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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.

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


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



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By omop, January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic````````.

You jealous son of a gon.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, Cliff Carson:

“We should all be Americans first.”
_________________

For our children to have a human habitable planet, we should all put Earth first… before any and all nations.

We all share the one and only planet we can survive on, and our species will not survive anywhere upon it for many generations more, if the most destructive nation upon the planet continues to have popular support for the corporate (R) & (D) party’s sociopathic policies.

Catastrophic climate change will result, whether America, Inc. is managed by the corporate party’s Republicans who deny the evidence, or the corporate party’s Democrats who ignore the evidence.

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 Cliff Carson, January 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

By omop, January 26 at 1:07 pm

“His emphatic conclusion is that RP has been defined as a “non-israeli firster” and for all intents and purposes thats de end o dat.”

It seems to me omop, that you are saying that the admirer of Ron Paul came to the conclusion that Ron Paul has been defined as a “non-Israeli Firster” and if Ron Paul is such, that’s good enough for the admirer to choose Ron Paul as his man.  That the rest of Paul’s beliefs do not matter.

Is this reading correct?

I think that is an admirable trait.  We should all be Americans first.  Putting the favor of some country before the good of our country, to me is despicable.  I trash many of our government’s actions with anger and sadness, but that doesn’t mean I favor another Nation, it simply means that our Government is not living up to the Constitution the elected all swore to uphold.   

Having said all that I have several issues with Paul.

With the diversity of positions taken by the candidates it would be difficult indeed to agree to every position taken by any candidate.

But we should all reject any candidate regardless of Party, who has by their actions, failed to uphold the constitution they swore to uphold.

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By ardee, January 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

omop, January 26 at 1:07 pm

Then you classify yourself as a one issue voter, just as those who oppose a womans right to choose are such.

Paul is a lot of things, has a raft of positions and political preferences. I find most of them unacceptable and you choose nto to address any of them.

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By heterochromatic, January 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

omop~~~~  if you have talked to a “dedicated Ron Paul admirer”  then how blessed
you are and how you must shine from the reflection of this golden encounter.

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By omop, January 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Talked to a dedicated Ron Paul admirer and follower of the comments by
many on this Scheer column about the variety and number of views and
opinions expressed.

  His emphatic conclusion is that RP has been defined as a “non-israeli
firster” and for all intents and purposes thats de end o dat.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, January 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

@ scott425 “Right now we have nothing of the sort, so there’s no way to know the true
motives behind this or that intervention.”

“ - so there´s no way to know the true motives -”  Right. With head buried in the sand.

“Intervention” ?  Perhaps a new definition has been assigned to the word.

A slew of former CIA agents and operatives have provided abundant information. 
Chip Tatum, former assassin for GHWBushSr, published documented chronicles. 
http://www.whale.to/b/tatum.pdf
John Stockwell has revealed the inside story beginning with the 1970s and GHWBushSr.
http://wn.com/JOHN_AND_THE_CIA

More recently, Ms. Susan Lindauer, former liaison between the CIA and moslem
nations in the MidEast, reveals ten years worth of international fraud by the USGOV,
traceable to the GHWBushSr entourage.  Her book, “Extreme Prejudice,” available at
your local bookstore, was difficult for me to put down, once I began reading it. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrdpE3b1mY4&feature=related

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By scott425, January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

drbhelthi,

I guess I think what Anderson is getting at is that “humanitarian interventions” are justifiable as long as they are properly legitimated.  That is, a vote in Congress, oversight by reliable watchdog associations, oversight by international bodies, and additional stuff like that.  Right now we have nothing of the sort, so there’s no way to know the true motives behind this or that intervention.

Foreign aid might be justifiable if it was also “legitmated” via similar mechanisms but I can agree with skeptics that it’s dangerous when it comes from the federal government, particuarly when that government is accountable to no one and no one seriously oversees it.  Foreign aid, as is currently practiced, appears to be largely a racket—hence it’s no surprise that the likes of Santorum are all for it and benefit greatly from it.

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By drbhelthi, January 26, 2012 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

@scott425 “Anderson should release another statement talking about where he agrees with Paul (obviously on alot) and commending Paul supporters for standing up and participating in the process and rejecting the corporate candidates.”

Agreed.
The statement quoted, however, suggests that he has not reviewed in depth the stance of Doctor Paul on various issues. 

Regarding Anderson´s alleged “far left” leanings, these words mean little in the megajargon of CIA and Israeli-provided confusion.  Currently used terms generally reflect the internal thoughts of those who use the terms, and which are either not explained, intentionally distorted or simply Goebbels-type propaganda repetitions. 

Currently with the NAZI Bush family controlling the Republican party and the voting machines, with the Israeli machine controlling the Federal Reserve and the world banking system while wagging the USMilitary dog, the brand of democracy preached by “Miss Hilly” Clinton and forced onto 3rd world countries by the USMilitary, directed by “B.H.Obama,” is nothing less than dictatorial colonialism.

The un-American behavior of marines urinating on the dead bodies of indigenous fighters, who were trying to protect their homeland from the USMilitary (mercenary invaders)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2085378/US-troops-urinating-dead-Afghan-bodies-video-used-Taliban-recruitment-tool.html

is only a microcosm of the macrocosm that has occurred at the US presidential level since the NAZI Bush family hit town.
http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=8252175042329977626#

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By scott425, January 26, 2012 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

So I took a closer look at the various 3rd party canidacies and I gotta say I like both Anderson and Stein.  Judged on pure merits alone Anderson and his Justice party seem a little stronger at first glance.  Speaking from a strategic/rhetorical perspective, the Justice Party program is way to the left of the Democrats but doesn’t come off as radical at all, whereas Stein’s proposals (even if I strongly agree that if you’re going to use the federal government to create jobs then green infastructure projects are the way to go) are more overtly socialistic. 

However I’d prefer to remain cautious atm….our corporate masters are not above creating false fronts and/or overtly dividing their opposition, so it’s important to keep it real.  Trust has to come at an activist-to-activist level, and not simply from believing in soundbytes and slogans.  As far as Anderson goes—it sounds good—but truth be told he entered the campaign way way too late to be likely to have an impact in 2012, much less get on the ballot in 40+ states.  And I still don’t understand why Anderson didn’t make an effort to get into the Democratic primaries—I’d appreciate any link that offers an explanation why he couldn’t. 

I’ll decide after the primary in March which 3rd party candidate to support—until then I prefer to support Paul as without Paul in the mix the imperialists have free reign to commence with their war on Iran.  Paul seems to be the “official opposition” until something better emerges.

I did notice Anderson released a statement talking about his differences with Paul

“Please share this so all Ron Paul supporters might consider supporting my candidacy and the Justice Party: My response to a question about differences between me and Ron Paul: About my differences with Ron Paul: I am not a social and economic Darwinist. I believe government has an important role in providing education…, regulating polluting industries, and prohibiting racial discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. I also believe the U.S. needs to provide international leadership in preventing the most catastrophic impacts of climate change — and do it urgently. I am a firm supporter of international efforts, with U.S. support, to stop genocides, as we committed to do after confirmation of the Genocide Convention. Ron Paul is on completely the other side on these issues. Do his supporters really believe that the prohibition of racial discrimination is a violation of individual liberties? Should we have just sat on our hands while 800,000 Rwandans were butchered in 100 days — or supported U.N. action to stop the slaughter? Do our fundamental moral commitments end at political boundaries? And does anyone really think we shouldn’t be working cooperatively with the international community to stem climate disruption, achieve energy independence, and to be far better stewards for our children and later generations?”

I can’t say I disagree with any of this and the no doubt there is a large proportion of Paul supporters who also agree.  I think Anderson is in a unique position to capitalize on the energy of the Paul campaign, since the theme of “justice” is a strong concern for Paul supporters.  Sure, Gary Johnson’s ideology is closer to Paul’s but unlike Paul he is not a passionate orator who can effectively play on emotions, while Anderson and Stein can.

After Super Tuesday, Anderson should release another statement talking about where he agrees with Paul (obviously on alot) and commending Paul supporters for standing up and participating in the process and rejecting the corporate candidates.  He might be surprised to find that many Paul supporters will prefer Anderson to Johnson, even if Anderson is “far left”.

Report this

By Korky Day, January 26, 2012 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Vote by ranking 32 of the vice presidential possibilities at
http://www.demochoice.org/dcballot.php?poll=PaulVP2012

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By Korky Day, January 26, 2012 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

I’ve added to my vice presidential list:  Rosa Clemente, The Naked Cowboy, Penn Jillette, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Buddy Roemer, “Volunteer voter picked at random” and “Other or none”.
Furthermore, heterochromatic is correct for criticizing me, saying I should “tailor the choices toward people who might be expected to perform the duties of the Vice President rather then select people on basis of their gender or skin color.”  heterochromatic is right to criticize me, as I have favoured men.  I named 24 men and only 14 women (37%), so far, instead of equal numbers, as I should have done.

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By drbhelthi, January 26, 2012 at 2:00 am Link to this comment

“ - - but what the heck, enjoy yourself as it’s not like there’s any harm in dreaming
up running mates for an unelectable candidate…..” heterochromatic

Interesting phrase, “- unelectable candidate.”

This recurrent phrase recalls the propagandistic practice of WWII NAZI General Josef
Goebbels.  Its current usage identifies propagandists who follow the NAZI Goebbels
practice, which is currently employed against the most highly-qualified, altruistic
patriot, physician Ron Paul, M.D. 

An outstanding veteran, outstanding physician, consistently ethical and patriotic as
a representative in congress, a millionaire via successfully playing the money market
without illegal, insider information.  It is little wonder that Israeli types have joined the
WWII NAZI effort to prevent Dr. Paul, a non-whorehopper-type, from becoming the
next U.S. President.  Understandably, a rich whore-hopper-type, manipulable via
money, is their preference.

Only the deceit and fraud used in the recent Iowa vote, a repetition of the theft of the
Florida vote 2004 by puppet-son of GHWBushSr, Jeb Bush, will prevent Dr. Ron Paul
from being elected to the U.S. Presidency, 2012.  The essential, historical “tool” of the
WWII NAZI-types is the CIA, secretive CEO of which was GHWBushSr since about
1960.  Doctor Paul proposes retirement for the CIA.
http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-and-a-timeline-of-cia-crimes-and-atrocities/

Genuine Americans in the CIA, instead of being retired, would do well to support the
Constitution of the United States, instead of whichever puppet the Ford Foundation,
the Rockefeller Foundation & Wall Street Israelis have slid into the POTUS position.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

ACTION!!!!!!!


http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/25/vote-ron-paul-for-
talking-12-action-figure/

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By Cliff Carson, January 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Korky

Some pretty good candidates in your list, some men, some women.

