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Cheering for Ron Paul

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Posted on Nov 20, 2007
Ron Paul
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

By Robert Scheer

What can you get for a trillion bucks?  Or make that $1.6 trillion, if you take the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as tallied by the majority staff of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee (JEC).  Or is it the $3.5-trillion figure cited by Ron Paul, whose concern about the true cost of this war for ordinary Americans shames the leading Democrats, who prattle on about needed domestic programs that will never find funding because of future war-related government debt?

Given that the overall defense budget is now double what it was when President Bush’s father presided over the end of the Cold War—even though we don’t have a militarily sophisticated enemy in sight—you have to wonder how this president has managed to exceed Cold War spending levels.  What has he gotten for the trillions wasted? Nothing, when it comes to capturing Osama bin Laden, bringing democracy to Iraq or preventing oil prices from tripling and enriching the ayatollahs of Iran while messing up the American economy.

That money could have paid for a lot of things we could have used here at home.  As Rep. Paul points out, for what the Iraq war costs, we could present each family of four a check for $46,000—which exceeds the $43,000 median household income in his Texas district.  He asks: “What about the impact of those costs on education, the very thing that so often helps to increase earnings?  Forty-six thousand dollars would cover 90 percent of the tuition costs to attend a four-year public university in Texas for both children in that family of four.  But, instead of sending kids to college, too often we’re sending them to Iraq, where the best news in a long time is they [the insurgents] aren’t killing our men and women as fast as they were last month.”

How damning that it takes a libertarian Republican to remind the leading Democratic candidates of the opportunity costs of a war that most Democrats in Congress voted for.  But they don’t need to take Paul’s word for it; last week, the majority staff of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress came up with similarly startling estimates of the long-term costs of this war.

The White House has quibbled over the methods employed by the JEC to calculate the real costs of our two foreign wars, because the Democrats in the majority dared to include in their calculations the long-term care of wounded soldiers and the interest to be paid on the debt financing the war.  Of course, you need to account for the additional debt run up by an administration that, instead of raising taxes to pay for the war, cut them by relying on the Chinese Communists and other foreigners who hold so much of our debt.  As concluded by the JEC report, compiled by the committee’s professional staff, “almost 10 percent of total federal government interest payments in 2008 will consist of payments on the Iraq debt accumulated so far.”

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However, even if you take the hard figure of the $804 billion the administration demanded for the past five years, and ignore all the long-run costs like debt service, we’re still not talking chump change here.  For example, Bush has asked for an additional $196 billion in supplementary aid for his wars, which is $60 billion more than the total spent by the U.S. government last year on all of America’s infrastructure repairs, the National Institutes of Health, college tuition assistance and the SCHIP program to provide health insurance to kids who don’t have any.

On this matter of covering the uninsured, it should be pointed out to those who say we (alone among industrialized nations) can’t afford it that we could have covered all 47 million uninsured Americans over the past six years for what the Iraq war cost us.  How come that choice—war in Iraq or full medical coverage for all Americans—was never presented to the American people by the Democrats and Republicans who voted for this war and continue to finance it?

Those now celebrating the supposed success of the surge might note that, as the JEC report points out, “[m]aintaining post-surge troop levels in Iraq over the next ten years would result in costs of $4.5 trillion.”  Until the leading Democratic candidate faces up to the irreparable harm that will be done to needed social programs over the next decades by the red-ink spending she supported, I will be cheering for the libertarian Republican.  At least he won’t throw more money down some foreign rat hole.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

LWM enough already!

Pre 9-11 FAA regulations PROHIBITED private domestic airlines from arming their pilots.  If the airlines were allowed to arm their pilots, the attack likely wouldn’t have happened. OBL would have had to try something else.  That was the argument I put forward. I can assure you that many airlines would have followed the model of El-Al if they weren’t PROHIBITED from doing so by the FAA.  I also assure you that plenty of customers would choose only to fly on airlines that provided the maximum amount of protection from hijacking.  Furthermore any company that chose not to provide the maximum amount of protection available from hijacking would be foolish and exposed to massive risks.  Voila! Mutual self interest saves the day vs. Stupid Federal regulation interferes and contributes to the senseless deaths of thousands of innocent people.

Let’s see how you twist this into something completely irrelevant, unrelated, and lacking understanding.  On second thought, I’m not going to bother…  I actually have a life to attend to! 

over and out

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich 2008 would be unstoppable!

Nonstarters are already stopped!

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

LWM #115544 Thank you for the TJ to SK link.  I read it too.  Powerful words.  It baffles me that we haven’t had such writers in government for a great long time.  The world, our world, perhaps is too deaf to listen or hear them.  Here are the words from a man 191 years ago, more than profound, do you suppose there is anyone alive today whose words about the quality of government will last that long?  But then, his words will last forever.

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

Re #115627 by LWM on 11/24 at 7:29 pm

So Clinton and Obama and Edwards and Kucinich are six of one, half a dozen of the other to you then? Or do you like Edwards because he sounds tougher about taking on big business? I like that too; it’s certainly better than Clinton, whose idea seems to be that corporations are people too. But again, I don’t think Edwards is in a position to unify the party. I think Obama is. An Edwards-Obama-Kucinich coalition could stop Clinton and move the Party to the left.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Whatever, Non Credo.

I already answered your question. Flip it about any way you like. I might still be a Mossad agent after all.

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By cyrena, November 24, 2007 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2 response to#115589 by ted Tyson

•  cyrena,
just noticed your angry post accusing me of having been recruited by a group.  hmmm…a very strange very reaction.

Well ted, maybe THIS is a ‘very strange reaction” (why did you put very strange, and then very reaction…been reading or writing long?) But, what’s strange about your reaction is the ‘angry’ part. How did you decide that my post was ‘angry’? Seems like you and Lee Mulligan are sort of hung up on this whole ‘anger’ thing. What’s up with that? Never mind, don’t tell me.

Anyway, we’ll cut to the chase here. There was nothing at all unclear about my post, at least not for those who routinely read and respond on various internet sites. Matter of fact, nearly everyone is fairly clear on these blogs, almost always using a post number as a reference. I notice you don’t. So, if it was ‘unclear’ to YOU, then it was unclear to YOU. Just say that. When time permits, I’m perfectly willing to clarify for anyone who doesn’t get it. But, like I said, most folks posting here usually do.

•  i’ve merely pointed out your post was unclear and that, in any case, ron paul can answer to these and many other questions just like every grown adult in this world.

Ted, I suspect you give EVERY grown adult in this world more credit than they might deserve. However, my post had nothing to do with ron paul answering questions. My post was an article that took excerpts from speeches and newsletters that rp has delivered or published in the past. What’s to ask? It was all clear enough to me. I mean, you read what he said or what he wrote, and you either understand it, or you don’t. I understood it just fine. So, I don’t have any questions for rp. I mean really, he’s ON THE RECORD as a member of congress, so he’s on the record for how he’s voted, as well as anything that he’s contributed to the parliamentary procedure. I mean, he’s a public figure…an elected official, so anything he says or writes in that capacity is going to be on the record. Just like his political newsletters and speeches.

So, pretty much anybody that knows how to utilize the research capacity of the internet can find out whatever they want to know about ron paul. And, having lived in Texas for a number of years, I already know pretty much all that I personally need to know about him. The purpose of this website and others like it is to SHARE such information with others who may NOT know these things, at which point they can make personal decisions, LIKE ALL OTHER ADULTS, who might be voting as citizens of the US. So, that’s not particularly complicated.

•  “…and his supporters are more knowledgeable than you think when it comes to the issue of 9/11 and the crimes of this adminsitration. “

Ted, WHY would I or anyone else posting on this thread really care about how ‘knowledgeable” ron paul’s SUPPORTERS are, and specifically in reference to 9/11? How and why and where did THAT come up? What does that have to do with the article, ‘‘cheering ron paul” Did this article say anything about 9/11?

Now, if YOU want to talk about 9/11, then of course there are several jillion places where you can do that. But, this started out as a commentary on RP, because he’s running for office, and I responded as I did, (which was to put some information out there, that potential voters may want to know about) because I DO know a great deal about rp, that isn’t coming to the surface. (at least not yet) And, that’s what these blogs are about.

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By cyrena, November 24, 2007 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2 reply to #115589 by ted Tyson

In fact, reading some of the many comments on this and other sites, I got a very creepy sort of a déjà vu; a reminder of sorts, of this very same sort of socio-political phenomena that occurred back in 2000, when so many folks believed that the dangerous duo of Dick Bush was ‘sincere’. Well, they WERE!! But, we see how THAT ‘sincerity’ worked out. They were sincere about installing a dictatorship and ruining our republic as a democratic form of government. Somehow, I don’t think that’s exactly what Dick Bush supporters had in mind, when they were making claims of their ‘sincerity’, or the fact that georgie boy would be a great guy to have a beer with.

So, I’m telling you and anyone else that cares to know, (they may not) that I PERSONALLY see the very same results from a ron paul administration…further destruction. RP is NOT a ‘conservative’ in the true sense of what a republican conservative is, nor is he a ‘libertarian’ though it’s easy enough to throw those changing ‘labels’ around, and fool/confuse the lesser intelligent among the population.

Ron Paul is a reactionary, and the average American of sane mind and balanced reason isn’t interested in going backwards. Granted, we have an epidemic of citizens with Alzheimer’s and related mental illnesses, and they do have a tendency to dwell in their personal pasts, (or at least flip back and forth). But for the most part, (at least I’d like to believe this myself) the average person posting here is interested in progress, as in…moving forward, not back to ancient times, and ancient/radical ideologies. In short, we need some SANITY back in our government’s leadership. And, Ron Paul just does NOT represent any measure of sanity. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. He represents a very EXTREME view of the world, and as a populace, we’re all pretty much EXTREMED-OUT!! We just can’t take any more of these extremes. I mean seriously, as far as I can tell, Ron Paul supporters simply want to replace one psychopath with another, EVEN IF THEY DON’T REALIZE IT!! And THAT would be the whole point of this on-line dialogue, on this PARTICULAR thread.

Now I’ve already done my homework, (at least for the day) and I continue to do it on a daily basis. (That’s why the truly educated never graduate.) So, I suggest that YOU do the same. Have a look at Ron Pauls voting record, and if YOU have questions, then YOU can ask him. I already know what I need to know about Ron Paul. And, NONE of it is good.

