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Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Rand Paul

Posted on May 20, 2010
Why is a lefty excited by the thought of a Kentucky libertarian in Congress? Robert Scheer responds to reader questions and comments about his latest column.

3:03 Truthdig
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:03:25 GMT
Comment: Hello everyone. We'll begin in a moment.

3:07 zjas5 via twitter
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:07:03 GMT
 RT @Thom_Hartmann:Conservative David Frum: Republicans who fall for Rand Paul style political opportunism should start a Lemming Party (

3:07 Truthdig
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:07:47 GMT
Comment: Mitchell S. of Daegu, South Korea, asks: "Do you think government must play an active role in shaping the minds of the citizenry?"

3:08 Robert Scheer
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:08:21 GMT
Comment: That’s what democracy is all about. I don’t think the government should shape the minds of the citizens; the role of government is make the educational resources available so people can get the material that’s required to inform themselves. I don’t believe in this public supremacy, public relations; I don’t like propaganda of any kind.

3:08 Truthdig
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:08:49 GMT
Comment: sheikhmo in Los Angeles, Calif., asks: "What will you do to stop the wars in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and the funding of private contractors? Thank you."

3:09 Robert Scheer
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:09:29 GMT
Comment: Having a kind word to say for any politician that raises the right questions. This is why I wrote a column on Rand Paul -- because he challenges. I am tired of Cold War liberals now reinvented as terrorized liberals that justify military when they are betraying our interests. Indeed, libertarians have been more consistent in opposition to these wars than many liberals.

3:10 Truthdig
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:10:24 GMT
Comment: John Phillips of Grand Junction, Colo., asks: "What would you think of a website for the public to hold journalists to some standards?  For instance, virtually all journalists talk about domestic oil without clarifying that all that is really being discussed is the domestic production of oil. 

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't oil sold on the world market so no matter where
it is being produced the proceeds from the sale of oil are divided among the
contributing nations or companies.

It just seems that as politicians and corporations get more media savvy it would
help to have a place to go to decode what is being said.  Then the public can put
pressure on the networks to accurately decribe what is being discussed without
just parroting what they have read off a press release."

3:11 Robert Scheer
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:11:12 GMT
 Well, I think we are in better shape these days, thanks to the Internet, than we used to be on the mercy of three TV networks and few newspapers. We, as Truthdig, like to think we are in the business of correcting errors. The oil issues are important. I take your point, there is a lot to be said about domestic production.

3:12 Truthdig
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:12:31 GMT
  Ross in Philadelphia asks: "Do you think this could be a banner year for independents (eg, Crist and Chafee and Eliot Cutler in Maine) and third parties (eg, the Greens are running a strong candidate for gov in Illinois and a bunch of strong candidates at more local levels, and Libertarians are running hundreds of candidates in Texas alone, and the Georgia Libertarians are running a strong candidate for governor and so on), or is this so-called "anti-incumbent" mood limited to the major parties?  Or is it limited to the major parties and independents, with third parties excluded?  Or something else?"

3:15 Robert Scheer
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:15:10 GMT
  I think it is great to have these challenges to the Democratic and Republican parties. They have a lot of explaining to do -- even in the economy, it's amazing how much money is wasted on bailing out the banks, [and there are] high rates of foreclosures, unemployment and general misery. If ever a time to challenge thinking, this is it.


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By christian96, May 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Night Watch—-You don’t want to go behind the bus
with me.  It would be a decision much worse than
riding “old ringeye!”  I is a Christian!  What would
lead you to thing otherwise?  I’ve never read
anything about Lenin let alone have a picture hanging
in my house.  My hero is Jesus Christ.  Not a bad
role model.  He’ll be my buddy for eternity.  He
would tell me not to go behind the school bus but
I don’t always listen to him. I’ve loved a good fight
for years. Won most of them.

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By ardee, May 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

diamond, May 24 at 5:44 pm

Thank you for the precis on libertarian philosophy. I think you are a small voice crying out in the darkness in part because we the people seem to have lost the ability to delve into a subject and insist on short sound bites and preposterous surface analysis…..

