidate I hear talking about reducing the power of the executive branch to the level the Constitution allows, and restore balance to our three-branch government.

  8. Nathan Warren said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:54am #

    As a supporter of Ron Paul I find it disingenuous to assume that “left wing” supporters of Ron Paul don’t know where he stands on the issues, but since your piece was saturated with inaccuracies and blatant libel, I can only assume you don’t care what the truth is.

    The fact is Ron Paul (and me and hundreds of thousands of other people) disagree with your philosophy. Maybe we’re wrong, maybe you’re wrong, but debate the issues. If you can prove that giving aid to Africa, for example, hasn’t kept nearly the entire continent in the third world, or that the UN is in fact a government elected by the people, or that free-market capitalism doesn’t work, be my guest.

    Ron Paul is not a racist. Neither was Ayn Rand. I leave you with words written by Ron Paul himself.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul68.html

    “The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity. In a free market, businesses that discriminate lose customers, goodwill, and valuable employees – while rational businesses flourish by choosing the most qualified employees and selling to all willing buyers. More importantly, in a free society every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Rather than looking to government to correct what is essentially a sin of the heart, we should understand that reducing racism requires a shift from group thinking to an emphasis on individualism.”

  9. Eric Sundwall said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:57am #

    ‘ But libertarianism is no radical political solution to inequality, violence, and misery.’

    Actually it is. If you took the time not to ascribe Ayn Rand to Paul you might get into the more solid contentions of the Austrian School of economics. Inequality is natural and can be addressed through voluntary association, not state violence.

    However you cut it, the Progressive solution still depends on the monopoly of state force (ie implicit violence). In terms of the issues, once the war is ended, you can rationalize your redistributive violence as you like without foreign countries being occupied.

  10. Yezu said on December 13th, 2007 at 6:13am #

    The title on your site says “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice”.
    Could you explain, please, what is the difference between your “social justice” and just “justice”?
    Simple logic tells that something which is different then the justice is NOT JUSTICE, so accordingly – “social justice” is NOT A JUSTICE at all.
    Using new phraseological expressions does not make your site a radical.
    Also UNLOGICAL “discussion” with Ron Paul’s principles does not make any sense to me as I had been living for over 30 years in a political system you are describing and supporting … It just does not work.

  11. Anders said on December 13th, 2007 at 6:39am #

    It is amazing that socialists traitors are allowed to have a voice in our society. While the Soviet Union is dead, it is alive and well in AmeriKa.
    Maybe Sherry Wolf should look up the definition of a true liberal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

    “Pure food and drug laws curtail profits and mandate tests as they protect the general public.”

    Are you kidding me? The drug companies have the FDA bought and paid for and fix prices in the United States. There was a bill to ban all nutritional supplements and vitamins that failed in congress 6 months ago. Any inexpensive options are overlooked or banned by the FDA, and the homeopathic leftists know this.

    Only the United States still produces massive amounts of new drugs and subsidizes “free health care” countries by underpricing them and making you, the American pay the difference. For example, a drug company could want 1$ a pill to cover research and marketing costs. It would charge Canada .25 a pill and Americans .75 a pill. How many drugs have socialist European countries and Canada created in the past ? Next to zero.

    “So if the chairman of Dow Chemical wants to flush his company’s toxic effluence into rivers and streams, so be it. If General Motors wants to pay its employees starvation wages, that’s their right too.”

    This is absurd. The individuals harmed by a companies environmental pollution would sue the company involved. Yes, General Motors has the right to pay their employees starvation wages, just as you have the right not to work there. Minimum wage is starvation wage, and the massive influx of illegals isn’t helping the matter.

    “Paul wants to abolish the Department of Education and, in his words, “end the federal education monopoly” by eliminating all taxes that go toward public education and “giving educational control back to parents.” Which parents would those be? Only those with the leisure time, educational training, and temperament commensurate with home schooling! Whatever real problems the U.S. education system suffers from–and there are many–eliminating 99 percent literacy rates that generations of public education has achieved and tossing the children of working parents out of the schools is not an appealing or viable option.”

    Since the ’60’s productivity in the schools have dropped 70%. The often heard saying that Americans are lazy and stupid is unfortunately true. Public education has never achieved 99% literacy rates, or even close to that. As high as 1/5 of Americans are functionally illiterate. Illiteracy could not be found in the early colonies, and their education was the best in the world. Our current education model was adopted from the Prussians, who used it to create good slave/soldiers who would do what they are told. Half of high school graduates cannot even read their own diploma and you think that public education has ever worked?

    Socialists hate homeschooling because they abhor freedom. They have no opposition to keeping the populace stupid for their own agendas. “Free” public education is Plank #10 in the Communist Manifesto. With Pauls plan to get rid of the income tax, most Americans will be able to afford a private school education, which minorities support in higher percentages than whites, due to the fact that they typically enjoy the worst schools.

    “The problem doesn’t lie with some abstract construct, “government,” the problem is that the actual class dynamics of governments under capitalism amount to taxing workers and the poor in lieu of the rich and powerful corporations and spending those resources on wars, environmental devastation, and the enrichment of a tiny swath of society at the expense of the rest of us.”

    Do not include yourself in “the rest of us”, as I am sure you are living quite large. The last time I checked, the corporations have the congress and the president/vice president bought and paid for. I would rather see a government that is separate from corporate America, not owned by it.

    Maybe you are forgetting the biggest tax on the middle class and poor, inflation. To pay for all your socialist programs, there is a currenty 13% inflation rate which is bankrupting Americans who are already having a hard time making ends meet. Look around you, the tiny swath already is taking advantage of the rest of us, and they are already in power, both Democrats and Republicans.

    “Because at its core, the fetishism of individualism that underlies libertarianism leads to the denial of rights to the very people most radicals aim to champion: workers, immigrants, Blacks, women, gays, and any group that lacks the economic power to impose their individual rights on others.”

    Apparently words like “liberty”, “individualism”, and “freedom” don’t appeal to statists like Sherry. The democrats haven’t fought for blacks or workers in a long time.

    Are we in Orwell’s 1984 where peace is war and freedom is slavery? Programs like affirmative action are government sanctioned racism, because they reward one race based on the color of their skin, their gender, or their sexual orientation. The role of government is to protect individuals, not groups.

    Apparently Sherry Wolf can’t see past which “minority” group a person is in, and she likes to lump people into stereotypes. I would argue the author is a racist who hates individual liberty.

    I voted Democrat in ’04 (I am a paleoconservative and Jim Webb was a pretty conservative democrat) in the hopes that they would get us out of the war.

    Not only did they break their promises, they actively continued funding the war and have their sights set on Iran.

    It is time for real leadership in ’08 and people are waking up to the fact that both parties are two sides of the same coin. Freedom will always triumph over socialism and tyranny.

    Ron Paul 2008!

  12. Max Shields said on December 13th, 2007 at 7:27am #

    Ron Paul raises the question: what is a “leftist”. Why are we so certain of our terms after all these years of inept economics and total failure from all sides of the political spectrum as birthed from the French Revolution and tweaked by Marx and the various flavors of socialism?

    Libertarians have never put their singular approach to governance of any nation (check me on this: or state/region) to the test of reality. Paul represents a fairly conservative, purist strain of Libertarianism. Anarchists would find much in common with what he holds to be the fairest and most reasonable condition for humanity to live within. Is it the ultimate statelessness that Marx contemplated we were inevitably heading (if we just took the linear steps)?

    The whole notion of left and right collapses on true, honest scrutiny as each is taken to its “conclusion”. That is why a set of values and principles should frame the discussion of governance and economics. Paul raises some important questions and they should be debated on their own merit not on the narrow merits of an illegal war in Iraq and Afganistan – which do represent the corporate state that we live in today, but cloud the real debate that is shrouded in politico double speak and talking points for the “masses”.

    What is human nature and are we are on a destructive course? Are we saveable? A new politics, a new economics that emerges from what we as living beings in a living environment appears to be what’s called for.

    Paul at bottom strikes at the core, highlighting the individual which is antithetical to what we understand life itself to consist of. Life is a network, a collective web that emerges, non-linearly. There is no predomination of the individual entity in nature. And this is where, with all his “good talk” about our horrid foreign policy, Paul comes out – his is a world where MAN rules supreme, where the INDIVIDUAL is the PRINCIPLE, the VALUE. This is fine on paper, like all the other isms, but its unsustainable in a natural world order.

  13. AlanSmithee said on December 13th, 2007 at 8:45am #

    I am sick-unto-death of self appointed political doctrine enforcers telling me what I “must” do. Sherry, take your dogma and jam it. Nobody is under the impression that Paul is the platonic ideological ideal. But, unlike the every single republicrat running for office, Paul has guts and guts is enough.

  14. gerald spezio said on December 13th, 2007 at 9:05am #

    Yabut, when the nurturing Goddess arrives, we will all come together in solidarity with the old wisdom and do a big ghost dance with plenty good smoke.

  15. Bizzy said on December 13th, 2007 at 10:10am #

    I’m seeing alot of people rush to defend Mr. Paul … particularly stuck on the charge of racism. I wonder if these people didn’t take the time to read the ensuing paragraphs.

    Ron Paul should be applauded for his stance against the Iraq war and occupation, but the author is completely right that a full, broader look at this man’s statements and positions leaves much to be desired.

    Sherry isn’t telling anyone what to do … she’s asking us to take another look. I’m shocked from reading some of these angry reflexive responses, it just doesn’t make sense. Do the Paul supporters agree with creating a fortress America to keep out immigrants? Are they on board with a totally unfettered and unrestricted movement of capital and investment and profit seeking?

    As for the question of our economic system … It’s funny because the libertarian doesn’t realize that the very existence of corporations, their favorable tax status and rights, are due to a powerful federal state which offers unique rights to and recognizes these organizations nationwide. The libertarian will ask for an end to welfare, and end to public schools, an end to unions and government imposed minimum wage … but they won’t connect the inherent government assistance that capital and industry receive in this way. Rugged individualism and competition at the bottom, but assistance and collusion at the top… These types of enactments (under a profit system) will do nothing but benefit wealthy owners of capital and employers … This is her point, as I see it, and it’s a very valid one.

  16. Binh said on December 13th, 2007 at 12:19pm #

    Vote for Paul if you like laissez faire capitalism! Hooray for sweatshops and child labor!

    It’s too bad no one attacking Wolf lived through the 1930s or the economic collapse in Asia in 1998 or Argentina in 2000, which is exactly the kind of thing Paul’s policies would lead to.

  17. Francine said on December 13th, 2007 at 1:02pm #

    “It’s too bad no one attacking Wolf lived through the 1930s or the economic collapse in Asia in 1998 or Argentina in 2000, which is exactly the kind of thing Paul’s policies would lead to.”

    Those were caused by socialist or state-monopoly enonomic practices not free market, the 1930s in the u.s. was caused by practices of the recently put together Fed Reserve and it’s fiat monetary policy. please read a history book and maybe an economic one while you are at.

  18. Max Shields said on December 13th, 2007 at 1:05pm #

    While I think Paul’s (and those of conservative libertarians in general)ideas need to be held up to real scrutiny I’d refrain from hyperbole.

    Our economics has been so distorted by the 1900 neo-classical economics that launched the huge concentration of wealth, and the concentration of centralized governments and financial institutions that we lose sight of what’s been crushed and destroyed. In this Paul has something to say, but the ideology deserves real hard scrutiny beyond the superficial, which is all we get in 30 second sound bites and mindless politics as usual. Responding in kind doesn’t further the conversation.

  19. Francine said on December 13th, 2007 at 1:05pm #

    “Vote for Paul if you like laissez faire capitalism! Hooray for sweatshops and child labor!” Yes, because the capitalist U.S. has sweatshops and child labor while Leftist China does not…. Austrian economics doesn’t lead to poor working conditions, state monopoly and corporatism do, please read up on Von Mises and Why the Nazis drove him out of Corporatist Germany.

  20. The Fanonite said on December 13th, 2007 at 1:28pm #

    Supporters of Ron Paul who show up to protests should have their reactionary conclusions challenged, not embraced.

    Yep. They must all divulge their views on abortion before they are allowed to protest a genocidal war that claims more innocent lives by the passing minute. Don’t know about others, but I detect the racism and low regard for Iraqi life in the statements of these enforcers of dogma, which I can’t in any of Ron Paul’s public statements.

    The sort of Left-Right alliance Frank advocates is not only opportunistic but is also a repellent to creating the multiracial working-class movement that is sorely needed of we are to end this war.

    And this ‘multiracial working-class movement’ will be created presumably the day after the revolutionary proletariat overthrows capitalist tyranny? I have a better idea: It might be a long wait, so lets just tell the Iraqis to drop dead instead.

    According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, liberal maverick and Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich told supporters in late November he was thinking of making Ron Paul his running mate if he were to get the nomination.

    Sounds like a terrific idea. Kucinich-Paul 2008 — where do I sign up?