I also know as much as there is currently AVAILABLE to know about the catastrophe of 9/11. But, that’s not what we’re talking about in this conversation. We’re talking about Ron Paul, and I’m going on record, (for anyone who cares to check it out, or follow it up) to say that Ron Paul is dangerous. He’s bad news. I said the same thing nearly 8 years ago, (about Dick Bush) and apparently not enough citizens were paying attention, or there would have been NO votes for the dangerous duo. Hopefully, people will be wiser this time around.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

I fully believe they were able to successfully do so because of poorly designed federal laws that prohibited airlines from protecting their most valuable cargo, namely their passengers.

Love the framing.

Compare to El Al, where it could never have happened… Oh, but wait… El Al was a national airlines, (that’s changing). Socialism!!! Yes kids. Israel is another social democracy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Al

No. There were not rigid enough federal regulations. The kind of regulations that would be completely non-existent in Ron Paulotopia. If he will be so damn useless, why vote for him?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Oh, I’m sorry, Non Credo. Did you think I was a pacifist or absolutely opposed to military intervention in every conceivable instance?

No. I’m not. grin

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

This is why political blogs are looked down upon by serious people with real interest in real issues. What started out as an interesting discussion about the merits of an interesting presidential candidate’s ideas rapidly disintegrated into random comments about how 9/11 was an inside job and Thomas Jefferson was a communist, accompanied by random personal attacks when people aren’t clever enough to respond to the merits of someone else’s arguments. This is the first time I posted on a political blog and, although there were interesting discussions at the beginning, the nuts took over, and the quality of debate deteriorated dramatically. Unfortunate.

Take a hike and good riddance. That kind of BS, and that’s just what that is…

“It’s my first time and the mean man ruined my party dress.”

Is too hilarious. We’ll miss it the comic relief, but… See ya.


As we began to uncover evidence that something was building up in Israel, we demanded pledges from Ben-Gurion that he would keep the peace. We realized that he might think he could take advantage of this country because of the approaching election and because of the importance that so many politicians in the past have attached to our Jewish vote. I gave strict orders to the State Department that they should inform Israel that we would handle our affairs exactly as though we didn’t have a Jew in America. The welfare and best interests of our own country were to be the sole criteria on which we operated.

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/2063.cfm

I miss Ike.

I like Edwards. I’ll vote for whoever the Democrat is. They are all 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

You could never get me to vote for Ron Paul. I have a brain.

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

#115608 by LWM on 11/24 at 5:02 pm
(57 comments total)

Which candidate do you support at this time and why?

I wish we had Eisenhower back”
—————————————————————————-
LWM,

I ask you who you think progressives should support and you say you wish we had Eisenhower back? Well, I kind of liked Ike too, especially what he had to say about the military-industrial complex. I’m sorry but I do not believe he can be resuscitated, however. The closest thing living we have to Eisenhower is Clinton. So are you an Eisenhower Republican or a Clintonista? Is that the latest New Left hipness?

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

(...continued)  I am purposefully looking past all of the bogus scare-mongering about how Ron Paul is going to end social security and throw people out on the streets, and eliminate public education, and hand our country over to evil corporations.  As President, he would have no authority or power to achieve any of those things and he has also stated time and again that it is not his goal (although philosophically he does think those programs should have never started). in fact he has stated categorically that his is the only plan that can reasonably save those programs which so many millions are owed benefits or have come to depend.  Anyhow, I am not afraid of any drastic changes in the social fabric of this country if Ron Paul were President.  (Perhaps maybe a renewed sense of self-responsibility but that I would welcome with open arms). The dramatic changes quite simply aren’t going to happen because as POTUS he has no authority to make them.  A consensus in Congress would be required to do any of the things all the anti-Paulians try to scare us with and as we all know, that would be very difficult to achieve. (Just look at how hard consensus is to get here… You think special interests are going to just give up over night??) However, what I am afraid of is the continuation of US militarism around the world and the bankrupting of this country if any other candidate wins.  What I am concerned about is the expansion of the power of the executive branch and the destruction of our civil liberties.  The President is the Commander in Chief of the military so he can be immediately effective there and Ron Paul will also have the authority to undue executive orders.  He will also be able to direct Congress to re-examine the Patriot Act and even push for new investigations into the 9-11 intelligence failure. That is the reality.  The rest is hype, smear, and bull.

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

OK this is my last post as I am in complete accord with Dave23 regarding the quality of this discussion and there is no secret as to who, in my opinion, are the most detrimental.  People with real knowledge and wisdom try to share their knowledge and wisdom with others by presenting it in a meaningful way.  People who lack it launch insults at others, ignore questions, and try to use the words of people who had real wisdom and knowledge and pass it off as their own.

Ted - In response to your post regarding 9-11. I have watched those videos and read the accounts.  I also examined the counter arguments.  I always try to read both sides of controversy because it has been my experience that the truth is not only hard to find, but rarely at the extremes.  I fully believe that 19 men under the direction of OBL conspired to attack us on 9-11.  I fully believe they were able to successfully do so because of poorly designed federal laws that prohibited airlines from protecting their most valuable cargo, namely their passengers.  That said, I think the more likely explanation for the intelligence and policy failures are simply human incompetence.  Conspiracy theorists that claim the buildings were ultimately brought down by planned demolition charges are choosing to believe in literally the most massive government conspiracy to commit a very public mass murder, in broad daylight, in one of the most densely populated and largest buildings in the world with live cameras, cellphones, the internet, literally the entire world watching.  Any cover up, and I believe there was a cover up, had more to do with deflecting or hiding the blame for the incompetence and intelligence failures and the massive tragedy and loss of life that resulted.  Condi Rice forever lost my respect in her denials of the intelligence briefings outlining the risk of hijacked planes being flown into buildings.  She is shameful but who of them in this admin aren’t?

Furthermore, I am pretty certain that we will never know the truth.  Hey, maybe it was a massive conspiracy.  We will never know.  Therefore, in response, the only thing I can do is vote for and support politicians that believe in transparent government.  Politicians that don’t have ‘grand plans’ for the world.  Politicians that believe it is the role of government to protect the privacy of individuals and not the other way around.  Politicians that follow the rule of law.  Politicians that respect the sovereignty of other nations. Politicians that aren’t bought and sold by special lobby groups trying to use the power of government to entrench their own interests at the detriment to this nation and the people of the world. As far as I can tell there is only one that fits the bill and it is no secret that in my mind the answer is Ron Paul… (continued)

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Dave23—
      I noticed you didn’t address the substance of my comments regarding 9/11, and you obviously have not looked at any of the materials available on this topic.  Your refusal to do your own thinking on this issue is hurting the country.


                      Sincerely,

                      Ted TYson

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

It ain’t gonna happen 911truthdotorg.  Not in your wildest dreams.  Kucinich and Paul are diametrically opposed.  The only 9/11 question I have is why hasn’t George Bush found and hanged Osama bin Laden?

You don’t think Ron Paul would go after him, do you?

You are all getting off track with your 9/11 crap.  When you have evidence for all the big mouthing you’re doing, then you’ll have my ear (uh, for those of you who might think I mean that you will have my ear, literally, that is, I don’t)

Pardon me if this gets posted twice.  Computer acting up.

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

It ain’t gonna happen 911truthdotorg.  Not in your wildest dreams.  Kucinich and Paul are diametrically opposed.  The only 9/11 question I have is why hasn’t George Bush found and hanged Osama bin Laden?

You don’t think Ron Paul would go after him, do you?  How about Dennis?

You are all getting off track with your 9/11 conspiracy crap.  When you have evidence for all the big mouthing you’re doing, then you’ll have my ear (uh, for those of you who might think I mean that literally, you will have my ear, that is, I don’t)

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

This is why political blogs are looked down upon by serious people with real interest in real issues. What started out as an interesting discussion about the merits of an interesting presidential candidate’s ideas rapidly disintegrated into random comments about how 9/11 was an inside job and Thomas Jefferson was a communist, accompanied by random personal attacks when people aren’t clever enough to respond to the merits of someone else’s arguments. This is the first time I posted on a political blog and, although there were interesting discussions at the beginning, the nuts took over, and the quality of debate deteriorated dramatically. Unfortunate.

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By 911truthdotorg, November 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Awesome video…..

Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich 2008 would be unstoppable!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjiGuOsKr04

9/11 Truth Google videos:
9/11 Press for Truth, Loose Change, 9/11 Mysteries,
Terror Storm, America: Freedom to Fascism (with Ron Paul)

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Once more, for all of us:
        If you believe the official account of 9/11, then you believe a conspiracy of 19 hijackers and their bosses attacked the United States.  You believe a conspiracy theory.  So it won’t bother you to explain why Dick Cheney was running wargames from the White House that morning simulating hijackings, then lied to the 9/11 Commission regarding his whereabouts as Flight 77 approached and struck the Pentagon.  It won’t bother you that WTC Building 7, not struck by a plane and besieged merely by a few randome fires, collapsed symmetrically into its own footprint at free-fall speed.  It would be nice if you could explain this because the NIST has admitted that it cannot.  The 9/11 Commsission ignores this odd collapse altogether.  You might also explain how the BBC was able to report the unprecedented collapse twenty minutes before it happened. 

      Perhaps you others would care to dismiss and even mock Patty Casazza, Bob McIllvaine, the Jersey Girls and the many many other family members of the 9/11 victims who have questioned the official story at every turn.  You have no doubt reflected on the statements of ALL of the people featured at patriotsquestion911.com and on the documentaries 9/11: Press For Truth, Loose Change:the Final Cut, and 9/11 Mysteries.  You no doubt can find someone to take David Ray Griffin up on his willingness to debate anyone at any time about this issue, and you can no doubt match the level of documentation and the strength of logic demonstrated by Griffin in his book, “Debunking 9/11 Debunking”, when you defend your point of view.

      Perhaps you folks have listened to all of these people already and have made a rational and mature determination that they are all delusional.  But I have a feeling you have not listened to them, not even once.  You have not listened to the former military and intelligence personnel who have questioned the official story.  You have not listened to the family members.  You have not watched the documentaries I mentioned, nor have you read Griffin’s book.  Have you?