Any rational citizen delving into the labyrinth that is Libertarianism must quite quickly understand it to be a journey backwards in time , back to a time when only propertied white folks mattered.

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By diamond, May 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

This is what Libertarians believe:

1. Libertarians invented outrage over government waste, bureaucracy, injustice, etc. Nobody else thinks they are bad, knows they exist, or works to stop them.
2.Enlightenment comes only through repetition of the sacred mantra “Government does not work” according to Guru Browne.
3.Only government is force, no matter how many Indians were killed by settlers to acquire their property, no matter how many blacks were enslaved and sold by private companies, no matter how many heads of union members are broken by private police.
4.Money that government touches spontaneously combusts, destroying the economy. Money retained by individuals grows the economy, even if literally burnt.
5.Private education works, public education doesn’t. The publicly educated masses that have grown the modern economies of the past 150 years are an illusion.
6.Market failures, trusts, and oligopolies are lies spread by the evil economists serving the government as described in the “Protocols of the Elders of Statism”.
7.Central planning cannot work. Which is why all businesses internally are run like little markets, with no centralized leadership.
8. Paternalism is the worst thing that can be inflicted upon people, as everyone knows that fathers are the most hated and reviled figures in the world.
9.Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearsome master. Therefore, we should avoid it entirely, as we do all forms of combustion.

How can these people save America or even themselves? They are extremist crackpots. I still remember Ron Paul saying that health care reform was not needed because he could remember people paying doctors with chickens when he was a young whipper snapper. Ron Paul and Rand Paul are ideological twins. This strain of American extremism is like all such ideologies: it holds out the hope of a false utopia once the phony villain (government) has been removed and delivers only injustice and suffering.

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By samosamo, May 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment


By Mordechai Vanunu, May 24 at 3:53 am

Interesting metamorphosis from ‘toot toot’ to Moridechai

Do you consider greed a motivator or modifier?

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By christian96, May 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

When did “Waco Willy” become “Mordechai Vanunu?”
Something strange going on here!  I’ve read about
the handful of people being in control of most of
the media but who supposedly controls “public
education?”  You will never find 100% of our public
becoming informed about issues enough to make a
rational enlighened decision about voting.  Just
watch The Price Is Right for a couple of days on
CBS at 11 am EDT.  You’ll quickly note the disparity
in intellectual functioning of the contestants.
The contestant who guesses closest to the price of
a product gets to go on stage to play for more prizes.  For example, one person will guess the price
of a prize to be $500.  The next contestant will bid
495$ leaving them only a range of $5 dollars to win.
That person definitely has low IQ and reasoning
abilities.  How will that person ever be taught
enough about political issues to make an enlighened
decision when they vote?  They won’t!  But you will
also notice during The Price Is Right when a contestant gets on stage and has to make decisions
they are constantly looking to the audience for
assistance in their decision making processes.  A
similiar type of process has to transpire during
elections.  The enlightened people in society will
have to inform the unenlightened who to vote for.
This will be difficult since most of the media is
controlled by a few people and will keep the enlightened off the media.  Years ago things were
different.  The corporations hadn’t learned how to
control the congress and media.  At that time
uninformed people would be told by others who to
vote for.  For example, I grew up in a coal mining
community in West Virginia.  The miners were not
enlightened enough to make a rational decision during an election.  The union and/or democratic
party told the miners who to vote for.  Now, the
unions have lost their clout and the Democrats are
in the pocket of the corporations just as the
Republicians.  So, who is going to tell the common
unenlightened person who to vote for?

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By archivesDave, May 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

Mr Scheer:
I agree with Ouroborus…
Suggestion: video clip w/comment box.

