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Marginalizing Ron Paul

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Posted on Dec 29, 2011
AP / Charlie Riedel

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul is seen in a viewfinder as he speaks during a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

By Robert Scheer

It is official now. The Ron Paul campaign, despite surging in the Iowa polls, is not worthy of serious consideration, according to a New York Times editorial; “Ron Paul long ago disqualified himself for the presidency by peddling claptrap proposals like abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting a third of the federal budget and all foreign aid and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

That last item, along with the decade-old racist comments in the newsletters Paul published, is certainly worthy of criticism. But not as an alternative to seriously engaging the substance of Paul’s current campaign—his devastating critique of crony capitalism and his equally trenchant challenge to imperial wars and the assault on our civil liberties that they engender.

Paul is being denigrated as a presidential contender even though on the vital issues of the economy, war and peace, and civil liberties, he has made the most sense of the Republican candidates. And by what standard of logic is it “claptrap” for Paul to attempt to hold the Fed accountable for its destructive policies? That’s the giveaway reference to the raw nerve that his favorable prospects in the Iowa caucuses have exposed. Too much anti-Wall Street populism in the heartland can be a truly scary thing to the intellectual parasites residing in the belly of the beast that controls American capitalism.

It is hypocritical that Paul is now depicted as the archenemy of non-white minorities when it was his nemesis, the Federal Reserve, that enabled the banking swindle that wiped out 53 percent of the median wealth of African-Americans and 66 percent for Latinos, according to the Pew Research Center.

The Fed sits at the center of the rot and bears the major responsibility for tolerating the runaway mortgage-backed securities scam that is at the core of our economic crisis. After the meltdown it was the Fed that led ultra-secret machinations to bail out the banks while ignoring the plight of their exploited customers.

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To his credit, Paul marshaled bipartisan support to pass a bill requiring the first-ever public audit of the Federal Reserve. That audit is how readers of the Times first learned of the Fed’s trillions of dollars in secret loans and aid given to the banks as a reward for screwing over the public.

As for the Times’ complaint that Paul seeks to unreasonably cut the federal budget by one-third, it should be noted that his is a rare voice in challenging irrationally high military spending. At a time when the president has signed off on a Cold War-level defense budget and his potential opponents in the Republican field want to waste even more on high-tech weapons to fight a sophisticated enemy that doesn’t exist, Paul has emerged as the only serious peace candidate. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Paul last week warned an Iowa audience, “Watch out for the military-industrial complex—they always have an enemy. Nobody is going to invade us. We don’t need any more [weapons systems].”

As another recent example of Paul’s sanity on the national security issues that have led to a flight from reason on the part of politicians since the 9/11 attacks, I offer the Texan’s criticism this week of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The act would allow the president to order indeterminate military imprisonment without trial of those accused of supporting terrorism, a policy that Obama signed into law and Paul opposes, as the congressman did George W. Bush’s Patriot Act. Paul said:

“Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed. ... The Patriot Act, as bad as its violation of the 4th Amendment, was just one step down the slippery slope. The recently passed (NDAA) continues that slip toward tyranny and in fact accelerates it significantly ... The Bill of Rights has no exemption for ‘really bad people’ or terrorists or even non-citizens. It is a key check on government power against any person. This is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system.”

That was exactly the objection raised by The New York Times in its own excellent editorial challenging the constitutionality of the NDAA. It should not be difficult for those same editorial writers to treat Ron Paul as a profound and principled contributor to a much-needed national debate on the limits of federal power instead of attempting to marginalize his views beyond recognition.


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By ardee, February 11, 2012 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

bill, February 11 at 8:58 am

Would that god the gift he give us,
to see ourselves as others see us.

Pontificate away….

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By - bill, February 11, 2012 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

You haven’t been trying to discuss things rationally with Aquifer for over a month, Cliff, and getting nothing but repetitive, incompetent babble in return - even after repeatedly urging him to pay a degree of attention to others comparable to that which they are paying to his posts.  Perhaps you would not have come to the conclusion that he’s quite literally a moron (at least in the area of discussion) after that, but if you review the record here I suspect you’ll be able to understand somewhat better why someone else might.

Or not:  I don’t care very much, but since you seem to I thought I’d make the suggestion.  I’m entirely comfortable in making such judgments on my own given sufficient evidence, and not particularly politically correct about expressing them.

As for fools, I don’t have the impression that you or Patrick Henry or scott (who’s not here much now) qualify, nor tic (who’s just someone with an agenda to push rather than interested in factual debate), nor Korky (who’s merely uninteresting).  Aquifer, ardee, diamond, and Cyr qualify (though ardee could probably extricate himself from that category if his attitude were less knee-jerk in nature; diamond and Cyr seem to be Aquifer clones - though mercifully less prolific - who pay attention only to what they themselves write).  drbhelthi seems more a crank to me than a fool per se (some of his statements seem a little strange, but then I haven’t been paying very close attention to him).

As for SS, I already observed that almost doubling the salary cap would not only fix the system but do so by following the guidelines (90% coverage of total income) established during the reforms enacted a quarter-century ago (which have recently been allowed to lapse).  Of course, that assumes that the SS Trust Fund is repaid, which by law it must be (why some people seem to think that defaulting on that portion of our national debt is more acceptable than defaulting on our other national debt obligations is unclear, and I suspect most poll respondents assumed that it would be honored when making their responses - else their responses would have been very different, save possibly for response #3).

That makes eminently more sense than raising the retirement age or changing the funding basis (your options 3 and 2, respectively).  Then again, while the funding structure of SS is not rocket science it is sufficiently subtle that most poll respondents likely didn’t have a clue about what proposed solutions were suitable.

Haven’t had time to check your ‘$6.5 trillion shortfall’ assertion yet, but still hope to find time to do so.

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By Cliff Carson, February 11, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

By - bill, February 10 at 8:32 pm

“Well, Aquifer, you’re still a moron….”

Gosh Bill, you think you could lighten up some?

Are you the only person on this thread who is not a fool?

I’ve heard that the mark of a fool is that the fool cannot recognize any shortcoming of themselves.  Could that be true?  Do you have any shortcomings?

Can anyone disagree with you and be something other than a moron?

I refuse to call Aquifer a moron or any others on here, including you, a moron.

But since I have been guilty of such past behavior myself, I understand how easy it is to slip-up.

I have put together some Social Security info if you are interested. Thought it might interest you and others:

From a recent survey concerning suggestions of the public on what might be done to “Fix” SS.  The top 3 suggestions are given below.  Comments following the % are mine.

#1 Raise the Salary Cap 53%.  This means that people making higher incomes would have to pay more in dollars but not any more as a percent of their income.  In other words the six figured and up would pay more than they now have to pay.

#2 Tax more types of income 13%.  Not well though out by the responders because the entire SS scheme has always been based on wage earners income only.


#3 Raise the Retirement Age 12%.  Obviously would help. 

But what caught my attention was that no one said that the Government should have to pay back the money stolen from the Fund.

It is true that Congress when using the excess SS collections for things other than Social Security authorized the use of those funds.  But I ask, did anyone ask the “owners”, the future SS recipients, if they wanted to give away their retirement money?

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By - bill, February 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

Well, Aquifer, you’re still a moron (no real surprise there:  while, being an optimist, I’m often willing to give even apparently utter incompetents the opportunity to surprise me, since I’m not a fool myself I don’t EXPECT them to).

Go back and read my posts again (as I already instructed you to do before you responded incompetently yet again):  the questions you have raised (including whom I will vote for next November) are, as I noted, answered there - and if you read them carefully, your incompetent perceptions of where I stand (which you’ve repeated yet again above) are addressed as well.

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By Aquifer, February 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

bill,

OK- let’s see - you agree with Paul’s stands re SS and Medicare - phase out and privatize, no wars - no Fed’l right of women for choice, no EPA, hmm let’s see what have I left out. Oh, did I get those wrong? He has plans to extend and strengthen SS and Medicare? No source for that .... To guarantee women’s sovereignty over her own body? No, let the state’s decide ... Regulate pollution? No let the market decide ..... And you agree with all of those - is that right?

See, here’s the thing, bill - the only “sources” you have given relative to Paul’s positions, (and even here only had to do with SS and Med) have not backed up your claims as to what they are. So we have only your “assurances” they are what you say - and frankly they are so contrary to what is known even from your sources that one would have to be a bit addled to believe you - So although I am a “moron” I am not so totally frazzled that i think you have offered anything that would convince me or certainly anyone with more than a lick of sense that Paul and progressives are compatible beyond a couple of issues.

You haven’t said what you would do if Paul doesn’t get the Rep nomination - or if you have, please do refresh my memory -

You are Right, it is difficult to engage in a discussion with you - I have read your “answers”, or should i say “replies” as they are not responsive to my questions which is why i kept repeating them, hoping that you would actually answer if i reworded them so that you actually understood what i was asking - but it is clear to me, lo these many weeks, that you either cannot understand them or refuse to answer - and frankly at this point i am beyond caring -

The one thing you have consistently done is insult my intelligence (in more ways than one) and displayed a good deal of arrogance in the process -

Paul is a Rep, if he doesn’t get the Rep nod - he will have no place on the ballot - so if you really do have any prog bones in your body, I suggest you start trying to get Paul supporters to support Stein who will be on the ballot ....

Ronald,

Very interesting re Paul’s holdings ...

Those Barrick Gold people are a nasty bunch - it’s true, isn’t it, that if we went back on the gold standard, Paul would be sitting pretty. Conflict of interest much? Oh, heaven forbid, no indeed ...

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By ardee, February 10, 2012 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

By - bill, February 9 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Well, the morons are back in force, it seems - babbling as loudly and listening as little as ever.

Were you perchance looking in the mirror when you typed this? You should have been.

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By - bill, February 9, 2012 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm, Aquifer.  You keep asking the same questions that you’ve been asking and I’ve been at least relatively patiently answering for well over a month now, and yet claim you’re not getting answers.  The problem, however, is that you’re not READING the answers (which I already knew qualitatively but, having just reviewed how many times I’ve answered exactly the same questions over the past month-plus, now have a better appreciation of quantitatively).

So I’ll suggest that you do the same thing I just did:  first, make a list of the questions you have, and then read the responses I’ve made to you (well, one of them on New Year’s Day was to someone else, but you then subsequently discussed it with me) and see if you can find the answers to them.

If any questions remain that you have already asked at least once, repeat until they don’t.  If there are any NEW questions you have to ask, by all means ask them (but only after making sure that they haven’t been answered before).

Once you have proven your ability to engage in actual discussion rather than simply babble repetitively, I’ll at least tentatively remove you from the ‘moron’ category (hey, as I’ve said before, I’m fundamentally an optimist) and we can try talking.

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By Aquifer, February 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

bill,

I should have recognized your exposition of Paul as that of a man deeply steeped (stapled?) in mythology .... I suspect Venus and Zeus match up as well as Paul and progs ...

