Category Archives: Ron Paul

UPDATED: Ron Paul On Ukraine (Questioning The Media Monolith)

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Propaganda, Ron Paul, Russia

Ron Paul chronicles what went down between Kiev, the Kremlin and the confederacy of knaves in DC. He asks:

“What if John McCain had stayed home and worried about his constituents in Arizona instead of non-constituents 6,000 miles away? What if the other US and EU politicians had done the same? What if Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had focused on actual diplomacy instead of regime change?”

The history of meddling and regime change:

It was one year ago last weekend that a violent coup overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine. That coup was not only supported by US and EU governments — much of it was actually planned by them. Looking back at the events that led to the overthrow it is clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would not be in its current, seemingly hopeless situation.

By the end of 2013, Ukraine’s economy was in ruins. The government was desperate for an economic bailout and then-president Yanukovych first looked west to the US and EU before deciding to accept an offer of help from Russia. Residents of south and east Ukraine, who largely speak Russian and trade extensively with Russia were pleased with the decision. West Ukrainians who identify with Poland and Europe began to protest. Ukraine is a deeply divided country and the president came from the eastern region.

At this point the conflict was just another chapter in Ukraine’s difficult post-Soviet history. There was bound to be some discontent over the decision, but if there had been no foreign intervention in support of the protests you would likely not be reading this column today. The problem may well have solved itself in due time rather than escalated into a full-out civil war. But the interventionists in the US and EU won out again, and their interventionist project has been a disaster.

The protests at the end of 2013 grew more dramatic and violent and soon a steady stream of US and EU politicians were openly participating, as protesters called for the overthrow of the Ukrainian government. Senator John McCain made several visits to Kiev and even addressed the crowd to encourage them.

Imagine if a foreign leader like Putin or Assad came to Washington to encourage protesters to overthrow the Obama Administration!

As we soon found out from a leaked telephone call, the US ambassador in Kiev and Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, were making detailed plans for a new government in Kiev after the legal government was overthrown with their assistance. …

MORE.

David Warsh, proprietor of economicprincipals.com, also questions the media monolith:

… Notice anything funny about this narrative? Putin is always the impulsive actor, never the one who is acted upon. He is never reacting to anything that NATO or the Americans do.

There is nothing here about NATO expansion. Nothing about the brief 2008 war with Georgia. Nothing about the continuing controversy about who fired the shots on Kiev’s Maidan square, nothing about the phone call by US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, taped by the Russians at the height of the crisis; nothing about the Russian naval base at Sevastopol on the Black Sea. Nothing about the sanctions imposed on the Russians since the crisis began. Nothing about the Ukrainian army offensives in the southeast. Nothing about the Ukrainian vote to join NATO that may have triggered the January offensive. Nothing to note that all this is happening on Russia’s doorstep. Is it any wonder Putin is “doubling down”?

The scariest thing of all is that it may be Putin who has been telling the fundamental truth all along: NATO expansion in Georgia Ukraine is unacceptable to him and Russia is willing to go to war to rule it out. He’s been improvising, all right, but often in response to probes – Ukrainian, European, US. For a fuller argument along these lines, see Gordon Hahn’s illuminating commentary on The American Education of Vladimir Putin, by Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill, which appears in The Atlantic for February. …

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UPDATED: LPAC, Just Another Political PAC (Rand’s Grubby ‘Gold Rush’)

Ethics, libertarianism, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul

If you don’t already know—I certainly didn’t—LPAC is short for Liberty Political Action Conference. It features a lineup of libertarian politicians, operatives and assorted establishmentarians. LPAC is sponsored by the governmentalized likes of Charles Koch, Reason, RandPac, Campaign for Liberty, etc.

To the extent that libertarianism becomes more mainstream; the “lucky” few to make it into the political inner sanctum always make sure to bar contrarians and competitors from their positions of influence.

Very rarely will outsiders be invited to join. At most, a daring game of musical chairs may take place, and equilibrium in opinion sought and maintained. Rehashed over-and-over again are the old, agreed-upon, safe topics: “having fun,” “Millennials,” freedom to eat, freedom to speak, civil liberties, telling the good presidents from the bad, why statism is bad.

And lots of product is flogged. You may also get to schmooze with the Pauls.

Some revolution.