I always liked Wesley Clark.  A few years ago he was on TV relating the story of how he was in a conversation in the Pentagon with some Generals.

The conversation was about 7 countries in the Middle East that was being targeted for invasion.  Since this conversation took place in around 1990 it seems they were looking for some reason to sell the American public on going to war.  9/11 was their birthday present.

Clark named the countries.  Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria,Libya, Lebanon, and Iran are six that I remember.

Looks like the score is 3 down and 3 to go + 1.

Report this

By Korky Day, January 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Done!
Penn Jillette is now officially on my list.
(Great hair!)

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Korky~~~~  you left out Vanna White, Penn Jillette,
and Jennifer Lopez.

perhaps it might be better to tailor the choices
toward people who might be expected to perform the
duties of the Vice President rather then select
people on basis of their gender or skin color.

but what the heck, enjoy yourself as it’s not like
there’s any harm in dreaming up running mates for an
unelectable candidate…..

so do consider Penn Jillette

Report this

By Korky Day, January 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

32 vice presidential possibilities for Ron Paul

Cynthia McKinney (ex Green pres. cand.)
Barbara Lee (D-Calif)
Elizabeth Warren (D-senate cand.)
Jill Stein (Green pres. cand.)
Lani Guinier (pro-rep Harvard professor)
Gloria Steinem
Joycelyn Elders (ex surgeon-general)
Winona LaDuke (ex Green vice pres. cand.)
Angela Davis
Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
Ralph Nader
Julian Bond (state senator)
Bernie Sanders (socialist senator-VT)
Herman Cain
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (professor)
Gore Vidal (author)
Alan Keyes (fmr. ambassador)
Jesse Jackson, Sr.
Robert Kennedy, Jr.
Amy Carter (activist)
Wes Clark (pro-peace general)
Al Franken (D-Minn.)
Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Rocky Anderson (D-ex-mayor Salt Lake City)
Roy Innis (civil rights)
Karen Kwiatkowski (ret. Air Force)
Michael Moore (film-maker)
Ross Perot (ex pres. cand.)
Ron Reagan (commentator)
Al Sharpton (civil rights)
Cindy Sheehan (peace activist)
Jesse Ventura (ex gov. WI)

Of the 32, 12 are women, 18 are non-White.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Too true to life.

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By ardee, January 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 23 at 10:30 am

HAHA, darn you, I snorted out my coffee!

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 23, 2012 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

if it was a horned Robert Moses…..that would have gotten it torn down and then
closed.

Report this

By ardee, January 23, 2012 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 22 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

ardee~~~ pardon the intrusive question, but how old were you when you were
there?

Twenty two, married with a child on the way. Yes, an adult, and I still vividly remember the depictions on that large mural of horned Moses and “darkies” barefoot and laboring in the fields.

Report this

By Cliff Carson, January 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Yes Ardee there were two very large murals in the LDS Pavilion but I believe the murals were supposedly depicting the History of the LDS movement.

I have not been able to find a picture of the murals and I thought that since there was quite a controversy about the Jordan Pavilion mural that might be what you were thinking about.  I think that on display with the Murals was what was depicted as the Golden Tablet (Plates?).  Some visitors commented on viewing it.

It is possible that there is an eraser at work.  When I tried to go find pictures of the Murals I got the old “Not Available” message.

I was going to the historical photo sites of the 64/65 Fair.

I ran into some problems like this when I was checking out the September 11, 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre committed by the Mormons.

Captain James Lynch and one of the 17 survivors are buried in a cemetery about six blocks from my house.

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

ardee~~~ pardon the intrusive question, but how old were you when you were
there?

Report this

By ardee, January 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson, January 21 at 6:45 am

Yes, time can indeed alter perception. However I was there, saw the LDS mural and read the news of the closing of that pavilion. Very puzzling indeed this apparent news blackout???

Report this

By heterochromatic, January 21, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

ardee~~~ thx for the effort.

CC~~~~ thx for the clarification.

Report this

By Cliff Carson, January 21, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

By ardee, January 21 at 3:43 am

“The mural in question…...”

ardee

Time can confuse us all when facts etc fade into the distant past.

There was much controversy raised by a mural in the Jordain Pavilion depicting a Palestinian refugee and child and a poem lamenting the stealing of the the Palestinian land by “Foreigners. American Jewish groups demanded the removal of the mural. It was entitled “War Through Misunderstanding”  You can see the mural and read the poem at the site.  This could be what you are remembering. Following is a link to the site.

  http://www.nywf64.com/jordan07.shtml

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By omop, January 21, 2012 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Here’s one way to marginalize someone/anywhere/anytime/.

For some unexplained reasons never made the US msm. The UK Guardian
and Haaretz did though.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/uproar-after-jewish-
american-newspaper-publisher-suggests-israel-assassinate-barack-
obama-1.408429

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By ardee, January 21, 2012 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Sorry, heterochromatic, after searching for any article relative to the claim I made I was unable to find such. Odd in that I distinctly remember the controversy. The mural in question, housed in a round building, which, by the by, is still in use as a Mormon Temple out on Long Island I believe,was enormous and as I recall depicted Jews with horns and blacks as stereotypical slaves.

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By heterochromatic, January 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

one for the dog and his kool kwote

http://zombiecontentions.com/2012/01/20/flo-and-ebby/

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By Korky Day, January 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

Ralph Nader (a Brown man) likes to quote Frederick Douglass (a Black man):  “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”  Nader I believe offered to withdraw from one or more contests if some other candidate would concede some important progressive positions.  None did, as far as I know.  I think Al Gore was one, so he deserved to lose.  So now in 2012, Jill Stein or Ron Paul or anyone, if the time is right, should say (preferably publicly) that they will withdraw and throw their support to someone else IF they promise to work to abolish the 2-party system with pro-rep (proportional representation).  Until then, I support Ron Paul for the Republican nomination and vote Green in general elections.

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By Aquifer, January 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Scott,

“If I’m just going to vote Stein as a protest against the undemocratic system, then it’s easier for me to change my mind at the last minute and vote Obama if I’m afraid the evil GOPer might win.”

First of all, one doesn’t follow the other - if I am going to protest, i am going to protest, period. It’s no “easier” to change my mind for that reason than for any other, but more importantly my whole argument is that we should stop voting for people for any other reason than that we want them to win. One of the reasons we are so screwed up is that we got tricked into voting the way we do for all sorts of other reasons - “lesser of 2 evils”, the one we like “can’t win”, “to keep the other guy out”, “strategy” etc, etc. - instead of using our vote directly in support of what we want.

You want Paul as the nominees, i suspect you want him to win, as well, and you want progs like me to help do it, and, in order to get us to help, you need to convince us it is in our best interests. And I will continue to argue it is NOT in our best interests to spend our time, money, energy, arguments or Vote in support of Paul, or any person other than a real prog - Stein

Rather like Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, side tracked by all sorts of temptations, sailing into side ports, but, shaking off the seductions, keeps heading for home - progs have to think of RP is a seductive siren, and that embracing him will keep us away from home that much longer and may prove fatal in the end…

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By Aquifer, January 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Scott,

“It’s true that almost everyone here, including me, would rather have Stein as president than Obama or Paul.  .... it requires strategy and tactics.”

Ah, so the strategy is spend your time and money and energy supporting RP - and then when the election comes around, if RP is the nominee, reverse course , and support Stein, though by then, unless you are part of the 1%, you will be out of money and energy AND advise everyone you didn’t really want him and THEY should support Stein? So precisely when and where does the support for Stein, this candidate you say you want,  kick in?

And there’s a problem on a 2nd front here, Scott. I did that with the Dems in ‘04 and ‘08, worked for Kucinich and when he didn’t get the nomination, supported and voted for Nader. The difference was, it was a seamless transition form Kucinich to Nader - same positions, same philosophy, no having to flip flop, etc. In fact, Nader intimated that if Kucinich won the primary, he would not have run - no need to choose.  Here you would not be picking inside and outside “equivalents”; though there are some convergences, there are too many diametrically opposed positions between Paul and Stein - getting Paul would NOT be equivalent to getting Stein, not by a long shot and both of them would be on the ballot, you would have to choose ...

As a matter of fact, as opposed to your argument, one could argue that getting Paul as Rep nominee in fact would be a blow to 3rd parties, especially lefty ones as they would be torn between 2 anti-war candidates and your meme about “can’t win” would be launched against Stein, not just by the duopoly, but by Paul supporters, such as yourself - you are already doing it here.

Sorry, Scott, but i cannot see how anyone who truly “would rather have Stein as president than Obama or Paul” could support either of the latter 2 in any way shape or form - in the name of a rather ill begotten convoluted “if this then that or maybe this” strategy or otherwise. The best “strategy” is to work like hell for the person who represents the positions you support, and work to disarm those malicious memes that undermine that candidate - oh, you know memes like “can’t win” and all that. You yourself have intimated it would take a “miracle” for Paul to win - if that is so and there are 2 candidates who require “miracles” to win, why not spend efforts on the one you WANT to win? Or is that precisely what you are doing? I know i am ..

By repeating all those “memes” used to marginalize candidates and assuring us how effective they will be - you are perpetuating and enforcing them - and i think you are too smart a guy not to know that. But be careful - that “crazy” meme will be used (and has been, I do believe,) against your candidate as well, so if you think the use of such a strategy is determinative of outcome, then why waste your time on Paul - makes no more sense than my “wasting” time on Stein. Those memes can and should be fought - but you are repeating them - be careful ...

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By heterochromatic, January 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

ardee—- very interesting. I’ve never heard about any controversy concerning the
LDS exhibit and the 64 World’s Fair….and AFAIK the LDS exhibit closed when the
Fair closed.


do you have some links? I would like to read about this and can’t understand how
it be news to me.

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By ardee, January 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Korky Day, January 19 at 2:55 pm

I am reminded of the 1965 World’s Fair in New York City, in which the LDS exhibit had a blatantly anti-semitic and racist mural spread across a very large area.

The exhibit was closed due to that mural in fact.

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By ardee, January 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

scott425, January 20 at 11:28 am

Voting Ron Paul in the primaries is just one such tactic (which is in no way mutually exclusive with voting Green in the general).  It keeps Paul’s anti-establishment message in the public, which means more and more people will be listening and will be encouraged to question the MSM rhetoric.  And this leads to way more votes for 3rd parties come Fall, including votes for Green party candidates. 