                Peace,

                Ted

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Nomascerdo,
        If you believe the official account of 9/11, then you believe a conspiracy of 19 hijackers and their bosses attacked the United States.  You believe a conspiracy theory.  So it won’t bother you to explain why Dick Cheney was running wargames from the White House that morning simulating hijackings, then lied to the 9/11 Commission regarding his whereabouts as Flight 77 approached and struck the Pentagon.  It won’t bother you that WTC Building 7, not struck by a plane and besieged merely by a few randome fires, collapsed symmetrically into its own footprint at free-fall speed.  It would be nice if you could explain this because the NIST has admitted that it cannot.  The 9/11 Commsission ignores this odd collapse altogether.  You might also explain how the BBC was able to report the unprecedented collapse twenty minutes before it happened.  Perhaps you and LWM and others would care to dismiss and even mock Patty Casazza, Bob McIllvaine, the Jersey Girls and the many many other family members of the 9/11 victims who have questioned the official story at every turn.  You have no doubt refelected on the statements of ALL of the people featured at patriotsquestion911.com.  You no doubt can find someone to take David Ray Griffin up on his willingness to debate anyone at any time about this issue, and you can no doubt match the level of documentation and the strength of logic demonstrated by Griffin in his book, “Debunking 9/11 Debunking”, when you defend your point of view.  Perhaps you folks have listened to all of these people already and have made a rational and mature determination that they are all delusional.  But I have a feeling you have not listened to them, not even once.  You have not listened to the former military and intelligence personnel who have questioned the official story.  You have not listened to the family members.  You have not watched the documentaries I mentioned, nor have you read Griffin’s book.  Have you?


                Peace,

                Ted

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Which candidate do you support at this time and why?

I wish we had Eisenhower back (He did bungle that thing with Iran, however). Confidential letter to brother Edgar, November 8, 1954:

You keep harping on the Constitution; I should like to point out that the meaning of the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is. Consequently no powers are exercised by the Federal government except where such exercise is approved by the Supreme Court (lawyers) of the land.

I admit that the Supreme Court has in the past made certain decisions in this general field that have been astonishing to me. A recent case in point was the decision in the Phillips case. Others, and older ones, involved “interstate commerce.” But until some future Supreme Court decision denies the right and responsibility of the Federal government to do certain things, you cannot possibly remove them from the political activities of the Federal government.

Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this—in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything—even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon “moderation” in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid…

Incidentally, I notice that everybody seems to be a great Constitutionalist until his idea of what the Constitution ought to do is violated—then he suddenly becomes very strong for amendments or some peculiar and individualistic interpretation of his own…

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/1147.cfm

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

War with Iran? We can’t. If you mean air strikes to nip the nukes? What nukes?

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2007/11/the-iaeas-real.html


Just as George Washington helped shape the actual form that the executive branch would take, so the third chief justice, John Marshall, shaped the role that the courts would play.
Under the administrations of Washington and his successor, John Adams, only members of the ruling Federalist Party were appointed to the bench, and under the terms of the Constitution, they held office for life during “good behavior.” (See Constitution, Article III.) Thus, when the opposing Republicans won the election of 1800, the Jeffersonians found that while they controlled the presidency and Congress, the Federalists still dominated the judiciary.* One of the first acts of the new administration was to repeal the Judiciary Act of 1800, which had created a number of new judgeships. Although President Adams had attempted to fill the vacancies prior to the end of his term, a number of commissions had not been delivered, and one of the appointees, William Marbury, sued Secretary of State James Madison to force him to deliver his commission as a justice of the peace.

The new chief justice, John Marshall, understood that if the Court awarded Marbury a writ of mandamus (an order to force Madison to deliver the commission) the Jefferson administration would ignore it, and thus significantly weaken the authority of the courts. On the other hand, if the Court denied the writ, it might well appear that the justices had acted out of fear. Either case would be a denial of the basic principle of the supremacy of the law.

Marshall’s decision in this case has been hailed as a judicial tour de force. In essence, he declared that Madison should have delivered the commission to Marbury, but then held that the section of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that gave the Supreme Court the power to issue writs of mandamus exceeded the authority allotted the Court under Article III of the Constitution, and was therefore null and void (see Constitution, Article III). Thus he was able to chastise the Jeffersonians and yet not create a situation in which a court order would be flouted.

The critical importance of Marbury is the assumption of several powers by the Supreme Court. One was the authority to declare acts of Congress, and by implication acts of the president, unconstitutional if they exceeded the powers granted by the Constitution. But even more important, the Court became the arbiter of the Constitution, the final authority on what the document meant. As such, the Supreme Court became in fact as well as in theory an equal partner in government, and it has played that role ever since.

The Court would not declare another act of Congress unconstitutional until 1857, and it has used that power sparingly. But through its role as arbiter of the Constitution, it has, especially in the twentieth century, been the chief agency for the expansion of individual rights.

http://www.jmu.edu/madison/center/main_pages/madison_archives/era/judicial/bkgrnd.htm

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Re #115565 by LWM on 11/24 at 2:37 pm

“Tony,
Obama was the one who brought Social Security back up.

I understand he’s your guy. I respect that. We are all progressive Democrats here (most of us) but he did let that drowned cat back out of the bag and now it’s on another one of its 9 lives.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/obama-and- social-security/”
——————————————————————————
LWM,

I just watched the ABC discussion with Krugman, George Will et. al. and I must say, I was really underwhelmed. If that’s the worst you can say about Obama, we should all get behind him for sure. By what stretch of the imagination did he “attack” Social Security? Attacking it - by “privatization” is what the Republicans tried and failed to do. Obama thinks there is a problem because of the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age and the increasing longevity of the population, and he thinks the solution is - a strongly progressive one of removing the cap on payroll taxes so that people making more than a hundred thousand a year will pay more payroll taxes. He also says Hillary is doing the political thing, ducking and dodging instead of taking tough stands on the issues. Krugman agrees with Hillary, so fine, he’s a Clintonite. If you notice how that conversation went, Obama was only criticized for being “naive” and not doing the “experienced” political thing that Hillary did. Well, I will take that kind of “naivete” to Clintonian “experience” any day. I notice such naivete among Obamas young supporters, too, and it is refreshing.

Obama is my man, but not because of his charisma, whatever that is, but because in the judgment of this old anti-war progressive, the forces of progress can be most effective at this time by uniting behind him.

Which candidate do you support at this time and why?

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By troublesum, November 24, 2007 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

Reguarding 9/11 conspiracy theories, I read recently in Z Magazine that one of the chief proponents of the
9/11 conspiracies is a former associate of Lyndon Larouche.  I don’t recall his name but he was one of Larouche’s right hand men.  Birds of a feather…

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

For anyone interested in following along

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/judicialrev.htm

We are talking about judicial review, the showdown between Jefferson and Justice John Marshall and Marbury v. Madison, 1803.

One question: How do you feel about the unitary executive again?

Now run along and play with the kids your own age.

Adults are talking here.

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

LWM,

All you do is obfuscate. You never answer direct questions. You only insult and dismiss others when you have no quote to copy and paste and cannot respond with any intelligent original thought.  The examples of this are countless in this thread alone.  I have met people like you. Probably a first born child still trying to control everything around you.  When you find that you cannot, it makes you angry.  When you realize you aren’t the center of the universe, you become frustrated.  Good luck and good night.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

If the Supreme Court has no effective legislative power why are you so afraid of who might be appointed to it?

You fell out of a very tall stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down, didn’t you?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Well, for someone clearly very attached to Israel

Not sure how you get this. Whatever.

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

LWM

If the Supreme Court has no effective legislative power why are you so afraid of who might be appointed to it?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Nomascerdo, or whatever your name is, the SCOTUS has no legislative power and never has. Spare us that pathetic right wing trope.

Next

PhatHenry…I can read and count too and so can the other posters here.”

Check your work. You are only human.

LWM—
But Baer has recently agreed that he now suspects prior knowledge and Bush administration involvement.  There’s obviously enough reasons at this point to have an adult conversation about this issue at the national level.  And a REAL investigation.

Sincerely,

Ted Tyson


Ted,

I never said that I didn’t accept that might be a possibility. In fact, I said I could accept that. As soon as the evidence is there…

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

9-11 was an intelligence failure and a reaction to a foreign policy gone wrong.  The fact that our government’s response to an intelligence failure is to throw more money at it instead of figuring out why $46B per year couldn’t prevent this attack shameful.  Only in government is such ineptitude left unaccountable. Why nobody was fired because of this devastating failure is insane.

I refuse to believe conspiracy theories, they just don’t make sense and all of them have been nearly universally and convincingly debunked. Ron Paul does not believe in a 9-11 conspiracy either.  That said, he has said that an investigation is required to determine why and how our intelligence services failed us.  These are two different things altogether.  Ron Paul is not afraid to look at what went wrong and participate in self-reflection.  It is the only way to correct blatant shortcomings.  Our government’s reaction has been disturbingly outward looking.  Let’s go get ‘em! While Ron Paul seriously wants justice, he also wants to examine why our massive spending still failed us but more importantly he wants to seriously address what the root causes of animosity and extremism are.  He literally has given hundreds of speeches over the past 30 years to Congress addressing these issues including speeches in 1998 warning Congress about Osama Bin Laden.

Someone, anyone please actually read what he has been writing and saying to Congress since 1974.

A Foreign Policy of Freedom by Ron Paul is a great place to start.  Or ronpaullibrary.org

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By Jeff in California, November 24, 2007 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron Paul?  I also agree with a few of his positions, but that is way over shadowed but those I oppose.  Immigration:  it’s lock up the border, no welfare or amnesty, and he wants to end the birthright citenzenship rule.  He is pro life.  He wants to turn back all of the gun control legislation that has been enacted.  He wants to end the Department of Education and all affirmative action activities.  No thanks.

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By PatrickHenry, November 24, 2007 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

#115585 by LWM

I can read and count too and so can the other posters here.

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

LWM—
    But Baer has recently agreed that he now suspects prior knowledge and Bush administration involvement.  There’s obviously enough reasons at this point to have an adult conversation about this issue at the national level.  And a REAL investigation.