  21. HR said on December 13th, 2007 at 2:02pm #

    Thanks Ms. Wolf for your article. And to discouraged progressives who are jumping on the Ron Paul bandwagon, I suggest that you read the Libertarian Party platform. It calls for privatization of everything, including public lands, schools, and the Post Office (you think 41 cents is high, just wait until private “industry” steps in.

    Republo/libertarians both want the same thing for this country: a feudal state where we common folks exist only to serve the needs of the wealthy.

    Come on folks, use the brain that evolved for your survival. Don’t fall for a one-issue wonder like Ron Paul … ’cause if you do, you’ll get just exactly what you deserve, while dragging the rest of us down with you.

  22. Peter LaVenia said on December 13th, 2007 at 2:37pm #

    Sherry, thank you for exposing Paul for the right-wing ideologue he is. I do not think he is a terrible person, but that, except in the area of the war where those of us on the left and those on the right are in agreement, he is diametrically opposed to everything those of us on the far left support. I salute him for his consistency in belief and voting record, but cannot support his candidacy.

  23. The Fanonite said on December 13th, 2007 at 2:43pm #

    Come on folks, use the brain that evolved for your survival. Don’t fall for a one-issue wonder like Ron Paul … ’

    Yes folks, don’t let any Iraqi life get in the way of this guy’s socialized post office.

    And then they accuse Paul of racism!

  24. Max Shields said on December 13th, 2007 at 2:58pm #

    HR I think you have a good point regarding privatization, but the so-called “left” is the flip side of that coin. Rather than simply argue against libertarianism, I think we should be putting forth ideas that we know work. What amazes me is that we live under conditions which are so failed and there are clear headed solutions. But instead of realizing those, we are given faux solutions like privatization which proves every day to be part of the problem.

    Perhaps Paul is not even the best proponent of libertarianism. The term itself gets in the way of clear headed problem solving which is what we really need rather than the banter of left and right. Since our terms are never defined and agreed to, we just go round in circles.

  25. hp said on December 13th, 2007 at 3:32pm #

    Without even reading this article (except for the title), I’ll bet I can guess the ONE real reason this woman fears Ron Paul. And so can everyone else..

  26. Jake said on December 13th, 2007 at 3:36pm #

    Yay! Lets continue to borrow 3 billion a day to fund our nanny state. I need my kids to become workers, not thinkers, so lets keep the government involved in education. I want the WTO to tell me what I can and cant take when it comes to medicine . Id like a regional union to override the US Constitution. Id like to hand over all my guns to the first cop with a fully automatic rifle. Id like to just sit in a lazy boy all day and pee all over myself and not have any self responsibility in my life. Lets continue to let the government take care of us cause they’re doing a fabulous job. Equal rights doesnt mean special rights!

  27. Andrew said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:16pm #

    I think the comments above from Paul supporters are pretty representative of the sort of political elements most revved-up about Paul’s campaign.

    For those who think unity with such people, rather than building on our own principles, is what the Left needs…well, to summarize Lenin, have fun going off into that swamp but please don’t try to drag the rest of us with you.

  28. Deadbeat said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:29pm #

    Put simply, he is a racist. Not the cross-burning, hood-wearing kind to be sure, but the flat Earth society brand that imagines a colorblind world where 500 years of colonial history and slavery are dismissed out of hand and institutional racism and policies under capitalism are imagined away

    Before the left begins to label anyone on the right a “racist” they need to take a good look at the “racists” on the “left” that have deliberately obscured the racist ideology of Zionism and its affects on U.S. society. The first case in point is the war in Iraq.

  29. Deadbeat said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:38pm #

    I detect the racism and low regard for Iraqi life in the statements of these enforcers of dogma, which I can’t in any of Ron Paul’s public statements.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  30. Allan Stellar said on December 13th, 2007 at 5:42pm #

    I don’t think that there is anything wrong with working with others who question empire. Face it, our militarism is the number one issue here. And Ron Paul eloquently critiques the American Empire. For this, and this alone, he deserves our vote.

    He is the most exciting candidate this election cycle. For the few thousand “breeding pairs” left of the Left…I think helping out our Libertarian brothers and sisters is in order.

    Ron Paul is the most rational protest vote this election cycle.

    Yes, I’d rather have my protest vote be for the Green Party. It’s unfortunate that now that almost everyone is Green, we don’t have a viable Green Candidate to pick up the banner? Where can we find a Green Bobby Kennedy for 2012?

  31. dan elliott said on December 13th, 2007 at 6:26pm #

    “I am not now nor have I ever been a member of” or even attracted to any Trotskyist organization; also I have serious reservations re the ISO stance vis a vis “The Lobby”/ZPC, at least as I understand said Party position.

    However I find I’m in total agreement with everything the author has to say in this article, so let me offer my congratulations and hearty thanks to Ms. Wolf for a job well done on a problem that has been festering.

    In passing, let me say that I’m just amazed at the kind of rightwingers who seem to be haunting what I assumed to be a more or less “left” e-mag/news source. At the proper time we hardcore Radicals can make common cause with all kinds of people, but it doesn’t help to have them interrupting the conversation with nonsense when we’re trying to get our own selves together.

    Thanks again, Ms. W: you can put me on your mailing list anytime:)

    Dan Elliott
    Sactomato

  32. Patrick Henry said on December 13th, 2007 at 8:14pm #

    “A cursory look at Paul’s positions, beyond his opposition to the war and the Patriot Act, would make any leftist cringe.
    Put simply, he is a racist. “
    Perhaps if you took more than a “cursory look” you would have seen that those comments weren’t made by Ron Paul.
    “Here we come up against the limits of libertarianism; Paul wants a strong state to secure the borders, but he wants all social welfare expenditures eliminated for those within them. “

    Ron Paul is not a libertarian, he is a republican and thus he is running as a Republican.

    “Whatever real problems the U.S. education system suffers from–and there are many–eliminating 99 percent literacy rates that generations of public education has achieved and tossing the children of working parents out of the schools is not an appealing or viable option. “

    I literally laughed out for perhaps half a minute or more when I read this line. 99 percent literacy rates in American public schools? I figure you aren’t joking, so did you make that number up or do you have a source for that?

    Libertarians like Paul are for removing any legislative barriers that may restrict business owners’ profits, but are openly hostile to alleviating economic restrictions that oppress most workers. Only a boss could embrace this perverse concept of “freedom.”

    I’m a worker, not a boss, living paycheck to paycheck. My boss doesn’t impose economic restrictions on me – I would make far more but the government takes some whopping 35 percent or more of my pay – and I don’t even make 12 bucks an hour in Silicon Valley! That’s a harsh economic restriction that is severely oppressing me.

    “Libertarians, using pseudo-iconoclastic logic, transform this comical send-up of religious conformity into their own secular dogma in which we are all just atomized beings. “Only an individual has rights,” not groups such as workers, Blacks, gays, women, and minorities, Ron Paul argues. True, we are all individuals, but we didn’t just bump into one another. Human beings by nature are social beings who live in a collective, a society. Under capitalism, society is broken down into classes in which some individuals–bosses, for example–wield considerably more power than others–workers.”

    Society is not a collective – it is a group formed by individuals exercising their right to associate. There are no rights that belong to a group. Nor is society broken down into classes divided by levels of power in capitalism – that is communistic dogma and theory. In addition, bosses do not have more power than their workers, for if a boss mistreats their workers the workers will either work poorly or quit and the boss will lose money, their job, or the business.

    “To advocate for society to be organized on the basis of strict individualism, as libertarians do, is to argue that everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants. Sounds nice in the abstract, perhaps.”

    That is a gross oversimplification and mis-characterization of libertarianism. Everyone has the right to do what they want with their own life, liberty, and property. No one has the right to do what they want with another person’s life, liberty, or property. Those are the two principles of liberty and the law that are universal throughout our world regardless of the word, decree, statute, bill, or other work of people.

    “But what happens when the desires of one individual infringe on the desires of another? Libertarians like Paul don’t shy away from the logical ramifications of their argument. “The dictatorial power of a majority” he argues ought to be replaced by the unencumbered power of individuals–in other words, the dictatorial power of a minority.”

    That is an outright lie. Paul is a constitutional republican. Since each individual has rights no group, be it a minority or a majority, can disable those rights. The only dictatorial power that anyone has a right to exercise is that they exercise over themselves. Each and every person is reigns sovereign over their own life, liberty, and property.

    “So if the chairman of Dow Chemical wants to flush his company’s toxic effluence into rivers and streams, so be it. “

    Strawman argument, and a poor one. There is a clear violation of other people’s right to life, liberty, and property by dumping hazardous waste into the environment. That is a crime.

    “If General Motors wants to pay its employees starvation wages, that’s their right too.”

    Those employees would leave, work very poorly, and or starve to death. Any company that screws their employees ends up doing very poorly in the long run.

    ‘Right-wing libertarians often appear to not want to grapple with meddlesome things like economic and social power. As the bourgeois radical Abraham Lincoln observed of secessionist slaveowners, “The perfect liberty they seek is the liberty of making slaves of other people.” ‘

    If I agree to work for a dollar a day then I will be enslaving myself for I would have to agree to such a thing and then follow up on that agreement. Paul advocates putting each individual in charge of their own life. It is obvious you favor putting the government in charge of people’s lives, as did the terrible tyrant Abraham Lincoln you quote. Lincoln may have freed the black slaves but he enslaved the entire nation and all races and classes by establishing the beginnings of the federal government as we know it.

    “In fact, the libertarians’ opposition to the government, or the state if you will, is less out of hostility to what the state actually does than who is running it. Perhaps this explains Paul’s own clear contradiction when it comes to abortion, since his opposition to government intervention stops at a woman’s uterus.”

    Paul’s opposition to abortion starts at a humans life. I disagree with him that states should prohibit abortion but I do believe they should be able to do so.

    “But freedom for socialists has always been about more than the right to choose masters.”

    Fascinating statement. Are you consciously aware of the fact and actually publicly advocating for the socialist desire to enslave humanity? Wow. Still amazed at that line. You think people should choose masters to rule over them?

    “Given the odious practices of governments under capitalism, their repugnant financial priorities, and bilking of the lower classes through taxation it’s hardly surprising that libertarians get a hearing.”

    We don’t have a capitalist society – we don’t have free markets – we don’t have free trade. Just the theft from the non-wealthy masses alone means this isn’t a capitalist society. It’s a mixture of socialism, fascism, democracy, and a few other inherently corrupt methods of government.

    “Can any working-class perspective seriously assert that we have too much government involvement in providing health care?”

    I’m a working class man. I have no health care. I can’t afford health care. If the government hadn’t been meddling with health care for many decades it would still be possible for me to afford health care. Yes, we absolutely have far too much government involvement for healthcare. I pay into Medicare but can’t pay for a dentist. I make enough to get by and the government takes it and spends it on programs that are supposed to fix the problem that is caused by their action.

    “Too much oversight of the environment, food production, and workplace safety?”

    Yes, absolutely, as well as too little oversight. Far too many examples of ridiculous requirements that are very expensive for all three categories of government oversight that are even more horrible when compared to the outrageous practices that the government ignores.

    “Would anyone seriously consider hopping a flight without the certainty of national, in fact international, air traffic control?”

    Yes, and I even consider (and sometimes do) driving down the highway without a seatbelt on!

    “Of course not. The problem doesn’t lie with some abstract construct, “government,” the problem is that the actual class dynamics of governments under capitalism amount to taxing workers and the poor in lieu of the rich and powerful corporations and spending those resources on wars, environmental devastation, and the enrichment of a tiny swath of society at the expense of the rest of us.”

    That’s not capitalism – it’s socialism-fascism. The majority of money raised by taxation does flow to the wealthy elite, but your article completely ignores the many large programs including Social Security and Medicare in which the workers and poor people are taxed heavily for no benefit in order to waste these resources on people who failed to provide for themselves. The likes of the Bush clan favor taxing me and spending it on war, you favor taxing me and spending it on someone else’s health care other than my own, what you share in common is that’s okay to steal my my money and spend it on _____, which of course is a really great cause that justifies taking my paycheck and my ability to feed, cloth, house, and take care of myself. The only difference between y’all is that you disagree on what to spend the loot on – but you share in common with George Bush that it is right to take what is mine away from me by force and spend it on another person for your own reasons. You are both thieves quibbling about what to spend the stolen goods on.

    “Ron Paul argues, “Government by majority rule has replaced strict protection of the individual from government abuse. Right of property ownership has been replaced with the forced redistribution of wealth and property.” Few folks likely to be reading this publication will agree that we actually live in a society where wealth and property are expropriated from the rich and given to workers and the poor.”

    Ron Paul wouldn’t agree with that statement either – nor did he make it in that quote or any other. That is an oversimplification – in this land all classes are taxed and only some groups, particularly the extremely weathy and the extremely poor, are given welfare and subsidies.