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By samosamo, May 23, 2010 at 11:30 am Link to this comment



“”“"3:08 Robert Scheer
Thu, 20 May 2010 23:08:21 GMT
Comment: That’s what democracy is all about. I don’t think the
government should shape the minds of the citizens; the role of
government is make the educational resources available so
people can get the material that’s required to inform
themselves. I don’t believe in this public supremacy, public
relations; I don’t like propaganda of any kind. “”“”“

Agreed, in a truly functioning democracy; but when the msm has
been subverted and its 4 or 5 owners dictate what the sheeple
are to get as information and when education is more predicated
on inquisitional states like texass dictating history, what chance
does ‘concerned john q public’ have in becoming informed from
that huge barrier of subversive ideologic shenanigans? All of it
intentionally planned and put into practice.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 23, 2010 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

The Finance Capitalist elite goes down with the rest.

They just haven’t figured out the mechanics yet.

Nor is one about to enlighten them.

One of the problems with Marx, who expanded Ricardo, is that in making his work public he made it available to the Capitalists, who studied it closely indeed.

Hilariously, the Capitalists are in some ways much more versed in Marxian economic mechanics than most of the people they exploit.

That’s obvious if you give it some deep thought.

They know exactly what “the surplus value of labor” is, for example, and exploit it mercilessly.

Merely by the way, the Communist Manifesto is perhaps the least important of Marx’s opera, and it is mostly out of date.

Incidentally also, potential reflexivity by the Capitalists is one of the reasons Guy Debord was very careful about what he wrote and made public.

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By christian96, May 23, 2010 at 2:07 am Link to this comment

Waco Willy—-You are absolutely right about the
train wreck but I’m not running.  I’m staying and
standing up for the children.  I have no fear what
people can do to me.  The worse they can do is kill
me but that isn’t bad.  The Bible says, “To be absent
from the body is to be present with the Lord.”  I
do think your advice to flee the train wreck is
appropriate for people who don’t believe in the
Bible and Yeshua(Jesus).  Yeshua discribed the
train wreck in Matthew 24:21, “For then shall be
great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever
shall be.”  He, then, gave comfort to his followers
in verse 22, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for
the chosen people’s sake those days shall be shortened.”  God is going to allow the train wreck
in slow motion in one last attempt to let mankind
repent and turn from their evil ways.  I don’t know
your personal beliefs about Christianity but I have
been studying it for 32 years. I ask you to trust
me.  Things have happened as predicted in the Bible
for thousands of years.  They continue to happen as
predicted and the train wreck you predicted will
come about just as described in Matthew 24.  It’s
not too late to repent now but the day is rapidly
approaching when it will be too late. I was wrong
to suggest antichristians flee the wrath to come.
You can’t flee anywhere on earth.  The conditions
described in Matthew 24 will cover the earth.

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By Carol DW, May 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

If you had said that Paul was too crazy to win I would have agreed with you.
It’s not the part of the budget that benefits war contractors or corporations that Paul is against, it’s any kind of social program. He’s all whoppee when it comes to war and corporate welfare.
I don’t think his campaign has anything to do with principals.
He is running on the sub-text of every GOP and “centrist Democrat” campaign for the last half century; racial hatred and whatever corporations want, corporations get.
We have enough like him in Congress. We don’t need any more.

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By christian96, May 22, 2010 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Waco Willy—-Sorry to hear about your set backs.
“Sorry we are not taking new medicare patients”
gives you an idea of the shape of our existing
medical coverage in the money-worshipping extant
world.  I remember years ago when doctors would
come to your house for treatment.  Those days are
long past.  I was in the hospital recently.  I ask
the nurse if I could look at my lab tests.  I saw
my white blood count was elevated.  I ask if I was
taking an antibiotic to which she replied “negative.”
I ask her to call the doctor and inform him I would
like to be started on a broad spectrum antibiotic.
She did.  After I had been on the antibiotic over
night my white blood count returned to normal.  The
next morning I ask the doctor why my white blood
count had been elevated?  He replied, “Because of
the steroids you are taking for asthma.” I informed
him I had been taking steroids for 30 years without
my white blood count being elevated.  His response
was, “I’m talking about the steroids they put in
your IV in the emergency room.”  I couldn’t recall
them putting steroids in my IV.  After he left I
ask the nurse to look at my records to see if I had
been given steroids in the emergency room.  I hadn’t.  The quality of health care is sliding down
hill rapidly.  It’s pretty bad when I have to tell
the doctor how to do his job! Back to proving
conscious “intent” to manipulate the media.  I’m
not sure how you would prove it.  I am sure the
people responsible for manipulating the media would
not admit it.

