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Tilting at Windmills

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October 5, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RON PAUL....Speaking of Ron Paul, check out the Unabomber-esque fundraising letter he recently sent out to his supporters. Hoo boy.

It really says something when a guy who drones on about "fiat money," thinks we ought to abolish the Federal Reserve, claims the UN wants to confiscate our guns, and apparently believes that Canada is conspiring to annex us, often sounds like the sanest Republican on the stage.

Kevin Drum 5:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (82)

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Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 5, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

believes that Canada is conspiring to annex us, often sounds like the sanest Republican on the stage.

Why would they do that? We're on our way to banana-republic-hood.

By the way, Ron Paul sounds too much like Ru Paul to me, to ever be taken seriously.

Posted by: craigie on October 5, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

These threads are always among the most fun at PA once the Ronbots show up to earnestly defend their man. Five, four, three, two...

Posted by: shortstop on October 5, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Ron Paul sounds too much like Ru Paul to me, to ever be taken seriously.

I thought at first he was Edwards' $400 hairdresser. I don't mean that in a bad way...

Posted by: thersites on October 5, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

But wait, Lou Dobbs said Mexido wanted to annex Texas for the illegals.

We're surrounded!!!

Posted by: Memekiller on October 5, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

It really says something when a guy who drones on about ... often sounds like the sanest Republican on the stage.

And also outraises McCain.

Posted by: UberMitch on October 5, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, why is "fiat money" in scare quotes? It's a well-known economics term for currency not backed by any assets.

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

Fiat money has never worked historically, and our international system of central banks like the Federal Reserve is fraudulent and on the verge of collapse. Notice what's been happening to the dollar lately? Prepare for the house of cards to fall, because it's happening.

The Federal Reserve is the biggest swindle in American history, smuggled into law by slimy bankers and politicians like the Rockefellers and Nelson Aldrich. It should have been abolished long ago and if Ron Paul waits one week to do it after taking office that'll be a week too long.

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

As I was driving home last night, some Rob Paul supporters where hanging and holding signs on the Sunset Blvd/405 overpass. One middle-aged guy and three young 19 or 20-somethings.

As I passed them, I thought, "Wow, they ALL look like Unibomber material!"

Posted by: danno on October 5, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. That kind of stuff goes over well in his district, but you'd think he'd tone it down a little when running for president. Of course, with the current crop of Republicans, sanity isn't exactly a strong suit. So he can get away with it. I'm starting to think that even the Democrats can't screw up the 2008 election. But they will try hard.

Posted by: fostert on October 5, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I should also note that the Federal Reserve's outright theft from the American people in the form of inflation hurts who the most? The poor and the middle class, stealing several percentage points of the value of their incomes every year.

And when the last time I heard Obama, Hillary, or Edwards talk about this inflation tax? Oh, that's right, never.

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: apparently believes that Canada is conspiring to annex us

Ok, the rest of the stuff is silly, but I take the Canadian threat pretty seriously. People that polite can't be trusted. The English speaking ones are the worst - with their near American accents they can easily infiltrate us (think William Shatner masquerading as a guy from Iowa). The French speakers aren't quite as bad - at least you can tell they're foreigners.

The most amazing thing about how unseriously we take this threat is that the Canucks themselves make no secret of it. Doubt me? Look at this map of the "re-zoned" USA under Canadian rule

Posted by: alex on October 5, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

FZappa: The Federal Reserve is the biggest swindle in American history, smuggled into law by slimy bankers and politicians like the Rockefellers and Nelson Aldrich.

You forgot the Jews and Freemasons.

Posted by: alex on October 5, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing how the American left's level of discourse, has sunk to the level of an elementary school playground. Rather than offer any proof that Ron Paul is wrong about the Federal Reserve, fiat money, the NAU, or UN Gun Control mandates, Kevin just says "hoo boy" and claims Ron Paul "drones on" about these subjects.

No argumentation is required, just presentation and mockery. Drum doesn't even to be fully cognizant of several of these concepts (the idea is not that "Canada is conspiring to annex us," that is an intentionally inaccurate and mocking presentation of the NAU, for example) yet makes fun of them anyway.

I hope you all aren't as impervious to fact and argumentation as you appear.

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Alex, you provide an excellent example of my post at 7:20. No argumentation necessary, no counterpoints to make, only mockery.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

And here's something else to consider next time you want to post on Ron Paul, Kevin: are Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Richardson calling for an end to the war on drugs? Calling for an end to the Iraq War and saying no to a war against Iran? Are they protecting habeas corpus, fighting the USA PATRIOT Act and saying and absolute no to a National ID card?

Yes, you're right, Ron Paul often sounds like the sanest guy on the stage, but he's still the sanest guy when the stage includes Hillary and Obama and Edwards, too.

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK
Rather than offer any proof that Ron Paul is wrong about the Federal Reserve, fiat money, the NAU, or UN Gun Control mandates, Kevin just says "hoo boy" and claims Ron Paul "drones on" about these subjects.