I found this a very thoughtful post, and thanks for it,Scott. I do support the addition of so-called third parties into the mix, both statewide and nationally.

My own opinion of Paul’s candidacy has been posted here more than several times so I will not rehash it now. ButI am one who would like to see a political scenario similar to that of France, which has a multiplicity of political parties in the mix thus enabling that nation to have the best health care in the world and some of the best working conditions as well, including a 35 hour work week, one month vacations and liberal maternity leave for both spouses.

I do , however, still object to those who call themselves progressives supporting the candidacy of any libertarian much less Paul with his rather seamy affiliations.

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By scott425, January 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

It’s great that people are interested in 3rd parties etc and considering a vote for Stein.  It’s true that almost everyone here, including me, would rather have Stein as president than Obama or Paul.  That said, the big picture requires more than just idealism, it requires strategy and tactics.

First off, it’s practically a given that Stein can’t win.  But let me concede (for the sake of argument) that conditions are better in 2004 or 08 for the Greens, and Stein has a decent chance of getting better than .5% nationally and might get up to 1-2%. 

Since the Greens have been around awhile and the 2-party system has plenty of experience marginalizing them, we can safely predict THEIR strategy.  Namely, ignore Stein as long as possible.  Treat her as a “protest” or “not serious” or “crazy”. 

Then if Stein seems to be gaining popular support….start the fear-mongering.  Point to the differences between Obama and Romney (or Gingrich lol) on stuff like Keystone and SOPA.  Fear-monger that Romney will start a new war with Iran (assuming Obama hasn’t started the war already by then).

And if Stein does manage to exceed expectations and get over 2%, then this potentially spoils Obama.  Then we get a repeat of 2004, with all the Green voters migrating to the Dem party to support a Kucinich or Dean, and then eventually endorse the corporate Dem (after 4 years of GOP presidential hell).

The reason its so easy for them is nobody believes Stein’s potential voting bloc is big enough to win in the first place.  If I’m just going to vote Stein as a protest against the undemocratic system, then it’s easier for me to change my mind at the last minute and vote Obama if I’m afraid the evil GOPer might win.

I’m not saying that the Greens and other anti-establishment parties should simply give up.  Rather, anti-establishment voters need to think about the way the establishment will contain them.  Success in democracy requires more than just idealism, it also requires strategy, coalition-building, rhetoric.

Eg, if the enemy is adept at playing you into a corner then change it the fuck up.  Change up the strategy and tactics.  Play inside the system and outside the system.  Attack from all angles.  Don’t just run the 3rd party candidates.  Also try to disrupt the major parties from the inside.  Divide them, just like they divide us.

Voting Ron Paul in the primaries is just one such tactic (which is in no way mutually exclusive with voting Green in the general).  It keeps Paul’s anti-establishment message in the public, which means more and more people will be listening and will be encouraged to question the MSM rhetoric.  And this leads to way more votes for 3rd parties come Fall, including votes for Green party candidates. 

And if (by some miracle) the Paul candidacy were successful, it would cripple and divide the GOP.  Supporters of Romney/Gingrich/Santorum would either form their own party or back Obama.  This would open up a massive opportunity for alternatives to the main 2 party line to emerge and get their message out.

I don’t think anyone here is against the Green message.  We just want to support a political strategy that has a chance of success and which isn’t easily contained by the mechanisms of the system.  That means breaking out of the mold of seeing voting as a religious act and using voting (along with other forms of activism) STRATEGICALLY to shake up the system. 

In the article above, Scheer criticizes the MSM for marginalizing Paul because by marginalizing Paul they are marginalizing the viewpoints he represents.  If we are to de-marginalize our own views, then that requires more tactics, more pragmatism, more strategy, and more open-minded thinking.  Paul and his supporters want a democratic constitutional republic rather than a sham democracy.  They want peace and justice.  In this regard, we are allies, and if we can work together to accomplish good things, then we should.

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By heterochromatic, January 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

padon yet another of my zillion typos——

should read ” I have NO reason to put that on Romney….”

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By heterochromatic, January 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Korky——Joseph Smith may have condemned slavery but does not means he was
not a racist….. IIRC, that book we wrote contained the claim that people were
turned black as a sign of god’s disfavor or curse or some such bullshit…. and that
following Smiths teaching would remove the curse of blackness and allow them to
become white and delightsome.


I have to reason to put that crap on Romney, but Joseph Smith, for that and many
other reasons, doesn’t deserve a Get Out of Jail (or whatever) Free card.

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By Aquifer, January 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Ana,

“then it needs money and should make it as easy as possible for potential donors to become actual donors.”

I tend to agree - it has been a source of one of my frustrations with the Greens - but hopefully they are getting better with Stein’s campaign ...

If you are interested in her you can go directly to her website ....

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By Korky Day, January 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Please let me correct some misconceptions about Mitt Romney and his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), as it relates to the race with Ron Paul and Barack Obama.
I was a Mormon in childhood.  One of the reasons I became an atheist in 1965 (when I was 17) was the church’s refusal to ordain Blacks to the priesthood.
Nevertheless, I recognize that the LDS Church, while it has many strange and shocking racial beliefs, really is neither more nor less racist than Christianity as a whole.  In some ways it was and is far ahead of other Christian churches.
The first Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, from New York, condemned slavery and allowed the ordination of a few Black priests.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_and_early_Mormonism
Blacks have never been barred from membership, but barred only from the priesthood—from 1847 to 1978.
Mormons generally have never hated Blacks, never lynching them (unlike Baptists), even though church policies certainly discriminated against the progeny of Africa.
The church has always put missionary work ahead of other considerations, and allowing utter equality would have hindered that.  They are a pragmatic people.
Like Ron Paul’s racism, Mitt Romney’s racism is not one of hate, but of uncaring laxity in reversing the effects of centuries of others’ hatred, cruelty, and exploitation.  Paul and Romney are no more racist than Republicans generally.  Republicans today are only slightly more racist than Barack Obama’s actions.
Considering the racism of the USA’s never-ending wars (which also unduly affect non-White USA soldiers), I’d say that, overall, the peace candidate Ron Paul is much less racist than Romney or Obama.
Of course, I vote Green because I abhor racism AND the 2-party system which enables racism to continue at home and abroad.
In case you are curious, my ancestry is part White and part west Asian.

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By Anarcissie, January 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

If the Green Party is in business to get votes in elections in the same world as the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Working Families, etc., etc., parties, which is what it purports to be, then it needs money and should make it as easy as possible for potential donors to become actual donors.  If not, fine, but then it should not pretend to be a political party in the usual sense of the words.

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By heterochromatic, January 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

drb- we can’t really expect you to understand what
passes for international law on this one particular
planet, so don’t sweat it that you do not.

get healthy

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By drbhelthi, January 19, 2012 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

“- - that’s a far deeper entanglement than is sitting and listening to sermons on Sundays.”  heterochromatic

Perhaps.
However, one installs a subordinate chiefs to do the work without constantly looking over their shoulder.  Thus, often they do not know what has been done, until well afterwards, which something is thrown in their face.  Such is administration. 

Much worse is believing what Obama and his leeches say.  Better to review their double-crossing the electorate on their pre-election promises.
Which he and they continue to do.

Also. Require Israel, with its two nuclear facilities and 120 nuclear weapons, to submit to IAEC inspections and conform to international law.  Instead of wagging the western world to punish Iran for its failure to suck up to the Bush-Obama entourage.
As was done to Muammar Al Gadhaffi and Libya by the GHWBushSr entourage. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHVlU2jHT70&feature=related

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By heterochromatic, January 19, 2012 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

David the Saint——-” If natural persons will not support a true non-corporate
alternative, then they have no good reason to participate in elections.”

this seems a bit unworldly. The telephone company, the electric and the guy who
prints things all like to be reimbursed.

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By David J. Cyr, January 19, 2012 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

RE: “Political parties need money”

The more dependent a political alternative becomes upon raising money the less of an alternative it becomes.

A true alternative is far more dependent upon the support of people than money.

If natural persons will not support a true non-corporate alternative, then they have no good reason to participate in elections.

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 Anarcissie, January 19, 2012 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

I am not too hopeful about the Green Party.  I went to the website of the national party, donations page.  No Paypal or other online payment link.  Apparently one must fill out a form and mail it in with a check.  I complained to the ‘office manager’ and he replied that Paypal took too large a fee.  I pointed out that if someone forgoes contributing because they didn’t want to drag out envelopes and stamps, then the Party hasn’t lost the Paypal fee but the whole contribution.  One must strike while the iron is hot.  No reply to that.  It made me wonder if the party HQ is merely incompetent, or maybe has a saboteur problem.  (Sabotage is not a far-fetched conspiratorial theory; note that the U.S.‘s largest anti-war movement was neutralized by it once Obama had been elected.)

Political parties need money, but in the case of the Green Party, apparently no one’s watching the store.

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By Korky Day, January 19, 2012 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Thanks to ardee.  I have refuted those points in my previous contributions herein.  So have many others.

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By ardee, January 19, 2012 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

Korky Day, January 19 at 12:02 am

Your characterization of Paul as the better candidate shows a remarkable lack of knowledge, or concern actually, about libertarian politics and Paul’s own questionable connections to rather slimy hate groups. Further, it ignores how the poor would suffer even more with the privatization or ending of social services and the corporations flourish even more with the ending of regulatory powers of government, a keynote of libertarian belief.

I realize that The Green Party has within it a diverse cross section of political beliefs, I am a registered Green myself, but you cannot seriously call yourself a progressive if you support Ron Paul. Well, you can but I certainly wouldn’t.

The key, in my own opinion, to rescuing this nation from the clutches of the fascism now gripping our government is the support for, and the election of, third party candidates to office. Certainly it does not lie in deciding which candidate of the two major parties is the “lesser evil”.

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By Korky Day, January 19, 2012 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Aquifer asked “Paul is not a populist left Libertarian?”
No, he’s a populist pragmatic Christian pro-life constitutionist libertarian. 

I’m a Green Party activist.
I encourage everyone to help Ron Paul to win the Republican nomination, and to vote Green in the general election, or Ron Paul, if he pledges to support pro-rep (proportional representation), as has Dennis Kucinich.

To everyone who insists on voting for the lesser evil in the general election, I point out that Ron Paul is much less evil than Barack Obama, who is only slightly less evil than any of the other Republican presidential candidates.