Overall effectiveness - in what, precisely, getting his mug on TV? Yup he has been able to do that better than Stein, no doubt about that. But then the MSM does stick with the duopoly ....
So do enlighten me, bill, what about the Green approach needs to change?

“they’re likely ignoring you for very similar reasons to ours (though we’re the only group which is likely to bother to tell you about them so that you could, should you choose, take action to eliminate them).”

“Ours”? “We”? who’s this “we”, bill - the papal we? What group does this “we” represent? You and Scott?  Another one of those who claim to be disaffected Greens or prior Green supporters who apparently will toss a good platform and good candidates overboard for what reason, precisely?

I guess it is pretty clear where Paul is coming from - him being a loyal Rep and all. And it is also clear that you are willing to throw a lot overboard in the name of, what, precisely?

Why don’t you clarify, bill, “what parts of his stances (you) can see merit in and what parts (you) can’t?  This should be interesting ....

I have no desire to “bludgeon” you into anything - nor do i think to convince you - that was a notion i abandoned long ago. But this isn’t just about you or me, now is it?

Hmmm, so when you keep saying the same things, you are “consistent - when i do, I am employing “canned rhetoric”. Well you are consistent in your insults, anyway, I’ll say that for you.

For someone who isn’t campaigning for Paul - you are spending a good deal of time and “canned rhetoric” on convincing folks he is worth supporting - hmm, i thought that’s what “campaigning” was ...

Greens have been running candidates against the duopoly all along - but they face the same problems on the local level as they do on the national one - problems aided and abetted by folks like yourself who insist on a ready made media covered party all set up for you so you can watch them on TV - isn’t that the definition of “effectiveness” in your dictionary? If you haven’t heard them - you haven’t been paying attention, but you don’t want to have to do that, do you - you want it handed to you, on TV and if a person isn’t on TV, well then (s)he can’t be worth much, now can (s)he?

You have just reiterated that it’s past % that dictate your thinking - not what we need to do or where we need to go - yeah, bill that is a perfect example of why we haven’t gotten anywhere and why we never will as long as folks think like you ...

You still haven’t answered my questions, but what else is new - you would prefer to be a running example of your own piscatory platitudes ....

As far as medicine - you better hope that folks who treat you or those you care about don’t decide whether to give up based on the odds ...

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By Korky Day, February 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps one reason I see hope that pro-rep might catch on with one of the 2 biggest parties in the USA is that I’ve seen it happen here in Canada.  The New Democratic Party (NDP) refused to back pro-rep (proportional representation) for years, so I quit it and joined the Green Party in 1996.  Years later the NDP saw that we Greens were attracting their most idealistic people, though very few of them, of course.  But the NDP decided our message would attract voters, too, so they stole our colour, Green, and added it to all their campaign materials, along with environmentalism, and along with pro-rep (which Canada doesn’t have yet).  Then, with those changes, the NDP grew from the 3rd largest party, with many seats in Parliament, to 2nd largest party, the official opposition.  I know that the USA is really slow to borrow ideas from the superior country to the North, but I have hope.

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By heterochromatic, February 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

bill———-it’s horrible that the people here aren’t intelligent enough for you.

maybe you would be better off concentrating on excelling in your management-
trainee program at White Castle…... Your (Almost) Highness

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By - bill, February 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Well, the morons are back in force, it seems - babbling as loudly and listening as little as ever.

What part of the fact that people like me consider the Green party to be functionally irrelevant (regardless of how much we may agree with its platform) and therefore a waste of our time and effort is managing to escape you?  What part of the fact that many of us developed this opinion only after having been supporters for the last decade or so and seen how consistently its once-promising presence went down hill stubbornly evades your reading comprehension?  What part of the fact that you’ll need to change the Greens’ approach to eliminate those perceptions (rather than have any chance at all of bludgeoning us into joining up despite them) is beyond your ability to assimilate?

Not that there are nearly enough people like me to make a difference, you know:  it’s the huge population of more conventional progressives (some of whom wouldn’t even characterize themselves as such) whom you need to attract - and they’re likely ignoring you for very similar reasons to ours (though we’re the only group which is likely to bother to tell you about them so that you could, should you choose, take action to eliminate them).

Where were you when Obama was frittering away his massive mandate for ‘change we can believe in’ and ‘an end to business as usual’?  Where were you when the Tea Party was aggressively taking advantage of the resulting vacuum in ‘hope’ and emergence of anger to shift most of the discussion to an “if government won’t keep its promises, then let’s get rid of government” theme?  If there was ever an opportunity for the Greens to jump up and provide a progressive alternative that was it - and I barely heard a whimper from them (whether because they were still partially in Obama’s thrall and therefore not really trying or because they were simply too incompetent to make their presence felt I couldn’t say).

As for Stein, getting only 1.4% of the gubernatorial vote in a state where she’s much better-known than she is nationally pretty much says it all:  she may be working hard, but hardly effectively.

Unlike you, I understand very well where Paul is coming from rather than simply parrot those pundits from the ‘progressive’ wing of the duopoly (e.g., MSNBC:  are Greens really so gullible that they’ll uncritically accept what such outlets spoon-feed them about Paul despite the fact that so much of the rest of what they dish out so obviously serves the Democratic wing of the duopoly?).  Unlike you, I can therefore pick and choose what parts of his stances I can see merit in and what parts I can’t and decide which deserve my support and whether, on balance, he might.  Of course, even if you weren’t getting your impressions from sources with their own, hardly Green, agenda, the fact that your minds seem no more open than those of most of the rest of our shepherded population could well prohibit you from making an unbiased assessment:  when Sturgeon’s Law states that 90% of everything is crap, it makes no exceptions for progressives (nor should it, in my experience).

Had you read what I’ve written carefully, Aquifer, rather than simply responded with your canned rhetoric that’s been essentially unchanged since you entered this thread, you’d have realized that a) nothing I’ve said (e.g., with respect to SS) has been inconsistent, b) I’m not campaigning for Paul, merely for accuracy in characterizing him, and c) I’m interested in overall effectiveness (not ‘winning’) and Paul is the only effective game in town these days in getting at least SOME progressive positions out there.  But, as usual, that’s likely far beyond your ability (see Sturgeon’s Law reference above).

(By the way, Venus was Roman, Zeus was Greek, and in any event it was Athena, not Aphrodite, who supposedly sprang fully-formed from Zeus’s brow.  Hope your grasp of medicine is a LOT better than the competence you’ve shown here.)

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By Cliff Carson, February 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

By - bill, February 9 at 8:08 am

“Cliff, if indeed this calculation is ‘very simple’ then it should be even more simple to provide specific pointers to the data that you used so that others can verify it.  Could you do so?”

Yes Bill you are correct, but not all that easy since your and my Government wants to confuse or hide facts from you.

Now I have found the GAO figures but to be a sport I’ll let you find the same.  When you do then we can go into much detail.

In summary here is what I found:

Government tables of revenue from Taxpayer and in the case of SS, contributing Company revenues from 1970 thru 2009.  Along with those tables were tables of payouts from 1970 thru 2009.  Remember I just calculated from 1988 earlier in this thread.  I reported that the Gvt had bilked the taxpayer out of a minimum of $6.5 Trillion.

I copied the income figures from 1970 and the outgo figures from from 1970 to 2009 subtracting the difference each year to wind up with a difference sum of $5.293 Trillion over that 40 years.  I don’t think you even want to know what applying an annual 6% interest rate will come to over those 40 years.

Not once in those years did the outgo exceed the income.  The average difference since 1988 is $273 Billion per year.  See I did this exercise some two years ago and I thought I remembered about $270 Billion annually.

This will take you less than an hour so get back with me when you find the site.

If you make an honest effort and just can’t find it, I’ll take you there and you can see the figures with your own two eyes.

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By heterochromatic, February 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

You might have enjoyed talking with Arendt, St Davie. She also supported Nixon
and John Mitchell when they called for “preventive detention” for anti-war
demonstrators.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, February 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

A far larger majority of American voters (more than twice the percentage) has regularly provided popular vote mandates for corporatism than the German voters did 80 years ago.

The weak minded and weak willed are always easily seduced by the power politics of fascist organizations… especially when they’ve been “educated” to be uneducable.

We are where we are — and where we are headed — because near all of America’s voters have robotically (corporate conditioning compliantly) refused to vote for any candidates who are not manufactured by the corporate party’s money; air war advertised by the corporate owned media; and ground war supported by the corporate party machine’s thugs.

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

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By heterochromatic, February 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

any time, Aqui…take care of them digits till then.

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By Aquifer, February 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Korky,

“We then can and should, I think, say to him (and to Obama), “We’ll throw our support to you (as much as we can) IF you will abolish the 2-party system with pro-rep (proportional representation).”  Then we’ll see if either promises credibly.  If one does and then he follows through, we have to suffer their bad temporary rule, but all subsequent elections have the possibility of being democratic, which they never have been yet.  That would be a good, fair deal.”

The problem i have with that, Korky, is that is what we, as a group (not the Greens, except when they did that awful safe-state crap) have been doing for waaaay too long - “Oh please, just tell us you will do this and we will fall in line”, so of course they will tell us they will do it,  but seeing as how neither one is campaigning on it, nor has lifted a finger or a pen in their time in office to produce it, somehow i think it would not be too farfetched to suggest that we might well be fools to believe it. In the meantime we would have failed to support, contribute to and vote for the one candidate who would do something to advance it.

Korky, we have been taken for fools and for granted far too long already, don’t you think it is time to just say “NO” and MEAN it?

hetero,

I don’t think folks are “fascist dupes”, but i do think they have not been paying enough attention. There are all kinds of reasons for that of course, a subject for another time .......(my 2 typing fingers are getting sore! ...)

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By Aquifer, February 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

bill,

“But people like you and Aquifer don’t seem to be able to wrap your minds around the fact that people can be progressive and yet not agree with you that supporting the Green party (as currently run) is the answer - which really doesn’t matter (we’ll just continue to ignore you) but does add to the repetitive noise level around here.”

See here’s the problem, bill - the reason we don’t get anywhere is that too many folks like you are willing to abandon too many progressive principles for the sake of “winning” - doesn’t seem to matter what you win, as long as you “win” - so you play the odds, not the principles. This is the “strategy” that has been played for too long and guess what, even when folks “won” with Obama, say - what did they “win”?

i have my own frustrations with the Green party qua “Party” - i am an indy. But their platform and their candidate, ON THE MERITS, are the superior to anything else out there. The funny thing is, you never argue otherwise - you never debate on the merits only on the odds - as set by the fact that the MSM allows Paul a platform - so not only will you quit on a long term prog effort - “THEY need to figure out how to become relevant” - but you will IGNORE those who are engaged in that effort.