It would only be necessary to disprove those claims if a prima facie case were presented for them.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 5, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul used to be a regular on a right-wing radio show in Texas. I once heard him advise a frightened old woman to keep all her money in cash under her mattress rather than a bank because the government was going to print new money. It was stupid, kooky, and reckless all at once. I see he hasn't changed.

Posted by: jimbo on October 5, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK
Fiat money has never worked historically

A defensible claim if, and only if, you ignore the richest societies in the history of the world.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 5, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK
Notice what's been happening to the dollar lately?

The dollar is falling against other fiat currencies. Inasmuch as there is a problem, it is with the particular recent policies of the US government, not with fiat currency in general.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 5, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

"It would only be necessary to disprove those claims if a prima facie case were presented for them."

If you don't think there's a prima facie case against the need for a central bank, then you don't know enough on the subject.

Why, here's even Jon Stewart who, after being turned on to the topic by none other than Ron Paul, asking Alan Greenspan himself if the Fed needs to exist. I guess Stewart feels there's a prima facie case. See if you find Greenspan's answer convincing:

http://wikiprotest.com/blog/index.php/2007/09/18/john-stewart-takes-big-shots-at-greenspan-and-the-federal-reserve/

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

"The dollar is falling against other fiat currencies. Inasmuch as there is a problem, it is with the particular recent policies of the US government, not with fiat currency in general.

False, that other countries are ruining their currencies (=allowing their central banks to steal their citizens' wealth via inflation) at a slower rate than we are because their central banks are inflating the money supply at a slower rate does not imply that central banks need to
exist or that they are not fraudulent.

They are unnecessary and fraudulent, and so is fractional-reserve banking. Cmdicely, the US dollar has survived since Aug. 1971 as a fiat currency, backed only as a petrodollar and by the ability of the US govt to tax its citizens. Not by any hard assets. This is not real wealth, and most of the dollar's remaining value, and it's already at historic lows -- will be gone within the next few years.

This is why we keep attack oil-rich countries (Iraq, Iran soon, possibly Venezuela next) who try to sell their oil in currencies other than the dollar. Saddam tried and got whacked, and Ahmedinejad is next for selling oil in the Japanese for yen, the Chinese for yuan, and soon for Euros to everyone else. The Russians will follow suit and we cannot attack them.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gEr5ujz76Sdho_gW2bk5K0eM9G7Q

You'll be singing a different tune about the Fed and fiat currency and the gold standard within a year.

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

FZappa, the article you linked to on 'wikiprotest' shows what makes people kinda sorta cringe -- the OP and commenters all come across as believing in a shadowy "they" who could have Stewart all but thrown in a dungeon for daring to question the need for a central bank. (Which, in fact, Stewart didn't ask: his question was simply, "Why do we have a Fed?")

There may be rational arguments against a central banking system, but bluntly, this is not the way to start off those arguments if you want them to be taken remotely seriously. The 1913 Federal Reserve Act was in response to a series of financial panics over the decades preceding. Asking whether the Fed actually ever accomplished that (1913 is, some might point out, well before 1929) is valid, and asking whether the Fed is still valid *now* even if one believes it was *then* is also valid.

But you need to understand why it was seen as valid in the first place, why that became accepted economic theory, and as long as you're going to bring up "fiat money" (which is a completely different topic, I might note), what the arguments *against* the gold standard were. (For starters, if you don't understand why deflation is seen as a bad thing by most economists, you'd better stop right now and learn.) Once you're at that point, you can probably make good arguments for Ron Paul-esque positions. I like Ron Paul compared to the other Republicans (and even a few Democrats), but any argument that can be too easily rephrased as "only Ron Paul will save us from the banking illuminati" is an argument that, well, needs to be stated a lot better.

Posted by: Watts on October 5, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Watts:

"for daring to question the need for a central bank. (Which, in fact, Stewart didn't ask: his question was simply, "Why do we have a Fed?")"

What's the difference? The Fed is a central bank and Stewart obviously could have just as easily asked "why do we need a central bank" with no change in meaning.

The bank panics that preceded the Federal Reserve Act were the results of banks making bad loans; banks that make such loans SHOULD go out of business, they should not be bailed out by the Fed or the FDIC as happens repeatedly. You only need an FDIC because the fraudulent practice of fractional-reserve banking has become normalized. How much longer do you really think it can last? I'm amazed we've gone since 1971 with fiat money, but we've incurred a gigantic debt and monstrous entitlement obligations even to keep all these balls in the air at the same time this long. The crash will not be pretty, but it will be soon, and my portfolio is ready for it. Hope yours is too, but it doesn't sound that way.

At any rate, it's clear that the concept of getting rid of the Fed deserves a little more scrutiny than Kevin's "hoo boy" and acting like such beliefs make Ron Paul kooky. It's either a intentional disservice to his readers or simple ignorance on Kevin's part to present the debate on this extremely important topic in such a dismissive way. There are entire respectable schools of thought around this subject and Kevin acts like it's a -- wait for it -- "tinfoil hat conspiracy theory."

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's right. I'm only going to vote for candidates who don't advance marginal agendas that I disagree with! Which leaves ... hmm, I guess I have to run for President.