                  Sincerely,

                  Ted Tyson

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

cyrena,
      just noticed your angry post accusing me of having been recruited by a group.  hmmm…a very strange very reaction.  i’ve merely pointed out your post was unclear and that, in any case, ron paul can answer to these and many other questions just like every grown adult in this world.  ron paul will admit he has flaws, but he’s not turning a blind eye to the deceit and corruption of the federal government, not to mention this illegal war.  and his supporters are more knowledgeable than you think when it comes to the issue of 9/11 and the crimes of this adminsitration.  stop dwelling on the messengers and do your homework.  9/11: press for truth, loose change: the final cut, 9/11 mysteries, just for starters.


                    sincerely,

                    ted tyson

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

LWM writes:

“Thanks for reminding me.

“Nomascerdo… If that means voting for Kerry because I don’t want the Supreme Court to go too far to the right and then make laws for the land that are too conservative (and which the people have no referendum on changing them until someone drops dead) that is what I will do.”

Reason Numero Uno not to vote for Ron Paul. “

*******

LWM if you think Ron Paul is going to give more legislative power to the Supreme Court you misunderstand the most basic concepts of what Ron Paul stands for. 

He very clearly wants to reduce the ability of the Supreme Court to legislate for the entire nation. This is achieved by returning power to the states. The fact that the next supreme court justice to be appointed wields so much power is precisely what Ron Paul vehemently opposes.  Centralized control.He believes staunchly in our republic and the rights of the states.  Highly controversial issues should never be decided by lifetime political appointees with no referendum afforded the people.  Ron Paul wants to return all of the complex issues back to the state legislatures where people can debate and vote for themselves. 

How you could have engaged in this entire debate while misunderstanding this most basic and primary point about Ron Paul’s philosophy speaks volumes.  You are good at copying and pasting but you don’t seem to have much critical thought of your own.  I think all of that copying and pasting is confusing you.  It would probably confuse anyone though..  It is hard to try to combine all of these different thoughts that you yourself never formed into one coherent concept or argument.

Use your words LWM. Use YOUR words.

Ooops there I go again.  Who could have predicted!?!?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Ted,

Robert Baer and Ray McGovern and many others have challenged the 9/11 commission report. That does not mean they believe there were “controlled demolitions” or “cruise missiles” or any of that.

Don’t conflate Baer with McGovern. Baer is not a signatory to the latest petition.

http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041026093059633

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

#115582 by PatrickHenry on 11/24 at 3:25 pm
(319 comments total)

LWM has posted 8 of the past 14 posts.  All the posts are anti-Paul or anti-Kucinich or allude to neither being worthy without mentioning who is.

That’s a flat out lie or you can’t read too well.

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

LWM—
    Daniel Ellsberg, Robert Baer and Ray McGovern—among many, many others—disagree with your take on the 9/11 attacks.  You seem to know a lot, so maybe you have already spoken with these gentleman and those others in the intelligence and military communities who have suggested there was 9/11 prior knowledge and possibly involvement on the part of individuals inside the federal government and the Bush Administration.  Look at 9/11: Press For Truth, Loose Change: the Final Cut and 9/11 Mysteries.  Talk to Patty Casazza and the Jersey Girls.  Tin foil hats?  You have obviously not looked at this information in a genuine way or you would not resort to derogatory slurs more worthy of Bill O’Reilly and his ilk.


              Sincerely,

              Ted Tyson

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for reminding me.


“Nomascerdo… If that means voting for Kerry because I don’t want the Supreme Court to go too far to the right and then make laws for the land that are too conservative (and which the people have no referendum on changing them until someone drops dead) that is what I will do.”

Reason Numero Uno not to vote for Ron Paul.

Even Glenn Greenwald acknowledges that and Greenwald has gone out of his way to be fair to Ron Paul. The horrors that he might appoint to the court boggle the mind.

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By PatrickHenry, November 24, 2007 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

LWM has posted 8 of the past 14 posts.  All the posts are anti-Paul or anti-Kucinich or allude to neither being worthy without mentioning who is. 

The U.S. Government and military have grown too large since WWII and we need someone to cut it back, within the Constitutional guidelines of what exactly constitutes the Federal government and its responsibilities to the citizens it represents.  If it wasn’t for the Bill of Rights, the Constitution would never have been ratified by the states, as they felt Federal govenment had too much power.

I hate hearing the term “budget shortfalls” when we are taxed so much. Deficit spending is not the answer either, as we as a nation become beholden to others.  America needs to slash government and buy back the foreign debt our irresponsible leaders left us.

I vote the person and not the party and would love to see Kucinich and Paul debate the issues as the chosen of their respective parties, however I don’t think that will happen.  The Democratic Party has effectively muzzeled Kucinich, both in media and funding.  Ron Paul has momentum with the silent majority and I will go with that.

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

Tony,

I agree the personal attacks are despicable.  I am as guilty as the next.  I behaved irrationally because I became upset about some of the comments and personal attacks thrown around.  Now I am taking responsibility for my actions and will do my best not to participate in such things in the future.  I will try to act rationally but I can make no guarantee that I will have success.

Regarding my political affiliation.  I was a registered Independent until a few months ago when I registered Republican to vote for Paul in the primary and hopefully the general.  I voted Democrat in the last two elections and have voted both Republican and Dem before that.  I refuse to accept a party ideology that I have no way to form or shape.  I vote for candidates that I think will do the least damage to our republic.  If that means voting for Kerry because I don’t want the Supreme Court to go too far to the right and then make laws for the land that are too conservative (and which the people have no referendum on changing them until someone drops dead) that is what I will do.  I am sufficiently fed up with politics in this country and I feel that those who align themselves staunchly with one party over another are being sold a bill of goods and are acting more like sheep than they are critical thinking patriots.  Parties change, issues change, times change, people change.  Why anyone would make a lifelong commitment to one concept over another is beyond me.  Everyday I learn something new and I will always reserve the right to change my mind.  I do not have and will never have perfect information about anything.  All I try to do is make the right choice. The good choice in the context of what can be done and more importantly, what can be undone.  Ron Paul stands outside of all the other candidates for the things that can be undone.  Removing the powers of the executive branch that have been usurped by this administration is primary to this position. Ron Paul will undue this shift in the balance of power. Nobody else will.  No other candidate has stated that he has no desire to run your life, run the economy nor run the world.  Ron Paul’s reason?  “Because I don’t know how to!” So Ron Paul, in my eyes, is the only intellectually honest person in the race.  He knows what he does not know and he admits it.  Proudly!  That is what I want in a leader.  The people who think they know better will be the end of us all simply because it is impossible to know how things will turn out.  All we can do is follow the law, fight for everyone’s natural rights to equal justice under the law, and try to do no harm to others.  We can only guarantee equality in opportunity.  Efforts to guarantee equality of outcome ignore reality. They ignore among other things the role that luck, health, ability, desire, handicap, death, love, war, disaster etc play in every single moment of our lives.  All we can do is guarantee everyone the same natural rights.  What people do with those rights depends on billions of uncontrollable factors that no legislation or social program can mandate.  Leave people alone. Let people keep the fruits of their labor.  Don’t force people to go to fight a war and kill people who have never done anything to them personally.  If something bothers you then exercise your free will to work to change it but don’t force someone else to take up your cause.  Invite people to join you with compelling arguments. Participation should be voluntary. Free association is unquestionably the path to maximum happiness for the maximum amount of people on this planet.  Free association under the law of natural rights for all.  That is Ron Paul’s core philosophy and I couldn’t agree more.

See you at the polls.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

BTW, I happen to agree with Martin van Creveld And Zeev Maoz about Israel. You can google van Creveld who said:

“In the August 21, 2004 edition of the International Herald Tribune he wrote, ‘Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy.’ which was quoted by Noam Chomsky and cited by John Pilger.”

(From wiki)


“Defending the Holy Land is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Israel’s national security and foreign policy, from the inception of the State of Israel to the present. Author Zeev Maoz’s unique double perspective, as both an expert on the Israeli security establishment and esteemed scholar of Mideast politics, enables him to describe in harrowing detail the tragic recklessness and self-made traps that pervade the history of Israeli security operations and foreign policy.

Most of the wars in which Israel was involved, Maoz shows, were entirely avoidable, the result of deliberate Israeli aggression, flawed decision-making, and misguided conflict management strategies. None, with the possible exception of the 1948 War of Independence, were what Israelis call “wars of necessity.” They were all wars of choice—or, worse, folly.

Demonstrating that Israel’s national security policy rested on the shaky pairing of a trigger-happy approach to the use of force with a hesitant and reactive peace diplomacy, Defending the Holy Land recounts in minute-by-minute detail how the ascendancy of Israel’s security establishment over its foreign policy apparatus led to unnecessary wars and missed opportunites for peace.

A scathing and brilliant revisionist history, Defending the Holy Land calls for sweeping reform of Israel’s foreign policy and national security establishments. This book will fundamentally transform the way readers think about Israel’s troubled history.

Zeev Maoz is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. He is the former head of the Graduate School of Government and Policy at Tel Aviv University and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, and the former director of the M.A. Program of the National Defense College of the Israeli Defense Forces.

http://www.press.umich.edu/titleDetailDesc.do?id=166167

And even Norman Finklestein when it comes to wielding the rhetorical club that is the charge of anti-semitism.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/index.php

Is Raimondo an anti-semite? It’s irrelevant. His foreign policy acumen is non-existent. Personally, I think he comes dangerously close.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

No harm, no foul, Non Credo. wink

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

“Find me anything in any of his letters that amounts to advocacy of socialism and renunciation of limited government and free-markets and I will concede all points of contention between us. I’ll even move down to Venezuela and join the revolution. I’ll throw rocks at the protesting students too. Damn counter-revolutionaries.”

Dave23,

That was funny. I am a left libertarian. Noam Chomsky is a libertarian socialist.

http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/chomsky.html


You and I are both opposed to authoritarian regimes. We are very much in favor of personal liberty. We just have different views on economic policy and you fear the state, sometimes with good reason, and I see that it can also be the guarantor of those rights and liberties, when it acts to intervene on behalf of “the little guy”. It does that sometimes. Not enough, but sometimes.