    “Because the freedom to starve to death is the most dubious freedom of all”

    Without risk and danger there is no point to life or living. The “boss” you speak of is the government, the “worker” that is oppressed is the American citizen. The freedom to starve to death is the result of the greatest thing of all – life, and it’s necessary precursors – liberty and property. The entitlement to food, to medical care, to corporate welfare, to individual welfare, to wage war and reap the profits, is the result of the worst thing of all – the theft of other people’s life, liberty, and property. What you advocate, as does the likes of Bush or Clinton, is the opposite of what is good and right and legal – death, tyranny, and theft.

    I could respond at much greater length but I have no real interest in battling Marxists. At least some or even many of your points I didn’t respond to are actually dead on and you appear to be intelligent, but it would appear that the false faith in stealing to solve the world’s problems has corrupted your thinking severely. Best of luck and I hope you discover the impossibility, immorality, and illegality of socialism/anything but libertarianism. You may do what you want with what is yours, but do not touch me or what is mine, or anyone else’s without their permission. That is the golden rule, the universal morality and legality. It is really quite very simple. What is right is yours, and what is wrong is someone else’s. I may be wrong but I do believe I learned that in kindergarten.

    http://www.constitution.org

    http://www.RonPaul2008.com

  33. agnostic said on December 13th, 2007 at 9:39pm #

    “Politics like nature, abhors a vacuum”

    Best part of the whole piece.

    Associating Greenspan and Friedman with Paul is misleading. They and the Orwellian-named Federal Reserve System are repeatedly lambasted on websites supporting the Paul strain of libertarianism.

    One of the commenters mentioned the connection between our monetary system and the warfare state. Also its connection to poverty and inflation.

    In spite of its name, the Federal Reserve system isn’t even a part of the government. It is owned by private bankers.

    Looks like a good place for people to direct their scrutiny.

  34. Kevin Riley O'Keeffe said on December 14th, 2007 at 12:56am #

    Ordinarily, I’d like to limit myself to constructive criticism, but nearly every word of that article was insincere sophistry and frankly dishonest crap. The idea that an anti-war movement in this country will gain strength by eschewing the Ron Paul campaign is ludicrous in the extreme, as should be self-evident to any rational person, irrespective of their own personal ideological passions. The woman who wrote it is merely afraid that a successful anti-war movement might come about, and that her (very) small cadre of Politically Correct, quasi-Bolshevist hacks won’t be in charge of it. Better to have a failed and almost irrelevant anti-war movement, so long as people like her remain in charge, apparently. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2004, and I switched my registration from Democrat to Republican just this week, in order to vote for Ron Paul in the February 5th California primary election. I have some views which are associated with the left (such as opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as support for environmental protection, and fair trade over free trade), and some that are associated with the right (opposition to abortion, and support for both the Second Amendment and securing our southern border). I frankly have no need nor desire to be disparaged as some sort of racist bigot and irrational stooge, merely because I see an opportunity for meaningful progress towards a better America with the Ron Paul campaign. Its very telling that nowhere in her article does she suggest an alternative to the Paul campaign (perhaps because there so obviously isn’t one, with all due respect to Rep. Kucinich – for whom I voted in the 2004 Democratic primary – and Sen. Gravel, both of whom I’m sure are very nice and well-meaning men, they clearly aren’t a factor in 2008, whereas Ron Paul is).

  35. Merk said on December 14th, 2007 at 1:49am #

    This article is outstanding ‘home school’ material on how brainwashed some people are into believing the USA is only big enough for two opinions: ‘right’ and ‘left’… anything else is just too scary to be taken objectively, one MUST step in line with the rest of the left / right sheep, and their failed values.

    The message here: don’t think for yourself, let the DNC / RNC do it. Great material for the kids, thanks.

  36. Naturboy said on December 14th, 2007 at 5:51am #

    This is really interesting, the more I read about Paul’s platform, the more i find these ‘Paulies’ are like some sort of faith-healing mega-church cult.

    A few more links to help temper the invasion of the ‘Paul-bots’:

    1: Why Did Ron Paul Vote Against Impeachment? By Manila Ryce
    2: Ron Paul’s Radical Views
    3: Ron Paul Goes After The Coveted Unabomber Vote
    4: Chomsky in Znet sustainers forum responding to an argument for Ron Paul

    This idea that ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ means some extremist frontier where people should again have the right to do whatever they want with their property with no regulation, means say goodbye to the endangered species act (which is the only thing saving anything at the moment).

    The entire Rocky Mountains can now become an open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold-mine, and the whole of West Virginia would be one big mountain-top removal coal-factory, the very last of the Marbled Murrelet habitat which is the only thing preventing Maxxam from clearcutting the very last of the 3% of old growth forests on private lands, will be devastated, and the abandonment of the Clean Water Act would mean all those steep areas could be logged with no fear of reprisal when the streams and rivers are clogged with silt from the clear-cuts, flooding and forcing evacuations of towns.

    Paul supports a free market on steroids. Do not people see that the ‘market’ does not ‘police’ itself? Leave people to pursue free trade entirely unchecked, and what you have is a far worse and more abusive corporatocracy than we presently have metastasizing and consuming the globe.

    You can’t build ‘liberty’ by indulging in a cult of isolationism, greed and selfishness. You don’t have to be a socialist nor communist to see that typical human nature combined with unchecked free-trade and rampant capitalism do not make a good mix. The most power-mongering sociopaths among us in industry and finance will just exploit this ‘liberty’ as we so sadly see today. And Paul want’s to give them even more chance to abuse that upon which all life depends! Regulating the abuse of the environment is not a restriction that violates our best interest. Paul is an extremist, there’s no middle ground in his analysis of human nature, an analysis proven entirely wrong by present and past environmental, corporate, and financial abuse.

    Look what the S&L’s and Sub-prime lenders did in such an already deeply regulated industry as banking! Imagine you wiped clean any remaining regulation—the people who are so aggressive that they rise to levels of corporate monarchy, will always be there, unless you effectively regulate them on a national and global scale, those wackos will take over and further abuse us all! Maybe the Paulbots know this, hence their desire for more ‘liberty’.

    Yes there are elements of Paul’s anti-war stance that are attractive, coming from a republican. But Paul completely failed to walk his talk when he voted to kill the impeachment resolution. If he really believed what he preaches about the shredding of the constitution, then he should have been an activist for impeachment, not a monkey-wrencher in this one fail-safe installed by the founders for just such a war-criminal predicament as we now face!

    Paul’s party-line play on the impeachment vote completely undermines his entire anti-war/pro constitution posturing, which was his only redeeming value.

    Since then Paul has tried to debunk global climate change– just a preview, folks, of how he feels about our god-given right to blindly abuse the environment. After all god put trees on this earth so you could build yer house, and he put the other animals here for us to slaughter and evict into extinction and/or enslave, right??

    The entire balance of paul’s position can be summed up as: Personal and corporate profits at the expense of everyone and everything else.

    Beyond that he’s another manic gun-rights kook, as if arming the populace will bring on peace and security– didn’t we try that in the O.K. Corral Daze? How can you be a doctor and support the greater access to fire-arms after what’s gone on in the inner-cities these last two decades?? I highly question any supposed compassion which may have arisen from his medical practice if he’s so pro gun.

    It appears this is a major problem with Texans (or texan wannabes), they are so often these gun-totin’, ‘liberty or death’ militia-types. Even Ann Richards was a gun-totin’ sport-hunting miscreant. That’s one secessionist piece of unlivable desert that should have been given back to Mexico! (Along with all its wackos in Waco, Bush’s ranch, and the whole gun-totin’, cattle-rustlin’ Marlboro-man throw-back lot of ‘em).

    Talk about fear-mongering! Do people really imagine we’re under threat of military rule to the extent that we need to stockpile bazookas in underground militia-bunkers to fend off the feds who have been secretly poisoning us with airplane exhaust, and that we’re all gonna be masses of slaves to the Rothschildren hangin’ out in bohemian grove nude mud-wrestling with carl rove while sipping our blood thru straws rolled from the constitution?

    It’s a hyper-extremist vision they espouse, and it’s as manipulatively fear-mongering as any ‘terrorstorm’ science-fiction fantasy. Newsflash: This is not China, the people here are way too diverse to be run around like the third reich. They give conspiracies a bad name, alarming what would be proper progressives with hyperbole, and making it impossible to fight the real threats we face from the right wing war-criminal corporate elite we already have. We don’t need an even more extreme rightist paradigm taking over, and there is something really wrong with all these lemmings who think we do.

    Both Paul and Alex Jones do have interesting elements in their program (as does Marx, by the way, don’t toss an entire theory because some of it’s wrong). But beyond Jones’s 911 revelations, and Paul’s anti-war stance, these two are like crazy cultists leaders, their followers just ‘believing’ and massing behind them like some evangelist mega-church lemmings in the bible belt!

    Espousing personal liberty does NOT mean a stop to questioning ALL authority! There is a LOT wrong with these guys beyond their very limited attractive positions, yet their followers act like cultist devotees, not free-thinking libertarians!

    Study instead the Libertarian views of Noam Chomsky for a properly thought-through position. And for a genuinely anti-war candidate who is actually legislating against the goons on the hill, Kucinich is your man! And he doesn’t come with all this scary, armed militia ‘us against impending martial law ‘red-dawn’ mania.

    Dennis Kucinich is who all these Paulie panderers should be putting their energy behind!

  37. Max Shields said on December 14th, 2007 at 7:14am #

    Patrick Henry the debate should be around what the role of government is (or isn’t) in regard to taking and spending money earned from labor. I think no money should be taxed from either labor or capital. There is only one “perfect” means of obtaining revenue for running the nation (even more importantly the local school, social services, and operational costs of a municipality or township) and that’s LAND. Land in the economic sense of all that is not “man” made or that does not use capital and labor to produce it (air, air waves, oil, etc.) This is a tax (or rent on land use) which meets all the requires of fairness and brings to bear human rights across the globe in the form of a shared Common Heritage. And it stops the concentration of wealth with our failed sales/property/income triad of tax collection (for the poor and middle class) or evasion (for the wealthy).

    Where do the Libertarians stand on that? Well I don’t know if Paul thinks any form of government/revenue is legitimate which is why the real issue is WHAT DOES HE THINK the government should do? Should we have militias? Dismantle Social Security (over time I think he says) and Medicare?

    If Paul doesn’t believe in the statism (isn’t that the Libertarian principle?) and he wants to be President of one of the most debauched nation-states, what is it he plans to do in the white house (the white house isn’t in the constitution, btw)?

    My point, Mr. Henry, is that no one – I mean NO ONE, is debating Ron Paul on his terms. He’s marginalized by the MSM and so a non-player for the most part. His foreign policy is clear and converges with those of us who agree with a non-intervention policy. But beyond that? Because his “case” is one sided (again, NO ONE is debating his stands) the public is left with one salient point – he’s against the war. And perhaps a sense that he doesn’t believe in big government.

  38. agnostic said on December 14th, 2007 at 10:58am #

    That Paul voted to table the impeachment resolution is troubling. On the other hand, he was one of only 3 in his party voting to send it to the Judiciary Committee:

    Statement Regarding Impeachment of Vice President Cheney

    Ron Paul Speech to Congress

    November 6, 2007

    Mr. Speaker, I rise, reluctantly, in favor of the motion to table House Resolution 799, Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors, and in favor of referring that resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for full consideration. I voted to table this resolution not because I do not share the gentleman from Ohio’s desire to hold those responsible for the Iraqi debacle accountable; but rather, because I strongly believe that we must follow established protocol in matters of such importance. During my entire time in Congress, I have been outspoken in my opposition to war with Iraq and Iran. I have warned my colleagues and the administration against marching toward war in numerous speeches over the years, and I have voted against every appropriation to continue the war on Iraq.

    I have always been strongly in favor of vigorous congressional oversight of the executive branch, and I have lamented our abrogation of these Constitutional obligations in recent times. I do believe, however, that this legislation should proceed through the House of Representatives following regular order, which would require investigation and hearings in the House Judiciary Committee before the resolution proceeds to the floor for a vote. This time-tested manner of moving impeachment legislation may slow the process, but in the long run it preserves liberty by ensuring that the House thoroughly deliberates on such weighty matters. In past impeachments of high officials, including those of Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the legislation had always gone through the proper committee with full investigation and accompanying committee report.

    I noted with some dismay that many of my colleagues who have long supported the war changed their vote to oppose tabling the motion for purely political reasons. That move was a disrespectful to the Constitutional function of this body and I could not support such actions with my vote.

    I was pleased that the House did vote in favor of sending this legislation to the Judiciary Committee, which essentially directs the committee to examine the issue more closely than it has done to this point.

  39. Naturboy said on December 14th, 2007 at 11:30am #

    Agnostic–
    I wouldn’t believe a word of it! He voted to table, that’s a vot to kill. If he honestly felt the ‘Iraq debacle’ needed to be ‘investigated’ he would have voted to debate then and there, as any lawmaker of integrity would have.

    There is no doubt that Paul voted to kill the bill based on party lines, and he also knew full well that John Conyers let the first iteration of this bill languish in the circular file, and would do the same with the ‘privileged’ vote.