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By Matt Emmons, January 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Ronald,

I read your article. The mining stuff was interesting but your conclusions are based on false premises. You point out that “people who own gold/gold stocks are in a win-win with or without a gold standard,” and (rightly, I think) propose that the current fiscal devaluation makes gold more valuable as would the establishment of a gold standard. What you fail to address is that Ron Paul, who would obviously benefit under either of those scenarios, is actually proposing a third way; one which would (ironically) be likely to bring gold prices down to more reasonable levels. Paul is NOT proposing a gold standard, he is proposing the end of fiat hegemony.
As to the linkage of Ron Paul and Ralph Reed, I don’t see it. Has Reed endorsed Paul? I am not religious (at all), and I am proud of our nation’s longstanding commitment to religious freedom. That said, I found your historical analysis regarding that subject, presented at a criticism of Paul’s use of the phrase “our Christian heritage” to be inaccurate and incomplete. The language of the Treaty of Tripoli (which was a piece of diplomacy, after all, and not an official religious policy statement for the nation) does not prove what you think it proves, and neither does the quote from Jefferson. Obviously, Jefferson was extraordinarily eloquent and influential in these matters, but in his time he was well outside the mainstream of American religious thought. Just like I am (and, I presume, you are). Same with Paine. The guy’s a hero, sure, but to present him as an authentic voice of America’s consensus religious heritage is just complete bs. No offense. Most Americans recoiled at Paine’s freethinking. I have no interest in assembling a barrage of quotations from founders that explicitly reference God, etc., but it is easily done if you are interested in this subject beyond its utility as a rhetorical attack on Christian politicians whom you wish to smear as un-American. Funnily enough, the left, and “Progressives” especially, have among the strongest claims to an explicit Christian heritage. Research the democratic ramifications of the Second Great Awakening, for example, or consider the essentially religious nature of the idea that society is “progressing” toward some kind of perfection. Whose perfection? In the actual Progressive Era, that concept was primarily based in a Christian framework.
If you just don’t like Ron Paul because he’s a successful investor who holds mining stocks, or because he’s a Christian, fine. I share your personal reservations with regard to those attributes. But when you dress your distaste up in this fragile framework of propaganda and half-truth it just wastes everyone’s time.

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By Aquifer, January 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Yo, Korky!

I’d agree with 1 and 3, not sure about 4 and Kucinich?
Well, I used to be a Dem - worked for and contributed to his campaigns, but dropped him when he sold out on healthcare for “the sake of the party”. That was the last straw for me with the Dems, if K decides that principle comes before party, drops out of the Dems and hooks up with someone like Stein, I’ll take him seriously again.

Neither he, nor Paul, apparently, can disengage from the teets of the duopoly - all for “tactical” or “strategic” reasons, I suppose - principles come second, or third or fourth or whatever ...

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By Aquifer, January 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

bill,

“Aquifer, while I will normally continue to ignore your drivel ...”

You keep promising to ignore me - and, by George, you have, when it comes to my pointing out or questioning illogical or inconsistent positions, but not when it comes to insults, with which “You’ve been repeating yourself incessantly as well, but without varying the presentation”

“getting SOME progressive leadership, even if mixed with significant very questionable libertarian leadership, strikes me as a better deal than continuing the neocon/neolib dance that has brought us to where we are today, and that will remain my position until the candidacy of someone like Stein becomes something more than a disappointing joke.”

Ah, so half a loaf is better than none, even if the half is moldy ... and you will eat it even though there is a fresh whole grain one available - not a very healthy choice ....

Hmmmmm, a disappointing joke - wait, you are “disapponted”? How so? Because she hasn’t sold out to the duopoly? Paul, as long as he remains a Rep. IS part of that duopoly, or hadn’t you noticed? What keeps him in the Party? What about the Rep Party attracts him? The fund raisers maybe? The connections?

Scott,

“You’re a poor advocate for the Greens, because people who don’t know them better might assume all of them are as close-minded and intellectualy feeble as you.”

Well they can breathe a sigh of relief, because i am not a Green, I’m an indy, so i guess that means I’m a poor advocate for indys, huh? Do you think folks might assume all idies “are as close-minded and intellectualy (sic) feeble”?  hmm, what are you guys?

“You won’t succeed because you don’t show any respect for the people you are talking to.  You don’t try to understand their arguments on their own merits.”

I have a great deal of respect, which is why I avoid personal character assassinations as opposed to pointing out inconsistencies and illogic in arguments ... I understand your arguments quite well - i just don’t think they HAVE much in the way of merit.

“I don’t want to talk to you.”

Shucks, you don’t have to ...

“First of all, it’s to get liberals in the habit of considering that the dude with the D next to his name is not necessarily right and the dude with the R could be better.”

Hmmm, yup, sounds like a good plan to get rid of the duopoly - “the dude with the R could be better” - ah, yes, lesser evilism by any other name ...

“if liberals really can’t consider voting for someone like Paul, how can we expect right libertarians to vote for a populist left-libertarian that might emerge in the future?”

So, Paul is not a populist left Libertarian? Then what kind is he, pray tell? Why should liberals vote for a right libertarian when they can have a prog?

“Anyone who is conscious of the democracy deficit and wants more democracy and less corporate domination is a potential ally, deserving of respect and solidarity.”

Anyone except me, obviously ....

“otherwise the elites will continue to deploy the 2-party system and media domination”

So, are you one of them there “elites”? You clearly want to remain in that system .... 


 

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By heterochromatic, January 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

mop- that made as much sense as saying that Paul is aping the foreign policy of
Charles Lindbergh

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By omop, January 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie.

 

You should by now realise that chromatic is mimicking the RJC’s views. On Dec. 7, 2011 as you may recall the Republican Jewish Coalition
hosted a presidential-candidates forum featuring Michele Bachmann,
Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney,
and Rick Santorum. Not invited was the GOP candidate currently polling
around third in New Hampshire and second in Iowa: Rep. Ron Paul (R-
Texas). The explanation:

Paul was not invited to attend the RJC’s candidates forum because the
organization - as it has stated numerous times in the past - “rejects his
misguided and extreme views,” said [RJC Executive Director Matt] Brooks.

“He’s just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and
this organization,” Brooks said.

QED.

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By scott425, January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

after becoming disgusted with the left/right paradigm and specifically the dogmatic leftist perspective i had held since college.

Hmm, I failed to edit that part and it’s not what I wanted to say.  I don’t disavow left views entirely.  I still agree with the 10 core green principles.  I still consider myself an egalitarian and a liberal, though not a progressive, since I don’t valorize ‘progress’.  I’m skeptical of Big-Daddy government, not least because we Americans do not seem to have the ability to effectively oversee it.

But I’ve come to believe that most Democrats are kool-aid drinkers that don’t put much effort into thinking through their beliefs.  It’s so easy for urban liberals to simply support Obama, even if they hate many of his policies, simply because there’s no one else in the race that is culturally tolerable for them.  That’s what it comes down to—there is one ‘cool’ ‘in’ guy and that’s Obama.  So the establishment wins by default.

In trying to get liberals to vote for Paul for this upcoming primary, there are alot of goals besides just putting pressure on Obama and splitting the GOP.  First of all, it’s to get liberals in the habit of considering that the dude with the D next to his name is not necessarily right and the dude with the R could be better.  Second, it’s to get them into the habit of seeing their vote as a means of expression and protest, and not as an act of religious affiliation (as per our unconscious conditioning).  Third, it’s to prepare the way (psychologically) for a time when left and right dissidents might have to unite.  I mean…if liberals really can’t consider voting for someone like Paul, how can we expect right libertarians to vote for a populist left-libertarian that might emerge in the future?  It would be neat if we could simultaneously arrive at the notion that we are on the same team and we have similar immediate goals with regard to the drug war, corporate hegemony and empire, even if our philosophical approach differs.  Anyone who is conscious of the democracy deficit and wants more democracy and less corporate domination is a potential ally, deserving of respect and solidarity.

Breaking down those left/right dichotomies and promoting unity among liberty-lovers is going to take time and patience, but it’s pretty much essential—otherwise the elites will continue to deploy the 2-party system and media domination to manipulate us into endorsing their agenda.

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By Korky Day, January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

If the USA were a democracy, we’d be able to rank the presidential candidates.  Here’s how I’d vote, ranking from first choice to least favoured, if the following were on my 2012 ballot.

1.  Jill Stein (Green).
2.  Dennis Kucinich (D).
3.  Ralph Nader.
4.  Rocky Anderson (Justice).
5.  Ron Paul (R).
6.  The Naked Cowboy.
7.  A voter picked at random from voters lists.
8.  Gary Johnson (Libertarian).
9.  Barack Obama (D).
10.  Mitt Romney (R).
11.  Newt Gingrich (R).
12.  Rick Perry (R).
13.  Rick Santorum (R).

Then if Ron Paul and Barack Obama tied, I’d vote Paul in the run-off.

I will move up on my list any candidates in addition to Stein and Kucinich who I find out would work for pro-rep (proportional representation).  We need national referenda, too.

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By heterochromatic, January 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

scott—I believe that Obama is pretty much
mainstream and have no infatuation with him and would
gladly vote for someone more to the left should that
person be remotely likely to win.

I’ve met Ayers and Bernie and one of their kids.
Matter of fact, their kid and mine were friends as
teens, so I’m not all that scared of Ayers and his
criminal past.

I don’t admire him as his past isn’t easily
excusable, but I surely don’t see him as much of an
influence on Obama.


I would suggest to you that you’ve not a real clear
idea of my political thoughts and had little basis
for your failed attempt to dick around discussing my
” psychological framework and prior prejudices ...and
cognitive dissonances”

you’re a fool to having done that and you’re failing
to understand why I find Paul to be a clown.  It’s
far from just the associates and newsletters, it’s
the actual lunacy and ignorance that spills from his
own mouth and pen.

You want to indulge in thinking that his anti-
Imperial positions mean that he’s worth taking
seriously despite the many insane and ignorant other
positions that he holds, that’s your privilege, but
that leaves you in no fucking position to discuss
other folks’ “cognitive dissonances”... at all.

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By scott425, January 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

but have come around to believing that you’re exactly what you seem to be:  someone noticeably to the right of me politically and nowhere nearly sufficiently disenchanted with the duopoly to think that WHATEVER IT TAKES to destabilize it is a better option than either conventional party is.

This may be true—I’m really trying to figure out what’s what after becoming disgusted with the left/right paradigm and specifically the dogmatic leftist perspective i had held since college.  I’m definitely more understanding now than I was when i was younger of individuals whose political views evolve and change with experience.