Posted by: Shelby on October 5, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

For those who would like to know more about Ron Paul's views on monetary policy, I suggest reading this column at the Ron Paul Library:

http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/document.php?id=507

And viewing this recent video of Ron Paul asking Ben Bernanke the moral rationale for the Fed bailing out reckless malinvestors, and Bernanke's non-answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeHWW5gbc0w

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Once again I have to ask the questions which Ronbots have refused to answer over the many months RuPaul as been a subject in this forum: How in the F is the gvmt pegging the value of the dollar promoting less gvmt interference in currency markets? How in the F is the gvmt linking two disparate markets furthering the goal of a free market econ?

You morons can't even remain faithful to your own purported values, much less make any sense within your own framework.

Posted by: Disputo on October 5, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, do you realize just how much you sound like the wingnut crowd here with this post?

At any rate, it's clear that the concept of getting rid of the Fed deserves a little more scrutiny than Kevin's "hoo boy" and acting like such beliefs make Ron Paul kooky. It's either a intentional disservice to his readers or simple ignorance on Kevin's part to present the debate on this extremely important topic in such a dismissive way. There are entire respectable schools of thought around this subject and Kevin acts like it's a -- wait for it -- "tinfoil hat conspiracy theory."
Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 8:17 PM

I agree. Ron Paul's supporters are enthusiastic & their numbers & his bankroll are growing faster than any other candidate's. Don't forget that this is the country that elected Bush - twice, for God's sake! Don't think it can't happen again.

There are legitimate concerns about the Fed & what it & global fiat money is doing to the US economy, about the North American Union, & many other things Paul opposes & would try to fix. Frankly, I believe he is right about the Federal Reserve. The only catch is, we can't abolish it w/o tanking our economy, IMO. We need to ask him point blank, "What are you going to do for the retired people who live on SS & Medicare when you abolish it?". And all the other tough questions. In other words, give us real world solutions & not just ideology.

I believe Ron Paul has more integrity than anyone else in the race. I also seriously question his judgment. What a shame.

Posted by: bob in fl on October 5, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK
As I was driving home last night, some Rob Paul supporters where hanging and holding signs on the Sunset Blvd/405 overpass. One middle-aged guy and three young 19 or 20-somethings.
As I passed them, I thought, "Wow, they ALL look like Unibomber material!"

Um, danno, unless they were all standing 25 feet away from each other they were not "Unibomber material." Maybe LaRouchies, but not shack-in-the-winderness Unibomber sorts.

Posted by: idlemind on October 5, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul is coming at a time when the general population is at a high point in distrust and disappointment in their elected parties. There is no Republican out there that fits the traditional Republican goals of smaller, less intrusive government with few foreign entanglements. There is no major Democrat out there that has been bold enough to say let's just get the hell out of Iraq. Many Democrats are beginning to see the appeal of less federal government, especially with respect to programs like the Patriot Act and No Child Left behind. And many of the Democrats are beginning to realize that the extent of deficits that are present cannot be extended indefinitely into the future. Both Democratic and Republican middle class and lower persons are feeling used and ignored by politicians.

This is the sweet spot for Ron Paul. It would behoove both parties to examine where his "unexpected" strength is coming from.

Posted by: Neal on October 5, 2007 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Unabomber? The other candidates are talking about bombing entire countries.

Transvestite? Ahem, that's Rudy.

Milton Friedman, who won the Noble Prize for Economics and was a key though unofficial advisor to Ronald Reagan, wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve.

Posted by: Joe Schembrie on October 5, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

bob in fl: I believe he is right about the Federal Reserve. The only catch is, we can't abolish it w/o tanking our economy

Details. But the principle is right!

What are you going to do for the retired people who live on SS & Medicare when you abolish it?

Those are the people who would, if anything, benefit from a return to the gold standard (which would pretty much be necessitated by eliminating the fed). Retirees are the people most hurt by inflation, and a gold standard is usually deflationary. Fixed income? No problem, your dollar buys more than it used to.

Of course most people would be hurt by a gold standard and the consequent deflation, as happened through most of the 19th century.

It astounds me how Ronbots and other gold bugs promote a gold standard as a populist issue - they have it exactly backwards! Check your history folks. Late 19th and early 20th century populists strongly opposed the gold standard because its deflationary effects made it harder for people to pay off their debts, but the bankers loved it! As William Jennings Bryan said in his famous speech:

"You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

Oh well, I guess back then the common man had a better understanding of economics.

Posted by: alex on October 5, 2007 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

I know my place too well to have the guts to side with FZappa, so instead I will side with Bob in FL.

We haven't been OFF the gold standard that long and it's a very mixed case.

I will note the gold standard was good enough for the United States that put man on the moon. We really haven't done a whole since then except outsource a lot of jobs based on the theories of the guys that gave us fiat money.

Posted by: jerry on October 5, 2007 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin dismissed Fed-bashing as unabomber crazy on the Internet. The same Internet that has an incredibly vocal population of gold bugs (a few of which have joined us for this thread). Now that's brave.