You might enjoy this website:


http://world.std.com/~mhuben/libindex.html

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By Sleeper, November 24, 2007 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

As far as the Isreali lobby and its influence in our bussiness I would like to share this letter that I received in an email from my local Veterans For Peace chapter.  It came our prior to the last elections when William Slavick was running for the Senate against Olympia Snowe:


Letters to the Editor

Portland Press Herald

P.O. Box 1460

Portland ME 04104-5009

Dear Editor:

Before Israel devotees jump on Bill Slavick (“Inhumanity, silence reap the whirlwind,” August 21) for revealing that where Israel is concerned, things are not always as they seem, consider:

* On June 8, 1967, as Israel was warring on neighbors, it bombed the clearly marked USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans, and strafed bombing survivors. When the Liberty radioed for air support, President Lyndon Johnson called off the relief to avoid a confrontation with Israel. Washington continues to refuse a full investigation.

* The bombing of the Beirut Marine barracks on October 23, 1983, killed 241 Marine peacekeepers. It is blamed “on terrorists, most likely Hezbollah,” with Syria and Iran involvement, and serves as foundation for US hostility to Hezbollah. In fact, perhaps the largest non-nuclear bomb explosion ever was 666 pounds of enhanced RDX “rag bombs”—“enhanced” with propane gas and primed with PETN boosters or detonation cord, an Israeli specialty. In 1983, the only active sources of RDX were the US, France, Canada, Sweden, China—and Israel. A year earlier, Israeli defense intelligence headquarters had been accidently destroyed by an RDX explosion. US military intelligence knows where the bomb came from, a secret for 23 years now.

* On Feb. 14, 2005, Lebanon Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s unifying political figure, died in an RDX explosion, quickly blamed on Syria, forcing its withdrawal from Lebanese affairs. But the only maker of RDX, Chemko in Slovakia, has never sold to an Arab country; it licensed Israel to buy in 2003.

Arthur Whitman

Lberty Alliance

P.O. Box 586

Auburn ME 04212

783-7865


25 August 2006

The part about the Beirut Bomb really got my attention.  I really think by now that we should know the TRUTH about this Terrorist Act.  It bothers me how it smacks of a possible False Flag opperation because our government is hiding the TRUTH from its citizens.

I was on the Iwo Jima that morning.  I handled hundreds of wounded.  Who sold the RDX Rag Bombs?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Dave23,

Enjoy Venezuela! The Venezuealans do.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

Tony,

Obama was the one who brought Social Security back up.

I understand he’s your guy. I respect that. We are all progressive Democrats here (most of us) but he did let that drowned cat back out of the bag and now it’s on another one of its 9 lives.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/obama-and-social-security/

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

“Oh really, LWM? Since “domestic” for you means “inside Israel”, I can understand why you have no problem with Kucinich’s domestic policies, which are concerned with an entirely separate country called the United States of America. And I can understand why you condemn as “naïve” Kucinich’s foreign policy, which entails getting out of Iraq and refusing to go to war against Iran for Israel.”

Noncredo, I’m warning you. I’m with the Mossad!

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.
Thomas Paine

Personal property is the effect of Society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally. Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist, the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation therefore of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes, on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came. This is putting the matter on a general principle, and perhaps it is best to do so; for if we examine the case minutely, it will be found, that the accumulation of personal property is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labour that produced it; the consequence of which is, that the working hand perishes in old age, and the employer abounds in affluence. It is perhaps impossible to proportion exactly the price of labour to the profits it produces; and it will also be said, as an apology for injustice, that were a workman to receive an increase of wages daily, he would not save it against old age nor be much the better for it in the interim. Make then Society the treasurer to guard it for him in a common fund, for it is no reason that because he might not make a good use of it for himself that another shall take it.
Thomas Paine, “Agrarian Justice” 1797

Paine was a socialist.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Re #115548 by LWM on 11/24 at 1:57 pm


Sadly,

I cannot support Obama, either.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/great-news-for- republicans-by-digby.html

Shame on him. He’s not ready for prime time, either.
——————————————————————————
LCW,

Do you think you could be a little less cryptic? I read the article and it barely mentions Obama in connection with Social Security. The following is from the issues page on the Obama for America web site.

“Obama will make it a top priority of his administration to protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries alike. And he does not believe it is necessary or fair to hardworking seniors to raise the retirement age.

Barack Obama will only advocate reforms that truly strengthen Social Security. That’s why he’ll continue his long record of opposing the privatization of Social Security, which has dominated the debate in Washington for too long. Privatization tears the fabric of Social Security – the idea of mutual responsibility – by subjecting a
secure retirement to the whims of the market, and that is not an acceptable way to strengthen this program.

Obama believes that the first place to look for ways to strengthen Social Security is the payroll tax system. Currently, the Social Security payroll tax applies to only the first $97,500 a worker makes. Obama supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security and he will work with Congress and the American people to choose a payroll tax reform package that will keep Social Security completely solvent for at least the next half century.”

So, Obama wants to save Social Security by levying payroll taxes on people making $100,000 a year or more. As a progressive, you got a problem with that? A courageous and principled position is what I call it.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Private property ... is a Creature of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, whenever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing, its contributors therefore to the public Exigencies are not to be considered a Benefit on the Public, entitling the Contributors to the Distinctions of Honor and Power, but as the Return of an Obligation previously received, or as payment for a just Debt.
Benjamin Franklin

All property, indeed, except the savage’s temporary cabin, his bow, his matchcoat and other little Acquisitions absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the creature of public Convention. Hence, the public has the rights of regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the quantity and uses of it. All the property that is necessary to a man is his natural Right, which none may justly deprive him of, but all Property superfluous to such Purposes is the property of the Public who, by their Laws have created it and who may, by other Laws dispose of it.
Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers.
John Jay, FEDERALIST No. 2

It cannot have escaped those who have attended with candor to the arguments employed against the extensive powers of the government, that the authors of them have very little considered how far these powers were necessary means of attaining a necessary end. They have chosen rather to dwell on the inconveniences which must be unavoidably blended with all political advantages; and on the possible abuses which must be incident to every power or trust, of which a beneficial use can be made. This method of handling the subject cannot impose on the good sense of the people of America. It may display the subtlety of the writer; it may open a boundless field for rhetoric and declamation; it may inflame the passions of the unthinking, and may confirm the prejudices of the misthinking: but cool and candid people will at once reflect, that the purest of human blessings must have a portion of alloy in them; that the choice must always be made, if not of the lesser evil, at least of the greater, not the perfect, good; and that in every political institution, a power to advance the public happiness involves a discretion which may be misapplied and abused. They will see, therefore, that in all cases where power is to be conferred, the point first to be decided is, whether such a power be necessary to the public good; as the next will be, in case of an affirmative decision, to guard as effectually as possible against a perversion of the power to the public detriment.
James Madison, FEDERALIST No. 41

Power over a man’s subsistence is power over his will.
Alexander Hamilton

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

LWM:
“1801 Thomas Jefferson, in his First Inaugural Address, said…”

Nothing of interest to anyone today. He was speaking as a politician to an audience in 1801. “

Find me anything in any of his letters that amounts to advocacy of socialism and renunciation of limited government and free-markets and I will concede all points of contention between us. I’ll even move down to Venezuela and join the revolution. I’ll throw rocks at the protesting students too. Damn counter-revolutionaries.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

“A clear condemnation of socialism and welfare, and clear advocacy of free-market capitalism and limited government. If you’re trying to find support for your socialist viewpoints in the words of the founding fathers, it’s just not gonna happen. Nice try.

If the principles of our founders are lunacy, I’m jumping on the crazy train with Nomascerdo.”

Oh, really? Try reading Paine, Franklin and Jefferson, to name just three of the most outspoken. Considering public education is one of Jefferson’s proudest legacies, his own term, you probably were hoamskooled.


If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural, 4-Mar-1801

... legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property… Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.
Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to James Madison), 1785

While it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from Nature at all ... it is considered by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no one has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land ... Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.
Thomas Jefferson

Every society has a right to fix the fundamental principles of its association, and to say to all individuals, that if they contemplate pursuits beyond the limits of these principles and involving dangers which the society chooses to avoid, they must go somewhere else for their exercise; that we want no citizens, and still less ephemeral and pseudo-citizens, on such terms. We may exclude them from our territory, as we do persons infected with disease.
Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, 1816

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment… laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind… as that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, institutions must advance also, to keep pace with the times…. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
Thomas Jefferson (on reform of the Virginia Constitution)

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By Sleeper, November 24, 2007 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

I think this video speaks pretty well concerning Ron Pauls thoughts on our Foreign Policy:

http://www.rudysreadinglist.com/

It is a fund raising page with two videos on it the bottom one describes his stance on foreign policy.  The top one is a response to an exchange with Guliani at the debate.

This one is about how FDNY members feel about Rudy:

http://www.rudy-urbanlegend.com/index.asp?v=F3E6CuOTAU

It all demonstrates how the media can distort and pervert TRUTH to create a compliant media darling.

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Nomascerdo: “I wish I was a “I wish I was a pompous know it all who thought he had it all figured out so I could take care of all of the poor slobs running around in the dark on this earth.”

LWM: This could describe any candidate for the presidency, anywhere.

That’s exactly the point. I think we can agree that most politicians and people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to how to run the country and the world. That’s why everything they do just makes things worse. The socialists are trying to argue that we should put into place this dream world that’s just not gonna happen, whereas I think Nomascerdo and myself have realized that damage control is the way to go. Better the forces of nature fouling things up then a bunch of “pompous know it alls who think they have it all figured out” trying to assert their misguided wills on the planet.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

“1801 Thomas Jefferson, in his First Inaugural Address, said…”

Nothing of interest to anyone today. He was speaking as a politician to an audience in 1801.

What is of interest to us today are the private thoughts he expressed in his letters and private papers. Just like we might like to see Ron Paul’s private letters and papers 200 years from now. I’ll bet they are really something compared with his public stances and statements, eh?

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

#115541 by Nomascerdo on 11/24 at 1:26 pm
(31 comments total)

“By the way for all of you who think Ron Paul is the devil and Kucinich is goodness incarnate.. His wife Elizabeth said today he would consider running with Ron Paul. The two are actually close friends and have high respect for each other.

I guess using your rules of guilt by association that makes Dennis a racist, anti-semite too?

I’d rather be a Paultard than a retard.”
—————————————————————————-
Nomascerdo,

From the way you and Dave23 have posted, I have come to the conclusion you are Republicans. It’s all right, don’t be ashamed. Just don’t think any progressive Democrat in his right mind would vote for him, although some of us are crazy mad and frustrated enough to do almost anything, however irrational. 