What, precisely, would a “good alternative” look like to you, bill? “Relevant”? What the hell does that mean? There is nothing more relevant out there, at this time than the Green platform. So it must have to do with something else - celebrity name recognition? MSM coverage? Lordy, how superficial can you get - that is precisely why we are in the mess we are in - You are waiting for a muscular “relevant” party fully formed like Venus from the head of Zeus?

Stein is out there busting her buns - traveling all over meeting with folks - every bit as much as your “chosen”. The difference? She isn’t on MSM - have you even bothered do watch her stuff? We are continually told to “check out RP”, have you checked out Stein? If you keep insisting that it is the media attention that makes someone relevant, which seems to be the crux of the argument here, then you are perpetuating the system. THAT is the noise we don’t need any more of .....

Scott,

You’re back! It’s like old home week ....

“Imagine if we KNEW that unless Paul (or some other anti-war candidate) was elected we get war with Iran (or Syria). .. If that was the case, would it really be justified to reject voting for Paul out of hand? Even if electing Paul would be the only way to avoid another costly war ..... “

Well we don’t “KNOW”, but in any case you could substitute “Stein” for “Paul” in your questions and wind up with the same end plus a lot of other good stuff and non of the baggage ...

“Unfortunately, our corporate masters have conditioned us well.  We love Big Brother and we’ll vote for whom we’re told to vote for.”

Sigh, sigh - too true - in the end you apparently agree “TINA to the duopoly” - you can pick an eccentric Rep but don’t dare go outside that Dem/Rep paradigm ...

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By Aquifer, February 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

bill,

You continue to amaze me - providing fixes for SS that are well known, simple and would keep the system in the framework it is now - but are never proposed by Paul - “opting out”, making it a less than the all worker funded system it now is, would destroy it. You seem to concede that fact when you offer extension of Medicare to everyone as a solution to its woes - the exact opposite of “opting out”. Again, Paul, apparently backs the Ryan plan which is amounts to the privatization of Medicare.

bill, you are backing progressive or Green party solutions to these problems which are decidedly antithetical to the Libertarian free market ideology of Paul.

Paul is “politically relevant” to the extent he is a member of the duopoly - make him a 3rd party and he,  and all these wonderful things you love about him, apparently, by your “calculus”, becomes irrelevant. So, in essence you are playing “the lesser evil” game with the twist that this time the Rep is the lesser evil. He is not challenging the duopoly - he is part of it and content to remain so. He is eccentric, yeah, but so is Kucinich and where did that get us ....

As far as what is being discussed - lot’s of things are being “discussed” - he has his 15 minutes of fame in the debates, but after the primaries? Will he run as a 3rd party on his “principles” if he doesn’t get the Rep. nomination? And if he won’t, why not? Because he doesn’t want to take votes away from the Reps? He’ll be a good “party” man, like Kucinich is?

As far as “merely considering” Paul - LOL - you are doing a hell of a lot more than that - you are actively campaigning for him ... Nobody “owns” anyone’s vote - it is just mighty curious that some who insist on styling themselves progs will push a righty libert over a lefty prog candidate .... And you are the one, by dismissing 3rd parties, who is reinforcing the TINA (to the duopoly) or “nowhere else to go” mantra.

Tell ya what, bill - keep having Paul talk about this stuff re “progressive positions” before the cameras, then, in the election, actually vote for a real progressive - Stein. How about it?

So if Paul ain’t on the ballot and Stein is, what will you do?

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By diamond, February 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

“As usual, diamond, you’re the one who’s a fool.  I’m nominally a Democrat despite the fact that I abhor what the national Democratic establishment has become and NEVER subscribed to EVERYTHING that the party even nominally stood for.”

And are you taking your medication for political schizophrenia? I’m glad to see that you’re a man of firm conviction who is ‘nominally a Democrat’ even though you abhor them and have ‘never subscribed to everything that the party even nominally stood for’. I would say you are nominally a cynic who believes in nothing and only votes to get back at people or to advance what you see as your own self-interest. A Libertarian, in other words. Now, remind me again. Who is a fool?

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By ardee, February 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

bill, February 7 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

You might at least have read the material you cited before blustering so incompetently about it, ardee (I had certainly read it before you brought it up).  It conforms PRECISELY to the statements I made about Paul’s positions in this area, from his current position that Social Security commitments represent real obligations that need to be honored (coupled with his parenthetical wish to be able to provide an OPTIONAL opt-out mechanism -

Your massive ego is showing, yet again,Bill. Work on it please.

Your massive ignorance is also showing in that you buy into Paul’s bullshite that social security, which requires all to participate in order to continue to fund the previous generations retirees, can allow people to opt out and yet remain viable. It cannot!

You seem to believe that you can heap on the bull and think folks here will buy into it. You cant and we dont. Grow the eff up, kid.

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By heterochromatic, February 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

yes, Korky, the result still counts….and the result is that nearly 13,252 voters out
of Minnesota’s 3,000,000 voted for Ron Paul.

he has proven support from not quite 1/2 of 1% of the Minnesota electorate!!!!!!

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By Korky Day, February 9, 2012 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

To heterochromatic:  Even if the turn-out was low in Minnesota, the results still count.  Other states might be the same.  Someday, the USA, when it becomes a democracy, will have decent voter participation.  One way would be Australia’s mandatory voting, but I prefer my “voter tax rebate” plan at http://www.korky.ca and http://nfirc.weebly.com/philocracy-p-3.html .
Also, you slurred David J. Cyr.  He did not say that “half the electorate is contentedly sociopathic”.  In truth, they foolishly and DIScontentedly vote against their interests and for the SHORT-TERM interests of the !%.

Aquifer forgets that I do not support Ron Paul.  I urge people to vote for him in the primaries to make the general election better, in which I will back the Green Party, as usual.  Then we Greens might have someone (Ron Paul) with whom we can deal.  We then can and should, I think, say to him (and to Obama), “We’ll throw our support to you (as much as we can) IF you will abolish the 2-party system with pro-rep (proportional representation).”  Then we’ll see if either promises credibly.  If one does and then he follows through, we have to suffer their bad temporary rule, but all subsequent elections have the possibility of being democratic, which they never have been yet.  That would be a good, fair deal.

Aquifer is right that we in the Green Party have the best positions.  We are not getting much mainstream coverage.  Not our fault.  The public must demand better—and must pay attention to the media which do a better job, such as TruthDig.

David J. Cyr says, “No candidate representing an actual alternative would represent either faction of the corporate party — neither Republican, nor the Democrat.” Usually true.  I’m hoping that Ron Paul, a semi-progressive, will be an exception:  a successful Trojan Horse candidate.

scott425 is right that some of you are too nasty.  But other discussions are worse, so I stay here.  He’s also counting out Ron Paul too soon.

“bill”, too, seems to think that it’s the Greens’ fault that the mainstream media ignore us.  If he were right he should join us and show us how to get fair coverage without compromising our principles.  I forget his “other suggestions”.

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By heterochromatic, February 9, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Yes, St. Davie, the Green Party would be stronger if people supported it. Well, well
thought-out that. Thanks.

You just go right-on calling everyone who ignores the Green Party fascist dupes
and, quicker’n shit through a goose, you’ll have all kinds of people joining you.


Thanks again. and think about a career that involves selling door-to-door.

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By David J. Cyr, February 9, 2012 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

The Green Party would easily become both “relevant” and a strong viable political alternative, if the American electorate ever decided to participate in providing popular vote mandates (even just minority mandates) for the Greens’ holistic solutions, rather than senselessly continuing to robotically provide popular mandates to make the corporate (R) & (D) party’s Problem protection and production become worse with every election.

The only evidence for the existence of democracy in America is that we all get the fascist corporate shit that Republicans and Democrats keep voting together for.

Fascist nations allow elections when near all the voters can be trusted to always vote for fascists.

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By - bill, February 9, 2012 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Cliff, if indeed this calculation is ‘very simple’ then it should be even more simple to provide specific pointers to the data that you used so that others can verify it.  Could you do so?

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By - bill, February 9, 2012 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

You just don’t get it, David:  I’m certainly seeking a good alternative, but the Green party doesn’t provide one - any more than you would if you started a David For President campaign and had a platform with which I agreed 100% (which is usually the case with the Greens, or at least close to it).

You would simply be irrelevant, just as the Greens are.  They need to figure out how to become relevant, and clearly merely having a good platform isn’t sufficient.  I really hope that they succeed in this, but until they at least show some signs of starting to I’m not about to waste any more time and effort on them than I already have over the years.

Having a recognized and credible figure like Nader at the top of their ticket helped a dozen years ago, and a while ago in this thread I made a few other suggestions of things they might try.  But people like you and Aquifer don’t seem to be able to wrap your minds around the fact that people can be progressive and yet not agree with you that supporting the Green party (as currently run) is the answer - which really doesn’t matter (we’ll just continue to ignore you) but does add to the repetitive noise level around here.

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By scott425, February 9, 2012 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Sigh, I don’t understand the need for all these nasty personal and ad hominem attacks.  As far as I’m aware most of the disagreements in these comments are about strategy rather than substance.  It ought to be possible to discuss this stuff without attacking other people’s character and motives.

From what I can tell, the effort to recruit progressives to support Paul has largely failed—the media has suceeded in convincing progressives it is unethical to vote Paul.

But in reality the case for voting for him is stronger then ever.  Since this article was written, the drumbeat and liklihood of a new war has only increased.

Imagine if we KNEW that unless Paul (or some other anti-war candidate) was elected we get war with Iran (or Syria).

If that was the case, would it really be justified to reject voting for Paul out of hand?  Even if electing Paul would be the only way to avoid another costly war sure to cause unprecedented anti-Americanism and result in a mountains of death, corruption and graft?

The truth is that even supporters of Obama ought to be voting for Paul in this primary.  I can understand that some people see no point in voting for Paul because they don’t want either Paul or Obama as president.  However, if we really want some incremental change in this nation then its hardly disputable that a Paul/Obama campaign would force Obama to come our way on war and civil liberties.  Instead we’ll get Obama/Romney where Romney will be attacking Obama for cutting back on the budget and hestitation over going to war with Iran.  Obama will pretend to be pro-peace, while making no actual pledge to avoid war.

Unfortunately, our corporate masters have conditioned us well.  We love Big Brother and we’ll vote for whom we’re told to vote for.

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By Cliff Carson, February 9, 2012 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

Bill

How I calculated the $6.5 Trillion is very simple and are just my numbers predicated on the over collection (collected - paid out) since 1988.

Those records are abvailable from the GAO records.

Comparing the collected - payouts over those years = an average of approximately $270 Billion per year.

There is no record that I know of that says “Here is the amount of money in the these programs combined” because you might recall that the payouts I noted are for SS and Medicare for which the funds are collected plus moneys pulled from those collections for Medicaid and various other programs for which these SS and Medicare funds were not intended.

Note that I said the payouts in total not just for SS and Medicare were about $270 Billion less than the moneys collected to pay for SS and Medicare only.