Posted by: Walker on October 5, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is, of course, misrepresenting what Ron Paul's letter says.

Regarding that "annexation" that Drum lied about, the reader should take a look at the letter and google the phrase in the first sentence of the second paragraph. There's a lot of information out there.

For the righties, here's just one of many:

worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55830

And, for the lefties, start here:

canadians.org/integratethis/

After doing your research, do you trust Kevin Drum more than you did before, or less?

[Note: WM deletes or edits comments without notice.]

Posted by: TLB on October 5, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

bob - What are you going to do for the retired people who live on SS & Medicare when you abolish it?
alex - Those are the people who would, if anything, benefit from a return to the gold standard (which would pretty much be necessitated by eliminating the fed). Retirees are the people most hurt by inflation, and a gold standard is usually deflationary. Fixed income? No problem, your dollar buys more than it used to.

Wrong, Alex. My point is, I would have no dollar to deflate or inflate. When I said "...live on it...", I meant it literally. I am also unemployable & uninsurable. Lucky me, my health may be good enough that I can wait on health care for only 2 more years when I become eligible for Medicare. Ron Paul would abolish both programs.

Yes, the principle is right. Most of Paul's are. But you can't eat principles. My question remains - how is Paul going to eliminate all these programs people are currently relying on to live w/o seriously harming them? So far, he has given us no answer, other than let the states do it. Well, if the states or local communities had done it to begin with, the Feds wouldn't have done it, would they? I am referring to social programs here, of course; the Fed was just a money grab - pure & simple.

One more time: How are you, Mr. Paul, going to get us from where we are to where you want us to be without destroying a lot of lives. America awaits your answer.

Posted by: bob in fl on October 5, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

I generally like Kevin most of the time, but he has a real smarmy condescending side as evidenced by this post. Ron Paul's views are nutty only if you live in the cocoon of center-left American liberalism. In the real world, there is considerable debate about the gold standard, the UN really would love to regulate small arms around the world, and there is some discussion about the formation of a North American Union to facilitate the free flow of goods and labor (not an annexation by Canada as Kevin willfully distorts). Judging by his repeated casual dismissals and slurs of anyone who advocates a return to the gold standard, my guess is Kevin doesn't actually know anything about the economics of the issue. But then, liberals are known for nothing if not their smug feelings of superiority.

Posted by: Homer on October 5, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: How in the F is the gvmt pegging the value of the dollar...

To be fair, there are differences... one wants to peg value to yellow stuff dug out of the ground, while the other has pegged its value to black stuff pumped out of the ground.

That said, I'd really like to see a candidate with the guts to go for more substantive change, preferably something in mauve, although I'd settle for aubergine.

Posted by: has407 on October 5, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bob in FL: Paul is on the record repeatedly stating that the welfare state cannot be dismantled overnight because so many people have become dependent on it. You cannot fail to pay someone a benefit which they have been promised and which they rely on.

The key is to give younger people the choice to opt out of it, which avoids creating new dependent people.

More here:

http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/document.php?id=951

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

"one wants to peg value to yellow stuff dug out of the ground, while the other has pegged its value to black stuff pumped out of the ground."

There is a big difference between using the yellow stuff and the black stuff as backing for your money. The yellow stuff has been chosen byt the market as the best store of value in the world for 5,000 years including today. If the price of gold were not manipulated (i.e. suppressed) by the central banks you'd see that $740 gold is a steal. There's a reason they call it "the once and future money."

Posted by: FZappa on October 5, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

jerry: I will note the gold standard was good enough for the United States that put man on the moon.

No. At the time the US used a gold standard for foreign exchange, but the domestic gold standard (what the Ronbots long for) was abandoned in 1933.

We really haven't done a whole since then except outsource a lot of jobs based on the theories of the guys that gave us fiat money.

"Free" trade and fiat money have nothing to do with each other. You can have a gold (or other precious metal) standard and still run an enormous trade deficit. In fact the Opium Wars occurred largely because Britain was running a big trade deficit with China and paying for it in silver.

Posted by: alex on October 5, 2007 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

And many of the Democrats are beginning to realize that the extent of deficits that are present cannot be extended indefinitely into the future.

LOL--As you know damned well, it's not the Democrats you've got to convince of that one; we've been saying it throughout the Bush presidency. Tell it to the wingers who pretend tax cuts + no spending cuts + unchecked borrowing is sound fiscal policy. That includes all the fake libertarians who fell in line to back Bush, feeling a little uneasy about the house of cards but unable to resist slobbering over the prospect of more yummy tax cuts.

Posted by: shortstop on October 5, 2007 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

FZappa: If the price of gold were not manipulated (i.e. suppressed) by the central banks ...

Oh, those evil banks (who happen to love the gold standard).

Let's see, the Freemasons are just the reincarnation of the Knights Templar, who were the original bankers (though not so evil as to practice Fractional Reserve Banking or other post-Renaissance forms of intercourse with Satan). And need I say anything about Jews and banking?