However, on this last point of yours I agree. Ron Paul is,  so far as I know, an honorable man and I agree with him on one issue; I support him on that one issue, as does Kucinich and Scheer and everyone else who is anti-war. I am against all these personal attacks I have been seeing, whether against candidates or against our fellow bloggers.

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

1801 Thomas Jefferson, in his First Inaugural Address, said:

“With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens – a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it had earned.”

A clear condemnation of socialism and welfare, and clear advocacy of free-market capitalism and limited government. If you’re trying to find support for your socialist viewpoints in the words of the founding fathers, it’s just not gonna happen. Nice try.

If the principles of our founders are lunacy, I’m jumping on the crazy train with Nomascerdo.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Sadly,

I cannot support Obama, either.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/great-news-for-republicans-by-digby.html

Shame on him. He’s not ready for prime time, either.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

It just occurred to me…

“I wish I was a pompous know it all who thought he had it all figured out so I could take care of all of the poor slobs running around in the dark on this earth.”

This could describe any candidate for the presidency, anywhere. Even Ron Paul. Thanks for pointing that out. grin

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

“I’d rather be a Paultard than a retard.”

That’s like saying I’d rather be an orange than a citrus fruit. You have your wish!

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

“By the way for all of you who think Ron Paul is the devil and Kucinich is goodness incarnate.”

Sorry, bud. Neither is my first choice. Put them together and you have less than zero. Domestic policy is important, but so is foreign policy. Like it or not, nobody gets off this planet alive, unless they are an astronaut. We are all stuck here and we had better learn to get along and play nice.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Glad you enjoyed it, Shenonymous.


“Somewhat amusing, I am not enamored with the sexist reference to “womanish,” however, I think in light of human progress, it can be excused as an anachronism.”

Was that Washington?

Unless I hear it uttered today I tend to give those faux pas a pass in historical documents, (for the reasons you cite), so I may not have made a note of it when reading that before. One has to try and understand the historical context. Jefferson, for all his faults, was exceptionally good at that, as well as visionary.


“Some men look at constitutions at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was very like the present, but without the experience of the present; and forty years of experience in government is worth a century of book—reading; and this they would say themselves, were they to rise from the dead. I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. It is this preposterous idea which has lately deluged Europe in blood. Their monarchs, instead of wisely yielding to the gradual change of circumstances, of favoring progressive accommodation to progressive improvement, have clung to old abuses, entrenched themselves behind steady habits, and obliged their subjects to seek through blood and violence rash and ruinous innovations, which, had they been referred to the peaceful deliberations and collected wisdom of the nation, would have been put into acceptable and salutary forms. Let us follow no such examples, nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs.”

—Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.

http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=459

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Yes I am so ashamed that I believe in people and don’t think that I know something I don’t.  I wish I was a pompous know it all who thought he had it all figured out so I could take care of all of the poor slobs running around in the dark on this earth.  If only I had such wisdom and insight I could take control of everything and make sure it all worked out great for everyone.  I would know who the evil people were and I would lock them up especially those dastardly Republicans and Libertarians. WHAT SCUM!!  I know better than they. I am certain that my policies are correct and “the price will be worth it”. 

Boy, I wish I had the courage and intellectual capacity so I could try to play G-d on earth.  I feel so sad that I am so worthless.  Well, at least I know that there are people out there who can take care of me.

LWM, please send a check to…

puke

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

By the way for all of you who think Ron Paul is the devil and Kucinich is goodness incarnate.. His wife Elizabeth said today he would consider running with Ron Paul. The two are actually close friends and have high respect for each other.

I guess using your rules of guilt by association that makes Dennis a racist, anti-semite too?

I’d rather be a Paultard than a retard.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Oops! Nomascerdo outs self!

“The studies you cite, just like every other study that *statists* use…”

You may now ignore him or engage in fruitless debate for fun and no profit.

“That is what Austrian economists do.”

Hehe.

Meanwhile, poor Dave23 is now chasing his own tail.

What’s more fun, watching the dog chasing his own tail or arguing with the dog chasing his own tail?

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Much obliged LWM, I read the entire Garrity essay and once again am humbled by our forefathers’ circumspection and foresight.  Civic virtue continues to be a hard fought for quality of moral excellence.  We are witnessing precisely today the vagaries of antipathies towards some nations (Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.) and passionate attachment for others (Pakistan, Mexico, etc.).  Somewhat amusing, I am not enamored with the sexist reference to “womanish,” however, I think in light of human progress, it can be excused as an anachronism. 

The following quote from that essay is exceedingly telling how far from reason Ron Paul’s plans are:
“The main body of the Farewell Address covers six topics: first, a statement of the necessity and importance of national union; second, a defense of the Constitution and the rule of law; third, an expression of Washington’s strong reservations concerning political parties; fourth, a lengthy consideration of the proper habits and dispositions of the people; fifth, warnings against foreign influence in domestic affairs; and sixth, Washington’s reflections on international relations proper, covering foreign alliances, commercial policy, and neutrality.”

Washington’s sentiments for a “strong central government” and “proper relationship” with the rest of the world were based on the most sound reasoning.  The confidence the ideals of the revolution gave America defined “true independence.”  I invite all others to read this document that they might have a cursory understanding and brief early history of the nature of this country.  It might provide a compass to navigate the treacherous waters of American politics.

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By Nomascerdo, November 24, 2007 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

LWM,

How anyone can argue that high levels of taxation is not a form of serfdom is beyond me.  It defies logic.  The studies you cite, just like every other study that statists use to enhance the power of social control, can say whatever the authors choose.  They are excellent at creating sound bites and talking points that can be used to influence the way people think about subjects.  The fact that they were organized by a research group or a university lends them instant credibility.  Largely all of these studies are a total sham. An intellectual exercise but about as predictive as a magic eight ball.

The same goes for neo-classical economics which entirely ignores how unpredictable and messy life is.  It also ignores that people very often behave irrationally, self-destructively, and with wreck less abandon.  We participate in herd thinking, we get caught up in manias, we are lazy one day, and productive the next, we do stupid things. We buy things for our ego, we were emotionally damaged as children and have no self worth so we spend all of our income on useless crap and we don’t save for a rainy day.  The list of human shortcomings are literally as endless as those of human virtues.

The point is, all of the academics try to boil human behavior into immutable laws.  It makes it easier for them to try and understand the world but it doesn’t mean that they actually understand anything.

The ‘do gooders’ of the world are the same type of folks. They think they know something about how the world works. It makes them feel better. Then they do everything they can to get power in the world so they can impose their vision of it on everyone else.  More people have died as a result of these types of people than have been killed by straight up murderers.  Think about it.

You are so caught up in their studies, their projections, their models that you have completely bought into a theoretical vision of the world that is disconnected from reality.  You know about as much about the world outside of your immediate sphere as you do about Jupiter.

The physical world is so immensely complex that science is nowhere near understanding how it works.  Human societies are even more so. Nobody can predict the future.  Projections are nothing more than a guess when it comes to human events.  We are as irrational as we are rational but all measures of it are subjective.  What is rational for one is irrational for another.

Get out of your ivory tower of academia and theory and just apply some common sense.  That is what Austrian economists do.  If that is kooky then I am as crazy as they come.  And if that is the case, LWM, let me as you, am I rational?

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

Wow. You truly are a delusional conspiracy theorist. “The CIA is ranking the worldwide media.” That’s why they put the U.S. at 23rd. You’re ridiculous. Go join the revolucion in Cuba or Venezuela if you are afraid of freedom and want a government that tells you how to think and how to spend your money.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

The full skinny on Reporters Without Borders

The Reporters Without Borders Fraud


http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=45&ItemID=7851

Good Job, Dave. Support the CIA in their effort to squelch the very revolutions elsewhere you claim to espouse here. Pauliacs. Morons.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Dave23, you stumblewitted into that one.

Reporters Without Borders a CIA front:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Reporters_without_Borders

are as bad as The National Endowment for Democracy:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-027.html

From the days when Cato had principles, alas.


Back off, Dave23. You are way out of your depth here. Find a flyweight class. I don’t want to injure you.

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

In the worldwide press freedom index, the most accurate assessment of media freedom throughout the world, Venezuela comes in a stunning 90th, just above Angola, which last had an election in 1992. And those rankings came out before Chavez took the dissenters off the public airwaves. If you want to be lied into thinking that things are going pretty well, move on down to Venezuela.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Ted,

“The crimes in Sibel’s story range from the micro level (espionage at the FBI translation unit) to the macro level (e.g. supplying Pakistan’s nuclear program, blackmail/bribery of members of congress, covering up 9/11, and various other military-industrial-complex related corruption.)”

http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/2007/11/what-heck-is-sibel-edmonds-case-about.html

No one denies that we do not know all there is to know about 9/11. Even I am willing to accept the possibility that certain members of our government knew something was coming, but not what, and thought, “Hey! Let it happen!” I rather doubt it. I prefer to chalk it up to total incompetence. There is ample evidence for that. If you think Sibel is going to reveal more than that, I can’t help you. There were no controlled demolitions or cruise missiles. Sorry. No tin foil hats on my head.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Dave23?

Dave23?

Bueller?


“All that your numbers demonstrate is that Chavez has had an even more successful propaganda campaign than GW. Your numbers reflect what half of the population think about the future and their “democratic” system. Just like in our country, half of the population is duped into supporting their corrupt government by the propaganda media and the other half realizes all that they’ve been told by the media are lies. I’m not surprised that a majority of Venezuelans think they’re economy and government are headed in the right direction. That’s because that’s all they hear about from the government-controlled media.”

What “government-controlled media”?


“Most of Venezuela’s mass media are privately operated and derive most of their revenues from advertising, subscriptions, and sale or distribution of copyrighted materials. A small proportion of the Venezuelan television, newspaper, and radio markets is controlled by state-owned outlets.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_of_Venezuela

That would be like PBS here.