Since that money collected was not used solely for the purpose for which it was collected, I used the calculated $6.5 Trillion as a MINIMUM owed the SS and Medicare fund if such a thing existed.

Basically the Fund for SS and Medicare (two separate programs) are nothing but a collection of IOU’s from our Government, a debt they would like to renege on.

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By David J. Cyr, February 9, 2012 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, bill:

“Figuring out just what’s wrong with the Green party’s approach might be more productive than simply castigating those who don’t find that party a credible alternative.”
____________

There’s no mystery as to “what’s wrong with the Green Party.”

Green Party voters vote against the corporate (R) & (D) party’s continuum of aggressor war, insane environmental degradation, and neoliberal economic exploitation; while also voting for Single-Payer healthcare for all, sustainable energy solutions, and human equitable economic policies.

Green Party voters vote for future generations to have a future — and to have a future worth having — while the corporate party’s (R) & (D) voters compete over how to use up all our childrens’ future now.

The “progressive” voters who restrict themselves to choosing only between the money manufactured (R) & (D) candidates of the sociopathic corporate party have no credibility in their claims to be seeking good alternatives.

No candidate representing an actual alternative would represent either faction of the corporate party — neither Republican, nor the Democrat.

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By - bill, February 9, 2012 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

As usual, diamond, you’re the one who’s a fool.  I’m nominally a Democrat despite the fact that I abhor what the national Democratic establishment has become and NEVER subscribed to EVERYTHING that the party even nominally stood for.

Labels are for people too feeble-minded to deal with specifics.

As for you, Aquifer, you continue to insist on your own view of where Paul stands on SS regardless of what he actually says about it.  It’s certainly true that he’s not a fan of the system, but it’s equally true that he believes not only that current commitments must be honored but that it should remain an option for future clients.  I suspect that he thinks many people would opt out if given the opportunity and I suspect that he’s wrong in that assumption - but the main point is that he’s committed to continuing the system for people who want it (a position consistent with Libertarian principle), not to destroying it regardless of its popularity.

As for your statement “I suppose what am curious about is why all the emphasis on getting progs to support Paul”, I’d ask you where you got that impression.  You seem to have your panties in a twist because some progressives are merely CONSIDERING Paul and defending him against incompetent attacks, rather than rejecting him out of hand as you do.  That smacks of the same kind of “you’re progressive so we own your vote” hauteur that I find so disgusting in the Democratic party, and I suspect stems from a similar source.

As for why some progressives are looking at Paul rather than Stein, that’s been more than adequately explained many times here.  Paul currently matters (i.e., is visible on the political stage), Stein currently doesn’t (and shows little sign of changing that).  If you want the progressive values that Paul DOES stand for discussed, Paul’s currently the only candidate making them visible.  For that matter, if you want the duopoly challenged, Paul’s the only visible candidate doing that, either.

The bottom line is that Paul has over the years done the groundwork that it takes to become politically relevant, while Stein and more generally the Green party have not - certainly not since 2000, anyway.  Figuring out just what’s wrong with the Green party’s approach might be more productive than simply castigating those who don’t find that party a credible alternative.

I’d like to see your numbers, Cliff.  Last I knew there was a bit over $2.6 trillion in the Social Security Trust Funds, and my impression is that there’s nothing like nearly another $4 trillion in the Medicare Trust Fund (which is what it would take to bring the total to your $6.5 trillion figure) - in fact, I’m reasonably sure of it, because if there were it would be reflected in the figures for the national debt, and it isn’t.

Accounting for Social Security is pretty transparent, so just how large amounts of money could have disappeared from that program is not obvious.  Even with the existing Trust Fund Social Security is indeed far from ‘broke’, but does need tweaking to allow it to maintain scheduled benefits beyond about 2036:  simply restoring the FICA income tax ceiling to something like $200,000 to cover the 90% of total national income that it was planned to cover back in the mid-‘80s reforms plus temporarily a bit more to cover recent shortfalls in that area would likely be sufficient to keep it solvent for its full 75-year planning horizon.

Medicare, being less robust in its accumulated cushion and in part depending upon yearly appropriations from the general fund, is in greater need of more immediate attention.  The best solution would be to extend it to cover everyone (including those whom the vaunted but horribly wasteful Affordable Care Act will NEVER cover) and thereby achieve major system efficiencies (including provider efficiencies) which would allow current health-care outlays to satisfy requirements for at least many more decades.

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By diamond, February 9, 2012 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

“Right, diamond:  since you’ve got a label to put on him, what he actually says doesn’t matter.”

I have put the label on him that he proudly wears himself. He is a Libertarian: he has never denied it and is proud of it. From there you go to the Libertarian Party platform, their manifesto of their beliefs and their agenda. Then you know what Ron Paul stands for - or if it isn’t what he stands for then he’s a liar as well as a fool. But his foolishness pales into insignificance next to that of the desperadoes who think he will come down from the mountains with a new Ten Commandments and save their souls.

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By Cliff Carson, February 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

I would like everyone to remember that SS and Medicare are “not broke”.

Our Government has been collecting about $270 Billion per year more thru paycheck holdouts for SS and Medicare than it has been paying out annually to SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and SSI combined, for many years. So one should expect a tidy kitty available for paying these programs for many years to come.

Because of the high unemployed rate over the last two years the Government no longer collects more than paid out annually, but my calculation is that about $6.5 Trillion has disappeared that was collected over the years for these programs and never paid out to them.

Where is that money that was collected to pay for what was promised us Seniors? 

U S Government: When you pay us back that $6.5 Trillion -then and only then- tell me SS and Medicare are broken.

Otherwise quit lying.

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By Aquifer, February 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Korky,

I understand your argument that Paul has been consistent in his principles, and being consistent in one’s principles is a trait sorely lacking in politicians by and large and so, in that sense, is “refreshing”; I can understand being enamored of him for that reason alone. So all the more reason to examine those principles very carefully. You seem willing to elect him for what you see as his anti-war stance alone, never mind what else he might do - i do not think that a wise road to follow. If he were the only one out there with that position, one could argue it was worth it, but he is not.

I suppose what am curious about is why all the emphasis on getting progs to support Paul - why not get Libers to support Stein? Frankly it gets rather exasperating to be continually told “Well that’s nice, dear, but it’s not your time yet, come back later” and somehow later never comes. So we keep “lesser evils” because we won’t go for the “good”. But if not now, when?

I, for one, have never claimed Paul “can’t win”, for several reasons !) I hate the “can’t win” meme. In my estimation its widespread adoption has been one of the elements militating against the success of third parties, so i won’t use it - anyone, on the ballot “can” win 2) never underestimate your opponent 3) there are stranger things under heaven and earth ....

From my perspective, and the gist of my argument, is that i don’t WANT him or any of the other of the duopoly candidates TO win. So i will explain why, which is getting easier and easier as time goes on, and that there IS another alternative and we should be working our buns off for THAT alternative because that is who SHOULD win if we want to see substantive positive changes.

I have seen your argument over and over - and it amounts to “the lesser of 2 evils” routine with the interesting twist this time around, that, from a “progressive” slant, a Rep is actually the “lesser”.

And i have seen, over and over, how “the good guys” seem to be willing to toss fundamental prog principles over the side in the interests of “strategy” - and every time it backfires. You really do need to be careful what you ask for, for you will surely get it.

Indeed, in politics, as in medicine, the enemy of “the good” can be “the better”, but that assumes you have a “good” to start with, and none of these Dem/Rep guys/gals are any good from what I can tell. The “lesser of 2 evils” does not qualify as a “good” or even “good enough”. It seems to me that one of the reasons we are in the fix we are in is because we have dropped our standards way too low already. It’s time, way past time, to raise them.

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By heterochromatic, February 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

St Davie—-when you get to the point where you’re saying that half the electorate
is contentedly sociopathic, you’ve lost your sense of proportion as well as well as
ceased to used words within their meaning.

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By David J. Cyr, February 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Having 99% of 50% of the eligible electorate support sociopathic corporate (R) & (D) party policies doesn’t make the majority more sensible, or any less sociopathic than a 1.7% turnout of sociopaths. It just makes the sociopathy much more effectively destructive.

It would be a better (and sustainably survivable) world if far fewer people supported the corporate party’s sociopathic policies, not more.

Democrat voters don’t dissent. They corporate party compliantly consent.

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By Aquifer, February 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

bill,

On SS - he would supplement it with general funds “to get over the hump” to make up for all the money lost to the system when the younger folks opt out - in order to make sure the folks now counting on it won’t get screwed (to do otherwise would leave his candidacy dead in the water with anybody other than the single white male under 30 crew)- when the current crowd is “done and gone” there will be no more - he wants out of the system - that he has made pretty clear. There will be no SS for those younger folks cause they will have “opted out” for private savings - that’s what he wants and you damn well know it. If you don’t, you are the one not facing “the facts” ...

He says SS is broke - it ain’t, Dean Baker has done a lot of debunking re that myth. That “broke” meme is a sure sign he has no intention of rescuing it. It has been traditionally used by those who have wanted to privatize it. And SS was not intended to be an “equalizing system” to begin with - but to provide a safety net in retirement. Paul would rely on “the market”, not the government to provide that net - I am SOOOOO relieved ....

If the right wingers are comfortable with Paul’s stand on the issues it is because they share them - “get the government out of our lives” and that includes the programs of the “nanny welfare state”. “Take responsibility for your own life, and if you fail, well TS! That’s the way it is!” 

OTOH, if folks actually think Paul intends to preserve SS for coming generations they are as deluded about him as Obamabots were/are about Obama - and as long as he can play footsy “I haven’t said much about that (and i don’t want to!)” and not shove it in folks faces, the happier he is to leave them so. All this “rationale” you keep filling in for him comes from you and not him - you are a “believer” and are unwilling to accept or admit that from a lefty perspective, there are significant problems with Mr. Paul.

I think if you had stuck with the arguments you made in your post of 12:17 today, you would have been better off. Just admit that Paul sucks on a lot of prog issues, but you like him for the reasons you mentioned. Korky, it seems, has taken this tack.

Don’t pretend he is something he is not - You apparently think his pluses are worth more than his minuses - OK there is the debate. Just don’t deny or obfuscate the minuses ...

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By heterochromatic, February 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

now, now St Davie—-the turnout in Minnie was 1.7%—-
which is pretty damn feeble, but it’s still more than
Jill managed in her 2010 run for governor.

stop yer grumbling an go roll up your sleeves and lay
waste some them non-dissenters, buddy.

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By David J. Cyr, February 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

The corporate party’s (R) faction Minnesota primary participation isn’t actually an anomaly.

All the Corporate States of America’s elections have had low turnouts, with their skewed results favoring sociopathic policies.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By heterochromatic, February 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Korky—-wasn’t the turnout in Minn absurdly small? am I
correct in thinking that it was less than 2% of the
registered voters of the state?

isn’t such a tiny turnout going to produce a skewed
result of the more zealous voters accounting for far
more than their real weight?