UPDATE (9/23): Rand’s ‘Gold Rush. As if to confirm the grubby reality of politics, Rand Paul announces the opening of an office in Silicon Valley:

… While techies are considered a liberal bunch, some tech executives are joining the Republican cause. Paul counts Peter Thiel, the billionaire cofounder of PayPal, among his friends. And the tech sector donated more than $1.4 million to Paul’s father Ron during his unsuccessful presidential bids in 2008 and 2012.
Sure, the optics may look bad to some—a Kentucky senator opening an office seems like an almost extravagant show of political ambition. But opening a Silicon Valley office also offers Paul a distinct advantage: It makes him look young, hip, and serious about working with job creators. In that way, Paul is hardly the only conservative force trying to forge relationships in Silicon Valley. …

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Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race

Barack Obama, Drug War, Fascism, Justice, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Race, Racism, Ron Paul

“Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey—would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Predictably, BBC News had taken a more analytical look at the “unrest in Ferguson,” pointing out that liberal outrage had centered on what the left sees as racial injustice. Libertarian anger, conversely, connected “the perceived overreaction by militarized local law enforcement to a critique of the heavy-handed power of government.”

As its libertarian stand-bearers, the BBC chose from the ranks of establishment, libertarian-leaning conservatives. Still, the ideological bifurcation applied was sound. With some exceptions, libertarians have consistently warned about a police state rising; the left has played at identity politics, appealing to its unappeasable base.

As refreshingly clever as its commentators are, BBC is inexact. The very embodiment of political opportunism, Sen. Rand Paul has managed to straddle liberal and libertarian narratives, vaporizing as follows:

“… Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. …”

The senator from Kentucky is considered “one of the leading figures in today’s libertarian movement.” Even so, on matters libertarian, Rand Paul is a political pragmatist; not the purist his father is. Alas, Rand has imbibed at home some unfortunate, crowd-pleasing habits—the leftist penchant for accusing law enforcement of racism. In 2012, in particular, during the debate between Republican presidential front-runners, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Ron Paul lurched to the left, implicating racism in the unequal outcomes meted by American justice:

“How many times have you seen the white rich person get the electric chair?” he asked. “If we really want to be concerned with racism … we ought to look at the drug laws.”

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists. …

Read the rest of the column. “Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is now on WND.


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‘Putin’s Libertarians’

Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Ron Paul, Russia, The State

The proper libertarian foreign policy, in my opinion, is without the slobbering sentimentality adopted by many libertarians toward the putative push for freedom across the Middle East and beyond. Whomever—and wherever—they are, I wish freedom fighters well, but they’re on their own. Americans have their own tyrants to tackle. We no longer want to defend to the death borders not our own. I’ve promised, moreover, that when liberty deprived peoples the world over support patriots stateside (such as the Hage and Bundy families), I’d return the courtesy. It’s safe to say, however, that the world’s statists do not care about American liberties.

Not all libertarians share my detachment. Via my friend Yuri Maltsev comes another perspective on Ukraine (to which I’ve not devoted a second thought since penning “Presstitute-Cultivated Ignorance On Ukraine”). Yuri himself has written the following:

I am glad that there is a growing opposition to Putin’s regime in Russia itself. The list of eminent Russian intellectuals against aggression in Ukraine is much longer than those confused libertarians who support “Russian national interests” (Mises and Hayek would detest such an expression). …
There is nothing libertarian in the neo-Stalinist Putin’s regime. Stalinism is an exact opposite of freedom. It is the same as to embrace Hitler just because he disliked FDR. Enemy of my enemy is not necessarily a friend . . . I think that socialists Timoshenko and Yushchenko [the Orange revolution politicians elected after mass protests in 2004] squandered Ukrainian prospects for freedom and prosperity and should be blamed for that, but the alternative (Putin-Yanukovich) proved to be way more disgusting.

Youri’s recommended analysis is “Putin’s Libertarians” by Roman Skaskiw. Excerpts:

… I have been horrified by the libertarian coverage of events in Ukraine. Much of it has been such an uncritical parroting of Kremlin propaganda, so devoid of journalistic integrity, and such a betrayal of libertarian principles, that I can’t decide whether the authors, many of whom I’ve long admired, suffer a bias toward contrarian narratives or are on the Kremlin payroll. …

Paul Craig Roberts attempted to de-legitimize Ukraine’s protests by praising the now-deposed Yanukovych regime and turning a blind eye to its barbarity. His praise includes the term “human-rights trained Ukrainian police”, this after the police had begun kidnapping injured protesters from hospitals. One such protester, Yuriy Verbytsky, a seismologist from the Geophysical Institute in Lviv and mountain climber was injured in the protests, hospitalized, kidnapped from the hospital, severely beaten, and left in the woods where he froze to death. “Human-rights-trained” police do not strip and humiliate captured protesters in -10 C degree weather.