    Why John Conyers won’t pursue the bill is anyone’s guess, but I only remind everyone about the tragedy of Senator Paul Wellstone, and the mysterious manner in which his plane incredulously sorta evaporated off the radar and ‘crashed’ in mid-air.

    (But then if Conyers, the great proponent of Dr. King, has fears of foul play to the extent that he’s inhibited from allowing the country to achieve requisite justice, then he should STEP ASIDE and let more capable congresspersons with cajones handle the matter).

    Ron Paul is here above LYING. Anyone who can support Ron Paul after that bogus bunch of bunk quoted above is thereby allying themselves with fraud, party-pandering beltway bull-caca, and has no interest in the constitution nor the rule of law.

    Does anyone ever mention that Ron Paul loves the “Patriots” AKA Timothy McVeigh, as in our genuine domestic terrorist of all time?

    These people are a bunch of gun-totin’ liars, who espouse silly science on global warming, and as such should be BANNED.

    The fact that so many amerigoons are suckered into supporting his preposterous positions means that amerigoons are just a mutated bunch of white-bred mutants. If they’re not lining up in great toothless brain-dead flocks behind Jimmy Swaggart, they’re stacking their chips on a goon-squad of dispensationalist ‘end-times’ miscreants who believe the hasids must return to isreal to bring about the second coming (aka bush i & 2, reagan, et. al).

    And if that’s all disproven and out of style, the faith-healing, mullet-headed masses from the toothless hollers of Deliverance will follow Ron Paul and Alex Jones (all due respect to yer 911 discoveries, mr. jones) into some gun-totin’ militia cave where the second amendment translates ‘arms’ into bazookas, missile launchers and hand grenades.

    Imagine if these Hatfields and McCoys went at each other with real weapons instead of paint-ball guns? We won’t be facing any armed crackdown by the feds, we’ll be runnin’ from the rednecks back to the upper left side!

    Ron Paul is a KOOK, don’t buy his ultra-right crazy talk—

    stick to Kucinich!

  40. Ajit said on December 14th, 2007 at 1:54pm #

    So we have this invasion of Paultards here. It’s natural whenever you criticize their Hero the flying monkies will come and call you all sorts of names. Talking to a Libertarian is like talking to a monkey. No point in doing that. There is no debate with these guys. They just call you every possible names from “You hate liberty”, “You are a statist” to “you should go to North Korea ” etc.

  41. Patrick Henry said on December 14th, 2007 at 2:05pm #

    “The entire balance of paul’s position can be summed up as: Personal and corporate profits at the expense of everyone and everything else.”

    As soon as an action involves another person’s life, liberty, and or property, then it may be regulated. If it harms another persons life, liberty, and or property, it may be regulated against. Ron Paul isn’t against regulation, he’s against the highly ineffective unconstitutional regulation from Washington DC. It is impossible to control a government thousands of miles away, we need to exercise control over ourselves first and foremost, and secondly over our states and communities.

    “Study instead the Libertarian views of Noam Chomsky for a properly thought-through position. And for a genuinely anti-war candidate who is actually legislating against the goons on the hill, Kucinich is your man! And he doesn’t come with all this scary, armed militia ‘us against impending martial law ‘red-dawn’ mania.”

    Chomksy may be a Libertarian, but he is not a libertarian, nor is he a republican to my knowledge. Kucinich is a socialist nut. Before dismissing the militia movement you should read up on the history of governments, arms, and also on the relatively recent police state actions. Look into the abyss and you shall find plenty on official government webpages to indicate that we are the target of our government’s police state – being alive is the crime they are concerned about.

  42. Patrick Henry said on December 14th, 2007 at 2:15pm #

    Dear Max Shields –

    “Patrick Henry the debate should be around what the role of government is (or isn’t) in regard to taking and spending money earned from labor. ”

    I agree. The role of the federal government is to regulate the affairs of the states and limit the ability of the federal government to impede upon the rights of individuals or the powers they delegate to the states.

    “I think no money should be taxed from either labor or capital. There is only one “perfect” means of obtaining revenue for running the nation (even more importantly the local school, social services, and operational costs of a municipality or township) and that’s LAND. Land in the economic sense of all that is not “man” made or that does not use capital and labor to produce it (air, air waves, oil, etc.) This is a tax (or rent on land use) which meets all the requires of fairness”

    I’m from New Hampshire, no sales tax, no income tax, high high high property tax. It’s a burden. The solution isn’t to switch forms of taxation, as then the question is “whom shall we steal from, and how much and how?”, but instead to switch to user based fee system. I.e. use the roads, pay a road fee. Use the schools? Road fee. Police and fire? same thing. Let those who use and benefit from services directly pay for what they get, let none have their hard earned property taken from them for another’s benefit.

    “My point, Mr. Henry, is that no one – I mean NO ONE, is debating Ron Paul on his terms. He’s marginalized by the MSM and so a non-player for the most part. His foreign policy is clear and converges with those of us who agree with a non-intervention policy. But beyond that? Because his “case” is one sided (again, NO ONE is debating his stands) the public is left with one salient point – he’s against the war. And perhaps a sense that he doesn’t believe in big government.:My point, Mr. Henry, is that no one – I mean NO ONE, is debating Ron Paul on his terms. He’s marginalized by the MSM and so a non-player for the most part. His foreign policy is clear and converges with those of us who agree with a non-intervention policy. But beyond that? Because his “case” is one sided (again, NO ONE is debating his stands) the public is left with one salient point – he’s against the war. And perhaps a sense that he doesn’t believe in big government.”

    Ron Paul has many years worth of writing online, including I do believe on his campaign website, http://www.RonPaul2008.com. There are also plenty of videos and interviews with the man.

    It is absolutely illegal to have the federal government engage in warfare (which is different than a defensive military action), or education, or welfare, or corporate welfare, or retirement, or medicine. Those are problems best left to individuals, their families, their communities, etc. If you really want to have a socialist/communist/collective state, go ahead, but don’t force me and my family and my state to do so. That is what Ron Paul stands for – the United States of America, a republic. Everyone else, Democrat and Republican and Socialist, stands for the American Empire, a democracy. One is right and legal, the other is wrong and illegal. Ron Paul stands for what is right – the rule of law.

  43. Patrick Henry said on December 14th, 2007 at 2:21pm #

    Ajit and y’all –

    “Ron Paul is a KOOK, don’t buy his ultra-right crazy talk—

    stick to Kucinich!”

    Ron Paul is not a rightist. Small r republicans and small l libertarians do not fall on the left/right/Democrat/Republican/socialist/fascist spectrum. Kucinich is indeed a leftist, and a kook to boot. The difference between the left and the right is that they disagree on how the government should control people’s lives. Leftists usually believe the government should control our lives, Rightists usually believe the the government should control foriegnor’s lives. Ron Paul doesn’t believe the government should control anyone’s lives.

  44. Patrick Henry said on December 14th, 2007 at 2:23pm #

    Dear PseudoPatrickHenry,

    “So we have this invasion of Paultards here. It’s natural whenever you criticize their Hero the flying monkies will come and call you all sorts of names. Talking to a Libertarian is like talking to a monkey. No point in doing that. There is no debate with these guys. They just call you every possible names from “You hate liberty”, “You are a statist” to “you should go to North Korea ” etc.”

    I’m a libertarian, not a Libertarian. I haven’t said anyone hates liberty, or that they are a statist, or that they should go to North Korea. I don’t believe I’ve called anyone any names at all. Yet you’ve called Ron Paul supporters “Paultards” and compared them to monkeys.

    I’m willing to debate.

  45. Sunil Sharma said on December 14th, 2007 at 7:46pm #

    On the matter of Ron Paul and the forthcoming election, Dissident Voice is committed to airing views both pro and against. Hence Joshua Frank’s sympathetic article a week ago and now Sherry Wolf’s anti-Paul essay, and many more to come.

    For my money, Ron Paul is the only current candidate (Democrap or Rethuglican) worth supporting.

    Do I see eye-to-eye on him on many issues other than the war and dissolving the American Empire? From what I can surmise from his positions — NO. As an anti-capitalist, libertarian socialist, I find many of Paul’s views questionable to say the least, especially on the topic of immigration — but then I’m not hearing ANY candidate address that issue from a sane and progressive standpoint either. Paul on the environment? Well, if Marcelle Cendrar’s comments on DV about his environmental positions are true, then I certainly disagree with him on that front as well. But then again, the Democrats, despite all their liberal and green pretensions, have sucked ass on that issue too, as writers like Jeffrey St. Clair, Ralph Nader, the late David Brower, and our Josh Frank have chronicled over the last 15 years. The Democrats, including Mr. Enviro Al Gore and the mainstream environmental groups, have done just as much — if not more — damage to the environment than the Republicans in their never-ceasing service to the ruling classes. I see no exception to this with the current crop of Democratic contenders, outside of maybe Kucinich and Gravel, neither of whom are viable (because their party’s leadership isn’t going to back them); and Kucinich is especially viewed by at least Josh Frank and me (I presume Kim too) as being asshole #1 for selling out the antiwar cause when his 2004 presidential bid failed (DV, up to that point, had endorsed Kucinich).

    As far as I’m concerned, the Iraq war and occupation, our imperialist meddling in the Middle East and everywhere else, the attacks on civil liberties at home, and the expansion of presidential powers are paramount. The Iraq war is especially central not only because of the horrible toll being levied on the lives and future of the Iraqi people, but because the war is bleeding the US economy in every direction. Ron Paul is the only candidate who is both unequivocal about ending the occupation and getting US forces the hell out of the region, AND whose candidacy is invigorating our otherwise useless antiwar movement by bringing many energetic and solidly decent people to its fold. These people, unlike the larger liberal segment of the antiwar movement, aren’t willing to compromise every principle and settle for some pro-war Democrat just because that Dem isn’t . . . well . . . isn’t from Team R.

    Furthermore, what bugs me about the sectarian left’s disdain for the Ron Paul phenomenon is their unwillingness to engage with Paul supporters at the organizing level. If anything, leftist/liberal/prog activists who have the intellectual integrity and courage of their convictions should view this as an opportunity to have their views exposed to a larger, mainstream audience. This is an opportunity to educate a (mostly new) activated crowd to a radical critique of the system that they may have not been exposed to. I’ve always thought that this effort, like internationalism and solidarity building, was one of the essential projects by which the radical left was to advance the cause of revolution . . . not, instead, isolating themselves from the larger culture with their holier-than-thou bullshit and therefore having ZERO effect on anything substantial in the political realm. Do leftists really lack the open mind and confidence in their ability to engage with people outside their otherwise irrelevant circle jerk?

    — Sunil

  46. Max Shields said on December 15th, 2007 at 11:04am #

    Patrick Henry says: “I’m from New Hampshire, no sales tax, no income tax, high high high property tax. It’s a burden. The solution isn’t to switch forms of taxation, as then the question is “whom shall we steal from, and how much and how?”, but instead to switch to user based fee system. I.e. use the roads, pay a road fee. Use the schools? Road fee. Police and fire? same thing. Let those who use and benefit from services directly pay for what they get, let none have their hard earned property taken from them for another’s benefit.”

    The land value tax is a user based fee on the commons (or shared natural resources (i.e., non-labor and capital). I don’t agree that we pay as we use in the case of social services. That’s another way of privatizing these shared services which should be available regardless of use such as fire departments and the like.

    Property tax is a tax on capital and labor – which is one of the worst taxes and should be eliminated or reduced so that land tax is the predominate means of paying for infrastructure, social/public services, and education. Land is not wealth but it accrues value based on social/societal need and so is concentrated in city centers (not rural where land value is considerably less). Tax on depreciated structures, homes and buildings, is completely counterproductive and produces concentrated wealth, land speculation (real estate bubbles), and poverty. Land rent/usage fee/tax is a fair means of ensuring that land is optimally utilized, is not hoarded (creating poverty), and payment of usage is fair (land cannot be hidden as can income and sales taxes hurt the mid-lower income). The LVT has been empircally proven to be the best means of local self-reliance and ensuring a sustainable local economy. This is far reaching implication in stablizing communities against corporate globalization and all that that has led to.

    Patrick Henry says: “Ron Paul has many years worth of writing online, including I do believe on his campaign website, http://www.RonPaul2008.com. There are also plenty of videos and interviews with the man.”

    This does not provide a public debate but position statements. The other repbulican candidates are not debating Paul on this. They are aligning with the right-wing/Christian base.

    By the way both William Buckley, Leo Tolstoy, Dennis Kucinich, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, John Dewey among many others agree with the land usage rent/tax I presented above. So where would Paul stand on this? Privatization of the commons – that’s how we got Corporate Globalization – it is the root of our existing evil and does not deliver us from it.

  47. Valued Customer said on December 16th, 2007 at 5:12am #

    I’ve debated these issues with enough good, honest friends who positively topple over to the left to know better than to try to explain market forces to you. You just can’t understand supply/demand=market, so it is useless to explain how creating the huge government mandated demand for health insurance in the 1970’s destroyed the free market in medicine that provided Americans the best health care in the world at the most cost effective prices, and how going to a universal, or single payer, system will make that problem infinitely worse, by removing market forces altogether, and leave the big providers of medical care, with their lobbyists access to Congress, as the sole arbiters of medical costs, and who gets access to services.