E.g., I’m far enough left to consider Obama and Romney to be just about equivalent save for a few ‘wedge issues’ where Romney’s positions are, to say the least, murky, so Romney doesn’t scare me at all.  And I’m far enough left to think that Paul’s progressive positions plus his likelihood of seriously shaking up the duopoly would make him a better president than either of them:  getting SOME progressive leadership, even if mixed with significant very questionable libertarian leadership, strikes me as a better deal than continuing the neocon/neolib dance that has brought us to where we are today, and that will remain my position until the candidacy of someone like Stein becomes something more than a disappointing joke.

I go back and forth on Obama.  NDAA was a major deal-breaker but then again I appreciate his position on Sopa, and I appreciate his relative moderation on some issues of concern.  I’m also concerned that the defense industry seems to be putting alot of bets on Romney.

I think if its Obama/Romney it will be hard to motivate people for 3rd party politics but at this point I’m more or less resolved to vote 3rd party (probably Stein, but maybe Johnson). 

Unfortunately the build-up to war with Iran is probably the #1 issue of the moment and precisely on this issue it’s difficult whether there’s a difference.  Obama appears better, but since we have no leverage (no primary challenge grrr), we have no guarentee….  Whereas with Paul as president at least we’d avoid that trap.

I’m pretty much in accord with his positions to the degree that I understand them and was very disappointed in Obama for distancing himself from them.  “God damn America!” is a sentiment I’ve come to hold myself at least since the unwarranted invasion of Iraq and the failure of our population to oppose it vigorously, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a a section of a speech yesterday in which MLK uttered (a bit less emphatically) a somewhat similar sentiment.

I admire what little I’ve heard from Jeremiah Wright.  I was just making the point that media gotchas re. guilt-by-association tend to depend on the prejudices being played upon, as well as how hard they want to push those emotional triggers.  I’d go so far as to suggest that if the MSM had really opposed Obama in 2008 they could have used the Wright connection to knock him out of the race, regardless of how admirable Wright happens to be.

The MSM was never really scared of Paul because they always had these racial newsletters in their back pocket—-it was entirely predictable the newsletters would resurface and it was entirely predictable that liberals would use them as an excuse (along with Paul’s views on abortion) to write-off the possibility of a primary vote for Paul.

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By scott425, January 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

scott—it’s not equivalent.  Paul’s association with the unsavory runs a bit deeper
than does Obama’s. 

Paul took money for the racist and insane things printed under his name and Lew
Rockwell is not merely a close and long-time associate of Paul’s, but Paul has
formally embraced Rockwell’s racist insanity by having had Rockwell as his chief
of staff.

that’s a far deeper entanglement than is sitting and listening to sermons on
Sundays.

I think how seriously you take the associations depends on your psychological framework and prior prejudices.  In your case, I get the impression that you support Obama and therefore it’s psychologically easier for you to simply internalize that Paul is “tainted”—that way you can overcome the cognitive dissonance of continuing to support Obama while Paul is better on key issues.

Now, if you were psychologically predisposed to believe that Obama is a revolutionary Marxist or anti-American, then you might be inclined to think association with Ayers or Wright “disqualify” him for the presidency.  Eg it would be easier for you to assume that Obama couldn’t admire/associate with such people unless he was also a socialist/communist/anti-american and therefore ‘tainted’ by association. 

Now obviously you don’t believe this and I don’t (hell, Obama’s association with these men is a plus imho).  But tarring Obama is no more logical than tarring Paul.  Consider that

1) Paul has denounced the newsletters on many occasions.

2) He’s explained over and over that his views on liberty will attract some unsavory personages because the whole point of such a philosophy is toleration for philosophies different than your own unless those philosophies advocate violence.  He views on the Civil Rights Act are based on legit philosophical concerns and not mere prejudice.

3) Nobody is even willing to accuse Paul of being a racist anyway.  Because absolutely no one believes it—this shit is just a means of discrediting Paul and showing he was involved with the ‘wrong crowd’.

The newsletters were definitely a big lapse and Paul has had to take responsibility for them, but pretending they disqualify him from consideration is a prejudice spread by the media, given the fact that he’s disavowed them, its 20 years later, and there is zero evidence that Paul has any racial prejudices.

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By scott425, January 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer,

Stop responding to my posts.  I’ve already wasted enough time explaining and reexplaining my positions to you.  In exchange, you repeatedly misrepresent what I say so it fits into your stereotyped good v. evil worldview, and then proceed to self-righteously attack the strawmen you’ve erected….  Either you are trolling or you’re just plain dumb—either way it’s a waste of time trying to reason with you.

You’re a poor advocate for the Greens, because people who don’t know them better might assume all of them are as close-minded and intellectualy feeble as you.  If you want to actually win converts (and this appears to be your goal, rather than dialougue), then you’ll have to radically alter your rhetoric.  Otherwise you’re just another angry troll turning people off.

As opposed to left wingers being trained to accept libertarians like Paul on broad philosophical grounds?

Well how about training Libertarians to accept progs like Stein on broad philosophical grounds? Sounds like a plan to me ..

Some of us are trying to pave the way to this, but before dialougue can start there must be mutual respect and openness to dialougue.  You won’t succeed because you don’t show any respect for the people you are talking to.  You don’t try to understand their arguments on their own merits.  Instead you misrepresent people’s arguments to fit your tired stereotypes and then go on to rudely speculate about their motives. 

Don’t respond; I don’t want to talk to you.  Peace out.

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By - bill, January 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer, while I will normally continue to ignore your drivel I will make this exception to observe that scott and I aren’t anything like a riot:  you’re simply an idiot for not having been able to understand what we have said so many times and in so many different ways here.  You’ve been repeating yourself incessantly as well, but without varying the presentation (as we have) to try to get your points across better (though since I believe that both of us understand very well what your points are and simply disagree with them, please don’t consider this encouragement to restate them yet again:  I’m simply suggesting that you’ve said your piece far more than a sufficient number of times and that you can therefore shut up unless you’ve actually got something new to contribute).

scott, you’ve been a paragon of patience (which I unreservedly admit I am not).  I initially wondered a bit about whether you might be one of those ‘missionaries’ that I mentioned, but have come around to believing that you’re exactly what you seem to be:  someone noticeably to the right of me politically and nowhere nearly sufficiently disenchanted with the duopoly to think that WHATEVER IT TAKES to destabilize it is a better option than either conventional party is.

E.g., I’m far enough left to consider Obama and Romney to be just about equivalent save for a few ‘wedge issues’ where Romney’s positions are, to say the least, murky, so Romney doesn’t scare me at all.  And I’m far enough left to think that Paul’s progressive positions plus his likelihood of seriously shaking up the duopoly would make him a better president than either of them:  getting SOME progressive leadership, even if mixed with significant very questionable libertarian leadership, strikes me as a better deal than continuing the neocon/neolib dance that has brought us to where we are today, and that will remain my position until the candidacy of someone like Stein becomes something more than a disappointing joke.

I’m also far enough left to take issue with your suggestion that Jerimiah Wright and Bill Ayers are ‘unsavory’ (though I’ve read less about Ayers than I should have to defend him, so I’ll concentrate on Wright).  I am aware of one reference Wright made to ‘Jews’ when he should have specified ‘Zionists’ (and later made it very clear that he accepted that he should have done so, much as Paul has disavowed some of those 20-year-old very arguably racist - though perhaps less so in the context of that time - statements in his newsletters), but other than such less-than-ideally-formulated rhetoric I’m pretty much in accord with his positions to the degree that I understand them and was very disappointed in Obama for distancing himself from them.  “God damn America!” is a sentiment I’ve come to hold myself at least since the unwarranted invasion of Iraq and the failure of our population to oppose it vigorously, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a a section of a speech yesterday in which MLK uttered (a bit less emphatically) a somewhat similar sentiment.

But generally I’ve found little with which to disagree in your posts and thought that your first post today was particularly insightful and well-constructed.  Thanks.

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By heterochromatic, January 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

scott—it’s not equivalent.  Paul’s association with the unsavory runs a bit deeper
than does Obama’s. 

Paul took money for the racist and insane things printed under his name and Lew
Rockwell is not merely a close and long-time associate of Paul’s, but Paul has
formally embraced Rockwell’s racist insanity by having had Rockwell as his chief
of staff.

that’s a far deeper entanglement than is sitting and listening to sermons on
Sundays.

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By Aquifer, January 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Scott,

What you fail to acnowledge/refuse to address are the obvious implications of being successful in “supporting Paul” - he becomes the Rep nominee for Pres in the election which gives him a shot at the Pres.

Simple fact - I don’t WANT him as Pres., nor Romney, nor Obama nor any of those AH’s - they are all schmucks, IMO, for various and sundry reasons - so i have no intention of supporting any of them in any way for any reason.

You say you just want him in the Pres, debates so he can raise the issues - well he is getting plenty of press raising the issues now. “Ah, but he is not on the same stage as Obama”, as if these Pres. “debates” are actually debates and not just nat’l stages for more PR for their respective positions - RP is getting plenty of that already, even from prog bloggers who are ignoring real prog candidates, for Pete’s sake, like here on TD.

You want lefties to help you put a Randian Libertarian in a position to be Pres. - Thanx but no thanx.

You and bill are a bit of a riot, frankly - you claim you support a bunch of lefty stuff that you freely admit Paul would not - a point i have raised several times and which neither of you have addressed. So, “vote for Paul - (he’ll cut off your left leg), but he will leave your right(s) alone! (and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain ...)”

You want this guy as Pres - that is pretty clear - the idea of supporting someone that you DON’T want, especially with all the time and space you have devoted to it - even so far as suggesting donations and phone banking - is a bit much to swallow. If you really believe in that “lefty” stuff, you certainly wouldn’t be supporting a guy like Paul, but busting your buns to get someone who actually holds the positions you profess to hold, elected ...

So all these arguments about just “raising the issues” and ignoring all those other pesky little details, to be discussed later - is a way of schmoozing lefties, reassuring them that you “agree” with them on many issues, but even you guys can’t disguise that, in fact, your candidate doesn’t - that is the one “refreshing” thing about Paul - he ain’t no closet Libertarian.

And this latest shtick - whining about “hate” and all that crap smacks of the “poor me, look at what the press is doing!” routine used most especially now by Gingrich and crew. I didn’t think you libertarians were so easily wounded ...

“why the media annointed Ron Paul rather than Gary Johnson as the token opposition.