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By Korky Day, February 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Ron Paul got 27% yesterday in Minnesota—almost exactly the combined votes of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.  That was 2012 February 7.  Still too volatile to predict the end.

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By heterochromatic, February 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

libertarians have barely registered on the political scale is correct and is a merit-
based result.

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By - bill, February 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Oh, by the way:

It’s the neocons and more recently neolibs that got America where it is today:  Libertarians have barely registered on the political scale, and don’t much like either of those groups.

But of course the incompetent wouldn’t recognize such distinctions:  by definition, anyone of a different stripe than theirs must be the enemy and therefore responsible for all the world’s ills.

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By - bill, February 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Right, diamond:  since you’ve got a label to put on him, what he actually says doesn’t matter.

How progressive of you.

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By diamond, February 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

I’ve been grabbed by the scruff of the neck? Strangely, I didn’t notice. And the man’s a Libertarian: like all politicians he’ll say anything to get elected but he’s a Libertarian and that as far as I’m concerned is that. He can spin like a top but years of Libertarians and their strange, inhuman beliefs is what got America in the ditch it’s in. Now he claims he wants to haul it out but he’s still a Libertarian so he can’t and won’t.

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By - bill, February 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Damn - that should have been ‘hordes’, of course:  I originally wrote ‘hoardes’ (sort of splitting the difference) and then corrected it incorrectly.

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By - bill, February 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

You’re the ones not paying attention, tic:  you keep babbling about what your uninformed preconceptions are rather than analyzing what Paul actually SAYS, and when grabbed by the scruffs of your necks and having your noses pushed down into what he’s said in one area desperately try to shift the discussion to what he’s said somewhere else (and, of course, there are significant areas where what he says is directly opposed to progressive values - just not the ones I’ve been talking about, and several more besides).

The facts remain as follows:

1.  Paul’s positions are considerably to the left of not only the other Republican candidates but also Obama’s observed behavior in at least the 8 areas I listed a while ago (and those were just the ones obvious to someone who hasn’t paid much attention to Paul until the past couple of months).

2.  Having someone with Paul’s visibility on the national stage articulate these positions during this presidential race is IMPORTANT:  otherwise, we’d just see the normal Tweedledee/Tweedledum caricature of political ‘choice’ being played out yet again.

3.  Even just stirring politics up by introducing non-establishment views, whether progressive or not, has significant value.  Wholly-owned subsidiaries of the existing duopoly like you may fight them tooth and nail, but that’s largely because they’re successfully threatening said duopoly by causing less ossified people to start questioning whether that’s the best we can do - considerably more effectively than other outcasts like the Green party have been able to do at least since 2000 (which Green adherents seem to find threatening as well, which is too bad but probably just human nature:  seeing someone else succeeding where you’ve failed is easy to resent, especially when you’ve got significant reservations about parts of that success).


Given the sheep-like loyalty such a large portion of the voting public has to its two major shepherding parties and the knee-jerk abhorrence many on the left have for ANYTHING smacking of liberal apostasy that leaves Paul with a very limited potential clientele from which to draw support.  The fact that he has drawn as much as he has is one of the more encouraging developments I’ve seen since the mass-defection of the Democratic party from its traditional positions back in 2003-2004 (not that it had been doing very well in actually adhering to those positions for the previous decade or so, but at least it was still giving them lip service and token support until then).

That’s why some people on the left like me feel that Paul’s candidacy is far too valuable to allow it to be marginalized by the so frequently incompetent criticism of the braying hoards.  Scheer’s article above at least partially gets this - which is why it’s generated so much push-back from the likes of you.

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By heterochromatic, February 8, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL BILL>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> PAY NO
ATTENTION TO ANY OTHER LITTLE MAN BEHIND THE

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By - bill, February 8, 2012 at 2:39 am Link to this comment

I put it in caps, diamond, to try to get it through the thicker skulls in the audience.  In your case it obviously still didn’t, but one can hope that’s because your skull is even thicker than most here.

Learning to parse English for content and then actually respond to it is a necessary step toward becoming an actual contributor rather than simply braying background noise.  Of course, that may not be a goal for you (in fact, all evidence so far suggests that it isn’t).

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By diamond, February 8, 2012 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

“And making Social Security a matter of choice AS LONG AS THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO OPT IN RECEIVE EXACTLY THE SAME BENEFITS THEY’D RECEIVE AND PAY EXACTLY THE SAME FICA TAXES THEY’D PAY IF EVERYBODY OPTED IN is kind of a no-brainer. “

This is incoherent garbage and putting it in capitals only makes it look even stupider than it is. There are only two choices with people who spout all this crap about Ron Paul being the best thing since sliced bread:

1. You wouldn’t know the truth about Paul’s agenda if it came up and bit your on the behind because you are completely clueless.

2. You know exactly what his agenda is and you agree with it and want him to do all the ghastly, anarchistic, reactionary things he wants to do.

Either way, you’re part of the problem and so is he so neither of you can be the solution.

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By - bill, February 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

To answer your last question first, Aquifer, I came back because I got tired of seeing the morons dominating the discussion here.  Call it a civic duty, if you like.

Since you obviously don’t understand the change Paul is advocating for Social Security any better than you understand anything else, I’ll spell it out again, trying to use words of fewer syllables:

Paul is advocating that whatever funding shortfall may occur due to people opting out of SS be covered from general tax revenues.  While you’re correct that Paul’s attitude toward tax revenue is that it be obtained without an income tax per se, that’s not the subject under discussion here (and is one of many Paul positions with which I vehemently disagree).  Furthermore, Paul’s proposals for funding any SS shortfall do not depend upon eliminating or otherwise changing the income tax:  they’re independent of where the general revenue comes from, and others of his proposals implicitly (and I believe realistically) assume that at least for a while it will continue to come from a tax system not all that different from the one we have now.

So when you separate (as he has done, whether intentionally or just by chance) his position on SS from exactly where the general revenues will come from, the result is that if we continue to raise revenue without major changes then his planned change to SS would, in fact, result in MORE income equality than the current SS system does (because some funding would come from progressive income taxation rather than from the regressive FICA tax).

And it would make SS no more a ‘welfare’ system than it is today, just compensate for any lost FICA revenue due to opt-outs to allow the system to continue as-is.  The low-income people who most need SS pay in considerably less than they get out of the system on average, because DISTRIBUTION is quite progressive even if FUNDING is not, so to that degree it’s ALREADY a ‘welfare’ system even if that characteristic is somewhat obscured (on the other side of the ledger, people with high incomes get considerably LESS out of the system on average than they put in, which is how the books wind up balanced and IMO just fine:  the people who can afford to pay in a bit more to help those who need that help the most, which is what progressive taxation is all about even though SS implements it kind of ass-backwards due to the necessities imposed on FDR by an at-that-time somewhat recalcitrant Supreme Court).

The one thing you got right was the idea that keeping SS funding as separate as possible from general taxation (though transfers from the general fund have been used in the past to correct imbalances and may be needed in the future as well) provides some POLITICAL cover.  But SS, like anything else not covered by the Constitution, can still be changed at political whim, and as long as any change to the system is enacted in an equivalently permanent manner (such that yearly appropriations are not required and only explicit new legislation can change them) it will enjoy just as much protection as it does today.

In closing, had you bothered to read the reference that I gave you you’d have seen that Paul’s stance here is not news at all to the conventional Reich wing - which is why they don’t like it at all.  As for Paul adherents themselves, I suppose it’s possible that NONE of them are actually paying attention, but unless that’s the case one could reasonably assume that those who are would have clued in the rest long ago - so they seem to be sufficiently comfortable with it to stay with him (and in fact I recently saw poll results, though I don’t recall where, that indicate that they’re comfortable with it specifically, not just reluctantly).

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By Korky Day, February 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

I heard Barack Obama speak at Arizona State University in 2006 and thought he was a confident, intelligent speaker, but his message was all platitudes and vagueness, nothing to compare with Ralph Nader, for instance.  He spoke of hope, but gave you no reason to have any.  Ron Paul, on the contrary, has a record which inspires realistic hope that among all the changes he promises, if elected president, half of them will go down in the history books as good, half as bad.  If Obama doesn’t change drastically, he will be remembered for nothing besides being Black.  I’m in the mood for gambling on Paul, rather than for more of the certainty of Obama’s endless wars, endless torture, endless betrayal of those who elected him, endless licking the boots of the rich.  That’s why I’ll urge my Green Party to endorse a Republican nominee Ron Paul if he’ll get behind pro-rep (proportional representation).  I’m not much of a mover-and-shaker, though, even in my little party, so I’ll need you readers to help.

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By Aquifer, February 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Korky,

Your posts for Paul are beginning to sound like those of Obama supporters in ‘08 - the “hopey changey” thing is leaking out ....  You are willing to overlook too many things about Paul, just as the Obama supporters were about Obama ...

I hope the Greens don’t follow your “advice” ...

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By Aquifer, February 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

bill,

“Dropping back in was obviously a waste of time”

Yeah, I think you’re right about that, anyway ...

“pearls before swine, you know…”

oh, but bill your “pearls” are getting better and better - LOL!

“shifting whatever resulting percentage of the financing burden from FICA taxation (which is quite regressive) to general taxation (which is at least somewhat progressive and hopefully will become more so) would do a better job of reducing inequality of wealth in this country than the current SS system does”

Yup - RP is a BIG fan of progressive income taxation, isn’t he? Yessirree, bob, er bill

What you don’t seem to grasp is that the FICA set up was specifically designed so that SS would be an insurance system paid for by the beneficiaries, and not a “welfare” benefit - to be paid out of general funds at the “whim” of the legislature. The other thing you don’t seem to get is that it is a social insurance program - that works because of the broad base of participants - start cutting the payroll tax, or allowing “opt-outs” or even worse requiring “opt-ins” would gut it over time - Paul knows this.

“Does Paul understand the details of this?  Quite possibly not”

Oh, I think he understands it quite well indeed and if he doesn’t, why the hell would anyone want to trust the guy to take care of the system? Has he signed you on so you can explain it to him?

bill, if you don’t know that these social safety net programs are repugnant to your man, I don’t think you know this guy at all, in which case you ARE wasting your time. But if you do know him, and you are still trying to obfuscate - your explanations are SO contradictory to the free market, small government, libertarian policies this man is known for - then shame on you!

And if you are right that he is a champion and defender of SS and Medicare - then you are in the wrong place - I think you need to go to the right wing sites and explain it to the libers - I think they would be quite surprised that Paul is in favor of these “nanny state, big government” programs ...

By the way, why DID you come back?

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By - bill, February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

The reason I usually just ignore you, diamond, is because you’re so obviously clueless and ineducable.  But for the less-benighted here:

Choice is choice.  Choice is good.  If you think that poor people aren’t capable of making good choices if the choices and their consequences are made clear to them, then you’re an elitist.