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By christian96, May 22, 2010 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

Waco Willy—-Sorry to hear about your ears going
bad but you need to thank God your brain hasn’t
gone bad.  I’d like to say most people’s brains have
gone bad but that isn’t the case.  Their brains didn’t go bad they just got redirected into sporting
events, soap operas, movies, tv programs, computer
games and the list goes on.  The significant question
is, “Did someone intentionally redirect their brains?” If so, then you got that big story you are
waiting on.  I am sure our college graduates are
behind the deceptive commericals manipulating the
public but did some college graduates actually get
together and decide to intentionally redirect the
brains of Americans away from significant issues
confronting us.  I think Uncle Sam’s finest refers
to this process as “diversionary” tactics. Got any
ideas how we would prove this actually happened?

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By Ralph Kramden, May 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer, you got it so,so wrong. This guy Paul is scary. What was it that Mussolini said: “Fascism should more properly be called Corporatism since it is the merger of state and corporate power.” You are supporting someone who thinks that attacking BP is un-American? Did you lose your bearings? So what’s good for GM is good for the country, huh? Slavery is good for GM. Then he went on attacking Civil Rights. What were you thinking or smoking at the time?
The name Rand strikes a cord, rings a bell. Was he named after that neo-fascist Ayn Rand? He seems to be living up to his namesake. The Rand Corporation? How would you like to have a name like Chrysler? Weird and scary, Ralph Nader’s nightmare, Growing UP Corporate.

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By kerryrose, May 21, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

I think Scheer will start backpedaling faster and faster.  Maybe it is age that made him do it.  I don’t think there is much excuse for his article no matter how many transcribed pages I have to read.

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By christian96, May 21, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

This morning I awoke around 4 am and couldn’t go back
to sleep.  I decided to check on the status of
basketball recruits for the University of Kentucky.
I clicked on The Lexington Herald, Lexington,
Kentucky.  I read a front page article titled
“Sen. Byrd, Massey CEO clash at hearing on mine
disaster.”  I posted the following comments after
the article.  Around noon I wanted to re-read the
article.  It had been removed from front page status
and place under “more stories.”  I don’t know who
owns The Lexington Herald but I thought it rather
strange the article was removed just hours after it
had been posted.

Christian96 wrote on 05/21/2010 04:18:45 AM:
I was born in a coal mining community in Western Kentucky. When I was 5
my father moved our family to Grant Town, West Virginia, where his brother
got him a job in the coal mines. My father worked 40 years in the mines
of Kentucky and West Virginia. My grandfather worked 50 years in the
mines of Tenneesse and Kentucky. I worked midnight shift for 6 months
while attending undergraduate at Fairmont State college. Thank God, I
was given enough intelligence to complete Master and Doctoral degrees
in Counseling and Child Development, teach at several universities, and
serve as School Psychologist for public schools in West Virginia and Ohio.
While working in the mines I had a safety issue in the mines one night.
After I complained to the superintendent of the mines he fired me. When
I told my father the next day he said, “Go down to the union hall and
file a case.” I did. I got my job back along with back pay. If it
hadn’t been for the United Mine Workers of America I would have lost my
job and the mines would have remained unsafe. Massey is against unions.
The miners need the UMWA to protect them aginst losing their jobs when
they report safety violations. If Senator Byrd wants to help coal miners
let him pass a law requiring all mines to become members of the United
Mine Workers of America. Shooting his mouth off in a Senate Committee
won’t help a thing. It will look good to voters but won’t help the


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By Ouroborus, May 21, 2010 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

You say “live chat” and I’m expecting Mp3. Sorry; I’m
not reading through 3 pages of chat!
I like Scheer when he’s speaking; but his writing is,
well, not the same.
Next time make a recording, please!

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