    Oops! I couldn’t help myself. But that’s not the real issue, and none of the things you mentioned are.

    The real issue regarding Ron Paul is that he is honest. He doesn’t succumb to lobbying pressure. If he agrees with a policy, he’ll support it, whether you lobby him or not. If he doesn’t, well, money doesn’t talk in his office on the Hill, and as far as I can tell, it’s the only office on the Hill where money doesn’t have just about the only voice. He is incorruptible.

    Beyond integrity, he is a fervent supporter of human rights, and particularly the American ideal of liberty, the rule of Constitutional law, and just government. He will stop torture, and illegal wiretaps; there will be no Enrons on his watch, no Katrinas. He will not secretly leak the names of CIA agents, and then lie about it. He won’t sell pardons, nuke Iran, or cook intelligence. He neither holds billions in Halliburton stock, nor mutual investments with the bin Laden family. He isn’t unduly influenced by AIPAC, big money, or big oil. He votes his conscience, speaks his mind, and tells the truth.

    You will get a tax break when Ron Paul becomes President. Why? Because he will not use the Federal Government to unlawfully compel you to bear witness against yourself, via the IRS, and will compel the government to use excise taxes, as the Constitution allows, to fund it’s operations.

    That is a complete 180 degree turnaround from what our government has been doing for decades (at least!), and it is exactly what needs to happen, right now.

    I have zero confidence in the integrity of any of the other candidates. I know every one of them is beholden to special interests, a liar, or worse.

    I know Ron Paul is telling the truth! He has been saying the same things he’s saying now during his entire service to the American people as a Congressman, for 9 consecutive terms, and has voted exactly as he says he will. Every time. Without fail.

    When he says he will bring the troops home, that’s exactly what he’ll do. When he says he opposes torture, he means it, and it will stop. He wants just, fair, lawful government and he will do everything the office of the President can do to make that happen. He is an honest man, who believes in freedom, and believes in America. He’s the only candidate that does. Every other candidate wants to do some damn thing against the Constitution – Kucinich wants our guns, Giuliani wants to torture, Hillary wants.. well, all that, and worse.

    The only candidate that was against the Patriot Act(s), the MCA (ending Habeus Corpus), the Warner Defense Appropriations Act (ending Posse Comitatus), and the Homegrown Terrorist Prevention Act (equating dissent with terrorism), and every Congressional pay raise ever offered on his watch, is Ron Paul. Check the voting records!

    This is the first time in decades I have felt there was a candidate that would represent me, and not MNC’s (Multi-National Corporations) against me, and you.

    We need lawful, just, government to save our country, our lives, and our children’s lives, from the corrupt criminals that have sold our sovereignty for mammon, and drench Iraq in blood, and Ron Paul will deliver exactly that.

  48. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2007 at 11:43am #

    I see nothing in Paul’s positions that would guard against an Enron or Katrina (unless you think privatization beyond Haliberton, et al is the market answer the deep racism and decay of our urban centers).

    I do think that Sunil is grappling with the many areas where Paul’s positions converge with those of us who struggle against the warmongering statism/nationalism. And on that score (and others I agree). The real issue is that the problem is beyond human-scale. Paul’s world-view cannot parse to DC. By its very nature the national government, the 300 million inhabitants of the USA, the muli-million square miles of terrain that makes its national borders up, is just to vast with deep history of empire and genocide to be viewed in a “libertarian” solution.

    What is needed to make any of this salvagable is a human-scale break up of the USA. Paul’s (libertarianism) stand may make some sense in the context of small regionally governed areas with liberated local governments. But as I indicated he’s running for president of the whole shoot’n match; and it will swallow him up as it does all the other powerbrokers. Corporatism and Authoritarianism rule at the national level.

    It is at the local level that the grass-roots need to build. A less predatory national government is pretty much what we can hope for.

  49. Naturboy said on December 16th, 2007 at 12:26pm #

    In trying to understand how Paul reconciles “property rights” (sounds good, eh? Who in their right mind would be for eminent domain?) with the vast proclivity for corporations and individuals to abuse the environment and life on earth unless regulated to smithereens, I did find this one tidbit:

    From this article:

    One noteworthy exchange: When a member of the SU College Republicans asked Paul about endangered species laws and King County’s critical areas ordinance, Paul appeared to come out against federal endangered species protections.

    “I’ve been reading the Constitution now and then,” he told the crowd. “I can’t find endangered species written in the Constitution.”

    He quickly added that his comments shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning he’s opposed to protecting endangered species. “It’s the bureaucratic approach vs. the free market approach,” he said—and he wants the job of protecting endangered species to be left to the free market.

    “Private property owners would do a better job than we would through federal regulations,” Paul said.

    If you look on his site, his Wiki page, etc, his positions are a huge mixed bag, and full of some good ideas, but also some really twisted stuff.

    But this idea that people are the best to choose how to handle their property, is some major distortion! We know better!! He basically says we should have just the right to individually sue AFTER the damage is done, and only if it bleeds over onto our land, and that will make it more expensive for polluters, so they will stop, and in this way the “market polices itself”.

    Tell me the truth, what really do you feel about that?? It’s to me such a completely irreconcilable position and so utterly disproved already, that his entire platform just crumbles– (not even counting the impeachment thing!) I’ve never heard a more free-market blatant invitation for owner and corporate abuse of the land and life on earth than this, from anyone!

    Nobody wants bloated government nor the illegal ‘Patriot’ act snooping and disappearing us in the night for dissenting, but he’s not the only one opposing that. But removing all the hard-won federal environmental regulation is asking for the same sort massive abuse that GE inflicted on us all by pumping PCB’s into the Hudson decades after it was known to be hazardous and non-degradable, or Maxxam/Pacific Lumber from logging off all it’s old growth, which happened to ‘own’ a large part of the remaining 3% of Old Growth on the continent containing endangered species habitat, which was the only ‘log-jam’ in their rape of the forest. You gonna leave it to them to do what’s “best” for ‘their’ land until townspeople personally sue them when the stream clogs from the silt run-off and floods the town (as has happened)??

    I’m all for liberty, but then “neighbors” have to include the other nations of animals and species and the environment upon which they depend. Paul clearly is NOT considering this, rather he’d be opening the floodgates to massive commercial and land-owner abuse.

    He’s got some strange views about gay marriage (some libertarian!), automatic weapons, etc, very strange indeed—He voted AGAINST the civil rights act! This is not the revolution I think people had in mind!

  50. Phil said on December 16th, 2007 at 6:25pm #

    I respect Ron Paul for his speech on the end of dollar hegemony the relationship between Oil and big Government. I don’t support unfettered libertarianism we do need uniting federal instutions to provide the framework in which liberty and justice under a common law is available to all.

    Socialism doesn’t work, its a form of enslavement and fuedalism, all that is required is unquestioning obedience to the party and collective. Unfettered capitalism also leads over time to a fuedal state where the rich are served by the poor. Unfettered Libertarianism is the survival of the fittest, it might have been appropriate for the pioneers in the wild west, but times have changed. The answer lies somewhere between the three.

    Its important for Americans to make their views known as quickly as they can. One commentator used the term ‘Corporatocracy’ I would say that America is on the verge of a Kleptocracy where thieves rule and the rule of law ignored.

    For that reason as a voice in the wilderness, and for hope, I support Ron Paul

  51. Naturboy said on December 16th, 2007 at 6:28pm #

    Valued Customer, I happen to be an owner of a corp, in biz for decades. It’s a little patronizing of you to proclaim the left is ignorant about supply/demand, dontcha think? (Especially when we’re all suffused with commerce and capitalism almost with the mother’s milk).

    Point is, selfishness and greed is clearly NOT the only ethic to be breading into your culture, and unfortunately that’s been the state of cultural affairs here for decades since the entire electorate folded for Raygun (to the extreme detriment of society and any altruistic, civic progress ever since).

    About Paul:
    Now I’m certainly no history buff, but I don’t believe the history of state regulation and it’s enforcement regarding the environment and endangered species would support your and Paul’s idea that federal environmental regulation of endangered species, clean water, clean air, etc. is adequately addressed or enforced by states. Nor are state and local governments ever likely to be incentivised to countermand the selfish desires of their constituency, especially as it pertains to amerigoons bizarre cultural frontier nostalgia and proclivity to shoot things into extinction and abuse nature in general.

    State governments are typically beholden to local business interests who hold sway over policy time and again, and business typically cares not for consequences of it’s actions (present wave of ‘green-washing’ notwithstanding).

    If states were successfully mandating environmental controls of industry and its antics, which are designed entirely around the profit motive at the expense of everyone and everything else to the very limits of the legal (and anything beyond that can be gotten through graft or cronyism, etc.) then the Endangered Species Act would never have come into being, and it’s sponsors would never have selflessly sacrificed to get the law on the books. Without that law dozens of species would by now be gone. Do the Paulies even care?

    But look how a gun-totin’ red state like Montana manages wolves: The minute wolves are barely de-listed, that state is shooting wolves from the air wholesale, claiming they harass livestock. Buffalo were protected, but Montana allows you to shoot them in the eye the minute the buffalo roam outside of Yellowstone.

    Fact is environmental controls on industry and individuals is woefully inadequate already, and the power of ‘neighbors’ under Paul’s position to successfully litigate against Midwest smokestacks, for example, which spew acid that has killed most of the thousands of lakes and streams in the Adirondacks, our largest wilderness preserve, is so daunting that no civilian nor even neighboring states have effectively regulated that output despite the science.

    There you have not only a case against the effectiveness of states and even ‘neighbor’ states to moderate the destructiveness of acid rain for decade after decade, but it is known now for decades that certain thousands of asthmatics, etc. will each year die from this very coal combustion pollution.

    If States were such responsible enforcers of the common good and the rule of law, why wouldn’t they regulate these polluters, which they refused to do despite the lawsuits levied and petitions signed, etc? The local profit motive of their local constituency is apparently far too important for states to effectively control the clear abuse. Instead states apparently have a disincentive to work for the common good at the expense of business, and they’re not about to fix that all by themselves.

    Industry succeeds in bending even the most obvious rules because it’s so expensive to litigate against them, and so many local politicians and judges are in their pockets. Case in point, it took decades of activism to get big tobacco to remotely behave responsibly, despite the full knowledge we now know they had all that time of it’s carcinogenesis.

    Which reminds me, the #2 killer and health-care disaster after I think heart disease is cancer, fully 1/3rd of which is lung cancer, likely virtually all tobacco-related. There you have it again, private enterprise run completely amok despite full knowledge of the public health disaster for decades. Do you think the governors of Big Tobacco States were gonna feel sorry for sick and dying lung-cancer patients trying to sue their biggest palm greasers? I’m no expert, certainly, but I seem to remembered this scandal

    Once again a testament to the sinister nature of corporations and the state governments which are financially and culturally in their pocket. I suspect Ron Paul, Like Ron Reagan, pushed deregulation purely for the profit motive, not anything to do with personal ‘liberty’.

    And as proven by the vastly increasing divide between the elites and the poor in this country since Reagan, ‘trickle down’ categorically didn’t work! Are you really ready to try yet another un-tested, suspiciously slanted economic model, only to find out it’s a disaster decades on?

    So then this 2nd amendment ‘right to bear arms’ which the militia movement is so militant about, should allow us to stockpile hand-grenades, missile launchers and tactical nukes in order to arm us against the fed blackwater goons who’ll be para-trooping out of choppers like Red Dawn, am I right?

    Imagine the feds trying to subjugate a country like the USA when they can’t even handle a country the size of Texas, nor get water to Katrina victims for 5 days!

    Does anyone have anything to say about Paul’s now infamous support of the Patriots, land of Timothy McVeigh, the worst domestic terrorist of all time?

    Paul supports nuclear power, potentially the longest lasting environmental catastrophe of all time (see the great interview with Helen Caldicott)

    Paul is categorically anti-abortion, for what that’s worth to liberals.

    Paul opposed the civil rights act of 1964, claiming it reduced liberty.

    Paul’s site says “The key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights. The strict enforcement of property rights corrects environmental wrongs while increasing the cost of polluting”, which we’ve already seen above does not work on a national scale, nor even on a local or inter-state scale, and is inviting the worst possible abuses of deregulation, graft and disaster with the only recourse being that the injured party can sue after the damage is already done, putting no national controls in place to forestall that damage, instead relying on states to mandate regulation at it’s prerogative, which we see also doesn’t work.

    Paul says: “I can’t find endangered species written in the Constitution”, advocating the dissolution of federal protections like the endangered species act which would be a disastrous crime if one looks at the history of US citizen and commercial abuse of species and all the domestic prior extinctions.