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Re #115399 by Ernest Canning on 11/23 at 11:08 pm
(1166 comments total)

“TW—it isn’t a question of who “could” possess integrity.  I have watched and studied both, closely!  Kucinich has integrity.  Obama is just another disingenuous politician.”
—————————————————————————
EC,

I have been inside the Obama campaign for a year. I maintain a blog there (“Tony Wicher’s Blog for Peace”). I am a member of a dozen foreign policy discussion groups there (Citizens for Peace in the Middle East, etc.) I have a good feeling for the people in the campaign. I would say that on the whole they are idealistic, peace-oriented younger Americans, the kind that elected John Kennedy. The hopes and dreams of that generation were destroyed by the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, and the King and Robert Kennedy assassinations. Many gave up on political idealism and became yuppies,“the one who dies with the most toys wins”. Others became violent radicals, convinced that democracy had become a sham. As Obama has very perceptively said, there remains left over from the 60’s a certain bitterness, a certain divisiveness, which is unfortunately to be found among Kucinich supporters. To some extent it has to be said that they are marginalizing or alienating themselves, and that is why they have been unable to build a broad-based coalition for victory. That is why I am supporting Obama in what I believe is his effort to heal this decades-old trauma and to welcome Kucinich as well as Greens and all other progressives back to the mainstream of Democratic and American politics. Together we can win and end this forty-year national nightmare.

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By ted tyson, November 24, 2007 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

LVM—
      I wasn’t particularly trying to refute Cyrena in my post, but you were too busy being petty and competitive to realize that.  It was good to read the posts from the Daily Kos.  I was able to read them on Truthdig because Robert Scheer, unlike Kos, doesn’t practice censorship of viewpoints that conflict with his own.  Again, Ron Paul defends himself quite effectively and readily admits he has shortcomings and has made mistakes.
      I noticed you ignored my posting on loose change and the 9/11 truth movement. Daniel Ellsberg recently remarked that Sibel Edmonds’ offer to reveal all that she knows about 9/11 government involvement in the attacks will be a much greater bombshell than the Pentagon Papers.  But what does he know.


                  Sincerely,

                  Ted Tyson

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Dave23… All that your numbers demonstrate is that Chavez has had an even more successful propaganda campaign than GW.

Yes, but he is not a member of the Illuminati or the Bilderbergers or the Council on Foreign Relations! He is one of us, er… them… uh, you, huh? Who?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Seeing your last comment to Wilcher reminded me of this, you might enjoy it:

US Foreign Policy Envisioned by George Washington in his Farewell Address


http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/garrity.htm

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

#115520 by LWM on 11/24 at 2:57 pm

“And now… To demolish Pauliac Dave23 with numbers. The one thing they can’t handle.”

All that your numbers demonstrate is that Chavez has had an even more successful propaganda campaign than GW. Your numbers reflect what half of the population think about the future and their “democratic” system. Just like in our country, half of the population is duped into supporting their corrupt government by the propaganda media and the other half realizes all that they’ve been told by the media are lies. I’m not surprised that a majority of Venezuelans think they’re economy and government are headed in the right direction. That’s because that’s all they hear about from the government-controlled media. If you think happiness comes from being brainwashed by a dictator and being ignorant to reality, then socialism is for you, my friend. But I am not into that so keep it out of my country. There’s a reason that the Chinese and Russians feverishly embraced capitalism after living (more often dying) under the socialist system for so many years. This big benevolent government that you all are talking about never has and never will exist. Get over it.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous is a very wise person.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

“It’s amazing that the students even knew what was going on considering Chavez already banned dissent in the media, including taking a free TV station off the air. Socialism.. it’s faaantastic.”

Don’t feel bad, Dave23. You are as clueless about the situation in Venezuela as most American progressives are. They continually bash journalists for reciting admin talking points and lies about Iraq, then they turn around and do it as carelessly about Chavez and Venezuela, as if they haven’t learned a thing. That “TV station” is still broadcasting on cable or closed circuit. It just lost it’s license to use the public airwaves. Why, you may ask? Because the “rich elites” own it. The same “evil elite ruling party” you Pauliacs claim to want to do away with here. And what were they doing that caused them to lose that license? Advocating the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Chavez, with the aid and assistance of the U.S. Gummint and the CIA. And Chavez isn’t declaring himself dictator for life. He’s simply removing term limits from the office of the presidency. Like that “socialist” FDR did, but in reverse. Your move.

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Wicher we have agreed on many items regarding the libertarian kook and some other things.  And I also agree (now don’t fall off your chair) that a military presence in the world needs to be accompanied with goodwill, friendship, kindness, and generosity.  All very altruistic goals for peace and security in the world.  But you are talking about a world that simply does not yet exist and will take decades to fashion with and only with a benevolent non-imperialistic government in the White House.  Of course I can imagine that world, I dream of it.  I am sick to death of the number of real deaths that has been caused by “our military presence.”  My point is that it is folly to think that can happen with the likes of Ron Paul who would pull our military but at the same time retract any investment in the world otherwise.  Again what would be a rational timeline to restructure the world?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

And now… To demolish Pauliac Dave23 with numbers. The one thing they can’t handle.

Find it all here: http://oilwars.blogspot.com/

http://www.borev.net/2007/11/were_number_2_and_other_storie.html


“Every year, the Chilean polling firm Latinobarómetro releases a giant report on what the Latin Americans are thinking, and every year this report confuses the crap out of the English language press, who can’t seem to understand why it contradicts everything they’ve ever written about the region. The fun part comes in watching them twist some fairly straightforward numbers into bizarre and complex algorithms to make them line up with the worldview they helped create.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; that’s next weeks’ parlor game. These numbers are hot off the press, so we have a rare opportunity to look at them before they turn into sideshow freaks. You can check them out for yourself if you are proficient in Spanish and Adobe Acrobat. Everyone else, join us after the jump.

First of all, guess who loves “democracy” better than everyone else? Ok, it’s actually the good people of Uruguay. But Venezuelans run a close second in just about every democracy-hugging category, even as other countries are showing an unnerving openness to the idea of “dictatorship” if it gets the job done.

• Uruguayans and Venezuelans are far more likely to say they are “satisfied” with their democracy (66% and 59% respectively) than everyone else in the region. No other nationality hits the 50% mark.

• Venezuela ties with Argentina for second place in believing that democracy “is the best form of government” (83% each, compared with 86% for Uruguay at the top and 49% for Panama at the bottom).

• Responding to the weirdly-phrased “Do you trust in democracy?” question, Venezuela and Uruguay tie for the top spot, with 77% of the population avowing their “trust,” followed by Argentina and Bolivia (67% and 63%). Peru and Panama have some trust issues, with 39% and 34%, respectively.

If Venezuelans are content with their democratic system, they are downright ecstatic over the state of their economy—which, for the record, is “socialist.” Ok, it probably helps to have oil, but:

• 52% of Venezuelans say they are satisfied with the country’s “recent economic condition,” which may sound a little weak until you read that the second slot is a three-way tie between Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican republic for 26%, or exactly half that figure.

• Venezuelans are far more hopeful about their future economic sitch, with 60% believing it will get even better in the year ahead, compared with second place Uruguay (37%), ninth place Colombia (31%) fifteenth place Colombia (24%) and last place Paraguay (16%).


Wait sorry, did I say that Venezuelans gushed hardest about the state of their economy? I meant to say “their government in general.” Here are some stats that will obviously never see print outside of this blog posting:
• When asked whether their government works for the well-being of the people, Venezuelans top the list with 70%, followed by Uruguay (67%), Bolivia (64%) and Nicaragua (63%). Most Central American countries pull up the rear. Oh and of course Paraguay, who reports in with 24%. Poor Paraguay : (

• Asked if they “trust their government,” Venezuelans head the pack, with 66% trust ranking. Compare this with Colombians (41%), Brazilians (35%), Peruvians (22%) and—and I totally hate to pick on them—Paraguayans, with a sad little 15%.

• Asked if they trust their President in particular, Venezuelans come in second to Uruguay (61% vs. 60%). I won’t even mention who hates their president most, but it rhymes with “Laraguay,” at 13%. ”

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Come on, Dave23. That’s the BBC. They are filthy socialists! You can’t trust them!

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Yes, well when the light is shed and all can clearly see, Dave23, then what was once foggy is magically blown away.  The full extent of Ron Paul’s real libertarian agenda is revealed and we, us radically socialist bent folks, are quite gleeful.  The so-called merits of his political positions are only appreciated by the like-minded, tight-pursed, tight-assed, mean-spirited.  You always dare to come up with specious percentages without backup documentation, which shows your naivete. Yes, so what about his racism, right?  Let’s always know where the nearest trees are, and carry a rope!  And build crosses to burn, right?  Leopards really don’t change their spots, and neither do racists change their views.  You are deluded about how racism works. But your description of how many African-Americans graduate from MIT is quite lame and shortsighted in the centuries old causes that abject slavery brought with it.  Given time, this black race will catch up and most likely surpass all other ghettoized mentality groups who graduate from MIT.  Socialism is the only thing that works in large populations of multicultural, multi-aged folks.  And honey, you better bet your little white ass on that.  Fair market is the only way to negotiate this diverse world as well.  And I agree with the happiness quotient

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Re #115476 by Shenonymous on 11/24 at 9:08 am
(203 comments total)

Re: Wicher #115285

Shenonymous,

Let’s get a couple of things clear. First of all, if you have been reading my posts, you know that I agree with Ron Paul about one subject, that of our military posture in the world. This is also the only area in which Paul and Kucinich agree.  I also agree with pretty much everything you, LCW, Cyrena and others have said about Paul - that he is a reactionary and a goofy libertarian at best (I am willing to let him off on the racist charge). I see him and this hopefully temporary enthusiasm for him among sincere anti-war people as a danger, because this can only have the effect of splitting the anti-war vote.

For that matter, I don’t see anything in the Scheer article we are supposed to be discussing that recommends voting for Ron Paul. He is only “cheering” for Ron Paul’s anti-war stance and the remarks he made about the Iraq war. It is obvious, at least to me, that Scheer is a progressive Democrat who agrees much more with Kucinich and other progressives such as myself. He is just disgusted with the Democrats and trying to shame them. He doesn’t and wouldn’t tell people to vote for the man.

Now, as to the one area of agreement between Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and myself, the issue of our military posture in the world, it looks like you and I have a profound disagreement. There can be no peace and security in this world without good will, friendship, kindness, and generosity. Even a little bit goes a long way. With what we are spending on war we could end war and world hunger within our lifetimes. A real peace initiative to replace our current policy of imperial world domination would be backed by hundreds of billions that are now being wasted on weapons of destruction. This money would be used to directly benefit the people of underdeveloped countries. Can you imagine how much good will that would buy?