And making Social Security a matter of choice AS LONG AS THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO OPT IN RECEIVE EXACTLY THE SAME BENEFITS THEY’D RECEIVE AND PAY EXACTLY THE SAME FICA TAXES THEY’D PAY IF EVERYBODY OPTED IN is kind of a no-brainer.  In fact, shifting whatever resulting percentage of the financing burden from FICA taxation (which is quite regressive) to general taxation (which is at least somewhat progressive and hopefully will become more so) would do a better job of reducing inequality of wealth in this country than the current SS system does (which does little to reduce inequality above its income ceiling, which - even worse - has been allowed to fall far below what the mid-‘80s reforms intended it to be).

Does Paul understand the details of this?  Quite possibly not (but then what politician who you know of, besides a few like Bernie Sanders and Howard Dean, does, or at least acts as if they do?).  But he’s certainly on record as supporting this approach, and as described it’s a reasonable one (though I doubt that many would choose to opt out, hence it might well reduce to the status quo).

Your babble makes it highly likely that I understand our country’s economy and the situation, both current and historic, of our economic classes far better than you do.  But you wouldn’t have to become nearly that informed about it to be able to appreciate some of (I certainly won’t claim ALL of) Paul’s positions:  you’d just need to understand those positions rather than continue to jerk your knee as a conditioned reflex.

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By diamond, February 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

“The bottom line is that while Paul does not think that government should have ENTERED the insurance business, he accepts that it now IS in that business and has established commitments and expectations that need to be honored.  He’d like to phase in the ability to give people an individual choice in those areas (hardly surprising, and hardly unreasonable:  the only real question is how to phase in such a choice while protecting the existing commitments to current, and if they choose, future generations), but that’s not his main position.”

His ‘main position’ is that he hates and despises publicly funded entities such as social security and pensions and would do everything in his power to destroy and defund them. Furthermore, it always amazes me how people like you talk about ‘choice’ when referring to some of the poorest and most desperate people in society. If these people had a ‘choice’ they would be lazing near a pool in the Caribbean but that’s not a choice they will ever be able to make. ‘Individual choice’ be dammed. People like you and your hero Ron Paul always mouth these meaningless phrases which are so disconnected from reality on the ground as to render them surreal and grotesque.

In any case, Americans are not masochistic enough to vote for Ron Paul so what he would do if he could is completely academic. Do you even understand that poverty in America is at a fifty year high because of the slightly watered-down version of Ron Paul’s very policies and his extremist, un-Christian ideology of individual choice and survival of the fittest that has been the norm at least since Ronald Reagan flowed like a globule of phlegm into the White House? Get a clue.

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By Korky Day, February 7, 2012 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

The best e-chart I’ve found for private polling for the Republican candidates for president 2012:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/republican_presidential_nomination-1452.html

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By Korky Day, February 7, 2012 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

If we fantasize that Paul is president: he asks Congress to phase out Social Security.  They won’t or they do.  So then he doesn’t just twiddle his thumbs for the next 3 1/2 years, he pardons political prisoners and convicts of victimless crimes, stops torture, stops enforcing federal drug laws, declares cease-fire in all the USA’s military adventures around the world, tries to close almost all USA military bases around the world, charges all the criminals on Wall Street and in Congress, and a lot of other acts I like and hate.  At least there’s hope that way, unlike with Republican-Lite Obama and any of the other Republicans.

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By - bill, February 7, 2012 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

You might at least have read the material you cited before blustering so incompetently about it, ardee (I had certainly read it before you brought it up).  It conforms PRECISELY to the statements I made about Paul’s positions in this area, from his current position that Social Security commitments represent real obligations that need to be honored (coupled with his parenthetical wish to be able to provide an OPTIONAL opt-out mechanism - which I noted clearly earlier, though I didn’t bother noting the observation presented in the reference I provided that popularity of such an option would likely be far lower than Paul might suspect, hence making it irrelevant) back through the earlier positions that it evolved from (the quote you chose to highlight came from 4 years ago - something which I, again, noted explicitly earlier).

The bottom line is that while Paul does not think that government should have ENTERED the insurance business, he accepts that it now IS in that business and has established commitments and expectations that need to be honored.  He’d like to phase in the ability to give people an individual choice in those areas (hardly surprising, and hardly unreasonable:  the only real question is how to phase in such a choice while protecting the existing commitments to current, and if they choose, future generations), but that’s not his main position.

Which, of course, is why the reference I cited so disparaged that position:  it’s just not acceptable to a Republican establishment focused on precisely the goals you accuse Paul of having.  I had hoped that this might help the slower members of the class wrap what passes for their minds around the difference between where Paul actually stands and where they persist in believing that he stands, but “Against stupidity the Gods themselves contend in vain” (from Schiller, via Asimov).

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By ardee, February 7, 2012 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

By - bill, February 6 at 10:01 pm

I understand how difficult your task is, walking the mine field of Ron Paul’s political garbage and attempting to put the best face possible on a whites-only libertarian elitist position.

But when you have the gall to note:

When I say something here, it’s because I have substantive sources to back it up (whether I choose to spoon-feed them to you or not - which I’m now beginning to regret relenting and doing).

you really display your own discomfort with your own sources I think. Debating sort of obligates one to back up his contentions with links where possible, you might understand this if your intentions were honest or even honorable.

Paul has a long history of statements regarding the abolition of social security and medicare, one which you and all the other Paul cultists that infest forums every election cycle only to disappear into the woodwork after his candidacy does the same, stretch to avoid noting.

http://www.issues2000.org/2012/Ron_Paul_Social_Security.htm

Q: Are you still in favor of abolishing Social Security?

A: Yes, but not overnight. As a matter of fact, my program’s the only one that is going to be able to take care of the elderly. I’d like to get the young people out of it, just the younger generation, because there’s no money there, and they’re going to have to pay 50 years and they’re not going to get anything. I’d take care of all the elderly, all those who are dependent, but I would save the money from this wild spending overseas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-VcyjuRKio

Social Security is the single most successful government program in all our history as a nation. To make it continue as such the participation of all workers is essential. Paul’s crap about “voluntary” withdrawal is simply a rather simple minded plan to end it without stating such motivation.

You should be ashamed of yourself , both for your demeaning of the necessity of linking o facts, and for your political alliance with a group that hurts both democracy , the poor, and our own identity as a nation.

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By - bill, February 7, 2012 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

The fact that you’ve managed to stumble your way through over a month of discussion here without learning anything significant about Paul, or about me, or about your own limitations makes your most recent response no surprise to me, Aquifer.  It’s a defining characteristic of the incompetent:  refusal to adjust your world-view to new information and insistence on instead selectively picking (and when necessary ‘interpreting’) the ‘facts’ that seem to meet your preconceptions.

That’s why I suggested that you perform your OWN research:  actually seeking out information tends to broaden one’s perspective and the process itself can often make one more receptive to that broadening.  Not that I’d have much hope for it in your case:  you’re far too focused on propping up your parochial viewpoint rather than in broadening it.

I stopped contributing to this thread after the last competent poster left it (well, Korky might be competent, but he’s far too single-focused and officious to be interesting).  Dropping back in was obviously a waste of time - pearls before swine, you know…

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By Aquifer, February 7, 2012 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

bill,

Well, what can i say - article says he supports Ryan’s plan which would be the end of Medicare

Watched the video, bill, he clearly doesn’t want to talk about it, keeps repeating he hasn’t said much, when pursued he says he wants to give younger folks the ability to opt out of both - which would be the death of both programs.

Sorry, bill, looks like this “idiot” either knows more about, or is willing to expound more on, your candidate’s positions than you do. Quite understandable that he, or you for that matter, doesn’t want to expound on them - a lot of folks would drop him like a hot potato. Why don’t you ask him if he thinks these programs are Constitutional?

It looks like your “substantive sources” back me up more than they do you, which would explain why you regret sharing them ...

Frankly, bill, based on this little exchange, I am more inclined to trust my own estimations of Paul’s stands than yours ... Maybe you’re the one who needs to do the research .... Well at least you learned something about him - it will be interesting to see how you spin it ....

Oh, that’s right, you already have - he doesn’t really understand the dynamics, but he is educable. I feel ever so much better, now ....

bill, he gets it, he just hopes you don’t ....

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By heterochromatic, February 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

yup—- they weren’t held to 25% or less. they shot up to 29% of fewer voters than
expected.

bill, you just hang in there and who knows

http://youtu.be/lWJqggfXxzQ

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By - bill, February 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Whoops - it seems that you’re still the idiot I stopped talking to a while ago, Aquifer.  When I say something here, it’s because I have substantive sources to back it up (whether I choose to spoon-feed them to you or not - which I’m now beginning to regret relenting and doing).  I was merely encouraging you to do the same rather than simply babble on incompetently as you have been.

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By - bill, February 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Aw, shucks, Aquifer:  I guess some people do need to be spoon-fed before learning to eat on their own, and at least your perception about Paul’s stance on Social Security and Medicare is significantly closer to the truth than ardee’s was.

So:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/01/26/ron-pauls-plan-for-medicare-reform-legalize-pot/ describes Paul’s current positions on SS & Medicare:  leave ‘em alone and honor all their commitments, though perhaps provide a path for young people with little existing investment in the programs to opt out in the future (this last a nod to Paul’s libertarian ethic, but I suspect he doesn’t understand how difficult this would be given the structure of the programs).

Four years or so ago he was more gung-ho to encourage young people to opt out so that the programs could eventually be phased out, but even back then still felt that existing commitments should be honored.

I don’t think that Paul understands the fiscal situation of these programs very well, and how much more feasible they could be with little or no change in benefits.  Part of the problem may be that he considers the debt owed to the Trust Funds as being somehow less ‘real’ than our other debts, hence more difficult to repay politically (e.g., he consistently has stated that the programs should be funded via savings, largely in the military budget).

In general, it seems to me that Paul’s fiscal positions are based far more upon ideology than upon a good understanding of economics - which is likely why many of them are (to be generous) very rough around the edges.  Given the degree to which his opponents’ fiscal positions (including many of Obama’s) are based on pure fantasy, I don’t criticize him in this area as much as I otherwise might (and hope that he, unlike they, might actually be educable if confronted with the responsibility for implementing them).

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By Aquifer, February 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment

bill,

“rather than continue to spew what you THINK about Ron Paul ...”

So, bill, it seems, in the absence of chapter and verse, that is exactly what you have been doing - at this point your representations of his positions are no more valid than mine. He is your candidate, so defend him ... or can’t you?

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By - bill, February 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer, rather than continue to spew what you THINK about Ron Paul and demand to be spoon-fed data that might change that uninformed opinion, why don’t you get off your rear end and do something at least remotely resembling competent RESEARCH?