There you have it - Jews and Freemasons! Oops, there goes another black helicopter.

Posted by: alex on October 6, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

FZappa: The yellow stuff has been chosen byt the market as the best store of value in the world for 5,000 years...

Well, who are we to argue with a 5,000 year precedent? Obviously that makes it good and right and true. So let's start by reinstating the first Pharaoh Dynasty--that'll certainly teach those welfare state cretins a lesson. Of course doing justice to that approach will also require disavowing everything learned the last several millennium.

Posted by: has407 on October 6, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Alex, thank for the correction. At one time, I may have known that. I wasn't so much linking free trade to the gold standard as saying that the same people (the ones that have proven themselves willfully blind on free trade (vs. fair trade) that is) are the ones that took us off the gold standard.

Posted by: jerry on October 6, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Media Studies 101, Campers,

If you actually bothered to drill down past Kevin's link and get to the PDF of R. Paul's letter, it is two solid pages of the same sophomoric penmanship -- purported to be the in the candidates very own hand -- nevermind the ludicrous content.

The medium remains the message, even after decades since McLuhan's topsy-turvy, albeit accurate aperçu. What message does two pages of a sloppily handwritten manefesto communicate to you?

Myself, I have run across enough graphologists -- both amateur and professional practitioners -- to give fair credence the truism that we unconsciously reveal ourselves through our handwriting, and furthermore, that much of graphology is simple, common sensical stuff. One's first impressions often hold up after professional handwriting analysis. To cite one example, tight, crabby, little chicken scratches most likely indicate a person with a less than expansive worldview. Nothing about graphology is all that abstruse or arcane.

It likely would be entertaining as hell for a graphologist to run Mr. Paul's curious self portrait through the usual personality markers, you know, letters erratically slanting in diverse directions, and all of that, to reveal precisely what flavors of pathology we have here on parade.

To me, the message of Mr. Paul's quirky choice of medium is clear as day. He resembles nothing so much as yet another narcissist politico on the order of Larry Craig who is mentally utterly incapable of comprehending the devastating impression of himself that he is actively engaged in perpetrating.

Posted by: teknozen on October 6, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Ron Paul's views are nutty only if you live in the cocoon of center-left American liberalism."

No, Ron Paul's views only seem reasonable if you live in the cocoon of center right American libertarianism and fantasize about your place in an economic utopia that has never existed on the face of the earth as you sit, sheltered and protected by thousands of pages of law in one of the wealthiest nations the world has ever known, with nearly all of the similarly wealthy nations pursuing slightly more left-ish policies than the one you happen to have been born in.

There are loads of countries around with little regulation and low taxes. Why just on the other side of the southern border of the united states is one of the nicer ones.

Posted by: jefff on October 6, 2007 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

A good man is measured by others by the respect he shows to those he disagrees with.

The foolish are measured by the degree to which they mock others they do not understand.

Ron Paul is clear, concise and honest.

Ron Paul represents the best hope of reestablishing this county back to Constitutional government and representation. Unfortunately, there is a very large corporate and Federal Reserve banking infrastructure which will fight tooth and nail against any deconstruction of the status-quo. I firmly believe we are likely unable to fully mend the Constitutional cancers that have affixed themselves to the holes and amendments we have allowed to be inflicted by our legislators and Executive orders that emulate a drive-up window at McDonalds. However how painful, a revolution must accompany the next changes in our government to de-scale and reestablish our federal, state and local governments to their proper and legitimate place.If we are going to be a third world country in the next 15 - 20 years, lets do it with some dignity and show them our system of government will not be another flash-in-the-pan experiment that can be bought by international entities and markets.

Posted by: Jeff Smathers on October 6, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

If you find out anything about Dr. Ron Paul's values and you don't think that they are the true american values... then I am afraid you don't understand what american values are.
Try to get up to speed,cause the next president of the U.S. will be Dr. Ron Paul.
The constitution is very much like the operating manual for the place. Take a look at it sometime, and get an american to help you with the hard parts...

Posted by: badunit on October 6, 2007 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

If the price of gold were not manipulated (i.e. suppressed) by the central banks you'd see that $740 gold is a steal.

This has got to be the single most stupid statement in this thread.

The same moron who is whining because the big old bad gvmt allows currency to float on the free market instead of distorting the markets for both currency and gold by artificially pegging the currency to gold is simultaneously claiming that this very same big old bad gvmt is manipulating the value of gold.

NEWSFLASH TO THE RONBOTS SUFFERING FROM TERMINAL HEAD-IN-ASS SYNDROME: the only reason a gvmt has to manipulate the value of gold is in the case when their currency is tied to the value of gold, which is precisely what *you* want to do.

Posted by: Disputo on October 6, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

I've read these comments, and I think many of the posters do not understand the nature of the current fiat monetary system. Most of the fallacies surrounding inflation stem from the view that inflation is uniform, that it causes all incomes to increase at the same rate and at the same time. That, however, is false. Inflation is not uniform. When the Fed increases the money supply, it doesn't drop the new money out of a helicopter, it gives it to the corporations that do business with the government. Those people get to spend the money while prices are still low. This increased demand, however, leads to higher prices. By the time this leads to an increase in poor peoples' incomes, poor people have spent some time in which their purchasing power was lower than normal, and they will never recover that lost purchasing power.