The corruption and savagery of Ukraine’s police is neither secret nor new. Last summer, police stepped aside during a violent raid against the business interests of opposition politician. The business manager was later assassinated. This sort of corporate raiding has been fairly common, though most victims quietly give up their businesses without a fight. There was also this story of policemen connected to the Party of Regions raping a young woman and going free until a rioters sacked the police station, it was a tragic repeat of a brutal rape-murder that happened the year before, also by politically connected persons who were also released by Ukraine’s “human rights trained” police.

It’s one thing to oppose intervention. I’ve done so myself. It’s another to mischaracterize the barbarity of the Yanukovych regime in an attempt to discredit the uprising against it.

Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace has made the libertarian circuit — lewrockwell.com, the Tom Woods Show, the Scott Horton Show, and of course, RT. He makes a number of ridiculous claims, including the argument that the Russian military already had free reign in Crimea: “How can you annex and invade a territory in which you are already legally present?”

I really don’t know what to make of this. Can anyone help me? I find it equally unlikely that he is this disconnected from reality or that he is deliberately spreading disinformation. Are there other explanations? …

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Comments On ‘Higher Education Is A Hard Row To Ho’

Education, Family, Feminism, Gender, libertarianism, Military, Morality, Ron Paul, Sex

Boundaries protect kids. Passing judgment is a very good thing indeed.

Here are replies to comments on EPJ, where “Higher Education Is A Hard Row To Ho” has been posted:

WRITES Nick Badalamenti, March 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

“That’s private. Only for you to see and touch. To do that, you have to go to your room and close the door.”

That validates that my response to my four young girls, which has been almost identical to yours when they get curious about their privates- Thank you!

ILANA:

Glad, Nick. The thought of exposing these little kids to the corruption of full-on sex-ed (rampant in all schools, private too) is frightening. Kids show a fleeting interest. It’s not a signal to bombard them with the proverbial condoms, HIV-ed, the glories of diverse sexuality, etc. Let them be babies. At this age, they need to understand what is private and what is proper social behavior. That response conveyed both respect for the child’s person and for society’s codes of conduct (you don’t want your kid touching self in front of your guests—or imperiling herself with what some perv might take as lewd conduct). Boundaries protect kids.

Anonymous March 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM

A few things came to mind when reading this:

1) Ron Paul was a military doctor.

2) “Indeed, daddy’s girl is an open book. We know what the 18-year-old does and that she does it for the love of it.” Regardless that she also happens to enjoy it, didn’t she say she’s doing this to raise money for tuition?

3) I feel like the 2 comments below are pretty judgmental on your part. Isn’t the idea of freedom of speech that people are free to comment on things that the average person disagrees with? As Ron Paul said (paraphrasing) “we don’t have freedom of speech to talk about the weather”

“As corrupt as Miriam’s morals are, better to have been a ho for sale than a mercenary for Uncle Sam.”

“Thankfully, this writer’s adult daughter has never delivered so imbecilic a soliloquy and has taken care to be discreet about her private life.”

-Kevin

Reply

Anonymous March 14, 2014 at 4:33 PM

1) Ron Paul was drafted
2) So you are against speech that is judgemental?

Anonymous March 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Just as I suspected – you had no comeback for my 2nd point!

As far as your point on Ron Paul being drafted – Fair enough, though I guess one could argue that Dr. Paul could’ve tried to be a “conscientious objector” (though maybe he did try?)

On your point “so you are against speech that is judgmental?” – Nope. To be honest, I only mentioned it because clearly the point of the article was to talk about the liberty aspects of this story rather than the author’s opinion of right and wrong. In other words, saying her morals are “corrupt” adds nothing to the main point.

-Kevin

ILANA:

Anon: I’m not quite sure who’s who in the comments above, but, yes, Ron Paul was drafted. However, even if his military service were voluntary, from the fact that Dr. Paul served Uncle Sam it doesn’t follow that it is right, or that we all must support such service. I thought libertarians were supposed to be skeptical of ALL politicians, even the good ones.
Point # 2 about judgment is spot on (whoever made it). Why reach for the smelling-salts when you encounter judgment, as liberals do? Judging means to discern; “the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation.” The human species would not have survived so far if not judgment.
As to the comment about, “the point of the article was to talk about the liberty aspects of this story rather than the author’s opinion of right and wrong.” The point of the article is to talk about the points in the article, not only what is legal or illegal in libertarian law. Why the queasiness about the moral judgment in the column?