This money would also be used to strenghthen international law, the United Nations, the international court system, and the international police. This is the right way to deal with terrorism and with governments that violate the human rights of their citizens.

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

#115510 by LWM on 11/24 at 10:54 am
“Venezuelans are happier than Americans right now.”

From the BBC:
“Thousands of students have clashed with police in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, during a protest against proposed constitutional changes.”
“Among the students’ concerns about the erosion of civil liberties is the fear that the authorities will be allowed to detain citizens without charge during a state of emergency.
Mr Chavez has dismissed criticism of the constitutional changes saying they are needed to accelerate Venezuela’s transition to socialism.”
“Venezuelan troops have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of students in the capital, Caracas.
The students are demonstrating against constitutional reforms proposed by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez.
One of the reforms would abolish term limits for the presidency, thus allowing President Chavez to stand for re-election indefinitely.”

Your right LWM. Socialism sounds like a real party. There’s nothing like having your government tax the hell out of you to pay the salaries of the policemen firing tear gas at you and beating you with clubs when you get upset about your “president” trying to change the laws to make himself dictator for life. It’s amazing that the students even knew what was going on considering Chavez already banned dissent in the media, including taking a free TV station off the air. Socialism.. it’s faaantastic.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Ernest Canning on 11/24 at 7:57 am


LWM.  My support for Kucinich has nothing to do with a “cult of personality” and everything to do where he stands on “issues” that truly matter.

For the most part, I agree with you. Especially his domestic policies. Both Kucinich and Paul are a little less than stellar on some foreign policy issues but Kucinich is far better than Paul is there. (You know my opinion of ron paul on domestic policy, “Deadly” sums it up). In point of fact, there is no way to redeploy in 6 months. It is just physically and logistically impossible.

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

“savagely smears the very respectable and useful antiwar.com website”

Get a clue, would ya?

If you believe “Israeli Spies” disguised as art students caused 9/11, you might find antiwar.com “useful”. Antiwar.com finds you useful, “useful idiots”.

My favorite conspiracy theories from Dennis Raimondo are the one’s about FDR, though.

FDR UNMASKED
New book exposes how he lied us into war – and kowtowed to Stalin!!!

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j062501.html

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

“Noncredo… OK, LWM, I’ve got your number. You are definitely hacking for Israel.”

Please call me. I found your underpants in my dog’s house. What were and him you up to?

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Flat out wrong.

“Socialism doesn’t work.”

Hayek was wrong.

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/10/sachs_friedrich.html


“Jeffrey Sachs says Friedrich von Hayek was wrong about where the road leads:

Welfare States, beyond Ideology, by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Scientific American: ...For decades economists and politicians have debated how to reconcile the undoubted power of markets with the reassuring protections of social insurance. America’s supply-siders claim that the best way to achieve well-being for America’s poor is by spurring rapid economic growth and that the higher taxes needed to fund high levels of social insurance would cripple prosperity. Austrian-born free-market economist Friedrich August von Hayek suggested in the 1940s that high taxation would be a “road to serfdom,” a threat to freedom itself.

Most of the debate in the U.S. is clouded by vested interests and by ideology. Yet there is ... a rich empirical record… The evidence may be found by comparing a group of relatively free-market economies that have low to moderate rates of taxation and social outlays with a group of social-welfare states that have high rates of taxation and social outlays.

Not coincidentally, the low-tax, high-income countries are mostly English-speaking ones that share a direct historical lineage with 19th-century Britain and its theories of economic laissez-faire. These countries include Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. The high-tax, high-income states are the Nordic social democracies, notably Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden…  Budgetary outlays for social purposes average around 27 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the Nordic countries and just 17 percent of GDP in the English-speaking countries.

On average, the Nordic countries outperform the Anglo-Saxon ones on most measures of economic performance. Poverty rates are much lower there, and national income per working-age population is on average higher. Unemployment rates are roughly the same…, just slightly higher in the Nordic countries. The budget situation is stronger in the Nordic group, with larger surpluses as a share of GDP…”


Nevermind the statistics. One need only look at who the happiest nations are. Venezuelans are happier than Americans right now. Ever since Canada has followed the right wing slide into stupidity and error like America, Canadians are less happy than we are.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_hap_net-lifestyle-happiness-net

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By LWM, November 24, 2007 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

“The dailykos has the done the best record check on Ron Paul that I have seen.  This website has a link to dailykos.”

PHenry at Dkos did excellent work.

David Neiwert and Sara Robinson at Orcinus have spent the last 20 years researching the extremist far right in America.

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/11/dark-side-of-paul-phenomenon.html

Chip Berlet and associates at PRA as well.

http://www.publiceye.org/

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Furthermore, his economic policies discourage racial discrimination far more than anything the government does. The free-market punishes discrimination. If you sacrifice productivity because of racial discrimination, you lose. Furthermore, you will have a whole demographic of consumers who won’t support your business. Example: Marge Schott (former owner of the Reds) was an outright racist. Despite her personal views, she realized that discriminatory hiring and salary allocation would be horrible for business, so she did not engage in any such discrimination. Government policies are wholly incompetent at combating these types of problems. Slavery would not have lasted without government policies, as is made evident by the superior advancement of the North over the South before the civil war. Which labor force is more productive: one that works hard to be rewarded, or one that works just hard enough to not be punished? Government policies enable this type of discrimination, the free-market condemns it. Example of affirmative action hurting those that it proports to help: Thomas Sowell: at MIT, one quarter of African-American students don’t graduate, a substantially higher percentage than the rest of the student body. This is an economic waste and his harmful to the people it intends to help. Any of the 1/4 who drop out would have been top students at most other schools, but because MIT wants to show off its diverse student body, people get accepted who shouldn’t be there. Nobody wins. I know this is an unpopular view, but Sowell’s statistics just don’t lie. I’m a jew and my wife’s a woman of color, but even if Paul was racist and anti-semitic, I would still vote for him because I know that he first and foremost believes in not imposing his personal views on the diverse group of people in this nation, out of which a large percentage will inevitably find his personal views repugnant. Freedom can be the only unifying principle in this country. We will never come to agreement on what we should teach our children or whether abortion should be legal, but if people could truly see the damage that the federal government does to this country, everyone except for the facists and militants could rally around individual liberty. Socialism doesn’t work. A big federal government will always do more harm than good. Understand the free-market before trashing it. It is the only economic system compatible with democracy in a diverse nation.

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By Dave23, November 24, 2007 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

And the true radical socialist bent of the bloggers on this site has finally come out. Your personal attacks on Ron Paul do little more than highlight the merits of his political positions. When we have a big federal government, the personal views and values of the decider are imposed on all of us, and those views will generally be wholly objectional to about 40% of the population. Big government republicans will try to push their abstinence only education, outlaw abortion, promote racial profiling of Muslims, etc., whereas big government democrats will try to maintain federal abortion laws, promote contraception, ban prayer in schools, etc. In either of those situations, a large percent of the population will be absolutely livid about what the government is pushing on them. In the case of a small government Constitutionalist like Paul, on the other hand, it doesn’t matter where he stands on personal issues, because first and foremost for him is not pushing the views of those in charge of the federal government on the hapless masses against their will. Many people have objected to his pro-life stance, but he is not for outlawing abortion. That would be an imposition of his personal views on a country where many people vehemntly disagree with him.

I’m very suspicious of the blog hatchet job being done to him with his supposed racist comments, but even if they are true, so what? If big government racist Rudy gets into power, people should be very fearful, because his personal feelings will be manifested in federal policies. All Muslims will be strip-searched in the streets for sure. Paul, on the other hand, despite his “racist” beliefs, has the least racist policies of anyone. For one, he is vehemently opposed to the most racist system working in our nation today, which is the war on drugs, which as we all know disproportionately affects African-Americans. How much have you heard Obama speaking on this issue? Whatever Paul may have said back in the 80’s just does not have any impact on what kind of leader he will be because of the nature of his political philosophies.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 24, 2007 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

#115451 by Shenonymous on 11/24 at 9:58 am
(I’d rather see the snake than have it bite me in the ass ....... It was heartening to see the Labor Party Rudd in Australia unseat the eternal conservative Howard government for Prime Minister….”

Oh, I had my page set to Pacific West Coast (Los Angeles) time - I hope. And I hope, too, that Obama realizes just how many fascists (Taleban) there are in Pakistan to drop bombs on. Such foolishness, uhh.

The French will have to sort themselves out after having voted in that Hungarian twit who had caused most of their problmes in the first place. Fear-driven security issues at home, not in Iran or Iraq, that is.

But my point was that there really is change happening - somewhere - and to take heart with that. Its really up to Americans, though, to make change happen and not to wait for another year…...

If people really did go out of their way to visit their representatives at home and in their offices and bring the message home to them, it would shake them!

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By Tony Wicher, November 24, 2007 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Re #115415 by cyrena on 11/24 at 2:26 am

Cyrena, you have my complete support. I don’t know what this Mulligan is talking about. From many posts on many threads and many different subjects you sound to me like a kind, gentle and reasonable person. It looks to me like Milligan is projecting his own propensity for anger and personal attack onto you.

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By troublesum, November 24, 2007 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

The dailykos has the done the best record check on Ron Paul that I have seen.  This website has a link to dailykos.

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By Shenonymous, November 24, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Not so fast Chalmers, regressive policies may have disappeared in your neck of the woods but they are rampant in Texas.  And how about Pakistan for today and what’s going on in France these days?  And how about our rehearsed news media?  Don’t we all wish repressive policy would disappear, or at least a lot of us.  I also refer to my post at #115451, just to let you know I was awake at least by the 7 a.m. news report. It’s lunchtime already, damn!

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 24, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

#115476 by Shenonymous on 11/24 at 12:08 pm: “Breakfast is over and time to revisit the military question… Who is going to attack us?  How about box cutters…”

In case you guys hadn’t noticed, breakfast Saturday came with a change of the federal government in Australia. That is significant because they just voted out the old Neocon regime and voted in a Democrats equivalent in a landslide.

What else? The new prime minister speaks fluent Chinese and his deputy (vice president equivalent) is a 46 yer-old woman…..... Times are changing. A decade’s regressive policies have just disappeared!

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