Inflation, you see, is a means of redistributing wealth from poor to rich, a kind of reverse Robin Hood - and I hope every American, conservative or liberal, will stand against that.

Posted by: Meic on October 6, 2007 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Also, Ron Paul doesn't want to go back to the same gold standard of the 19th century. He just wants to legalize the use of gold and silver as money, and he wants to eventually get rid of the Federal Reserve. He doesn't want to mandate a fixed exchange rate between paper dollars and gold, which is what the "gold standard" is.

Posted by: Meic on October 6, 2007 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Well. With this many narrow-minded, rabidly partisan bigots (of the "left" persuasion) so vehemently opposed to him and his "nutty ideas", Ron Paul must really be on to something.

Think I'll give him a MUCH closer look myself. Others, of course, will prefer automatically the "Promise them anything" front-runners of the Democratic Party, for whom no amount of obfuscation or insincere posturing is too crass.

"Vote for Hillary -- she's TALLER!"

Guess I'm just a Libertarian Socialist at heart. But then, how many of you "Dems walk on water" types were actually AROUND when LBJ screwed the pooch so thoroughly? (Can you say "Tonkin"?? ... I'll bet you can!)

Posted by: Poilu on October 6, 2007 at 4:12 AM | PERMALINK

I'm willing to admit that Ron Paul is a nut, but (without benefit of actually having READ it) I thought the handwritten letter was rather charming, and, frankly, sincere. (I particularly appreciated the "1 AM" sourcing.

Posted by: jollyroger on October 6, 2007 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

You know what's more insane? Invading Iraq. You know who voted for it? Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Joe Biden. You know who voted against it? Ron Paul.

Posted by: brian on October 6, 2007 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

I have to say that shortstop @ 6:15 called it.

I'd write more but I'm I due back at my Black Helicopter maintenance company - located conveniently just across the border!- where we are working out the details of UN sponsored small arms confiscation plan.

Posted by: Annexationist Canadian on October 6, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Annex,

Could you please bring your CBCRadio2 with you?

And now back to more lovely music emanating from Halifax before the switch to zydeco and Radio Acadie from South Louisiana.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 6, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I imagine a Repug going into a voting booth and pulling the lever for Ron Paul, would be like going into a deli and ordering fruitcake, instead of fetid meat products.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on October 6, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

If we are going to be a third world country in the next 15 - 20 years, lets do it with some dignity

I believe Bobby Knight once said something similar regarding rape and the enjoyment thereof.

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on October 6, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Over the years I have found your comments and characterizations to be pretty much right on.

But "unibomber"??? come on - that's ridiculous.
Where is any hint of violence in Paul's statement?

Bosco

Posted by: Bosco on October 6, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Holy shit-I've read this entire posting and have to admit that my personal estimate of how many raving nut jobs there are out there seems to be extroadinarily low.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 6, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with the gold standard is that there isn't enough gold and silver mined out of the ground in all the world to back just the currency circulating in the U.S., and there hasn't been since the '80s. Going to gold standard would quadruple its price, and that would wreak havoc on manufacturing.

Posted by: M. Ng on October 6, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Of course not everything Ron Paul says is crazy. Some of it is good populist or conservative (real conservative, not republican conservative) policy, but like the libertarian party, Larouche, and the crazy green party (as opposed to the larger non-crazy green party in the US) as you read along you quickly run into the crazy streak... unless you happen to share that particular crazy streak.

The central bank paranoia, fanciful ideas for fighting the threat are one example of the crazy. His ideas on taxation are another. His typically right wing global warming denial/obfuscation is a third. His excessively republican fear of global institutions (oh noes international maritime law is going to get us!) in general is a fourth.

Posted by: jefff on October 6, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Here is an interesting article on the recent (last 200 years) history of the gold standard from Cambridge university's economics department:
http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/faculty/meissner/gold_oeeh.pdf

For example:
"At the beginning of the twenty-first century, few advocate a return to an orthodoxy of gold convertibility. Gold-advocates hark to a day of stable price-levels and high growth. But look at the actual record of the gold standard deals a blow to contemporary gold-bugs.

In terms of price stability, the gold standard simply did not achieve it. For example between 1870 and 1896 consumer prices fell by perhaps 20 percent then rose by 17 percent up to 1913 in Great Britain where the gold standard was continuously sustained. Other countries on the gold standard shared similar price swings. Bordo (1993) also looked at inflation and output variability for seven countries and found no evidence that these measures were lower during the classical gold standard than after 1973 when the same countries had no nominal anchor. Commodity money regimes do not always produce price and output stability."