So you admit that RP is the MSM’s choice? Great endorsement, that ...

“Therefore it’s essential that Obama be re-elected, and now his opponent will be a massive phony that nobody likes who comes from and obscure religious tradition”

Ah, so it isn’t (just) about the debates - it’s about getting someone to beat Obama, and you want lefties to help you get RP to do it - Man, lefties got scrooged once by their “hope” and “change” guy, now you want to do it again. Well, IMO, if lefties fall for this, maybe Rahm was right about us being “f*** retards” ...

“The Left is docile and easily controlled and manipulated.”

You’re counting on that, aren’t you?

“Basically what we are getting is left-wingers being trained to reject conservatives like Paul on broad philosophical grounds ..”

As opposed to left wingers being trained to accept libertarians like Paul on broad philosophical grounds?

Well how about training Libertarians to accept progs like Stein on broad philosophical grounds? Sounds like a plan to me ..

“Most disturbing of all is the blanket rejection on the left of any kind of regulatory or social spending reform of any kind.  We are being taught the meme that the State is responsible for helping poor people and any effort to scale back the State is anti-egalitarian per se.”

Aside from being BS, your slip is beginning to show ....

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By scott425, January 18, 2012 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

No, scott, not anyone with Paul is painted as crazy, but the reality is that many of
paul’s traditional supporters are crazy or unsavory.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, this rhetoric is every bit as intellectually dishonest and plain stupid as claiming Obama is a racist or a socialist because he’s supported by and/or has associated with Jerimiah Wright and Bill Ayers.

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By drbhelthi, January 18, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Add “crazy” and “unsavory” to the growing list of non sequiturs.

Israeli, CIA and administration shills are polluting not only the USA and the world, but are also destroying the American language.

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By heterochromatic, January 18, 2012 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

No, scott, not anyone with Paul is painted as crazy, but the reality is that many of
paul’s traditional supporters are crazy or unsavory.

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By scott425, January 18, 2012 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

As we look back on the debate among progressives on this issue over the last few weeks, it’s getting clearer and clearer why there was no primary opponent for Obama and why the media annointed Ron Paul rather than Gary Johnson as the token opposition.

The election seems to be an elaborate spectacle to reinforce those values the ruling clique wants to reinforce.

Basically what we are getting is left-wingers being trained to reject conservatives like Paul on broad philosophical grounds, even as Obama is committing actual violations in the realms of foreign policy and civil liberties.  Anyone who is for Paul is tarred with the crazy brush, further deepening the already glaring partisan divide.

Most disturbing of all is the blanket rejection on the left of any kind of regulatory or social spending reform of any kind.  We are being taught the meme that the State is responsible for helping poor people and any effort to scale back the State is anti-egalitarian per se.

It would seem that the establishment needs the Left on its side with regard to the coming wars.  Therefore it’s essential that Obama be re-elected, and now his opponent will be a massive phony that nobody likes who comes from and obscure religious tradition.  From the start, most of the MSM has supported Obama, and they continue to try to drag out the primary election cycle as long as possible.  With Romney as the GOP candidate, the Left will fall in line, and by the end, they will enthusaistically support Obama (driven by fear of a new militarist GOPer in the White House).

What bothers me is right now the Left has a chance to disrupt the pre-established narrative by supporting Ron Paul in the primaries, yet they refuse to do so.  The implicit argument is that it’s immoral to support a candidate you don’t fully back just to keep the debate on foreign policy and civil liberties alive.  But that is just plain silly.  What’s immoral is sitting back and letting the war profiteers dictate what YOUR democracy looks like.

Look, if you REALLY believe that Paul is dangerous, and that Paul being the GOP presidential candidate would be more dangerous then Romney being the GOP candidate (presumably because this would give Paul a chance to spread his ideas and gain new adherents), then I can understand opposing him and attacking progressive support for him.  I have no problem with this as long as its based on facts and evidence rather than stereotypes and wishful thinking.

But if you (like me) are genuinely scared by the thought of a Romney presidency, and if you truly want to see Obama forthrightly defend and explain his actual policies in an actual debate, then supporting Paul in the primary is a fucking no-brainer.  If you fail to do so, you’re just enabling the corporate narrative that places 2 pro-empire candidates before us.

What appalls me is how the MSM brainwash job has impacted the Left’s political strategy (hint, the Left has no political strategy, other than hoping that Obama is feeling liberal today, and signing petitions about SOPA).  The Left is docile and easily controlled and manipulated.  If we are on the run-up to another war (and there’s good reason to believe that’s the case) then the MSM needs the bulk of the Left on its side.

I’m worried that the media will have trained everyone on the Left to think of Paul supporters as Tea Baggers (the meme against the Tea Party has already been established) and that this will disrupt any potential anti-Empire action along a unified front.  You already see this in organizations like ISO calling for the OWS to explicitly repudiate Paul and Paul supporters.  I hope I’m wrong about this.

Instead of investigating ways to unite with the Paul supporters in constructive ways to topple Empire, the Paul campaign is inspiring a new wave of hate-talk and partisanship. 

Fortunately, not EVERYONE is buying into the meme, and there is some decent discussion on a unified front happening on the margins.

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By Anarcissie, January 18, 2012 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 17 at 8:47 pm:

‘Ana—- fine with me if you want to simply use the fool to raise the issue of the foreign policy. I don’t really understand why you are willing to to ignore the taint that Paul brings to the table….’

As I already said, no prominent progressive politician will do the job of seriously opposing the present regime.  Either they don’t exist, or they can’t get any support in the progressive community.  One must use what modest means are available while awaiting warmer weather.

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By - bill, January 18, 2012 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

tic, my impression is that ana captured exactly Paul’s position on revenue generation (at least that’s what the Wiki articles I just read described in this area).  If you’re not going to bother to acquaint yourself with what Paul actually stands for, you really should just shut up rather than continue to spew your misperceptions about it.

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By heterochromatic, January 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

Ana—- fine with me if you want to simply use the fool to raise the issue of the
foreign policy. I don’t really understand why you are willing to to ignore the taint
that Paul brings to the table, but fer gosh sake, stop being silly about the income
tax stuff. he’s not suggesting any alternative way of raising funds, he’s in with
Grover Norquist in starving the Federal gov’t and ending all the functionality of it.


It’s just the more radical extension of the Reaganite program of spending all the
funds for the military to starve all the social programs out. Paul just goes for
killing off both and returning to pre-Civil war ...if not further back to the Articles
days.

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By Anarcissie, January 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic—As I said before, Paul’s character, motivations, and friends don’t matter.  He’s not going to be nominated or elected.  His utility (for me, anyway) is in making trouble, turning over the apple-cart, at least until something or someone better comes along.

As for the income tax, first of all, the U.S. budget would look a lot different if its ruling class weren’t trying to run the world.  War and empire are very costly and unproductive.  Secondly, there are a lot of ways for a government to raise money besides personal income tax, which I think is what Paul was talking about.  The income tax is not a sacred cow—or a devil.  Unlike murdering innocent people for fun and profit, as our Great Leaders do, it’s a subject which can be debated—so you ought to like it.

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

bill,

So these are “extreme” progressive positions? Hmmm what’s your idea of ordinary garden variety ones?

Thank you soooo much for stooping to answer - hope you didn’t break anything valuable in the process ..

Tic,

Well at least you know you are on a higher rung than i on Bill’s “ladder” - hope that makes you feel better ... Still don’t know where bill places himself - must be on top, I suppose, wonder how tall this ladder is ...

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By heterochromatic, January 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

bill===

thanx for the runging up.

as fine a bit of totemitarianism as one is like to find as these devalued days where
a bill is worth but a bit more than tuppence.

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By - bill, January 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Based on past discussion I’ve come to consider you too far down the ladder to bother with, Aquifer - but since one point you raised is worth answering I’ll do so:

Paul takes progressive to strongly progressive positions on

1.  war (he considers it a last resort, rejects it absent immediate need for active defense, opposed the Iraq War Resolution, cosponsored a resolution in February, 2003, to repeal it, in 2007 introduced a bill to sunset it, and has joined multiple times with Kucinich and others in sponsoring resolutions to get us out of Afghanistan and, more recently, Pakistan and to oppose our increasingly confrontational stance against Iran; Kucinich has said that he and Paul “agree tremendously on international policy”),

2.  the ‘drug war’ (he considers drug abuse to be a medical rather than a criminal issue and personally opposes prohibition at any governmental level; he also believes that drug prosecutions are applied very unequally and hence should be discouraged in any event),

3.  civil liberties (he was one of the few to oppose both the original Patriot Act and its extensions, he opposes a national identification number or card for citizens, warrantless domestic surveillance, ANY surveillance of peaceful First Amendment activites, federal use of torture, circumventing the requirements of habeas corpus, presidential assassination of “people who he thinks are bad”, and “Don’t ask, don’t tell” - where he would have preferred regulations simply prohibiting disruptive sexual conduct in the military regardless of sexual orientation),

4.  the death penalty (he personally opposes it because he believes it is applied very unequally),

5.  whistleblower immunity (he supports it and alludes to people like Ellsberg and Manning as political heroes and patriots),

6.  ballot access and election law reform vs. the death-grip of the duopoly (he spoke out against attempts to keep Nader off ballots and introduced a bill to make ballot access for federal offices uniform and easy),

7.  corporate welfare (he’s agin’ it), and

8.  Israel/Palestine (his view is far more balanced than most of those in Washington).

If you weren’t so lazy and/or blind you could have found most of the above in the main Wikipedia articles on Paul and his political positions.

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

bill,

“tic, ..... in the areas of grasp of reality and ability to reason, you’re nowhere near the top of the ladder.”

So, you clearly have an idea of who fits where on this ladder of yours - where do you fit? Where do the others here fit? And what is the criteria you used to make your placements? Frankly your “ladder” sounds more like a step stool, for stepping on others ...

“Now, I don’t support repeal of the income tax (and do support higher upper brackets and far more progressivity in them than currently exist) because I believe it’s necessary to the degree of income (and to a lesser extent wealth) redistribution that’s desirable in our society. 

Whoa! Fie, fie! A Paul supporter who supports not just an income tax, but a progressive one to boot - and, adding insult to injury, for the purpose of “redistribution”, no less! Good heavens, man, you would never be allowed in the door! Whatever could you be thinking! You sound more and more like Scott in that the positions you support v the candidate you support must be producing an incredible amount of denial - cognitive dissonance to the point of implosion ..