    Paul is the most vocal advocate of gun rights, claiming that the reason for the second amendment is about fighting the federal military to fend off government abuse, ignoring the hideous gun violence promoted more by easy commercial access to guns, and especially to ammo, than black-market weapons.

    And to think the populace with their shotguns plan to use them in case the military and their daisy-cutter bombs come knocking is absurd. (White-bred Americans want their guns because they like to kill animals, not because they anticipate an attack from the feds).

    Paul disavows any conspiracy behind the 911 attacks, stating it was a ‘failure of bureaucracy’ (Do the Alex Jones supporters who flock behind Paul realize this?)

    Paul apparently opposes universal health care, espousing a Giuliani-style tax-credit instead.

    Paul voted against impeaching Cheney, stating there was not the ‘evidence’, yet he somehow found the ‘evidence’ to impeach Clinton. This clearly dubious dichotomy in his duplicitous votes thoroughly undermines whatever ‘credibility’ his supporters seem to find in his agreeable and countenance.

    But nobody seems interested in addressing this particular double-standard, which is especially conspicuous coming from this lauded ‘constitutionalist’ whom everyone seems to ‘trust’ so much, and which was the reason for my skepticism about him in the first place, finally finding all this (and I’ve certainly found enough to see that a Paul presidency is a disastrous idea, he is truly an extremist and not this refreshing voice of revolution everyone seems so eager to claim).

    I’m not here saying each of Paul’s points is bad, or that he’s a horrible, evil, warmongering criminal like Cheney, but there is enough truly wacky extremism under that crown to sideline his sole asset, his anti-war position. About the only other redeeming value to the good Dr. Paul and his positions is his apparent support of unregulated access to dietary supplements.

    Now I don’t think we’re in danger of a Paul presidency, but I do question the militancy behind the Ron Paul ‘Revolution’, and it’s attractiveness to some on the left who should be lining up their energy behind Kucinich (who is also anti-war, has a sound and proven national health-care plan, but doesn’t come with all this sinister, selfish, commerce-is-god, gun-totin’ militia mania).

    What’s up there, fellas?

  52. Mike McNiven said on December 16th, 2007 at 9:49pm #

    In short, Ron Paul is not an advocate of “peace with social justice”!
    He is an advocate for an imperialist -capitalist system — without a “visible” bloodshed!

  53. Sunil Sharma said on December 17th, 2007 at 1:38am #

    Excellent post Natureboy!

    — Sunil

  54. christian said on December 17th, 2007 at 10:45am #

    Ron Paul supporters choose a very dangerous ideological path, which is well illustrated by their comments here and elsewhere…

    1) A nonsense “whatever-I-feel-like” definition of socialism, which applies equally well to Stalin and Mao’s forced starvation, humanitarian aid to the UN Millenium Goals, or even critical public funding of research and infrastructure.

    Sound like a helpful preconcieved notion with which to enter political debate?

    AND:

    2) This sheep-thought usually occurs within the mental context that all opposing (or more subtle) economic views have been “disproven” by “basic economics.” (The infantile jab to “read a basic economics book” is one I have heard dozens of times in talks with these people.)

    This leads to yet more nonsense, like the belief that “socialism” caused the Great Depression, or that “socialist” European countries don’t produce pharmaceuticals. (Yeah we all know how terrible Scandinavian or German craftsmanship or design is!)

    It presumes well-respected economists like Joseph Stieglitz or Paul Hawken are “disproven socialists,” and more importantly, it obscures critical thinking about the use and distribution of natural resources in a time when their exponentially increasing depletion challenges the convential wisdom that the material quality of life for future generations will improve rather than worsen.

    PS – I agree with Paul that public education is daycare at best and doesn’t serve in developing the minds or bettering the future prospects of kids, except in the sense that vast social belief makes it a partially self-fulfilling property.

    I think the solution there is to open business, industry, and research to student observation and build internships into the structure of the economy, as well as to give some pass/fail seminars in critical thinking, propaganda evaluation, basic health self-care, etc.

    Too bad so many otherwise insightful, progressive people are wedded to the extreme waste of human potential that is the modern, corporate and military-derive “educational” system.

  55. agnostic said on December 17th, 2007 at 10:46am #

    Kucinich is great. By all means support him as long as it is practical, but his chances don’t look too good. That’s why we are talking about Paul.

    It’s not a perfect world. We only have the choices that we have.

    Any attempt to translate libertarian views into a liberal perspective is going to result in serious misunderstandings. I’ve been trying to make sense of libertarians for 20 years.

    Libertarians come from the “Old Right”. That is, the pre-Buckley anti-war right. (Buckley founded the National Review and pushed militarism). The Old Right was most likely correct in 1917 to oppose Woodrow Wilson as he led us into “the war to end all wars”.

    We’ve been at war pretty much ever since.

    Sadly, the main progressive of the era, T. Roosevelt was pro-war.

    Is war really just one issue? What about civil liberties? Most liberals and libertarians recognize that war is the chief means by which the ruling elite diminish our liberties.

    Without civil liberties we have nothing. Environmentalism or any other endeavor will be completely at the mercy of those in power.

  56. Shunka Wakan said on December 19th, 2007 at 12:51am #

    I support Ron Paul, mainly because I liked what he had to say on the many Alex Jones films that I’ve seen him on, long before he announced he was running for President. When a U.S. congressman is willing to appear on an Alex Jones film, and when Alex obviously wants people to hear what he has to say, well, that means a lot to me, personally.
    Even now, when Ron Paul’s campaign is moving into full swing, he’s still going on the Alex Jones radio show, for a full hour! Now, most politicians would be too scared to publicly associate with Alex Jones, and the fact that Ron Paul is doing so, without flinching, says a lot to me about where his mind is, and that’s a good thing.
    I’ve been an Earth First!er for over 9 years, working with North Coast Earth First!, in Humboldt County, CA, in attempts to save Old Growth Redwood and Douglas fir forests, with some success, I might add. I don’t believe that Ron Paul spells disaster for the environment; we’ve saved trees by tree-sitting and negotiating with the lumber company, with the exception of the Headwaters Deal, which was a deal struck between the gov’t and Maxxam Corporation/Pacific Lumber Company, not an example of the federal gov’t moving in to save the day by passing a law to save old growth heritage trees. It was a sweet deal for the politicians, who got to take credit for saving old growth, and the corporation profited immensely off the deal, including the “Habitat Conservation Plan” (HCP), which is basically a loophole around the Endangered Species Act.
    The environment and the way it’s regulated is a disaster already, and I don’t think that Ron Paul would take office and let big corporations do more damage than they’re already doing, and we might even have an atmosphere that’s more open to the input of activists, as opposed to being targeted as “domestic terrorists” or ignored because we don’t have big money behind us. I believe that our voices would have a better chance of being heard with Ron Paul.
    I don’t really know Kucinich, can’t say I’ve really heard much from him, couldn’t tell you what he looks like, etc. He’s probably a nice guy who may or may not have had encounters with UFOs; sounds like an interesting cat, yet I just haven’t been reached by him yet, for some reason. In contrast, I know who Ron Paul is, have been impressed by him for years, and was excited to hear that he was running for President, so he has my support.
    I haven’t really had much interest in electoral politics for many years, because all the choices seemed like no choice at all. Ron Paul is getting me back into it, and I even plan to re-register next year, so that’s one positive thing, right?
    Earth First! is a very locally-based movement, wherever in the world you find us. We tend to organize locally, are totally decentralized, and work on local issues, while connecting them with the worlwide situation that we’re in, so that we don’t become too narrowly focused. I don’t put all my faith in any one person, and the President is also just a person in a position, and it’s still going to be up to all of us to do our part to build a better world. Earth First!

    Forever Wild,
    Shunka Wakan
    North Coast Earth First!
    http://www.northcoastearthfirst.org

  57. Deadbeat said on December 19th, 2007 at 9:52am #

    This shift towards Ron Paul is the net result of the failure on the left to build solidarity.

  58. Shunka Wakan said on December 20th, 2007 at 1:32am #

    That goes back to the whole left/right division, which isn’t really a clear one anyway. If “left” is progressive and revolutionary, and “right” is warmongering and counter-revolutionary, then I’d say that Alex Jones and Ron Paul are about as “left” as you can get. Go figure.
    I’d say that Ron Paul and Alex Jones are expressions of the modern-day revolution, and you can’t put that into a simple left/right box, because there are people from all walks of life who are getting upset about the way things are going, and are becoming active to bring about change.
    The sooner we see past the false choices that we’re presented with, the closer we’ll get to a deeper understanding of our current situation on Earth.
    Keep sparking revolution in your hearts, and make that your m.o., while doing all the things that we have to do to survive on a daily basis. Revolution truly is the work of ants, constantly working, building, changing things, usually in minute ways, yet it’s the cumulative effect that really changes the world.
    Alex Jones is on the cutting edge of the front lines of the revolution right now, and his endorsement of Ron Paul goes a long way, in my book. This is coming from a Pacific Northwesterner, an Earth First!er, and a lover of music, arts, and freedom.
    This country is ready for radical change, and I believe that Ron Paul would bring that, would make sure that it was working for people, and would do his best to make this country a better place to live in.
    Let the dialogue continue….

  59. Naturboy said on December 20th, 2007 at 5:23pm #

    You say you want revolution…

    But you’ll have a hard time revolving these red-state Amerigoons, unless it’s for a position like Paul’s (which looks more more devo- than revo). These red-state rednecks already seem for the most part ‘revolting’ enough!

    The last time Amerigoons revolved around anything, it was pat robertson and the Christian coalition’s dismantling of the counter-culture, and so far Amerigoons seem perfectly happy being the brain-dead ‘believers’ they’ve inbred themselves into being right across the bible belt. Therein lies the reason for Bushco, and why they ‘believed’ (for the most part), up until recently.

    You just can’t talk sensible policy to an electorate whose only national ‘activism’ in decades was lead by Jimmy Swaggart. You just can’t talk evolution (nor revolution) to a flock who’s still convinced we landed here at the stroke of a divine forefinger on what used to be a flat pancake (prior iterations of present pious parasites gagged Galileo for a similar sacrilegious heresy of trying to roll that flapjack into a well-rounded ‘ball of dough’).

    A large part of the ‘liberty’ ameriguns are constantly concerned about is surprisingly not related to free speech nor wire-tapping nor even Habeus Corpus (esp. if there’s latin in them thar laws!).

    Instead the ‘liberty’ they long for is the ‘right’ to make us pray, and let business and personal property owners abuse the environment and public health, worker’s rights, and anything and everything that could hinder profits or free access to killing things with gunz, while consistently AGAINST their own self interest (religion trumps truth in this tribe)

    Case in point, old-timers around here are all complaining about the ‘environmentalists’ calling for GE to clean up the Hudson from its decades of unregulated PCB spewage. They must be old indeed, apparently forgetting that the only reason the Hudson is any cleaner than the 300-mile-long superfund-site it was (another law the free-marketers are trying to quash) under the industrialists is because a REAL revolutionary, Pete Seeger went around in his boat and banjo. and refused to let them rest (yeah you bet they called him a freak and a commie for that!).

    And these same locals, who are all in bed (and inbred) with well paid-off legislature there in Albany (the most corrupt state capital in the land), were pushing with all their miserable might to let a billionaire Canadian Concrete magnate construct the largest and tallest coal-fired cement plant ever created, and right in the very scenic view-shed from Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana!

    These folks fell for the ‘economic invigoration’ poppycock and false promises from the company’s powerpoint propaganda. Midway through the show it leaked out somehow that the plant would net a total of 1 (one) new job over and above the existing cement plant just across the bridge, yet the people here still supported that plant out of principle. It was only just barely killed, and the struggle took years of wasted time for local activists to stop them, in the end I suspect it only got axed because local David Rockefeller talked billionaire to billionaire (probably at Bohemian Grove) about smokestacks in the middle of his sunset (as it turned out the 300’ tall smokestack would’ve bee in Rockefeller’s view–he owns like half the county).

    But look out, those same mindless minions are bringin’ us threebrand-spankin’ new casinos. Sponsored by the same sad, sordid story, and they’re eatin’ it right up once again. Seems they just can’t wait to parade in and blow their trailer-rent on nickel-slots while swillin’ free beer.

    The people of the heartland are believers. They’re not going to question anything, and the ‘leaders’ they vote into local office are those that talks white-trash the trickiest. Somehow these ameri-vangelist minions let their ‘revolutionary spirit’ get rolled up and carried off to some fictitious fundamentalist fool’s fan-club cult. I’ve even heard them say that ‘Jesus was a carpenter, so capitalism must be ordained by the bible’

    It was never necessary to abuse workers, species, the environment, etc. in order for everyone to make scads of money around here. But this free market theosophy took the incredibly ill-gotten wealth of this land and funneled it entirely to the top tenth of a percent. Do these poorer people have a problem with that? Do they complain or revolt? Do they question this pitiful predicament and rebel in any way whatsoever? Guess pious people pull no punches and push no rivers, and just leave it all up to ‘prayer’.