March 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM


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Ideologues Battle Intellectuals Over ’12 Years a Slave’

Intellectualism, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Literature, Political Correctness, Race, Ron Paul

Libertarian gush and tosh over the film “12 Years a Slave” is worse than juvenile; it’s anti-intellectual.

Anyone who asserts that the book is “one of the greatest autobiographies [he’s] ever read,” as this libertarian educator does, can’t be serious, and if he is serious, should not be taken seriously. (And what does the choice of this lackluster “literature” say about the Ron Paul Curriculum? Maybe The Curriculum should confine itself to economics and leave the teaching of literature to those who know and love the canon of English literature.)

White Americans—liberals, conservatives and libertarians—appear constitutionally primed to convulse hysterically over all things racial. (Check out how Ann Coulter’s C-SPAN CPUKE audience goes wild when she insists the GOP is the party of blacks and Hispanics.)

Since “the 1852 publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “the slave-narrative craze” has been going strong.

An ideologue is not necessarily an intellectual. The responsibility of a public intellectual, in this case, is to provide an intellectual appraisal of a cultural product. The ideologue who isn’t an intellectual will struggle with the task (not that his readers or students will know the difference).

Not suffering the foregoing deficit, Steve Sailer nails “12 Years a Slave,” about which I ventured that “I’m no more inclined to turn to [its star] Lupita Nyong perform reruns of ‘Roots,’ for entertainment, than I am to subject myself to Oprah Winfrey and her M.O.P.E. (Most Oppressed Person Ever) ‘Butler.’”

If to go by Steve Sailer’s superb review, truth too has been lost in the gush and tosh over “12 Years a Slave.” (Gary North glosses over these “few discrepancies.”)

Writes Sailer: “12 Years a Slave is hailed by critics as a long-awaited breakthrough that finally dares to mention the subject of slavery after decades of the entertainment industry being controlled by the South. Yet as cinema encyclopedist Leonard Maltin notes”:

12 Years A Slave is a remake. What’s more, the original television film was directed by the celebrated Gordon Parks. Why no one seems to remember this is a mystery to me, yet all too typical of what I’ll call media amnesia. It first aired on PBS in 1984 as Solomon Northup’s Odyssey, reached a wider audience the following year when it was repeated as an installment of American Playhouse, and made its video debut under the title Half Slave, Half Free.

“You can watch the 1984 version online for $2.99.

The remake has more whippings, though.”

AND,

… it’s built upon a fourth-rate screenplay that might have embarrassed Horatio Alger. Screenwriter John Ridley’s imitation Victorian dialogue is depressingly bad, reminiscent of the sub-Shakespearean lines John Wayne had to deliver as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror.

The message behind the ongoing enshrinement of the rather amateurish 12 Years a Slave is that the cultural whippings of white folk for the sins of their great-great-great-great-grandfathers will continue until morale improves.

Steve McQueen (an art-house filmmaker who is a black Brit of West Indian background) directs 12 Years a Slave in a sort of minor league Passion of the Christ manner. (Incidentally, it’s obnoxious for anybody involved with movies today to call himself “Steve McQueen” instead of, say, “Steven McQueen.” In contrast, there were two 20th-century writers named Thomas Wolfe, but the second had the good manners to call himself “Tom” to minimize confusion.)

Some of the appeal to critics is that Northern whites are shown as saints of racial sensitivity in the film’s preposterous first 20 minutes. 12 Years a Slave opens in 1841 with Solomon Northup (stolidly played by the Anglo-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor) being effusively admired by his white neighbors in Saratoga, New York. Northup is a model of prosperous bourgeois respectability, always doffing his top hat to his white peers while out riding with his wife and children in an elegant carriage. (Watch 0:24 to 0:35 in the trailer.)

How could he afford that?

Well, actually, he didn’t and couldn’t.

A glance at Northup’s ghostwritten 1853 memoir makes clear that in 1841, rather than being a pillar of this Yankee community, he was an unemployed fiddler dragged down by his own “shiftlessness”: …

READ THE REVIEW.


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