“Far too many progressives and conservatives are too polarized to be able to talk rationally any more, and by combining extreme positions in both camps Paul ....”

So please list the “extreme progressive positions” that Paul holds ...

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By - bill, January 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Self-confidence can be a wonderful thing, tic, but it can also lead one astray.  While I do place you a few rungs above drbhelthi in the areas of grasp of reality and ability to reason, you’re nowhere near the top of the ladder.

Persistently characterizing Paul as a “crazy-assed old fool” reveals more about your own limitations than it does about his, especially when you neglect to castigate Obama with comparable vigor for his blatant perfidy and near-complete allegiance to corporations and the elite (as evidenced by his actions, of course:  his rhetoric sounds a sweet as ever).  Unlike the case with Paul, it’s hardly clear that Obama holds ANY virtuous positions, though he does whittle around the edges a bit where this does not compromise his ability to deliver for his owners (as occurred during the health-care ‘reform’ fiasco).

Paul’s attitude toward taxation is his characteristic skepticism toward big government.  He’s suggested that other forms of government revenue would be sufficient to keep it functioning adequately without an income tax and unlike you he’s fairly careful about his terminology - e.g., the FICA taxation that supports Social Security and Medicare, two federal support programs which he feels are existing commitments that should be honored, is NOT part of the income tax even though it’s collected along with it.

Now, I don’t support repeal of the income tax (and do support higher upper brackets and far more progressivity in them than currently exist) because I believe it’s necessary to the degree of income (and to a lesser extent wealth) redistribution that’s desirable in our society.  But those are areas of legitimate debate, not truths cast in stone, and I do support raising questions at both extremes of the spectrum to allow a thorough discussion to occur.

Paul is good at raising questions at both progressive and conservative extremes, and I value him for that.  Far too many progressives and conservatives are too polarized to be able to talk rationally any more, and by combining extreme positions in both camps Paul helps get at least some of them to take a step back and think a little about the fact that most people in the country agree with neither extreme and that any productive discussion must take that range of opinion into account rather than simply reject one end of it or the other.

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By heterochromatic, January 17, 2012 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

drb, it not reading well that alone counts: ability to reason and some grasp of
reality have centrally places in the process.

two out of three ain’t bad, drb, but accept my appreciation that, despite your
deficits, you do keep on trying.

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By drbhelthi, January 17, 2012 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

@heterochromatic, January 17 at 08:44

Without a doubt, you write some of the best sounding propaganda of all administration shills who puke into Truthdig. 

You spin the intentions of Ron Paul into nonsense better than any other shill on Truthdig.
However.
Folk who read well recognize your spins to be falsifications. Immediately.

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By heterochromatic, January 17, 2012 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Ana, now you’re being a little devious, kid. The
income tax has a special place in the canons of the
reactionary right and you might benefit from learning
their “wisdom”

but my point was not about the sacrosanct nature of
the tax, but about its necessity as the source for
the revenue that funds all the government programs
that keep people fed, housed and educated.

Paul wants all of that ....Gone.

and foregoing the revenue insures that they will
be….particularly when his priority is zero debt.

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By Anarcissie, January 17, 2012 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

So the income tax is like a religious belief, which can never be questioned by anybody ever.

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 1:31 am Link to this comment

Scott,

“If you are going to hate, then let it be an informed hate, a hate based on fact, rather than stereotype.”

Are you referring to me? If so, I’ll pass, hate ain’t my thing (except rutabagas).

“One of the reasons I try to encourage my liberal friends to check out Paul is I find that engagement with his ideas makes them sharper and less dogmatic about politics in general.”

Ah yes, sharper - well what do you do to make your libertarian friends sharper, or are they pointy enough already? Engagement is interesting - but the wedding is off ....

“I would favor the green infrastructure projects proposed by Jill Stein’s campaign.”

Well you won’t get that with Paul ... unless “the markets” like it ...

“I think massive free market reforms would greatly benefit everyone, especially poor people.  Give people a tax-payer funded voucher and allow them to decide on the education that best suits them.  The educational system would exist to serve the students—-not the other way around.  Limit state/federal oversight to making sure these schools don’t undermine national unity or preach a hateful religion.”

Hmmm, a taxpayer funded voucher - nope, I don’t think Paul would go along with that, education is none of the Fed. gov’t's business, according to Paul, now is it? ... As far as making sure they don’t preach a hateful religion, I don’t think he would go along with that either, an infringement on individual liberty, doncha know ...

“at least I agree with their priorities (eg peace, liberty, equality), but I may disagree with the solutions offered.”

Scott, we all (or most) want “peace, liberty, and justice”, but the devil is always in the details - those pesky details, otherwise known as “solutions”, ruin “a good thing” every time, now don’t they ...

“Consider that if Paul were the GOP presidential candidate, then progressives would need to come up with their own plan to reform or remake the FED and publicize it. ”

Why? They would only have to come up with a plan if they agree it’s busted, and their “plan” could sound good but go nowhere, just like with healthcare and bank reform ...

It seems to me, Scott, the more i read of what you say you would like, the more it seems you would be happier with Stein than with Paul ...

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By heterochromatic, January 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

for those who keep pretending that Paul is sane and that he doesn’t want to end
every last bit of social welfare sponsored by the federal government….........

Monday night Paul called for the end of the federal income tax….....


.........” At the Fox News Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Monday night
the five remaining candidates were queried about what they believed the
highest possible federal income tax rate should be.

While the rest of the field offered substantive percentages, Texas Rep. Ron Paul
set himself apart by saying that Americans’ income tax rate should be zero
percent.
“We should have the lowest tax that we’ve ever had, and up until 1913 it was
zero percent,” Paul said. “What’s so bad about that?”

“Now I would like to follow up on that because I think the question on taxes is
generally misleading, because anytime you spend money it’s a tax,” Paul added.
“You might tax, you might barrow, you might inflate. The vicious tax that is
attacking the American people, the retired people today, is the inflation tax.
The devaluation of the currency. The standard of living is going down and you
need to address that. And that is why I want to make the inflation tax zero as
well.”

Fox News host Brett Baier attempted to clarify his statement, asking “So your
answer is zero?”

“Zero,” Paul answered.”

http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/17/paul-federal-income-tax-rate-should-be-
zero-percent/


crazy-assed old fool.

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By Anarcissie, January 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic:

Ana—- yes, perhaps “debate’ was sloppiness on my part, but the wars don’t end until the the great center gets persuaded that they’re wrong, costly, inefficient and, to a great extent, futile.

I don’t think the center, if there is one, has much to do with it.  The War in Vietnam dragged on for years after the public generally turned against it.

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By Cliff Carson, January 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

By Calgurlllw, January 16 at 3:02 pm

“Now if our basic argument here is that the Fed is only private, then I’d say this conversation is not worth my time. It obviously has both private and public elements to it.”

Calgurlllw, I Copied the following from the 266 page audit of the Fed conducted in July of 2011.  It is either from Page 9 or Page 10 of the Audit.

“The Federal Reserve Board is a federal agency that is responsible for maintaining the stability of financial markets; supervising financial and bank holding companies, state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System, and the U.S. operations of foreign banking organizations; and supervising the operations of the Reserve Banks.”

“Although the Federal Reserve Board is required
to report to Congress on its activities, its decisions do not have to be approved by either the President or Congress.”

I don’t want to take up your time, I can see it is much too important to waste on someone who disagrees with you, so this is my final request to you on this subject.

I ask you to look at the two paragraphs coming from an official U S Government document - the Audit.  On this subject that should be a creditable source.

My argument is this:  If you give me your financial decision making process and authority to handle your money where my only requirement is to report to you what I have done and I can make any decision without your permission, I now own you.  This is plain 99% speak.

And that Calgurlllw, means I am a Private entity in use of your funds - at least as long as they last.  Of course you will know what happened, for what ever that would be worth, once you are bankrupted.

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By Korky Day, January 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Most libertarians with whom I have communicated favour my right to be nude on my property, even if in view of people on other properties.  They also favour my right to be nude on public property, though they want to sell off as much of that as possible.  Ron Paul would probably might it’s a state issue, unrelated to his candidacy, but it nevertheless could liven up the national debate.

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By ardee, January 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Scott,

I’m not an expert on economics so I prefer not to speak generally about it.

“If all economists were laid end to end they wouldn’t reach a conclusion”

  I don’t really know if Paul is correct about free markets/capitalism or not.

Considering the Libertarian penchant for ending regulation and allowing corporations free reign even a surface perusal of the headlines these past few years should engender a bit more passion in your position here.


Personally I’m skeptical that (given the environmental issues we face) humans can make do without some government intervention and I would favor the green infrastructure projects proposed by Jill Stein’s campaign.  But before something like that is possible we need firm control of our political institutions and to make sure this money won’t be frivolously wasted.  Kill the MIC first, then use that money to provide infrastructure jobs here in the USA.

I absolutely agree with this but the goals you offer are not attainable voting GOP or Dem. These two are deep in the pockets of the MIC, the Oil and Gas Industry, Big Pharma etc. We need, in my own opinion, third party legislators pledged to avoid the purse strings of these industries currently controlling our government. The only political party currently taking that position would seem to be The Green Party.

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By Calgurlllw, January 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Cliff…While I think Shermer is okay. Not unimpressed or overly impressed with him (I’ve read his book and his magazine on occasion) that is not the point.

The point being, that is ALL I found on Adachi or his “blog.” I looked over Educate-Yourself.org before I saw Shermer’s statement on him and found it so wanting that I searched for information on it and/or the site.

The link I gave you was certainly a government site (requiring, btw, oversight), but in my quick research to refute your statement I came across many other very valid sites (The Economist, Wikipedia’s source links, economists I like such a Robert Reich, etc.) I suggest you do a good Google search and be careful of your sources. Make sure they are valid. Any Tom, Dick, and Ken Adachi can post anything they want (almost) on the internet.

Now if our basic argument here is that the Fed is only private, then I’d say this conversation is not worth my time. It obviously has both private and public elements to it.

If the argument is, what’s wrong with the Fed and how can we fix it, or should we do away with it, that is quite another. But if you continue to get your information from lunatics, I can’t be bothered. Sorry. You seem like a nice and sincere fellow, I just don’t have the time for crazies. I’ve got my brother to argue with if I want to do that. wink

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By Cliff Carson, January 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

In Answer to Calgurlllw, January 16 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for your response.

And that’s our starting point.  You initially gave a link to a Fed site and in turn I gave you a link to a site defined as a “Conspiracy Site” in another link you responded with.  Fair enough.