Posted by: jefff on October 6, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

There you have it - Jews and Freemasons! Oops, there goes another black helicopter.
Posted by: alex on October 6, 2007 at 12:07 AM

...I'd write more but I'm I due back at my Black Helicopter maintenance company...
Posted by: Annexationist Canadian on October 6, 2007 at 9:50 AM
--------
I wonder when paranoia and black helicopters all got their start-the '80s? Somehow I wouldn't be surprised that the Paul residence has all the blinds closed, but pocked with pinched areas that you can see through.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on October 6, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Meic, for the brush-up on basic economics.

I suspect most of the participants in this thread consider themselves college educated, yet I am continually astonished by the tenuous, at best, grasp exhibited here on topics like history and economics.

If these observers did indeed enjoy a higher education, either the curriculum was more than spotty or their beer consumption far above average.

Posted by: teknozen on October 6, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well. With this many narrow-minded, rabidly partisan bigots (of the "left" persuasion) so vehemently opposed to him and his "nutty ideas", Ron Paul must really be on to something.

Stanley Moon: You're a nutcase! You're a bleedin' nutcase!
George Spiggott: They said the same of Jesus Christ, Freud, and Galileo.
Stanley Moon: They said it of a lot of nutcases too.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 6, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

I am fascinated by people like Ron Paul and the primitivist, in the sense of going back to some untainted origin, movement in the United States. This primitivist vein runs right through the whole history of American society but has it most prominent expression in rural communities in the later part of the 19th century. It connects distinct, even contradictory, philosophies like Constitutional fundamentalism, populism, confederatism, nationalist isolationism, steely individualism, religious fundamentalism, Manchester Capitalism and even the gold standard. Conversely, it is a reject of all things baroque, catholic, foreign, sophisticated, effete and statist. More broadly it is just modern romanticism. Its ascendancy is usually marked by the election of Andrew Jackson, and has nothing to do with the Enlightenment generation that founded the United States and wrote the US Constitution. The 20th century movement associated with the right begins with the rejection of the secular statism of the New Deal by Southern conservatives and their John Birch allies and the base broadens when big government forces integration.

Posted by: bellumregio on October 6, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, talk of Ron Paul and no one has brought up WTC7 yet. Come on Paulers, get with it already!

Posted by: Pon Raul on October 6, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

I do not always agree with Kevin. But he has no obligation to "prove" anything to me or FZappa or anyone! Even if he did prove, the nut cases would not accept the proof. Actually there is nothing wrong with the FED except that a republican (sic) should never be in charge.

Posted by: Don Quixote on October 6, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

I love the way Meic and teknozen accuse everyone else of ignorance while displaying their own.

When Meic says, "Inflation, you see, is a means of redistributing wealth from poor to rich, a kind of reverse Robin Hood - and I hope every American, conservative or liberal, will stand against that.", he is 180 degrees off.

High inflation rates hurt people with fixed incomes or with large amounts of wealth invested conservatively. It helps those who have a relatively large debts at reasonable interest rates (i.e. typical middle or lower-middle class homeowners before so many were talked into innapropriate loans by predatory lenders).

Posted by: tanstaafl on October 6, 2007 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

It is very depressing to know that their are so many really ignorant people who will demean the only honest man that has put himself on the line for the welfare of this nation, who wants a nation that is at peace with the world,and wants a stable currency so that people who save over the years do not have the value stolen through inflation and illegal direct taxes which are forbidden by the constitution but ignored by the criminals in office now. They will be why we just get more of the same and our circumstances will continue to deteriorate. At least the intelligent people will vote for Ron Paul and his message will be heard. Unfortunately the ignorant out number the informed by a wide margin.

Posted by: Jean on October 6, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul is clearly certifiable, plus he's a dyed-in-the-wool anti-abortionist. Look it up all you "LIEbertarian" types.

After 2 terms of W, I am continually amazed that the response to having elected a batshit crazy Texas right winger who screwed everything to hell is- "let's elect another even more batshit crazy Texas wingnut".

No more crazy anti-intellectual texans in political office anymore, please!

Posted by: Snorri Sturluson on October 7, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Jean on October 6, 2007 at 11:56 PM

"...and illegal direct taxes which are forbidden by the constitution but ignored by the criminals in office now."

It is not at all suprising that a Ron Paul supporter would like to pretend the 16th Ammedment to the constition does not exist or that it means something other than its plain language and 94 years of precedent say it does.

Posted by: tanstaafl on October 7, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

There you have it - Jews and Freemasons! Oops, there goes another black helicopter.

Wow, talk of Ron Paul and no one has brought up WTC7 yet.

I've certainly encountered my share of "know it all" [know-nothing], talking anal orifices in my day. But the above two clearly take the cake!

Much more in the way of sheer (and unquestionably intellectually lazy) vitriol like this from WM's allegedly liberal denizens, and this site will become notorious as the "Home of the LEFT Wingnuts".

Honorable mention, of course, goes to the absurdly juvenile twit who penned, Look it up all you "LIEbertarian" types.. Rather droll -- 'fer a tard', maybe.

Quite a disgusting display here, once again, reminiscent of the type of "discourse" found at LGF!

Posted by: Poilu on October 7, 2007 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

You know what's more insane? Invading Iraq. You know who voted for it? Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Joe Biden. You know who voted against it? Ron Paul.