    But all party politics and presidential posturing aside, this preposterous Paulian proposal that the market ‘polices itself’, is obviously so utterly disproved. Anyone espousing such opprobrium in light of the disastrous destruction and heart-rending record of personal and corporate wanton waste that this young land has already suffered through the ‘greed imperative’, has subscribed to some religious devotion to a cut-throat culture of vicious, self-righteous pioneer pillagers.

    That corrupting cultural dogma which was rail-roaded out to the rednecks on Carnegie’s cattle-cars (fueled by Standard Oil no doubt) looked for a while almost old-fashioned. But that’s until it got reamed into the right-brains of red-states from a televangelist’s lectern by Paul’s ultra-free-market predecessors, Ron Reagan and Maggie Thatcher.

    Read Paul’s platform:
    Pt’s got nothing to do with ‘liberalism’ nor ‘revolution’ in the sense of grass-roots citizens uniting to reject the megalomaniacal overlords of industry. Rather the entire Paulian position is again placed on a precarious pedestal of free-market fundamentalism more likely to fuel a feeding frenzy by right-wing religious fanatics. Society seems not shy at all of the corruptions fueled by free markets.

    Whether they realize it or not, people apparently support Paul for the same reasons they walked the ultra-capitalist plank when last lured by Reagan’s tricky “Trickle-down” triumph. The Paulian program places its entire platform on a precarious pedestal that cancels all oversight and regulation from any thing higher than the village parking-ticket appeals court, transferring ALL environmental policy to the local level, and gambling that people will come to their personal senses and hold industry in check all by themselves.

    If this public’s past performance is any forecast, then indeed Ron Paul could only have constructed this stage-set with the full knowledge that under his program industry would win, the people and wildlife would lose, and absolutely nothing would be done to stop it. It’s almost such an obvious economic farce that the words ‘seriously sinister’ come to mind.

    Nobody claims the fed laws are not flawed, nor that States do not, on occasion, sue business for their folly. But fact is whatever combination we have now is all we have, and if it fails, it’s because there’s not enough regulation, and the people’s quasi-elected leaders are bent on dismantling laws long before Paul ever got his band of web-based ‘rebels’ to believe his ‘libertarian’ republican preacher’s pitch.

    In the end, I’d predict that the people and those they ‘elect’ to lead are the problem, and a Paul presidency would be perfectly anti-progressive in this regard and not ‘revolutionary’ in the least.

    If you actually read what paul says, what he writes, and watch his interviews, he’s categorically OPPOSED to ANY federal oversight of this pathology of amerigun frontier-style amerigoon abuse of nature.

    Again, Paul’s position ONLY provides for individuals to sue if damaged by neighbors. That’s the entire extent of his ‘environments position. As alluded above, the typical red-state paradigm promotes a cavalier, carnivorous culture of hunting, logging, herding and believing, like some sort of swaggering cowboy cult.

    If left to local government, PCB’s would have extinguished shore birds and raptors, murrelets would have been wiped out in the lower 48, and dozens of other species would have gone the way of the red wolf, passenger pigeon, and Carolina Parakeet.

    That’s not to say the feds don’t do horrific things, like subsidize the corrupt logging of national forests at a net loss to the tax payer (which Paul indeed opposes, not because vast publicly owned irreplaceable virgin forests are needlessly decimated for tinder and toilet paper. but because it defies his free-market model). These are the people who mismanage or slant rulings regarding prior regulations, keep mining incentives from settler days on the books for free land and mineral rights for ‘big mining’ forever flows, and insist it’s safe to bury leaky nuke waste in a leaky salt mine, Of course they then stack the courts with anti-wildlife judges (who oddly enough promote life of microscopic fetuses, etc, and are determined to roll back federal rulings there too).

    But consider for now that all this has as much to do with the administrations the people here elect, and what sort of treasonous corruption they are willing to obviously and overwhelmingly tolerate and support (as long as it comes under the guise of greed, god, and gung-ho false patriotic, illegal aggressive militaristic glory and gore).

    If the past two elections have shown us anything, it’s that people in this land are just plain daft.
    They do not, will not, and are determined not, it seems, to learn anything from any past debacle, be it environmental or military. Nothing shakes them, not election fraud, false-flag fraud, militaristic fraud, economic voodoo fraud, religious fraud, etc. etc. Absolutely nothing makes these people care about progress year after debilitating decade (but a past president with an extra-curricular cigar fetish, oh yeah that’s the real news!)

    Certainly the current crop of feds fails miserably to implement any environmental standards, instead bushco 2 does everything it can to roll back and gut existing legal safeguards. So there you have it: if anyone wanted to see what a ‘Paul Paradigm’ might begin to look like from an environmental view, just look at the Reagan years (‘trees make more pollution than smokestacks': a flatulent phrase that will live in infamy), or for the yet more fetid, try to fathom the environmental antics of bushco 1 & 2.

    So let me then understand: These citizens are the people you want to now entrust to organize their state legislature to take on the big business interests in protection of forests, air and water, when they’ve shown no capacity to even take on Bochco for lying us into Vietnam once again (as if the first one didn’t just end a generation ago)?

    Somebody’s missing something, methinks: Apparently red state rednecks just want to shoot things and be left alone to drain their wetlands, pump dioxin and PCB’s into streams, cut down anything they can call a saw-log, and sell the rest for firewood.

    In that scenario you can forget saving habitat or endangered ‘varmints’ who will all (as in each and every to the very last one) just end up barbequed on some trailer-dwelling polycarbonate fiesta-ware platter

    This whole charade of trusting the local municipalities and states to enact laws effectively protecting the ‘common’ good (as if states were a bunch of islands sharing not the same landmass, water, woods and species), is absurd. This country is if anything far smaller than Paul’s old man notion of individual nation-states floating in a sea of endlessly expendable wilderness. It’s like something from back in Daniel Boone days, patriots pickin’ off redcoats and complaining about the price of tea.

    And what about the old problem of slave-states vs. the rest of normal humanity? Isn’t Paul here proposing we allow the reversing a few of the more fortuitous federal functions, like the Emancipation Proclamation? Sounds far-fetched, but one wonders if Paul feels the feds were ‘treading’ on ‘state’s rights’ or the constitution by freeing the slaves.

    Absurd you say, “Paul would never allow it” (and hopefully not). But from my reading there’s absolutely nothing in his platform preventing Alabama from voting to re-enact segregation (remember, he’s against the Civil Rights Act). It would be up to the victims to sue in local courts— (Hullo?… anyone still remember the Jena Six, yet only 6 months on?? So much for local red-neck kangaroo courts upholding human rights). Based on the paulian program as it’s presented to his public, supporters had better be ready for more ‘strange fruit’ hangin’ from poplar trees if you give those hooded heretics reason to ‘vote’ for local southern ‘policy’.

    And we’re not even mentioning labor laws, minimum wage, women’s suffrage– the list of hard-won worker and human rights against the single-minded. male dominated profit-motive of business is long, and still oozing life. These federal protections were hard won with the blood of those who fought just such a corporatocratic regime as Paul apparently proposes.
    But my concern is less for those who can file lawsuits (and the burgeoning pro-bono army of sleazy lawyers filing fpr this windfall of likely lucrative litigation), when courts can’t handle the legions of opportunistic ambulance-chasers we already have haunting the halls of ‘justice’).
    My concern is for those who have no voice, who can’t file complaints nor take up firearms to defend themselves against the ‘revolutionary’ patriots of Ruby Ridge or Waxo.
    In the fine words of Gerald Durell: “Remember that the animals and plants have no Member of Parliament they can write to; they can’t perform sit-down strikes…they have nobody to speak for them except us, the human beings who share the world with them, but do not own it.”
    When it comes to protecting the ‘Liberty’ of the other nations of animals and plants, as well as our health from long-term industrial toxins, the only choice you have with this electorate, as proven by it’s red-state voting record and prior typical abuse, is to regulate them to smithereens, from every possible angle you can.

    Leaving life on earth up to locals to litigate is preposterous. You would need a full time fleet of Erin Brokoviches in every town to take on industry’s criminal antics pro-bono on behalf of the local inbred, illiterate electorate, who could care less if Big Coal levels the whole state of WV and makes it into a toxic parking lot (as we now see), as long as they’re gettin’ their minimum wage for their efforts and black-lung in the pits.

    Now I’ve not been on the front lines there in Humboldt, but based on what I’ve read and followed these last years since Luna, the ONLY thing slowing down PL was the Endangered Species Act and their need to file and approve THP’s. Now certainly the system is not nearly as effective as one would have hoped, but if they had no fed law, PL would have denuded the place a decade ago.

    As I recall, much hope was placed in local and state lawmakers to mandate greater protections for ancient trees and streams, and we waited an entire term of Governor Gray Davis for him to honor his campaign promises to help. But last I heard in the months before your new governator, NCEF and others were leading the charge to have Davis recalled for not honoring his campaign commitments to the old growth and it’s preservation.

    And what ever happened to the ‘Heritage Tree Preservation Act’, which made such perfect sense by preserving ancients as not the province of a particular land-owner, but as perhaps the greatest expression of life on earth, transcending anyone who ever ‘owned’ the dirt they’ve lived on for millennia? Seems to me the state killed that one for these very ‘Paulian’ principles, which would doubtless determine that the law would impinge on ‘private property rights’.

    Now I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the Ron Paul Paradigm and it’s inherently anti-environmentalist-by-default principles, has already been tried on the very places the Tree-sitters have so valiantly fought to preserve.

    I agree ‘revolution’ sounds all well and good, considering the frustration we all feel with the status quo, but the ‘Paul Revolution’ is, once again the sort of thing one wants to avoid at all costs!

    I reiterate that if one is so passionate about a presidential platform as the paulies seem to be, then one should be very careful about actually reading the positions, especially when they already clearly carry some very controversial clauses.

    I would also perk up my ears at any presidential preacher whose main sponsors are among the military. Paul is very proud of his pandemic, rabid support among the enlisted militarists of our nationalistic mass-murdering goon-squad (all federal employees, mind you).

    But based upon the fully failed dogma these dopes duped themselves into and which they uphold to this day (despite the compelling case that what they are doing is illegal and in violation of all moral, ethical and religious doctrine, as well as the Geneva accords prohibiting individual soldiers from acting on illegal or immoral orders thus rendering each enlisted man choosing to be deployed and kill in Iraq nothing short of murderous, psychopathic war-criminals). I would certainly do a double-take at any candidate who falls back so fully on funding from the military, which looks now more like a federal cult of violent, blood-thirsty crazies than a grass-roots group of ‘revolutionaries’.

    All very odd indeed, odd enough to think a few more thoughts before throwing one’s support and activist efforts behind the Ron Paul Parade.

  60. noitaluspacne said on December 23rd, 2007 at 8:40am #

    The author is either woefully ignorant on the ideals of libertarianism or the author is an anti-libertarian. This is nothing more than a hit piece designed to appeal to the emotions of the ignorant.

    “To advocate for society to be organized on the basis of strict individualism, as libertarians do, is to argue that everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants.”

    Advocating individual rights IS NOT the same as advocating individuals can do whatever they want. You can’t do whatever you want if it is going to violate anothers rights. It really is just that simple.

    “Libertarians like Paul don’t shy away from the logical ramifications of their argument. “The dictatorial power of a majority” he argues ought to be replaced by the unencumbered power of individuals–in other words, the dictatorial power of a minority.

    Wow… Here again you demonstrate a COMPLETE LACK of understanding of what individual rights really are. Individual rights do not give one individual the right to violate anothers.

  61. Paul Bartron said on December 23rd, 2007 at 11:30pm #

    Private property ownership is a myth. All property belongs to the military, because without the military you would own nothing. If the racial make up of the American military becomes Hispanic then all property in America will belong to the Hispanic nation, got it? The peasant revolutionary leader Zapato said, “He who works the land owns the land” Cheap labor means giving away your land to the cheap labor.
    International Socialism was invented by a professor and a capitalist called Karl Marx and Engles. International Socialism is an unworkable peice of utter nonsense. No communist country practices such nonsense. All communist countries practice National Socialism. Cuba for example does not welcome Haitian boat people. No troop of apes practice individual ownership, no primative tribe practices individual ownership either. All practice collective ownership. Liberalism is an invented philosophy, invented by the Englishman John Locke. Before the invention of Liberalism all property belonged to the commander in chief of the armed forces, the Monarchy. In a monarchy you do not say god save the individual, you sing God save the Queen. The monarchy is a racial institution, in order to be a subject you have to be a distant relative of the Queen, only in an empire can one not be a distant relative of the Queen. All empires fail.
    The Liberalism of America has been an experiment, it has failed. The South supported free trade and property rights, but they lost the Civil War to the Racist North, that is right, the racist North. Free trade and property rights threatens the white race with slavery, that is right, slavery. The Sons of the Confederacy oppose racism, because slavery has nothing to do with racism. Liberalism represents the South. The rule of the majority is represented by Lincoln. Government of the people by the people shall not perish from this earth. A people’s government in this day and age is called a socialist goverment. But the socialist government of Lincoln would not of included the blacks. John Brown and the abolishonists wanted the blacks to be sent back to Africa.
    Liberia was bought by America for that purpose. The plantaion owners began to make money from the slaves as employees and they did not get sent back to Africa. Queen Victoria supported the South, two opium wars against China, they were wars to force China to accept a British paid opium drug dealer in every Chinese town, in this day and age it is called gangsterism, the Crimean War and the Boer War in South Africa a war to steal Dutch diamond mines. The only difference between armed robbers and a monarchy is the size of their armies. The John Locke Liberals of course were in power during the reign of Queen Victoria. Morals? Liberalsim has nothing to do with morals, its is all about money. Some say America was founded as a Christian nation, well that was back in the time of the pilgrims, the Constitution founded America as a Liberal nation based on the Liberalism of John Locke. It quickly went bankrupt. The Civil War was a war between those that wanted a people’s government or majority rule, against the South that supported the constitution and individual ownership.