Google is your friend.


tic - nice try at re-writing history, but when what you actually said (“Nevada ... is going Romney-Gingrich and
Paul is going to split 25% or less with Santorum”) is still right here to examine your pathetic attempt to appear more prescient is rather laughable.

1.  Romney-Gingrich failed to hold Paul-Santorum to “25% or less” - strike one.

2.  You said absolutely NOTHING about HOW Romney-Gingrich would split the portion of the vote that they did garner (are you really so dazzled by your unfounded sense of competence that you actually thought that you had predicted that detail?), and certainly implied that Gingrich’s tally would significantly eclipse Paul’s (given that you clearly expected Gingrich’s percentage to be relevant and Pauls’ not) - strike two.

3.  The discussion was not (and has by and large not been for the past year) about whether Romney was unbeatable but about Paul’s continuing importance as a candidate, which you presumed to dismiss with the assertion that he had ‘tanked’.  Since he’s still chugging right along getting about 20% of the vote, winning delegates, appearing in debates, and generally making the party take notice of some extremely non-establishment positions on a very public stage - strike three.

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By heterochromatic, February 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

bill—I predicted 50% Romney and 25% Gingrich with the last quarter split
between Paul and Santorum….. and Paul got 4% more out of what I expected to
go Gingrich…..

lot of that was due to generally low turnout among the less enthusiastic rank-
and-file Repubs…...

I’ll bow and allow you a bit of hope if you think it’s there, but Paul went all-in in
Nevada and finished third and 30 points down to Romney.

Paul now has a total of (?) 7 delegates which leaves him only about 1000 short,
no money unspent and Romney is now unbeatable.

Enjoy.

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By Aquifer, February 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

bill,

I think with regard to RP his stance on SS et al is basically that these programs should never have been initiated, but it would be wrong to just yank them away from folks who are currently dependent on them - so phase them out. In other words he wants to get rid of them, just not all at once .... He certainly has no intention of strengthening them or taking steps to see that they survive ... As Big Government “nanny state” programs they are anathema to his fundamental small government free market philosophy ....

If you have proof to the contrary, please provide chapter and verse ....

Korky,

“So take everybody’s information as needing to be confirmed by outside sources before staking money on it.”

That’s what i am trying to do ...

“is making our points based not on who we are, but on the force of our logic and passion.”

I would agree, except that you do make specific claims for yourself, who you are, regarding the formation of seminal documents for a political party whose candidate I am supporting - so, in that respect I am “checking you out” as they say ....

“Ron Paul might represent a slim chance to unite libertarians and us greens to bring democracy to the USA, which neither party has been strong enough to do alone. ”

The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend .....

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By Korky Day, February 6, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

To ardee:  Good responses to your latest points are throughout the 11 pages or so of this fascinating discussion.  Ron Paul might represent a slim chance to unite libertarians and us greens to bring democracy to the USA, which neither party has been strong enough to do alone.  After we do that as allies, inspiring the nation and saving millions of lives around the world, too, then I’ll focus more are how bad the libertarians’ free-market solutions are.

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By Korky Day, February 6, 2012 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

To Aquifer:  You’re free to ask questions.  Others are free to answer or not.  You also question who I really am.  Why?  Have you proven to me who you are and your real intentions and moral worth?  Face it, we’re all here discussing, always knowing that almost all of us are permanent strangers to each other.  While I’m developing genuine respect and affection (e-affection?!) for some, including you, Aquifer, we should always keep in mind that anybody might not be who they claim they are.  So take everybody’s information as needing to be confirmed by outside sources before staking money on it.  Like Wikipedia.  Furthermore, mostly what we are doing in any of these on-line discussions is making our points based not on who we are, but on the force of our logic and passion.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, February 6, 2012 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

“I have a certain empathy for your need to seek a mental health professional as well
as a sadness in seeing your life wasted as it is.” ardee

A marvelous self-description, while applying the MOSSAD-CIA program of defaming
Dr. Ron Paul and all who support him. 

Anyone who rides a Harley with high-riser-handle bars, who is not 7.5 ft. tall, is missing a few grains of brain.  Probably a foto of a parked bike, and wishful thinking by RD.

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By - bill, February 6, 2012 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

And while I’m on the subject of incompetence, tic:

“Nevada, where he (Paul) might be expected to do OK is going Romney-Gingrich and Paul is going to split 25% or less with Santorum…some predict that Santorum may finish ahead of him” was your response when challenged on your assertion that Paul had ‘tanked’.  Now that 100% results are finally in for Nevada (see http://www.cnn.com/election/2012/primaries/state/nv) it turns out that it went not ‘Romney-Gingrich’ at all, but rather heavily Romney (at 50%) with Gingrich (21%) and Paul (19%) in a close race for second place and Santorum (at 10%) occupying the position you claimed Paul would.

As for your other assertion in that post (“he’s not going to get ... any delegates at all at the convention”, since he already had won delegates elsewhere and picked up another 4 in Nevada that one was doubly incompetent.  The real point is that Paul’s support is CONSISTENT, independent of the battle between Romney and the ‘anyone but Romney’ contingents:  Paul has a base of enthusiastic supporters who are not going anywhere else and whom the Republican party NEEDS next November, so (unlike the case with Kucinich delegates in 2004) they will not be ignored at the convention.

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By - bill, February 6, 2012 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

Y’know, ardee, people like you give progressives a bad name:  you’re just as loud, incompetent, and ineducable as those on the other side of the political spectrum whom you so disdain.

Paul is very much on the record as considering Social Security (and Medicare, incidentally) as being established commitments that should NOT be broken.  I suggest that you either learn something about the subjects that you’re inclined to discuss or just STFU.

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By ardee, February 6, 2012 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

Korky Day, February 5 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

To ardee:  I have helped to write Green Party platforms in 2 countries since 1996.  I said here that I would encourage my party to endorse Ron Paul under certain conditions—that we try to make a deal with him.  Not to declare that he is a Green (he isn’t) or that we are libertarians (we aren’t) or that he would do as well in office as a Green would (he wouldn’t).


All very good reasons why your suggestion is ridiculous in the extreme. I try hard to refrain from calling you out on your so-called lofty claims vis-a-vis Green participation. But to state that Greens would consider supporting someone like Paul, or Libertarian politics in general, is far too cartoonish an idea for me.


But Greens are smart and compassionate and co-operative—and we just might agree it would be a good deal for the country, as I describe in recent previous comments.

Precisely because many Greens are as you describe the thought of supporting one who seeks an ending to all entitlements for the poor, an ending to the most successful govt. program in history, Social Security is anathema.

In short, Mr. Day, you attempt to fit the square peg of Paul’s politics into the round hole of Green Party wishes for this nation. You are doomed to fail and further doomed to leave a very poor impression of yourself, your politics, and your motivation as well.

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By Aquifer, February 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Korky,

I always ask a lot of questions - how do you get answers if you don’t ask questions?

“I’m not going to name names, but you can ask those who worked on the platform with me at the 2010 annual Green Party confab in Detroit.”

Well it’s a little hard to ask them if i don’t know who they are ....

“I already said he is a Republican of convenience.  Similarly, you might say that Dennis Kucinich is a Democrat of convenience,”

Convenient for them maybe, or the 1%, but not for the rest of us ....

“In a duopoly, loyalty is hardly fair, possible, or even expected.”

Ask Kucinich whether or not loyalty is expected ....

“Maybe Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr, running for the Green nomination, will agree with me.”

Well please let me know if they do .....

“We’ll see.”

Who’s “we”?

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer, you’re asking a lot of questions.  I’m not going to name names, but you can ask those who worked on the platform with me at the 2010 annual Green Party confab in Detroit.  The 2 countries are the USA and Canada.  I’ve argued for and against Libertarianism since 1964.  The Liberty Caucus is in Wikipedia.
Aquifer asks, “As far as RP [Ron Paul] being a real Rep [Republican] - well he is running as a Rep, isn’t he?”
I already said he is a Republican of convenience.  Similarly, you might say that Dennis Kucinich is a Democrat of convenience, since his positions are so much more progressive than the average Democrat in Congress.  That’s just what happens in a duopoly.
In a real democracy, Paul and Kucinich would be in 2 of maybe 5 to 50 political parties in Congress.
Aquifer continutes, asking about Ron Paul, “So he is not being honest about that?”
Where’s the dishonesty?  He doesn’t deny he chairs the Liberty Caucus and that he ran for President as the nominee of the Libertarian Party, and that his views are almost all the same then and now.
“What else is he not being honest about?”
See above.
More Aquifer, “If he doesn’t get the Rep nomination, will he run as a Libertarian?”
He is not saying.  So what?  He can try any strategy he likes.
Aquifer, “If not, why not?”
His choice.  Give him your advice if you want.  Maybe he or his aides are reading this.
Aquifer, “Is he more faithful to the Reps than the Libers?”
In a duopoly, loyalty is hardly fair, possible, or even expected.
A duopoly, like any other unfair tyrant, is not something someone should have any pride in being loyal to.  His Libertarian Party pals don’t think too badly of him, as far as I have heard.
Aquifer, “Seems to me, considering that the Green candidate is miles ahead of Paul on so many issues of importance to Greens, like yourself, including prop rep, it does seem a bit counterproductive to be pushing him instead of her ....”
I’m not pushing him.  I’m encouraging people to use the best strategies possible to end the unending wars, including a Trojan Horse candidacy.  And I’m saying how the Green Party could assist.  Maybe Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr, running for the Green nomination, will agree with me.
Aquifer, “So, when will you, or will you, commit to your party’s candidate? And if not, why not?”
We’ll see.  We don’t have to show all our cards ahead of time.

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By heterochromatic, February 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

Korky—-SCOTUS would do what it always has done when there’s a big POLITICAL
controversy, hang back and wait to see if the thing gets resolved without them.

Only when the thing can’t get resolved and some time has passed, does the Court
accept the case and then they work like hell amongst themselves to reach some
decision that’s 9-0

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic asks, “How can the states override the Congress and force the Congress to act sooner than the Congress desires?  I don’t understand how that works.”
The USA Constitution is all checks and balances, even for the amendment process.  If the Congress takes more than a couple of months for such a simple decision, then I imagine the states would retaliate with lawsuits, publicity, shaming, non-co-operation, etc.  Or they could wait a couple more months—or just go ahead with both methods simultaneously (passing the state legislatures and state conventions).  The feds would cave in.  Think of all the publicity around the conventions—making the Congress look bad.  But if not, and if both methods pass the constitutional amendment for pro-rep (proportional representation), what’s the supreme court going to do, side with the stalling Congress which is so obviously (obviously to the public) selfish?  Naturally, I’m speculating, but so is anyone saying anything else about this.  Going where no anti-Duopolist has gone before!

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By Aquifer, February 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Korky,

Just out of curiosity, which 2 countries have you worked on Green platforms for, and can you name a couple of folks in this country you have worked with, if this country is one of the 2?