Isn't that the point Kevin was making? Even "crazy" Ron Paul has saner foreign policy than even many Democrats, not to mention his fellow Republicans.

And even his economic policy, which is rightly regarded as insane, is saner than the mainstream Republican policy - i.e. keep giving as much money as possible to the very rich.

Posted by: JeremyS on October 7, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Just look at this guy's picture and look in his eyes.

What do you see?

Posted by: Jim Palmisano on October 7, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well... Really, suspicion of the Federal Reserve and its way of doing things should not be ridiculed, whatever you think of the particulars. Just check around for info, consider the implications, think about them, that's all I ask.

Posted by: Neil B. on October 7, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Canada wants to annex the US? Redonculous!
Just relax, throw a little Sci-Fi on the TV and try not to notice the soothing green tones of the British Columbia landscape...oops, maybe I've said too much...

Posted by: doug r on October 8, 2007 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

I've said it before, but I'll repeat. As a former libertarian, I've met plenty of them over the years. They are FAR nuttier than you can believe, and it's not surprising that Ron Paul is being outed on this. Their ideas only make sense if you accept their philosophy, as with religion. Once you do that, you can buy anything...
A word of advice, don't bother trying to debate libertarians on issues, for the most part they're very ill-informed (though they honestly think they're experts) and will simply berate you for not admitting they're right on everything. They present what they think are facts (often not, as they're wrong) and evidence (also often not, as it turns out not to be true or misunderstood).
Mind you, they're still better than objectivists, who insist on you letting them frame any debate (they insist on defining the "essentials" of any argument)...

Posted by: Mike B. on October 8, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know what sort of corporate cynicism gathering this place is, but lies were told, deliberate misrepresentations of Paul's positions. You should probably read more, speak less.

Kevin Drum said:

"Canada is conspiring to annex us,"

Ron Paul said:

"The world's elites are busy forming a North American Union. If they are successful, as they were in forming the European Union, the good 'ol USA will only be a memory. We can't let that happen."

Do you think Ron Paul personally fabricated the "North American Union" idea? I've seen other completely ignorant attacks like this regarding NAU, such as at Alternet, but the North American Union concept is real, and has been proposed by powerful people who see an angle they can exploit. Paul's response to this is warranted and expected, he being a cognizant sitting US representative and all.

The NAU issue is primarily about the MONEY, the currency, the value (and lack thereof). So is the completely private and non-federal "Federal Reserve." It is neither federal, nor a reserve. Hence the reference to "fiat money," which you should actually look up somewhere before opening your mouth and ramming your foot into it.

Abolishing the Federal Reserve is one of the most important things the USA can do to restore sanity, fiscal responsibility, and oversight to the economy. They just raised the debt ceiling to TEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Is this blog completely ignorant of the most important facts affecting the nation?

John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State Blog
http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

Posted by: John Doraemi on October 9, 2007 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

It's left dogmatic idiocy like this thread that drove me to abhor the term "liberal" and even "progressive" (which most self described "Progressives" are not).

Some genius says:

"The same moron who is whining because the big old bad gvmt allows currency to float on the free market instead of distorting the markets for both currency and gold by artificially pegging the currency to gold is simultaneously claiming that this very same big old bad gvmt is manipulating the value of gold."

No, Wile E., he said the "Central Banks" were manipulating the price of gold. Central Banks are not part of the government. They are privately held, for-profit, dark caverns of secrecy and power. So, you can't even make your own point without flubbing the whole thing, all the while calling your target infantile names like "moron."

Another one claims:

"...would like to pretend the 16th Ammedment to the constition does not exist or that it means something other than its plain language and 94 years of precedent say it does."

The 16th Amendment was NEVER RATIFIED!!!!!! It's not a Constitutional Amendment under OUR constitution unless ratified by the states.
This one was not. That's why the IRS mafia claims that paying your federal war/debt taxes is "voluntary compliance," and not coerced.

There is very little choice in this banana republic when it comes to power. The progress Ron Paul has made is impressive and a cause for hope, not mindless sarcasm. And I do mean mindless.

There are only 3 candidates in the race who even prefer peace to war. They are Kucinich, Gravel and Paul.

If Paul is the best chance to win, then you should be so lucky as to have him. He would do more good in 4 years than any of the others, and I feel that many of his loudest critics know it.

Most of the pack are indictable war criminals. And you'll probably vote for one of these neo genocidal creeps.

PS.

Bush was never elected. Not once, not twice. These were stolen elections. For God's sake learn how to do some basic research.


Posted by: John Doraemi on October 9, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone that calls Ron Paul a fruitcake is really calling the constitution a fruitcake idea. Why don't you move to a communist country instead of trying to change America into one. The rest of us don't need the government to control our lives. The rest of us are not scared of third world countries with weak militaries. The rest of us want something better for our kids. The rest of us want change. If you want another Bush clone in the whitehouse then vote for any other canidate. Those are the people that are fruitcake. The rest of us will vote for Ron Paul!

Posted by: Paul on November 7, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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