  62. Michael from Chicago said on December 26th, 2007 at 3:33pm #

    The arguments against Libertarianism in the responses and the original article often get confused. Libertarianism in the United States is about a limited FEDERAL government; limited by the Constitution as set out by the Founders.

    (Note: I’m neither a Socialist nor a Paul supporter).

    Those authorities not granted to the Central Government by the Constitution are, by the Constitution, granted to the States. So, Libertarianism is not about anarchy nor non-government but about local government (and Dr. Paul’s disturbing stance on reproductive freedom calls into question his real stance).

    However, even local government must be some how controlled so that the tyranny of the majority does not trample the rights of the minority. That’s what happened post-Civil War — the outcome of which set into motion the concentration of power in the Federal government that allowed such as G.W. Bush to exercise his misguided will upon this country and the world — when non-whites were systematically disenfranchised through the tyranny of the majority. In the 60s, the powerful central government stepped in to stop that misuse of local power. Most would say that action was a good use of the Federal Government’s power and not entirely unConstitutional in that the disenfranchisement by the local government deprived those people of their of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness .

    Alas, the history of this powerful central government has not be for the good of individuals but for monied, and therefore powerful, interests, such as corporations which, through an odd notion of ownership/property rights imbues the corporation (which Latin roots with some sort of human rights and protection of corporate interests.

  63. Thomas T. Panto - Viet-Veteran said on December 28th, 2007 at 1:49pm #

    As simply as I can state it :

    ”Ron Paul is not ANTI-WAR for the BENEFIT of Humanity, but for the EXCLUSION of Humanity.”

    Our ( USA-RUSSIA ) proliferation of threats and weapons has forced neighbors to shoot back at the neighbors shooting at them over OUR version of POLITICS ( SELFISH GREED ) .

    We have not RISEN, we have LOWERED the WORLD and ourselves.

    Now, we can no longer save ourselves without also saving the world that we have destroyed.

    PS: ??? Save MEAT and not HUMAN Mothers, HUMAN Families, and HUMAN Futures from unintended pregnancy ? When we are injured by our many accidents , should we just let nature take it’s course and die ?

    Abortion SAVES HUMANITY from what our civilization FAILED to do for Humanity.. FAILED to let children SEE the TRUTH about the MESSY, AWKWARD, life altering, and life threatening biological function that was so scary that God had to create EXTRA HORMONES, to encourage us to participate in it.

    God did not make Human reproduction into a mysterious game called ”sex”, WE DID. Now we have to save the children from the STUPIDITY that we have TAUGHT THEM.

  64. Thomas T. Panto - Viet-Veteran said on December 28th, 2007 at 2:24pm #

    We need OUR government to be BIG ENOUGH and POWERFUL ENOUGH to protect Americans from this deregulated corporate chemical/biological/military monopoly that has SET the prices, SET the wages, CONTROLLED inflation to STEAL labor and STEAL wealth DIRECTLY from the people, and then USED the money they STOLE from us to BUY our ONCE FREE PRESS , OUR government and OUR freedom.

    If we don’t restore OUR Government to power, then we will remain at the mercy of PEDDLERS of various POISONS and ANTIDOTES. NEITHER of which is being created for OUR benefit, but to increase the wealth and power of the OWNERS of America.

  65. Shunka Wakan said on December 28th, 2007 at 8:06pm #

    I hope everyone can see through the fear-based rhetoric against Ron Paul. I agree with him that we should stay out of the Pakistani situation, we don’t need another war on our hands, and the only reason Bush would do it would be to expand empire.
    Like it or not, Ron Paul is getting airtime, getting noticed, and is coming with a powerful message. He was publicly digging in the CIA for creating puppet dictatorships, something that few politicians have been willing to address publicly.
    The “Heritage Tree Preservation Act” failed twice, in the CA House, first by the failure of a few Democrats to vote on the bill, and then by the failure of another Dem to present the bill, after he had promised to do so. The federal gov’t sure hasn’t done anything to save old growth lately, so it’s mostly been non-violent direct action that’s been slowing them down, since the lumber companies have loopholes around nearly every federal law. Maxxam/Pacific Lumber are going through bankruptcy proceedings right now, and there may be a chance to save old growth groves permanently, if Maxxam gets their way (yes, you heard me right).
    If we don’t have free markets, then who controls the markets?
    I don’t want to be told what kind of job I work, or product I sell…I want to decide whether I want to be a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, and that seems to me to be the basic principle of free markets.
    I definitely don’t want the government to be micro-managing my bread and butter, do you?
    “Free trade” is a neo-liberal term, representing sweat shops, total exploitation, and global government; Ron Paul is opposed to the free trade agenda, which is what many of us have been protesting for years, in the face of severe police violence and federal infiltration.

    On a personal level, any friend of Alex Jones is a friend of mine:)

    Forever Wild,
    Shunka Wakan

  66. Dan said on December 29th, 2007 at 10:02pm #

    “Put simply, he is a racist. “ This is a false statement!

    Then you go on to say “Only those with the leisure time, educational training, and temperament commensurate with home schooling!” Who is the racist now? How about saying only those with the priority to teach their children. We teach the children how to walk talk and potty train them and it is only natural to teach them reading writing and arithmetic. The children trust the parents more and the bond is strengthened. I know of thousands that have basic schooling that are doing a fantastic Job teaching their children the important things of life.

    “A conclusion to be drawn from research is that homeschooling is FAR MORE effective then critics would like. The amount of literature and studies showing not just adequate but superior academic performance is very convincing that homeschooling works and works well. The lack of studies that report negative outcomes for homeschooling also speaks loudly about its effectiveness.” (Troy L Parrish and his wife Belinda are homeschooling their 8 children)

    Did you take notice of the winner of this years Scripps National Spelling Bee a home schooled boy with very high achievements.

    If you look deep inside your soul you will find that you are just biased and prejudice about this subject my friend.

    Paul attacked AIDS sufferers as “victims of their own lifestyle.” OK show me one shred of evidence where this statement is false. Even in Africa where woman and children are catching AIDS from their adulterate husbands. Gays are actually exposed to these types of diseases as are people that share needles together. Their lifestyles are exposing them to these deadly diseases, FACT!

    Another false statement you made: “The solution: end welfare so that everyone will be forced to work at slave wages.” This is not the position of Dr. Paul and you know it! If you are being glib fine, then say so, but don’t misrepresent Dr. Paul with your falsehood, he gets that from the media enough, oh wait your part of that media, figures.

    “To advocate for society to be organized on the basis of strict individualism, as libertarians do, is to argue that everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants. Sounds nice in the abstract, perhaps. But what happens when the desires of one individual infringe on the desires of another?

    Are you for real Sherry? Dr. Paul addresses this so many times, why aren’t you putting his answer in this article? No one has the right to pollute or infringe on any other person and that is why we have the court system to address these matters.

    “So if the chairman of Dow Chemical wants to flush his company’s toxic effluence into rivers and streams, so be it.”

    You are a liar, Sherry! repent you sinner! Dr. Paul has never said this ever, ever, ever. In fact Dr. Paul’s philosophy is far superior then that of todays system of payoffs and lobbing to pass laws for the interests of a corporation such as Dow. If Dow does that they are infringing on the rights of others and that is what court system is about. For the record DOW is doing a fine job of keeping environmentally conscientious. YOU ARE SLANTING THIS ARTICLE TO ONE SIDE the socialist side, and you are far from a balanced non biased journalist. You are part of the problem!

    Your presuppositions are not allowing the truth to reign, you will slant this article at ALL COST to your viewpoint but you are being disingenuous in doing so.

    You really need to brush up on what liberty means, here is the basics of The Philosophy of Liberty

    “And those who advocate his noxious politics, should be attacked for their racism, immigrant bashing, and hostility to the values a genuine Left champions.”

    HAHAHAAHAHAHA Now you are truly showing who you are now. You are a liar. BTW “values a genuine Left ” is an oxymoron. Tell me do you feel it is right for a woman to get an abortion 10 minutes before birth? That is what the so called “left” is advocating… murder! You are making me sick to my stomach. You ARE a true socialist! I hope this article will show America the mindset of your view, that the government should own and control major industries, and get sick and tired of it and stand up and fight with Dr. Ron Paul for liberty and get these people out of our pockets and stop them from ruining this planet and stop the destruction of mankind. VOTE FOR RON PAUL IN 2008.

    Dan

  67. Justin E Sawyer said on December 30th, 2007 at 3:46pm #

    The writer of this article obviously believes one’s own views assume a dissents of another’s.

    For instance, to abolish a federally funded public education system and give control back to parents must mean that all parents have to find time to teach their kids and everyone else falls through the cracks. No. What this means is parents have the option to raise their own or put their children in a private school or maybe state educational facilities(which are not allowed currently). Not to mention the new funding that would go towards churches and other charities, what with more money in the households….

    Shall i continue?

    And the racist thing? While well put, the writer doesn’t have a leg to stand on being that he quoted Paul’s exact views on liberty, which are anything but color-coated.

    What the writer can do is take statements which Ron may or may have not made about individuals and present them as if they were made about a group of peoples.

    You can fool everyone else, but not one who really does understand the man’s views. All you have to do is trust what he says in it’s own context. really. I encourage everyone to read A Foreign Policy Of Freedom by Ron Paul. It will clear you of the rhetoric.

  68. Paulian Lefty said on January 6th, 2008 at 2:59pm #

    The whole thing is a lie,
    There is no left, there is no right- this is the truth wether you accept it or not.
    Socialism, capitalism, democracy and communism were all born right around the same time, thus you can easily trace their origin.

    This writer is hard core and has dedicated much to the cause and to wake up to the fact that everything you have been working for is basically a scam, is extremely upsetting thus it is rare.

    Ron Paul is not a racist- im black if he was it would be obvious[i dont care what you say, black people in this country have never been free and thus we have suffered and are the result of your liberty being denied. In private conversation most black people would agree that we already live in a communist america and we cant get out, our citizenship is forced, poor whites also live in communist america, at the mercy of the state.

    Ron Paul is not the lesser of two evils, he strikes fear in the hearts of the hard/invested dissonance rich left and right.

    and on abortion- i am pro choice and i am still for ron paul- freedom/choice and liberty are what they are and women should have the choice to have a child when and with whom they choose.

    The only reason why some are opposed to abortion is because of the type of women who are choosing it. It was developed to thin the poor but the poor were not indoctrinated to abhor children so the women who are having abortions are the middle and upper middle class women for whom abortion was not supposed to be an option.

    The unintended consequences were somewhat more than what the creators intended- the eugenics crowd didnt want “superior” women making this choice.

    In our society women are tortured from birth to be something that they are not, and when they dont live up to this impossible standard they are broken and vulnerable and instead of making them feel safe, men blame them. So the women raise the standard very high to what society seems to want in a father and when this man is not found she is in dispair feeling unworthy of having a child.

    The poor do not feel this, when you are born poor your mother loves you, you are not an accessory and you seek the man you love not the one with the fattest wallet and even if it goes bust you love the children and you dont consider if you can or cannot afford to have kids cause you are broke, your parents were broke and if money was what mattered NOBODY WOULD EVER BE BORN!

    so basically
    if a guy tells me what he does for a living while trying to hit on me- he is history
    You are not your job

    ask your mate
    “If we had to live under a bridge, would you still love me?”
    if he/she laughs and says yes :D

    if he/she has to think about it-worry
    if he/she says no- drop em

    the natural mate for a progressive minded woman is a conservative minded man you will keep each other on their toes
    the progressive guys like feisty chicks so …. lol

  69. Paul D. said on May 22nd, 2008 at 8:39am #

    Ron Paul is the most confused political figure on the map, and he is the “intellectual leader” of the new revolutionary movement in the U.S. Millions are turning to this quack for answers, his followers are unyielding in creating sites, and blaming “government and the federal reserve for all problems of mankind (They are making our job harder not easier.) This “new revolutionary” is right wing at heart, and occasionally confuses the left with one of his own. Thanks to Sherry Wolf for writing this piece. The rest of you don’t know what you’re talking about.