The new link you gave is a link to the Skeptics Society Site, a society devoted to outing Conspiracy Theorists.  The organization includes many acclaimed intellectuals.  And Michael Shermer , Founder and Editor of the publication, in the link you provided, really dissed Ken Adachi about his Illuminati beliefs.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But I do ask you to go back and see what Shermer said about the history of the Fed - the subject about which we were corresponding.  Other than shooting the messenger I didn’t see anything Shermer said to repudiate anything Adachi said in his history.

Shermer wrote “Why people believe weird things”  in which he states that there are two types of errors committed by Conspiracy People:  Type 1.  Believing a Falsehood, and Type II, Rejecting a truth.  These are mistakes all humans make - not just Conspiracy Theorists.

From that point I believe we should start our quest to see if we can discover whether the Fed is a Private Organization as I posed, or a Quasi Private Organization as you have been led to think it is.  Obviously there is a truth somewhere waiting to be discovered.

What Shermer may have missed is a basic human tendency to accept things we want to believe in.  That process is susceptible to both the Types of errors Shermer mentioned in his book.

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By Matt Emmons, January 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Ron Paul argues that the American people are convinced. He’s always throwing 70% around; think it’s in reference to % who want out of Afghanistan.

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By heterochromatic, January 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Ana—- yes, perhaps “debate’ was sloppiness on my part, but the wars don’t end
until the the great center gets persuaded that they’re wrong, costly, inefficient
and, to a great extent, futile.

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By Calgurlllw, January 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Oh dear, Cliff Carson, it seems you are getting your information from a charlatan.

One of the first rules of research and information search is know thy source. Your source sucks!

If you really want to have a discussion about the Fed, then please send me peer reviewed sources or sources that have backing/reputation from other journalists, universities, tenured professors, bipartisan government agencies, or open source correcting functions at least. It’s also very important to know your sources’ biases even if the source meets the above criteria.

The only thing I could find on your Mr. Adachi is this:

“Ken Adachi has a fine conspiracy page. He leaves no event unaccounted for as part of the plot to take over the world and hasten the Apocalypse…What is most amusing about Mr. Adachi’s page is that even though the end is near, he still asks us to please support his sponsor, an organization that can help with debt consolidation or a home loan…”

http://www.skepdic.com/illuminati.html

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By Cliff Carson, January 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

By Calgurlllw, January 15 at 5:04 pm

“The Fed has many components to it. Some are public and some are private. It’s governors are appointed by the president and approved by congress. It is also subject to congressional oversight.”

Thanks for the reply Calgurlllw

There is much information about the Fed being bandied about - most of it erroneous.  Would you read the following short history concerning the Fed and get back with me to discuss the Differences between what you gave as a link ( a publication by the Fed)  and what others have assessed as the true function and linage of the Fed.

Once you read this link I am offering we can start our discussion beginning with the meeting at Jekyll Island. 

http://educate-yourself.org/cn/fedreservebankexplained19dec05.shtml

I definitely would like to discuss this openly in the public domain - say here on this thread.

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By scott425, January 16, 2012 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

The thing that progressives oppose about Paul and Libertarianism in general is that notion that we can make these simplistic, blanket statements, such as, let’s get rid of the Fed, and believe them as if we’ve dipped into the Kool-Aid a little too much.

The Fed needs fixing, for sure. But let’s fix it not get rid of it (as if we really could!). Before the Fed was created in 1913, there were tons of different currencies in the USA back by different things. There were times when banks could not honor a withdrawal because they didn’t have enough money.

If we had no Fed, if we had no laws and rules and oversight, the banks would be doing a lot worse things than they already did.

We need laws on a Federal level for protection. Can we make these laws and institutions better? Yes. But let’s not make wild statements, such as Paul does, that we’re going to get rid of the Fed and the FDA and EPA, etc.

Very well, it’s true that many Paul supporters come off as cult-members.  But remember that politicized Democrats and Republicans are also essentially a brainwashed cult—I mean check out Foxnews or wander over to sites like Democratic Underground and see for yourself.  Consider the absurdity of 30% of Americans agreeing on just about everything and another 30% of Americans agreeing on just about everything—how brainwashed is that?  Politics and cult-behavior go together unfortunately.  But with the Paul folks, at least I agree with their priorities (eg peace, liberty, equality), but I may disagree with the solutions offered.

The Fed is one of those issues where I don’t know who is right (how could I?) but I’m glad it’s being brought up because I (and 99.9% of Americans) don’t know shit about it.  Liberal Democrat Dennis Kucinich agrees its totally out of control

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BXPINPwp4w

So shouldn’t we be thanking Paul for bringing this up when every other prominent politician wants to bury the issue?

I don’t have to agree with Paul to acknowledge that his presence can have a beneficial impact on discourse.  Consider that if Paul were the GOP presidential candidate, then progressives would need to come up with their own plan to reform or remake the FED and publicize it.  Obama would be pressured to consider or pretend he’s considering such reforms.  But with Paul out of the debate, we would be back to not talking about it at all.

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By scott425, January 16, 2012 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

“What I find particularly misleading here is the notion that Paul and his people are anti-egalitarian as a matter or principle.  On the contrary, they favor greater equality.  Those people who embrace Paul’s economic philosophy believe that less regulation and crony capitalism, in conjunction with better laws, leads to greater overall economic equality.”

Sorry, but that’s just laughable.

Well, if you’re so sure you’re right, you could hop over to the Daily Paul and engage one of them on this—I bet the argument would benefit both of you.  One of the reasons I try to encourage my liberal friends to check out Paul is I find that engagement with his ideas makes them sharper and less dogmatic about politics in general.

I’m not an expert on economics so I prefer not to speak generally about it.  I don’t really know if Paul is correct about free markets/capitalism or not.  Personally I’m skeptical that (given the environmental issues we face) humans can make do without some government intervention and I would favor the green infrastructure projects proposed by Jill Stein’s campaign.  But before something like that is possible we need firm control of our political institutions and to make sure this money won’t be frivolously wasted.  Kill the MIC first, then use that money to provide infrastructure jobs here in the USA.

I think the main principle the free-marketers are working from is that sometimes corporations enact laws and regulations that further their interests and not the interests of small business or legit competition trying to compete in a free market.  They figure out ways to charge the people for services that ought to be free or near-free.  Given our corporatist government structure, of course this shit happens. Corporations not only get free taxpayer money via corrupt bargains, they also get to write our legal codes to tilt the money game in their favor.  Meanwhile, the people are not organizing in a way that would provide proper oversight.

In my own field (education), I think massive free market reforms would greatly benefit everyone, especially poor people.  Give people a tax-payer funded voucher and allow them to decide on the education that best suits them.  The educational system would exist to serve the students—-not the other way around.  Limit state/federal oversight to making sure these schools don’t undermine national unity or preach a hateful religion.  Give schools the right to tell the military recruiters to fuck off. 

http://www.brooklynfreeschool.org/

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By scott425, January 16, 2012 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Hmmm, sounds a lot like the Obama folks .....  When this line is used by those who heretofore have insisted on “empirical” facts and statistics, it usually means they have run out of them ..... when opponents are considered “haterz”, what more is there to say.  However, as we are bidden to love all our fellows (and gals), “loving” him is required - but i don’t like him and i certainly don’t want him for President. We can end the wars without a libertarian in charge ....

No doubt my rhetoric was over the top, but I was also trying to emphasize one of the rhetorical strategies of the Paul campaign that I agree with.  When they chant the slogans “peace, love, revolution” they are not merely appealing to anti-militarist sentiments and asking that we reconsider the nature of Christian love.  It’s also an appeal across the culture divide, based on a recognition that left/right culture wars are counter-productive and part of the problem.

I have no problem with actual substantive disagreements with Paul’s positions.  What I have a problem with is disagreements with the stereotypes in a writer’s head (as we get in Wise’s piece) that are attributed to Paul.  Wise is not writing about Paul and his supporters, he’s writing about the Objectivists/Libertarians he may have known back in college and the stereotypes he’s garnered about them over the years.  He’s not going to actually talk about anything real in Paul’s platform and any of his substantive ideas that may be right or wrong—that gets in the way of the pretty hate piece.  The sad thing is he probably means well, but all he’s got to offer is hatred—he hates right wing America and therefore he’s easy to control because he’s ruled by fear.

As long as people are determined to maintain the frame of reference they’ve been conditioned for—either the left box or the right box, then it’s easy for the media to trigger that hate instinct.  They’ve been practicing for awhile—-they pros bro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXzB5u2gUDE

There’s a hell of a lot of sick things in America—stuff that’s genuinely worthy of hate.  The Paul movement (eg ordinary people organizing and dedicating their time to gain freedom and end militarism) is not one of those things.  If you are going to hate, then let it be an informed hate, a hate based on fact, rather than stereotype.

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By Anarcissie, January 16, 2012 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, January 15 at 11:50 am:

Ana—- ”I don’t want to debate the wars, the empire, and the secret police; I want to stop them.”

how are yo gonna do that without debate? ...

There are various methods of activism which I’m sure you’re familiar with, so I’m surprised you ask.  Debate seems like one of the weaker ones.  I don’t think debate changed anyone’s mind about Civil Rights or the War in Vietnam.  There are always going to be people with an interest in keeping things as they are, whether it’s institutionalized racism, imperialism, or endless war.  Often, their interest is their job.  It’s usually a waste of time to argue with them.

There’s really nothing to debate, anyway.  The slaughter of the innocent, whether practiced by Bush or Obama, is evil.  It must be opposed.  What are you going to debate about?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 16, 2012 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Bill,

Thanks for a great site.


Tic,

On the other hand your sites, (backup to your points} are shit.

Try this one.  Its much more researched than your Blind man with an elephant nonsense and again you provide another unworkable site.

http://americanbuilt.us/videos/mainstream-media.shtml#viacom

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By - bill, January 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

Only half right, tic.  About $2.4 billion of that $12+ billion indeed related to 2003 (I was misled by the date range stated at the top of the page), so only about $9.6 billion is applicable over that 5+ years (for an average of only about $1.8 billion per year).

But while it’s indeed true that some of the contracts stretch out into the future, it’s also true that some past uncounted contracts stretch into the applicable date range AND that yet-uncounted future contracts will almost certainly add more money to the period between now and 2016.  Thus in a relatively steady-state situation (which has so far been the case and which contractors will obviously be working hard to ensure continues - the point that Pat was making) average annual contract awards (about $1.8 billion in the current example) provide a reasonable estimate of average annual contract revenue.

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