I’ll hand it to you, you do seem to know a lot about the Liberty caucus ....

As far as RP being a real Rep - well he is running as a Rep, isn’t he? So he is not being honest about that? What else is he not being honest about? If he doesn’t get the Rep nomination, will he run as a Libertarian? If not, why not? Is he more faithful to the Reps than the Libers?

Seems to me, considering that the Green candidate is miles ahead of Paul on so many issues of importance to Greens, like yourself, including prop rep, it does seem a bit counterproductive to be pushing him instead of her ....

So, when will you, or will you, commit to your party’s candidate? And if not, why not?

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

To ardee:  I have helped to write Green Party platforms in 2 countries since 1996.  I said here that I would encourage my party to endorse Ron Paul under certain conditions—that we try to make a deal with him.  Not to declare that he is a Green (he isn’t) or that we are libertarians (we aren’t) or that he would do as well in office as a Green would (he wouldn’t).  But Greens are smart and compassionate and co-operative—and we just might agree it would be a good deal for the country, as I describe in recent previous comments.  A month ago on this thread I and others were saying that, sure, Paul has serious faults.  But they are much less serious than the mass misery, poverty, and death of continuing indefinitely under the imperialist, racist, kleptocratic Duopoly under Obama, Romney, Gingrich, Hilary Clinton, etc.

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By heterochromatic, February 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Korky——-How can the states override the Congress and force the Congress to
act sooner than the Congress desires? I don’t understand how that works.


an the other stuff, I’m simply trying to draw your attention to the fact that
Congress still weighs in to the alternate process, the one that’s never been used.

ou’re leading with your heart, Korky, not your head. a constitutional amendment is
a rare thing. thousands have been proposed and a couple of dozen have been
adopted.

yours has a far smaller chance than does a definition of marriage amendment or
an amendment banning on-demand abortion.

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

To heterochromatic:  No, Congress has no legal right to block the states from propossing and ratifying amendments.  Read Article 5.  Sure, Congress can try to delay and hobble the process, but the Constitution makes it clear that the states can over-ride any of that.  Of course, the Constitution can be broken (Bush vs. Gore, etc.), but that doesn’t mean we should not try to use it.
You ask, “how long does congress have in which to debate which form that they’ll endorse?”.  The Constitution is silent on that.  We won’t know till we try.  It might be struggle.
You then ask, “will Congress have the authority, which they’ve possessed previously to set a time limit on ratification?”  Congress has been doing that only by including time limits within the proposed amendment wordings themselves.  If Congress is not writing the amendment, then the states will be.  The states can include time limits or not.  Congress has no power to stop them or to over-ride that.
Finally, you ask, “who decides that 75% of the states have duly ratified the proposed amendment? Is it…....congress??????”  That’s been a struggle before and could be again.  Not a reason for not trying, either.
Other countries have big struggles over such things.  The USA has been cowering under the bed long enough.  Let’s get on with it.

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By ardee, February 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

The notion that the Green Party would or could, endorse a libertarian, much less Ron Paul with his nebulous ties to white supremacists, is farcical. It also sheds a suspicious light on the motivations and intents of our resident scold, Korky Day.

Here is a link to that Green Platform for all interested in seeing exactly how ludicrous is Mr. Day’s suggestion:

http://tinyurl.com/gpplatform

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By heterochromatic, February 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Korky—- congress can’t block it? 

      how long does congress have in which to
debate which form that they’ll endorse?

and will Congress have the authority, which they’ve
possessed previously to set a time limit on
ratification?

and finally, who decides that 75% of the states have
duly ratified the proposed amendment? Is
it…....congress??????


Korky—— work small and local and try to build…
and go right on advocating for the big things while
bearing in mind that they ain’t gonna happen any time
soon.

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

To heterochromatic:  Congress may decide whether the ratification is by state legislatures or state conventions.  That’s all.  Congress cannot block an amendment they don’t like.  The Founders were too smart for that.
As to the chances of it all succeeding:  It’s easy to criticize from the side-lines.  I’m working in the thick of it.  What are you doing which is so likely to succeed that I should drop this effort and work on yours?

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By heterochromatic, February 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Korky which of “as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed
by the Congress. . . .”

doesn’t involve approval by the congress?

your dream involves an unelectable president bypassing congress to get 2/3 of
the states’ legislatures to call on congress to set up a convention with rules set
by congress and with the usual time-limit set by congress.
this method has NEVER happened and probably never will until such time as the
state legislatures are filled with people unconnected with the political parties
that fill the congress.

and even then…...the congress will have the power to shape the process.

 


Korky, it’s even less likely than the idea that Ron Paul will magically be elected

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic wrote “there’s no chance that Congress would approve an amendment sponsored by Paul that his never discussed or campaigned upon or even been heard to favor.  Paul probably thinks that constitutional amendments are unconstitutional, anyway.”
First of all, Congress needn’t approve it (see Article 5 below).  The state-approval method is allowed.  Secondly, it would be good strategy to campaign for pro-rep in the general election, not in the primary election.  Paul might be that smart.  Most other Republican stars are stupid enough to think that the entire Constitution is unconstitutional.  “The Constitution is just a piece of paper” —Dubya.

Article. V.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress. . . .

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

To aquifer I’ll explain again about Libertarians vs. Greens.  I, a loyal Green, I would not simply vote Ron Paul against my Green candidate.  I would, as I already posted here, urge my party to endorse Paul instead of a Green IF he made a credible promise to work for pro-rep (proportional representation).  Then Greens could elect many Greens to Congress in the following election.  Sounds like a good trade-off to me.

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By Korky Day, February 5, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

To aquifer I say that Ron Paul is not a regular Republican.  He ran for president as a Libertarian.  He is a Republican of convenience.  He does not want to help the party as a whole, just the libertarians like himself.  The Liberty Caucus of the House has only 11 members (of 435 Representatives).  The members are (chair) Ron Paul (TX-14); Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6); Jimmy Duncan (TN-2); Jeff Flake (AZ-6); Trent Franks (AZ-2); Scott Garrett (NJ-5); Walter B. Jones (NC-3); Jack Kingston (GA-1); Jeff Miller (FL-1); Bill Posey (FL-15); and Denny Rehberg (MT-AL).  The Senate has no libertarians I can find, except possibly Ron’s son Rand Paul.  Ron Paul has not supported pro-rep (proportional representation) as far as I can find, but it is the most logical position and strategy for libertarians.  The national Libertarian Party added pro-rep and instant run-off voting to its platform in 2002 July ( http://archive.fairvote.org/irv/libertarian.htm ).  See also Bill Redpath’s article at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/polit/damy/articles/redpath.htm .

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By ardee, February 5, 2012 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi, February 4 at 12:35 pm

One tragic part of mental illness is its ability to defend itself from the obvious criticisms that relatively sane folk might point out to you.

I have a certain empathy for your need to seek a mental health professional as well as a sadness in seeing your life wasted as it is.

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By heterochromatic, February 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Korky—-you’ve got a handful of something it it’s not wishes.

Paul has less than a 1% chance of being elected.  If somehow we were elected….he
STILL would have no meaningful support in Congress and there’s no chance that
Congress would approve an amendment sponsored by Paul that his never
discussed or campaigned upon or even been heard to favor.

Paul probably thinks that constitutional amendments are unconstitutional, anyway.

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By Aquifer, February 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Korky,

He “could” do a lot of things, any Pres. could. But what makes you think he would do this? If he got elected as a Rep. Pres, why would he stab his party in the back by pushing for changes that would weaken the toehold his party has on power? If he hasn’t even introduced any leg. in Congress, nor stumped for this issue over the years, why would he magically do so now?

And you still haven’t explained to me why you would work for him in opposition to your own party’s candidate, especially when she is much stronger on these issues ...

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By Korky Day, February 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Ron Paul’s power as president, as heterochromatic overlooks, would be more than his current power as a backwater Texas Representative.  He could rally the public to pass constitutional amendments in 2 years if the public were sick and tired of the 2-party system.  Does heterochromatic think that, instead, the public loves the Duopoly?  Yes, it will be the struggle of the century, but we have no better option.  It could be done, in a way, by Congress (as at http://www.fairvote.org ), but I think a constitutional amendment would be easier, better functioning, and much more long-lasting.
Contrary to PatrickHenry’s half-joke, Ron Paul should get the gay primary vote, as his stances are less homophobic.  And many gay soldiers would be pulled out of battle.

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By heterochromatic, February 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

PitHead—-it ain’t the contention that it’s not efficient that’s the rub——it’s the
asinine claim that the Congress violates the Constitution in doing so.


Paul is obviously completely ignorant of law and history in making such claim or
just plain nuts.

Even a carrot-chasing jackass should be expected to know better than that and
you probably do.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

tic,

.....“Congress is poised to pass the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
(PEPFAR) authorizing up to $50 million in unconstitutional foreign aid”.

I can understand why Ron Paul would want to deny this lump of Pork to the lobbyists, you have to know how Government contracting works.

The best thing the U.S. Govt can do is to give tax credits to corporate donors based on proven ground performance, there is too much graft in the system to be awarding money.

Maybe they should take it out of the defense budget, we have bases worldwide, dispensing AID’s drugs should be easy.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, February 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

@ardee You are repeating your psychologist joke-lie, already used once.

If you are heterowhatever´s leaning post, and tag-man team player, you need
to come up with a bit more than repetition of joke-lies.

Also you might consider using a C.E.S.  It clears up cob-web thinking, and has a cumulative effect with no unfavorable side-effects.  Which side-effects are characteristic of psychoactive drugs, which solve no problems but rather cause more complications.

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By heterochromatic, February 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

sometimes I snort, but mostly chortle or guffaw.


after reading through your sad delusional stuff, drgethealthy, I’m not prone to
much more than a rueful smirk.

the manifest unworkability and utter unlikelihood of the nonsense that pours
out from you is not something that your unhinged little mind can admit, despite
the obviousness of it.


get some help.

get better.

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By heterochromatic, February 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

ardee—- might be wise to give the psychologist a little time to adjust before
heaping on more zany…


he said kindly and gently, almost.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, February 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

“- - you want to explain why that’s possible?” hetero- - - -

Why?
Habituation to international indulgence due to the Holocaust, socially inbred deceit, and following the leadership of your Zionist leadership.
Simple: paint Iranian markings on older Israeli aircraft.  Your news service would
capture the Iranian markings, while attempting to disguise the aircraft type.  Like they did with the foto of the alleged Palestinian soldier with modern, personal weaponry.  However, the “star of david” was showing on his belly.  No live Palestinian wears the “star of david” anywhere.  Typical, continued Israeli deceit.

Perhaps you missed my closing idea, “Any such deceitful plan would be known by both eastern and western intelligence prior to enactment.”  Do you snort?  Often ?  A C.E.S. works nicely, with no unwanted side-effects.  It would not be wise for you to use one, however.  It would clear up your thinking and interfere with your job.

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